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The Trio - Group Character Analysis



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  #121  
Old July 26th, 2013, 12:49 am
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Re: The Trio - Group Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
Also, @ Serena, we do get to see Hermione face her Boggart. It's Professor McGonagall, and she tells Hermione that's she's failed all of her subjects.
It's interesting that she fails to deal with the Boggart. It makes me think that her fear of failure may be an even stronger character trait than Ron's insecurities. Ron's boggart was a spider, not any of the worries that have been discussed on the Ron thread.
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I saw her as trying to make up for not having been raised in a wizarding family, where she felt she would have learned all of the things in the books from her parents, by reading just about everything she could and learning everything she could so she wouldn't look totally clueless when she arrived at Hogwarts. Possibly the word "mudblood" was so unacceptable, and echoed back to the first Voldemort Wars, that it was not in any of the books that she read. I think, as any teenage girl, she was insecure about her looks or she wouldn't have mentioned her teeth to her parents and tried to get them to let her reduce them magically. She took advantage of the hex Draco put on her, though, and let Madam Pomphrey reduce them to a more attractive size.
While I agree that her reading all her books before she got to Hogwarts may well have been concern at being among people who knew more than she did about magic, I think it is probably more than that. She continues to read things up pretty compulsively which makes the desire for maximum knowledge seem more of a general character trait. She wants to know as much as possible about everything she comes across, largely so that she will do really well with her schoolwork, but I think she may do it for pleasure too.

Oh and didn't she say at one point that her parents wanted her to wear braces on her teeth rather than alter them magically? I can't remember where that comes though.

I see the Trio as head, heart and guts, a perfect mixture. Hermione provides the brains and knowledge, Ron the heart, shown in his total loyalty to Harry so he always has Harry's back, and Harry the guts both in the sense of gut instincts which seem to be usually right, and in the sense of courage. Together they have everything they need.


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  #122  
Old July 26th, 2013, 3:50 am
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Re: The Trio - Group Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by horcrux4 View Post
It's interesting that she fails to deal with the Boggart. It makes me think that her fear of failure may be an even stronger character trait than Ron's insecurities. Ron's boggart was a spider, not any of the worries that have been discussed on the Ron thread.
While I agree that her reading all her books before she got to Hogwarts may well have been concern at being among people who knew more than she did about magic, I think it is probably more than that. She continues to read things up pretty compulsively which makes the desire for maximum knowledge seem more of a general character trait. She wants to know as much as possible about everything she comes across, largely so that she will do really well with her schoolwork, but I think she may do it for pleasure too.
Good points. Hermione also seemed able to retain a lot of information, too, because, while Harry was excited and read through his school books before coming to Hogwarts, Hermione remembers what she read. Harry can't seem to recall any of it.

During the DADA test, when Hermione faced her Boggart, she ran away and couldn't confront it. So, academic failure is evidently her greatest fear.

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Oh and didn't she say at one point that her parents wanted her to wear braces on her teeth rather than alter them magically? I can't remember where that comes though.
Draco had insulted Hermione about her teeth. Ron defends her then gives her a kind of left-handed compliment about how they look different. She answers:

GoF, The Yule Ball “Well...when I went up to Madam Pomfrey to get them shrunk, she held up a mirror and told me to stop her when they were back to how they normally were,” she said. “And I just...let her carry on a bit.” She smiled even more widely. “Mum and Dad won’t be too pleased. I’ve been trying to persuade them to let me shrink them for ages, but they wanted me to carry on with my braces. You know, they’re dentists, they just don’t think teeth and magic should —"


She's interrupted because Pigwidgeon had just gotten back with a note.

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I see the Trio as head, heart and guts, a perfect mixture. Hermione provides the brains and knowledge, Ron the heart, shown in his total loyalty to Harry so he always has Harry's back, and Harry the guts both in the sense of gut instincts which seem to be usually right, and in the sense of courage. Together they have everything they need.
Yes. Each bringing something to the whole and it not being complete with one missing. Even though Harry and Hermione were "surviving" in DH, until Ron got back there was always the feeling that something was missing.

Each one contributed and they all worked to support the others. I think JKR was trying to emphasize the importance of true friendship and went back, again, to her main idea that "love conquers all."


