When it comes to adapting any book into a film, the filmmakers who are creating the adaptation typically have their work cut out for them. It can be insanely difficult to translate an entire book into a completely different medium. And when film adaptations are trying to tackle material as dense, long, and complex as the entire Harry Potter series, the situation is infinitely more difficult.
As far as film adaptations go, the Harry Potter series is arguably one of the best. Although they couldn’t bring every element of the book on to the big screen, they did a fantastic job of capturing the heart of what the books were about. And they deserve a lot of credit for bringing these dynamic, dimensional characters to life too. However nothing can ever be completely perfect, and obviously the filmmakers wound up changing things. So here are 10 things about the character of Hermione Granger that the movies deliberately changed.
10 Book Hermione Isn’t Always So Cool Headed
One thing that is plainly true about both book and film versions of Hermione Granger is that she is one of the smartest witches and quickest thinkers in the world. However, in the movies she is typically the one who is always immediately thinking of a solution to whatever problem or danger the golden trio is facing in the moment, while in the books she does have moments where she panics and loses her head.
A good example of this is when the kids are first ensnared by Devil’s Snare. In the movies it’s Hermione who figures out how to escape it, but in the books she really loses her cool and it’s Ron who figures out how to escape.
9 Movie Hermione Is A Lot More At Ease With Voldemort
Or rather, the movie version of Hermione is much more at ease with calling Voldemort by his chosen name, anyway. When the Harry Potter books were initially adapted into films, it seems like the filmmakers had a pretty solid habit of taking different statements or behaviors away from one character and giving them to another.
And pretty early on in the movie series, Hermione claims that fear of saying someone’s name only increases fear of the person himself. However in the books, it was Albus Dumbledore who said this about Voldemort, and Hermione didn’t become comfortable saying his name out loud until quite a while later.
8 Movie Hermione Is Much More Attractive
Okay, so in fairness to the makers of the Harry Potter films, no one could have known for sure that young Emma Watson was going to grow up into one of the most naturally beautiful women in the world. And honestly, she’s not the only member of the Harry Potter movie world who was supposed to be ugly but underwent a massive glow up.
However, there are certain elements of Hermione’s appearance that are extremely distinct in the books, like her big teeth and voluminous hair, that the movies clearly completely omitted once Hermione was old enough to be styled like a more attractive teenager and young adult.
7 She’s No Longer Afraid To Fly
One of the most thrilling moments in all of the Harry Potter films is when, after breaking into Bellatrix Lestrange’s vault, the golden trio needs to make a quick exit out of Gringotts and rides on the back of a dragon in order to do it.
And in the films it’s Hermione who comes up with this brilliant impromptu escape plan, however, in the books it’s Harry who originally comes up with the idea. And that comes as no surprise either, because the book version of Hermione actually absolutely hates to fly, and she actually has to overcome her fear in order to escape.
6 She Protected Harry Instead Of Ron
Ron Weasley has a lot of small heroic moments throughout the course of the Harry Potter book series, some of which are unfortunately omitted, and others of which are given to different characters.
And one of Ron’s most distinct moments as a ride or die friend is in Prisoner of Azkaban, when, despite having a broken leg, Ron stands up and puts himself in between Harry and Sirius in order to protect him. But the film adaptation of Prisoner of Azkaban obviously switched things up a bit, and it is actually Hermione who uses herself as a human shield for Harry.
5 They Made Her A Lot More Like Ron
One of the quirks of a book being adapted into a movie is it seems like oftentimes the main characters play musical chairs with certain personality traits, and Hermione’s adaptation from book to film is one of the best examples of that.
The golden trio in the books are pretty well balanced, however, in the films they seem to fall into some stereotypes of characterization that are more appealing and familiar to movie viewers. And because Ron became the designated “funny sidekick” character in the films, a lot of his own personality traits seem to have become Hermione’s instead.
4 The Movies Made Her The Explainer
Obviously a book and a film are two very different animals even though their basic purpose, to tell a story, is the same. The advantage that so many books have is that they can explain things to the reader in writing without having to adjust the story or dialog between the characters very much, whereas films sometimes have to be clunkier about introducing information to the audience.
And the solution that the Harry Potter filmmakers seem to have come up with is to essentially make Hermione into the character who explains everything to the audience, with her often dumping a lot of exposition on to viewers in her dialog.
3 She’s Offended By Being Called A Mudblood
One of the more interesting insights into the wizarding culture is when Draco Malfoy calls Hermione a mudblood. The term is obviously meant to be an allegory for real-life racism, and most of the witches and wizards in the situation who know what the word means react harshly towards Draco when he lets it fly.
But in the books, Hermione understandably has no idea what the word even means. In the movies, she is clearly very hurt by the insult, but in the books, Ron explains to both Hermione and Harry what exactly a mudblood is and why it’s so offensive.
2 She Knows Too Much About The Wizarding World
Although it is somewhat understandable that Hermione would have some grasp of the wizarding world, one of the stranger changes from book to film is that she seems to know quite a bit about the wizarding world despite not really being a part of it.
In the books it’s typically Ron who explains to Harry and Hermione about some of the more unique quirks of the wizarding world, but in the films Hermione seems to know a lot of random details of wizarding culture that one would assume she wouldn’t learn just by being around witches and wizards at Hogwarts.
1 The Movies Made Her Too Perfect
Obviously there is nothing wrong with featuring a super badass chick as your female lead in a film, but one of the significant issues that a lot of Harry Potter fans have with the translation from book to film is that the movies simply made Hermione too perfect.
Every change that seemed to be made for Hermione seemed to either eliminate one of her flaws from the book or give her even more strengths. She also gets a lot of the good minor moments in the books that initially belonged to another character, which does make it seem like the filmmakers were very concerned with making Hermione as incredible as possible.