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.
(1) On-point gif usage yet again. (2) KIM YOU’RE NOT LIVING IN A BUBBLE, JO IS. They ARE canon. (3) Hermione’s a badass, Ron’s a hero, and they’re perfect for each other. Ginny’s a rockstar, and Hermione and Harry are practically siblings. (4) I will never understand why JK Rowling uttered those words in a public setting. She’s supposed to be good with words. That’s kind of her thing.
As much as I would like to claim writing this, Sage is the one living in the bubble. But we share a room there. -K
*I WROTE KIM AND MEANT SAGE. SORRY SAGE. SHUN ME ACCORDINGLY.
Charles Dulaney (@cdulaney85) says
On point as always! Especially #1 and 2 were spot on.
Charles Dulaney (@cdulaney85) says
Now I feel a little sad I didn’t get a reply. Or even yelled at either.
LOL HOW IS THIS FOR A REPLY?
My main issue with what she said isn’t even that it ruins the Ron/Hermione ship per se, but that it COMPLETELY ruins their character arcs. I don’t think that what they went through over the course of the series was specifically to get them in a place where they were able to be together/have a healthy relationship, but it certainly made them both healthier people. People who are capable of understanding the deep connections in their lives, and what they mean, and how to hold on to them. So if their character arcs to make them both more mature, understanding people was essentially wrong, then…What? Who are they? What’s the point of their characters?
And let’s not forget, Hermione is certainly smarter/more reasonable than Ron, but that’s not to say that Harry is somehow her perfect match. Harry is just as lazy and unmotivated as Ron – it just doesn’t seem like it because he’s our POV character. It’s not like Harry is writing his essays eagerly next to Hermione while Ron sleeps on the couch. In fact, Hermione wound up doing a lot of his assignments for him. Yet suddenly somehow Harry is perfect for her? Or a better match? The whole POINT of Ron/Hermione is that they’re opposites, and the point of Harry/Ginny is that they’re similar. And both of them had to overcome their initial impressions of each other, which took YEARS in Ron/Hermione’s case.
The reality is, books DO belong with their readers (because now that JK Rowling has betrayed me, John Green has earned 100% of my trust), and the readers have a right to accept or refuse any non-canon idea introduced by the author. And guess the flip what. I don’t accept this, because it’s not in line with my view of the characters, and also, apparently Hermione Granger only exists to make one of the two male leads happy.
I loathe you less today, Jaime. -K
Jaime Poland, you’re a star. –S
I’ve been trying to figure out what on earth Rowling’s motivation was for doing this, and I still don’t get it.
WE DON’T EITHER.
Stands and applauds! Well said – I was fuming when I read that article. And my day also got a little brighter learning that you’ll be devoting blog space to Harry Potter this spring. Squee!
We’ve had it planned BASICALLY since launching, but we know the series will be a BEAST. But after the response to us posting the interview on FB and this post, we realized we needed to get our act together and DO IT FINALLY.
After Awards Season is done though 😉 -K
Yeah, I feel like someone should remind the jubilant Harry/Hermoine shippers that Rowling may not be done “revising” yet. Be afraid.
Harry and Hermione should have ended up together,Ron sucks! That asshole made Hermione cry and was mean to her all the time,seriously why the hell did JK Rowling put Ron and Hermione together?
Ron sucks? What books were you reading?
Also Harry made her cry plenty of times too.