Hermione Granger is undoubtedly one of the best characters in the Harry Potter series. In fact, it’s pretty damn hard to find real fault with her at all. Of course, though, she is only human, and even the brightest witch of her age has made mistakes.
From the sometimes patronizing way she talks to her friends to the time she tattled to the authorities about Harry’s incredible broom, she has done some things that have rubbed us the wrong way.
Most of the time she has been right in her actions, despite the delivery being slightly off-putting. And on top of that, she has always been well-intentioned. But being right isn’t always being nice, nor is it always the best choice. For instance, even though she was correct in her observation that Ron’s rat spell wasn’t very good on that first day of meeting on the train, was it really necessary for her to say it out loud? Not to mention the various questionable spells and charms she has cast over the years that, while excellently delivered, were not only sometimes over-reactionary, but were also just downright dangerous?
Yes, Hermione is certainly one of our favourite Harry Potter characters of all time, and we do not deny her truly superhero status. However, she has her flaws. Following out take-downs of Ron and Harry, these are the 15 Times Hermione Granger Was The Worst.
15 Her General Disregard Toward Luna Lovegood
If there were ever more opposite personalities, it would be that of Luna’s and that of Hermione’s. And if there was any other character that was as objectively wonderful as Hermione, it would have to be Luna.
This is why it is hard to forgive Hermione for the way she is constantly disregarding Luna for her out-there ideas. Sure, Luna has some alternative points of view. But after some analysis, it’s quite easy to find that Luna is actually incredibly smart, extremely analytical, and can look way outside the box - perceiving options and possibilities, especially in the wizarding world, that would unlikely come up in a regular person’s mind.
Hermione, as smart as she is, never really realizes nor acknowledges Luna’s incredible intelligence— this could be a sign of a lack of open-mindedness on Hermione’s part.
14 When She Dated Viktor Krum
This was a rare seemingly shallow moment in Hermione's life. In Goblet of Fire, Hermione got involved with Victor Krum, but the relationship - on her side at least - seemed to be entirely on the surface.
On top of lacking personality and not necessarily being the sharpest tool in the shed, Krum and Hermione also just had nothing in common. All he wanted to do was watch her study, and we all know that Hermione needs more mental stimulation than that.
Sure, this is more a criticism of Krum than of Hermione. But what was she thinking!? Some have wondered if she could have been doing it for the glory of dating a famous Quidditch star… but we would never go that far. After all, it’s still Hermione we are talking about here.
13 How Dismissive She Was Of Her Fellow Girl Gryffindors
We love the beautiful friendship that Hermione has with Ron and Harry. How could we not? But just because she was best friends with them doesn’t mean she couldn’t have been friends with her fellow Gryffindors girls.
Instead, it sometimes felt as though Hermione was rather rude about her fellow female classmates, particularly Lavender and Parvati— not to mention Luna, as mentioned above.
Although she did maintain a strong friendship with Ginny, and although this may merely have been a symbol of the struggle she had with making friends, sometimes it felt as though there was real antagonism between herself and her fellow female classmates. Whether it was her or them causing it is difficult to know, but we wish she had made more of an effort, at least.
12 When She Told The Authorities About Harry's Broom
In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry receives the Firebolt broom from an anonymous donor. Because this is at a time when everyone thinks Sirius Black is trying to kill him, Hermione suspects the broom may not be safe. And in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, we see exactly how dangerous a cursed object can be when Katie Bell is paralyzed from the opal necklace.
This critique of Hermione has certainly been heavily debated, as Hermione’s intention and perception of the issue was good and correct.
Despite this very rational reason, it is difficult not to resent Hermione for telling McGonagall about Harry’s broom. Like everyone in the story, fans are also excited about the latest gadget, and for it to be snatched away from Harry— and for so long— was disappointing. Although this wasn’t Hermione’s fault per se, it was hard not to resent her for this - especially when Harry gets so few good things in life.
