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Rowling Has Regrets About Characters’ Relationships And Causes World To Explode

All right, Harry Potter fans.  We have some quotes from author J.K. Rowling that will anger some of you and vindicate others.  Are you ready? Spoilers ahead.

Rowling has an interview in the upcoming issue of Wonderland, which actress Emma Watson (who played Hermione) is guest editing.  In it, in quotes that are being run today by the Sunday Times and which they tweeted a preview of last night, Rowling admits that she wishes she hadn’t paired Ron and Hermione up:

“I wrote the Hermione/Ron relationship as a form of wish fulfillment,” she says. “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,” she continued, “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. Am I breaking people’s hearts by saying this? I hope not.”

Watson agreed with Rowling, saying “I think there are fans out there who know that too and who wonder whether Ron would have really been able to make her happy.” These two women obviously know the character of Hermione well, but there are many fans who will certainly be frustrated by these comments.  The headline of the article is “JK Admits Hermione Should Have Wed Harry” but there’s nothing more in the snippet posted last night nor in the full article now available that talks about Hermione and Harry in more depth.  It’s clear that this piece was done mostly as PR for Watson’s Wonderland issue so that Harry Potter fans would feel they had to buy it to know more. Mission accomplished, right?

As a HP fan myself, I have really mixed feelings about this.  On the one hand, I thought pairing Hermione with Ron allowed for some interesting dynamics in the trio, particularly in the last book.  On the other hand, she is pretty much the smartest person ever and he’s occasionally an idiot. She’s also occasionally an insufferable know-it-all (I say with love, as she’s my favorite HP character) and I never could figure out how she could date him without murdering him for some of the things he said.  Plus, I love Ginny and I like her and Harry together.  But most importantly, I think there’s a great deal of value in showing kids and adults that girls and boys can have close relationships that are just friendships and nothing more, and Harry and Hermione are a great example of that.  They clearly love each other in the books and movies but as friends only. Sometimes it doesn’t need to be more than that.  Like with the Doctor and Donna Noble!

How do you guys feel about this revelation? Keep it civil in the comments.

(Via Io9)

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  • eric bouchard

    Hermione was always wayyyyyyyyy out of Ron’s class. I could understand teenager infatuation, espacially in the intense situation they were in. But what are the real chances they would have lasted?

  • Ray Burns

    I think that the relationship between Harry and Hermione was as important as the relationship between Harry and Ginny, or Ron and Hermione because it was another aspect of ‘love’ for Harry to create the, for lack of a better term, ‘force bubble’ that Voldemort could not comprehend. Platonic love was just another kind of love that allowed Harry to face Voldemort with the protection that love provided.

  • Anonymous

    I am not a fan of authors making comments about their material after the fact. They’re definitely entitled to their opinion as it is their work, but I can’t see the purpose exactly. This will end up as a note in Wikipedia entries and forgotten in a couple years.
    The fact is that that was how she felt at that moment and that is what ended up in the books. I can accept that and those two kissing in the last book was a truly magical moment.

  • Erin Treat

    I don’t know if Harry was right for her either, he could be maddeningly incurious at times, but I never liked her with Ron. Ron was settling it felt like. To me Ron getting Hermione was one more example of the sickening trope we have where a woman has to work her ass off, be beautiful, fit and smart but the guy can be any shlubby loser and still get the girl.

    Ron was a good person, I’m not denying it, but he was a bad match for someone as amazing as Hermione. I think Rowling was just trying to be too cute and tie everything up neatly. The Hermione at the end of the series though had grown beyond her and buttoning her up like that was a crime.

  • Emily Neenan

    I think she should have left off the Epilogue and let everyone (including herself apparently!) wonder and imagine about which wartime teenage relationships last and which don’t. For me, the Epilogue made the richness of the Wizarding World seem tiny; everyone’s still friends with exactly the same people. She could have told us what she imagined, things like Harry’s children’s names, outside the books, and let the canon of the books end with the end of the war.

  • Mark Brown

    Because heaven forbid the non-Special guy gets the girl.

    (Unless she was going to match Hermione up with Neville. That would’ve been fine.)

  • Travis

    I’ve been shipping Harry/Hermione for years. This makes my day.

  • Adam Cross

    Hermione would’ve been better off without either of them. so much emphasis on relationships, Hermione would’ve preferred to carry on studying and being a badass witch

  • Anonymous

    I could believe their relationship in high school. Sure, they were a cute enough couple, whatever. It’s the whole epilogue thing that doesn’t make sense. Really? Every one of the characters stuck with their teen crushes? They didn’t… date other people, or decide they were better as friends, or anything? It was twee beyond belief.

  • Erin Treat

    Oh right, because the NEVER happens in pop culture. (sarcasm) Give me a break. You only have almost every movie ever! It would be cool to see an amazing woman get an amazing guy for a change. How about that?

  • Chiara

    I never had any issue with Hermione ending up with Ron, it’s an interesting couple, with great dynamics. Ron has been a bit of an idiot, but I’ve always interpreted it as the result of him being immature. He does grow up and shows that he can be a good choice for her by book seven, when he starts caring about house elves and realising the world doesn’t revolve around him.

    On the other hand, the fact that Harry married Ginny and Hermione married Ron has always been a bit corny: what are the odds that 4 people grow up together, have teen ager love stories and then marry like that? It feels like “they were meant to be together from the start” and I don’t know that many people who married their childhood friends.

  • Ben English

    Honestly this just seems horribly unfair to Ron. As though being an idiot sometimes when he was a teenager is unique to him, or indicative of his worth as a person. Geezus.

    Plus, oh god the Harmonians are going to eat this up.

  • Anonymous

    this is likely the eleventy billionth time i’ve read a headline and started getting excited to share my viewpoint, only to find out janelle had already put it far more eloquently than i probably would have.

    it is with both relief and heavy heart that i thank thee.

  • Emma

    I don’t care about who Hermione “ended up with.”
    What I care about is Harry and Hermione’s relationship. A STRONG, SIBLING-LIKE FRIENDSHIP between a guy and a girl in a mainstream book/movie series that DID NOT END with them getting together. How many of those do you get, especially in well-known fiction?!
    Having read these books as a kid, they were one of the first platonic heterosexual relationships that I encountered in popular fiction. And I LOVED it. Because two people of different genders could LOVE each other WITHOUT said love being romantic.
    I admit it, sometimes I saw Hermione with someone else, like when JKR mentioned about her and Fred. But her and Harry’s relationship was always really important to me, and I think, to many other fans. By saying they should have ended up together romantically just cheapens that relationship for me.

  • kimmbot

    From the headline, I was hoping she would have had something to say about Dumbledore and Grindelwald.

  • Ben English

    …Did Rowling say anything about Harry and Hermione?

  • Emma

    I’m not sure if she said anything specifically about them, but that’s what “she” seemed to be pointing to (I’m still not positive this whole thing wasn’t a result of lack of context or misquoting).
    I’m really praying that this whole thing blows over, because it’s really kind of dumb. But the whole Harry/Hermione friendship is important to me, and like I said, putting their love for each other in a romantic light makes me upset.

  • Alyson L

    I’m holding back judgement until I can see the original source. I have scoured the internet – including the wonderland site – and can not find anything beyond the Sunday Time article. Which I can’t get access to without subscribing. I want my primary source not something that says they have a quote of something else.

    Include into this, it goes completely against everything she has ever said about her ships in the past. It smells fishy to me.

  • Ben English

    I mean, I agree. I just don’t think “I regret Hermione and Ron” automatically means “Hermione should have been with Harry.”

  • Anonymous

    I agree about Harry and Hermione and I will add the fact that she risked her life many times to help someone who was “just a friend”. She would have loved Harry, she would have came off as a girl in love. Because she wasn’t, she came off like a true hero.

    As for Ron, my only disappointment is that I wished he had finished the series a bit more capable. He was every bit as heroic as Hermione but he always came off as the weakest link.

  • Emma

    I agree with you, but essentially all of the articles/posts on the issue bring up the Harry/Hermione thing or claiming that JKR outright said that she wanted Harry and Hermione together, and i just thought it should be addressed. If the debate was just on Hermione and Ron not being together, I honestly wouldn’t have cared.

  • Rijacki

    All of them staying with their high school sweethearts isn’t as far
    fetched if you look at the Wizarding World like a small town which it
    resembles in its population but not its geographical coverage.

    I can see Hermoine and Ron together because he gives her grounding. Is she smarter than him, sure, but not always wiser. He brings out aspects of her that would be lost if she was only relying on intellect. She brings out things in him and elevates his intelligence, too, which isn’t all that low to begin with. He becomes stronger and more confident with her. Most of his bumbling isn’t a lack of intelligence, it’s a lack of confidence from being one in the middle of a pack of siblings. With her he is an only and that gives him a chance to shine. They could have a special relationship that’s like a lot of relationships where outsiders looking in wonder “how in the heck” but it is stronger and deeper than anyone looking at only the surface would see.