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  #123  
Old July 26th, 2013, 5:39 am
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Re: The Trio - Group Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
Both of these statements seem aimed more at JKR's writing style of developing the Hermione character "off page," rather than anything lacking in Hermione, herself.
If it seems that way, then I wrote it wrong. I do mean it that Hermione simply is not as well-written or developed.

This is most likely due to her being Rowling's self-insert character. Rowling was probably afraid if she did write Hermione as a more flawed and human character she'd give her her OWN problems and this would be too personally painful.

Extreme hypothetical on my part, I admit.

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Also, @ Serena, we do get to see Hermione face her Boggart. It's Professor McGonagall, and she tells Hermione that's she's failed all of her subjects.
So once again, where we get something that was used to show depth out of other characters (like Molly) Hermione is instead given a silly scene. Then again, the Boggart seems to be serious some of the time silly the other times.

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I think, as any teenage girl, she was insecure about her looks or she wouldn't have mentioned her teeth to her parents and tried to get them to let her reduce them magically. She took advantage of the hex Draco put on her, though, and let Madam Pomphrey reduce them to a more attractive size.
Like I said, whereas Ron has to suffer for 7 books Hermione always is given an easy escape/solution.

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By helping to keep the boys in check, since they were a pretty rambunctious pair, IMO, she kept one or both of them from getting killed. Her "balancing" is what I mean when I say that each of the three brought positive things to the Trio that helped to make up for the weaknesses of others.
And unlike Harry and Ron, she is never tested in this. She's treated with kid gloves and never had any falterings from her role. It makes her far less developed that she had it so easy.

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I'm not sure Harry's and Ron's enthusiasm for the broom was limited to just it's being used for Quidditch. Ron wanted to ride it and he didn't play for the school at that time. I think it was about the same thing as the flying car. It was something exciting and adventurous, and they wanted to get in on that.
Bottom line, this is the one and only time her own personality brings her into direct conflict with Harry and even then the story goes out of its way to justify it. Kids gloves.

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It isn't until she starts spending time at the Weasley's that we get to see her in less formal surroundings and see her relax a bit, laughing with Ginny and Mrs. Weasley, and relaxing more with Harry and Ron.
And even then, when there's an excuse to finally tell us or show us something of her background we get nothing.

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We do read a bit about her traveling with her parents...one of the reasons she apparates to the Forest of Dean when they leave Godric's Hollow.
A tiny tidbit in the last book? Seriously?

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But, since she kind of seems to be a "what you see is what you get" character, maybe she didn't feel that was necessary.
Again, this comes down to Hermione being Rowling's avatar. She was (and again, this is extreme hypothetical) afraid that she'd just write her own life and problems into Hermione if she did so.

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I'm not sure that we needed to see much more information on her. She was what she was.
Unfortunately, what "she was" was a more flat character than Ron and others.


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  #124  
Old July 26th, 2013, 9:45 am
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Re: The Trio - Group Character Analysis

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I saw her as trying to make up for not having been raised in a wizarding family, where she felt she would have learned all of the things in the books from her parents, by reading just about everything she could and learning everything she could so she wouldn't look totally clueless when she arrived at Hogwarts. Possibly the word "mudblood" was so unacceptable, and echoed back to the first Voldemort Wars, that it was not in any of the books that she read. I think, as any teenage girl, she was insecure about her looks or she wouldn't have mentioned her teeth to her parents and tried to get them to let her reduce them magically. She took advantage of the hex Draco put on her, though, and let Madam Pomphrey reduce them to a more attractive size.
Maybe, but I think this was just a general Hermione trait. Learning up on all the details before she did anything and this is visible throughout the entire series. Her boggart shows her real insecurities - the fear of failure.

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Sirius was rumored to have been Voldemort's "second in command," which was why he was looking to kill Harry. I don't think it was a stretch to think a wizard who could escape from Azkaban would have any problem acquiring a broom, cursing it, and sending it to Harry. Fake Moody turned the Tri-Wizard Cup into a portkey, after all. I'm currently re-reading PoA, and everyone is truly terrified of Sirius Black because of his reputation. So, Hermione's concern about the broom, IMO, was justified. And, in the end, it actually had come from Sirius. So, he was able to procure it and send it to Harry.
Sirius was being actively pursued by the ministry, the dementors and had no wand for himself. The fact he was an animagus and that crookshanks was a Kneazle are exceptional circumstances that no one was aware of. So yes, it was farfetched.

