It is Emma Watson’s Birthday this month and we love her for who she truly is. She has played strong stereotype defying roles, embracing each character and their flaws beautifully. We have seen Emma blossom into a real life version of our favourite literary character: Hermione Granger. Emma, like Hermione is a champion for equal rights and is the ambassador for the UN HeforShe Campaign. She is also a strong proponent of the Environmentalist movement. Here’s reminiscing about and admiring our favourite literary character, played yours truly.
1. She is not your average ‘damsel in distress’:
She is proactive and doesn’t wait to be rescued. Very capable of protecting herself and her friends, she stands up to Malfoy on occasions when he dares to insult Hagrid. She was the driving force behind ‘Dumbledore’s Army. She suggested the DA be formed and supported Harry in setting up the secret organisation. She even came up with a system to coordinate with members without being caught by Umbridge or her ‘Inquisitorial Squad’.
2. She is curious and is not afraid to perform advanced magic for her age:
From the spell to fix glasses (which harry should really note down), to making polyjuice potions, to performing complex charms for protection, Hermione is way ahead of the witches her age. When Hagrid says, there isn’t a spell Hermione can’t do, he’s right. Also its levio-sa, not leviosaa!
3. She is super resourceful and has saved the day on many occasions:
From the very first book, Harry and Ron would have never figured out about the philosopher’s stone, or gotten through the tasks if it wasn’t for Hermione’s help. In the second book, Hermione was the first to figure out that the creature was a basilisk. She even gave them the answer to how to find the basilik: ‘pipes’. In the third book, it was thanks to her time turner that Harry was ultimately able to save Sirius Black.
4. She is a bookworm and not afraid to embrace her inner nerd:
She was the one who figured out about Nicholas Flammel in a book in the restricted section. Had she not read and recollected the poem about the Devil’s Snare, Harry nor Ron would have made it past the first hurdle in their search of the Philosopher’s Stone. She’s the only one who seems to have read ‘Hogwarts: A History’. Thanks to her habit of picking up texts for ‘light reading’, Harry managed to learn about the Room of Requirement. The Room served as the meeting place for Dumbledore’s Army, it was where Harry hid the potion book of the Half Blood Prince, and ultimately where Rowena Ravenclaw’s lost Diadem (a Horcrux) was found.
5. She is compassionate:
Despite taking the most number of classes in her year at Hogwarts, she made time for things and causes she truly believed in. A true equalist champion, she started the organisation Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare for the upliftment of the Elf community in the magic world. She is also empathetic to the pain of others. She was quick to understand and explain to Harry and Ron, the turmoil Cho was in, after the Cedric dies. Honestly, she is the one in the trio keeping them grounded and close to the ultimate cause: betterment of society.
6. She has incredible presence of mind:
If it wasn’t for Hermione’s observation and presence of mind, Harry would have died in the first book itself. Her setting Snape’s cape on fire, is what eventually distracted Quirrell from his incantation and saved Harry’s life. She is greatly under-appreciated for taking Umbridge deep into the Forbidden Forest, misdirecting her attention so that the rest of the DA students could escape her office.
7. She is not afraid to call out authoritative figures who are corrupt:
In the end of fourth book, she is vocal about her dislike for the media propaganda in the Daily Prophet. The Ministry of Magic had been spreading misinformation about the return of Lord Voldemort’s return and Hermione was quick to quip that the Daily Prophet was under the influence of the Ministry. In the fifth book as well, when Umbridge first arrives at Hogwarts, Hermione is swift in connecting the dots inferring that the Ministry of Magic was interfering at Hogwarts and constantly defied Umbridge in covert ways.
8. She doesn’t let bullies get to her:
From the very beginning thanks to a certain “blond”, she had always been told that she did not belong in the magic community. Cursed at for being a ‘mudblood’ she channels her anger at the social order of the magic community by rallying for the equal treatment of the Elfs. She even endures torture for being a ‘mudblood’ at the Malfoy mansion, but doesn’t let that question her commitment to the future of the magic community at large.
9. She is always prepared:
She is always armed with information that has saved Harry’s ass on several occasions. Also, in the final book, when Harry, Ron and Hermione have to make a quick getaway from Bill and Fleur’s wedding, she was the only one with a plan for escape: she had a packed bag with tents, medicines and all essential supplies for their brief exile. She even packed books which would inform their way and help them interpret the clues as to the whereabouts of the Horcruxes.
10. She is an amazing friend:
She was the only one who believed in Harry, when everyone thought that he had entered his name in the ‘Goblet of Fire’ for attention. Without her help, Harry would not have been able to summon his broom and would have probably perished at the hands of the Hungarian Horntail. She was the one who stuck by Harry when on their quest for Horcruxes. Ron had left, however, despite much uncertainty she supported and protected Harry during their journey. She even accompanied Harry to his parents’ grave, being well aware that by doing so they would be putting themselves in mortal danger. Being Hermione, she even cast a simple wreath spell to leave flowers at their grave. I’m not crying you are.
11. She was ready to do whatever it takes for a cause she truly believed in:
Once she has decided she is doing something, there is no stopping her. She did not hesitate from petrifying Neville Longbottom when he tried to stop them from going after the Philosopher’s Stone. Though sneaking in Hogwarts was against the rules, she knew what she was doing could potentially have a greater impact than mere house grades. She even cast the ‘obliviate’ spell on her parents’ memory before she left in the final book to ensure the safety of the trio. She has often made tough choices with seeming ease; her resilience and emotional maturity has not been appreciated enough.