There has been a lot of controversy around this topic ever since the Harry Potter movies have been filmed. Hermione is different in the books, the movies, and the play. How can we know if Hermione was written as a black or a white character if J.K. Rowling never specified her race in the books. However, she was present during the casting, so she must have had a reason to cast Emma Watson as Hermione.
Hermione does not have a specified race in the books. She is not described as black or white. She is not described as a person of any other ethnicity. There are some subtle clues in favor of her being white though. It is difficult to argue if Hermione should be black or white since this would eliminate the possibility of her being any other color.
However, if you wish to know how she is described in the books, what are some arguments for her being black or white, and who is black in the Harry Potter universe, find out in this article where we cover everything related to this discussion. This might be an odd question, and if you like this, read our article Is Hermione Voldemort’s Daughter?
What skin color is Hermione Granger?
Hermione Granger is not strictly described as any race. There is not a sentence that claims she was of a certain color. However, there are more arguments for her being white. That being said, every person of any color deserves to be represented.
It is important to remember that this article only takes into consideration the clues from the book. The issue of representation is a different topic which is what most fans talk about and highlight ever since this topic became more popular.
In the books, there are some clues about Hermione’s skin color. In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in Chapter 21, the sentence describes her face as white. However, it could only mean that she was shocked or scared. It does not seem very plausible J.K. Rowling would describe a black person as having a white face: Hermione’s white face was sticking out from behind a tree.
In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in Chapter 5, Hermione has a bruise. When Mrs. Weasley is trying to heal it while trying to lessen her resemblance to half a panda. This might be less obvious than the first one, but it is also very unlikely a bruise would make a dark-skinned person would resemble a panda because of a bruise.
She was also called pale and it was even said she got a sunburn, which would be more typical for people with a lighter complexion.
Hermione could as well be a convincing Asian character due to the stereotypes of being overachievers, appreciating knowledge, and having very ambitious parents. However, there was no controversy about any other race except for white vs. black.
Looking at historical facts, when Hogwarts was built it was a different time, and J.K. Rowling may be imagined the world as she saw it in real life at the time. Considering that every black character in Harry Potter is specifically described as black, it would be very odd that the author just forgot or decided not to include this part of the description when introducing Hermione.
The dominant percentage of white-skinned people makes sense since the story is set in the UK which to this day statistically has more white people.
Is Hermione meant to be black or white?
J.K. Rowling had full control over casting the crew for the movies. If J.K. Rowling intended to make Hermione Granger black, she should have cast a black actress. If not, it would go directly against her vision for the character.
At some point, the author mentioned that Emma Watson was too pretty for the character of Hermione as she imagined her, but that was the only thing she said about the casting choice. The author also approved all the art and book covers, as well as posters, which portrayed Hermione as white.
Before the movies, there could have been a valid discussion, but once J.K. Rowling accepted the white actress with no comments other than her beauty, the character of Hermione got the body and its color. So if Hermione was canonically white in the movies approved by the author years ago, why is there still a discussion about her color in the books?
Every character that is not described as black in those words, was cast as white. And while this raises the question of the lack of people of color in the Harry Potter universe, it could theoretically mean they were all black if their race was not explicitly stated in the books, which is the case with Hermione. Why is her story different?
One of the most popular arguments is her big frizzy hair. It is well known that black hair is often frizzy, curly, and big. However, hair does not strictly dependant on race. The case would need to be much stronger.
Hermione in the books is open to interpretation and everyone can imagine her as they would like. That should be the point of reading. However, if there are facts about characters in the movies, they should be respected no matter the connection with real-life – this is difficult to do, so many fans judge the characters like they were real people. But we only see a glimpse of their lives and personalities.
Hermione Granger is a product of the author’s imagination. While the author has the right to describe any character, it is crucial to think about representation and the target group.
Bottom line is, there is absolutely nothing wrong with fanart and fanfiction that depicts Hermione as black, or any other color. There is also nothing wrong with wanting to be represented in your favorite franchise.
While, according to the facts, Hermione is white, everyone can imagine her in their own way. The author’s vision has to be respected, but Hermione was always so much more than her skin color. Any person who feels as they are intelligent, value knowledge and friendship, and are looking to protect others from injustice can see Hermione as relatable and as their own avatar in the Harry Potter universe. No matter the looks.
How is Hermione described in the Harry Potter books?
Hermione had big brown eyes, bushy brown hair that resembled a mane, and large front teeth. He either kept her hair down or tied it back. she did not really care much for her looks, especially as a child.
She would often dress casually or wear her robes with a school uniform. Her teeth were fixed by Madam Pomfrey and this made braces no longer needed.
During the Yule Ball, however, she made her hair sleek and shiny with a potion and tied it into a knot. Many didn’t even recognize her at first, and even Draco was finally left speechless. She was also described similar to this during the wedding of Bill and Fleur.
Even more importantly, she was described as very intelligent and well-read. She was curious, brave, hard-working, and could always be seen either reading a book or carrying one in her hands.
However, in the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Hermione was played by a dark-skinned actress. J.K. Rowling commented on her casting choices by saying she was the best for the job and that she had nothing against Hermione looking fundamentally different. And we agree.
Still, many people dislike seeing different actors playing the same role, even more so if the choice is not consistent. Many concluded J.K. Rowling only publically claimed this to gain more popularity and appeal to the public.
Is there a black person in Harry Potter?
Unfortunately, there are only a few black people in the Harry Potter universe. If there were, maybe poor Hermione would not be the topic on everyone’s lips and Twitter threads.
Some of the black people in Harry Potter are the following:
Angelina Johnson – she was described as black, tall, with long black hair that was often braided
Dean Thomas – he was tall and had dark skin as well as hair
Lee Jordan – he was said to be a black boy who had dreadlocks in his black hair
Kingsley Shacklebolt – he was described as a tall black wizard without any hair who had a deep voice
There are some other characters we see in the movies, however, they were students and teachers that were extras and had no major story. But we suppose that it is better than nothing.