8 Burning Questions About Hermione Granger We Still Can’t Figure Out

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There are so many contradictions in Hermione's character and her actions that are hard for viewers to unpack.

She can give a lecture about following the rules but will then break them. She is an ardent fighter for equality and justice but doesn’t always tolerate those who disagree with her views. She is undoubtedly smart but some of her actions are not necessarily sagacious. Let’s look at some of these contradictions to try and understand this complex character.

1. Why did Hermione and Ron end up together?

Throughout the school years described in the seven Harry Potter books, Hermione and Ron’s relationship is all but calm. They argue, date other people, break up with them, date each other, fight, get back together, and in the end they get married. All in all, it looks as if Hermione enjoys being at war with Ron all the time. Even Joan Rowling herself admitted that Hermione and Ron aren't a perfect match. Actor Rupert Grint, who played Ron in the Harry Potter movies, shared in an interview that he was sure these characters would eventually break up and Weasley would move to a studio apartment to lead a bachelor life.

2. Why does Hermione always get special treatment?

Both in the book and the movie Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, a lot of students struggle with their studies and lack of time, however, only Hermione gets a Time-Turner from Professor McGonagall to help her with the workload. The question that arises is how fair this gesture is towards other students who compete on equal terms for grades and academic achievements. Hermione breaks as many rules as her troublesome friends, but unlike them, she is never punished for it. For example, when she steals ingredients from Professor Snape’s storeroom to make a Polyjuice Potion and turns into a cat, she ends up in the Hospital Wing but is never questioned about the transgressions.

3. Why did she continue her relationship with Viktor Krum?

A Durmstrang Institute student Viktor Krum, who participated with Harry in the Triwizard Tournament in the Goblet of Fire, was so fond of Hermione that he invited her to spend the summer break in his family's luxurious medieval castle in Bulgaria. Hermione declined but continued to exchange letters with him even after she started dating Ron. Wasn't it cruel on her part to give Krum false hope once she started a new relationship? It seems like she was keeping her options open in case it wouldn’t work out with Ron.

4. Why was Hermione so persuaded by Gilderoy Lockhart?

In The Chamber of Secrets, Hermione is extremely fascinated by the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, who has written a bunch of books detailing his victories over menacing monsters. It's strange that the intelligent Hermione didn't see right through the phony hero whose only real accomplishments are his five Witch Weekly's Most Charming Smile Awards and a record number of autographed photos.

5. Why did she refuse to get her hair in order?

In the Goblet of Fire, Hermione uses Sleekeazy's Hair Potion before the Yule Ball to give her unruly hair a normal look. But on other days she would never put it on, saying "there's so much hassle with it!" At the same time, Hermione has no trouble putting a spell on a student Marietta Edgecombe, so she gets ugly purple pimples. If Hermione can easily change someone else's appearance, why can't she fix her own hair?

6. Why is she so terrible at playing Wizard’s Chess?

Chess is the best game to apply logic and strategic abilities. Sounds right up Hermione’s alley. Then why is a simple-minded Ron so much more skilled at it? One could explain this inconsistency by the fact that she grew up in a muggle family, but the rules of the Wizard’s Chess, as was made clear in The Philosopher's Stone, are not that different from regular chess.

7. Why did she allow Crookshanks to attack Scabbers?

Hermione's skittish and unpredictable cat named Crookshanks was fixated on Ron's shabby old rat Scabbers. Eventually, it was revealed that the rat was Voldemort's henchman, the traitor Peter Pettigrew. But long before Pettigrew was exposed, Crookshanks had been chasing Scabbers all over Hogwarts and tried to eat her more than once, sensing, doubtless, something suspicious. What did Hermione think, though? Why would she, a defender of house elves, endanger her friend's beloved pet for no reason?

8. Why is she so inconsistent in her use of spells?

In The Philosopher's Stone, Hermione easily sets Professor Snape's mantle on fire during a Quidditch match. But later on, when she needs to free Harry and Ron from the Devil's Snare, she gets panic-stricken about not having the wood to start the fire. Only after Harry reminds her that fire can be started with magic does she realize what she needs to do.