Before we go any further… This is not a race thing. Can we please not make it one? Let’s see this as an objectively interesting topic of debate. And here is the topic: should we alter art in the name of advancing equality? Let me explain. If we were to prove that Hermione Granger was black -then obviously we would cast a black actress. If we determined that Hermione Granger was white we would hire a white actress. BUT- is it OK to deviate from this accepted casting strategy in the name of keeping sensitive to diversity?
Now HYPOTHETICALLY what if we did some research ad we learned that Hermione Granger was actually black in the HP series. You tell everyone. But for whatever reason, they still cast a white Hermione Granger. You can’t believe it. You know the heart of the script, you know the soul that wrote it (not the human trying to change it now, the soul that wrote it then), is being deprived of the Hermione it asked for? Do you feel that way about film as an art? These are just arguments I hear from my PA friends in LA.
Sorry I’m drifting off a bit here…
BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE we need to figure out if Hermione Granger was Black or if Hermione Granger was White. Luckily, I’ve gotten to the bottom of this (as usual), but I’ll start from the beginning…
From the beginning it seems most have just assumed that the character Hermione Granger was always intended to be white. Without any real evidence to back it up. Which is like the perfect example to use in some ‘white privilege’ debate in an Up-State NY public college. And I think it’s pretty freakin’ obvious that J.K. Rowling is playing the PC card to double those SJW Broadway dollars. And I won’t knock her hustle. As long as she’s covered her tracks… because it seems to be a general consensus that Hermione Granger was white. Or was Hermione Granger Black?
Unsurprisingly, Twitter has had plenty to say on the topic…
Here are some words from J.K. Rowling before we continue-
“It came as no surprise to Potter author J.K. Rowling that not everyone loved it when black actress Noma Dumezweni was cast as Hermione in the two-part play ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’…I had a bunch of racists telling me that because Hermione ‘turned white’ — that is, lost color from her face after a shock — that she must be a white woman, which I have a great deal of difficulty with,” Rowling said. “But I decided not to get too agitated about it and simply state quite firmly that Hermione can be a black woman with my absolute blessing and enthusiasm.” – CNET
So naturally, when it was announced that Hermione would be played by a black actress, purists and white nationalists alike scoured the book for evidence to prove that the character they always assumed was white were was indeed, white.
Through all 6 of the books, millions of fans could only come up with two lines that seemed to hint at the notion that Hermione Granger was white. Which was kind of interesting since we all just like assumed she was white and now suddenly there was virtually no proof of it in the books.
Oh Yea I Never Read The Books, This Is Why I Thought Hermione Granger Was White ^
The two lines they found? Here they are, presented by Bustle:
“There are two mentions of Hermione’s skin color in J.K. Rowling’s books, both in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. First:
- 1. ‘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.’
And later, when Harry and Hermione use her time-turner to save Buckbeak:
- 2. ‘Hermione’s white face was sticking out from behind a tree.’” – Bustle
This second one with the “White Face” is really what sent Twitter into a frenzy-
So Confused As To Why This Is Significant…
Personally I think both of these quotes are irrelevant. But I will run through them quickly-
Quote 1: Hermione Very Brown Skin
Harry first runs into the squad after summer break. Hermione was in Spain. Before that she was in a snowy castle (Hogwarts) for 10 months. Same with Harry. Except he also spent that summer in a cupboard pretending that he didn’t exist. Harry’s idea of “tan” was anything darker than his upper thigh. So to Harry, seeing “Hermione, very brown” could just be in comparison to the usual pasty castle skin he sees all winter
Now, it’s obvious that Ron and Hermione are hooking up by the summer going into third year. Ron went with Hermione to Spain. They didn’t tell Harry because it would only upset him. Ron’s ginger complexion did not fair so well (see what I did there).
Hermione is of WASP decent (both of her parents are dentists). Her skin was able to turn olive from her sun exposure in Spain. As for Ron, he just increased in freckles. This is why both of their complexions are described back to back. Harry is commenting on the contrast in their appearance after their summer holidays. It’s a subtle hint that Hermione and Ron are getting it on. The reader was supposed to catch on to this. Harry was not.
QUOTE 2: Hermione’s White Face
I don’t have much to say here. At best it is a strange line (UK expression maybe?) at worst, just bad writing. I’m confident it proves nothing. I believe it was J.K. Rowlings way of hyperbolizing the frightened look in Hermione’s face when she believes they are about to be discovered snooping around. “White face sticking out from behind the tree”. The color leaving her face? Fear as she turns ice cold?
First of all, that would be a peculiar time to bring up Hermione’s skin color. Second, if she was dark skinned, would they use that same expression? Feels strange to say someone with dark skin went “white in the face”. Either way forget this. Here comes the real evidence.
The Big Leak: Evidence That Hermione Granger Was White
Once again, this is not a race thing. Who the F cares what color she was? They can cast whoever they want. But if you do care read on, I have figured out the truth.
From the The Rowling Library, deep in the archives, I believe we found our irrefutable evidence:
This illustration made by J.K. Rowling depicts an early draft where we see Neville, Ron, Harry, Hermione and Gary – this last one was later renamed to Dean Thomas. As we can see in the drawing, Gary/Dean is darker-skinned than the rest – specially Hermione, who seems to have white skin. – The Rowling Library
So there you can see the gang all together! Except this isn’t a book. It’s concept art. From 1995!
See that character on the right? That’s Gary. He was renamed Dean Thomas before the release. Does he look dark to you? Or maybe you think it’ something to do with the candlelight? (In case you missed the sarcasm it’s not, Ron has a candle too).
This is who plays Dean Thomas in the Franchise Films-
Hard to believe the dark shading for Dean was a mistake. Which makes it hard to believe that Hermione Granger was drawn white by accident. I think from that concept art alone (not to mention the casting of Emma Watson) is more than enough evidence to suggest Hermione Granger was white.
If Dean was depicted as black in the book and then the film, why would they do the opposite for Hermione?
On a side note: about 8% of England is black. So the demographics of Hogwarts are actually pretty realistic. Second side note/hot take: Why aren’t the Asians demanding Asian Hermione? If Hermione is not white then her grades make me think Korean…. I mean like I’m just kidding, but seriously…