Saturday, February 1, 2014

J.K. Rowling and the Relationship of Uncertainty

Okay.  So J.K. Rowling said in an interview that she felt Harry and Hermione should have ended up together in the Harry Potter book series.

Personally, I think it was perfect how it was.  This idea that because Harry is the primary hero, he's "supposed" to end up with the main female protagonist is laughable in my mind.  If Rowling *really* believed it should've been Harry and Hermione all along, I'm pretty sure she would've written it that way.

Having said that, I fully respect her right as the author to want to change what she's written.

This is actually not what's bugging the shit out of me about the whole situation, though.

No no no.

What's really annoying is the sheer volume of people who are referencing various scenes in the movies, like Harry and Hermione dancing in the tent during Deathly Hallows part 1, as evidence that it was "supposed to be them all along".  People "ship their relationship" (that particular turn of phrase is another rant for another time) for no reason other than what?  Their misguided ideas that the main protagonists always wind up together?


Let's go ahead and look at the issue by comparing Hermione and Ginny from the start.

And no, I'm not talking about comparing the actresses who played them in the movies.  I'm talking in an obnoxious literary purist way.  The characters in the books are the focus.

Hermione always was the intelligent friend.  She was the advisor to Harry, the one who served to reconcile Harry's lack of academic ability and his eventual prodigious use of magic.  At no point in the entire series did Harry or Hermione ever demonstrate even the slightest interest in each other as anything beyond friends.

Ginny, meanwhile, was smitten with Harry right from the start.  And in later books, Harry finds himself keenly aware of Ginny's other relationships, complete with irrational feelings of jealousy.  Ginny becomes a symbol of Harry's growth into adulthood, both in his ability to form a romantic relationship and his decision to end it at the end of Half-Blood Prince in order to protect her from harm.

Now, as I said, I fully respect Rowling's right to disagree with her own decisions.  However, I think the story is fine the way it is.

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