In the issue of Wonderland that Emma Watson guest edited, JK Rowling made some comments on some of our favorite characters in the Harry Potter series.
“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.”
“I know, I’m sorry,” she continued, “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. Am I breaking people’s hearts by saying this? I hope not.” (source)
Now, Ron and Hermione are not my favorite relationship in the books. But, unlike the majority of fans I’ve spoken to, I actually enjoyed the way things turned out in Deathly Hallows. A lot of people didn’t like the epilogue because it was “too corny” or something, but I did. I thought it ended the series nicely.
And I thought–still think–that Ron and Hermione are a good pair. People seem to believe that Ron isn’t smart enough for Hermione, or that Harry and Hermione had chemistry the entire time.
I’m not saying that Ron is brilliant or anything, but are these people saying that Harry is? Come on. Harry needed just as much help on his homework as Ron did, and was more easily distracted and got more detentions than his friend did. Ron was the one that became Prefect, not Harry. So, that argument really doesn’t make any sense. If you were saying that Hermione deserved, say, Michael Corner instead, then perhaps that would have more merits. But that isn’t what people are saying.
And as far as expecting Harry and Hermione to get together the whole time–where did you get that from? The only chemistry Harry had with anyone in the series was Ginny, and I’m not even sure about that (not to say that I don’t love Harry and Ginny together, because I do, and that’s another reason why I disagree with this). And Hermione and Ron were clearly in love (or least in like) with each other from the very start. LOTS of tension between the two of them. You don’t even have to really pay attention. It’s quite obvious.
Which leads me to why I don’t understand what JKR is trying to say. In what way was this wish fulfillment? She had clearly built up the Ron/Hermione relationship from the beginning. It wasn’t like she just sat down to write the seventh book and went “Oh, I think Ron and Hermione look cute together” or anything. She was going at this from the beginning. The only thing Hermione and Harry had was platonic friendship, the entire time.
My mom, who found out about this news a little late, told me that the first time she read the series, she was expecting Harry/Hermione the whole way through. She couldn’t really explain why to me, but that had been her thought. It confused me to hear that. Perhaps I’m not remembering correctly, since it’s been a while for me (though it has been for her, too) since I first read the series, but I don’t think I ever thought Harry and Hermione would get together. I didn’t anticipate Ginny with Harry until the fifth book (so maybe I was a little slow), but I had guesses about Ron and Hermione from the second book onward.
I haven’t heard too many actual reasons why Harry and Hermione should have ended up with each other. Just people all over the Internet going “I TOLD YOU SO” and “Take that, ha!”. I’m probably just looking in the wrong places, but honestly, I have yet to see a single reason. Hopefully someone can reason with me in the comments.
I’m hardly the spokesperson for Ron/Hermione, but I definitely think that it makes more sense than Harry/Hermione. Really, it kind of grosses me out to think about them as anything more than friends. I’ve always seen the two of them as brother and sister, while I didn’t get the same vibe from Hermione and Ron. They appeared to be crushing on each other from the start.
Do you agree with JKR? With me? Can someone enlighten me as to why Harry and Hermione actually make sense?