I remember watching an interview of an actress from the Hunger Games (I don’t know which one) and something she said really stood out to me. She said there aren’t a lot of strong female characters out there, which is why Katniss and the Hunger Games was really cool.
I beg to differ.
Let me count the strong female characters in Harry Potter: all of them! Hermione, Luna, McGonagall, Ginny, Molly Weasley, Tonks, Bellatrix, Narcissa, Trelawney, Pomona Sprout, Madam Pomfrey, Lily Potter, Cho Chang, Alice Longbottom, Katie Bell, Fleur Delacour…. on and on and on!
Hermione stands out the most to me, however. She is the most feminist, the strongest, and the coolest. Here’s why:
1. Brightest witch of her age. She makes it cool to be a bookworm. “Honestly, don’t you two read?” Without her, Harry would have never been able to defeat Voldemort the first time, or the second time, or the third… or fourth… or known who Nicolas Flamel was, or known the Basilisk was using the pipes, or been able to save Buckbeak… Okay, basically Harry (and the world) was damn lucky to have Hermione there to know what’s what.
2. Hermione is courageous. (She is in Gryfindor, after all.) Even when she was in her first year of Hogwarts and labelled as a know-it-all, she refused to dumb herself down to be accepted by others. She fears little else but failure. Oh yeah, and she stood up to the greatest, evilist wizard ever. So there’s that.
3. Hermione withstood Bellatrix’s torture. It would have been so much easier to give up while trapped in the Malfoy’s mansion filled with deatheaters, being tortured by the infamous Bellatrix LaStrange then to resist, but Hermione resisted.
4. Hermione’s a badass! She snuck into the restricted section of the library. She trapped the annoying Rita Skeeter in a jar when she
finds her eavesdropping, and then blackmails her. She lead Dolores Umbridge into a trap in the Forbidden Forest! She gets this reputation for being prim and proper, but just look how wrong that is.
5. She doesn’t have the double-ended sword. Usually women who are highly logical/rebellious/aggressive are stripped of their femininity or emotions. Hermione doesn’t have this problem. She was written to eschew stereotypes. She gets to have her cake and eat it too!
6. When the trio are out hunting for horcruxes and Ron leaves, Hermione doesn’t have a break down. Sure, she’s devastated; but she pulls herself together. She stays to help Harry, and she keeps searching for horcruxes (unlike some female characters… *Cough* Bella *cough*)
7. She’s a true feminist! Hermione is constantly pushing back against the rules, calling for equality. It’s her idea to start Dumbledore’s
Army, which was very against the rules. In GoF, she yells at her best friend after he defends house elves’ enslavement; then she goes one step further–creating a student organization dedicated to the freedom and fair pay of house elves.