48

Hermione Granger was one of the brightest Hogwarts students of all time. She alone recognized Prof Lupin as a werewolf when Snape gave them an essay on werewolves. She knew that ministry was interfering in school's matters as soon as Umbridge was appointed DADA teacher. The list will be too long if I start counting all proofs about how bright she was. But in Chamber of Secrets book, when a classic fraud Gilderoy Lockhart was made DADA teacher with all his recommended books (every subject), Hermione never questioned his teachings or the material of his test papers that contained questions like:

  1. What is Gilderoy Lockhart’s favorite color?
  2. What is Gilderoy Lockhart’s secret ambition?
  3. What, in your opinion, is Gilderoy Lockhart’s greatest achievement to date?

On and on it went, over three sides of paper, right down to:

  1. When is Gilderoy Lockhart’s birthday, and what would his ideal gift be?

Forget about questioning, her behavior considering Lockhart can be seen in the below lines, which was very un-hermionish.

“To Miss Granger, wishing you a speedy recovery, from your concerned teacher, Professor Gilderoy Lockhart, Order of Merlin, Third Class, Honorary Member of the Dark Force Defense League, and five-time winner of Witch Weekly’s Most-Charming-Smile Award.” Ron looked up at Hermione, disgusted. “You sleep with this under your pillow?”

She used to draw hearts in her schedule everywhere to a Lockhart's lesson.

“Defense Against the Dark Arts,” said Hermione at once. “Why,” demanded Ron, seizing her schedule, “have you outlined all Lockhart’s lessons in little hearts?” Hermione snatched the schedule back, blushing furiously.

How can Hermione fancy a total fraud guy who has no skills at magic other than stealing?

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    she used to keep his letter under her pillow. i mean if that's not fancying then what is? – Dheeraj Kumar Jul 24 '17 at 10:36
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    I always assumed that she admired him because of lack of experience and the usual hormones as a teenager. – DarkPurpleShadow Jul 24 '17 at 10:39
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    @Voronwë No, she definitely fancied him. So did Mrs. Weasley. Hermione may be exceptionally smart, but she's still attracted to people, and sometimes that causes people to be willing to overlook certain other aspects of their personality (such as being a total fraud). – Anthony Grist Jul 24 '17 at 10:48
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    She's bright, but she's also ahem an eleven year old girl. Being caught up in a crush with a teacher she respects, and for smart reasons. She respects his perceived achievements as well as, undeniably, good looks. Being smart does not mean you're incapable of getting caught up in a con, does it? – AJFaraday Jul 24 '17 at 11:59
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    Why does [teenager] fancy [flawlessly attractive celebrity]...? I mean come on, the girl had a pulse. – The Dark Lord Jul 24 '17 at 14:18
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Found in 5 times Hermione didn’t quite get it right

When she had a schoolgirl crush on Gilderoy Lockhart

It’s an understatement to say that Hermione is clever. She’s bright, perceptive and usually a pretty good judge of character. Unless that character is Gilderoy Lockhart.

Maybe it was those blinding pearly whites or his gleaming blonde coif, but Hermione wouldn’t hear a bad word against him. Despite Harry and Ron’s protests, even rampaging Cornish pixies couldn’t convince her otherwise. Don’t worry Hermione, we’ve all been there – love certainly can be blind sometimes!

Here we see that Dheeraj Kumar is right on saying Hermione fancied Lockhart, plus as a human being she is, she also gets sometimes blinded by charm.

I hope this helps :)

EDIT: The interpretation that she had a crush alone because he is handsome and charismatic is simplistic and un-hermionish. While he was good at putting himself in a good light, she also had a very good preconceived idea about him, as Voronwë and SJuan76 pointed out.

I have no sources on this, but I do find it plausible that the backfire effect was taking place. Basically she believed so strongly that Lockhart is a great man, that every challenge to or evidence against this belief made it stronger, at least for a while. You can find another sorce to this effect here.

