In the original books, Hermione was a clever, kick-ass character made highly relatable by her imperfections. The movies erased most of her flaws, making her a better ‘role model for girls’, but a far less interesting person: a typical weakly written strong woman. So here are a few things we should remember about Hermione:
1. She is an outsider. Just like Harry, she is often clueless about the unspoken rules of wizarding society, but unlike Harry she has no illustrious parentage and pretty green eyes to compensate for it. This goes beyond the blatant racism she is shown for her muggle-born status, and means that assimilation is a constant conscious struggle for her.
2. She has bad social skills. She is a good friend, but not always good company. Hermione isn’t called a know-it-all just because smart girls tend to be bullied, she is a know-it-all. She can sometimes ‘manage’ people when she tries, but when she doesn’t pay attention she is often blunt and tactless. She alternates between showing off her knowledge and assuming everybody knows what she knows, and she talks a lot about things only she is interested in. Remember how she introduces herself to Harry – it is far more awkward than cute, and she doesn’t outgrow it entirely. I know that opinionated women are often put down for opening their mouths, but Hermione is a more interesting character for having moments where she is genuinely grating and arrogant.
3. She is authoritarian. She has a worrying authoritarian streak, repeatedly choosing the rules over her friends in the first few books, such as the time when she lets Harry’s new Firebolt be confiscated. She was still unwilling to disobey an instruction in a textbook in book six, when she had already organised resistance against Umbridge and broken into the Department of Mysteries. This of course means that every time she chooses to break a rule is emphatically more awesome. When she perceives herself to be in a position of authority, she expects the same obedience from other people. She often makes decisions for people, speaks over them. Sometimes this is a positive trait, her friends often ask her to do their homework for them, and the planning she does for DA actually pays off. But she often assumes – that Harry’s broomstick is cursed, that house-elves want freedom, that Trelawney is a fraud. One of the most interesting aspects of her character development is outgrowing this to learn to break rules and actually listen to people.
4. She has a habit of obsessively focusing on things. Again, sometimes this is productive, such as when she takes off to the library for hours and comes back with a solution, but sometimes it is silly like her crush on Lockhart or harmful like the entire S.P.E.W. fiasco. Combined with her monologues, her hit-and-miss social skills and her adherence to rules, I am surprised the internet isn’t flooded with headcanons that put her somewhere on the autistic spectrum.
5. She is not pretty. I know that casting couldn’t predict Emma Watson growing up to be model-gorgeous, but I remember watching 11-year-old Hermione and already thinking she looks far too polished. It’s not that book Hermione is ugly, it’s just that she puts no effort into her looks. The point of the ball room scene is that she proves to herself that she is capable of presenting traditionally feminine and attractive if she tries really-really hard, not that she has always been beautiful without trying. Her unprettiness was actually one of the factors that made her so relatable, and while I didn’t expect the movies to actively make her ugly, they could have just at least chosen less flattering clothes and put slightly less product in her hair.
6. She has fears. She is extremely brave, but she is still human, and there are moments when she loses control. She panics when the Devil’s Snare attacks her, and Ron has to snap her out of it. She shows visible fear when faced with hippogriffs, with centaurs, with Grawp, and one time she fails to defeat a boggart. She is afraid of flying, and as a result she isn’t simply uninterested in quidditch, she actively sucks at it, but still gets onto a hippogriff, a thestral and a dragon. She is all right at Defense and duelling, but despite all her work lacks Harry’s raw talent. This doesn’t make her weak – a perfectly brave person is much less motivational than a person who is terrified but does her best.
7. She has a near-pathological fear of failure. This is partly due to her outsider status, partly her personality, but she is a nervous wreck and an overachiever. One of the first things she says is that she knows all textbooks by heart and hopes it will be enough. This isn’t mere intellectual curiosity, this is sheer fucking terror. She isn’t that smart merely because she’s gifted, but because she relentlessly overworks herself. In the third books she uses time-travel to get to all of her classes, and she spends most of the book looking half-dead with exhaustion. She is often described as frazzled or otherwise nervous, and for god’s sake, her boggart is a failed test! Again, she starts to grow out of this around book five, but it still remains a part of who she is. In the case of movie Hermione, her fear gets minimised into a generic smart-girl personality.
