Hermione Jean Granger is a fictional character in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. She first appears in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, as a new student on her way to Hogwarts. After Harry and Ron save her from a mountain troll in the girls’ toilets, she becomes best friends with them and often uses her quick wit, deft recall, and encyclopaedic knowledge to help them. Rowling has stated that Hermione resembles herself at a younger age, with her insecurity and fear of failure. The character was voted the best female character in a poll conducted amongst Hollywood professionals by The Hollywood Reporter in 2016.
Hermione Jean Granger is a Muggle-born, Gryffindor, who becomes best friends with Harry Potter and Ron Weasley. J.K. Rowling states that she was born on 19 September 1979 and she was nearly twelve when she first attended Hogwarts. She is an overachiever who excels academically and is described by Rowling as a “very logical, upright and good” character. Rowling adds that Hermione’s parents, two Muggle dentists, are a bit bemused by their odd daughter but “very proud of her all the same.” They are well aware of the wizarding world and have visited Diagon Alley with her. Hermione was originally intended to have a sister, but the planned sibling did not make an appearance in the first Harry Potter novel and, as Rowling noted, it “seemed too late” to introduce the character after that. Rowling confirmed in a 2004 interview that Hermione is an only child.
Rowling has described the character of Luna Lovegood as the “anti-Hermione” as they are so different. Hermione’s foil at Hogwarts is Pansy Parkinson, a bully based on real-life girls who teased the author during her school days.
Rowling stated that the character of Hermione carries several autobiographical influences: “I did not set out to make Hermione like me but she is…she is an exaggeration of how I was when I was younger.” She recalled being called a “little know-it-all” in her youth. Moreover, she states that not unlike herself, “there is a lot of insecurity and a great fear of failure” beneath Hermione’s swottiness. Finally, according to Rowling, next to Albus Dumbledore, Hermione is the perfect expository character; because of her encyclopaedic knowledge, she can always be used as a plot dump to explain the Harry Potter universe. Rowling also states that her feminist conscience is rescued by Hermione, “who’s the brightest character” and is a “very strong female character”.
Hermione’s first name is taken from a character in William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, though Rowling has said that the two characters have little in common otherwise. Rowling said that she wanted her name to be unusual since if fewer girls shared her name, fewer girls would get teased for it and it seemed that “a pair of professional dentists, who liked to prove how clever they are…gave [her] an unusual name that no-one could pronounce.” Her original last name was “Puckle”, but Rowling felt the name “did not suit her at all”, and so the less frivolous Granger made it into the books.
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