Many of us are familiar with the character of Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series. Or at least are familiar with the name. The young, bookish, by-the-rules witch who becomes best friends with Harry Potter and Ron Weasley and accompanies them on their adventures and tries her best to keep them out of trouble.
She knows a lot of stuff, made evident by the fact that she memorized all her spell books for her first school year (before it even began) and she scored highly in nearly every subject she took during her tenure at Hogwarts. If it wasn’t for her brilliant mind, the main trio may not have been able to survive their numerous near-death situations over the years.
You may think you know a lot about Hermione. After all, you’ve journeyed with her through seven books and eight movies. You’ve learned what makes her tick, what makes her happy, what’s she passionate about… Hermione Granger is as real a character as she could be.
But do you know everything about Hermione Granger? You may think you do, but there’s probably some stuff out there about her that you would never have guessed. If you’re curious to know some surprising facts about her, then read this list of 15 things you didn’t know about Hermione Granger.
15. Her Name Originates From Greek Mythology
Some of you probably have been wondering for years where the name Hermione came from. Well, I’m about to clear up the mystery for you. Hermione is the female derivative of the name Hermes. For those who don’t know your Greek mythology, Hermes is a messenger god who was known for his quick wit and cunning behavior. He possessed the ability to move swiftly and effortlessly between the world of man and the world of the gods, operating as a link between mortals and the gods on Mount Olympus. Now let’s apply that to Hermione. Hermione is known for having a quick wit and can be cunning if she has to be. She was the best student in her year and probably one of the best in the history of Hogwarts. And she transitions quite easily between the Muggle world she grew up in and the Wizarding world that she becomes accustomed to. Similarities, right? Now it makes sense where the name Hermione came from.
14. Her Last Name Was Almost Puckle
Puckle. Puckle. Hermione Puckle. Doesn’t exactly have a ring to it, does it? Hermione Granger wasn’t always Hermione Granger; she was originally Hermione Puckle. During the early planning stages of Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling came up with a list of surnames to give Harry’s classmates, which for some differ from their final versions. For Hermione, her surname was supposed to be Puckle, but Rowling realized that Puckle had a bit of a sour tone to it, which makes sense because Puckle is a Scottish variant of the word “pickle”. Not to mention it derives from a Middle English word that means “goblin”, “demon”, or “mischievous spirit.” And so, Rowling changed Hermione’s last name from Puckle to Granger. We couldn’t agree more. Hermione Granger sounds a lot better than Hermione Puckle.
13. Her Character Is Based Off Of J.K. Rowling Herself
It’s one thing for authors to write other people into their books, but it’s another thing for the writer to write themselves into their own books. J.K. Rowling belongs to the latter. She wrote her own self into the Harry Potter books as Hermione Granger, but she admits that Granger is an exaggeration of herself, a caricature, in fact. Rowling says that she was an extremely insecure person when she was younger, and that writing about the time in Hermione’s life that she wrote about was somewhat difficult for her to even do.
12. She Nearly Had A Sister
Yes, that’s right. Apparently, Hermione wasn’t going to be an only child. Rowling originally planned for her to have a younger sister. When Harry and Ron first met Hermione on the Hogwarts Express, she says, “Nobody in my family’s magic at all.” Rowling wanted Hermione to have a little sister, which is probably why she didn’t have Hermione say something along the lines of, “My parents aren’t magic at all.” The sister wouldn’t have magical powers like her older sister; she would be a Muggle like her parents and the rest of her family. However, Rowling never found a way to introduce her into the books, and then it became too late to introduce her at all. We can only wonder what the youngest Granger would have been like.
11. She Is Described As Having Very Large Front Teeth
For those who read the books, you may remember that Rowling describes Hermione as having very large front teeth. Which is probably why when Hermione was accidentally hit with a spell from Draco’s wand that caused her front teeth to grow past her collar, and Ron protested to Professor Snape that she had been hit, and Snape replied coldly, “I see no difference.” Chris Columbus, director of the first Harry Potter film Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, tried giving Emma Watson fake teeth to wear, but it failed to work out. In the last scene of the movie, Watson can be seen wearing the fake teeth, but they were minimized from their original size. If you look closely while she speaks, you can see them.
10. She Almost Ended Up In Ravenclaw Instead Of Gryffindor
Like the one above, this one isn’t probably as surprising as the others, as Hermione makes a passing mention to it in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Or perhaps if you’ve only seen the movies, then it may be a little surprising for you. After performing a particularly complicated spell while Dumbledore’s Army is training, one of the students asks in shock and awe why Hermione wasn’t sorted into Ravenclaw with brains like hers. Members of the house of Ravenclaw are characterized for having exceptional amounts of wit and wisdom, so it would make sense for Hermione to be sorted into that house instead. It actually took the Sorting Hat almost four minutes trying to decide which house Hermione would be placed in and was seriously considering Ravenclaw. But in the end, it decided Hermione’s courage outweighed her intelligence and placed her in Gryffindor instead. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have gotten the unbreakable trio of Harry, Ron and Hermione.
9. She Performed Magic Before Attending Hogwarts
Now before you start pointing fingers and asking why Hermione didn’t get in trouble for performing magic underage when Harry got in trouble on more than one occasion for performing magic underage, there’s a reason. While the Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery bans wizards and witches from practicing magic while under 17 years of age, children under the age of 11, who have little control over their powers and have no wands, are exempt from the rule. So technically, Hermione could get away with performing a “few simple spells” like she did before attending Hogwarts. Leave it to Hermione to be an overachiever and get a head start before her first year even started.
