With the epilogue of the seventh book and the rolling credits of the eighth movie, the Harry Potter franchise has come to an end with a promising legacy. Or maybe not.
Author J.K. Rowling has stayed in contact with her fans even after the story came to a close, and she has helped keep the magic alive with the creation of the website “Pottermore” and by revealing Dumbledores’ unmentioned homosexuality.
But not all news has been very well received.
“The Sunday Times” website published an article entitled “JK Admits Harry Should Have Wed Hermione,” which caused a bit of an uproar to say the least. A closer look at the articles’ sources and the actual quotations reveal something a bit less extreme, but still shocking.
“I wrote the Hermione/Ron relationship as a form of wish fulfillment, 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,” Rowling said in an interview with “Wonderland Magazine.”
Rowling doesn’t explicitly say she wished she had written that Hermione married Harry rather than Ron, but she does explain the complexity of Hermione and Ron’s relationship and the problems she saw in it.
“It was a young relationship,” Rowling said. “I think the attraction itself is plausible but the combative side of it… I’m not sure you could have got over that in an adult relationship, there was too much fundamental incompatibility.”
But that combatative side of Ron and Hermione’s relationship is what led readers to love them.
“[Hermione] builds up her anger and then explodes[…] but I’m sure after a bit of distance they would remember how much they truly love each other,” freshman Elizabeth Malone said. “She’s the one thing that Ron got that Harry didn’t.”
Though Rowling doesn’t say she regrets writing Ron and Hermione together, that is how many readers are interpreted her comments. If those words had come from any reader, they would be brushed off as maybe an unpopular opinion, but voiced by the author herself, Rowling’s remarks have stirred up quite a row in the seemingly complacent fandom.
“No, absolutely not,” senior Christina Johns said, “as an avid reader and beloved movie watcher I can respect her opinion, but I don’t agree with it.”
In the interview Rowling herself says, “This is Potter heresy!”
“If Harry had married Hermione, then Ginny would’ve had to watch the man she loved marry the woman her brother loved,” Johns continued. “What kind of ending would that be?”
Rowling speculated later in the interview about what Ron and Hermione’s adult lives could be like, questioning whether or not Ron could make Hermione happy and vice versa, but she also acknowledged the potential for a better outcome.
“Maybe she and Ron will be all right with a bit of counseling,” Rowling said. “They’ll probably be fine. He needs to work on his self-esteem issues and she needs to work on being a little less critical.”
Though readers might not be happy with this interview, it’s easy to understand that not all relationships are perfect. Hermione and Ron have always been a prime example of the ups and downs people overcome for the love they have through each other. Whether the fans agree or not, this uproar just goes to show that the Harry Potter fandom still stands strong today.