    If Hermoine had ended up with Harry, it would have the world a bit more forlorn. Oh look the two smartest people are married, what do we need with anyone else they’ll solve everything. It’s a very tired old trope.

    Hermoine ending up with Luna might have been a rather interesting twist and would have validated Luna’s intelligence cloaked in her “oddness” and more would have wanted to look beyond the odd.

    Hermoine ending up with Neville would have fallen into another trope of the underdog getting the girl even more so than Ron.

    One or more of the central or secondary characters marrying a muggle would have reinforced the notion that half-blood isn’t mud blood and expanded the world a bit more.

  • k23mt

    That’s exactly what I thought…..he doesn’t have to be an intellectual equal at all times to be a good partner….if Hermione wanted that, she’d probably be very lonely, lol…..he matured in the story, and seems likely he would continue…..I thought their interactions were cute

  • cheesy

    I can’t believe she dug this up again (I keep expecting to someone to pop up and be like, no, this is just a huge trolling, gotcha!). I’m really of two minds about it. On the one hand, I enjoyed that the hero didn’t automatically ‘get’ the lead girl. On the other hand, a super average guy ‘getting’ a super hot, super smart, super powerful women because of…reasons?…is just about as overdone a trope. So.

    It doesn’t help matters that tweenage me desperately wanted Harry and Hermione to hook up and avoided every bringing it up, because of the backlash against H/Hr shippers. So I feel vindicated, but not really, and bad for the Hermione/Ron shippers, and mostly just confused by why she decided to do this NOW.

    IDK. I think the only thing I’m sure of is that this problem wouldn’t have existed if she didn’t write the epilogue. I know she wanted to tie a nice little bow on everything, and have all the characters be legally family by intermarrying, but…they were already family. They didn’t need marriages to change that. Without the epilogue, everyone (including her!) could have just imaged their OTPs ending up together X amount of years down the road and after all kinds of further adventurers. It also solves the whole ‘getting’ problem, because no one gets anyone! Romance isn’t toted as the be all and end all! Wee!

    (as an aside, I really quite liked Ron. I just identified a lot with Hermione, and couldn’t understand what she saw in him/what he saw in her, really.)

  • cheesy

    I used to quite like the idea of Harry and Luna ending up together.

  • Lia Hansen

    I honestly don’t care who Hermione wound up with. I didn’t even really notice any romantic tension between the characters until the 6th book (although it was made a lot more evident in the movies), but I do find how people are putting down Ron as not good enough for her as odd. For me, he was a much more interesting and fleshed out character than Harry, who was just sort of an every man hero type we could all live vicariously through. He made it by the vast majority of the time on the strength of his friends and an inexplicable affinity for defense against the dark arts type magic. His most interesting and humanizing moments were those in the later books when he acted petty and jealous.

    Anyway, I’d rather hear more about the wizarding world than about the main characters. Specifically, I wanna know about house elves. Do they always look like that, or is it the result of hundreds of years of abuse? And how did they end up humanity’s slaves in the first place, when they’re so clearly superior in every way? And are we not just gonna talk about how the wizards are one of the last societies ever to allow slavery, and how they’re doing it right under the noses of real governments that don’t? When they were first introduced, I thought they were gonna play a much greater roll in the series. Sorry, I can’t talk about Harry Potter without bringing this up.

  • Anonymous

    From a storytelling logic it’s more than obvious that Harry and Hermione should have been the alpha couple. Ron and Hermione doesn’t make so much sense.

    These kinds of things happen when an author imposes his / her own wishes on the inherent dynamics of his story. Sad, but happens all the time.

    Besides why wouldn’t have Ron and Hermione not also have been a good example of a girl and a boy “just being good friends”, hmm?

  • Margaret

    I blame the movies for making Ron into the idiot. He was fine in the early books, funny and made smart decisions. Then the movies turned him into a moron and the butt of every joke, which trickled into the later books’ characterization. There was a certain point where Ron just became a jerk, something that wasn’t there early on.

  • dontmindme

    I like Ron and Hermione as a couple and don’t understand why they think the two would have ended up in therapy. If there was one thing Ron was getting better at, it was being listened to and if there was one thing Hermione improved at it was listening to others. Communication is key for a good relationship and I always thought that between the two of them, they could communicate with and learn to compromise with each other. Sure, they’ll probably always snipe at each other and tease each other but that’s part of what makes their relationship theirs.

    I hate how people think Ron’s a dunce when he’s simply the least mentally intelligent of his friends. Given that his friends are the brightest witch of her age and a guy who passes DADA in his sleep, that’s not something to be ashamed of (also going to point out that Ron didn’t actually study all that much and still did well enough).

  • Seanna Tucker

    A lot of people are indicating that Hermione was too good for Ron or that she was settling for him. Ron’s my favorite character, so I may be a bit biased.

    I tend to disagree. An important aspect of their relationship is that Hermione is book-smart and Ron had this insane amount of heart. He was a completely human boy and I think she needed that.

    And, to be entirely honest, Rowling seemed to cheat Ron out of a lot. Remember the whole sequence in Philosopher’s Stone? Hermione’s was about her brains, and Ron’s was about his ability to strategize. He was an excellent Chess Player and that indicates some intelligence of his own. But that wasn’t brought up again and the rest of his life is spent following in Harry’s footsteps instead of going off and being his own person. Instead of being his own character, he’s brought out to be the faithful best friend and all of the strategizing is left to Harry in the last book.

  • dontmindme

    my shipper heart yearned for them to be a couple like you wouldn’t believe.

  • dontmindme

    because Ron’s not the main character nor the POV character?

  • Molly Muldoon

    Reading the books and watching the movies, I never really cared much either way for Harry/Hermione or Ron/Hermione. In fact, I probably leaned more towards her with Harry. But what sealed the deal on Ron/Hermione for me? A Very Potter Musical.

  • Travis

    In fairness, there’s literally not a single character in that universe that Hermione wouldn’t have to “settle” for. Harry is probably the closest to an equal she’s gonna get.

  • ACF

    I liked the Hermione/Ron relationship better than Hermione/Harry for a variation of the last reason you give in the article; I like that it subverts the traditional of story arc of “boy goes and has his adventure and then girl hooks up with him because he finished his plot arc”.

  • Alicia

    In real life, I’m a Hermoine, married to a Ron. I’m in my early 30s, so I’m not a teenager, and I married him knowing people might think of me as “settling” intellectually.

    But I’ve got that intellectual stuff down already — I know what I’m doing, and I know how to improve myself and my knowledge whenever I want — so why would I have prioritized being with someone who was my equal in that way? Instead, I’m with someone who is infuriating at times, but whose loyalty, heart, ability to be in the moment, and unquestioning self-sacrifice and work ethic teaches me things I didn’t know and didn’t know how to learn before I met him. He challenges me in different ways than intellectual debate does, and he makes me a legitimately better person.

    As someone who would otherwise be constantly bombarded with romcom “you’re settling — get with your soul mate who’s just like you!” responses to the relationship I’ve chosen, I’m happy to have Hermione and Ron out there.

  • Anonymous

    I am very happy Harry and Hermione never became an item. Llike you say, it is so rare to have a really good friendship develop between a male hero and a female sidekick without romantic overtones. The big problem was that Ron got a bit lost, he never really had a good arc or found his own place in the story. In the end Neville had more personal growth than Ron.
    I just never really bought that Hermione would settle for him.

  • Alicia

    I agree with you.

    I also think it’s cheating Hermione to act like her intellect is the only part of her that needed to be developed further, or that needed to be matched by her partner, or that she would have wanted to improve over the course of her life. She’s excellent at what she’s excellent at — but Ron is also excellent at what he’s excellent at! And since those things are different, it seems like a good idea to me that Hermione would choose to be with someone who not only could teach her a whole new class of things (albeit often non-intellectual ones) and help her round herself out as a person, but who’s also shown he’s not at all scared of an independent woman.

  • BatiHoney

    I feel you, so much. it would have been extremely interesting to see develop. And I’d have loved to see the male lead end up with the “”"weird girl”"”.

  • Mitchell Hundred

    Fanservice can be good, but as with most things it’s best used in moderation. Too much and you come across as annoyingly clever.

