As those of you in the Harry Potter fandom, or who own a computer, are probably quite aware: Author J.K. Rowling broke the internet about 10 days ago when she announced, in an interview conducted by Emma “Hermione Granger” Watson herself that she has regrets about pairing Hermione with Harry’s BFF, Ron Weasley.
Regardless of which side of the debate you are on, you can slow your roll: Here’s what Rowling actually said about the matter–in full context.
Just so we’re on the same page, this is the quote (quotes, actually) that got Pottermaniacs all hot and bothered:
I wrote the Hermione/Ron relationship as a form of wish fulfillment. That’s how it was conceived, really. For reasons that have very little to do with literature and far more to do with me clinging to the plot as I first imagined it, Hermione ended up with Ron…I know, I’m sorry, I can hear the rage and fury it might cause some fans, but if I’m absolutely honest, distance has given me perspective on that. It was a choice I made for very personal reasons, not for reasons of credibility.
So, if you take this excerpt as the whole story, Rowling had Ron and Hermione hook up because she was unwilling to change her original vision of the plot…regardless of how the story evolved over the course of seven novels.
The fandom quickly divided into factions: One side exalting in the fact that their dislike for the Ron/Hermione pairing…and fantasies about her ending up with Harry had been legitimized. The other sticking to the story as it was written, and denouncing Rowling for backpedaling.
Well, now both sides can calm down, because the rest of Rowling’s statement on the Weasley/Granger romance tells a slightly different story. Here’s more from the interview as it originally appeared in Wonderland magazine, courtesy of MuggleNet:
It was a young relationship. I think the attraction itself is plausible but the combative side of it… I’m not sure you could have got over that in an adult relationship, there was too much fundamental incompatibility. I can’t believe we are saying all of this – this is Potter heresy!
Oh, maybe she and Ron will be alright with a bit of counseling, you know. I wonder what happens at wizard marriage counseling? They’ll probably be fine. He needs to work on his self-esteem issues and she needs to work on being a little less critical.
So, when everything is taken into account, it seems Rowling may have doubted her decision to put Ron and Hermione together–may have worried she did it for the wrong reasons, literary speaking. However, in the end, she accepted it as how things turned out…and while it may be difficult for a young couple like that to make it through the long haul…with some work it can be done.
And I like that message: Your relationship may not be perfect…maybe not everyone “gets” why you’re together…maybe you were immature and inexperienced when you first began your romance…
But with time, perseverance, and most importantly: love, you CAN make it work <3
And just to address all the fans who wanted Hermione and Harry to hook up (alliteration!), I am personally quite pleased Rowling didn’t go that way:
Far too often, especially in such a character-driven story as Harry Potter, if a story features a male protagonist, then the second most important female character is invariably his love-interest….and her role as the hero’s “woman” is pretty much her entire reason for existing.
This is both trite AND more than a little sexist.
One of the things that made Harry Potter a breath of fresh air is the fact that the story’s chief female protagonist was the hero’s companion and confidant….but NOT his love-interest. A few moments of attraction or romantic tension here and there aside, Hermione was never more than one of Harry’s two best friends.
Had Rowling linked them romantically, the entire dynamic between the principle characters would have been turned on its ear, and the whole series would have had an entirely different feel to it. I won’t say it would have been worse, but it would not be the Harry Potter we know.
Here endeth the rant.
Category: Nerd Culture