Hinata Uzumaki is a member of Konohagakure's Hyūga and Uzumaki clans. Being of a meek disposition, Hinata's lack of self-confidence reflected in her skills — traits that caused her father to deem that she was not suited for her position as the clan's heiress. From observation of Naruto Uzumaki, Hinata finds both an example to follow to be more assertive, and a person to love. In her membership with Team Kurenai, she sought to become strong enough to change herself, if even a little at a time.
Hinata is the oldest daughter of Hiashi Hyūga. Because Hiashi was the head of the Hyūga clan's main house, Hinata was raised to be its heiress and her family expected great things from her. But even at a young age, it started to become clear to some of the Hyūga that Hinata was not suited for the role of heiress, as she struggled against her father in their training sessions and her timid personality prevented her from excelling. When she was young, Hinata was almost kidnapped by a Head Ninja of Kumogakure, who was visiting Konoha in order to sign a peace treaty between their two villages. Hiashi killed him and saved Hinata, setting in motion what would become known as the Hyūga Affair. Hiashi continued to train Hinata, but when Hinata's younger sister, Hanabi, started displaying superior talent, he began to reconsider Hinata's selection as heiress. In the anime, Hinata and Hanabi were pit against each other to determine who would one day lead the Hyūga. Because Hinata was unwilling to harm Hanabi - an unwillingness Hanabi did not share - she was defeated, disappointing her father.
On a snowy day - the day of her enrolment in Konoha's Ninja Academy - Hinata was picked on by three bullies because of her Byakugan. Naruto Uzumaki, despite not knowing her, immediately came to her defence, but he was outnumbered and knocked unconscious, and the bullies damaged the red scarf he was wearing. When he regained consciousness, Hinata thanked him for helping her and returned his scarf to him, but he let her keep it. Hinata started watching Naruto from that point onwards, and by doing so saw Naruto's desire to gain attention and his struggle to exceed the low expectations others had for him. Yet in spite of this, Naruto never lost faith in himself or his dream to become Hokage. Hinata was inspired by this and started emulating Naruto, adopting his refusal to never give up as a means of earning her father's approval. In the anime, Hinata's growing affections for Naruto were noticed by the Hyūga's elders, who warned her to stay away from him.
Prologue — Land of Waves
In the anime, while the graduates of her Academy class are being assigned to teams, Hinata hopes that she will be on the same team as Naruto Uzumaki. To her disappointment, she is instead added to Kurenai Yūhi's Team 8, along with Kiba Inuzuka and Shino Aburame. Kurenai reports this to Hinata's father, Hiashi Hyūga, but he is unconcerned and in fact abandons Hinata to Kurenai's care, feeling she is unworthy of the Hyūga clan.
Despite how recently they graduated from the Academy, Kurenai enters Team 8 in the Chūnin Exams being held in Konoha; Hinata agrees to participate because she wants to change herself. For the exams' first stage, Hinata is seated next to Naruto as they take a written test. The objective in the first stage is to cheat off of other examinee's paper without getting caught, but Naruto doesn't realise this and agonises about potentially failing. Seeing this, Hinata offers to let him copy off of her paper. He suspects she's trying to trick him, but she assures him that she only wants to be helpful. Although he considers taking her up on her offer, Naruto ultimately declines, fearing that he'll get her disqualified if they're caught and claiming that, besides, he isn't the type to cheat.
Although Naruto is given the opportunity to forfeit, he refuses to do so, and for his determination, he passes the first stage along with Hinata and their teams. For the second stage, participants enter the Forest of Death with the objective of obtaining a set of two scrolls, one of which they are given at the start. Team 8 manages to collect their second scroll right after the second stage has started, and so they head for the centre of the forest where they're supposed to turn in the scrolls. Along the way, Kiba's partner, Akamaru, senses the Three Sand Siblings' fight with Team Shigure. Team 8 watches the fight from the cover of some nearby bushes and is horrified when Gaara mercilessly kills all of Team Shigure. After they're certain Gaara won't kill them too, they proceed to the centre of the forest.
After passing the second stage, the remaining participants take part in one-on-one preliminary matches. During Naruto's fight with Kiba, Hinata's loyalties are torn; she wants to cheer for Naruto, but fears that would be rude to Kiba. When Naruto wins the fight, Hinata gives both him and Kiba some of the Hyūga Clan Secret Ointment so that their wounds will heal faster. As he's being taken away to rest, Kiba pleads for Hinata to forfeit if she's matched against Gaara or her cousin, Neji Hyūga. She is indeed matched against Neji, a member of a Hyūga clan branch house who hates all members of the main house. Neji, like Kiba, tries to convince Hinata to forfeit, telling her that she's too meek and insecure to be a ninja. She begins to offer arguments in her defence, but Neji persists, claiming that she is fated to be a failure, a fact that he believes she's aware of due to her frightened reaction to what he says.
