The Importance of Being Granger
When the cast photos for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child were first released back in June, I didn’t care for Harry, Ginny, and Albus, nor Draco and Scorpius. All I cared about was Ron and Hermione. When their photos were released, I didn’t have the excited reaction that I had expected. I was angry at Hermione’s last name remaining the same. I’m not even sure why anymore, but I was so angry.
I am somebody who intensely worships the canonicity of Harry Potter. If there’s a fan fiction that goes against it, I won’t read it. Alternative universe parodies definitely aren’t my thing either. Oh, the irony, given how much I love Cursed Child. So when I sat surrounded by my Potter merchandise and books, refreshing Pottermore every minute, I was a little bit miffed. No, there was nothing ever to confirm that Hermione’s last name was now Weasley, or that Rose and Hugo were Weasleys, but there had never been anything to contradict that either. Until now. Suddenly I felt like the canon I had been led to believe through years of reading post-Deathly Hallows fan fiction, and that one photo of the original shooting of the epilogue featuring Rose’s “R.W.”-embossed suitcase, had been overthrown.
I took issue for one reason. Myself. Granger-Weasley never sat right with me because I myself am a child with a compound last name and loathe it. Obviously, that cannot speak for everyone in the same situation, but it may speak to the many of us who are teased for it or have nightmares filling out paperwork, or have the dreaded four initials. Just because Granger wouldn’t be in Rose and Hugo’s last name doesn’t make them any less Hermione’s children. They’re half Weasley, half Granger, and a last name doesn’t have to be explicit in that. Nowadays, I never use one half of my last name and intend to drop it in the coming years. At the time, I was unnecessarily livid, but now I understand the importance of Rose and Hugo being Grangers. As my parents did with me, they wanted their own identities reflected in my name, and Hermione doing the same is understandable.
There’s also a huge importance in Hermione remaining a Granger, too. Even before I truly discovered Harry Potter, I was compared to Hermione. Then, it was for my bookish, studious ways and for my wild hair. Now, people do continue to compare me to her for those reasons, but I feel an additional connection with her due to our similar thoughts and beliefs. On top of this, Hermione’s reasoning for maintaining her name is aligned with my intentions to keep mine.
Not only does Hermione’s choice to keep her name personally and place it in Rose and Hugo’s own names reflect on a decision to maintain her identity, but it is also a significantly feminist move. While this can be a fierce feminist stance, Hermione’s choice doesn’t just have to be about maintaining independence from a man, and in turn, from Ron. Her decision could be about remaining who you are and not separating yourself into further fragmented identities. Instead of dividing her life into two different sets of initials and signatures, she maintains the name that is so instantly recognizable as belonging to her. When you’ve achieved so much and restored so much under such a name, why wouldn’t you want to keep it?
Of course, we cannot forget the fact that her choice speaks directly to her creator, J.K. Rowling’s, personal actions as well! This only adds to why there is such importance in Hermione remaining who she truly is: a Granger.