Filthy rich and super bored? Why not ignite a ship war in your own fandom?
We love Jo Rowling to pieces, obviously. She’s the mother of our favorite YA series of all time – a series which we’re devoting a huge chunk of Head Over Feels to this spring as we revisit all seven novels and films. But, if it’s not too much trouble, we’d appreciate it if she’d stop retconning her books.
The world that she created clearly extends past the final page of Deathly Hallows, and we can appreciate the little tidbits she gives us on our characters’ lives post-Voldy. However, let’s agree to draw the line at firebombing plots and characters as they exist (EXIST – PRESENT TENSE) in the HP series. Ron and Hermione shouldn’t have ended up together? What is this nonsense?
Jo recently (as all HP fans know) called the endgame pairing of Ron and Hermione “wish fulfillment,” and her “clinging to the plot as [she] first imagined it.” Beyond that, she dared to suggest that Hermione should have ended up with Harry – a scenario that the vast majority of Potterheads reject out of hand. Because it’s absurd.
Despite my first instinct to just completely forget that this interview ever happened, I find myself needing to defend one of my literary OTPs – against its own creator. Sigh. A blogger’s work is never done. So, in support of Romione, here are 6 reasons that J.K. Rowling doesn’t know what she’s talking about.
1. Because Harry Should Get to Keep His One Platonic Girl Friend
After I went to the Harry Potter Studio Tour at Warner Brothers UK, I texted Kim to say that I’d given a dirty look to a video interview with HP screenwriter Steve Kloves. For the both of us. Kloves always upped the love triangle quotient between the holy trio, adding and subtracting from the source material as he needed, where there never really was a question about Harry and Hermione’s platonic friendship. With Harry’s short-lived relationship with Cho Chang and long-term will-they-won’t-they with Ginny Weasley (who was also shafted in the movies per Kloves’ agenda), Hermione was the only girl his own age with whom Harry shared a non-romantic, even sisterly bond. Doesn’t our hero deserve a female friend? Can’t he have one relationship with a girl where support and unconditional love trump awkward crushing?
2. Because Ginny Weasley Was Only a Mary Sue in the Movies
Book Ginny started as a little girl with a fixation on her big brother’s famous friend. Then she grew up to be a fierce ginger feminist. A key member of Dumbledore’s Army, an all-star Quidditch player, and an “I don’t give a damn about my reputation” serial dater, book Ginny was the kind of girl you don’t usually find in YA lit. It was the movies that turned her into a clingy little afterthought. I’ll never forgive them for ruining Harry and Ginny’s first kiss, which actually takes place in the Gryffindor Common Room – in front of errrrrybody – after Ginny singlehandedly wins the Quidditch Cup playing a position that’s not even hers. Book Ginny and Harry made sense – they’re both brave and a little rash. And in true clueless boy fashion, Harry hadn’t noticed her until she’d ostensibly moved on from him. If Harry ends up with Hermione, what of Ginevra? My gut tells me she’d either marry Neville Longbottom – which is fine with me – or date around forever and never commit to anyone because she’s Ginny Effing Weasley and she doesn’t need a man. Still, the reality is that Harry and Ginny is canon and deserves to remain that way.
3. Because Ron and Hermione Are Perfect and Adorable and Have Loved Each Other Since They Were 11 Years Old
From the way Ron and Hermione gave each other a hard time in Sorcerer’s Stone, it was clear that puppy love was brewing between those two. So, Hermione was smarter than Ronald – book smarter. So what? Does that discount the hours he spent by her petrified form in Chamber of Secrets? Or his jealous destruction of his Victor Krum action figure in Goblet of Fire? Or the dozens of times he bravely put himself on the line to protect his friends and family? Jo’s disavowal of Ron/Hermione smacks of contempt for that character, and I’m not okay with it.
To imply that there’s some kind of huge gap between them or that Hermione “settled” for Ron is to discount his contributions to the canon and, you know, the WIZARDING WORLD AT LARGE. We’d all be Death Eaters if it weren’t for Ron Weasley. Have some respect.
Plus, it was their differences that made Ron and Hermione right for one another. She needed to “sort our her priorities,” as baby Ron once said, and he needed to be challenged. Hermione always had deep feelings for Ron – let’s not forget what her love potion smelled like – he wasn’t just conveniently nearby. She wasn’t doing him a favor. Also, I’m not sure what good it does for anyone to be matched with their own twin. (Trust me, I happened upon a Fred/George fic once and I’ll never be the same again.) Ron and Hermione will continue to bicker, but they’ll also never be boring.
4. Because It’s Not Like Ron and Harry Were The Only Choices Available to Hermione Granger, The Brightest Witch of Her Age
A. Let’s trust Hermione to choose her own life partner. I don’t think she’d get that wrong.
B. If Ron was the wrong choice, then why is Harry the right one? I suppose Hermione only exists to be wifed up to one of the two male leads.
5. Because It’s Star Wars, and Leia Ends Up with Han, Not Luke
Harry is Luke, Hermione is Leia, and Ron is Han. Everyone knows this to be true. And Luke and Leia can’t get married because they’re related, and their babies would look like Ewoks. Case closed.
6. BECAUSE YOU SAID SO.
Two days ago and without context, John Green tweeted, “Books belong to their readers.” J.K. Rowling may hold the copyrights, but she now shares this work with the millions of adults and children all over the world who have rapturously read and re-read every word. What is the point of backtracking on a storyline that these readers have dissected and swooned over and commemorated with piles and piles of fan art? And even if you ARE a Harry/Hermione shipper (a mindset I will never understand), then you’ve boarded a non-canon ship and surely, after all this time, must be at peace with that. Rowling has to understand that she wields serious power here and that it’s not best used to casually write off fandom truths that we hold sacred.
And now that I’ve said my piece, I will return to my bubble, where Ron and Hermione are currently living happily ever after. So there.