Gather round all you Muggle-born witches and wizards! Let us celebrate the birthday of the finest, cleverest witch of them all: Hermione Jean Granger. While we love the rest of the cast of characters in the Harry Potter series, from the boisterous Weasley twins to the enigmatic Sirius Black, Hermione spoke to the nerd inside us all. She was the character we identified with. All the book-loving escapists who wanted nothing more than to curl up with their dog-eared copy of The Prisoner of Azkaban.
For a bit of “light reading,” here’s a look at the life of Hermione Granger.
Hermione Granger was born upon the 19th of September 1979, making this day Miss Granger’s 41st birthday! J.K. Rowling officially confirmed Hermione’s birthday was the 19th but we already knew from the books she was born in September. In the Prisoner of Azkaban Hermione mentions to Ron and Harry, “‘I’ve still got ten Galleons,” she said, checking her purse. “It’s my birthday in September, and Mum and Dad gave me some money to get myself an early birthday present.”
Hermione’s name was borrowed from Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale, who in turn, borrowed it from Greek myth, though J.K. Rowling always said her parents gave her the name “to prove how clever they were”.
We first met Hermione when she was but a girl of eleven. On her first train ride to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. From the moment she stepped into Harry and Ron’s compartment, we recognized something special about her.
We know Hermione Granger to be a fiercely proud Gryffindor. Even though her intelligence could easily have placed her among the Ravenclaw crowd. Her wand is 10 ¾ long and crafted out of vine with a core of dragon heartstring. Hermione’s Patronus fits her perfectly as a furry otter which represents friendship, empathy, and curiosity.
Miss Granger has always possessed a marvelously clever mind. She proved there is enormous power in knowledge and learning that stretch even beyond the limitations of magic. (Flip back to when Hermione beat the logic test at the end of Sorcerer’s Stone if you don’t believe us). Never one to let a question pass her by, Hermione taught us to speak out. Even when the snide Slytherins threw around names like “insufferable know-it-all.”
But just like Hermione said herself, “Books! And cleverness! There are more important things! – Friendship! And Bravery!” Hermione always had her priorities sorted out. She proved herself time and again to be a caring and loyal friend, using her strengths to fight against adversity and battling through her weaknesses to be there for her companions in times of great need.
Emma Watson took up the role of Hermione Granger in the movie series when she was just eleven – just like Hermione, on her way to Hogwarts. And Emma grew to emulate the best parts of Hermione’s character. Emma showed she had a love of learning as she worked hard to earn her degree in English Literature at Brown University, even while filming the Harry Potter series – and without the aid of a Time-Turner! Also, Emma has aligned herself to Hermione by speaking out for just causes like feminism and self-expression, just like Hermione lead the crusade for the house elves as the founder of S.P.E.W.
Emma even shares Hemione’s deep love of books. The actress once said, “Books are a friend, books are an escape, books are a means to empowerment and books are a means to understanding yourself better and, in a world around you. They are everything.”
Now Hermione Granger is the current Minister of Magic. She’s doing what she always set out to do. For as she stated emphatically in the Deathly Hallows, “I’m hoping to do some good in the world!”
So, break out the pumpkin cauldron cakes and raise your glass of butterbeer to the sky as we ring out a hearty happy birthday to Hermione Granger!