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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

hey, maybe Hermione could have married no one!

So there’s variations on this all over the web today. From the Guardian:

JK Rowling: Hermione should have married Harry, not Ron

In an interview with quarterly lifestyle magazine Wonderland… author JK Rowling said Ron may not have been the most suitable beau.

She told the magazine: “I wrote the Hermione-Ron relationship as a form of wish fulfilment. 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.

“I know, I’m sorry, I can hear the rage and fury it might cause some fans, but if I’m absolutely honest, distance has given me perspective on that. It was a choice I made for very personal reasons, not for reasons of credibility.

Did we absolutely need to see the three major characters married off? I don’t mean they should all have spent their lives miserable and alone. I mean, did whom they marry need to be part of the story at all? Not everybody meets their spouse while still a teenager. Couldn’t it have ended like most high school stories do, when high school ends? Leave a little something for us all to wonder about? (And maybe leave some room for Rowling to return to a grownup Harry later on? Maybe another crisis arises in the wizarding world while he’s working as an Auror?)

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  • Tonio Kruger

    I always thought Luna and Hermione would have made a nice couple.

  • bronxbee

    it is true though… why couldn’t the three have just remained as true, bonded friends. not all the strongest bonds require sex.

  • cinderkeys

    Agreed. the Hermione-Ron pairing struck me as somewhat arbitrary — I didn’t see the romantic chemistry between those two at all — but a Hermione-Harry pairing doesn’t seem much more likely.

    The best thing I can say about her choice, if she felt she had to choose life partners for her high-school-aged characters, is that at least she subverted a particularly annoying cliche. Traditionally Harry would have ended up with Hermione because, as the male protagonist, he’s owed the love of the most important female character.

  • I would say that while most people do not meet their match in High School, most people also don’t go through SEVEN life or death/end of the world experiences with their two closest friends while in school.

    While it would please nobody, and would not fit within the bounds of the audience being written for, in all likelihood most of the main characters should have come out those books emotionally scarred for life. Almost all of them actually forming healthy pair-bonds seems a little incredulous.

    But I imagine back then, J.K. really just wanted to tie the bow on the box and be done with it. Now that she’s back harvesting more material from the universe she’s probably changed her mindset.

  • Bluejay

    Rowling is quoted all over the place as saying she regrets the Hermione/Ron pairing, but are there any direct quotes of her specifically saying Hermione should have married Harry instead? Seems to me all the “Harry Not Ron” headlines are jumping to conclusions.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    “Need” is an awfully strong word. It didn’t need to not end with the coda that it did, either. I always admired Rowling for actually closing the book and not leaving behind any obligatory sequel hooks.

    Not everybody meets their spouse while still a teenager.

    But some people do. Both are common human experiences. And from a storytelling point of view, if you’re trying to wrap up your story, it’s just plain easier to keep to the same set of character names.

    That last chapter, though. It’s like it’s the single most important section of the entire series, the amount of attention it’s gotten. Especially since, as near as I can tell, it exists for a single line:

    “Albus Severus Potter, you were named after two headmasters of Hogwarts. One of them was a Slytherin and he was the bravest man I ever knew.”

    That’s it. I has nothing to do with who married whom and what everyone’s kid looks like. That’s all just window dressing, a framework to hang that last thought from.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Also, never underestimate the voyeuristic intensity of shippers. Truly, they are a force in fandom to be reckoned with.

  • RogerBW

    Yes, I don’t think Rowling’s imagination would have stretched to anything other than a conventional ending. Look how she tried to retcon in homosexuality to make the fans happy.

  • Danielm80

    I dunno. I’m foolish enough to think she did it because she believes in tolerance and equality.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    [skeptical Joker] …not sure if serious…

  • Rebecca Dalmas

    Something about their trio and Harry ultimately being the third wheel enhances the solitude of Harry’s heroic journey.

  • David_Conner

    To be fair, I don’t think Hogwarts is comparable to our Muggle high schools in this regard. The wizarding community is small and insular, and pretty much every wizard in Britain goes to this one school.

    Come to think of it, that’s kinda horrific, isn’t it? It implies that for wizards, real life actually *is* exactly like high school!

  • bronxbee

    well, since “muggle” parents (i.e., hermoine’s) obviously give birth to “wizard” children, i imagine there are other options open. like mixed marriages…

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