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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (with spoilers)



View Poll Results: What are your thoughts on the play and book?
Awesome! Both of them. 2 5.26%
The play is great, but the story doesn't work in book format 4 10.53%
I've lots of emotions on core characters that must not be named 11 28.95%
Mwah... meh... 17 44.74%
The book is awesome, can't wait to see the play! 8 21.05%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 38. You may not vote on this poll

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  #21  
Old December 22nd, 2015, 8:16 pm
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Re: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

After the initial surprise I've no problem with the casting; it's no big deal in stage productions. As I understand blind casting, one is supposed to suspend belief and continue to think that the character's race/ethnicity/gender/etc. has not changed. My problem is with the attempt to change the long established image of canon Hermione.


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  #22  
Old December 23rd, 2015, 2:44 am
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Re: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

My problem isn't with the Ethnicity of the actress...I just think she looks too old to be playing someone in her late 30s.


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  #23  
Old December 23rd, 2015, 4:44 am
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Re: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

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My problem isn't with the Ethnicity of the actress...I just think she looks too old to be playing someone in her late 30s.
45 or so.


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  #24  
Old December 23rd, 2015, 6:35 am
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Re: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

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My problem isn't with the Ethnicity of the actress...I just think she looks too old to be playing someone in her late 30s.
In DH the kids were made up to look a lot older than mid-thirties.


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  #25  
Old December 23rd, 2015, 8:36 am
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Re: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

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My problem isn't with the Ethnicity of the actress...I just think she looks too old to be playing someone in her late 30s.
Lily and Rose are being cast as teenagers so apparently the story takes place several years after the end of DH. The adults would be in their 40s.


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  #26  
Old December 23rd, 2015, 11:10 am
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Re: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

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Originally Posted by snapes_witch View Post
After the initial surprise I've no problem with the casting; it's no big deal in stage productions. As I understand blind casting, one is supposed to suspend belief and continue to think that the character's race/ethnicity/gender/etc. has not changed. My problem is with the attempt to change the long established image of canon Hermione.
If you're referring to Rowling's tweet, I saw it mostly as her accepting that a black Hermione is a possible interpretation, not so much as her stating outright that canon Hermione is from now on black.


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  #27  
Old December 23rd, 2015, 2:49 pm
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Re: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

The tweet essentially states that Hermione's ethnicity is not explicitly stated in canon so in an adaptation she can be any ethnicity.


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  #28  
Old December 23rd, 2015, 3:08 pm
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Re: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

This isn't an adaptation of anything. It's an original Canon work (as far as I know, anyway) written for the theatrical medium, just as the Fantastic Beasts screenplays are (I believe) original Canon works written for the filmic medium.

Therefore, Rowling could very easily use the casting to retroactively establish that Hermione is a Canonical non-Caucasian individual, even if she never comes right out and says that she's doing so.


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  #29  
Old December 23rd, 2015, 4:27 pm
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Re: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

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This isn't an adaptation of anything. It's an original Canon work (as far as I know, anyway) written for the theatrical medium, just as the Fantastic Beasts screenplays are (I believe) original Canon works written for the filmic medium.

Therefore, Rowling could very easily use the casting to retroactively establish that Hermione is a Canonical non-Caucasian individual, even if she never comes right out and says that she's doing so.
I'm not sure i understand your point. Yes, the play is based on Rowling's story so it's canon, but the casting is an entirely different thing and not decided by Rowling. This play can only make Hermione dark skinned if something about her skin color or heritage is mentioned in the story itself. Just because the actress looks a certain way however doesn't mean that anything about the character changes. In the movies, there were plenty of actors who were at least 10 years older than their characters. That doesn't mean the ages of the canon characters got changed. Snape was still in his 30s when he died not in his 50s. Hermione is still a white character played by a black actress.


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  #30  
Old December 23rd, 2015, 6:12 pm
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Re: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Canon Hermione's skin color and ethnicity have never been specified (as JKR herself pointed out), so to say that Noma is a black actress playing a white character is false.

Because The Cursed Child itself is explicitly Canon, the casting of Noma in the Hermione role, JKR's endorsement of that, and the fact that the character was never Canonically identified as Caucasian have created a scenario wherein JKR could easily use Pottermore and other Canonical sources to reference any specific traits that Noma brings to the role that are inherent to her ethnicity, thereby enshrining said traits in Canon and in turn enshrining Hermione as a non-Caucasian character in Canon without JKR explicitly having to make a declaration that the character was never Canonically Caucasian in the first place.



Last edited by DigificWriter; December 23rd, 2015 at 6:20 pm.
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  #31  
Old December 23rd, 2015, 8:09 pm
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Re: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

I still think it's colorblind casting. We'll have to wait and see who's cast as Rose, won't we?


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  #32  
Old December 23rd, 2015, 8:15 pm
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Re: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

It may very well have just been colorblind casting; however, it does present a rather unique situation as far as its potential implications for official HP Canon are concerned.


