Madame Olympe Maxime (fl. 1994-2010) is a French half-giant witch and was the headmistress of Beauxbatons Academy of Magic. Maxime's preferred mode of transportation is to travel with her students in a powder-blue carriage drawn by twelve winged Abraxan horses, which are bred at Beauxbatons Academy of Magic. Madame Maxime is a half-giantess, although she claims merely to have "big bones." This is a necessity, however, as the approach to giants (or part-giants) is generally hostile.
Early lifeOlympe Maxime was born to one magical parent and one giant, making her a half-giantess. She kept this heritage hidden, out of fear of the prejudice that would strike her were it to be revealed. She was likely educated at Beauxbatons Academy of Magic in France, where she later became Headmistress. It is unknown exactly when she became Headmistress of Beauxbatons.
In August 1994, Madame Maxime attended the final of the 422nd Quidditch World Cup in England with some of her students. When the Dark Mark was conjured, they got separated. While trying to find her, her students asked Ronald Weasley if he had seen her. Ron, who did not speak French, did not understand the question.
Maxime and some of her students went to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in October of 1994 for the Triwizard Tournament. She made such an impact on Professor Rubeus Hagrid that he immediately started trying to impress her: he tried to tame his hair, wore his best ill-fitting clothes, and even showed her the Triwizard Tournament dragons while they were still meant to be a secret. Given his lack of social graces, however, this was not so successful. It is unclear whether she was impressed by this, but either way, Hagrid scuppered any chance he might have had at the Yule Ball. It was here that he put it to Olympe that she was a half-giantess just like him — he was right, of course, but she was not inclined to concede such a point, and, for a while, avoided his company. However, Harry noticed that she did attempt to re-initiate contact with Hagrid while he dug in his garden, though apparently Hagrid did not warmly greet her and she left soon after.
When Harry returned clutching the body of Cedric Diggory, Olympe was one of the first to realise that he was dead and clutched her heart in shock. She was also present during the memorial feast of Cedric Diggory after he was murdered by Peter Pettigrew during the third task.
During the summer of 1995 Rubeus Hagrid and Madame Maxime visited the giants as envoys for Albus Dumbledore. Hagrid described her spellwork as "brilliant". She separated from Hagrid during the return journey, however, because he would not abandon his half-brother Grawp, who proved to be a highly taxing travelling companion; she returned to Beauxbatons alone.
In 1997, Madame Maxime was among those paying respects at Dumbledore's funeral. She and Hagrid comforted each other during this occasion, though this may have been inspired solely by the emotion of the moment. She also attended the wedding of Bill Weasley and former Beauxbatons student Fleur Delacour later on that same year.
It is unknown if she and Hagrid ever rekindled their relationship, although ultimately they never married.
Madam Maxime was described to be a handsome woman: an olive-skinned face with a beak-like nose and large, black, liquid-looking eyes. Her hair was drawn back in a shining knob at the base of her neck. She dresses from head to foot in black satin, and is laden with opal jewellery. Despite her size, she is elegant and graceful, and Dumbledore once stated that she was a wonderful dancer. She is also a swift duellist, being able to cast two Conjunctivitis Curses within seconds of each other.
Maxime's huge size is due to her half-giant background. Initially, she fiercely denied this, claiming that she merely had "big bones". Harry noted he "had only ever seen one person as large as this woman in his life, and that was Hagrid; he doubted whether there was an inch difference in their heights".
Personality and traits
Madam Maxime appeared to have a good relationship with her students. She was also shown to have a sense of fair play: she felt it was unjust that Harry Potter had also been chosen for the Triwizard Tournament (which gave Hogwarts two champions), and at first she refused to believe that Harry had not actually put his name in the Goblet of Fire. However, she did not judge Harry unfairly during the Triwizard Tournament's tasks, giving him an 8 out of 10 (though slightly lower than most of the others', it was far fairer than Karkaroff's four). Later on, she willingly gave Harry full marks in the second task for moral fibre, despite Karkaroff only awarding him half marks.
However, Olympe was ashamed of being a half-giant, and claimed that she was simply "big-boned". Though Hagrid described as her as a fine, well-dressed woman, Maxime did not complain once about having to climb over boulders or sleep in caves during her and Hagrid's mission to visit the giants, which in turn implies that - despite her denial of her heritage - she was still a realistic woman who knew how to accept her circumstances for what they were. She also had a fiery temper and Hagrid had to restrain her from attacking two Death Eaters during the mission, leading him to speculate that this may be due to the French in her.
Magical abilities and skills
As the Headmistress of a prominent European Wizarding School, Madam Olympe Maxime is a competent witch deserving of the title bestowed upon her.
- Duelling: Though she was never shown actually fighting, Maxime has proven to be a capable duellist, since Rubeus Hagrid claimed that Madam Maxime performed an excellent Conjunctivitis Curse during their mission to rescue him when he was ambushed by the giants under Golgomath's command. He also said that she was able to do very fast spell-work.
- Care of Magical Creatures: At Beauxbatons, Maxime bred Abraxans.
- Spell resistance: As a half-giant, Maxime had inherited the passive ability to resist many spells.
- Hagrid: "So…anyway…enough abou' me. What about you? Which side you got it on?"
- Madame Maxime: "It is chilly. I think I will go in now"
- Hagrid: "Eh? No, don' go! I've — I've never met another one before"
- Madame Maxime: "Anuzzer what, precisely?"
- Hagrid: "Another half-giant, o' course"
- Madame Maxime: "'Ow dare you!"
- — Hagrid and Madame Maxime conversing about being half-giant[src]
Olympe is the French word for Olympus, the mountain home of the Greek gods. Maxime is French for "principle" (or "maxim"), a pun on "principal". It is derived from the Latin maxima, the feminine form of "maximus", meaning "greatest" or "biggest".
Behind the scenes
- Olympe Maxime is portrayed by English actress Frances de la Tour in the film adaptations of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Deathly Hallows: Part 1. British basketball player Ian Whyte portrayed her for the full-body shots.
- In the latter she appears during the Wedding of Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour, making her the only major character to appear in a film despite not appearing in the corresponding book.
- In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Maxime is described as roughly the same height as Hagrid, whereas in the film adaptation she is considerably taller than him. Robbie Coltrane explained in an interview that it was due to her high heels. Also, in the books she is described as having olive skin and black hair while in the films, she has pale skin and brown hair.
- "Madame" is French for "Mrs.", which implies that at some point, Maxime must have been married. Since she appears to be single upon meeting Hagrid, it is likely she divorced or is a widow. In French "madam" is also used for someone older than you, above you, or who commands respect, such as a teacher.
- Frances de la Tour and Richard Griffiths both appeared in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and the 2011 film Hugo. Also, they both appear in the 2012 film, Private Peaceful.
- In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4, Olympe and Hagrid's relationship was testy, much as it was in the books and films.
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (video game) (Appears on card)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (mentioned)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- Harry Potter: The Character Vault
Notes and references
- ↑ Rubeus Hagrid's file, as created for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and seen in Harry Potter Limited Edition, states that he is 11'6". Harry claims in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire that there was only roughly an inch difference at most in the heights of Maxime and Hagrid.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 15 (Beauxbatons and Durmstrang) - "As she stepped into the light flooding from the entrance hall, she was revealed to have a handsome, olive-skinned face; large, black, liquid-looking eyes; and a rather beaky nose.
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 J. K. Rowling at Carnegie Hall