It’s been a few years since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 hit theaters, and in the time since, I’ve probably watched the entire Harry Potter movie series twice, maybe thrice. I finished my most recent viewing a couple of weeks ago and thought it would quench my thirst for all things Potter for a while, but it just sent me running to Pottermore for, well, more. More, more, more! And what I need more of, in particular, is my favorite teen heroine, vanquisher about wizardom, Hermione Granger. So, in the spirit of feeding my Potterzest, I’ve spend some time this week contemplating why I love Hermione so ardently. The result, my Hermione top seven. I hope it feeds your need for Potter screed.
- Eclectic tastes. Cormac, Krum, it’s clear Hermione’s milkshake brings all the boys to the yard, but she chose Ron Weasley. Because she knows her own mind and she does what she wants, even when her choices are surprising/incomprehensible to others. And let’s not forget that floaty, lavender gown Hermione wore to the Yule Ball. Pure whimsy.
- She brings some much needed Muggle-born knowledge to the table. I’m sure Arthur Weasley would agree that Hermione’s Muggle cred enhances the group’s collective power. Not only is Hermione able to teach others in the wizarding world about modern Muggle dental practices, without her influence, magical kids listen to crap like “Do the Hippogriff,” where they’re encouraged to “get it on like an angry spectre, who’s definitely out to get ya…,” with Hermione’s influence, they listen to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.
- She was almost a Ravenclaw. You might think Gryffindor is the number one badass house in the Potterverse, but Ravenclaws are smart, quirky, witty, and wise (I’m pleased to say I was sorted into Ravenclaw myself, after the Sorting Hat briefly considered me for Slytherin – yipe). It was likely her bravery and fire that landed Hermione in Gryffindor. In the end, she exemplifies the best traits of two proud houses.
- Activism. Not only did Hermione found SPEW (Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare) while a student at Hogwarts. She continued to advocate for better treatment of house-elves throughout her career in the Ministry of Magic, and she ultimately went to work for the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, the wizarding world equivalent of the Department of Justice.
- Her wand has a dragon heartstring core. That’s just very Daenerys Targaryen of her. Provided the dragon died of natural causes before its heart parts were taken.
- She’s better than those other Hermiones. In Greek mythology, Hermione was the only child of Menelaus and Helen of Troy. She was married off to Neoptolemos in a political play by her dad and subsequently had an unhappy marriage. In an attempt to end a very un-feminist fight with her husband’s girlfriend, Andromache (whom she blamed for her infertility), Herm asked her dad to kill Andro. When he refused, Hermione ran off and married her cousin, where her story ends as soon as she births a child. A very not-Granger tale! Hermione in Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale is persuasive and beautiful and wronged, and comes back from the dead and everything, which is pretty good, but Granger is still better. Then there’s Hermione Farthingale. In fairness, all I really know about her is that she broke David Bowie’s heart and, according to him, was kind of spoiled and stuck up with mousy hair. She was probably a lovely person whom Bowie slandered because she spurned him. Still, Granger wins. Lastly, there’s Hermione Herman, Pee-Wee’s sister. She didn’t even appear on the show, so how cool could she have been?
- She’s smart, heroic, rectitudinous, caring, and an all around world class, badass role model for girls. With the negative and sexist implications of the word “bossy” gaining attention, and rightly so, it’s nice to have a character like Hermione that girls can turn to as an example of how to combat bossy based bullying. She’s a leader who answers the criticisms against her by being herself and being awesome. Hermione’s not afraid to be right, the way I sometimes was as a girl, she embraces it, and she wins.
Writing my Hermione love list was fun, but how long will it tide me over? Not long. The good news is, I’m pregnant. So when Baby Blonde arrives, I can begin at the beginning by reading him Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Maybe I should get started now; there’s no harm in a little in utero Potter, right?