Hermione Jean Granger is a fictional character in the Harry Potter book series written by J. K. Rowling. The character is portrayed by Emma Watson in the Harry Potter film series.
Hermione is a Gryffindor student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and is Harry Potter's and Ron Weasley's best friend. She shows considerable academic prowess when compared to her close friends and classmates.
Hermione Granger is a Muggle-born witch. Her parents, both dentists, are (according to Rowling) "a bit bemused by their odd daughter, but quite proud of her all the same". When asked in 2004 if Hermione was an only child, Rowling replied, "I always planned that Hermione would have a younger sister but she's never made an appearance and somehow it feels like it might be too late now." Therefore, it is considered canon that Hermione is an only child. This is reinforced in the seventh book, where Hermione, to prevent her parents from being hunted by Voldemort, alters their memories, causing them to move to Australia and (quite specifically) forget that they have a daughter. No other children are mentioned. Following Voldemort's ultimate defeat, Hermione rushes them back to Britain and undoes her charm on them.
When Hermione first appears in the series, she already seems to know a great deal about magic, Hogwarts, and the wizarding world, probably due to her love of reading. Both she and Harry were unaware of their magical abilities during their childhoods; Harry was informed by a Hogwarts envoy, and it is reasonable to assume Hermione was as well. However, nothing specific has been said, beyond an off-hand remark that it was "ever such a surprise" when Hermione was invited to Hogwarts.
For years it was widely assumed that she was born in September 1980, the same year as Ron and Harry. However, Rowling pointed out that to attend Hogwarts, one must be eleven years old, and Hermione was born on 19 September 1979. Therefore Hermione is nearly 12 when she begins school in September 1991.
Rowling revealed on her website that Hermione's wand is made of vine wood with a dragon heartstring core. Each of the trio's wands have one of Mr Ollivander's three preferred cores, with Harry having phoenix feather and Ron having unicorn hair. Her wand's wood, vine, is the wood ascribed to her birth month in the Celtic calendar.
Hermione's name is pronounced "her-MY-uh-nee", as readers find out in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This was the most frequently asked question J.K. Rowling received, so in this book she cunningly had Hermione teach Viktor Krum how to pronounce her name properly (without much success). Rowling said she obtained it from William Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, claiming that she wanted it to be unusual since if fewer girls shared her name, fewer girls would get teased for it. The name "Hermione", appropriately, is derived from "Hermes", the Greek god of invention, inspiration, eloquence and quick thinking. It is also the name of the legendary Helen of Troy's daughter in Greek mythology. Her surname was originally going to be "Puckle" (this can be seen on her classlist) but it was quickly changed by Rowling because it didn't suit her. "Puckle" is a term for a goblin or elf.
Hermione is known as one of the most intelligent students in her year (even scoring one hundred and twelve per cent in her Charms exam at the end of her first year at Hogwarts), which she works hard to maintain. Her knowledge and common sense prove valuable in overcoming the trio's challenges, and Harry and Ron depend on her for academic help. Hermione often demonstrates her logical abilities by playing devil's advocate during discussions with Harry and Ron, often pointing out aspects that the boys will ignore, usually for emotional reasons; when Harry is angry about Rita Skeeter eavesdropping on Hagrid and Madame Maxime at the Yule Ball, Hermione points out that he and Ron were doing the same thing.
Hermione is brave, loyal to her friends, and has a fierce political conscience. In her first year, she became flustered in crisis situations (when asked to light a fire when trapped in the Devil's Snare, she said, "But there's no wood!"). Later in the series, however, she maintains calm under pressure and becomes the one to solve those situations. For example, she came up with the last-minute plan that fooled Umbridge into going to the Forbidden Forest in Order of the Phoenix.
Although compassionate, Hermione can be a bit awkward when dealing with people. One example is her ham-handed attempt to comfort Lavender Brown over the death of her rabbit. Screenwriter Steve Kloves has said that Hermione often shows "a complete lack of understanding of how she affects people". However, her tendency towards awkwardness and pompousness seems to fade the longer she associates with Harry and Ron. By Goblet of Fire, she no longer seems to have the social difficulties she experienced earlier and in a reversal of fortune, tends to become impatient and exasperated regarding Harry and Ron's own social ineptitude, especially towards other girls.
According to Rowling, Hermione is deeply insecure and sometimes feels utterly inadequate. To compensate, she tries to be the best at everything at school, projecting a false confidence that can irritate people--she simply must be right about everything all the time and cannot stand being wrong about something, she cannot take it that she can be mistaken to the point that it is her worst fear (revealed in Prisoner of Azkaban) to be told, by figures of authority, that she is wrong and that she has failed.
Hermione's jealousy, her competitiveness, her drive to excel, and desire to be outright on top academically above others can bring out the worst in her; in Philosopher's Stone, her penchant towards showing off leads her initially to having no friends of her own until the events of Halloween, and in Half-Blood Prince the fact that Harry is upstaging her in potions makes her act particularly cross and unpleasent towards him while she adheres to "the 'official' instructions". Despite this, Hermione has demonstrated a keen understanding of emotion and relationships, which often puts her at odds with the more oblivious Ron (she likens his emotional sensitivities to that of a "teaspoon"). Harry has consulted Hermione for advice regarding his relationships with Cho Chang and Ginny Weasley.
Rowling admits that Hermione is in many ways based upon herself. Hermione's Patronus is an otter, Rowling's favorite animal.