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Is Hermione glorified in the books?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Magnum, Aug 6, 2019.

  1. Magnum

    Magnum Banned

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    Hermione is made to look like a genius in the books with her having a answer to everything in regards to magical knowledge. When Hermione makes a mistake or actually goes out of her way to hurt people, the narrative… just shrugs it off. She doesn’t ever face consequences for her actions. Even the whole Lavender affair, which was supposed to be karma kicking her arse for not taking a chance with Ron, was instead used to make sure we knew how much Ron wasn’t allowed to go out with a girl other than Hermione. Reading the descriptions of the way Ron and Lav kiss, you get treated to nice sentences such as “like a pair of wrestling eels’ or ‘there was a sound like a plunger being removed from a toilet’ makes it look biased to her. Hexing Cormac is shrugged off and no one calls her on it. It goes on from there - Hermione casually oblivates her parents once again no one calls her on it, Hermione gets pissy about the HBP, even going so far as to rub it in Harry's face right after Dumbledore died. Harry doesn't call her out. Again, shrugged off. Do you think she was glorified in the books?
     
  2. Agayek

    Agayek Master of Death DLP Supporter

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    Kinda? I think Hermione was, at least in the latter half of the series, something of a self-insert. Probably not entirely, but I definitely got the vibe Rowling was seeing herself in Germione's shoes a fair amount, and it influenced the writing accordingly.
     
  3. Andrela

    Andrela Plot Bunny DLP Supporter

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    Here are my favorite Hermione moments that I wish happened:

    1. Killed by the Troll in Philosopher's Stone.
    2. Killed by the Basilisk in Chamber of Secrets.
    3. Killed by Lupin's wolf form in Prisoner of Azkaban.
    4. Killed by a Death Eater during the Quidditch World Cup riots in Goblet of Fire.
    5. Killed by Dolohov's curse in Order of the Phoenix.
    6. Killed by choking on her own vomit out of jealousy when Harry is better than her at Potions in Half-Blood Prince.
    7. Killed by Voldemort during the Seven Potters escape in Deathly Hallows.
     
  4. Blorcyn

    Blorcyn Headmaster DLP Supporter DLP Silver Supporter

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    Holy 2008 batman! But, to play devils advocate:

    I do see where you’re coming from, but I’m not sure we can completely blame the narrative here - at least from the perspective of author. It’s a story written from Harry’s perspective, not an omniscient objective narrator.

    Harry likes Hermione, and we are more generous with our friends and more prejudiced against those we don’t like. Hermione, particularly as she ages, stands by him and covers his ass on a lot of day to day school work. The rule breaking that she does do is basically her arc, as someone who’s learned to do what she believes she should rather than what the rules say she must. And, we know Ron and Harry are way into that mindset. Considering Harry’s ultimate choice to sacrifice his life for his friends, I think it’s not unexpected that he would see Hermione’s obliviation of her family as a sacrifice rather than violence. She has sacrificed her feelings and need for her parents, for her parents safety and not just that but their emotional well-being, to stop them coming back for her because they love her and can’t leave her (which I assume is the reason).

    Hermione is tone deaf, to be sure, and pulls a lot of magic out of her ass, but she’s a true friend to Harry, just like Ron in his way, and they’ve been through a lot of stressful Voldemort related shenanigans together. I don’t think it’s weird that he’s a bit more forgiving or perhaps dismissive of their faults.

    However, that said, Ron kissing Lavender was most likely objectively disgusting, and we can’t blame the narrative for that. Teenagers kissing in a common room is always disgusting. It’s noisy, toothy and vomit-inducey.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2019
  5. Methos

    Methos High Inquisitor DLP Supporter

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    JKR herself admitted Hermione was her method to introduce new magic, because she read about it somewhere, the second method was Dumbledore.

    So what we have isn't a character rather a lazy author tool ?
    Further does it imply Harry doesn't spend in the library to find new spells ?
     
  6. Atri

    Atri Groundskeeper

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    Well, if Harry didn't have Hermione and had to actually truly study new spells and gain knowledge all by himself, we wouldn't have Canon!Harry. We'd have Fanon!Harry. Writing such a Harry well would be much more difficult than writing the rather normal, though brave and selfless Harry we got in canon. You'd have to go much deeper into magical theory and the setting than the books did, but that might divert attention from the plot. In the end, Harry Potter was never about the magic, it was about good vs. evil.

    Also, with a more knowledgable Harry, you'd have to get much more creative to get him into various kinds of trouble. After all, it's Hermione in canon who saves his ass time and time again.

    Though I agree that Hermione as a character could have been done much better if there actually had been some kind of evolution of her character. All we got was that she was more willing to break the rules as the books went on, but that's basically it.
     
