Thanks to the continually involved J.K. Rowling, fans of the magical wizarding world she so lovingly crafted are regularly inundated with new tidbits, facts, and opinions that keep the magic alive as well as keep us learning more and more about Harry Potter’s world. Hogwarts, Diagon Alley, and the beloved characters of many childhoods did not stop with the original 7 books, however. A resurgence of Potter has brought theme parks, stage plays, spin-off movies based on supplemental books, and promises of more. Witches and wizards the world over are waiting with baited breath for the premiere of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, a wholly new story set in a wholly new environment. As a Los Angelian, I get to spend the next 4 months in nail-biting anticipation as the Hogwarts castle looms above the Universal Studios park, waiting to open it’s gates on April 7th, 2016.

The most direct continuation of the book series cherished by so many is the stage play that is set to hit the theatre this summer. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child takes us into Harry’s adult life, portraying his struggles as a well-known hero figure that’s overworked and bust caring for three children. We’ll also see the struggles of his son, Albus, as he deals with the fallout from being a legacy. It’s entirely new, incredibly exciting, and still very shrouded in mystery.

Though these events may seem location specific, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has just proved that it affects many Potter fans. In a big way.  Sunday saw the announcement of the actors who had earned the roles of adult Harry, Hermione, and Ron, and fans on twitter and other social media platforms have erupted with excitement.

Meet the grown-up Golden Trio.

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The trio is now a bit older than the aged up trio in the films, and the theater veterans that have been chosen to play them will bring a fresh new appearance while capturing the spirit of Rowling’s characters. Jamie Parker will take the role of Harry Potter, Paul Thornley as Ron Weasley, and Noma Dumezweni is stepping in to portray Hermione Granger. The actors chosen for Harry and Ron look like very convincing older versions of the Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe, but Noma is strikingly different from Emma Watson–and fans are thrilled.

For years fans have toyed with the idea of a non-white Hermione, playing off contextual clues and the real ambiguity that Rowling used when describing her appearance. It left a lot of room for interpretation, and fans quickly took the opportunity to diversify and find a character who could represent themselves. It led to beautiful fanart and truly inspiring re-imaginings of the movies. And now fans won’t just have to rely on fan works to find the representation that is so often lacking in popular culture. We get to watch as our Golden Trio continues their adventure, and we get to see a racially diverse cast portray our beloved favorites.

As expected, J.K. Rowling didn’t stay silent about the exciting announcement for long. The prolific writer weighed in quickly and succinctly, posting her original given description of Hermione Granger and expressing her support of the lovely Noma Dumezweni in a single tweet.

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So if you weren’t terribly excited about Harry Potter hitting the stage with an all-new story before, get excited now. Even if only for the canonical confirmation that Hermione Granger can be a woman of color.

Read the original casting announcement over at The Daily Mail, where you can find remarks from the creative force behind The Cursed Child as well as some more information concerning Noma, Jamie, and Paul’s theater credits.

How excited are you about this announcement? Chime in below!

Writer. Cosplayer. Binge Netflix Watcher. Anime Dweeb. Book Enthusiast. Harbours inappropriately strong feelings about Shakespeare and William Blake. Once lost a whole day theorizing about Game of Thrones. The most motivated procrastinator she knows. Sometimes it works out in her favor. Mostly just causes widespread panic. It’s all good though, because she never forgets her towel.

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