Harry might give the Harry Potter series its name and he's undeniably the face of the franchise, but, for many fans, Hermione Granger is the real hero and role model of J.K. Rowling's creation. The combined effort of the books and the movie series has made Hermione into one of the most popular and prolific female characters in pop culture. Hermione isn't just the cleverest witch of her age, she might be the most beloved one too.
There's a reason for Hermione's popularity rivaling The Boy Who Lived. Hermione might be the "sidekick" but she's been through just as many horrible things, if not more, than Harry. Hermione never had a homicidal egomaniac nose-less monster after her, but she's gotten pretty close.
All the dreadful things that have happened to Hermione aren't equal. Some of the entries on this list are a lot more trivial than others, but still varying degrees of terrible. No one should want any of these things to happen to themselves or the people they love, but Hermione went through them all. She came out stronger on the other side as well. It's part of the reason why she's a hero.
So... here are the 16 Worst Things That Ever Happened To Hermione.
16 Becoming a Wanted Criminal for her Blood
Sometimes the bullying Hermione experiences is due to racism, or at least blood prejudice. For example, the main reason that Malfoy despises Hermione so much is because of her blood. It’s reasonable to think that Pansy feels the same way. In Deathly Hallows, the danger of Hermione’s blood moves beyond just bullying.
Hermione isn't just targeted by adolescent racists in Deathly Hallows. The entire government is taken over by people who want her dead because she's "impure."
Hermione goes on the run during Deathly Hallows because of loyalty to Harry. Even if she wasn't Harry's best friend, she'd still need to be in hiding because England turns into the magical equivalent of Nazi-occupied state and Hermione's their scapegoat. Of everything that's happened to Hermione becoming a wanted criminal for just being born is certainly the worst.
15 Tortured by Bellatrix
If Hermione was awake during her petrification, it would’ve been torture but a painless one. There’s nothing harmless about the experience Hermione has with Bellatrix Lestrange at Malfoy Manor. In the movies, Bellatrix torture of Hermione is barely shown but it’s still horrific as the slur “mudblood” is cut into Hermione’s arm.
In the books, nothing is shown but the implication of the torture is far worse. Harry and Ron are locked away while Hermione is “interrogated” by Bellatrix. The boys hear nothing but Hermione’s terrifying screams of pain. Hermione. who has been through so much in the series, is reduced to a hysterical mess in Bellatrix’s control.
It’s almost beyond imagining what exactly Bellatrix did to Hermione that was evidently so awful and painful.
14 Becoming a Half Cat / Half Human
Throughout the course of the series, Harry spends a lot of time in the hospital wing. Since Harry’s the (main) point of view character, his entire time there is covered. Harry had all the bones in his arm grown in one night, he fell off a broomstick during a Quidditch match and had several other near-death experiences. However, one of the most serious hospital wing visits in the series, barely involved Harry.
In their second year, Harry, Ron and Hermione all took Polyjuice potion. While the boys’ transformation went off perfectly, Hermione’s was an utter disaster. Rather than turning to a Slytherin girl, Hermione morphed into a Slytherin’s girl’s cat and became every furry’s dream (or worst nightmare).
It was played as harmless sight gag in the movies. According to the books, however, Hermione spent nearly a month in the hospital wing slowly reverting to her old (non-hairy) self.
13 Getting Groped by Cormac MacLaggen
Cormac MacLaggen, or the actor who plays him, might’ve grown up to be the random “hot guy” in every TV show and movie ever but in Half-Blood Prince, he's a nightmare. No matter how attractive Cormac was, unwanted sexual advances are still unwanted sexual advances as Hermione learned.
In Half-Blood Prince, Hermione strives to make Ron jealous by taking out Cormac to a Slughorn party. Hermione ends up getting a little more than she bargained for because she has to literally "escape" him. Harry dismisses her concerns, because he’s a grade A friend, but Hermione doesn't want the Quidditch meathead touching her.
There’s no real resolution to the issue. It likely didn’t go very far (and not just because Harry Potter is devoid of pretty much all sex). Still, having to spend any time in Cormac’s presence was undoubtedly a chore.
12 Having to Wipe her Parents' Memories
There’s few characters in the Harry Potter who get more short-shifted than Hermione’s parents. After Prisoner of Azkaban, Hermione essentially doesn’t spend a single break from school with them. Thankfully, there’s the implication that despite how little time they spend together, there’s a deep love between them. It’s therefore a very big deal when Hermione wipes their memories, to protect them, at the start of Deathly Hallows.