And you are right, danger will drive teenage boys, especially when it's got something to do with sports. Perhaps even more the case with Gryffindors.

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I'm not sure that we needed to see much more information on her. She was what she was. Dumbledore, on the other hand, was 150+ years old and considered the most powerful wizard of his time. Learning more about his past, IMO, was necessary to show how he earned that reputation and how he was capable of the things he was. His character was a lot more complex than even Harry's, so, I think it was necessary for us to see what we are shown of his background.
Hermione is the 3rd most mentioned character in the series I believe and considering that theres a lot we don't know about her. You mention Hermione's boggart - fear of failure. But because we don't know anything about her past we can't even say for certain why her boggart is what it is. Unlike Ron or Lupin or Harry.

She is a major character in the series and yet the two most vulnerable moments in her life and how she dealt with it occurs off page. One of the disadvantages of single person PoV. It wasn't very necessary to the plot perhaps, but well fleshed out characters can only enrich the story.


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  #125  
Old July 26th, 2013, 2:53 pm
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Re: The Trio - Group Character Analysis

This discussion seems to keep going 'round in circles and getting nowhere. Everyone has a right to their opinion of how and why characters were written. Those opinions are based on our perceptions of the characters -- and, most of the time our perceptions are colored by our own personal experiences. So, none of us are going to see the characters the exact same way.

All I can say is that I, personally, like Hermione's character the way she is written. While it would have been nice to have a bit more background on her, I don't think it would have made that much difference in the stories, so I'm not all hot and bothered that we're not shown a lot of details of her background. As I said before, she's pretty much a "what you see is what you get" person. She's pretty open and doesn't have any problem speaking her mind, so there's not a lot hidden about her.


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  #126  
Old August 14th, 2013, 11:20 pm
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Re: The Trio - Group Character Analysis

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This discussion seems to keep going 'round in circles and getting nowhere. Everyone has a right to their opinion of how and why characters were written. Those opinions are based on our perceptions of the characters -- and, most of the time our perceptions are colored by our own personal experiences. So, none of us are going to see the characters the exact same way.

All I can say is that I, personally, like Hermione's character the way she is written. While it would have been nice to have a bit more background on her, I don't think it would have made that much difference in the stories, so I'm not all hot and bothered that we're not shown a lot of details of her background. As I said before, she's pretty much a "what you see is what you get" person. She's pretty open and doesn't have any problem speaking her mind, so there's not a lot hidden about her.
Actually, I think the biggest problem is that Hermione is not a "what you see is what you get" person. What people see on the surface is a bossy, know-it-all who puts school above everything and has a violent streak when provoked - though she never gets caught or punished for any of her transgressions even when she broke the law. That is actually a significant issue in PS/SS because Harry and Ron both disliked Hermione based on the surface impression and it wasn't until they realized that what they saw was not who she really was that they were willing to even give her a chance to be their friend. I expected much better character development because of that actually. Jo did give little tidbits here and there that implied there was much more to Hermione than that so we can speculate about her, but we were never really given all the answers that would allow anyone to really understand her character or why she did the things she did. Her boggart reveals that she is actually a very insecure person hiding behind false bravado, but we don't know what caused her to be so insecure or why she is so driven to prove herself to be the best at anything she tries or why she found it so difficult to ever admit when she was wrong about something or even why she changed her mind about house-elves in DH. There are a lot of unanswered questions about Hermione.

Properly developing Hermione's character might not have had much impact on Harry's story, but good character development is about more than the main events in the story. The subplots involving other characters are significant too. Understanding the characters and their motivations is important - particularly in a character driven story like HP. I love Hermione's character, but that's a large part of my disappointment with the lack of development. I think Jo could have done a much better job there. Hermione is a very prominent secondary character, but we still learn more about less prominent tertiary characters like Luna than we do about Hermione. I can understand Jo initially thinking that people wouldn't be very interested in Hermione because of her muggle background, but I think fans made it clear that they wanted to know more and Jo should have taken that into consideration when developing the character in the later books, IMO.


