Fans are shocked, happy and bewildered. ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ have finally cast their Harry, Ron and Hermione. But there’s a twist, the actress playing Hermione is Noma Dumezweni, is in fact a woman of colour. Alongside this, Jamie Parker has been casted as Harry Potter and Paul Thornley as Ron Weasley.
Fans are shocked, happy and bewildered. ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ have finally cast their Harry, Ron and Hermione. But there’s a twist, the actress playing Hermione is Noma Dumezweni, is in fact a woman of colour. Alongside this, Jamie Parker has been cast as Harry Potter and Paul Thornley as Ron Weasley.
This casting choice has been making waves considering it's very different from what many of us grew up with. Although Emma Watson was a great Hermione, this change has been what many have been waiting for.
Fans have always pointed out that in the books Hermione skin colour was never explicitly stated. She was always described as having brown eyes and frizzy hair, the only description about her skin can be found in The Prisoner of Azkaban:
“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.”
So naturally fans have been making ‘Racebent’ art about Hermione for years on websites like Tumblr.
J.K. Rowling alongside tweeting out lovely fan art of Hermione looking amazing as a black woman, has also tweeted about the casting choice. ‘Canon: brown eyes, frizzy hair and very clever. White skin was never specified’.
Many also wholeheartedly love Hermione as a black woman because her plot centres around the struggle of not fitting in and being born into a world that doesn't accept you because of the way you were born. For her this was due to the fact that she was muggle-born.
The Blood politics in the wizarding world essentially works as a metaphor for the race politics of our world. Throughout the series the muggle-born Wizards and Witches face more and more discrimination to the point that they are outright persecuted for their parentage by the ‘pure-bloods’.
Alanna Bennet from Buzzfeed said, “In middle school, when I was confronting that there were people out there who’d call me 'n****r,' I thought back to Hermione being called 'mudblood' and harassed by teacher and students alike.”
The Cursed Child is the eighth installment in this well beloved series, and will be centred on Harry and his son Albus Severus following on from the epilogue in The Deathly Hallows. You can check out the website here for more information on here.