Hermione isn’t just sending her parents away at the way too young age of 17; she’s removing all existence of herself from the family. This is the terrifying thing.
It’s very well-established how terrible spells can go wrong in the Harry Potter universe. Hermione plans to (and does) restore her parents’ memories. It's still very likely that Hermione could’ve been unable to reverse the spell and would've lost her parents forever.
11 Being Petrified
There’s a strange pattern in the series. Injuries that don’t happen to Harry getting pretty much brushed over. Ginny’s possession by Voldemort is mentioned a scant amount of times. Ron’s hand almost falling off due to a dragon bite is a footnote and no one ever talks about Hermione being petrified in her second year after Chamber of Secrets.
It’s true that Hermione’s petrification lasts a fraction of the time compared to the other Heir of Slytherin victims. Hermione probably wasn’t paralyzed for more than a couple weeks. The terrifying thing is that the franchise never quite makes clear how petrification works.
The happiness explanation is that petrification functions like a coma and the victims just go to “sleep.” Taking the definition of petrification literally, it’s possible that Hermione remembers and experienced everything during that time. She was just unable to move.
10 Becoming Tabloid Fodder
It’s easy to forget because they’re all incredibly mature, but the characters are just children for the entire series. Harry, Hermione and Ron start confronting their morality at the age of 11.
Hermione’s age is one of the chief reasons that Rita Skeeter’s tabloid scribblings about her are so horrifying in Goblet of Fire. It’s hard enough being a teenager going through puberty, but it would be a living hell to be a teenager going through puberty, whose love life is being lied about in the national press. Sadly, this happens to Hermione.
Hermione handles Rita Skeeter’s lies relatively well and she doesn’t let impact her sense of self-worth.
9 Being Mean Girl-ed by Mrs. Weasley
Hermione can brush off Rita Skeeter’s trash at school because it’s mainly the Slytherins who buy into it. It’s much harder for Hermione to excuse it when Mrs. Weasley believes she’s a heartless vixen playing with Harry’s heart in Goblet of Fire.
Throughout Goblet of Fire, as more and more Rita Skeeter stories come out, the colder Mrs. Weasley becomes towards Hermione. At the Final Task of the Triwizard Tournament, Molly actively ignores Hermione, who is a literal child, because Mrs. Weasley fully believes the filth that Skeeter is spewing. In a rare moment of awareness, Harry sets Mrs. Weasley right but the damage is done. Hermione has to deal with the knowledge that her mother figure found her (momentarily) repulsive.
The thing that makes this even worse is that earlier in Goblet of Fire, Molly refuses to believe Rita’s writings about her husband. Molly knows Skeeter is a snake but for some reason she believes everything about Hermione.
8 Having to Mediate between Harry and Ron
Throughout the series, everyone in the golden trio argues with each other and stops talking to their best friend, at least once. When these fights are going on and Harry’s not directly involved, he either ignores it or he picks a side (and that side is always Ron’s). When Harry and Ron are fighting in Goblet of Fire, Hermione makes a concerted effort to bring them back together.
In her fourth year, Hermione’s not only dealing with being slandered in the press, but she’s trying to make two bullheaded teenage boys get over their fragile emotions. It’s frustrating enough having to read (or watch) Harry and Ron be stubborn and prideful. Just imagine what it was like to live with it.
7 Being Forced to Have Hagrid as Her Only Friend
The sad thing about Hermione trying to work Harry and Ron through their problems is that in the previous year, they proved they don't deserve her loyalty. During Prisoner of Azkaban, when Ron believes that Hermione’s cat has killed his "rat," Ron (and Harry) stop talking to her.
Hermione is on the edge of a nervous breakdown throughout her entire third year and her best friends straight-up abandon her. This results in Hermione having to go to Hagrid for comfort and support. Hagrid, who himself, is one bad day from a self-destructive depressive rage is Hermione's entire social world when she's 13-years-old.
Hagrid’s fine but he’s not an emotional rock. The thing that Hermione really needed in Prisoner of Azkaban was a strong support system and Hagrid was her only viable option.