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  #127  
Old August 17th, 2013, 5:23 am
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Re: The Trio - Group Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by meesha1971
Her boggart reveals that she is actually a very insecure person hiding behind false bravado, but we don't know what caused her to be so insecure or why she is so driven to prove herself to be the best at anything she tries or why she found it so difficult to ever admit when she was wrong about something or even why she changed her mind about house-elves in DH. There are a lot of unanswered questions about Hermione.
Actually, it only shows that she's insecure about doing well at Hogwarts as a muggleborn -- you will recall that her boggart was Professor McGonagall telling her she failed everything. It seems quite clear from the beginning that Hermione had been overcompensating on study because she's a muggleborn, nothing more. She went through all her books before setting foot in Hogwarts and memorized most lessons beforehand. She's always very confident in her ability to learn and apply herself though, and has excellent study habits. We don't see her in her previous home setting with school, but judging by her good habits, she was always a good student. The non-magical parents thing obviously made Hermione nervous, as if it was somehow not as good as being pureblood. As she became an adult, I doubt that was ever an issue for her again.


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  #128  
Old August 17th, 2013, 8:40 am
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Re: The Trio - Group Character Analysis

So even with her Boggart, we still aren't even any real depth to her or anything of real interest.


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  #129  
Old August 17th, 2013, 9:43 am
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Re: The Trio - Group Character Analysis

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Actually, it only shows that she's insecure about doing well at Hogwarts as a muggleborn -- you will recall that her boggart was Professor McGonagall telling her she failed everything. It seems quite clear from the beginning that Hermione had been overcompensating on study because she's a muggleborn, nothing more. She went through all her books before setting foot in Hogwarts and memorized most lessons beforehand. She's always very confident in her ability to learn and apply herself though, and has excellent study habits. We don't see her in her previous home setting with school, but judging by her good habits, she was always a good student. The non-magical parents thing obviously made Hermione nervous, as if it was somehow not as good as being pureblood. As she became an adult, I doubt that was ever an issue for her again.
Actually it's not at all clear that it was because she was a muggleborn. There's nothing to indicate in the books that it was ever a problem for her.

Seems to me that it was normal behaviour from Hermione. She had studied all her books before her first year and that was before she even knew anything about the discrimination that existed.


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  #130  
Old August 18th, 2013, 6:25 pm
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Re: The Trio - Group Character Analysis

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Actually it's not at all clear that it was because she was a muggleborn. There's nothing to indicate in the books that it was ever a problem for her.
The way she approaches her studies at Hogwarts would say otherwise. We get a hint in the first book on the train:
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Originally Posted by SS/PS, page 105-6, US hardcover edition
"I've tried a few simple spells just for practice and it's all worked for me. Nobody in my family's magic at all, it was ever such a surprise when I got my letter, but I was ever so pleased, of course, I mean, it's the very best school of witchcraft there is, I've heard -- I've learned all of our course books by heart, of course, I just hope it will be enough -- I'm Hermione Granger, by the way, who are you?"
More than just being studious there, don't you think? Memorized all the course books by heart, and still worries it won't be enough? That's insecurity.

In CoS she does find out about the attitude of some purebloods toward muggleborns, but wasn't upset because she didn't understand what it meant, only knew it was rude because of the reactions of the other students. Also, Ron eloquently dismisses the prejudice as garbage, and Hagrid says there isn't a spell that Hermione can't pull off. But yet in POA when she faces her boggart, it's a very clear indication that she worries she's going to fail --even though she studies and practices probably more than anyone else in the school. Hermione's a smart girl, and you'd think she wouldn't worry because of all the effort she DOES put into her schoolwork. Irrational anxiety often stems from an insecurity or lack of self-esteem that is perception rather than fact. It's similar to Ron's thinking he can't play quidditch well, despite the fact Harry keeps telling him he does, and Ron has proved it playing quidditch at home with his brothers -- in the end it's a trick of the mind that allows Ron to get rid of his irrational perception of his quidditch skills.