  • Betty Anne

    Thank you, Alicia! I’m also a Hermione, married to a Ron – and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. My husband challenges me in ways that I KNOW I need to be challenged to grow as a person – by being himself. He’s kind, caring, attempting to be romantic (he learns it from TV and watching porn, so it’s not, but at least he tries), working hard to provide for our family and keeps sticking by me even when things are tough and I’ve been rejected for the 152,000th job application. Despite that, his lack of education can manifest in dozens of ways that infuriate me – everything from something as minor as constantly using “irregardless” as a word to having a flare of up outrageous anger that results in a tantrum in the car and punching a malfunctioning seat buckle repeatedly, to wishing horrible deaths to people just because of their political leanings. He has a lot of problems that come from growing up in a patriarchy, including leaving dirty dishes on the table, or even the floor(!) for me to pick up and wash, throwing his dirty clothes under the bed, etc.

    I have plenty of downsides that annoy him, too. I know my inability to find work while holding two associate’s degrees, a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree bothers him. He hates watching television or movies at home with me, because I sit and pick apart the plot and character flaws. (I stay quiet in the theaters for the sake of the other patrons – I’m usually the one punching HIM on the shoulder for making stupid commentary out loud, especially during quiet parts of the movie.) He hates that I have to get up and do the dishes as soon as supper is done, because dirty dishes sitting around bothers me. My battle with depression has been a struggle for him, too, because I sometimes go for long stretches without wanting to talk to anybody, and he is one who thinks problems (including depression) are solved by talk-talk-talk-talk-talk-talk constantly.

    I liked Hermione and Ron as a couple in the books because it was something different than what we’re normally served up, even if Rowling is afraid it doesn’t hold up in a literary sense. I was actually EXPECTING to see Harry and Hermione end up together – that’s the kind of trite predictability young adult fiction has spit out to kids. “Find your perfect match, become perfect friends, become a perfect married couple.” The relationships in Harry Potter were more interesting as they were written – characters who DID have flaws (not just Hermione and Ron – Ginny was obsessive almost to the point of being a stalker on Harry at one point) still ended up being able to marry someone who “shouldn’t” be able to handle those flaws. I think it’s a good message that dedication to a relationship can work through any obstacles that aren’t genuinely hurtful.

  • Betty Anne

    Same here! I liked Luna from the time she was introduced, and as she got developed as a character, I really fancied the idea of Harry taking a liking to her and ending up marrying her. ^^;

  • Farah M

    I dunno. I thought he was always kind of a jerk. But a lot of people are assholes in their teens.

    I never liked him so much, maybe because Rowling used him so often as a mouthpiece to highlight the prejudices and bigotry in the wizarding world. His mistrust of werewolves and giants and all that. I guess she had to because it kept the plot neat. But I never forgave him for how he treated Hermione in book 4 and for being mean to Luna.

    I don’t think the movies would have affected the her writing though. She started plotting these books in the early 1990s. It’s hard to imagine that she’d suddenly see the movies and change the personality of one of her main characters.

  • Amy W

    THANK YOU for pointing out that nothing in WHAT SHE ACTUALLY SAID says that it should have been Harry/Hermione. Still, barely anyone notices.

    I think the whole thing is blown out of proportion. All we get is a few quotes from an as-of-yet-unpublished interview, and the press and then the fans add their own assumptions and it’s all suddenly a SHOCKING REVELATION when in reality it was just a writer musing, “You know, sometimes I wonder if I should have done it another way,” which EVERYONE wonders sometimes. It doesn’t mean she’s going to write a Special Edition to “fix” it. It doesn’t mean there wouldn’t have had to be a LOT of changes to the text to make it work. It doesn’t mean she’s suddenly believing in Harry/Hermione either. GAH, world, give the woman a break sometimes and let her speak without overanalyzing everything she says!

    But I am biased. I’ve been a Ron/Hermione shipper since book 2.

  • BatiHoney

    I can see where Rowling is coming from, and I respect her opinion and understand completely what she’s saying. Until I read a quote where she explicitly says Harry/Hermione should have been the deal, I’m not commenting on that.

    The point is this is just her opinion, she may be Word of God but she’s not saying this opinion changes anything. Maybe she’s right about these two, maybe she’s not. I’m actually really disappointed to see how much backslash she has gotten for voicing out a negative opinion on her own books and characters that she created. Everyone wants to hear what she’s got to say as long as it’s positive and pleasant for the fans, but god forbid if she says something bad about her own work. I say this because I’ve seen a lot of people saying she could have kept that to herself, or that she shouldn’t have said anything. Why? Because it’s unpleasant for some people? Because it ruins your ship? I don’t know, man. People are acting like she said something really ignorant or offensive.

    When I read the article I thought “Interesting” and started to consider that perspective and wonder about Ron/Hermione and how their relationship would be like on the long-run, etc. People say she’s shitting on Ron, but I don’t think she did. She was talking about their relationship and she never pointed fingers to any of them. In any case, Emma Watson was the one who implied Ron wasn’t good enough for Hermione. I personally think maybe they weren’t a match.

    I just feel sorry that she will see the backslash and maybe decided she won’t ever share her opinion again unless it’s to say something cute and nice about HP or make announcements, which sucks. Her opinion was interesting to me.

  • BatiHoney

    I agree with you 100%, wish I had read your comment before I made mine because I’m saying basically the same thing. Let her wonder and have an opinion, geez.

  • Anonymous

    Totally agree. It’s one thing for Hermione to date Ron in school; another thing entirely to marry him as an adult.

  • Amy W

    Hah, I just upvoted your comment before I saw your reply. Great minds… ;)

  • Travis

    If we didn’t over-analyze every little thing she says and wildly extrapolate it to fit our own head-canon, then it wouldn’t be any fun.

  • Anonymous

    Well, that could be a point but wasn’t that what I was meaning, I mean in every story there’s an inherent logic that in a way demands certain things to happen or make certain things unlikely to happen. And sometimes, and Rowling is by far not the first to do that, an author doesn’t follow this inherent logic because he or she doesn’t like the outcome of it and decides against it because he / she wants certain things different than the narration itself demands it.

    Then the story will end in a way that may satisfy the wishes of the author but goes against this inherent logic. That doesn’t mean that the readership is necessarily unhappy with the ending / developments but you know that this happened when you get the feeling when reading that “this is not as it should be”. Very often this is a kind of feeling that is very difficult to pinpoint or explain but it is unmistakenly there. I’m sorry that my elaboration is not more precise.

    I try to give an example for “when it is right”: “Romeo & Juliette”; the logic of that what was set demanded a tragedy of sorts. If we would have had, let’s say, Romeo and Juliette just running away and riding into the sunset, we would have had a happy ending but “it wouldn’t have felt right”. Because it would have gone against the inherent logic of the story.

    I’m sorry I can’t explain that better.

  • dontmindme

    Ron and Hermione getting together was foreshadowed from the third book onward. Harry NOT getting together with Hermione was foreshadowed from book 4 onward. The narrative pushed both of these relationships throughout all the books with remarkable consistency.

    Traditionally in stories, yes, the main male character gets together with a romantic interest who tends to be the girl with top billing. Just because it’s traditional doesn’t mean it’s inherently more logical than the secondary male character ending up with the principal female character.

  • Kate Renee Cochran

    I always thought this relationship felt forced. Plus, even if it did work out eventually, there would be a lot of frustrations in their marriage. They aren’t and won’t be a good fit. Shame. I’ve always said that you have to let the story write itself. If you try and force it, readers can tell.

  • Anonymous

    Well, actually it is – unless there isn’t a principal male character. Or the principal male character is Anakin Skywalker! ;-)

    Anyway: The inherent logic has nothing to do with foreshadowing. You as an author can foreshadow as much as you want; it doesn’t touch what I call the inherent logic of the story. Point is when the story actually informs the author what has to happen then it’s the right way. When you as an author superimpose your own wishes on the story it’s the wrong way. Very simple.

  • Angry And Yellow

    Ron and Hermione might have been fan service and a bit selfish on her part, but I do think that it fits within the overall context of HP in a way that Hermione and Harry don’t. For example, the Weasley’s have a reputation as “blood traitors” because despite being a very old wizarding family, they have no problem marrying muggle borns (which is exactly what Ron does). On the other side, Harry comes from a very old wizarding family but knows next to nothing about that world because his family is all dead. If you pair Harry with Hermione, Harry loses some significant things, 1) a large family, and 2) a deep connection to the wizarding world. I’m indifferent about whether Hermione should be with Ron, but I don’t think that she should be with Harry.

  • dontmindme

    ….okay, tell me, why is Harry getting together with Hermione more inherently logical than Hermione getting together with Ron? Because all the foreshadowing and character interaction told me that it was inherently more logical for Hermione to choose Ron in the end.

  • Lady Commentariat

    Harry, Hermione and Ron are basically Buffy, Willow and Xander. I never bought the Hermione/Ron relationship; it made no sense to me beyond an adolescent relationship experiment that peters out but allows folks to remain friends.

  • Abel Undercity

    Well, who doesn’t end up looking back on at least one past romance with regret?

  • Anonymous

    I can’t tell you if you don’t see it yourself; but once again foreshadowing has nothing to do with the inherent logic.