8. She Would See Herself, Harry and Ron In The Mirror Of Erised
The Mirror of Erised shows one’s deepest desire, according to Dumbledore. When Harry Potter looked into the mirror in the first book, he saw himself surrounded by his dead parents and his relatives; when Ron looked into the mirror, he saw himself as the Gryffindor Quidditch Captain and the Head Boy, and he was holding up the Quidditch Cup. But we never learn what the other member of the main trio Hermione, would have seen had she looked in the mirror. Luckily for us, Rowling revealed what she would see. If Hermione had looked into the Mirror of Erised during the summer of 1997, which is around the time the sixth book ends and the seventh book begins, she would see herself, Harry, and Ron living and unscathed and Voldemort dead. Rowling adds that Hermione might have also seen herself closely intertwined with another person.
7. She Faced A Boggart That Revealed Her Deepest Fears and Insecurities
In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the Boggart Hermione faces looks like Professor McGonagall, who proceeds to tell Hermione that she failed everything. Hermione freaks out when she tells a concerned Professor Lupin what she saw, which makes sense considering how much of a hard-working student Hermione is, who strives for perfection in everything she does. Rowling discloses that underneath’s Hermione’s bookishness is a lot of anxiety and self-doubt and a serious fear of failure. Hermione is much more insecure than people think and isn’t always the confident know-it-all that she is perceived to be.
6. She Restored Her Parents’ Memories After She Was Forced To Remove Them To Protect Them
After Voldemort’s influence grew in the seventh book, Hermione was forced to perform a false memory charm on her parents to protect them from the Dark Lord and his Death Eaters, as she was a close friend of Harry’s and a Muggle. She made her mom and dad believe they were Monica and Wendell Wilkins respectively and moved them to Australia, making them believe they never had a daughter. That’s the last we hear of Hermione’s parents because the books never mention whether or not Hermione restored her parents’ true memories after the Second Wizarding War ended. But in a web chat done after the release of the seventh book, Rowling revealed that after Voldemort dies Hermione quickly traveled to Australia to restore the memories of her parents.
5. She Returned To Hogwarts After The Second Wizarding War To Obtain Her N.E.W.Ts.
Harry, Ron and Hermione were forced to forgo their last year at Hogwarts during the final book to avoid Death Eaters looking for Harry and to search for Horcruxes. Because the trio missed out on their last year, they missed out on taking their N.E.W.T.s (Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Test), which all seventh-year students must take, exams that test what students learned in the past two years and help them pursue certain careers after their graduation. But since we all know Hermione would never be satisfied if she missed out on such an important part of her schooling, she goes back to Hogwarts to complete her education. She was the only member of the main trio who did this, as Harry and Ron didn’t even bother going back.
4. She Worked For The Ministry of Magic After Completing Her N.E.W.Ts.
When the late Minister of Magic Rufus Scrimgeour asked Hermione if she was going to pursue a career in magical law in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, she adamantly refused, saying she wanted to do some good in this world. But after the war ended, it seemed things had changed. After all, who else is going go fight for the rights of house elves? Following her graduation, Hermione went to work at the Ministry of Magic in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. She continued her work with the Society for the Promotion of Elvish Welfare, or S.P.E.W., an organization she founded during her time at Hogwarts that sought to fight against unfair treatment towards house-elves. Later on, she achieved a high position in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement and used her powers to erase ancient laws biased towards pure-bloods and push for more rights for Muggle-borns like herself. Way to go, Hermione.
3. She Translated The Tales of Beetle the Bard Into English
Referenced in the Harry Potter series is The Tales of Beetle the Bard, a collection of short stories for young witches and wizards, many of them serving as popular bedtime stories. The Tale of The Three Brothers originates from this book. Dumbledore bequeathed his edition in its original runes to Hermione in his will, and as the main trio traveled across Britain searching for Horcruxes, Hermione read the book extensively while translating the book into English, using what she learned in the Study of Ancient Runes at Hogwarts. Her translation was published sometime after her graduation and contained notes on every story from Dumbledore, which were lent to her by Professor McGonagall.
2. She Invented Spells Of Her Own
Hermione is an extremely talented witch who knows a lot about magic, but did you know she was talented enough to invent spells? You may remember Hermione created a jinx to place on the parchment signed by the members of Dumbledore’s Army which would cause boils spelling the word “Sneak” on the face of anyone who betrayed the group. She also invented the Four Point Spell, or the Point Me spell, which makes the wand behave like a compass and point north. Although it’s a bit unclear whether Hermione invented the spell herself or discovered it through research, since the spell is in English and there are no recorded instances of anyone besides Harry using it, it’s most likely that Hermione is the creator. She is also noted as inventing a few more unnamed spells.
1. She Was Featured On A Chocolate Frog Card For Her Accomplishments
Can we say we’re surprised? After all the accomplishments Hermione achieved—winning rights for house elves, translating books, inventing spells—it should come as no shock that she ended up on a Chocolate Frog card. We don’t know how many Muggle-borns had the honor of appearing on said cards, but it is still a noteworthy achievement. Hermione was also joined by Harry and Ron, who ended up being on Chocolate Frog Cards as well. From an eager beaver Muggle-born to possibly one of the greatest witches of her time, Hermione definitely left her mark on history.