J.K. Rowling Released Her Original Harry Potter Pitch & There’s One Major Difference

Photo: Photofest
J.K. Rowling (somewhat inexplicably) released her original pitch for Harry Potter, Entertainment Weekly reports, and there's one very important thing missing: In the pitch, Hermione is described as the "cleverest girl in the year and the only person in the class to know all the uses of dragon’s blood." However, she is not described as muggle-born, which is a large part of Hermione's identity.
The original pitch, which now on display at the British Library, has nary a mention of muggles at all.
The full text about Harry, Ron and Hermione reads:
"Harry makes friends with Ronald Weasley (sixth in his family to go to Hogwarts and tired of having to use second-hand spellbooks) and Hermione Granger (cleverest girl in the year and the only person in the class to know all the uses of dragon’s blood)."
The text cuts off mid-sentence shortly after (Entertainment Weekly obtained a photograph of the legendary original pitch, but only of what was on display). It's conceivable that the remaining text in the pitch adds in this crucial Granger detail.
But the idea of muggle-hood doesn't even come up in the first paragraph.
The pitch opens:
"Harry Potter lives with his aunt, uncle and cousin because his parents died in a car-crash — or so he has been told. The Dursleys don’t like Harry asking questions; in fact, they don’t seem to like anything about him, especially the very odd things that keep happening around him (which Harry himself can’t explain)."
Nothing about muggles.
It continues:
"The Dursleys’ greatest fear is that Harry will discover the truth about himself, so when letters start arriving for him near his eleventh birthday, he isn’t allowed to read them. However, the Dursleys aren’t dealing with an ordinary postman, and at midnight on Harry’s birthday the gigantic Rubeus Hagrid breaks down the door to make sure Harry gets to read his post at last."
Not a word about muggles! In the books, Harry learns about muggles from Hagrid in one of their early pre-Hogwarts conversations. Later, after he's befriended Hermione (after he and Ron save her from that blasted troll!) he finds out that she's muggle-born. Rowling might have left it out of the original pitch because in the first book, Hermione's muggle heritage isn't really a big deal. In the second book, we learn the word "mudblood," a derogatory word for those with muggle heritage.
It's fascinating to imagine what a different series it would have been if Hermione were born into magic like Ron Weasley was. Hermione wouldn't be the same character without her muggle parents! In fact, she might not have even befriended Harry and Ron. They were both outsiders, Ron because he was one in a long line of Weasleys and Harry because he was the "Boy Who Lived." Hermione was an outsider because she was a tryhard know-it-all who was also muggle-born. If she were a tryhard know-it-all and magic-born, she might have been sorted into Slytherin! Gasp!
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