Of course the incomparable Hermione Granger had to be featured in my series designed to highlight and celebrate positive depictions of women in fiction.
As I’m sure you all know, Hermione first appeared in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books, and was portrayed by Emma Watson in the subsequent film adaptations. Most recently, the role was taken on by Noma Dumezweni in The Cursed Child stage production.
From the moment readers were introduced to Hermione, she became the unofficial poster girl for bookworms and feminists alike. Fiercely intelligent, she point-blank refuses to dumb herself down to appease others, even her closest friends, and though she has her moments of delightfully lacklustre social skills, she systematically broke down the stereotypes that told us people like Hermione couldn’t be popular. Always giving priority to her brains rather than her appearance, she taught a generation of schoolgirls (and boys) that it’s okay not to strive to be ‘the pretty one’.
Essentially, Hermione did what was at one point likely considered impossible and actually made it cool to be a bit of a nerd. Far from one dimensional however, throughout the series she also displays countless examples of her bravery, going above and beyond to help those she loves in their times of need and fight for what she believes in, as well as compassion, through her campaigning for elfish welfare, and more than her fair share of badassery – who can forget the satisfying slap (or the even more epic punch in the film version) that she landed right on Draco’s smug face? Perhaps best of all however is the fact that Rowling was not afraid to give Hermione her flaws – notably her stubbornness and intense fear of failure – which only serve to make her even more relatable and human.
Thank you for everything you stand for, Miss Granger. 50 points to Gryffindor.