6 Having to Complete the Courseload of Two Students in One Year
Of course, there’s a reason that Hermione was losing it during her third year. In a strange moment of neglectfulness, Professor McGonagall decided that Hermione was capable of being a time-traveling wunderkind and taking every class at Hogwarts.
Hermione might be smart but she was in no way up to the task. Though to be fair, no one could’ve handled Hermione’s course load. Hence, why time travel became involved. If Prisoner of Azkaban was told through Hermione’s perspective, it really would've been a tale of a young girl slowly losing her mind and track of time. It's a horror story.
Hermione eventually sorts it out and returns to a normal course load but it’s a miracle that the emotional strain of her third year didn’t stay with her longer.
5 Becoming a Lonely Spinster or a Terrified War Survivor
Hermione's one of the few Harry Potter characters to get through the controversial Cursed Child untouched. Hermione doesn’t tell any of her children she wishes they were never born and she even becomes the Minister for Magic. However, this is just the main universe / timeline Hermione.
Throughout the messy story that is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Albus Severus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy end up screwing with time and traveling to two alternate dimensions. Neither of these elseworlds are good for Hermione.
In one, Hermione never marries Ron and becomes a miserable spinster who teaches at Hogwarts and hates everyone. In the other, Hermione has Ron but Harry died in the Battle of Hogwarts so she has spent years hiding from Voldemort and barely surviving. Both are equally miserable (alternate) fates for different reasons that reduce Hermione's character to simplified forms. The only reason the alter-Hermiones aren’t higher is because they don’t last.
4 Having Ron Abandon Her
Hermione never became a wretched spinster in the main universe, but she was abandoned by Ron, at least for a couple months. Most of the trio’s Deathly Hallows experiences consist of a never-ending camping trip from Hell. Things get especially bad when Ron abandons the group in a fit of rage.
Harry is hurt by Ron’s betrayal but his pain is masked by rage. Hermione truly loses it once Ron leaves her. The books detail that Hermione cries almost constantly for weeks after Ron leaves her. Although Hermione tries her best to hide it from Harry, he still hears her cry herself to sleep.
For a long time in Deathly Hallows, Hermione's not only worried for her own skin but she’s living with the knowledge that Ron is alone and he might very well have been captured and killed.
3 Confronting Her Fear of Heights on Top of a Dragon
Many fans think that Hermione is really a Ravenclaw due to her brains. However, she proves her Gryffindor qualities over and over by constantly diving into death-defying situations. Hermione’s not without fear however and one of her most persistent terrors, in the books at least, are heights.
Hermione's horrified of flying and avoids getting on a broomstick at all costs. In Deathly Hallows, Hermione confronts her fear of heights in an incredible fashion; she hops on to the back of dragon. It looks cool but it would be terrifying, even for a person without acrophobia.
Hermione had no choice, as it was either get on the dragon or die. It's still pretty much the definition of a trial by fire.
2 Being Bullied Constantly
Throughout her six years at Hogwarts, Hermione is bullied daily. In her first year, Hermione is getting it from all sides (including Harry and Ron). Once the boys befriend her, they back off but that doesn’t mean Hermione stops getting ridiculed. Hermione is still merciless picked on by the Slytherins, especially Pansy Parkinson. It’s implied that the Gryffindor girls, specifically Parvati Patil and Lavender Brown, aren’t exactly her biggest fans either. Worst of all is the treatment she gets from Snape, an authority figure and “teacher,” who openly mocks and insults her.
Bellatrix at least has the “decency” to be evil and deranged. Everyone else who attacks Hermione is just a jerk.
1 Becoming a Near Flawless Superheroine
Emma Watson is Hermione for most fans, even those who love the books. As good as Watson was at bringing the “cleverest witch of her age” to life, the movies severely toned down some of Hermione’s rougher edges. This resulted in a nearly flawless (and much less interesting) character.
While the books made sure to stress Hermione's negative qualities (she can’t think on her feet, she can be overly emotional, etc.) she did everything perfectly in the movies. Anything smart or heroic Ron did or said in the books, Hermione did or said it in the movies. In more than a few cases, Hermione was even more capable than Harry.
It’s easy to love Emma Watson’s portrayal. However, the character, as written by J.K. Rowling, was a lot more compelling. The movies did fail Hermione.
What do you think is the worst thing from the Harry Potter series to ever happen to Hermione Granger? Sound off in the comments below!