We don’t know anything for certain about her childhood, again due to lack of proper records for that time, and the fact that she only became a well known figure later in her life. What we do know is that she was one of the four founders of Hogwarts, along with Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff and Salazar Slytherin. This means she helped build the foundation of what would later be one of the most respected education institutions in the magical world.
There is also little to say about her appearance. The only trustworthy piece of art that seems to have been created while she was alive is the statue located inside Ravenclaw Tower. In it, she is described as looking beautiful but austere, and a bit intimidating. The rest are other depictions in which she is painted as having long, black hair and dark eyes, but we can’t be sure of their accuracy.
Rowena was a brilliant woman, who became known not only for her role in creating Hogwarts, but also for other accomplishments, like creating a diadem that would enhance the mind of the wearer. We can take from that how skilled she is with charms, and how creative she can be when she puts her mind to it.
Another big moment in her life came about when, during the time the four founders were deciding who they should teach, she stood against Slytherin’s reasoning to teach only the pureblood children. She stated that, for her, the qualities a student should have had nothing to do with their blood or parentage. What Rowena valued was intelligence, wisdom, creativity and cleverness, thus giving life to Ravenclaw House.
As we’ve said before, Rowena was a brilliant and creative woman, but there are other things about her that people seem to forget sometimes. She was tremendously forgiving of those she loved and she didn’t have a prejudiced bone in her body. She was also a proud woman, which made it difficult for her to confess her failures or whatever she perceived as such.
Rowena was certainly a really good friend, loyal to those she deemed her best friends. One of those is famously Helga Hufflepuff, the other female founder of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
We have already stated that there is little to know about her early life, but there is a bit more to tell about her last years. This story is told in the books through the character of the Grey Lady.
The story she tells is that, after some years of running the school, Helena Ravenclaw, Rowena’s daughter, stole her diadem and run away with it. It seems that this happened because of Helena’s jealousy of her mother’s achievements and well-earned respect. Rowena chose to hide this from the other founders, even from her dear friend Helga. If we take the legend into account, Rowena Ravenclaw was led to an early grave because of her heart being broken.
In fact, some time after Helena’s betrayal, Rowena realized that she had little more time to live and the only thing she wanted was to see her daughter one last time. But, sadly, that was not to be and we know for a fact that she never saw her daughter again, at least not alive.
Rowena was the first of the founders to die, leaving the world a bit emptier and a little less magical than before.