The Evolution of Hermione Granger

Written by Tacy Rodriguez

In the beginning of Sorcerer's Stone, Harry and Ron didn’t like Hermione because of her goody-goody, know-it-all attitude. They kept their distance from her until she had lied to Professor McGonagall about the troll. At the end of the book, she learns that books and intelligence will never be more important than friendship or bravery.

The Prisoner of Azkaban divulges Hermione’s greatest development. A subplot in the book was overcoming fear (dementors and boggarts). Hermione’s biggest fear is failure. She dismissed dropping the classes that she obviously didn’t enjoy. We see this in Divination. In the beginning of the book, she goes on and on about how Divination is a total sham. She was also being told that she has too many classes. Snape even told her she takes pride in being a know-it-all. She also refused to accept that Crookshanks was a threat to Scabbers. All these unconnected points show Hermione’s development. They are resolved when Hermione drops Divination and Muggle Studies, and also when she punches Malfoy and stands up to Snape. She learns to lean towards what makes sense emotionally, perhaps more than using rationality. By the end of the book she apologizes to Ron, for the first time ever, finally seeing that she can also be wrong.

In The Goblet of Fire, Harry starts to count on Hermione more since Ron is absent. Her role in the book is to be Harry’s most supportive companion. Hermione does not only support Harry, but attempts to support and help give a voice to house-elves through the creation of S.P.E.W. Hermione’s physical appearance starts to showcase more now that she’s getting older. Boys seem to notice Hermione more since she put in effort into her look. For example, she shrinks her teeth into making them a better size and does her hair for the Yule Ball. We also see how Hermione gets upset that Ron doesn’t ask her to the ball. All of this is to illustrate that Hermione, although the brightest witch of her age, can also be your average teenage girl.

In The Order of the Phoenix, Hermione is shown to be making sure Harry and Ron focused and purposeful since they are both thinking more about girls, O.W.L.s, and the Ministry of Magic. The fifth book also shows Hermione’s leadership by her joining the D.A., and becoming a prefect.

The Half-Blood Prince illuminates and provides exposition for Voldemort, and does important work to continue the evolution of Hermione’s character through her relationships with other characters. Hermione gets jealous of Harry’s success in Potions and is trying to figure boys out. We see this when she gets jealous of Ron and Lavender. She is also finally seen as an “equal” to Ron since Harry starts to side with her during their arguments in the sixth book. The plot developments of book sixth allow Hermione to be even more fully realized as a character in the world of Harry Potter.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows tests out Hermione’s strength, as she is forced to give up the man she loves for the good of the mission. Her biggest character achievement is finally accepting the unknown, that there is more illogical magic (the Deathly Hallows). She also gains new respect due to her blood status and continues advocacy for House-elf rights.