    From the inherent logic Ron and Hermione would have been right if Harry had stayed alone (for whatever reason) or would have died (permanently, I mean). Sorry, I really can’t explain better.

    Doesn’t make the decisions the author made “bad” ones. It’s not a valuation. But writing a story is not wishfulfillment for the author. Heck, it’s not even about wishfulfillment for the reader. The reader for example does not even have to like the consequences of the inherent logic. But on a deeper level the story will ring “more true”.

  • Anonymous

    Oh good, I thought I was alone in thinking that.

  • dontmindme

    What do you mean by inherent logic? Let’s start with that.

    I do have to chime in on the “writing is not wish fulfillment for the author” part. Writers can write whatever the heck they want in whatever way they want; they might be criticized or asked why they made certain decisions but the decision is ultimately the writer’s. You bet your behind that most stories are wish-fulfilling on some level.

  • Sophie

    Harry/Hermione was my first real ship, and I came into fandom right at the point where people would sort of attack you en masse for saying you liked it (I realise there was a lot of fighting on both sides, but I just innocently walked into it and that was my first fandom experience). So there’s a silly 14 year old part of me that is rather childishly pleased about this, and I’m trying to remind her that she’s never really cared for what writers think at all. I get the people who would prefer Hermione to not to be defined by romance, and who enjoy her and Harry’s close platonic relationship, and had I not started reading the Harry Potter books when I was 12 I might agree with you –objectively I agree with you– but I always just thought Harry and Hermione worked well together, and I have always really liked romance.
    I honestly never really understood Hermione and Ron. Like, I know people in these sorts of relationships, but it was always a bit too tempestuous for my tastes (my own relationships tend towards the mellow side), but that’s just me.
    Basically, though it’s sort of nostalgic in a terrible kind of ‘oh god I thought the war was over’ type way, I don’t really feel like this is a big deal. I’m allowing myself this comment on it, and then I think I’ll leave off. JK Rowling’s entitled to her opinions and so is everyone else. Peace out Harry Potter fandom.

  • Anonymous

    Hey house elves are important, you are asking the real questions. That’s what annoys me most about this to be honest. Uuuuugh Relationships.

  • baileybell

    Sometimes, the happiest relationships are unequal. Ron will admire and appreciate Hermione; he’ll never hold her back; he’ll listen to her; he’ll always be there for her. That’s a pretty good anchor, a strong safe home from which she can go out and conquer the world, then return to for calmness and comfort.

    (There are plenty of relationships in literature where the guy is totally awesome and the girl admires and supports him. I guess I don’t mind seeing the reverse!)

    Most of all, their relationship doesn’t have a sense of competition, which it might if Ron was super-amazing. Honestly, I think that would be very hard for Hermione to handle in a relationship. Maybe she needs a shlubby, decent guy who just loves her.

  • baileybell

    This is a great defense. That’s my favorite thing about the Hermione-Ron relationship – it’s not a trope at all. It doesn’t feel like they “belong together” because of their roles in the plot; it feels like they’re two people who, through years of shared experiences and friendship, find that they are very good emotional and practical partners in life.

  • gia manry

    I thought Hermione and Ron felt much more natural than the sudden Harry/Ginny stuff, personally…and I agree that I wish that the epilogue was at least different.

  • Laura Truxillo

    I always hated the Ron/Hermione ship as a long-term thing. I didn’t really want Harry/Hermione either, though. Never thought that she had to wind up with one of them just because they were all friends and she was a girl.

    “For reasons that have… far more to do with me clinging to the plot as I first imagined it…”

    I…I feel so vindicated. Because that is EXACTLY what I used to say about the way they felt as the series went on.

    “‘I think there are fans out there who know that too and who wonder whether Ron would have really been able to make her happy.’”

    Y’know, my initial dislike was that I though Ron wouldn’t make Hermione happy because he’s so intellectually lazy and didn’t seem “good enough.” As I got older though, I felt horrible for Ron, because I thought…heck, Hermione won’t make HIM happy either. They just don’t fit together, personality-wise, in a romantic, long-term way. I could write the essay again, but eehhh, it’s been ten years.

    I would’ve liked to have seen it end with them all being platonic friends, because I’m so tired of the girl having to get with one of the main guys in every story.

  • Laura Truxillo

    That actually makes so much sense when you put them in that context. And I agree–they always felt like a very teenage-type thing.

  • gia manry

    Yeah, I get Harry/Hermione as an “I wish this ship would happen” thing, but before the books were out I never understood why anyone would think it was a romance that was going to happen…they never had any interactions that suggested attraction especially.

  • gia manry

    In the HPU, everyone marries their high school sweethearts. EVERYONE.

    That was one of the big issues I had with Harry/Ginny too, TBH…

  • Laura Truxillo

    Why does Hermione have to be paired with Harry if she isn’t with Ron?

    (Me, personally, I always kinda shipped her with either Percy or Fred. Percy because he’s ambitious and a stickler, and Fred because he’s an ambitious genius who would pull her out of her comfort zone while she could ground him a bit.)

  • baileybell

    This is beautiful and makes me really happy. <3

  • Laura Truxillo

    I want to know why it’s always on Ron when most people say they wouldn’t have worked out. I haaaated the Ron/Hermione relationship, found it very unpleasant to read, but at least 50% of that (if not more) was on Hermione.

    I think he’d be more unhappy with her than she would with him, honestly.

  • Angry And Yellow

    I like the idea of her and Fred. The reason I discussed the possibility of Hermione and Harry is because the post mentions “The headline of the article is “JK Admits Hermione Should Have Wed Harry””, and I wanted to show why that particular pairing wouldn’t be a good idea.

  • Laura Truxillo

    Except Draco. He married Daphne Greengrass instead of Pansy, apparently.


  • Anonymous

    I don’t get why people seem to think that Hermione was too good for Ron and that it was another example of totally useless guy getting amazing girl. For a start he was never any stupider than Harry except in DADA, which Harry had a plot immunity to doing bad in…

    For myself, I was more or less a Hermione in school when I read the books, book-obsessed, very clever, large unruly hair. But the person I identified with in HP at that time was Ron, because I was also tactless, socially inept, emotionally clueless and really really lazy, and his problems seemed more like my problems than Hermiones (I never cared about failing anything). And I personally like them together, mostly because I like their dynamic, and because I’m one of those who can’t fall in love with someone I cant argue with.

    So I’m fine with JK coming back and reevaluating her work (doesn’t change the material). But I wish people would cool it with the Ron bashing.

  • Laura Truxillo

    Fred or George Weasley. Ambitious, clever genius inventors, businessmen with a go-getter attitude who seem like goof-offs but actually work really hard to achieve their goals, and really, they are geniuses–most people only specialize in one sort of thing, but they were inventing/improving on potions, charms, curses, magical objects, the works.

  • Angry And Yellow

    I have to disagree with you on this one. We saw this version of Hermione in the 1st book. She studied all the time and was a know-it-all and was miserable because she had no friends. Those two, for all the trouble they caused, made her life more enjoyable. Additionally, her relationship with them made her a better, smarter, and more talented which. For example, how many 2nd year students can successfully brew polyjuice potion? Many of the spells and skill the Hermione develops occurs in response to or in preparation of the recklessness wrought by the other 2. They each make the others better, which is point of friendships and relationships.

  • gia manry

    Haha, true. Though I dunno if Pansy qualifies as his high school “sweetheart” so much ;)

  • DarthLocke4

    I think it was always her choice, personal or not, as I think books should be personal to a writer in some way, whether we find it realistic or not, especially those in rather fantasy universes, but I think she should have not retracted or second guessed herself at this point. I don’t think she is aiding too much of anything, except to get us all chattering about Harry Potter again. (I will be more suspicious we suddenly get info on Fantastical Beasts and Where to Find them film details in the next few weeks) I mean something drove her to write the epilogue and unless it wasn’t herself, she made this choice at this time for a reason and so it is written forever in time on the pages…

  • Anonymous

    Uffh! ;-) If I could better explain what “inherent logic” is I wouldn’t have to write so much about it! ;-) I really can’t do better than I did in previous posts; best explanation is that it is some kind of “feeling” that this story developement / turn / ending / whatever is “right”. The more you read the more you get a feeling for it. If it were different I could more easily quantify or describe it.

    If you don’t sense it (and I think the majority of people don’t) reading is much more enjoyable because there are a myriad ways a story can develop (while in truth there is only a limited number). If you sense it it can easily be that not seldom you put a book to your side and just wonder why the author is going against the inherent logic. Which once again is no valuation.

