Harry Potter: 10 Things About Hermione Granger That Haven’t Aged Well
Harry Potter’s story of wizardry is timeless but there are some things about the character of Hermione Granger that just haven’t aged that well.
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Everyone’s favorite witch has developed a few blemishes in the intervening years.
Since the books and movies told the complete Harry Potter story they’ve continued to be analyzed, puzzled over, and investigated. JK Rowling put in so many layers and themes throughout the series that it is rewarding on third and fourth reading or viewing. However, some elements for certain characters haven’t aged as well as others. Between the accuracy (or lack thereof) of portrayals between mediums or simply having modern perspectives reflect poorly on aging ideas, some characters have gone from ‘near-perfect’ to less-so.
Hermione Granger is still to be admired for all her positive attributes. We just need to be aware that rose-colored glasses shouldn’t dismiss her (few and far between) lesser moments.
Hermione’s strict adherence to ‘the rules’ as often as not led to her working against her friends as with them. Especially in the early entries, she can’t not report anything and everything to the nearest authority figure. Sure, sometimes you need to be the one to blow the whistle if things get out of hand, but she takes it well over the line again and again. Looking back, she is hardly someone you’d tolerate for long. Luckily, that Troll encounter bought her some leeway.
9 Fronoculus Levotus
Emma Watson did an admirable job portraying Hermione Granger, there’s little doubt. She delivered lines like “or worse, EXPELLED” with the appropriate haughtiness as they had on the page, but there was one thing that stuck out less well. For the first few movies, you could power a small town if you attached a generator to Hermione’s eyebrows as she spoke.
Those things jack-hammered up and down with every other syllable and once you notice them, they’re endlessly distracting. She wrangled them in the latter movies, but in Philosopher’s Stone, Chamber, and Azkaban, they were out of control.
8 Skipping The Ugly Duckling Part…
Emma Watson isn’t to be blamed for this one, but for book readers coming to the movies, it stands out. Hermione was expected to be a bushy-haired, buck-toothed girl, who walked with a self-inflicted hunch due to excessive book carrying. She most definitely wasn’t the standard ‘Hollywood hottie who doesn’t know it’. It turned out they’d cast someone who quickly grew towards beauty and that undercut her written character somewhat. The scenes where Viktor Krum and Cormac McLaggen sought after her removed some of their depth due to her outward appearance. Krum, in particular, lost something because of her obvious appeal circumventing the ‘library meet-cute’ we heard about in the books.
7 Quidditch Catastrophe
Hermione just doesn’t get Quidditch.
Both Ron and Harry express this sentiment throughout their school years. It captures Hermione’s occasional weakness where she dismisses some things that are important to others. When Harry receives the Firebolt from Sirius in Azkaban, Hermione is reporting it’s imagined dangers to McGonagall with only her hunch as reasoning. At other times she belittles what the lads like because it doesn’t matter to her personally. We’re holding her to a high standard here, so these moments don’t reflect well in hindsight.
6 She’s Right. All. The. Time.
Snape isn’t a good example to follow when it comes to making friends but he does sum up Hermione, albeit in a cruel way. She IS an insufferable know-it-all, to her detriment, and she can’t help but point it out. When the Firebolt is revealed to be from Harry’s godfather, after all, she still has to claim that she was right, even if her reasoning for it was completely off base. After their disastrous venture into the Ministry Hall of Prophesies in Order of the Phoenix, despite Sirius’ death hanging heavy, she has to mention how she was correct that Harry was tricked into the escapade. When Snape is outed as a literal ‘Half-Blood Prince’ she still can’t bite her tongue. There’s more to being a good friend than being the one who can’t be wrong.
5 Weasley Usurper
Another one for the book readers, Hermione steals a whole hell of a lot of Ron’s best moments and lines in the films. Moments such as standing between her friends and an apparently evil Sirius in Prisoner of Azkaban. That was Ron’s moment, doing so with a broken ankle and the courage befitting his Gryffindor house.
Instead, Hermione receives a few too many of these moments and at a certain point, it breeds resentment rather than admiration. It’s even led somewhat to the opinion that she and Ron shouldn’t have happened in favor of shipping Harry and Hermione, and that’s a fandom-splitter right there.
4 Fortune Telling Is Rubbish. Now, Where’s My Magic Wand?
In a series devoted to enchantment and the exploration of a world where anything can be ‘more than it appears’, Hermione’s aversion to prophesy is incredibly off-putting. In the same year as she receives a Time-Turner to facilitate her ability to get to all her chosen classes she somehow can’t envision knowing the future? This smacks of limited thinking from someone less intelligent and only book-smart, a far cry from the Hermione we see most of the time. Not only that, she belittles and chides anyone taking that branch of magic seriously. Considering how importantly prophecy plays out within the series, she looks well out of order here. Plus, she calls Firenze a Horse!
3 I Only Believe What I Can Read
Hermione has a detrimental habit of denying anything she doesn’t read from a book that’s been sat on a shelf for a couple of dozen years. Considering what she encounters (or hears firsthand about) within just her first few years, including Basilisks, Quirrellmort, Unicorns, Dementors, an immortality rock, a diary that can possess people and houses the soul of Tom Riddle, the list goes on, she is remarkably close-minded. It almost seems like she takes up the contrary position purely for the sake of it within the trio. She may know Hogwarts: A History back to front, but has that been updated anytime lately?
2 10/10 Intentions, 2/10 Execution
Hermione isn’t one to get an idea in her head and not follow through. Often that’s admirable, but when it comes to enforcing your ideals on another species’ culture… Yeah, it’s a thorny issue at the best of times. When it comes to House-Elves, Hermione isn’t up to hearing anything from others who know more or have wider experience than her to draw from.
Surely a quick word to Dumbledore or McGonagall to voice her concerns about elvish mistreatment would’ve gone further and revealed more than her ill-fated SPEW campaign. Even the Weasley twins assurances that they naturally love their role in wizarding society couldn’t persuade her to learn more. Not even from her usual trusty resource, books!
1 Sore Loser
Hermione takes a lot of pride in her schoolwork and spellwork and it usually shows positively. The problems arise when she’s not ‘the best’ and she becomes a worse version of herself. When Harry begins using the Prince-altered potions book in 6th year she adamantly won’t use any of its advice even while commenting on how good Harry’s potion is currently looking. She won’t even concede to thoroughly “un-evil” advice like using the flat of the blade to crush out the juice rather than cutting. She even has moments of being put out when it’s revealed that Harry continually bests her at Defense Against The Dark Arts. The less said about her jealousy at Ron with Lavender Brown the better as well. These failings bring her back down to earth and make her far more relatable, however, they are still failings.
NEXT: Harry Potter: 10 Hysterical Ron Weasley Logic Memes
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