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  #33  
Old December 23rd, 2015, 9:14 pm
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Re: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

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Originally Posted by DigificWriter View Post
Canon Hermione's skin color and ethnicity have never been specified (as JKR herself pointed out), so to say that Noma is a black actress playing a white character is false.
Hermione is white, though. She's described several times as looking pale, "white with fear" or pink. She's also described as blushing. Then there's also the fact that whenever a character isn't white, we're told so, like for example Kingsley. I really don't see why Hermione's skin color should be any more in question than Sirius's or Snape's or Tonks's for example.

As for Rowling being able to change something, of course she can but she can do that with basically everything and anything. She could come out tomorrow and say that Luna married Neville because they obviously loved each other in DH part 2 (she approved of that too!). I don't see how this play is any different. She approved of plenty of other actors which didn't exactly fit the characters' looks or age.


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  #34  
Old December 23rd, 2015, 9:36 pm
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Re: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

^ You're really going to argue with JKR - whose word is God - when she says that Hermione's skin color and ethnicity were never actually specified (something she's completely right about aside from some descriptions about the character's complexion that have nothing whatsoever to do with what her actual skin color is)?


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  #35  
Old December 23rd, 2015, 9:51 pm
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Re: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

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Originally Posted by DigificWriter View Post
^ You're really going to argue with JKR - whose word is God - when she says that Hermione's skin color and ethnicity were never actually specified (something she's completely right about aside from some descriptions about the character's complexion that have nothing whatsoever to do with what her actual skin color is)?
There are plenty of people who, since the casting, have been arguing that Hermione is indeed described as white (or that it's at least heavily implied). I don't expect Rowling, who's written plenty of books since the last HP book came out, to remember all the instances where she describes Hermione as pale, pink, etc. What's written down is a fact, not even the author can change that unless she writes another book. She might have meant for Hermione's skin color to be ambiguous but that's a different thing. She's also drawn Hermione as white. Like I said, I don't see why Hermione's skin color is any more in question than Snape's, for example. Or Lupin's.


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  #36  
Old December 23rd, 2015, 9:55 pm
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Re: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Descriptions like, pale, pink, blushing, etc. have absolutely nothing to do with skin color and ethnicity, as I already pointed out.

You don't have to agree with JKR's word on this, but you do have to accept it because she is the absolute final authority when it comes to anything and everything related to the Harry Potter property. PERIOD.


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  #37  
Old December 23rd, 2015, 10:10 pm
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Re: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

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Originally Posted by DigificWriter View Post
Descriptions like, pale, pink, blushing, etc. have absolutely nothing to do with skin color and ethnicity, as I already pointed out.

You don't have to agree with JKR's word on this, but you do have to accept it because she is the absolute final authority when it comes to anything and everything related to the Harry Potter property. PERIOD.
Why don't they have anything to do with skin color? I'm not sure I see the difference but maybe it's a language thing.

Appealing to authority is a logical fallacy in an argument. It says nothing about what actually is. I'm not making any comments on Rowling's thoughts because she is the final authority on that, I'm making comments on her text, i.e, what's written down. Are you saying that if she came out tomorrow and said Hagrid's first name is never mentioned in the text, it would make that a fact? That sounds ridiculous, IMO. And why is her authority in a tweet more important than her authority in the text? Both were written by her.


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  #38  
Old December 23rd, 2015, 10:20 pm
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Re: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

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Originally Posted by Sereena View Post
There are plenty of people who, since the casting, have been arguing that Hermione is indeed described as white (or that it's at least heavily implied). I don't expect Rowling, who's written plenty of books since the last HP book came out, to remember all the instances where she describes Hermione as pale, pink, etc. What's written down is a fact, not even the author can change that unless she writes another book. She might have meant for Hermione's skin color to be ambiguous but that's a different thing. She's also drawn Hermione as white. Like I said, I don't see why Hermione's skin color is any more in question than Snape's, for example. Or Lupin's.
Besides which, she's admitted that she didn't read the books after they're published, even for researching whatever current book she was writing.

ETA:
Actually I suspect JKR's comment has been taken too seriously. As I recall she never said Hermione was black, only that she liked the thought of Hermione being black.

ETA #2:
JKR's tweet 12/21:
Quote:
Canon: brown eyes, frizzy hair and very clever. White skin was never specified. Rowling loves black Hermione.
Hermione's hair is bushy, never described as frizzy. (Sorry, couldn't hold back the nitpicker.)


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Last edited by snapes_witch; December 23rd, 2015 at 10:45 pm.
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  #39  
Old December 23rd, 2015, 10:27 pm
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Re: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

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Originally Posted by Sereena View Post
Why don't they have anything to do with skin color?
Because people of all ethnicities can be described as looking pale (white), going pink (blushing), etc. regardless of what their natural skin color is.


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  #40  
Old December 27th, 2015, 8:52 am
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Re: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

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Because people of all ethnicities can be described as looking pale (white), going pink (blushing), etc. regardless of what their natural skin color is.
I'm not sure the actual color of Hermione's skin is what we're talking about though. The author has a history of changing her mind about what she's already written, and I believe for the sole purpose of portraying herself positively where her work may not. A number of characters are explicitly described as either black or having dark skin, in contrast, it is presumed, to everyone else. Hermione is most certainly not one of those characters, so "not specified" is the same as "white." JKR is free to feel and desire to be seen as progressive, but she can't retroactively change her books.


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