  7. Magnum

    Magnum Banned

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    I don't think so even in the earlier books Hermione is glorified as the brightest witch of her age. She is a super-clever witch who has all the best marks everytime ever and she’s praised by all the teachers.
     
  8. Plotless

    Plotless High Inquisitor

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    She was certainly glorified in the films by giving her all of Ron's best lines, and a lot of that carried over into fanfiction.
     
  9. Magnum

    Magnum Banned

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    I agree. Most people confuse Hermione with Emma Watson. They think Hermione is as beautiful as Emma. They forget that Hermione is the goofy looking bushy haired nerd that nobody really likes. Ron on the other hand is the all star quidditch keeper who seems to easily make friends.
     
  10. Zombie

    Zombie Lo-fi Snake Jazz Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Hermione was there to help move the story along. She had the answers that Ron and Harry weren't able to gather for themselves. That's how friends work. That's how social interactions work. Just because she was smarter than the rest of them doesn't mean that she was ever glorified, it just means that after they spent time together and learned who each other was as a person, and accepted them flaws and all, they were able to form a friendship that got them through thick and thin.

    I feel like a lot of these post stem from fanon issues, and what I mean by that is that people go find problems that were never there in canon and then try to amplify them to extreme levels to make their versions of canon work. They're ridiculous. All these Ron is X threads and now we its Hermione X.

    Its come full circle.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
  11. hawthorn

    hawthorn First Year

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    I wouldn't go so far as to say she doesn't ever face consequences for her actions. I seem to remember points getting deducted for 'seeking out the troll on her own' as well as sneaking out at night to smuggle Noberta, and that's just in first year alone.

    Eh...I mean only Harry knew, and he did call her out on it and said it was dishonest and all, but just didn't tell any of the professors (because he really doesn't give a shit). Besides, nobody likes McLaggen.
     
    HMM
  12. Clerith

    Clerith Ahegao Emperor ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Not too much in the books, but a fair bit in the movies, and massively in the fandom.

    Don't get me wrong, she's my most disliked character, and I hated how she was the magical answer to everything except the Patronus, Expelliarmus and Priori Incantatem, and the "brightest witch of her age" nonsense.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2019
  13. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    I mean ... I dislike her character a lot. Overbearing, pushy, self-righteous ... I could write you a list. The kind of person I'd literally try to avoid staying in the same room with IRL.

    Just, in light of that, it seems strange to complain about her being glorified. I mean ... I guess? Not even the first thing on my list.
     
  14. Magnum

    Magnum Banned

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    The books aren’t exactly subtle about glorifying her. We start with Hermione just about performing every magic spell correctly on the first try or always giving the right answers. And then you have are the brightest witch of her age.

    Hermione gets asked to a ball by a Super Star Athlete.

    Hermione shows up to the ball and literally makes everyone do a double-take by how pretty she is.

    Hermione denies a woman her freedom of speech and kidnaps her because she was saying stuff she didn’t approve of. No one calls her out on it.

    Hermione forces Harry to create the DA; forces Harry to do that interview with the same woman she’s blackmailed, kidnapped and manipulated; uses the same method as Umbridge to punish a student who didn’t want to be a member in the first place; the icing on the cake is when she goes to the Forbidden Forest, hoping someone will “take care” of Umbridge for her, and the centaurs answer her call and almost teach her a lesson about “no, you can’t get away with manipulating people all the damn time” but luckily Grawp intervenes. Once again no one calls her on it.

    Hermione mind-rapes her parents was presented as being a sympathetic moment and even earned me the admiration of those who didn’t think about the ethics of the situation.
     
  15. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I would say Hermione is morally glorified by the books, but not magically.

    Morally, not once is she ever portrayed as in the wrong or needing to apologise. In PoA when she goes behind Harry's back, or is insensitive about people's pets, or refuses to acknowledge that Crookshanks may well have killed Scabbers - nothing. In GoF, when she splits her time between Ron and Harry, rather than siding with Harry - nothing. In OotP, her attitude to Luna - nothing. In HBP, when she is proven wrong about Draco - nothing. In DH, when she is proven wrong about the Hallows - nothing.

    The only time Hermione is really depicted as wrong is with respect to the house elves. And even then she's not so much depicted as wrong (Mr Weasley agrees with her) as going about things the wrong way/failing to take the full range of factors into account.

    Magically, it's the fans rather than the books which glorify her. In the books she's gifted but only really to a similar extent as someone like Percy or Remus Lupin. She never lives up to even someone likes James Potter, never mind someone of Dumbledore's level. And the books take pains to stress her relative weakness in Defence (PS devil's snare, PoA final exam, not getting an O in her Defence OWL).
     
