Why Everyone Loves Hermione Granger

h-granger

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is home to many beloved and controversial characters. Just the mention of Snape, Dumbledore and even Ron can send die-hard fans into hysterics. You do not need to search too far to find ferocious debates over whether Snape’s love for Lily can excuse his mistreatment of Harry and whether Dumbledore was out of line when he allowed Harry to run off on dangerous missions instead of studying for his OWLs. 

Amongst all the fan-fiction, opinions and fan-girling, one character is never questioned.

Hermione Granger.

I wanted to write a a blogpost capturing the essence of Hermione and why she is important. As I sat down to brainstorm ideas, I found the amount of angles over-whelming. It was almost impossible to narrow down her qualities into one clever and concise piece.

That is when I decided to get the people who love Hermione to speak for themselves, instead of trying to speak for them. Hermione is a complex character. As a result, people resonate, admire and love her for endless different reasons. The testimonies of my friends show you just a few of those different reasons.

I now hand it over to my friends who have told me what Hermione means to them.

Let the fan-girling commence!

The thoughts of a fellow writer:

“I love Hermione Granger because she made me proud to be a scholar. I was always shamed for raising my hand in class and wanted to be an intellectual. She made me realise what a difference I could make by just being myself.

The thoughts of a new friend for life who just returned from Harry Potter World:

“Hermione is a hard hitter (not just when she punched Malfoy – twice thanks to time turners) but she goes hard in the classroom. Growing up, there was an undertow that silly dumb girls were ‘cool’ and that boys were the smarter sex. Hermione unashamedly excelled scholastically and even when up against opposition from teachers (Snape), students (Slytherin house) and friends (Ron in the Philosopher’s Stone), she kept raising her hand and proved she was an exceptional student.

Hermione taught me to be a well rounded woman. As mentioned, she was smart. She also was loyal,  honest and a sensual woman. Hermione was friends with two boys and fought for the greater good (not in the Grindelwald way) and did what was right even when it was hard. She did this when preparing with Harry for the Triwizard tournament. She insisted that they did not interfere too much due to the rules of the tournament. She helped Ron and Harry with their homework but insisted that they attempt it first. In the final book Hermione made the difficult choice to stay loyal to Harry and continue horcrux fighting when her love Ron bailed.  What a woman with integrity!

It took a while for Ron and Harry to recognise Hermione as a woman. The first time was perhaps in the Goblet of Fire when she went to the dance with Krum. What I admire most about Hermione is that people may not have noticed her sensual side yet she insisted to explore it, even taking hours to get her hair ready. She was a woman and did what she wanted to feel beautiful. Even better the next day she decided it was nice but not worth the fuss every day.

I thank Hermione for being fiercely intelligent, strong in her values and femininely beautiful. I’m thankful I had such a character to look up to during my formative years.”

Thoughts from a dear work friend:

“I think that what Hermione means to me has changed quite a lot over time. Now, looking back at impressionable childhood-me, I love her for making it cool to be uncool, to want to try hard, and to be enthusiastic about learning. I also, of course, love her ballsy-ness, bossiness  and badassness. Hermione is never defined by a love interest as so many of her fellow female characters are. She’s unapologetically independent and stroppy, yet still emotionally real, someone you could imagine being (or being friends with).”

Thoughts from a brilliant friend from law school:

“When I was seven years old, my class at school had a fictional characters dress-up day. One pair of robes, 20 S.P.E.W. badges, 3 books covered to look like Hogwarts textbooks and a head full of crimped hair later and I was the happiest school child in all of Christchurch (even though just like the real Hermione, no one wanted my badges).

Reflecting back now, I think the reason I loved Hermione so much (and even more so now) is that she is a woman imagined complexly and fully in a sea of two-dimensional female characters. Instead of pigeonholing Hermione as the “book worm”, the “popular girl”, the “assertive leader” or the “kind friend”, JK instead gave us a character who was everything we wanted to be at once. Best of all, whilst Hermione made zero apologies for being a bad-ass, we still got to see her vulnerability so we could understand our own as a strength.

Out of all of Hermione’s qualities, I aspired most to her advocacy and leadership in the face of injustice. The Harry Potter books were amongst the first I read where these traits were portrayed positively and reconciled with compassion and warmth (not “pushy” and “unladylike”). The Harry Potter books were a powerful weapon for a young girl developing her sense of identity.

Thoughts from a kindred spirit I met six years ago:

“The thing that inspires me most about Hermione Granger is that she displays the virtues of loyalty and bravery. These characteristics are evident throughout the whole series but are really summed in this quote from the Philosopher’s Stone: ‘Books and cleverness! There are more important things… friendship and bravery.’ Even though Hermione dedicates much of her life to the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom she knows that these things alone will not make you happy or a better person. She is committed to growing, changing, always striving to do good and being a truth-seeker – even if that means flying in the face of convention.”

 —

Thank you dear friends for taking the time to write intelligent, heart-warming and joyful responses. Hermione is without question an influential character. I can attest to this because I see the qualities you listed in your personal responses shining through you.

Leave a Comment

*