How I love a smart girl. As a child, I was never one for princesses. Well, I take that back, I was all for Princess Leia. But it wasn’t the Disney princesses with their flowing gowns and petite waists I daydreamed over. Caring about whether my prince would come was, obviously, not high on my list. But what was high on my list was smarts. So when other girls wanted to be Cinderella dancing at the ball, I wanted to be Anne Shirley acing her exams. The girl heroines I have always loved are far from the damsel in distress and always do their own rescuing – and then some.
So my inner little nerdy girl swells with pride each time I see Hermione Granger on the big screen. The smart girl, the plucky girl, the girl who does her own rescuing – and then some. Now there is someone amazing for girls, young and old, to aspire to be like. Intelligent, brave, loyal, a little bossy, a lot resourceful. She follows in a long line of great smart girl characters from literature (and subsequently film): Elizabeth Bennet, Jo March, Anne Shirley, Scout Finch. That’s mighty fine company and mighty important company, too. While it’s probably impossible to accurately measure their impact on generations of young women, they have given us a desperately needed alternative to the Barbieification of womanhood. Hermione makes girls, and women, everywhere want to be smart and strong and wield a wand like a fucking bad ass. Now that is what I call hearing us roar. Happy weekend, all.
p.s. HARRY POTTER SPOILER ALERT: When you go see “Deathly Hallows,” watch for when those sly Potter kids slip in a sneaky “Twilight” joke. Cheeky little monkeys.
p.p.s HARRY POTTER SPOILER ALERT II: OK, since you asked, here was the sly little joke.
In the movie when Harry, Ron and Hermione arrive at Mr. Lovegood’s house, he mentions “The Tale of the Three Brothers.” Hermione begins to read it from Dumbledore’s copy of “The Tales of the Beedle Bard” and the story begins: “There were once three brothers who were traveling along a lonely, winding road at twilight.” Ron stops her and says “Midnight, mum always said midnight.”
Now, that’s all in the book, but then in the book Ron says, “Sorry, I just think it’s a bit spookier if it’s midnight!” and Harry retorts “Yeah, because we really need a bit more fear in our lives.”
But in the movie Hermione shoots him a glare and then Ron sheepishly says, “Twilight is fine, better actually.”
That cannot be a coincidence. And that is also very cheeky. Nicely done, Potter kids.