Hermione Granger was the real hero of the Harry Potter series. Hidden in plain sight!
In a world where JK Rowling was not asked to publish as JK instead of Joanna in order to improve sales, it would have been the Hermione Granger Series.
Behind every successful man is a woman. And as they say, blocking the path of every successful woman is a man, taking credit and generally being unhelpful.
Although the books released in 1997 when I was in my twenties and the movies in 2001, it seems as though I grew up with them along with my children!
From reading about the central characters of Enid Blyton and Anne of Green Gables and Little House on the Prairie, we suddenly we have this wild haired brainiac girl, all of 11, born to regular parents ( Muggles) with nothing special like Harry had his history and Ron had his magic family. But she had BOOKs and the LIBRARY and the BRAINS !! And she knew all the formulae and the spells and the historical references.
For those of you who have read all the books AND seen all the movies ( at least twice over…….and if you haven’t , please stop reading NOW and go get hold of the books !!)—answer this–how many times has Harry (or anyone else for that matter) been able to offer Hermione any emotional support ??!
Harry Potter has of course lost his parents, which is terrible, but Hermione has actually sacrificed hers! ( In the Deathly Hallows book, she uses the Obliviate Charm to erase herself from their memories in case something happens to her during the battle with Voldemort).
Yet he is allowed to be lost by their memories and go wonky when he thinks of his mother. All of which is great by the way. The Boy Who has Feelings! But Hermione simply carries on.
Of course, while Hermione gave a whole generation of young girls an amazing role model, no other female character came even close. And sadly enough, the Harry Potter books do fail the Bechdel test.
Harry is brave and loyal and occasionally wise but Hermione at the age of 13 –( think back to what you were doing and were capable of doing at that age and then see what she was doing !) — she was allowed to use a Time Turner !! For her STUDIES. A girl whose first priority is her academics and her books. Not boys. But whose two BEST friends are boys and she is fine with that.
She is more like Spock to Harry’s Kirk. He plunges in, gets emotional and somehow saves the day, but like Spock, Hermione takes decisions based on logic and facts and always has his back.
At the time when Ron walks away during the search for the Horcruxes, she stays with Harry, because even though her heart is broken, her brain tells her that she cannot abandon Harry since his life was in danger. Not only that, she manages to cheer Harry up and somehow keep going.
She co-founds Dumbledore’s Army, fights for justice for house elves, stands up to Voldemort in every way she can.
In a glorious line of badass women from The Paper Bag Princess to the Hunger Games
and Orphan Black
the fact that Hermione is a girl simply never comes in the way !
She is the cleverest witch, head and shoulders above her peers, she is compassionate, loyal, feels for house elves, is kind to animals, and yet is capable of throwing a well- deserved punch at Draco when he laughs at Buckbeak’s execution.
So there we have it.
Harry Potter—the Boy who Lived…..because of Hermione Granger—the Girl who helped him To……