11 How She Seemed To Participate In Class Sometimes Only To Show Off
Hermione was obviously one of the smartest kids in school, and certainly in her house. And we would have been fine with her participating as much as she did in class… if only she had had a better delivery.
Similar to the above entries, Hermione is almost always right in her answers. But just because she’s right doesn’t mean she has to show off about it every time. It often seemed as though Hermione was merely raising her hand, bursting with an answer, to prove how much she knew rather than merely for the sake of participating out of interest.
Obviously she was interested in the content she was reciting, but Hermione’s intentions were perhaps not as selfless as we might hope, and it would have been nice to see her give it a rest sometimes.
10 When She Blindly Pushed For House Elf Rights
In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Hermione takes on the plight of house elves by founding her grassroots organization S.P.E.W.—the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare.
Here, she well-intentionally begins knitting clothes for house elves to casually pick up as they clean the Gryffindor Common Room, thus inadvertently becoming free. As brilliant of an idea as this is, Hermione is misguided, because she doesn’t realize the greater complexity of the issue. At this point in time, at least, the house elves get pleasure out of working and being enslaved— to an extent, and certainly at Hogwarts— and they do not want to be free.
Eventually they just stop cleaning the Gryffindor Common Room. Nice as this idea was, Hermione should have done her research more extensively before setting out on this mission.
9 When She Wouldn't Stop Bugging Harry About The Half-Blood Prince Textbook
Similar to when Hermione told McGonagall about Harry’s firebolt, the pestering that ensues from Harry’s use of the Half-Blood Prince’s textbook was rather irritating. Again, we know Hermione was right in the end, and was merely basing her suspicions on previous experiences - i.e. an experience with a notebook controlled by Voldemort that was literally possessing Ginny Weasley.
Even so, we are excited about the textbook, just like Harry, and Ron to a point. The textbook truly is magical, and considering Harry has had so much trouble with potions in the past, it feels like he deserves this boost. Plus, since Harry ultimately ignores Hermione's advice, her criticisms did no good.
Still, Hermione will not let it go, and as Harry continuously succeeds in potions, with the help of a change in professors, Hermione seems to resent it not just because he is using a potentially dangerous book, but also because suddenly Harry is better in potions.
8 When She Was A Prefect
This one applies not only to Hermione, but to Ron as well. To begin with, how annoying is it that either of them became prefects in the first place!? After the number of rules they have broken over the years— Hermione especially has broken some pretty serious ones— it is pretty ridiculous that they were chosen as prefects. And, it should be mentioned, that the prefect name will forever be spoiled by people like Percy Weasley, Draco Malfoy, and Pansy Parkinson.
Perhaps the worst part about Hermione becoming a prefect is that it means she is affirming all the worst qualities about her. We love Hermione because, despite her natural instinct to follow the rules, in reality she is a serious bad-ass. Becoming a prefect is just too predictable; it’s almost too suitable for her character. It’s upsetting to see her to become that type of person (more so than she already is, that is).
7 Patronizing Harry When He Was Hurt No One Had Written To Him
Okay, so Harry Potter in the beginning of Order of the Phoenix is the epitome of teen angst, but come on. He witnessed a classmate being murdered by Voldemort, was forced to go stay with his abusive family, and then got ignored all summer by his friends.
But Hermione’s response to Harry’s constant yelling is possibly just as annoying. Although he could have reacted differently, Harry’s feelings are justified. Hermione acknowledges Harry’s feelings to a point, but she just doesn’t really seem to try and understand where he is coming from, and instead seems to talk down to him in these early scenes. This likely only makes him feel worse.
Hermione and Ron make a good point about the house not being a fun place to be in over the summer, but they both should still have recognized their situation was better than Harry’s. Hermione especially could have made an effort to be less condescending about Harry’s frustration.
6 Her Character In The Cursed Child
In an alternate universe created by the use of a time turner, Hermione and Ron do not end up together, and because Hermione loses the love of her life, she becomes a bitter and twisted teacher at Hogwarts.
