I’ve been following along as Mark Re-Reads the Harry Potter series and in his post today he discussed Hermione and what motivates her to be the insufferable know-it-all she was in the beginning.
This, along with the questions my husband has posed, has made me curious about Hermione.
J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter books (as if I really need to say who she is, ha!), gives us a pretty good background for both Harry and Ron but there’s very, very little about Hermione’s pre-Hogwarts childhood. We know she’s from an all-muggle family and that she is most likely an only child. But that’s all we really know. There’s never any mention of extended family, how she fared in her pre-magical education (although we can assume she excelled in probably everything) and if she ever had any friends before Hogwarts.
I was quite surprised when I saw the last movie that we actually got to see Hermione in the muggle world (and in one of the most heart-wrenching scenes offered by any of the films.) Hermione is never ‘seen’ in the muggle world in the books, ever. She writes from her holiday trips with her parents, but that’s the only clue we have about her non-magical life.
I find this rather odd. Rowling is so good about making the world of Harry Potter seem so real. There is so much detail in all aspects of her story-telling that I have to wonder if Hermione’s lack of a past was on purpose. Certainly it’s not really important overall, but it would have been nice to have some clue as to why Hermione was such a nosy, stickler-for-rules busybody. It’s almost as if Hermione was fully formed, on the spot the second she stepped onto the Hogwarts train.
On Rowling’s website she states that Hermione is a bit like her when she was younger. Perhaps Rowling didn’t give us a past for Hermione because it was too close to home. A world-famous author needs a little privacy I suppose.