There are clearly several reasons that can explain why Severus Snape was unfriendly to Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter saga . Let’s start with the most obvious reasons, but not the most sought-after.
Above all, let’s not forget that the potions professor was a more than bitter and miserable character. The readership knows well that he had a loveless childhood and ended up making terrible mistakes, such as joining Lord Voldemort and betraying the woman he loved.
Filled with remorse , he will therefore decide to devote the rest of his life to repairing his faults. Let us not forget, however, that he will act in this way not for the common good, but to pay his debt to Lily Potter.
Unfortunately, like many miserable and embittered people, Snape took advantage of his odious character to those around him and, being slightly sadistic on the edges, he attacked those who had the misfortune of interacting with him. Especially those who weren’t Slytherins.
Note that he did show a preference for his own home, but he wasn’t incredibly warm with them either. In summary, although he knew how to show respect for certain teachers, he ultimately didn’t like many people.
Let’s come to Hermione Granger.
Without a doubt, during the first potions class in the Philosopher’s Stone , he immediately hated her for the sole reason that she was a Gryffindor. After all, Hermione wasn’t even friends with Harry at that point.
As said before, Snape hated anyone who wasn’t a Slytherin, but let’s not even talk about his hatred of Gryffindors. After all, the rivalry between the two houses was no longer in doubt. She was even a thousand years old , and according to this old custom, it was logical that he immediately hated this student.
Subsequently, Hermione will indeed become friends with Harry. Which will give him an additional reason not to carry her in his heart.
Indeed, the latter hated Harry above all, for the reasons we know, namely his hatred towards the latter’s father, so it was obvious that he was not going to like Hermione. It was already not very mature for Snape to hate a student for the sole reason that he hated his father and that the latter married the woman he loved, so why be mature and appreciate the friend of this same student?
Not forgetting the fact that, during her schooling, Hermione had always followed Harry in his misdeeds. Certainly, for a good cause, but the trio clearly never stopped getting involved in everything and breaking the rules. Part of the reason Snape didn’t like her was because she set his robes on fire, stole from his stash, lied to him, and physically attacked him in the Shrieking Shack.
So, are the more than obvious reasons why he didn’t like Hermione. However, we cannot say that Snape was particularly meaner towards Hermione than towards the other students. All the reasons mentioned above are equally valid for Ron or Neville, and so many other students.
Did Snape really hate Hermione? The word “hate” may not be so appropriate. Snape hated Harry, that’s for sure, but in the end, he was mostly very exasperated with Hermione.
Some think that Severus Snape disliked her because she reminded him of Lily Potter, but this is clearly untrue. It wasn’t obvious either because she was more talented than him, on the contrary.
In fact, if we think about it for a few moments, there was one element that must have frustrated him more than anything about Hermione Granger, and above all, that went against his own personality.
Indeed, let us notice one thing. While Professor McGonagall and Professor Sprout handed out points to Hermione when she answered their questions perfectly, see how Snape reacted.
“—…I imagine you are complete novices when it comes to unformulated spells. What is the advantage of an unformulated spell? Hermione’s hand shot out immediately. Snape took his time, looking around at everyone else to make sure he had no choice. In a dry tone, he then said: – Very well… Miss Granger? “Your opponent doesn’t know what kind of magic you’re going to use,” Hermione replied, which gives you a split-second lead over him. — An answer copied almost word for word from The Book of Spells and Enchantments, Level 6, Snape remarked disdainfully (in a corner of the class, Malfoy sneered), but basically correct. » – Excerpt from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Certainly, the first idea was above all to demean the young witch in front of the rest of the class. Furthermore, he hated Gryffindors and saw them as proud and self-satisfied people, and it was true that Hermione liked to be right. Therefore, it is obvious, knowing the character’s character, that Snape must simply have been exasperated that she believed herself to be gifted while he did not see her as brilliant as that. Which, ultimately, was not completely false.
Contrary to what some people think, Hermione was not a genius like Snape. At least, she didn’t have the same form of intelligence as him. Which is not serious in itself. Certainly, she was a brilliant student. We cannot deny it. She had exceptional learning abilities, at least she worked very hard to succeed. Unfortunately, Hermione wasn’t very open-minded and had trouble thinking outside the box. It was one of his biggest faults , if not the biggest.
This character trait was not a huge problem academically speaking. After all, learning the pages of a book by heart and regurgitating them in class certainly allows you to obtain good grades and the favor of the majority of teachers, but this technique could logically prevent you from progressing. Above all, she simply couldn’t work with the man who had been the Half-Blood Prince.
Hermione’s way of thinking logically went against Snape’s way of thinking, who was just the kind of professor who surely expected much more from his students. It is possible that, according to him, a student as capable as Hermione had to push her limits.
