Monday, February 10, 2014

Who is Hermione’s Perfect Man?

Well, this week J.K. Rowling pretty much rocked our worlds. No, she didn’t announce a new series based in the world of wizards and muggles. We wish! Instead, Rowling made a comment that cast doubt on the happily-ever-after of two of her most beloved characters: Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley. In an interview with Hermione portrayer Emma Watson, she said that she wrote the Hermione/Ron relationship as “a form of wish fulfillment” and that the two characters ended up together simply because she was “clinging to the plot as [she] first imagined it.” As writers, many of us were shocked to hear Rowling talk about her Monday-morning-quarterbacking-post-publication-plot-regrets. We like to pretend we got it right! But as a reader, I was even more dismayed. Even though I am a writer and I know that the final plot of a book can go any number of ways, I still like to be immersed in the worlds other authors create. I like to live under the illusion that what I am reading is the story as it had to happen. No one is more enraged than me when Hollywood makes a movie from a book I love and changes the ending, and that’s because there’s something real about the words as they end up on the page.
            So I wish Rowling had chosen not to share her second thoughts. But since she did, I have to weigh in. Because I actually agree that Ron wasn’t right for Hermione! Ron is an okay guy, but he isn’t as smart as Hermione, and he’s emotionally unstable. Remember when he flipped out and left Harry and Hermione alone to save the world from Voldemort? I think Hermione would be faced with a lifetime of wishing she had someone around who was on her intellectual and emotional level. Rowling suggested that Hermione should have ended up with Harry, but I would be sad to see that because I loved the wonderful friendship between Hermione and Harry. I loved that Rowling wrote a meaningful friendship between a boy and a girl that did not have to be romantic. They had a respectful, loving friendship that would last a lifetime, and both Hermione and Harry deserved to have a friendship like that in their lives.
            A poll of my fellow Inkies revealed more problems with Hermione ending up with Harry. For example, what would have happened to the character of Ginny? We would never have had Harry and Ginny’s epic first kiss, and one more awesome strong woman would have been relegated to minor character status. The relationships between Harry/Ginny and Ron/Hermione also place all of our favorite characters in the same family, which we love. Some us loved the Ron/Hermione relationship because they did seem unsuited for each other—just like in real life, unexpected relationships make things interesting!
            I agree with those who said that Hermione didn’t need to be married off to anyone. Getting married to someone you met at age eleven may be a common fantasy among kids who don’t know better, but Hermione deserved better than that. She deserved to have great adventures! If she chose to marry anyone, I’d like to think she’d make that choice after seeing the world as a strong single lady who owed nothing to anyone. Maybe she would have ended up with a sexy foreign wizard, someone with brains, body, pizzazz, and of course, the brave heart of a Gryffindor. Perhaps her paramour would have been Swedish or Russian or Chinese. Perhaps he would have been American and Hermione would have moved to New York, where I could have passed by her on a busy street.
          Even though I can imagine all sorts of things that might have happened to Hermione, even some I would have liked better than the things that happened in the books, the reader in me has to accept that she and Ron ended up together and lived happily ever after. That’s the way Rowling wrote it, and in my book, that’s the way it has to be. Not only am I a stickler for the original words, but they did live happily ever after. What more could we want for the characters we love?

Mary G. Thompson is the author of Wuftoom and Escape from the Pipe Men!

7 comments:

  1. I like the Ron/Hermione relationship even if Ron isn't as intelligent as her. And the Harry & Ginny romance is sweet. I imagine if we spend as much time with our characters as JK Rowling has with these that we might wonder about other relationships that could have formed. That's okay with me that she just shared some of her thoughts on it.

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  2. I've never ever accepted Hermione's marriage it's all be wrong to me. I expected her to go all over the world, bea famous witch or better be the witch version of "Doctor Who" but stelling down and marry. It makes her whole past life pointless to me; Hermione as a staying home mum? Really? But still a man does not make a female complete until she chooses that. At any way I think Rowling is nuts and she love driving attention every now and then to tell the world she still exists. More over, I think she fears Divergent and The Hunger Game success.

    P.S. Ron was quite good and I wish if he settled with another girl and worked in the ministry to be just like his daddy or be a famous Quidditch keeper with lots of fans and a lovely girl, but to me it was never Hermione.

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  3. I've always loved that Hermione and Ron ended up together just BECAUSE they were mismatched--that seemed authentic to me. I'm not worried about Hermione's ability to become Minister of Magic or a world-traveler, even if she is married--she's a strong lady. I'm tempted to agree with those who point out that very few high school romances stand the test of time. But perhaps having been through hell together gave H& R and H&G an exceptionally strong bond.

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  4. I'm ok with JK Rowling revealing her thoughts on who should have ended up with who, it doesn't change what she wrote for me. I've always liked that they all became related with Harry marrying Ginny. It sits right with me somehow.

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  5. I'm trying to ignore Rowling ever said anything, but your post says it perfectly.
    And I've always felt the same way as you about movies' revisions, particularly when I was a kid.
    The written story was like science to me -- you couldn't change FACTS!

    But the truth is, I always had an issue with Hermione and Ron's romantic relationship. To me it just didn't seem realistic that a friendship that commenced in childhood would evolve like that.
    I recall an interview with Emma Watson and she was asked how it was to kiss Rupert. She said it was like kissing a BROTHER. They too grew up together.
    Wouldn't Hermione and Ron feel the same way about each other?

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  6. To me the combination of Ron and Hermione work. Molly Weasley was bossy and so is Hermione.

    I myself had the chance to finally date a childhood crush and it was wonderful. So I can easily see them dating eventually since they spent so much time liking each other. Maybe Hermione could have dated more guys before she dated Ron. Eh.

    I can see their marriage working. I can also see Ron as a stay-at-home dad while Hermione goes to work and maybe even one day becomes the Minister of Magic.

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  7. I agree with you that this was information I wish hadn't gotten out there, because I like to know how things end and I like to picture the characters I love going about their happy grownup lives.

    As for Ron and Hermione- I do think they work well together because I have seen some similar relationships in real life. Yes, Hermione is super smart and works hard, but that doesn't necessarily mean that she wants to be with someone who has that same drive. Instead, she might need relief and fun when she is done with her work. Ron is also smart enough that he does well in school and he figures out some important clues throughout the series. They have a strong friendship which is important in any relationship.

    I also think that Hermione would love to have the large family to spend holidays with, as she was an only child.

    If Hermione and Ron didn't end up together, I don't think she would have ended up with Harry. I love their friendship and the fact that there is no romance between them. Maybe someone she met while studying abroad... ;)

    Fascinating post and lots to think about!
    ~Jess

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