Hermione is awesome, but the more perfect she is the less she has to do with us, smart unpretty girls looking for someone to relate to. Or just people in general, looking for someone to relate to. Let the movies keep their superhuman super-clever Hermione who stares danger in the face but is upset that her hair looks bad from behind. I want book Hermione, a girl with flaws, a woman with issues who has to work and learn in order to overcome her inadequacies and become the good friend and great witch she is.
things that would make avengers 2 better:
- sam wilson
- sam wilson
- another sam wilson
- literally every character is sam wilson
- anthony mackie plays every single character
- it is never discussed or explained
- trillion dollar box office hit
yes. this, very much please
All black Annie, all black Macbeth hmmm it seems as though u don’t have to include slavery, “the hood” or Tyler Perry as a plot to include black people in a movie
I feel like the TV show GIRLS is a metaphor for liberal feminism: it’s a bunch of wacky bullshit that doesn’t really challenge anything but gets passed off as progressive because there’s a bunch of white women doing whatever the fuck they want
Easter. The second biggest pre-Christian European pagan festivity stolen and changed by Christianity. *yawn*
One of the things that I’ve newly realized I really love about Tamora Pierce’s Circle of Magic series is the way that femininity is valued. I realize that it’s apparently the hot new “realistic” thing to load your fantasy settings with lots of unnecessary casual sexism because “that’s just the way the world is” or to give us all a cheap thrill when the antagonistic, aggressively sexist character is told off with a rousing speech about how women are equal to men (and then never bring up the issue again) but damned if Tamora Pierce doesn’t kick that shitty idea right back where it came from. I realized I kept expecting it to show up at some point while reading Sandry’s Book, and was pleasantly surprised when it doesn’t.
Frostpine never tells Daja that smithing will be harder for her since she’s a girl and not as strong/won’t be taken as seriously as a boy. In fact, the smith Daja remembers working gold when she first tries to work magic is casually mentioned as female, and Daja doesn’t view it as though it’s anything odd. The narrative never sets her up to be competing against Kirel as the “real” male apprentice, or for him to resent working alongside and not having the same magical skills as a girl. (Daja is, in fact, the physically strongest one in the group, being the tallest, the most muscular from her smith work, and well versed in staff fighting.)
Briar never puts down Sandry’s work of spinning as being girly or of less inherent worth, even though it’s very much seen as women’s work (and commoner women’s work at that.) In fact says that it seems soothing and asks to learn to do it himself, with no teasing or indication that it’s odd a boy should want to learn it.
Tris and Briar are both seen noting the price and quality of people’s clothes, and this is shown merely as a trait of their respectively growing up in positions, as a merchant and thief, where they needed to know those values, without a mention of shopping and clothing being stereotypically feminine areas of knowledge.
Rosethorn is fairly butch, with short hair and no interest in nice clothes that would just get dirty in the garden or other feminine pursuits, but she never puts down the girly things she’s not interested in (as is an unfortunately common trait in tomboyish female characters.) She is, in fact, at least a little interested in her appearance, shown making sure to use broad brimmed hats and lotions to keep the ivory complexion she’s proud of, even when she works in the sun all day, and no one ever makes fun of that for being out of character, girly, or frivolous.
Honestly, it’s pretty refreshing to read a series that isn’t shoving sexism as the status quo down your throat every few pages. Not to say that Tamora Pierce doesn’t address sexism in her books, but when she does they’re generally the books meant for an older audience who’s better equipped to handle it, like the sequel Circle Opens series, or The Will of the Empress. The Circle of Magic series is mostly aimed at girls (and boys) about the ages of the protagonists (ages 12 and up, grades 6-9 apparently) who don’t need the toxic message that sexism is omnipresent and has to be accepted as a constant part of life. They’ll get that soon enough thank you, or are already getting it and deserve a refuge from it. It’s better to give girls an empowering message that they can do anything and that their work is valuable as firm ground to stand on first.