  • 34
    +1. Hermione is an exceptionally intelligent and capable witch; but at the time of Book 2, she is also a 12 year old child. She does not have the life experience which might help her see through Lockhart (as demonstrated by, for example, Professor McGonagall). Part of the enjoyment of HP is seeing the characters make mistakes, learn from them, and gradually become more mature over the course of the books. – Royal Canadian Bandit Jul 24 '17 at 11:42
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    -1. So your conclusion is that it's because the curls? L's charisma and charm caused the loss of her analytical capacity? Isn't that a too simplistic explanation that ignores data like L being an admired and heroic in the-field author? (Books - remember, H likes books and heroes) Lucius and Draco also have pretty hair, but H never fell for them. At least not in canon – user68762 Jul 24 '17 at 12:39
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    I'd edit this to fix the "Lockhard" typo, but I'm not entirely convinced you spelled it that way on accident. – T.E.D. Jul 24 '17 at 13:31
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    @DarkPurpleShadow - Freud rears his ugly head. – T.E.D. Jul 24 '17 at 15:16
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    @DarkPurpleShadow - 1)Things from JKR say "By J.K. Rowling" on top, 2)Things from JKR are in "Writing by J.K Rowling", whereas fluff is in "Features". 3)Things from JKR are almost entirely new content, whereas the fluff stuff pieces of just rehashes of pre-existing canon 4)None of JKR's writings have movie pictures in them. – ibid Jul 25 '17 at 0:52
57

Hermione was simply infatuated with Gilderoy Lockhart

In Hermione's (and most Witches') eyes: Not only is he handsome and talented, he's an avid writer and had performed many brave acts such as Wrestling with Werewolves and spending a Year with the Yeti! Which school-girl wouldn't fancy a charming and brave man? An infatuation if I've ever seen one.

“We can actually meet him!” Hermione squealed. “I mean, he’s written almost the whole booklist!”

The crowd seemed to be made up mostly of witches around Mrs. Weasley’s age. A harassed-looking wizard stood at the door, saying, “Calmly, please, ladies. Don’t push, there, mind the books, now...”

"Excuse me, I don't like people just because they're handsome!" said Hermione indignantly. Ron gave a loud false cough, which sounded oddly like "Lockhart!".

Hermione chose to believe that Gilderoy Lockhart "did all the brave stuff he wrote in his books"

We know that Hermione is a very book-ish person. Unsuprisingly, she enjoys reading Lockhart's books. As a reader of his books, Hermione believed that Lockhart actually did all those things he wrote in the books - namely brave acts such as wandering with werewolves-, or how was he able to give a first-hand experience of it happening?

“Hands on?” said Harry, who was trying to grab a pixie dancing out of reach with its tongue out. “Hermione, he didn’t have a clue what he was doing —”

“Rubbish,” said Hermione. “You’ve read his books — look at all those amazing things he’s done —”

“He says he’s done,” Ron muttered.

We know that boys like Ron were able to see through Lockhart's lies straightaway, but Hermione simply didn't want to. Blinded by her infatuation with Lockhart, she was in denial that this handsome man didn't do all the stuff he wrote about in his books.

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    I think it's worth noting that she basically looked up to him as an idol. In her eyes, he was this successful, talented, good-looking wizard that embodied all the traits Hermione herself prizes and strives to achieve. In essence, the fake Lockhart is a person she had hoped to one day become. – DisturbedNeo Jul 24 '17 at 11:07
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    @DisturbedNeo I think it's far more telling that this is one of the few times Hermione is acting in complete lockstep with all the other girls (of all different ages), and that the males are entirely unimpressed by Lockhart. It implies his looks have far more to do with it than is explicitly stated. The Boyband effect :P – DavidS Jul 24 '17 at 11:43
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    So which one? Is there a dependence between your two points? H chose to believe b/c she was infatuated or she was infatuated b/c she believed him a hero? – user68762 Jul 24 '17 at 12:26
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    @T.E.D. but H is the authors mary sue. She isn't like most silly girls, she despised the fangirls who were following Krum. To impress her, you also have 2b bookish, charming alone is not enough – user68762 Jul 24 '17 at 13:52
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    @Nahiri - No, Hermione is not a Mary Sue. One of the answers here points out that there are multiple times where she messes up, and she even said herself Harry is much better at Defense against the Dark Arts than she is. There's a (potentially big) difference between a self-insertion and a Mary Sue. – T.E.D. Jul 24 '17 at 14:05
24

The term is "confirmation bias".