    I agree with you concerning what you write about wishfulfillment. This is of course true (because writers write about things they like, characters they would like to be , their own wishes and hopes, et. al.). When I say: Writing is not wishfulfillment, what I mean is, that the author is usually writing from the right (I think it was the right) hemisphere of his brain which is associated with emotions, inspirations, dreams and so on. Therefore we follow certain “truths” (they are not really truths more essential “experience values” we’ve made as a species and which we have inherited) and this way a story that has started with certain basics quintessentially only has a limited number of paths and developments that it can follow.

    We, as thinking being that we are, can of course decide against certain paths and developments (for whathever reasons). But as we are in “the employment of the story” it would feel “more right” if we followed certain paths (the inherent logic, there we have it!) instead of going against it.

    Of course we ALWAYS can go against it. It’s no rule or such. Question is if one should go against it, in which situation / regard one should go against it and if that what we decide we WANT to happen (that’s what I call wishfulfillment (deciding against the inherent logic for own reasons)) is really in the “interest of the story” (meaning: The reader feels when reading this or that: Yes, that feels right.)

    If – to get back to earth ;-) – you have the feeling Hermione and Ron “make more sense” and Hermione and Harry feels “somehow not right” then that is absolutely fine. For me Rowling’s decision felt “somehow not right”. Puuh!! ;-)

  • gia manry

    That epilogue had a LOT of problems.

  • Mordicai

    Hermione & Not Ron, fine by me. Hermione & Harry? Blech, that’s 10000x worse. I think the actors did a good job of it in the films, which filled out an otherwise banal romance in the books. (Harry & Ginny, not so much, but then, they had even LESS to worth with for the movies).

  • Curuniel

    There’s definitely space for Hermione and Ron to balance each other nicely though – for her to encourage him to be more independent and learn for himself, and for him to mellow out her more uptight tendencies by making her laugh and helping her get through things. I can see it working; people can be totally different but love each other for being what they’re not, sometimes.

    I totally agree that Hermione and Harry’s friendship is a great example of a close, loving friendship that isn’t romantic, and we need that! I don’t really see Hermione ending up with Harry. She might not end up with Ron, but it’s doesn’t *have* to be either of them.

  • Curuniel

    Some of my favourite Hermione moments are the ones where the boys are momentarily stunned by her doing something unexpectedly naughty or reckless, and you realise that as much as they rely on and learn from her intelligence, her friends rub off on her too. Totally agree, they’re all better for what they get from each other. A Hermione who stayed a total stickler for obedience and the rules would never had ventured and gained as much as she did.

  • Anonymous

    I am so, so glad I’ve been out of the online Harry Potter fandom since the series concluded. It is absolutely going to implode.

  • Travis

    That’s true. Hermione dumping Ron for the surviving Weasley twin would be both hilarious and more fitting.

  • BatiHoney

    I don’t want to start talking against Harry/Ginny, but I just never saw what connected them or any chemistry at all. I loved how Harry actually could relate to Luna, who lost a parent. I loved how they could relate because they could see the thestals (sorry if that’s badly spelled) and how Luna just saw Harry as a person and not the Chosen One and how she didn’t aggravate him and… I don’t know.
    When I finished the books, I wasn’t convinced by Harry/Ginny. When I asked myself “How would have been interesting to see with Harry?” my conclusion was Luna. Now those two could have been really cute together :( Harry liking Luna would have given him a whole different side of him as well, and viceversa. I really enjoyed their scenes together, except when Harry mentally rejected Luna for being ‘weird’, which I hated, but it’s something easy to fix or to grow out of.

  • Anonymous

    Team Justin From Third Period!

  • Anonymous

    Forgetting the whole ‘Draco is a wizard racist’ thing presumably…

  • Holly

    Harry & Hermione, I’ve backed it since I was 12. I’m 24 now.

  • Sophie

    There was an article going around recently about Harry Potter as a radical narrative. The characters commit all sorts of acts of civil disobedience, cumulating in them dropping out of school and going on the run. One of the major narrative themes, spanning the entire series, is the concept that the rules sometimes go against what is right, and one should choose morality over legalism.

  • Curuniel

    In other words, lawful =/= good. I like it!

  • Anonymous

    The headline of the article is “JK Admits Hermione Should Have Wed Harry”

  • Megan

    This. I don’t get JKR’s implication that having Harry and Hermione together would’ve made the books higher quality literature. Having Harry and Hermione end up together seems about the most cliched thing that could have happened – doesn’t doing something different make it better?

  • Ben English

    I know, though the wording ‘admits’… as though it were obvious instead of… completely ridiculous. And the fact that none of the actual direct quotes the article includes say anything about who Hermione should have been with. Rowling says nothing in favor of Harry and Hermione in the quotes we’ve seen so far, which makes me wonder if the articles aren’t jumping to conclusions.

  • Ben English

    That’s what I’m saying. Even if you accept the notion that Hermione and Ron getting together was somehow a mistake, there are plenty of other wizards she could have been with, some of them also Weasleys. How would she and Harry work out when Harry repeatedly demonstrated his complete lack of interest in Hermione.

  • Anonymous

    As a Slytherclaw, I have to point out that Draco married Daphne’s younger sister, Astoria. (At least according to JKR’s epilogue, and I’m more of an EWE fan, myself.)

  • Flitzy

    Honestly, I will always go with whatever Jo wants because she’s the Queen of Potter but I still have never seen Harry and Hermione as anything but a sister/brother sort of relationship plus the Harry/Ginny and Ron/Hermione ships are just perfect because they bring the entire Weasley family together and I love that idea <3

    If Harry was with anyone else, it would be Luna. ^_^

  • Anonymous

    It’s nice to know that Rowling sees what a lot of fans see, which is that teenage Ron wasn’t a supportive partner for Hermione. Then again, Word of God is one of those things that, as a fan, I’ve always felt comfortable cherry-picking my way through.

    What I find crazier is that this actually has kind of rocked the world. Harry Potter is still a big deal—or at least it is for the youngish adults who grew up reading the books.

  • Anonymous

    Oh god I thought the shipping battles were all done. Even now I can hear the creaking of can(n)ons…

  • locuas

    …okay, so what? are you going to do anything to change it? because i believe that would be a mistake..not because of what pairing i like or dislike, but simply because what is done is done. you can regret what you did, but you should keep things as they are now. if i give my opinion, i think it makes the relationship between the three all the more interesting. i know this is hard to say without sounding sexist, but Ron not getting Hermione would have made it harder to justify the “harry is as normal as ron” theme that has been between the two. Harry gets all the girls, even Hermione is only with them because of harry, and Ron has to believe Harry is no better than him? also, i feel the dynamic between harry and hermione is more interesting as friends because it shows that their friendship is so strong they are willing to die for each other, yet they don’t feel in love with ech other.
    And about Ron being dumb, i always believed that it has to do more because he has grown in the wizard world, and when it comes to wizard society, he is far better that Harry and Hermione, this is even a plot point in the seventh book.
    But here is my opinion EVEN if i believed it was better for Harry and Hermione to be together: no matter how i feel, i believe doing anything to change it would be a serious mistake. what is done is done, there is no way to change it unless you want a lot of complaints.

  • locuas

    personally, i tought it added the idea that the future was going to be bright. That peace was going to last this time. a entire new generation of childrens would live in peace without fearing the name Voldemort once and for all.

  • Nuuni Nuunani

    Wow….So many comments….@_@

  • Kate Drew This

    I actually thought Ron and Hermione worked perfectly as a couple, frankly. Though, if they hadn’t gotten together, that would have been fine as well.

    Harry and Hermione…ew. Incestuous.

  • Kate Drew This

    And yes, if anyone asks, I say this as someone people considered a “Hermione” who married a “Ron”.

  • Chris de la Rosa

    Agreed. I shipped them as a kid, but now as an adult and a writer, I think I would actually have preferred it with them not dating within the trio at all. I get Harry and Ginny and used to ship them, but even there, the reasoning for it needing to happen as marriage is shaky. Romance ultimately wasn’t as important to the story as we made it seem as teenagers when the books were still coming out and I hate that this is still a huge, friendship-shaking argument for so many people seven years later.

  • Chris de la Rosa

    This has actually risen higher on my ship list, when I do go more into shipping within Harry Potter again. I also was really into the idea of Harry/Ginny/Luna as a polytriad, but I blame a lot of that on fanfiction.

  • Chris de la Rosa

    It’s become a place for a lot of people to once again step up and say that Harry and Ginny had zero build up, which as a former militant Harry/Ginny fan has me irritated. It wasn’t the best developed pairing, and a lot of its basis is in author’s notes (that Harry was meant to marry Ginny to fully become a Weasley and that they, like JKR’s parents, met on a train platform), but in the books there are hints to Ginny’s personality and a development of Harry’s interest that isn’t him looking up at a window and being like, “Damn, my best friend’s sister got HOT!” as it was in the movie.