  16. Silirt

    Silirt Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    Libel isn't a free speech issue. Rita was also violating their privacy by spying on them as a bug. I would argue they couldn't successfully sue her for libel because the Prophet is dishonest all the time and gets away with it, so the Wizengamot probably places no value at all on truth. Being an unregistered animagus would probably only get her a slap on the wrist, so Hermione takes matters into her own hands.
    She doesn't force Harry, she just encourages him. Learn what the word 'force' means.
    She didn't force that student to join. The student joined voluntarily and regretted it after.
    She didn't have a wand on her, so she couldn't have killed Umbridge herself. Umbridge at this point has already used the cruciatus on Harry and will probably use it again, so the necessity defense applies.

    What you're basically describing here is resisting oppression in the gentlest way possible.

    The above, where she goes to the ball and has everyone take note of her appearance marks a central moment of character development for her in book 4, which was slated to be the pivotal 'middle book', where the characters were supposed to be going from children to young adults. Previously, Hermione was described as plain looking at best, and downright unattractive at worst. She did not care about her appearance, she did not care about being feminine at all, and what we have in book four to really hit this home was Ron saying something like 'hey wait a tick, you're a girl'- she gets upset and says 'so glad you've noticed'. Another relevant scene is where one of Malfoy's henchmen make her teeth grow, and she turns away, not wanting anyone to see it, even though it's necessary to prove the Slytherins were the aggressors. Snape quite literally adds insult to injury and tells her it's no different from before.
    Book 4 is where Hermione decides to start taking pride in being a girl.
    She deliberately reduces the size of her teeth, when the on-site Healer had recommended just going back to their original size. She goes to the ball she might have called stupid earlier, and she doesn't just go, she puts in her best effort, stating afterward that she wouldn't do any of the hair nonsense again, and definitely had never done it before.
    That's about the end of the evidence I have for this dumb fan theory, but that's mainly because the book wasn't about Hermione valuing her femininity any more than it was about Harry and Ron growing into young men and asking girls to the dance. Those were important thematic elements, but JK couldn't fit all that much in without taking away from the main plot of the story, which had very little to do with the stupid fire cup.
    The point of having Hermione wow the crowd and get asked out by the superstar athlete wasn't to glorify her, it was to establish some relatively good character development. I am perfectly aware the author of this series makes mistakes, but this just isn't one of them. The comments to which I have replied are demonstrably not times when JK went off the rails glorifying Hermione.
     
  17. Methos

    Methos High Inquisitor DLP Supporter

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    You touch two extremes of the spectrum books vs no books, same as JKR good vs evil story.
    The strength was in the world build and magic is part of the world build and somewhat in the characters.

    Voldemort of the second war was disappointing and JKR probably didn't figure out how Harry can defeat him if he was actually competent, further JKR on going theme of the adults are useless, only damaged the story further and gave birth to the atrocity of 11 years old Harry unravel all Dumbledore manipulations, because Dumbledore is that incompetent/fool/idiot, and if Dumbledore is that, what is it imply on the other cast members.

    Last note: when Authors try to build magic system, they focus too much on the technicalities, instead of the concepts and core principals, they focus on the boring stuff.
    I personally try to build a magic theory system inspired by True Mathematics ideas.
     
  18. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    ... yes, like I said:
     
  19. Faun

    Faun Third Year

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    Hermione isn't made to look like a genius according to the books she is one. Among her peers she is the most academically gifted. She comes up with ideas, but execution mostly falls to Harry. The narrative is biased in her favour because she is the main character's best friend and most of story is from Harry's pov. Harry would not be a good friend if he holds an uncharitable view of his friends.

    The glorification of the character happened in Fandom. The books show all her character faults to the readers with some bias in her favour. Some fans glorify Hermione some hate her with a passion.

    BTW who said good karma leads to good consequences and bad karma to bad consequences. Karma is simply rule of causation. Actions have consequences and we don't know what those will be. All we control are actions and consequences are beyond our control. So Hermione's seemingly bad actions need not have bad consequences.
     
  20. Chengar Qordath

    Chengar Qordath The Final Pony ~ Prestige ~

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    Added the emphasis to one of the more critical and often overlooked bits when it comes to Hermoine's brilliance. She's very good in an academic setting ... in a book series that's largely set in a school. The books do state several times that her skills in the classroom don't always translate well to real-world situations.

    Admittedly, canon put less emphasis on that in later books. However, that at least that distinction still existed: the movies blurred it out by giving Hermoine a lot of Ron's best moments and assigning some of her bad ones to Ron or just removing them completely. The Devil's Snare is a good example of this.

    Books: Ron keeps a cool head and points out the solution while Hermoine panics
    Movies: Hermoine keeps a cool head and solves the problem when Ron is stupid and panics.

    Fanon seems to have followed suit on upping Hermoine's good sides and downplaying her bad ones. Harry/Hermoine shippers naturally liked to talk her up, and (fittingly for a character who was largely derived from Rowling's own experiences) she's a character that teenage girls can easily imprint on.
     
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