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  #131  
Old August 18th, 2013, 7:02 pm
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Re: The Trio - Group Character Analysis

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The way she approaches her studies at Hogwarts would say otherwise. We get a hint in the first book on the train:
More than just being studious there, don't you think? Memorized all the course books by heart, and still worries it won't be enough? That's insecurity.

In CoS she does find out about the attitude of some purebloods toward muggleborns, but wasn't upset because she didn't understand what it meant, only knew it was rude because of the reactions of the other students. Also, Ron eloquently dismisses the prejudice as garbage, and Hagrid says there isn't a spell that Hermione can't pull off. But yet in POA when she faces her boggart, it's a very clear indication that she worries she's going to fail --even though she studies and practices probably more than anyone else in the school. Hermione's a smart girl, and you'd think she wouldn't worry because of all the effort she DOES put into her schoolwork. Irrational anxiety often stems from an insecurity or lack of self-esteem that is perception rather than fact. It's similar to Ron's thinking he can't play quidditch well, despite the fact Harry keeps telling him he does, and Ron has proved it playing quidditch at home with his brothers -- in the end it's a trick of the mind that allows Ron to get rid of his irrational perception of his quidditch skills.
Again, where does it ever say she's like that because she is insecure about muggleborn? It could be because that's in her nature or maybe her parents are very strict about her academics or maybe because she thinks studying is all she has or other possibilities.

Why would she worry about being a muggleborn when she didn't even know that prejudice exists in the Wizarding world until her second year? I think it was in her nature to study extensively and worry about the results. And she's not alone in that. A lot of the very studious people I have come across are more worried and paranoid than the normal ones about their results.

And another reason why I don't think it would have bothered her even after she found out was the company she kept. The Gryffindors and Weasleys in general couldn't care less about whether she was a muggleborn or not. Ron was very outspoken with his complete disregard for prejudices.


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  #132  
Old August 20th, 2013, 5:42 am
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Re: The Trio - Group Character Analysis

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Again, where does it ever say she's like that because she is insecure about muggleborn? It could be because that's in her nature or maybe her parents are very strict about her academics or maybe because she thinks studying is all she has or other possibilities.

Why would she worry about being a muggleborn when she didn't even know that prejudice exists in the Wizarding world until her second year? I think it was in her nature to study extensively and worry about the results. And she's not alone in that. A lot of the very studious people I have come across are more worried and paranoid than the normal ones about their results.
Well, we may find out more on Pottermore, but here's a quote from JKR's extensive interview on NBC Dateline. She says Hermione has insecurities and covers them up by getting good grades, and feels most secure in the classroom, so that seems to rule out worrying about her studies...although she never says exactly what's behind that, and only hints at "plain looks" and "not fitting in" (which can be a reference to being Muggleborn, but that's admittedly too vague to say for certain):
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J.K. Rowling: Hermione's a bit of an exaggeration. But I was deeply insecure, as is Hermione, I think who it's clear, if you read the book, she's covering up a lot of insecurities by trying to get good marks and so on. That's the place she feels most secure is in the classroom with her hand up.

Meredith Vieira: I'm sure for these children are looking at you probably think you're the coolest thing on earth to hear that you were insecure...

J.K. Rowling: Well, everyone is-- everyone is insecure in some way, aren't they? Very few people aren't anyway.

Meredith Vieira: Why were you-- what made you insecure?

J.K. Rowling: Well, I have to say it's very like Hermione. I felt quite plain and I felt, you know, I definitely wasn't the consummate popular kid-- as most people aren't after all. So that-- I think that's why people identify with Harry, Ron, and Hermione a lot because they're-- because all three of them, in some ways, are outsiders.
http://www.nbcnews.com/id/20001720/n...final-chapter/


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  #133  
Old August 20th, 2013, 5:59 am
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Re: The Trio - Group Character Analysis

Well, why did none of this show up in the text then? Why wait til an off-page interview to mention any of this?


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  #134  
Old August 20th, 2013, 6:57 am
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Re: The Trio - Group Character Analysis

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Well, why did none of this show up in the text then? Why wait til an off-page interview to mention any of this?
From reading the series, I certainly got the impression that Hermione had insecurities -- in my opinion, about being Muggleborn therefore at a disadvantage growing up in a non-magical home for example. I think the fact that she could memorize all her course books and practice some spells (that worked) before stepping foot on the train to Hogwarts, and still say "I just hope it's enough" -- really, what is she worried for, if not some vague insecurity about not being the same as her magic-parented peers?


