Emma Watson on Why Harry and Hermione’s Dance Is so Tense

There are literally hundreds of scenes within the eight Harry Potter movies. However, Harry and Hermione’s dance scene is easily among the most divisive. There’s an undeniable tension between the two best friends that fans either love or hate. But what is the root of that tension? Emma Watson once revealed that she and Daniel Radcliffe were playing very specific subtext underneath the scene that gave the moment its unique charge.

Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson, stars of the polarizing Harry and Hermione dance scene in Harry Potter, hug
Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson | Stan Honda/AFP via Getty Images

Harry and Hermione’s dance scene in ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1’ is quite memorable

Harry Potter and Hermione Granger‘s dance comes toward the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1. The duo is hunting Horcruxes while on the run from Voldemort and his dark forces. The scene holds a distinct melancholy feel because of Ron’s absence and the state of the wizarding world. However, Harry chooses to introduce a moment of levity by removing the Horcrux from Hermione’s neck and asking her to dance.

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While the scene starts off a little awkward, it quickly morphs into something else. As the pair dance to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ “O Children,” they are able to forget their troubles for a moment. And, for the first time in the franchise, there seems to be a moment of tension between the pair that has nothing to do with friendship.

Emma Watson explains the underlying tension in the dancing scene

In an interview with JoBlo, Watson explained exactly where that tension stems from.

“The way that Dan and I played it was there was the possibility there could be something else between Hermione and Harry,” Watson explained. “If you spend that period of time with one person alone on the road and you don’t know when you’re going to see anyone else again, I dunno, I feel like maybe there could have been something there, but not really from Hermione’s end. I think whether or not you like that storyline or not, the scene has a tension but it’s open to interpretation. It’s not fixed.”

Watson was uncomfortable with Hermione and Harry’s dance scene because of what it implied

It’s interesting that Watson and Radcliffe agreed to play Harry and Hermione’s dance scene with a bit of romantic tension. This is especially true because initially Watson wasn’t comfortable with the scene at all. Since the dance scene wasn’t written in the Harry Potter books, the Noah actor was uneasy with it. In fact, she even approached David Heyman, who produced the movies, about it.

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“When I was doing the scene, I said to David: ‘This isn’t in the book, she didn’t write this,’” Watson revealed to Hypable. “I’m not sure I am comfortable insinuating something however subtle it is!”

It seems that Watson’s discomfort was warranted since Harry and Hermione’s dance was such a polarizing moment. “It is funny because it really divided people,” Watson shared. “Some people loved that scene and some people really didn’t.”

Harry and Hermione’s dance may be polarizing, but it’s certainly memorable. Furthermore, the tension it holds allows for all different types of interpretation. So Harry Potter fans can certainly take what they want from it and leave what they don’t.

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