Hermione had formed herself an image about how Gilderoy was before actually meeting him, based in what Gilderoy wrote about himself in his own books.

Being a) a bookish kind of person and b) still rather young and unexperienced, she took what was written in these books at face values, without further questioning.

After that, all is downhill. As she considered Gilderoy to be perfect, anything he did was perfect; even if there was no reason to see Gilderoy's actions as intelligent, heroic or selfless she would find one, no matter how convoluted it is.

You can compare it with how many people (with allegedly far more experience than Hermione at that age!) will chose to justify their political candidate, no matter what s/he does or how corrupt or ridiculous s/he acts, better than admitting that they did made a bad judgement at supporting him:

  • Criticism or revelation of damaging evidence is "fake news" with a hidden motive. Ron and Harry criticism of Gilderoy is because they are jealous of him, so their arguments may be ignored.

  • Seemingly unethical, corrupt or even criminal activities have actually a noble motive. The fact that the justification of that noble motive is very complicated and unlikely is not addressed.

  • If that all fails, the subject's actions are some other's people fault (as unrelated to him as possible, of course).

  • Who is Howard?? – BMWurm Jul 24 '17 at 11:48
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    @BMWurm Howard is how his friends call Harry :-p... fixed it, thank you. – SJuan76 Jul 24 '17 at 11:50
  • I suspected it was something like this...It's sad, but once you move away, your old pals never write or send owls anymore.... we used to call them Rob & Herbert, you know back in the day .... ;-p you're welcome – BMWurm Jul 24 '17 at 11:54
  • This. ironically, H reading ALL Lockhart's books as opposed to Harry and Ron who had never read a word till they met the man made her vulnerable to Lockhart's dubious charms. After all, the deeds described in the books are probably very impressive and justify hero worship or a crush :) That's implementing the dusty knowledge gained in libraries in the field, in boss fights against banshee and werewolves – user68762 Jul 24 '17 at 12:12
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    @SJuan76 Better than Roonil Wazlib :P – DavidS Jul 24 '17 at 13:22
3

Because Gilderoy Lockhart was good-looking and prone to having women develop crushes on him.

It's not unheard of for some women to develop crushes on good-looking men, and Gilderoy Lockhart WAS good-looking.

There was a big photograph on the front of a very good-looking wizard with wavy blond hair and bright blue eyes.

Hermione is far from the only woman in HP to develop a crush on Gilderoy Lockhart. No less than the happily-married Mrs. Weasley does too:

“Oh, he is marvelous,” she said. “He knows his household pests, all right, it’s a wonderful book…” “Mum fancies him,” said Fred, in a very audible whisper. “Don’t be so ridiculous, Fred,” said Mrs. Weasley, her cheeks rather pink.

So does Gladys Gudgeon

“You can address the envelopes!” Lockhart told Harry, as though this was a huge treat. “This first one’s to Gladys Gudgeon, bless her — huge fan of mine —”

and

'You can put them in envelopes,' he said to Ginny, throwing the signed pictures into her lap one by one as he finished them. 'I am not forgotten, you know, no, I still receive a very great deal of fan mail… Gladys Gudgeon writes weekly …

Lockhart is 100% right when he says:

'1 suspect it is simply my good looks…'

0
  • Lockhart was a handsome celebrity with great smile and achievements. A teenage girl can definitely fall for him.

  • When you have a crush on someone, you only see positives about him/her. So, naturally, Hermione's subconscious detective skills failed to suspect any negative thing about Lockhart.

  • Lockhart was smarter than Hermione. He had a track record of fooling lots of adult bright wizards (he had a huge fan base). He knew how to be a celebrity and how to handle suspecting crowds. Being fraud also doesn't make him dumb. He had roamed the world to gather data and then used all data to creatively write bestselling books which aren't easy tasks. Gathering original works of others and then combining them to make a masterpiece is what lots of successful entrepreneurs do.

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