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Old August 20th, 2013, 7:03 am
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Re: The Trio - Group Character Analysis

I never saw that as her being worried, just her being rather overeager and excited that she was a witch and all that. It was just a set-up for her being the "Brains" of the Trio.

Aside from her boggart, which is played for laughs, we're never given any insight into these insecurities of hers.


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  #136  
Old August 20th, 2013, 3:36 pm
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Re: The Trio - Group Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by HedwigOwl View Post
Well, we may find out more on Pottermore, but here's a quote from JKR's extensive interview on NBC Dateline. She says Hermione has insecurities and covers them up by getting good grades, and feels most secure in the classroom, so that seems to rule out worrying about her studies...although she never says exactly what's behind that, and only hints at "plain looks" and "not fitting in" (which can be a reference to being Muggleborn, but that's admittedly too vague to say for certain):
I don't see how it rules that out. She worries a lot about her studies, we're shown that in canon.

And I am not at all sure how you've deduced that JKR refers her insecurities down to being muggleborn from that article. JKR seems to be suggesting that she thought she was a bit plain and probably did not have many (or any) friends before she came to Hogwarts. IMO that probably resulted in her putting more pressure on herself in her studies as she probably thought that was all she had.

We've got seven books, thousands of words and there's not even a vague reference of her being insecure about being muggleborn, not one. She did not even know about the prejudiced section of the Wizarding world when she entered Hogwarts and spent the rest of the time with people who obviously couldn't have cared less that she was muggleborn.

We know she was insecure about her looks. We also know from the boggart and her behaviour in general throughout the series that she hated to fail or hated being wrong. But that's about it.


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Old August 20th, 2013, 9:40 pm
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Re: The Trio - Group Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by ShadowSonic View Post
Well, why did none of this show up in the text then? Why wait til an off-page interview to mention any of this?
I do believe Rowling showed us this rather than outright telling us in the text. She didn't say "Hermione had insecurities..." she showed us with Hermione's actions. She's always caring about her grades and before Ron and Harry she never really had any friends. We see her bogart. We see her fears.


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  #138  
Old August 21st, 2013, 5:14 am
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Re: The Trio - Group Character Analysis

We don't have any indications Hermione was totally friendless aside from Ron and Harry, and her Boggart scene was played for laughs.


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  #139  
Old August 21st, 2013, 6:13 am
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Re: The Trio - Group Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by HRW View Post
I don't see how it rules that out. She worries a lot about her studies, we're shown that in canon.

And I am not at all sure how you've deduced that JKR refers her insecurities down to being muggleborn from that article. JKR seems to be suggesting that she thought she was a bit plain and probably did not have many (or any) friends before she came to Hogwarts. IMO that probably resulted in her putting more pressure on herself in her studies as she probably thought that was all she had.

We've got seven books, thousands of words and there's not even a vague reference of her being insecure about being muggleborn, not one. She did not even know about the prejudiced section of the Wizarding world when she entered Hogwarts and spent the rest of the time with people who obviously couldn't have cared less that she was muggleborn.

We know she was insecure about her looks. We also know from the boggart and her behaviour in general throughout the series that she hated to fail or hated being wrong. But that's about it.
Sorry, but did you take the time to read JKR's quote about Hermione's insecurities in the link I posted? She specifically says that Hermione was most secure in the classroom which would seem to indicate she wasn't really worried about her studies. She was worried that she wouldn't measure up somehow. Memorizing the entire coursework for all subjects BEFORE school, and says "I just hope it's enough" -- sounds like insecurities to me.

As to your remark on my comments on the article, my post very clearly says that while it's possible it was down to being muggleborn, I also say that it's admittedly too vague to be certain. So I don't know where you get the idea I said the article proves it, because I say the exact opposite, that it can't be assumed.


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  #140  
Old August 21st, 2013, 7:53 am
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Re: The Trio - Group Character Analysis

That whole thing about reading the books before the school year just sounds like an exaggerated workaholic, to be honest. Not much about insecurity.


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