Why Hermione is the Secret Main Character of 'Harry Potter'

Warner Bros Pictures

Despite being called “the Chosen One,” Harry Potter himself might not be the real hero of the Wizarding World. Here’s why the “Potterverse” should be renamed the “Grangerverse” in honor of its true protagonist: Hermione Granger.

This week on Tor.com, Sarah Gailey outlined the fact that even though J.K. Rowling’s magical book series bears Harry’s name, it might be Hermione who is more worthy of the “hero mantle.” Gailey points out that although Ron and Hermione are framed as supporting characters in Harry’s story, it’s often Hermione who is making sure that the fight against the evil Voldemort doesn’t stall under the weight of her friends’ egos.

Not to mention, Hermione is just more competent in general with all things magical than either Ron or Harry. “No one in their right mind would trust 13-year-old Harry Potter with a Time Turner”, Gailey writes. “But Hermione gets one, and she deserves it.”

Hermione in action

Warner Bros

In an alternate universe not too terribly far removed from this one, we could be reading Hermione Granger and the Sorcerers Stone, talking about the world’s most heroic witch and her two good-natured-if-occasionally-hapless pals. While Harry finds himself preoccupied with Cho Chang, the Triwizard Tournament, or the House Cup, Hermione is entrenched in research, spending her time learning all of the things she’ll eventually need to know to save lives, fight injustice, and defeat Voldemort. Gailey explains that even though she’s not the “Chosen One,” Hermione chooses to prioritize that which she believes in before her own wants and personal goals. She’s self-sacrificing, brave, and willing to endure pain both physical and emotional in order to do what she knows is right. She doesn’t do it in service of Harry and his mission, she does it because she believes in goodness and in doing the “right thing.”

Hermione’s story might not be the most obvious through line of the Potter stories, but as Sarah Gailey points out, she has an immense impact on the the plot, perhaps more so — from a logistical perspective — than Ron and Harry.

Hermione, Ron and Harry in 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child'

Manuel Harlan / Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, JK Rowling

“She researches horcruxes and how to destroy them,” Gailey writes. “She rereads all of Hogwarts: A History.” In short, Hermione is not only a brainy badass, but a true, real-world hero.

Part of what makes Harry Potter so rich and compelling is the depth of its characters and story. There’s so much that makes Hermione heroic that we can’t help but wish we had a glimpse into that alternate universe where Hermione Granger and the Sorcerer’s Stone is everyone’s favorite book and fans everywhere call themselves Grangerheads.

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