February 5, 2014

Love and Friendship in the Wizarding World

If you’re a Harry Potter fan, odds are you heard about the interview where JK Rowling said that looking back she thought that Harry and Hermione should have ended up together as a couple.

And the internet went crazy.

Not because they thought that she was right, but because they were upset. As a writer, I can understand what JK Rowling said. In a way. You always wonder if you did the right thing, if there was a way to make the story stronger. But honestly, as a fan… I am upset. For a number of reasons.

First, it’s pretty upsetting to me that it should be important in any way who Hermione falls in love with. She’s one of the great heroes of the whole thing, who stuck with Harry through thick and thin… who made her own parents forget about her to protect them. She’s brilliant, she’s tough. She deserves a lot more respect than to be boiled down to a romantic pairing.

Secondly, her relationship with Harry is pretty unique. In most book series, the main female character is usually the love interest of the main male protagonist- if not for the entire series, for at least part of it. So in a way, Harry and Hermione is what should have been expected. But it never happened. Instead, we got a storyline where two good friends of opposite genders could be friends instead of in love. That you could become family, because they really were like brother & sister.

Instead, we had the long, slow build of Ron and Hermione. Who didn’t particularly get along in the beginning, slowly became friends and then became more. It actually reminded me a lot of the stories my own family members told about meeting their future significant other, and hating them in the beginning. It felt real to me. And the two balance each other personality-wise.

Besides, if we’re going to bring up anyone else from the book series who could have ended up with Hermione, it’s Viktor Krum. Viktor, who saw Hermione’s brilliance and beauty before anyone else did. And who basically got shoved to the side, and did so gracefully. Now that’s a man who doesn’t get nearly enough respect.

Of course, there’s the option that nobody mentions – why does Hermione need a romantic partner to get her happy ending? With family and friends, she could have easily decided to throw herself into a career. Use her passion for knowledge and brave heart to protect others.

While I understand JK Rowling considering whether or not she did the right thing by her characters, I respectfully disagree with her conclusion.

Your thoughts?

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