The young witch was far too down-to-earth. She liked to follow to the letter the different sources that she could read in her books, without necessarily going further.
Certainly, she knew how to put her knowledge into practice. Hermione didn’t just repeat them stupidly, but she never really thought outside the box. Once again, how could this attitude please the very man who had completely rewritten the Book of Potions ?
Let’s go even further. How could she please any Slytherin? The latter were known to be ingenious. Remember how Horace Slughorn will be impressed by Hermione’s intelligence, but will quickly lose interest in her when he sees Harry thinking outside the box thanks to the Prince.
“He passed slowly between the tables, examining the cauldrons. He refrained from commenting but occasionally sniffed a potion or stirred it a little. Finally, he arrived at the table where Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ernie were sitting. He smiled ruefully at the tar-like substance in Ron’s cauldron. He paid no attention to Ernie’s navy blue concoction, but nodded approvingly to Hermione’s potion. Finally, when he saw Harry’s, a look of incredulous delight lit up his face. — The undisputed winner! he shouted to everyone. Excellent, excellent, Harry! » – Excerpt from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Finally, even if it was unacceptable to treat a student like that, Snape had figured her out pretty well. Remember Hermione’s reaction when Harry found success with the Half-Blood Prince book?
“How did you come to this? Hermione asked imperiously. Her complexion was red and her hair was increasingly disheveled in the vapors from her cauldron. But his potion remained resolutely the same purple color. — Make a turn clockwise… — No, no, the book says you have to move in the other direction, she replied dryly. » – Excerpt from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
In the end, Hermione would never deign to follow the Prince’s advice, because she could not see in something that had been written by a student, a form of authority, even if it was very useful. She will flatly refuse to improve here.
From her character, at least at Hogwarts, because it is possible that Hermione evolved later, it is certain that she could not reach the genius of wizards like Albus Dumbledore, Lord Voldemort or even Snape, because she limited herself.
A very good example supports this character trait in Deathly Hallows , when Harry explains to Ollivander that his wand was acting strangely when confronting Voldemort’s.
In the end, Hermione had refuted the idea for a long time. Clearly stating that Harry was wrong and stating that it was not in the nature of wands to do so, because she had never read it anywhere. However, she didn’t know anything about it. Likewise, she will not believe in the existence of the Elder Wand until the Wand Merchant confirms its existence.
“You…you really think this wand exists, Mr. Ollivander?” Hermione asked. “Oh, yes,” he replied. Yes, it is perfectly possible to reconstruct the journey of the wand through history. […] — So, you… you don’t think it’s a fairy tale, or a myth? Hermione asked hopefully . “No,” Ollivander replied. » — Excerpt from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Severus Snape would never have thought like that.
Remember Harry’s occlumency lessons in Order of the Phoenix.
“—Reparo,” Snape hissed and the jar immediately reconstituted itself. Well, Potter, that was definitely progress. Breathing slightly, Snape righted the Pensieve in which he had put aside some of his thoughts before the start of the lesson and peered inside as if to check that they were still there. —I didn’t remember telling you to use the Shield charm… But it was effective, without a doubt. » – Excerpt from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Although reluctantly, Professor Snape seemed to appreciate Harry thinking outside the box and improvising the shield charm. Hermione would never have allowed herself that.
The latter followed the instructions without really trying to understand why they had to be followed. She said to herself, “If the book says it, it must be true, so let’s do what the book says . ” Let us note, however, that she particularly loathed Umbridge’s teaching. But she realized this, because this teaching was extreme and she could not put into practice what she had learned.
Conversely, Snape must have been the type of student to wonder why he had to turn his potion one way and not the other. And regardless of whether it worked or not, at least he had satisfied his curiosity.
It’s clear that Hermione was very good at potions, after all, she was perfectly successful at concocting polyjuice at the age of twelve, but not in the way Snape would have liked her to be. Above all, she saw potions much more as cooking than as an art in its own right, but it is clear that a good cook knows that he must think outside the box to evolve and that he must not always follow the recipe exactly.
In the end, the potions professor had no choice but to acknowledge that Hermione was an intelligent witch. She would sometimes pass in front of her cauldron and say nothing, because she had succeeded in her potion. During their fifth year, he gave her, probably reluctantly, the full mark on her OWLs, because it was deserved. Nevertheless, it is clear that he must have been frustrated by her lack of creativity, especially in her later years of school, when she had the cards in hand to surpass herself.
In the end, their two intelligences could not work together. Furthermore, even though he was lousy with her, felt a deep dislike for her, and found her infuriating, it did not affect how he rated her during his schooling. He never screwed up his results, as some teachers can do, and Hermione always got very good grades.
Severus Snape therefore surprisingly knew how to be just, in his injustice.