I know who we all think of when we hear the name Hermione, but did you know that she was also a Greek heroine? Hermione was the only daughter of King Menelaus of Sparta and Helen of Troy. There is some confusion regarding her betrothal. Some sources say that she was betrothed to two different suitors. Her father offered her to the son of Achilles, Neoptolemus. Although Euripides has Orestres say,
You were rightfully mine from a long time ago. Your father has promised you to me before he left for Troy. But then, the liar that he is, when he got to Troy, he offered you to Neoptolemus, your present husband, if he in turn captured the city.
Ovid does not mention a betrothal at all. Instead we learn that Hermione is claimed by Neoptolemus as his wife, ten years after the Trojan War.
The marriage between Hermione and Neoptolemus does not go well. Hermione blames Andromache, her husband’s concubine, for her own inability to get pregnant, claiming that the concubine was casting spells on her to keep her from conceiving. Hermoine wants Andromache killed. She begs her father to execute the woman while her husband is away at war, but he refuses.
Hermoine flees her home with her cousin, Orestes. They are married and she gives birth to Tisamenus.
A far as the myth goes, we never hear anything more about Hermione, except that her husband leaves her for someone else. Of course, we’re all familiar with Hermione’s name due to a certain book series. Did JK Rowling choose Hermione’s name after the Greek myth? I remember reading the Harry Potter books for the first time and stumbling over the name. (This was back in the dark ages before the books were well-known, and before the movies. I know, I’m ancient.) I never realized that Hermione shared her name with a Greek character. If Rowling did choose this name after the Greek tale, then why? Hermione doesn’t seem to have done anything heroic. She’s mainly known for who she married, and even then her marriages turned out badly. Rowling could have chosen any name she wanted. So why Hermione? Any theories?
As always, thanks for following. And don’t miss your chance to read my novella. Raze, Shine #6 is part of William Bernhardt’s Shine series, about young girls who posses unusual abilities.