There’s no denying that the fate of the Wizarding World might have been quite different in the Harry Potter series if Hermione Granger hadn’t been around. Hermione was the smartest, most talented and brightest witch of her age. Often her best friends Harry Potter and Ron Weasley only survived the dangerous situations the trio found themselves in because of her plans and quick thinking. Hermione was never just the “smart one,” though. Her bravery, kindness, loyalty and caring showed throughout the series that she was in no way a one-dimensional character. I think it’s safe to say she is the strongest, most developed female character in Harry Potter.
With the upcoming release of the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, I have high hopes that we’ll be introduced to more women like Hermione in the Wizarding World. Until we can watch that film and meet them, though, let’s look back at some of the moments that showed Hermione was an amazing character in the original series. She has many great moments in the books and films, but here are 12 of my favorites from the eight Harry Potter movies showing her in action.
Escaping the Devil’s Snare
We may not get to see Hermione figure out the potion puzzle from the book in the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone film, but we do see her figure out how they can escape the Devil’s Snare plant that tries to crush the trio when they get past Fluffy. It’s Hermione who identifies the plant, realizing they have to remain calm and not struggle in order to get free. While that’s easy for her and Harry to do, Ron has more trouble with the idea of relaxing. Before he can be strangled though Hermione remembers the plant doesn’t like sunlight and casts a spell that forces the Devil’s Snare to let Ron go, dropping him to safety. Not only does this show it’s a good thing Hermione cares about her studies, but also it’s one of the first of many times when she’s able to think on her feet in a dangerous situation!
Brewing the Polyjuice Potion
Polyjuice potion is difficult for even adults to make, but Hermione is able to create a working potion in just her second year! In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Hermione successfully brews the complicated potion for herself, Harry, and Ron. It works well on Harry and Ron who turn into Crabbe and Goyle, and even works for Hermione, though not in the way she wanted! A mix up with cat hair causes Hermione to take on some cat characteristics, leaving her unable to help the other two. Still, the honest mistake doesn’t detract from the fact that Hermione being able to brew the potion is extremely impressive and a great example of her advanced skills!
Identifying the monster in the Chamber of Secrets
Hermione may be petrified in this scene, but I still love it because it shows she found the answer to the mystery nobody else has been able to solve. Somehow during all the time she’s been petrified no one has noticed the paper in her hand until Harry does here. It turns out Hermione discovered that the monster in the Chamber of Secrets was a Basilisk and that knowledge saved her life. She realized looking into the Basilisk’s eyes directly would mean instant death and that those who were petrified became that way because they met the serpent’s gaze indirectly. She cleverly used a mirror to help her move around after leaving the library where she made this discovery, which led to her being petrified instead of killed. She was also the one who realized it was traveling around the school using the pipes. Who knows how long it might have taken the others to make these connections if Hermione hadn’t done so and held onto that piece of paper when she was turned to stone!
Punching Draco Malfoy
In this scene Hermione does what so many of us have wanted to by the time we get to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. She punches Draco in the face! There were so many moments when he deserved such a punch, but it really is perfect to have it happen here. Hermione just can’t contain her anger when she sees Draco and his posse waiting to watch the execution of Hagrid’s hippogriff Buckbeak. While it would have been great to see her use some kind of spell on Draco, it’s even more spectacular to see her listen to Ron, lower her wand, but then immediately turn around and punch him so that they run away scared. As Ron says, it’s a brilliant moment!
Using the time turner to save Sirius Black and Buckbeak
Thanks to the professors trusting Hermione to use the powerful time turner to take extra classes, her and Harry are able to go back in time and save both Sirius Black and Buckbeak in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. When they travel back in time Hermione knows just what they have to do in order to avoid any terrible consequences. Not only that, but it turns out her decisions when they go back in time saved them many times already from throwing the rocks into Hagrid’s hut to recreating a werewolf call to distract Professor Lupin in his werewolf form. The entire time travel sequence shows Hermione at her best!
Informing her friends she’s “not an owl”
Hermione is a great friend, but even she has her limits. In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Harry and Ron stop speaking to each other, which leaves Hermione in the middle. When she delivers a message to Harry from Ron, with Weasley standing right there, it’s quite awkward, but she’s clearly trying her best. When Harry begins to ask her to tell Ron something she angrily proclaims she’s “not an owl” and walks away with Ginny. It’s a great line that Hermione delivers and it’s a moment that shows she’s done with their foolishness. She’s willing to do a lot for her friends, but there comes a point when they really need to get their acts together!
Organizing Dumbledore’s Army
When Professor Dolores Umbridge won’t let the students use magic and learn how to defend themselves in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Hermione realizes they need to teach themselves to defend against the Dark Arts. That idea sparks the creation of Dumbledore’s Army. She knows Harry has the skills and experience to teach them and it’s through her encouragement that he goes through with it and that she’s able to convince the others that they need to do this. Not only is this yet another brilliant idea from Hermione, but it’s fun to see her excited about breaking the rules for a change!
Reminding Harry that he needs them
Harry never learns that he needs his friends in order to succeed. Here, after all the devastating things that happened in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry tells Hermione he’s going to go off to finish what Dumbledore started with the Horcruxes and he’ll let her and Ron know where he ends up. Hermione doesn’t get mad about Harry thinking he’ll go off on his own, leaving them. Instead, after gently telling him he can be really thick sometimes, she tells him he needs them to find all the Horcruxes. It’s a sweet moment between the two where Hermione reiterates how the three of them are in this together no matter what.
Changing her parents’ memories
In order to keep her Muggle parents safe when Voldemort’s on the rise and she’s leaving home in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, Hermione alters their memories so they won’t remember anything about her. It’s a great idea, but at the same time not easy for her to go through with. You can see how hard it is for Hermione to do this and it’s an extremely sad moment. It shows how strong Hermione is that she’s willing to go through with it to protect her family.
Visiting James and Lily Potter’s grave
Hermione is there for Harry when he finds his parents’ grave in Godric’s Hollow in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. She creates a small flower wreath for them and stays by his side, offering her support. It’s a sad and sweet moment that passes between the two. Even then though, Hermione never lets down her guard and is the one to notice someone watching them from afar.
Jumping on the dragon to escape Gringotts
Hermione comes up with a brilliant, mad idea to escape Gringotts in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and it leads to this amazing scene where she jumps on the back of the dragon the bank is using to help guard the vaults. She frees the dragon from its chains and they end up riding the beast to freedom, encouraged onwards by Hermione.
Destroying a Horcrux
Hermione finally gets to destroy a Horcrux towards the end of the final film! Using a Basilisk fang, she destroys Helga Hufflepuff’s cup in the Chamber of Secrets. After everything she’s done to bring them to this point, it’s fitting that she gets to destroy a Horcrux like the others and bring them even closer to defeating Voldemort!
What’s your favorite Hermione Granger moment from the movies? Let us know in the comments below!