Thanks a ton to everyone who read, commented on, or shared my last post, where I talked about my feelings about Fantastic Beasts and Where to find them, and the casting controversy surrounding Depp’s role as Grindalwald. Today, I want to talk some more about my favorite fandom, this time making it more lighthearted. I want to talk about how to interpret fan theories, canon evidence, and the author’s thoughts, using Hermoine, one of my favorite characters, Hermione, as an example.
One of the things that I enjoy about any book, is how much is left up to imagination. When I was in high school, I enjoyed reading and writing fan fiction. I love how many theories about the books are out there, and I really like when J.K. Rowling does not reveal which ones are true. This means that every reader can imagine that their favorite theory is true, no matter what Rowling intended.
How I Imagine Hermione Granger
Hermione is one of my favorite characters in the book, and one that I most relate to. When I first read the books, I pictured her looking exactly like myself. I figured her hair would be very similar to mine. When the British cast for The Cursed Child was revealed, many people questioned casting a black woman in Hermione’s role. This did not change the way that I pictured Hermione in the books, any more than Emma Watson’s casting changed my picture when she was cast in the movies.
Anyone who reads the books is free to insert themselves into the story if that improves it for them. When I read, I like to escape to a different reality, and relating to a character is one way to do that. My imagination and reading experience shouldn’t change anyone else’s. I’m glad to see that so many people improve their own reading experiences by imagining any character different than how I do.
Of course, J.K. Rowling has become infamous for revealing too much, and I don’t interpret everything the same way that she does. I suppose that as the author, I should default to her revelations as truth, but I don’t in every case. Rowling has said that Hermione works for the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. I just can’t accept that, even though a lot of other readers can see her working her way all the way up to Minister of Magic.
Even though there is no canon evidence for it, I always picture Hermione becoming a dentist, and opening up the very first dentistry office. If we consider that witches and wizards tend to be behind muggles when it comes to science and technology, then perhaps it is only a matter of time before someone came along and developed a specialized healing department, and Hermione would be smart enough to do it. Plus, she most likely knows something about it, considering her parents.
No one else has to accept the theories of someone else. That is the beauty of fiction. No matter how we read the books, someone else read it differently and came to different conclusions. I would love to read everyone else’s thoughts on this topic, and hear what your favorite theories are, even if they are your own.
For more discussion about canon, go here.