    Overall, though? I want more on the wizarding world outside of who’s sleeping with who and I hate that this is where so much focus still is seven years after Deathly Hallows.

  • Chris de la Rosa

    This is actually good comparison point as to why I’ve started to just not want them in a relationship with one another as I got older.

  • Chris de la Rosa

    I can see having changed your mind loooong after the fact, but agreed. She was really firm in what she liked with the pairings she made. I really want to know what made her come out and say this all now? Is she just second guessing herself with all the notes being published on Pottermore?

  • Chris de la Rosa

    For me, it’s not that it ruins anything for me ship wise (I actually started leaning towards Harry/Luna, and that was never canon), but that too many focus on the ships when the only romance that was really necessary for plot purposes was the James/Lily/Snape. Bringing it up feels like a distraction from Magical Beasts and rehashes an old war that is really quite tiresome.

  • BatiHoney

    -high five for Harry/Luna-

    I agree, but I don’t think that’s Rowling’s fault. That has more to do with the flawed fandom than anything. Her comments of course cause controversy and fights within the fandom, but should she withhold comments and thoughts to avoid conflict between fans on the internet? I don’t think so, personally. We also don’t know how this topic was brought up in the interview. If anything, I just wish she talked about regretting way more important things, such as not having explicitly stated in the books (some way or another) that Dumbledore was gay. That’s way more important. But I won’t go and tell her what to regret or not, and if she wants to talk about ships, especially now that the books are done, I think that’s fair.

    And although it seems impossible, the fandom should learn not to take these things to heart and not make such a mess over something so silly.

  • javakoala

    And so the Second Ship War begins.

  • Chris de la Rosa

    Yeah, it’s definitely her prerogative, it’s just… odd and not what I would prefer her to come out to talk about. And I want to know about the rest of the interview. It’s been re-reported on so much with “this means Harry/Hermione was preferred!” when I see no solid evidence of that in quoting. And I am so so so so so done with this ship battle. Give me more gay Dumbledore and jazz-era wizards, please.

  • nutmeg

    I always felt it was very natural for everyone to end up with their high school sweethearts since they went through the war together. In real life, people who experience that sort of trauma together often form very strong bonds. I can understand though why Rowling is second guessing her choices. Statistically speaking similar personalities are more likely to have successful relationships. Yet, I think because Hermione is such a high strung character, she needs someone who can and will call her on it when she needs to sort out her priorities. Harry never had that ability

  • Chris de la Rosa

    But that’s not “inherent logic.” That’s personal preference. And the left/right hemisphere thing is actually a fallacy. If it weren’t, I can tell you write now that as a writer, most of it actually takes equally from those “hemispheres.” There wasn’t really anything forced in how Ron and Hermione developed in their emotions to one another. Honestly, it read rather naturally and echoed a lot of relationships I’ve been in AND witnessed happening. This goes furthermore from the fact that JKR has also said that her original intention was to have Hermione marry FRED, rather than Ron or Harry. If anything was forced, it was the need to make the relationships happen when the focus of the narrative was

  • Laura Truxillo

    Oh, right. Man, what even was the point of that, then? I mean, like, why bother telling us who Draco married when it’s literally no one we know?

    That whole epilogue was just lousy. Clunky and awful.

  • Mara

    I love the honesty of this comment.

  • Travis

    Well, had JK bothered to develop him even a little bit…

  • Charlie

    I liked Hermione and Ron. I thought it was too predictable that she would end up with Harry. The fact that Ron and Hermione close to despised each other at first was hilarious too.

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  • Anonymous

    While I actually don’t mind Harry and Luna together, I did value their relationship as platonic friends for the same reasons others have explained the value of Harry and Hermoine as platonic friends. Harry is a Golden Boy, and Luna is an obscure eccentric, but they each appreciate one another, have small bonds that others do not, and their differing viewpoints assist a larger goal. I took great enjoyment from Luna’s outburst at him in the movie, because it really keyed into those aspects: Harry can be so stubbornly focused on his instincts that he misses the things that are otherwise obvious to someone like Luna, and she isn’t afraid to tell him so.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for reminding me about the “the bestplayed game of chess that Hogwarts has seen these many years”. It is a shame that Ron never came into his own the way he was initially written. It was such a badass moment for him.

  • Anonymous

    I think she has to keep Ron as that sounding block. If you’re solely looking at the three main characters, both Harry and Hermoine are coming from backgrounds of ignorance of the wizarding world: Harry is a “pure blood” who was raised in the muggle world, and Hermoine is a muggle-born. Ron would be the only one raised within the social norms of wizarding society, which would mean it’s likely for him to carry the privileges and prejudices of the wizarding world. His only foil is Draco, who I would consider the next senior perspective character, and Draco exhibits the most extreme prejudices, while Ron exhibits the casual prejudices of that world. In doing so, it also allows Hermoine and Harry to challenge Ron’s assumptions about the normative society he comes from and the one he has generally been comfortably a part of: Harry and Hermoine understand alienation in the wizarding world and that helps Ron interpret Luna, or the unethical practice of house elf slavery, etc.

    Of course, you can argue that adult wizards and witches can fill that role, but Ron is a child on the same level as the other two (and generally the target reader), so he’s the most appropriate vehicle to deliver the perspectives and to experience change for the reader.

  • Anonymous

    …So, Harry?

    I think we’re in a overlapping trope issue here: If Hermoine ends up with Ron, the Fred Flintstone Trope is fulfilled, where a shlubby guy gets an amazing girl. If Hermoine ends up with Harry, the Male Hero Gets the Lead Girl Trope is fulfilled, where the protagonist as default “Awesome Guy” gets the “Awesome Girl”. Bucking one fulfills the other. We’d be exasperated that Hermoine became the granted trophy as part of Harry’s Hero’s Journey, or we’re exasperated that a seemingly average guy (not exactly my opinion) got the Golden Girl.

    (That’s, of course, if you only limit it to the possibility of Hermoine ending up with either of those two.)

  • Anonymous

    I’m going to have to agree that what you are describing is not accurately termed “inherent logic”. What you are describing, and having a hard time explaining to others seems to merely be personal preference. How can it be “inherent” if another reader cannot see it and therefore cannot comprehend it. I am in no way attempting to be confrontational or rude, as I find your response personable and fantastic as an argument for your personal response to the author’s writing, but I disagree with the characterization of this being an example of a writer going against something clearly delineated in an inherent way to the story.

    One thing I would offer is that the “inherent logic” is really just a series of tropes and archetypes, the breaking or bending of which can prove to be immensely satisfying and change a work from being forgettable or memorable. For example, perhaps the “Romeo and Juliet” tragedy has “logic” merely because it has since become an engrained archetype/trope of the “Tragic Lovers”, rather than the earlier archetype of the “Lovers”.

  • Anonymous

    The “Prejudicial Character seeing the error of their ways and loving what they were once taught to despise” is a common enough story trope for me to believe it given sufficient character development. It’s also what would make something like Harry/Draco make sense.

  • Anonymous

    Wasn’t the deal that Pansy was based on a girl who tormented Rowling when she was young, and Rowling didn’t want her fictional counterpart to have any kind of happiness, or something like that?

  • Anonymous

    This seems like it describes a lot of YA fiction. Hunger Games comes to mind.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think the Wizarding World was so large, really. We were already to believe that all of wizarding society was educated in only three schools, of which Hogwarts was the largest. We’ve also been given a world where nearly every principle character knows of another character when mentioned. Likewise, looking at the couples in the generation before the main characters, all their parents and friends were lifelong and generally within the same houses at that:

    - Lily and James, Gryffindors
    - James, Remus, Sirius, and Peter, Gryffindors
    - Molly and Arthur, Gryffindors
    - Narsissa and Lucius, Slytherine

    We likewise are given that the several characters, though initially thought diverse, are quite related through bloodlines and happenstance:

    - Petunia and Lily are childhood acquaintances of Severus
    - Narsissa and Bellatrix are sisters, Tonks is their niece, Sirius is their cousin
    - James is a descendent of the Peverells, and he and Harry are distant relatives to Voldermort through the Peverell brothers
    - All the “good” characters were members of the original Order of the Phoenix. Everyone was friends with everyone. James, Lily, Hagrid, Albus, Minerva, Molly, Arthur, Sirius, et al. are more familiar with one another than typical, and most were Gryffindors

    And it makes sense that this is so, again, when you consider that all of the wizarding world is funneled into only three schools where they spend eight years of their lives (and where Hogwarts is narratively considered the highlight of their entire lives). It makes sense in this kind of universe that lifelong bonds would be formed there (where there is no “wizard undergrad/grad school”) and persist. So the concept of what would be less likely real-world high school romances makes sense with the limited scope of the universe provided, and never weirded me out (until the Ginny/Harry thing, which I still never felt developed seriously anywhere before its hard mention in the later books).

