Madame Olympe Maxime (fl. 1994-2010) 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.
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.
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.
She is described as being elegant and wearing black satin robes. She is graceful despite her size (and reputedly a wonderful dancer), with handsome olive-skinned features, huge black eyes, and sleek hair drawn back from her face. She dresses from top to toe in black satin, and is laden with opal jewellery. Also despite her size, she is a very fast dueller, 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 get on well with her students. She had a sense of fair play and 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 accept that Harry hadn't 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 on the dragon probably because the Horntail successfully attacked Harry once (though slightly lower than most of the others', it was far fairer than Karkaroff's four). She also was willing to give Harry full marks in the second task for moral fibre, despite Karkaroff only awarding him half marks.
Olympe was ashamed of being a half giant and claimed that she was simply "big-boned." Though Hagrid described her as a fine, well dressed woman, Maxime didn't complain once about having to climb over boulders or sleep in caves during her and Hagrid's mission to visit the giants. 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 spellwork.
- Care of Magical Creatures: At Beauxbatons, Madam Maxime bred winged Abraxan horses.
- Spell resistance: Being half-giant, Maxime has 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
- 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.
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 J. K. Rowling at Carnegie Hall