In any list you’ll find of female role models in films, Hermione Granger is a likely character to top that list. She is fierce, brilliant, and unapologetically herself. She doesn’t follow the crowd or care what people think of her -- not once does she change herself to please others. Since 2001, girls across the world who’ve watched the Harry Potter films have been inspired by the icon that is Hermione Granger. She proves that being a badass isn’t something that only boys can do, and she teaches girls to stand up for themselves, break out of stereotypes, and truly embrace who they are! Just take a look at these nine memorable moments of Hermione from the Harry Potter films…
1. “It’s levi-O-sa, not levi-o-SA”
Perhaps one of the most iconic quotes of the film series is when Hermione corrects Ron’s incorrect levitation charm pronunciation in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. She then follows that by impeccably performing the charm herself. Her professor showers her with praise, and Hermione doesn’t feel embarrassed to be the “teacher’s pet.” She is passionate about her education, proud to show off her smarts, and never dumbs herself down in front of the boys. Not to mention, her teaching Ron Wingardium Leviosa ends up saving the trio from the bathroom troll!
2. Taking charge of a classroom in chaos because a professor fled the scene
In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Gilderoy Lockhart unleashes a wild pack of cornish pixies upon their Defense Against the Dark Arts class. When he fails to gather them up, unable to protect the students, Professor Lockhart cowardly takes off from the classroom. Hermione knows she has to take action and thinks coolly under pressure. Thankfully, she whips up the perfect spell to end the chaos. Immobulus!
3. Never letting her background affect her success
As a muggle-born, her classmates with wizard parents have an advantage over her, having over a decade more experience with, and exposure to, magic. This does not stop Hermione from doing everything she can to learn about witchcraft and wizardry. Even with some pure-blood families looking down on her and calling her nasty names, she brushes this off and stands up for herself by not being afraid to show that she’s the brightest witch of her age. Hermione proves that no matter where you come from or how you were raised, if you work hard to go after what you want and are confident in your abilities, you will reach your greatest potential.
4. Punching Draco Malfoy
Hermione breaks all female stereotypes when she smashes Malfoy in the face for being a heartless bully in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. She rarely uses violence throughout the series, but when she does, it is always to protect or defend the well-being of someone or something. I think we can all agree that this was necessary… and totally satisfying.
5. Using her power for good
With Hermione’s possession of the time-turner, a rare and highly dangerous item, she never once takes advantage of this powerful piece of magic in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. She uses it to further her education and to bravely save two lives. Hermione exudes responsibility, level-headedness, and virtue.
6. Founding Dumbledore’s Army
While Harry gets a lot of the credit for leading Dumbledore’s Army, it’s actually Hermione who starts it all in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. She recognizes the emerging danger and knows that Umbridge’s lack of proper defensive education would be useless to them. She puts her idea into action and is responsible for gathering the first meeting of students, as well as convincing Harry to become their teacher.
7. Flawlessly stupefying Ron (and his prejudice) in front of the whole class
Despite Ron’s obnoxious comment in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (“don’t worry -- I’ll go easy on you”) while practicing stunning spells in a Dumbledore’s Army class, Hermione’s not afraid to make her male peer feel weak and to show off her girl power. She stupefies him and smashes the patriarchy all at once with just a swish of her wand!
8. Choosing to stay with Harry on the hunt for the horcruxes rather than abandoning him when Ron leaves
When Ron abandons the horcrux hunt in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part. 1, Hermione has the choice to leave too or stay with Harry. The stereotypical thing to do might be to stand by her true love, no matter what the circumstances. But Hermione again smashes convention and sticks by Harry to fight for the good of the wizarding world, showing her true loyalty.
9. Saving her friends — and the entire Wizarding Word — from mortal peril on countless occasions
Using her knowledge to save Harry and Ron from Devil Snare, plotting an escape from Gringotts on the dragon, brilliantly using the time-turner to prevent the deaths of Sirius and Buckbeak, leading Dolores Umbridge into the forest to prevent her from using unforgivable curses on Harry, saving the entire Hogwarts staff and student body from a deadly basilisk even while she was PETRIFIED -- the list never ends. She isn’t the princess in peril; Hermione’s the one doing the saving.