So, if you don’t wander through the internet with blinders on, you’ve probably seen the news about JK Rowling admitting that she regrets marrying off Ron and Hermione at the end of the Harry Potter series. She goes on to say that she thinks Hermione would’ve been better off with Harry.
Well, internet people, it’s no secret that I was (okay, okay AM) a Ron Weasley fangirl (I do still, after all, awkwardly spell out my “mrs.ronniekins” webmail account to store employees), so naturally I feel obligated to have very negative feels about this. Ron DESERVES Hermione. He likes her and they’re adorable and heaven knows he has played second fiddle to Harry in pretty much every other area, ever. I mean, how do you NOT fall in love with this face?
But after my initial “BUT SERIOUSLY RON IS THE CUTEST EVER” rage wore off, I had some writerly thoughts about this, as well. That I can even be thinking of writing and plot points and taking a new slant on things at a time like this just goes to show how much my education is paying off, right? Right.
Anyway, my thought was this: but the hero always gets the girl. The main character’s best friend always ends up being his/her love interest. According to this article, Rowling states that her decision had “very little to do with literature” and more clinging to the plot as she originally imagined it. Rowling, I’d sincerely like to defend your first instincts as a writer, as well as your instinct to “cling” to that decision, because it saved your story from adding to not one, but two, canonical cliches. And okay, Ron and Hermione often fit the “we love to hate each other” cliche, but because a lot of personal growth for Ron was necessary before he and Hermione could have their (slightly disappointing) big kiss moment, this doesn’t bother me so much.
Is it just me, or has Rowling been spending too much time watching the movies, which make it glaringly obvious that the director did everything in his power to publicly ship Hermione/Harry? Am I the only person who found that dancing in the tent because Ron is gone scene super awkward and uncomfortable? No? That’s what I thought.
While the arguments that Ron and Hermione aren’t compatible personality-wise are certainly justifiable, I don’t think that means Harry and Hermione are any better off. In fact, a lot of the most irritating things about Ron (like his total disregard for school work, for instance) can be said of Harry too.
Are we all thinking too much about what happens after “happily ever after” and the fan-pleasing Harry Potter epilogue? Probably. But I still think that, in spite of Rowling’s comments, putting Ron and Hermione together was a choice that had very much to do with literature, in side-stepping the typical “hero gets the girl” mentality and avoiding the awkward friend love triangle that we so often see. And for that, JK Rowling, we salute you.