JK Rowling Regrets Coupling Ron And Hermione
So. This happened.
I have surprisingly strong feelings on the matter. Like so many members of my generation, Harry Potter is a series very, very close to my heart. After my mother read me the first chapter, I knew these books were special. I grabbed the Sorcerer’s Stone from her hands and I devoured the book, and all its successors, swiftly. They remain one of the pinnacles of children’s literature that I have had the good fortune to read, alongside The Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit, and Brian Jacques’s wonderful Redwall Series.
J.K. Rowling always struck me as an author of integrity. Sure, she didn’t shy away from licensing. Not everyone can be Bill Watterson. Still, though, she set out to tell the story of Harry’s formative years in seven books. No more. She did that. She did that quite exceptionally well, too.
We’re living in a post-hallows world now. For a while it seemed things were good. Harry Potter had been put to rest, both on the page and on celluloid (or hard drive if you prefer). No mutterings of further tales. A story told in full. Then came Newt Scamander. And then a prequel musical (what?).
And now this. Harry and Hermione should have been a couple.
Tinkering with the legacy of Harry Potter is Rowling’s prerogative. However, this feels unnecessary. It feels like George Lucas going back and making Greedo shoot first. Or JJ Abrams saying he should have been upfront about Khan. Or Peter Jackson admitting that splitting The Hobbit into three films was a bad idea (wait a minute…).
Besides that, the notion of Hermione and Harry becoming a couple is just plain absurd.
Rowling states in her interview:
“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.”
Why is that a bad thing? The pairings of the characters have little to do with the literary value of the narrative. It’s not as though the relationships were the core conflict of the story. This isn’t Wuthering Heights.
Simply put, I believe that Ron and Hermione were the perfect pairing possible. The exemplify the old adage of opposites attracting. They are two people who balance each other out. Not to mention, the pairing of Hermione and Harry would have felt trite and cliched. Ron, the goofy, lovable, occasionally inept, eternally the sidekick, gets the badass, brilliant, capable girl. That’s awesome.
Maybe I’m playing into Rowling’s confessed wish fulfillment. I’ll always see myself more in Ron than in Harry. So perhaps my point of view is moot.
That said, I wish Rowling would have stuck to her guns, and stood by what she wrote. Giving readers insights into her regrets and mental revisions does a disservice to the art she created. Now as long as there is talk of Harry Potter there will be talk of how “Harry was SUPPOSED to end up with Hermione” and that’s poppycock. Not to mention the inevitable film series reboot in which he does.
One last thing. Jo, may I call you Jo? Ok, good. If you’re going to tinker around with your creation, well that’s dandy, and I really should just shut up. But if you’re going to tinker around, then there is honestly only one way to go.
A prequel series featuring the Marauders.
Siriusly, how is that not a thing?