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16 Astonishingly Educational Hermione Granger Facts

See if you're swotty enough to already know all these amazing facts about the brightest witch at Hogwarts!

Beano Facts Team
Last Updated:  January 6th 2024

Hermione is called the brightest witch of her age by several characters, and she really proves it! Where would Harry and Ron be without her knowledge of magic, her spellcasting abilities, and her total commitment to her friends? We'd all love a Hermione in our lives! There are some fun facts about her you might have forgotten, or never known at all - do you know her middle name, or what her wand is made of? It's all here!

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1. Her last name was almost something else

Writers often change a lot of details as they write, and J.K. Rowling has revealed that a few characters changed names while she was writing The Philosopher's Stone. Hermione was one of those characters - we know her as Hermione Granger, but her name was originally Hermione Puckle!

2. Her first name is from Shakespeare

Rowling says that she named Hermione after a character in the play The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare. That Hermione is the Queen of Sicily and she's not very similar to Hermione Granger as a character. Some fans have pointed out that Hermione is the female version of Hermes, who was the herald of the Greek gods, and famous for his cunning and intelligence - just like Hermione!

3. She's the oldest in the trio

Hermione mentions that her birthday is in September, and in The Half-Blood Prince she's old enough to take her apparation test. That means she's the oldest out of the main trio, and an amazing ten months older than Harry! (She's also, a Virgo, btw!)

4. Her patronus is an otter

Patronuses protect their spell-casters from the evil influence of Dementors, so they have to represent a happy part of that person's soul. Hermione's is an otter - clever, dexterous and resourceful! It's also J.K.'s favourite animal!

5. She was almost placed in Ravenclaw

The Sorting Hat places people into the house that best suits them. For Harry that was Gryffindor, though the Hat tells him he would have done well in Slytherin too. If you remember the Sorting Ceremony from book one, it takes a very long time to sort Neville into Gryffindor, and barely a second to put Malfoy in Slytherin! Hermione mentions later on that the hat very seriously considered putting her in Ravenclaw, but decided on Gryffindor instead. That probably worked out best for Harry and Ron!

6. She wasn't great at everything!

Hermione's smart and gets top grades in all her school subjects - but she wasn't the best at everything! Harry mentions she's dreadful at Quidditch, all her knitting for the house-elves comes out looking very bizarre, and she also can't beat Ron at wizard chess. In Prisoner of Azkaban, it seems that Hermione doesn't get on very well with Divination as a subject, too. Harry thinks it's good for her to not be good at everything!

7. She looked a bit different in the books

In the books Hermione had VERY bushy brown hair - so bushy that it was noticeable in The Goblet of Fire when she straightened it for the Yule Ball. The films downplayed this in the first couple of installments, and then more or less did away with it for the later films. Emma Watson's hair is actually blonde in The Half-Blood Prince - this is because she was making another film at the same time, Ballet Shoes, and needed to be blonde for her role in that. Hermione in the books also has very large front teeth - this was totally cut from the films, as it's difficult for a lead actor to speak if they're wearing false teeth!

8. Her biggest fear is failure

In the third book, at least! When Professor Lupin sets an exam that involves facing a boggart, Hermione reveals that her boggart was Professor McGonagall telling her she'd failed everything!

9. She got her parents back at the end

In The Deathly Hallows, Hermione protects her Muggle parents from the wizarding war by wiping their memories so they forget all about her, and sending them to Australia. It isn't explained in the book if she was able to restore their memories, but in a 2007 interview J.K. Rowling said that she was able to bring them home straight away once Voldemort was defeated.

10. She's ruthless

This didn't make it into the films, but Hermione has some very merciless moments in the books! For one, she enchants the members of Dumbledore's Army to prevent them from telling Umbridge about their meetings. When Cho's friend Marietta snitches, she is cursed to have the word SNEAK written across her face in angry red spots that take a long time to disappear. She also enters a bitter feud with reporter Rita Skeeter after Rita publishes lies about her and Harry in The Daily Prophet. Hermione discovers Rita is an unregistered animagus, and uses this knowledge to blackmail her into abandoning her journalism career. Yikes - don't cross Hermione!

11. Her name was tricky for fans at first

If you've only seen the movies (or listened to the audiobooks), you know exactly how to pronounce Hermione's name! But when the books first came out lots of fans didn't know how to say it (for the record, it's her-MY-oh-nee, not hermy-own)! This is why in the fourth book J.K. added a scene where Hermione teaches Krum how to pronounce her name.

12. She was seriously dedicated to school

Harry, Ron and Hermione spent their seventh year on the run from Voldemort, when they were supposed to be in school doing their N.E.W.T. exams! J.K. Rowling confirmed that Hermione actually went back to Hogwarts to sit her exams, and that she was the only one of the trio to do so! You can take Hermione out of Hogwarts, but you can't take Hogwarts out of Hermione!

13. Her wand had an interesting core

Each wand is different for each wizard, and Hermione was "chosen" by a 10-and-three-quarter inch wand made of vine wood with a dragon heartstring core!

14. She has two middle names (sort of!)

In early interviews J.K. Rowling said that Hermione's middle name was "Jane". However, in The Deathly Hallows, it's revealed that her middle name is actually "Jean". No one's quite sure why this was changed, but fans think it might be because Jane was given as Dolores Umbridge's middle name in The Order of the Phoenix!

15. She originally had a sister!

According to an interview with J.K. Rowling from 2004, she always imagined Hermione as having a younger sister but at that point she had never mentioned her and thought it was too late to include her in the books.

16. She became Minister for Magic

Kingsley Shacklebolt became the new Minister for Magic once Voldemort was defeated, but the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child reveals that Hermione grew up to take on the top role in wizarding government!