Sorry, J.K. Rowling, but Ron and Hermione Belong Together

Posted on February 4, 2014 by Hannah Wilson

This week, one of my favourite literary couples of all time, Ron and Hermione of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series, were thrown into question. This probably makes me oversensitive and far too fangirly for some people’s tastes, but the thing is… I’m really not happy about it.

Funnily enough, considering how attached I am to all things Potter, I was never really invested in any aspect of Harry’s love life; I found his time spent with Cho Chang to be hilarious like any awkward first romance, and I always found Ginny kind of boring. But I never questioned that he, like the other two members of the famous trio, ended up exactly where he was meant to.

For me, any discussion of romance at Hogwarts has to involve one Ronald Weasley and a Miss Hermione Granger. I love them, and as a hopeless romantic, I believed that they were meant to be together. My beliefs were rewarded by Rowling in the final instalment of the series when the two lovebirds got together at the end of book seven (and had some kiddies thanks to that epilogue that I admittedly loved).

To be honest, my gut and still present reaction was and is: wrong. Wrong wrong wrong.

So imagine my surprise (and to be honest, outrage) this week when Rowling admitted to Hermione herself, Emma Watson, that she regrets putting Ron and Hermione together, that it was a type of “wish fulfillment,” but a move not really true to the story. Watson took it one step further by agreeing with Rowling, saying, “I think there are fans out there who know that too and who wonder whether Ron would have really been able to make her happy.”

Be still my broken heart…

Look, I know that these are characters, and not real people. I know that they are also Rowling’s characters, and it’s her right to do what she wants with them. But, I’m afraid, this in no way changes just how much her admission bothers me.

To be honest, my gut and still present reaction was and is: wrong. Wrong wrong wrong.

I usually eat up everything that JK Rowling offers about her characters and the world she created outside of the seven book series. I rejoiced when she revealed that Dumbledore was gay, and when clips of Rowling discussing the past and personality of Gilderoy Lockhart were released this past week, I basked in her absolute literary genius. So it’s been tricky as such a diehard Harry Potter and JK Rowling fan to be presented with something that I feel is just one hundred percent, completely and utterly wrong. Ron could SO have made Hermione happy, and I feel like there are seven books standing as proof of that fact.

Rupert Grint and Emma Watson in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

SOURCE: Warner Brothers

I realize I’m biased. The Weasleys have always had a special place in my heart, even for Harry Potter characters. When Rowling proved that death and loss were destined to be a huge part of her beloved series after the pinnacle death of Cedric Diggory, I became insanely protective of Ron and his family. The Weasleys come out of book seven beaten and nearly broken, with the loss of Fred, and the maiming of both Bill and George. I took huge comfort in the ever-present, ever-lovable Ron. I was thrilled that, after all the heartbreak and loss, our trio got their happily ever afters, and I was especially happy that Ron and Hermione found it in each other. After this past week, I feel cheated on behalf of Ron Weasley.

And, beyond just Ron, I feel cheated for Hermione, too. The eleven-year old, straight-A bookworm with an aversion to rule breaking that we meet with Ron and Harry on their first train ride from Kings Cross is unrecognizable from the fearless and fiercely loyal heroine that we leave there at the end of the series’ epilogue. I one hundred per cent feel that her relationship with Ron served a huge role in her transition. I loved the way they would bicker, and I loved the way they looked out for each other (slug curse, anyone?). To me, the progression of their friendship into something more seemed like the most natural thing. I was happy that they were so different in so many ways, but that Rowling was able to create a believable, and powerful connection between them that had nothing to do with Harry. It was separate from him, and I thought it was important that Rowling had given the two characters something that was all their own.

Above all, I wish I could sit down with JK Rowling (in a cozy little coffee shop somewhere in Britain, obviously) and hash this out with her.

After reading her statements about Ron, I was also bothered by what this means for some of the themes and aspects of character development that I found so important to Rowling’s story and her trio. All throughout the books, Ron is cast as the famous Harry Potter’s best friend, and is forced to deal with feelings of jealousy, resentment and being overshadowed; I fell in love with Ron because of how realistic these problems, and more importantly, his ability to overcome them became to me. If (and again I never considered it a possibility) both Harry and Ron had been vying for Hermione’s heart, I liked that it was the silly, gangly red-headed Ron that she fell in love with, and not the more conventional choice of the books’ hero. After seeing all this develop throughout the course of seven books, it’s hard to reconcile the story I have come to love so much with Rowling’s words. I think that her characters go through trials and changes that are specific to them. I see a drastic change of course like, “Hermione and Ron should never have been together,” as creating a huge disconnect with the rest of the story.

Above all, I wish I could sit down with JK Rowling (in a cozy little coffee shop somewhere in Britain, obviously) and hash this out with her. All the excitement her statement has caused leads to the questions of when and where a book, or series of books, cease to belong solely to the author that created them. I know that Ron and Hermione wouldn’t exist without Rowling’s incredible imagination and knack for storytelling, and I think it speaks volumes to how incredible she is at it, that so many people are still this passionate about her books, years after they had been published. I don’t think I could ever stop being enthralled with whatever JK Rowling has to say.

My issue with what she said this week is simple: almost 17 years ago, I became quite attached to a red-headed, freckly boy fighting to find his place in the world. I feel as though Rowling’s comments, although I’m sure they were not meant to, have threatened the peace and love I was so happy he found. I just think Mr Ronald Weasley deserves more than that.

Harry Potter Epilogue

SOURCE: Warner Brothers

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