Neji's words cause Hinata to cry, but also anger the watching Naruto, who insists that Hinata can change herself if she wants to and who encourages her to defeat Neji. Because Naruto has faith in her, Hinata refuses to forfeit and prepares to fight; Neji is surprised by the new confidence in her. Hinata and Neji exchange Gentle Fist-blows, but only Neji's are effective, which he reveals to be because he sealed her tenketsu at the start of their fight. Although her attacks are ineffective against him, Hinata continues fighting, in the process enduring mounting internal trauma from Neji's counterattacks. Neji repeatedly tells her to forfeit, but Hinata refuses, unwilling to back down both as a matter of principle and because Naruto continues to cheer for her.
Neji directly attacks Hinata's heart, leading all but Naruto to believe she's been defeated. When Hayate Gekkō is about to declare Neji the winner, Naruto stops him and motions to Hinata struggling to her feet. Neji tells her that her attempts to fight her destiny are only bringing her harm, but she rebuts that his own attempt to fight the destiny of the branch house brings him even more harm. Neji is enraged and attempts to kill her, but he is stopped by the observing jōnin. Hinata collapses, the damage to her organs being too severe, and before she loses consciousness she sees Naruto checking on her; she wonders if she managed to change at all. She's taken away by a team of medical-nin to be given emergency medical attention.
After a month, on the day of the Chūnin Exams' final matches, Hinata has recovered somewhat. Although she's supposed to take it easy, she practices at the Third Training Ground. Naruto stops there on his way to finals and is glad to see she's better. Because he's scheduled to fight Neji, Naruto shares his concerns that he might not be strong enough to defeat him. Hinata says that she believes he is strong enough, and that even if he isn't physically strong he still has strength of perseverance: a willingness to keep trying despite apparent failure until he finally conquers his obstacle. She admires him for that. Naruto is put at ease, thanks her, and informs her that his impression of her as "weird" was wrong, as he actually likes her. Hinata is left speechless as he walks away.
Hinata watches Naruto's fight against Neji with Kiba. Seeing Naruto receive so many of Neji's attacks upsets Hinata and causes her internal injuries to begin bleeding again. Kiba gets an Anbu (Kabuto Yakushi) to treat her. Although the Anbu heals her, she is rendered unconscious and thus is unable to watch Naruto's defeat of Neji.
Fourth Shinobi World War: Climax
Hinata and the rest of the Allied Shinobi Forces are sent to assist Naruto in his battle with the Ten-Tails. Recognising how crucial Naruto is to the war's victory, Hinata, Neji, and Hiashi join forces to block attacks directed at him. Neji and Hiashi quickly become preoccupied protecting other Allies from the Ten-Tails too, leaving only Hinata to defend Naruto. The Ten-Tails fires several volleys of wood projectiles at him, which Hinata uses her body to defend him from. Neji in turn uses his body to defend her and is mortally wounded because of it. As he dies, Neji observes that Hinata was willing to die for Naruto, which he uses as evidence that Naruto is responsible for more lives than his own. He then dies from his injuries and Hinata cries for him.
Naruto is disheartened by the deaths of Neji and others in the Alliance. When he starts to show signs of giving up, Hinata brings him back senses by reminding him of his vow to not let any of his friends die. Although Neji may be dead, he will live on so long as others continue the fight that he gave his life for. Therefore, Naruto must stay true to the creed he has been using for so long and that she has long since adopted for herself: to not give up. Naruto's resolve is renewed and he thanks her for standing by his side. He then takes her hand and transfers some chakra to her, giving her a version 1-like shroud that protects her and augments her attacks against the Ten-Tails. As Naruto leads the Alliance's attacks against the Ten-Tails, his arm becomes dislocated. Hinata sets it back in place, allowing him to remove the Ten-Tails from the control of Madara and Obito Uchiha.
The extended fighting eventually starts to tire Naruto out, so Hinata rallies a defence around him while Sakura Haruno heals him. She later joins Team 8's attack on the Ten-Tails' clones: she starts performing the Eight Trigrams Sixty-Four Palms on a Ten-Tails mini-clone, but stumbles midway and fears she may not be able to complete it. By thinking of Neji and Naruto, she finds the resolve to follow through to its end and defeats the clone. She then prepares to use her Gentle Step Twin Lion Fists.