  • Anonymous

    Fair enough. Depends on how redeemed you think Draco is by the end, and how forgiving the Hermione/Harry would be in that situation. I did always think Harry and Draco had a kind of grumpy obsessive teenage crush thing going on, esp. book 6, but I couldn’t see a relationship happening.

  • Laura Truxillo

    I dunno, I thought Hermione and Ron was pretty predictable too–like, obviously being set up since the first book.

  • Michelle Witte

    I know one couple in which the wife is extremely high strung but her husband is very laid back. It works because they balance each other. She motivates her husband while he helps her to relax. It might not work in every situation, but for them it’s exactly what they need. If Hermione had ended up with a similarly brainy and control-freakish person, they would have killed each other long before the epilogue. :)

  • Anonymous

    She could have met and married Sir/Lady Didnotappearinthesebooks and he/she would have been the perfect match for her maybe.


    Draco/Hermione has been my guilty pleasure since forever.

    Thing is, I truly believe they have the potential to be a great match if given a couple of years to mature and learn (especially Draco). In the end, the Malfoys don’t care about politics – they are opportunists who value their family name above everything (and one of the big surprises of the later books is that it turns out they actually really value their family, period). Their world is profoundly shaken by the war and its aftermath – it’s clear that they won’t be able to just pick up their old life again, and that they’ll completely have to re-evaluate what’s important to them. Draco especially, since by re-evaluating what’s important to him (and perhaps learning to be his own person, away from his mum and dad) he will essentially lay the foundation of his adult self.

    …I could imagine Narcissa and Andromeda tentatively establishing contact again after the war, and things going from there.

    Anyway, even though I totally believe in the potential of D/Hr done right, I have never had the pleasure of seeing it done right in fanfic. For some sad reason it’s all just smutty PWP. (I’ll be happy with recommendations!)

  • Anonymous

    “Your lively talents would place you in the greatest danger in an unequal marriage. You could scarcely escape discredit and misery. My child, let me not have the grief of seeing you unable to respect your partner in life.”

    Mr. Bennett, Pride and Prejudice Ch. 59.

    Respect can mean more than intellectual respect, but I could go either way on predictions about H&R.

  • Sophie

    Well that makes sense. A lot of young adult narratives involve some sort of attempt to overthrow the status quo, and most movements that have tried to change society have involved acts of civil disobedience. I think these sorts of stories appeal to teenagers for the same reason that young people lead most rebellions. They are not settled enough into society to accept its rules without question, and they are young enough that they can imagine change. Because a lot of positive change is achieved through questioning the legal trappings of society these radical narratives also serve a purpose. The teach young people not to simply accept the rules as morally right, and as such help society to progress.

  • AnnaB

    Well, not really. Ron never really got around to admiring Hermione for the awesome things she could do. He always thought her scary and intimidating. The only way he got Hermione to warm to his insensitivity is him buying a book to tell him how to do it, and that seems demeaning to Hermione–that she could be pretty much figured out by a book. I know that seems cute: Bookworm can be summed up by a book, hahaha! But it really isn’t. It’s kind of insulting. It’s just like being psychoanalyzed and stereotyped by a beauty magazine. So, it might have worked in the short term. And yes, Ron might have gotten Hermione to marry him based on this, but I hardly think it would’ve amounted to a lasting marriage. You can fake it till you make it, but you can’t fake it when you’re married. It’s way too much work for any reasonable human being.

  • Katy

    I was thinking the same thing. I actually quite liked the pairing of Ron and Hermione instead of Harry and Hermione, but to have all her characters marry out of high school? Not very realistic.

  • AnnaB

    I totally loved the idea that she would hook up with one of the twins. Any one of them would’ve been perfect for her.

  • Cheryl Oni

    Funny enough, if you watch BAMF Girls Club on youtube, Hermione has a sort of mild crush on Willow.

  • Anonymous

    It’s just like real life. Full of woulda, shoulda, and coulda. The fact that Ron and Hermione are so different echoes reality.

    Many long-term relationships and marriages involve people who don’t seem to fit together, but they work because of it, rather than in spite of it. Besides, just imagine the arguments they have. Their life after Hogwarts could fill another seven volumes.

  • Anonymous

    I mean they are her character sand she would know best but I always assumed that what we weren’t reading about was the physical chemistry that just maybe happened for those two.

    That said, I think it’s perfectly fine for characters in young adult fiction to neatly end up with their high school sweethearts.

  • Anonymous

    Just so. Also, she not only married Ron, she “married” his loving, magical family. Who wouldn’t want to be in that amazing, madcap lot… other than a Malfoy?

  • Anonymous

    I think Draco has very little to really redeem. Other than being a brat who regurgitates his parents’ politics, he doesn’t really do anything that demonstrates moral evil. He’s given the opportunity when he’s supposed to kill Dumbledore, but of course, he doesn’t do it and illustrates that he doesn’t want to. If he had, or had a greater hand in the atrocities associated with Voldermort, then it would be quite difficult. As he was, it seems relatively easy as an author to redeem him. That’s essentially what allows for it in the epilogue anyway.

  • Anonymous

    Very much agreed. I think people feel almost obligated for the male and female lead to hook up, and it always appeals to me when they’re just good friends, despite being opposite genders.
    And I like Ron and Hermione. Is it a perfect relationship? No, but how many perfect couples do you know? Ron and Hermione always felt realistically flawed to me. They’ll have fights and rough spots, but if they can pull through that, the relationship will be that much stronger.

  • Alia Castiella

    *stands and applauds*

  • WWWeaves

    Thanks for this. I’m also a Hermione and I would have chosen Ron for some of the reasons you say. Also, Harry and Hermione were both outsiders to the Wizarding world, raised by muggles. It made perfect sense to me that they would both marry Weasleys.

  • Claudia Gray

    Whether Harry and Hermione would have worked — I don’t know. Maybe, maybe not. But that’s not what JKR said. She said she stuck to an original plan about Ron and Hermione that really didn’t suit how the characters wound up evolving as she wrote.

    I like Ron & Hermione and all, never expected it to end any other way, but I can’t think of one single common interest they share, unless it’s “keeping Harry alive.” Which is all well and good but not much to build a marriage on.

  • baileybell

    Seriously! I would probably marry any Weasley (excluding Percy) just to join that family.

  • baileybell

    I think the book just helped Ron realize he needed to stop being an ass, and start thinking about the girl’s perspective. The book seemed dorky and a bit silly, not like a serious key to Hermione’s heart – it just opened Ron’s mind a bit. In no way did she marry him because of that book (?!?).

    I think Ron hugely admires Hermione’s mind, perseverance, and loyalty, although he gets annoyed by her occasional inflexibility and obsessiveness. He has to get over himself a bit, first, so that he can stop being intimidated and defensive – but he does! Ultimately, he respects her and grounds her.

  • baileybell

    I love it! They’re brilliant, ambitious, clever, and practical – but also fun and mischievous, providing a balance that Hermione needs.

  • TrippedB

    I’ve always been a Ron and Hermione fan and probably will. I was never a Harry and Hermione fan, but far less than all the other freakin odd ships Draco/Hermione Snape/Hermione… Hermione/Plus WHOLE Cast of characters. Poor thing really. Anyways at the time she thought they would make a great pairing as an author. I mean they’re her work and characters her say so goes. If she says, yeah well maybe they won’t be together now. I would have not regrets, honestly the only thing I would regret is just not being to embrace Dumbledores’s lifestyle choice more.

    If she thinks they should no longer be together fine, in a future HP book write them having a divorce. I’ll read the fuck out of that shit! *Heartbroken* Because I will always be shipping Ron and Hermione. :( but oh well. It’s her choice for now I’m just glad their canon.

    And yes I agree the Epilogue is only EH. Did like seeing in the movie did reading it honestly.

  • Anonymous

    Ok, yes he is redeemed as a character, and was never really a bad guy, just a teenager in a bad situation. I was thinking more of redemption (probably not the right word, repentance?) from being a general arsehole, which he was for most of the story, and whether the other party could get over all the shit he pulled in school.

  • Amanda Evans

    No matter what you think about the Hermione/Ron relationship, can we please stop referring to Ron as the stupid one or the idiot of the group? Those are ableist slurs and we’re better than that. Ron had just as much to offer to the group (and to his relationship with Hermione) as the other two that might not have had to do with intellect but had everything to do with loyalty and support. Those qualities are just as valuable.

  • mary

    Aside from agreeing with Janelle, i’d like to add the following points:

    1) Isn’t anyone else sick of the “hero gets the primary girl” thing? It would’ve been completely predictable to add yet ANOTHER title to the already overly tired notion; and i, for one, am glad to see that it didn’t happen in this series. Harry NOT ending up with Hermione made for a much more convincing and intriguing story, as we all know that hetero-plutonism (is that a word? It is now.) is an issue that people struggle with regularly–adding to the relate-able clause of good reading.

