Harry Potter fans, you’ll always remember where you were and what you were doing the first time you heard about The Interview. You know, the one where J.K. Rowling said the Hermione/Ron relationship was “wish fulfillment,” and the two of them never should have ended up together. Well it turns out that particularly incendiary quote was part of a larger Wonderland Magazine interview (conducted by Emma Watson, by the way) that has since popped up on MuggleNet. In addition to Rowling talking about Hermione/Ron and Hermione/Harry, she also addresses the upcoming Harry Potter stage play and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them series. If you’d rather not jump back into the maw of ship wars, skip to the bolded text.
Rowling added to her “wish fulfillment” comment that Hermione/Ron is:
“…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!”
Yes. Yes, it is. That said, people do engage in “young relationships” that grow and mature as its participants do, and Rowling admitted that that could be the case with Ron and Hermione. “Maybe she and Ron will be alright with a bit of counseling, you know,” she explained, before musing, “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.”
Rowling went on to talk about the individual characters, namely how “Ron’s used to playing second fiddle… but at a certain point he has to be his own man, doesn’t he?” and that Hermione “has a real weakness for a funny man. These uptight girls, they do like them funny… It’s such a relief from being so intense yourself — you need someone who takes life, or appears to take life, a little more light-heartedly.”
But lest you’re feeling too happy right now, Hermione/Ron shippers, Rowling also addressed the lightning-bolt-scarred elephant in the room: Harry. There’s nothing to say that Hermione has to end up with one or the other character, or even with anyone, but those who lived through the LJ days when the books first came out (god, typing that makes me feel old) will recall a very distinct either/or mindset that permeated a lot of fandom. Apologies in advance for the flashbacks:
“In some ways Hermione and Harry are a better fit and I’ll tell you something very strange. When I wrote [Deathly] Hallows, I felt this quite strongly when I had Hermione and Harry together in the tent! I hadn’t told screenwriter [Steve] Kloves that and when he wrote the script he felt exactly the same thing at exactly the same point… And actually I liked that scene in the film, because it was articulating something I hadn’t said but I had felt. I really liked it and I thought that it was right. I think you do feel the ghost of what could have been in that scene.”
The scene in question would be the “tent scene,” which was an island of Hermione/Harry shippery in a series that, of course, would eventually have Hermione/Ron as its endgame. Rowling goes on to talk about how “Hermione was the one that stuck with Harry all the way through that last installment, that very last part of the adventure. It wasn’t Ron, which also says something very powerful about Ron.” That’s more commentary about individual characters than ships, of course, though shippiness can always be read into E VE R Y T H I N G.
It irks me a bit the way Rowing seems to not like Ron all that much, but hey, to each their own. As for the ship aspect, I have no horse in this race. Remus/Sirius was my HP pairing of choice, so I’m well used to having a ship that should be canon (*waves fist the air angrily*) maligned by its creator. (Remus’ lycanthropy is a metaphor for HIV, but he’s still straight. Stop it, JKR). But I’m sure there are plenty of you who’d like to hash it out in the comments. Just keep it polite, please.
IT’S SAFE. NO MORE SHIPPY TALK. YOU CAN COME OUT NOW.
Of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which will serve as Rowling’s screenwriting debut, the author noted that she was initially hesitant to OK the film, borne from a “feeling of slight panic that ‘I know some things about Newt and I don’t want you to ruin that for me!’ because I knew who he was.” But then she mulled on it, “collect[ing] my thoughts so that I could at least give them the backstory I’d imagined,” and ended up right a rough draft of the first film in 12 days. Not included in that rough draft, but something she’d like to be in the final film: Cameos!
“I want you [Emma Watson] and Dan [Radcliffe] and Rupert [Grint] in really heavy make-up in the background of a scene in Fantastic Beasts, and I’ll join you and we’ll sit in a bar room having a laugh for an afternoon… And we can mess around as extras in the background. And then we can see if anyone can spot us. I personally would like to be in drag, just to make sure no one can spot me at all.”
She expressed similar doubts about the Harry Potter stage play, a prequel that will take place before wee Harry gets his Hogwarts letter, noting that she’s gotten proposals from several people in the past wanting to do Harry Potter musicals. But “I didn’t really see Harry as a musical so we said no to all of that, but [co-producer] Sonia [Friedman] came along with a very thoughtful, very interesting idea. I’m quite excited about that.”
“Didn’t see Harry as a musical?” Someone needs to sit down with Starkid.