There are two reasons why Hermione is the worst in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The first reason is her actual personality in this alternate universe. This version of Hermione is horribly mean to her students.
The second reason she is the worst in this installment is through no fault of her own. It's more the writing that portrays her as someone whose life would be ruined because she didn’t get the man she wanted. We know she can do better than this.
5 Her First Encounter With Harry And Ron
This scene, in both the book and the movie, is likely one of the most iconic Harry Potter moments of all time. But this does not mean, objectively speaking, that Hermione’s way of "introducing" herself was polite, in any sense of the word.
Indeed, after asking about seeing a toad, she immediately launches into a query/accusation that Ron’s magic is terrible, shows off by demonstrating how much better her magic is, and lectures them on how they need to change into their robes. She also tells Ron he has dirt on his nose.
As always, all of what she said was true, but it doesn’t mean it was nice. As much as we love Hermione and this scene, again, objectively speaking this was an incredibly rude first encounter.
4 When She Tells Harry He Has A "Saving People Thing"
In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, it seems as though maybe Hermione is becoming a bit fed up with Harry. To be fair, we all were at this point. He is exceptionally moody and annoying in this installment.
However, it is important to be cognizant of the things he has gone through and that he likely has post-traumatic stress disorder.
When Hermione, again condescendingly, tells Harry he suffers from a "saving people" complex, she does not seem to acknowledge the many, many people he has already lost in his life.
As per usual, Hermione is ultimately proven right, and when they arrive at the Ministry for Magic, it is indeed a trap set forth by Voldemort with Harry’s "saving people" complex in mind. What no one, including Hermione, seems to acknowledge is that, given the number of people Harry has lost in his life, of course he is paranoid about losing the closest thing to a family he has ever had.
3 The Curse She Puts On Marietta Edgecombe
As brilliant as this spell was, it was also pretty harsh. Dumbledore’s Army was Hermione’s invention, and so it was her responsibility to ensure secrecy from all the organization’s members. Perhaps it would have been wiser to have more carefully vetted participants, rather than invite everyone and just expect them to keep a promise.
Instead, it seemed as though she chose quantity over quality in terms of a member-base, and this came back to haunt all of them when Marietta Edgecombe snitched on them, revealing the nature and whereabouts of the organization.
Hermione’s punishment, which, to be fair, was not specific to Marietta Edgecombe but to anyone who snitched, was to give them intense acne that spelled out "Snitch" on their face. Brilliant, yes, but also quite fruitless, given that the spell would only be enacted after the person had snitched. While the spell did reveal who the snitch was, it didn’t prevent them before the fact from snitching, which made it wholly vindictive rather than very useful.
2 How She Would Roll Her Eyes. All. The. Time.
A common move by teenagers, Hermione successfully mastered the art of the eye roll. As much we love a good eye roll here and there for true demonstrations of disdain, Hermione would roll her eyes just a little too much, especially when at school.
To roll your eyes at a silly antic here and there is all very well, but Hermione would roll her eyes at anything— including when people would ask stupid questions or say something silly. In this sense, she came off as a bit mean.
Obviously it must have been difficult for her, always being right and seeing the people who surrounded her constantly making mistakes. But such an outward way of showing her disapproval was exhausting at times.
1 The Bird Hex She Cast On Ron In A Jealous Rage
To be fair to Hermione, the coupling of Ron and Lavender Brown was probably one of the worst relationships in the history of the Harry Potter series. Even so, when Hermione hexes Ron with a mob of angry birds, not only is this an overreaction on her part, it is also completely unjustified.
Yes, Hermione was in love with Ron by this point, but she had never made her feelings clear. Similar to the pre-dance ordeal in the Goblet of Fire, Hermione expected Ron to be the one to make the first move.
So if this was the game she was playing, she had to also be ready to experience the consequences— something she obviously was not prepared to do.
We certainly understand jealousy. But to act on those feelings with such a harsh spell was just not okay.
Is there anything else Hermione did in Harry Potter that was the worst? Let us know in the comments.