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The Real Reason Tonks' Hair Was Purple In Harry Potter

In the world of "Harry Potter," many things change starting with the fifth installment of the series, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix." Following the events at the end of "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," including the death of Cedric Diggory (Robert Pattinson), Voldemort has returned to the land of the living. The reality of this has been acknowledged — not by everyone, but at least by some, including Tonks (Natalia Tena), a Hufflepuff-turned-Auror. She's introduced to Harry both in the book and the movie when she arrives at 4 Privet Drive with Mad-Eye Moody to bring Harry to the Order's headquarters right after a dementor attach on Harry and his cousin Dudley. 

In the book, Tonks is introduced as having "short spiky hair that was a violent shade of violet." But, as a Metamorphmagus, she can change her hair color and her appearance at will. In fact, when she goes up to help Harry pack his things, she decides purple isn't her color and switches her hair to a bubble-gum pink. And if you've seen the "Harry Potter" films, you'll know that Tonks does indeed sport many hair colors, sometimes depending on mood. In her first scene, her hair goes from blue to fiery red when Mad-Eye uses her first name, Nymphadora, which she clearly dislikes. 

But in that fifth film, Tonks mainly sticks with purple hair after her initial intro. And there's a very good reason filmmakers decided to keep her hair out of the pink zone. 

Pink was considered Dolores Umbridge's color

According to Wizarding World Digital, color has great importance in the "Harry Potter" film series. "No witch or wizard is as firmly associated with a colour as Dolores Umbridge. For her, pink is an affectation as false as her laugh and her kittens," the site says, noting that Umbridge (played by Imelda Staunton in the films) might like the "girlish, sweet" appeal of the color but turns it into something that "comes to signify only horrible things – punishments designed to inflict pain, a wilful, power-hungry refusal to listen to reason, and a cruel disregard for anyone that doesn't match up to her ridiculous ideals." As you may recall, Umbridge's entire aesthetic involves pink clothing, pink decor, and those creepy plates with kittens. Some fans on Reddit have even noticed that her pink clothes get progressively darker as she gets more powerful.

Given that, it makes total sense that the movies would want to make a distinction between the fun, heroic Tonks (who is sadly destined for tragedy) and the villain Umbridge. In the fifth movie, Tonks' hair never gets close to the pink her literary version appears to favor, and the dark-bluish lighting of the Ministry of Magic in the movie's climax also obscures the tones of her hair in the film. In a feature on Tonks, Pottermore, the original iteration of Wizarding World Digital, says this came about "in order not to conflict with the pink associated with Dolores Umbridge."

Cuts to the sixth movie eliminated an opportunity for Tonks to sport pink hair

In the sixth book, fans may recall, Tonks spent much of her time at Hogwarts protecting Harry, looking drab and thin, with "mousy brown hair." The students think she's upset about the death of her cousin Sirius, even though they weren't close. Following the Battle of the Astronomy Tower, Fleur declares that she will stay with Bill despite Bill's having been bitten by werewolf Fenrir Greyback, leading Tonks to enlighten them as to the real reason for her moodiness. She exclaims to Remus Lupin, "You see! She still wants to marry him, even though he's been bitten!" In a later scene, at Dumbledore's memorial, Tonks' bright hair color is restored; Lupin has clearly made her happy despite the somber circumstances.

This was, sadly, all cut out of the movie version. "And at the end, I was really excited about my hair going pink, because [Lupin and Tonks] do get together," Natalia Tena told Empire Magazine. "But that never happened either ... I kind of missed these little moments." Lupin and Tonks eventually marry, but both die fighting in the Battle of Hogwarts, leaving their son, Teddy, to be raised by his grandmother. Teddy inherited his mother's abilities but doesn't seem to prefer pink — at least based on the fact that blond-haired Luke Newberry was cast to play him in the final movie's epilogue, but Teddy, too, ended up getting cut out (via SciFiNow).