OH BTW i had thoughts about bomba
mostly ‘cause i was thinking through epic and i was like ‘why does ronin, mk, and nod have to be white?’ like, seriously.
then i considered it a little more and i realized that bomba’s character only makes sense as a white guy BECAUSE his obsession is a reflection of his white privilege.
academics of color have to be really super careful because of how they and their work are taken in the academic world (like, think Henry Louis Gates Jr, distinguished Harvard professor, being arrested outside his home, trying to get into his home, dear god), and bomba as an academic of color would never happen. he’d be too aware of how much race/ethnicity plays in the perception of him and his work and to whether it would be taken seriously, and if he went down the rabbit trail of tiny civilizations in the forest, it would destroy him far greater than bomba’s destroyed in the film.
bomba’s white privilege (if you’re unsure of what i mean about white privilege, follow the link because it’ll give you the basic explanation of how privilege works) allows him to retain his right to be in the academic room, even though he seems more than a little cracked for believing in little people in the woods (which, if I may, he never stopped to think about magic and he didn’t know the difference between the Jinn and the Boggans) without any major proof.
this is not necessarily a story i think blue sky/chris wedge/william joyce/other writers intended to convey; that still doesn’t mean it’s not a part of the story. i mean, if mk had been multiracial it would have added layers to her story (that whole comment about how she’s on her own? far greater depth if she was multiracial), but given how privilege works, bomba’s narrative only makes sense if he’s white.
and again, bomba’s not given a chance for redemption until he realizes how badly he’s let his life get screwed up by focusing on his obsession instead of his family. so if you look at this way, in a way, he doesn’t get redemption until he checks his privilege.
#PrayForFlores #PrayForTheWorld :( :’( T^T
Nia and Imani Lindsay are 10-Year-Old Twin Phenoms in the field of dancing. They started to walk at just 8 months old and now they excel in many different styles of Dance including acrobatics, jazz, tap, hip hop and contemporary dance. They Both received a Scholarship to the prestigious American Ballet Theatre for a summer program for serious dancers. As Black Children they are defying the odds in field where racism prevalent. Not only are they great dancers but they are very intelligent and have a great sense of self pride and confidence instilled in them by their mother. They Love their natural hair regardless of any of the jokes or questions they receive from their peers or adults about it, they know to ignore it and remain proud.They look up to Misty Copeland who is one of the most renown Black dancers in the world and in the history of Ballet. Nia and Imani had a chance to meet Misty and said “she was a great influence, She’s not like Miley Cyrus at all.” (Lol) Congrats to Nia and Imani on their accomplishments and im sure they will inspire countless Black kids that ma have ever doubted themselves and their abilities. SanCopha!Post By: @Champion_Us
To clarify, there is a reason that I think it is important for us to remember that Elia Martell was canonically beautiful (citation for that here). It is not because I’m so shallow that I can’t take my favourite character not being absolutely gorgeous.
It’s because often a reason given for Rhaegar leaving Elia for Lyanna, is that Lyanna was more beautiful with her ‘northern beauty” and “Stark good looks” and lord knows what else. This reasoning is troublesome to me because:
a) Beauty, or the lack of it, is a terrible reason to leave someone.
b) This fandom misconception that Elia was not beautiful is not only canonically inaccurate, but also troublesome, considering that the Dornish people’s descriptions in the books are already peppered with ‘othering’ language, exoticizing them, and in the books, they can definitely be read (and treated by the Resteros) as people of color. So for fandom to rationalize Rhaegar leaving Elia for Lyanna by saying Lyanna was more beautiful, takes a whole new level of ‘DO NOT WANT’ when you factor that in.
This is why I made it a point to post the citation in the tags where Elia was canonically mentioned as beautiful, and why I’m making this clarification post as to why I thought it necessary that the fans needed that reminder.
Mega Con 2014
Queen Tara of Moonhaven (Epic)