ByMona Torgersen, writer at
Staff Writer, lover of all things fantastical and supporter of House Martell. Follow me on twitter @monatorgersen
Mona Torgersen

You've probably heard the news already - in the Harry Potter theatre play, Cursed Child, Hermione will be played by black actress Noma Dumezweni.

This has caused some controversy online because everyone seemed to assume Hermione was white, and she was also played by white actress Emma Watson in the Harry Potter movies. But the fact of the matter is that Hermione's skin color was never actually specified in the books. In fact, J.K. Rowling herself pointed this out in a tweet:

Hermione's skin is mentioned in The Prisoner of Azkaban, and it's certainly not described as white.

“They were there, both of them, sitting outside Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor — Ron looking incredibly freckly, Hermione very brown, both waving frantically at him.”

People just assumed she was white, and since J.K. Rowling didn't specify her skin color we kept believing it. If Hermione is black, or any other non-white race, I would have loved to have read about that in the books. It would add even more depth to her character, seeing as she has to deal with prejudice on a daily basis for not being a pure-blood witch. Imagine an 11-year-old Hermione finally thinking she can escape Muggle racism only to find out the Wizarding World is no better? I really wish this were canon. It's like when J. K. Rowling revealed that Dumbledore was gay - that's great and all, but she could have mentioned that in the books instead of letting us know later on. If she wanted to have diverse characters she should have written diverse characters, not just sprinkle some diversity-dust as an afterthought.

Luckily, some creative people already pictured Hermione as black in their heads, and there's some amazing fan art out there. J.K. Rowling tweeted a picture of it, and I have to say, it looks incredible.

I definitely like the idea of Hermione being black, and I think it's wonderful for black girls around the world who need a heroine to identify with. She is one of the best characters in the whole series after all!



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