    2) From an english major standpoint, it goes without saying that it’s more profound that the muggle-born girl-who-fights-for-elven-rights ends up with a wizard with an old, “pure” bloodline (and knows it). Duh.

  • Denise Winters

    1. Hermione + Luna= Forever!!!!!
    2. I think that Harry and Gina, with Hermione and Ron, served as a means of making them all a more official family. I think this may have undermined, just abit, the role of chosen family and friendship in the series. I think it would have been great to show them all just as close as if they were all in-laws but without actually all being in-laws. The would have still been a family.

  • Travis

    Harry and Hermione are more emotionally attuned to each other than pretty much any other two people in the book.
    Hermione is always sensitive to whatever Harry is going through and while Harry isn’t always the most supportive person for Hermione, he at least generally understands where she’s coming from.

    Both were raised as muggles and then introduced to the magical world, giving them a relatively unique worldview. Keep in mind that even the most open minded-wizards are still astoundingly ignorant about the muggle world, if not outright xenophobic.

    Which is, in part, the reason Ron never really understands either of them. The other part being, of course, that he’s a giant tool bag.

  • Travis

    Loyalty and support? You mean like the multiple times he abandoned his so-called best friend during life-or-death situations over petty crap brought on by his own stupidity?

  • Anonymous

    I don’t mind Ron and Hermione together, though I do see her and Harry as a better couple. In any case, the relationship I think Rowling should regret is the Ginny-Harry one. There was no build-up, it literally came out of nowhere on Harry’s part, and there was more of a connection between Luna and Harry than Harry and Ginny. It would have been a much more interesting twist had she put Harry and Luna together.

  • Denise Winters

    But I think they were already family. Mrs. Weasely even sees the bodies of Harry (and maybe Hermione) right alongside that of her other children as a visualization of her worst fear. And hey, Percy came through in the end. In the wizarding world his resignation would have went viral if caught on camera.

  • Avril111

    My Uncle Connor got Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG use this link

  • Mr Norrell

    I dislike Ron bashing (any bashing at all, actually) and hate it when people go back to redo their work just because they can *cough* George Lucas *cough*. The difference I see here is that if she did it to fix something she saw as a mistake and used it to improve as a writer, I’d totally be for buying the whole set again.


  • Mr Norrell

    Perhaps Emma Watson’s insight from having played Hermione lead her to believe that Hermione would try (or at least contemplate trying) everything she could think of to make Ron happy (which could run the gambit from making sure she devoted a lot of time to spend with him to sacrificing her dreams for a career in order to have a big brood of children), while it’s doubtful that Ron would ever think to do so, much less even realize that she wasn’t happy.

  • BatiHoney

    I’m sure Emma says what she says because of her own views on Hermione and Ron, and I don’t judge her for that, but a lot of people on tumblr are mad that “Ron has been shat on again”, which in this case doesn’t seem fair to blame on Rowling when she didn’t shit on him in those quotes? I don’t see ANYONE hating on Emma Watson for what she said but everyone’s making fun and hating on Rowling for those quotes and it’s silly to me…

    Now, I’m not a Potterhead, I’m a casual fan, and I haven’t really devoted much thought to deeply analyzing Ron and Hermione, but honestly, I cannot imagine how they would be like as a couple. They got together at the VERY end, so we didn’t get to see Rowling writing that dynamic. As you say, maybe Hermione would overthink it knowing they’re really different, and Ron would either be too chill and oblivious or maybe feel insecure? next to someone like Hermione. I may be wrong, I don’t know these two as much as everyone else, but it’s what comes to my mind. If being with Ron meant sacrificing her career to have A LOT of children, I don’t think Hermione would like that not because she doesn’t want children but rather because she has different priorities. So, yes, I see where Emma comes from! But everyone sees that as “shitting on Ron” rather than “acknowledging there might be not enough compatibility between these two” which is how I see it at least. I don’t think Hermione would be able to make HIM happy either, anyway.

  • Anonymous

    Hermione and Ginny, perhaps…?

  • Anonymous

    “And on the reverse, name a female superhero with a civilian boyfriend.”

    A little late but… Ever heard of Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor? Only had to go to the most famous female superhero of all to find what you asked for…

  • Travis

    The DC Universe has been reset twice since the last time Steve Trevor and Wonder Woman were together.

    Can you think of one that hasn’t been defunct for thirty years?

  • DarthLocke4

    It’s only a literary sin for those that disapprove of her approach. I personally am glad she didn’t stick to the sibling relationship must fall in love thing. And I think it’s entirely possible that Harry and Hermione just see more in others, than themselves and that perhaps Ron and Ginny are exactly what they needed to balance themselves out.

  • Mr Norrell

    You do realize that the “sibling relationship/she’s like my sister” bit was put in as a way to force Ron and Hermione together, right? You can’t judge what could have been by what she wrote for what she wrote she wrote to force two characters together and keep another couple from forming.

    And as for this argument of “balance,” you don’t think Harry and Hermione helped to balance each other throughout the series? He helped her to lighten up about studying and breaking the rules while she was constantly getting him to rethink his wild theories and gather evidence before acting. Had it gone this way things would’ve been even more pronounced.

  • Anonymous

    Were you even reading the same books? Ron had faults but I wouldn’t say he was indifferent, passive, neglectful or any more adverse to learning than Harry (they both copied Hermione’s work and got almost exactly the same grades). If anything I think Ron was the most passionate of the three.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry I just went and read all your comments and… man you really don’t like Ron. Not being judgy as you are entitled to dislike whatever fictional character you choose, but may I ask why? He was always my fave character, so I’m just curious.

  • DarthLocke4

    I never said Hermione didn’t help Harry, just that she and he could give each other what they really needed, a bigger sense of family, as they were both in their own different ways, outsiders. The whole Weasley household gave them comfort and stability. It was like they belonged there. Hermione would never play sports with Harry like Jinny would (because this need to do that is important to Harry) Maybe more in truth it’s Ron that’s problem and not that Hermione belonged with Harry?

  • Mr Norrell

    Why would playing sports with Harry be a prerequisite to them being in a relationship? If you look at the way Quidditch was portrayed throughout the series, the sport itself had less and less importance in Harry’s life as the series went on, so why would he require Quidditch playing from a mate? Your argument completely deflates when you consider that Ron played Quidditch too and had always been much more obsessed with it than Harry was. You don’t see Ron listing it on his “must haves” in a potential mate, now do you?

    You’re right that the whole Weasley family did give Harry and Hermione an adoptive wizarding family and a sense of belonging. The question is why would anyone jeopardize that by dating one of the Weasleys? If you break up with someone you don’t just break up with them, you break up with their family too. That’s too much for the outsiders to risk.

    Having the main characters get together is fine. It’s one of the oldest storytelling conventions. My big problem with what she did was that she violated those same conventions by putting Hermione with Ron. On an individual character level Hermione deserved better than someone as emotionally malignant as him.

    When you think of the bigger storytelling aspects of it, rather than shutting down the potential for relationships between all of your favorite characters’ children (for in the way Rowling left things that would be incestuous) having Hermione get together with Harry opens that future up. Their children would then be free to explore relationships with various Weasleys and THEN become one big happy family.

  • DarthLocke4

    Because some people view sports and being on a team where you have to work together a way to “bond” beyond words. It’s similar to military strategy.

    I’m done. You don’t have to agree with me on what makes a good or bad relationship or if you think this was a good thing to Rowling to do or not. Relationships like culture are SUBJECTIVE to whatever we think good and bad is. (Hence “culture” and social status are not always the same in every place in time period and that includes approaches and styles of story telling)

  • Sophie

    That’s kind of poetic. I feel like we should all join hands and sing the Very Potter Musical soundtrack.

  • Anonymous

    Hm. Respectfully disagree with you there. To me Ron’s wrong actions were never any more destructive than anyone elses, especially not to Hermione who gave as good as she got in my opinion. And as to their relationship sending girls the wrong message, the message it sent me as a girl was love who you love and you don’t need an amazing partner to be amazing yourself, so I’d call that a pretty good message on the whole.

  • Ginny Illuminada Dailo

    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire mentions Salem’s Witches’ Institute and and a Brazillian wizarding school. Quiditch Throughout the Ages mentions several quiditch team from around the world, like Japan and Australia. I wouldn’t say the wizarding world is so quite so small, perhaps limited. I would even go as far as to theorize that wizards and witches are everywhere perhaps just so much rarer than muggles that their communities seem quite small in comparison. I think fans have to remember we’re seeing everything from Harry’s young and inexperienced point of view, so we could possibly see very little of the Wizarding World and perhaps only scratch the surface..