Wednesday, June 11, 2014


I am quite irritated at the Harry Potter movies.

In the book, Hermione is a very strong, interesting character.  She is acknowledged by everyone as the best student in the class.  She stands up for herself.  She's great.

The movie forced her to cry at the end of the Yule Ball, sobbing, "Ron, you spoiled everything!"  Then she plops down dejectedly with her shoulders slumped.  In the book, she shouted at Ron to learn a lesson and "ask me earlier next time before someone else does, instead of as a last resort!"  Then she sweeps off to bed, leaving Ron thunderstruck.

Movie forcing Hermione to be dejected

The movie had her crying on Harry's shoulder when she discovered Ron kissing Lavender, asking Harry, "How does it feel when you see Ginny?" and then weeping at length.  That never happened in the book.  In the book, she sent magical birds after him and then walked out and slammed down the door, with a single sob.
Movie forcing Hermione to weep

The movie inexplicably had Ron pick Lavender over Hermione.  In the book, Ron went to Lavender because he felt jealous and inadequate that Hermione kissed Viktor Krum, and because Hermione insinuated his quidditch win was due to luck potion.  Ego wounded, Ron sought to build up his confidence via Lavender, who adored him like a dolt and never challenged him.  The movie had Hermione being sweet and supportive, but then gets suddenly rejected for no reason by Ron.

Ron and Lavender: movie removed all motive

I'm also irritated by Ron's speech in the first movie about how Harry needs to proceed through the rest of the quest alone, and that the hero has always been fated to be Harry, not Ron, not Hermione.  What the heck.  A central theme in Harry Potter is that we're not doomed or fated for anything.  We make decisions, and those shape our future.  Harry could've been great in Slytherin, but he continually made choices not to go into the dark arts.  The book emphasized and re-emphasized how our choices define us.  But the movie has a monologue about how Harry was the special one, so therefore his friends should just give up now because they're not the Chosen One and he is.

I place the blame at the feet of the movie directors for 1, 4, and 6.  They took an exquisitely written book and character (Hermione), and watered her down to a damsel in distress.  J K Rowling gave us a gift, and then the director dropped it in the dirt a few times.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Testify! What rubbish, why does Hollywood continue to do this? I knew I should have finished the books.

Okay, time for some female characters that do not pander to these awful stereotypes:

* Lt. Ellen Ripley (Alien series)
* Zoe Washburne (Firefly / Serenity)
* Lisbeth Salander (Dragon Tattoo trilogy)
* Valeria (Conan the Barbarian)