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Hermione Is a Woman of Color in the Harry Potter Sequel Play! (Plus Some Other Casting)

It's canon! IT'S CANON!

It has happened! Hermione Granger will be played by a Black woman, Noma Dumezweni, in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the upcoming Harry Potter sequel stage play! Prepare for a flood of outrage from those who usually tell us to stop being so outraged.

Oh, and the other leads were cast, as well: Jamie Parker will play Harry, and Paul Thornly will play Ron. The play is set 19 years after the conclusion to the original Harry Potter story, so we’ll get to see the trio interact as adults!

And before anyone says anything, here’s a helpful reminder from J.K. Rowling about what was set forth about Hermione in the books:

This has long been one of our favorite headcanons, and now it can be considered actual canon.

I won’t say there has been a lot of complaining about the casting decision (that remains to be seen), but I’ve already seen some on Twitter in about ten minutes of timeline surfing, which is disappointing but not unexpected. People are railing on about “canon” and continuity with what was established in the movies, so I guess they don’t know the books are canon and the movies are just adaptations? Man, they’re going to be pretty mad when they find out Daniel Radcliffe isn’t playing Harry, either, I assume. Or that Ron is only “ginger in his soul.” Right? Continuity!

On the other hand, for those of us who appreciate how awesome this is, let’s take a minute to consider that the play is a sequel, while the movies are adaptations. I don’t know about you, but I consider a sequel, even if it comes by way of a different artistic medium, to be more a part of canon than an adaptation. So the argument could easily be made that Hermione, with her skin color portrayed only once in actual canon in this play and never mentioned in the books, is now canonically Black.


Oh, and here are some Tweets Rowling has also decided to share along with the news:

Pottermore also posted this synopsis of the play, along with additional details about its cast members:

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

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Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct Geekosystem (RIP), and then at The Mary Sue starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at Smash Bros.