Yesterday, Pottermore released the first photos of the Harry Potter and The Cursed Child cast ahead of its opening on June 7.
The photos showed the new Potter family – Harry, Ginny, and Albus Severus. And, after promising to release new photos as the week went on, they’ve now released a first glimpse of Ron Weasley, Hermoine Granger, and their daughter, Rose Granger-Weasley.
The Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official story of the franchise to be presented on stage. And, while the casting of Ron and Hermione was announced in December, this is the first time the actors have been seen in costume.
But there’s one aspect of the casting that has people talking:
The answer is, first of all, why the hell shouldn’t she be?
A better question to ask is whether Hermione – or any fictional character in Harry Potter or any other book – is necessarily white. Most often, the answer is no.
Although the usual trolls may have been quick to criticise why Hermione looks different from the films, J.K. Rowling herself was quick to show her support.
The role was played by Emma Watson in the films, but Rowling said that the character’s race had never been referenced in the books:
Canon: brown eyes, frizzy hair and very clever. White skin was never specified. Rowling loves black Hermione 😘 https://t.co/5fKX4InjTH
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) December 21, 2015
A wave of Twitter users also showed their support:
I like the fact that they casted a black woman for hermione
— syaz (@acciomjup) June 1, 2016
❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ BLACK HERMIONE IS MY RELIGION ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/9zfKALeBQPAdvertisement
— carol (@carolculkin) June 1, 2016
I still cant believe we have been blessed with black hermione 🙌🏽
— Memesha (@misha_devi) June 1, 2016
White people complaining about Hermione being black yet none of you said a word when Lavender was whitewashed. Okay.. 👏🏾
— m (@carvertwin) June 1, 2016
Thankfully, the casting has been met with hoards of support – and Noma Dumezweni, who plays Hermione, is an award winning actress.
Previews of the play begin at London’s Palace Theatre on June 7.