Harry Potter might be the protagonist of the Harry Potter series, but there are some fans who might argue he wasn’t the right person for the job. While the entire series revolves around the fact that he’s a chosen character to defeat Lord Voldemort, there are two other characters in the series who could have easily taken over this role instead of Harry. The first is Hermione Granger and the second is Neville Longbottom.
Here are the five reasons why Hermione would have made a better protagonist than Harry and five reasons why Neville would have.
10 HERMIONE: IT WOULD HAVE MADE FOR A STORY THAT REVERSES TROPES
While Harry Potter as a series might have followed many traditional tropes commonly seen in fantasy stories and epics, a possibly more interesting take would be to reverse some of these tropes. In many traditional epics, it’s a boy that is called as the Chosen One. Having Hermione take on this role would definitely have been more interesting. Given that the series ushered in a new interest in young adult fantasy, having the protagonist be a girl would have made a great statement.
9 NEVILLE: IT WOULD HAVE BEEN A MORE INSPIRING STORY
In many ways, Harry is an underdog character, but he does have some advantages. While he was raised by the horrible Dursleys and is an orphan, he also finds he has a rather large inheritance. On top of that, he seems naturally gifted at many things such as magic and Quidditch. Neville was shy and awkward and things like magic didn’t come easy for him. Having him be the main character definitely would have inspired many people.
8 HERMIONE: SHE’S TALKED ABOUT OVER AND OVER AS BEING THE SMARTEST WITCH FOR HER AGE
Harry has a lot of admirable traits, but he’s not always the most put-together character. While all well-written characters have strengths and weaknesses, his lack of common sense often posed problems in the book. Hermione, however, was known for being one of the smartest students in the entire school. She had intelligence that extended beyond just being a talented witch. She was also shown to have a good grasp of logic.
7 NEVILLE: HE IS THE TRUE UNDERDOG
As mentioned earlier, there are many things about Harry that make him an underdog character. But, as the series goes on, many things seem to fall into place for him, and he has a good amount of luck. Neville, however, is an underdog who takes a lot longer to grow into himself. While he eventually gains confidence and becomes a hero in his own right, seeing more of his journey would have been particularly interesting.
6 HERMIONE: SHE DOES A LOT OF PLANNING AND RESEARCH
Many fans have pointed out that Hermione was often the one that really kept the trio going. This is especially true in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. In this book, she plans on what to do if they need to escape, puts a bag of emergency items together, and is generally just on top of everything. It’s Hermione who does so much of the research and planning for Harry along the way in the series overall. Hermione often has it way more together than Harry ever does.
5 NEVILLE: HE WAS ALSO PART OF THE PROPHECY
There are two somewhat conflicting themes in Harry Potter. The first is the idea that choices dictate who a person becomes. But, on the other hand, the prophecy about Harry does have a lot of bearing on the series. But, this prophecy could also have applied to Neville. He could easily have been the Chosen One. Seeing how history would have played out would also have been fascinating.
4 HERMIONE: SHE’S SUPER GOOD AT MAGIC
Harry definitely has some skills when it comes to magical ability. This is especially true when it comes to defense against the dark arts. But, a lot of his skills with magic comes down more to luck and instinct. Hermione, however, is an extremely talented witch. She is above average in basically every magical subject, except divination. She is also a the top of her class. While doing good in school doesn’t count for everything, it does say a lot about her abilities.
3 NEVILLE: HIS BACK STORY IS NEARLY AS TRAGIC
When it comes to many fantasy series, the protagonist often faces a lot of hardships along the way. Having a tragic backstory that gives drama and spurs resilience is often key. Harry’s story definitely fits the bill here. But, Neville’s does as well. In many ways, he was almost as orphaned as Harry was since his parents were tortured to the point they had no cognitive awareness. He also had a grandmother and family that was harsh and critical of him.
2 HERMIONE: SHE WAS THE REAL ACTIVIST WHO TRIED TO MAKE CHANGE
While Harry might have had a good heart and wanted to do the right thing, it was often Hermione who was the one advocating for disadvantaged groups. While Harry was brave and wanted to defeat evil wizards, he often didn’t see the bigotry in wizarding society. It was Hermione who did things like advocate for the rights of house-elves and see the injustices that others around her couldn't see. She was also pretty much the one who started Dumbledore's Army.
1 NEVILLE: HE WAS JUST AS BRAVE AS HARRY
It’s often noted that the thing that makes Harry the true hero of the series was his bravery and nerve. While these are definitely traits that he had in spades, he wasn’t the only one that had them. Neville also had a great amount of bravery. Even when he was a first year, he had the bravery to stand up to his friends. He also showed a huge amount of bravery by restarting Dumbledore’s Army and later when he cut off Nagini’s head.