Feb 3, 2014

Posted by in Books, Writing | 0 Comments

Rowling Knew All Along

Time-TurnerHarryHermioneAs expected, the recent bombshell J.K. Rowling dropped on the world in a new interview conducted by Hermione herself (Emma Watson) has been making waves. From Hypable.com:


“The shocking revelation came in the new issue of Wonderland, of which Watson is a guest editor this month. The comments were obtained by The Sunday Times.


Rowling says that she should have put Hermione and Harry together in the Harry Potter series instead of Hermione and Ron, according to the publication’s headline, which reads, ‘JK admits Hermione should have wed Harry.’”


Of course, my first reaction to this was stunned elation. Anyone who knows me well knows what a fierce love/hate relationship I have with Harry Potter. 99% love and 1% hate for how Rowling paired off her main characters. I was an adamant Harry/Hermione (H/Hr) shipper in college when the books were still being written. And so passionate was I about the debate, that I pored over the novels searching for clues and evidence of what I believed had to be the only conclusion. Like many of us Potter Heads who had too much time on our hands, the shipping wars were everything. And Rowling set up a story that could only end in victory or defeat. There would be no “open conclusion.”


This is the reason fanfiction.net has more Harry Potter stories than any other (Naruto is number 2. I’ll get to that in a moment.) Undecided relationship pairings in popular stories of any media type will always draw the most passion from fans. I used to debate on message boards with R/Hr and H/G shippers every day, and the wars often got heated. I knew every passage of the books, and we would argue every sentence that included any of the characters. I’m embarrassed just thinking about it. I just couldn’t understand why anyone would want Ron and Hermione to end up together when it was so obvious Harry and Hermione were so perfect for each other. Their most popular reason was that it would create “a big, happy family.” And now we realize from this article that this is what Rowling wanted as well.


And I hated that argument. To me, storytelling was more than that. If two characters were meant to be together, they should be set up that way, and the story should be directed to allow readers to follow their path to romance. But Rowling never did that. While Harry and Hermione were creating an amazing bond through the first five books, Ron and Hermione were bickering to no end. And Ginny? She disappeared for three whole books! So, when Half-Blood Prince was released, I was crushed, because none of it made any sense… until now anyway.


Rowling made a severe mistake that I always knew, and I am glad she admitted to it. Because I fear for the day I ever make the same mistake. She did not successfully set up the romantic pairings she intended all along. If Ron and Hermione had been intended, and if Harry and Ginny had been intended, then they should have been developed as partners so much better than they were. A hundred times better! Rowling was even forced to admit the currently written Ron and Hermione would have needed counseling! She knew this would create a stir, but this was the right thing to do.


Of course, in hindsight, I can’t complain. If it weren’t for Rowling’s faceplant, I would not have written my own fan fiction in revenge, thus discovering how much I enjoy writing novels. I owe everything to her mistake. But this interview also justifies what I always knew. That Rowling unwittingly developed the first half of what could have been an amazing romantic pairing, and she gave into a dream of something else without developing it. My books will always have romance, but this is a lesson learned. Readers have to be given something more, and the best pairings are established from the very beginning. I would have loved Ron and Hermione, but only if Rowling had allowed me to believe they could be great.


af540dcb4aa6ba0d11ae3658a6066c89Much like I was adamant about Harry and Hermione in college, I am still to this day adamant about Naruto and Hinata today. I have been reading the long-running manga for a long time now, and it is completely evident that Kishimoto has been setting up the pairing since the beginning. I have dreamed of the day when it will finally happen, and I am not ashamed to admit I will literally jump for joy when they finally end up together after so long. Those hoping on Sakura are the same people who used to hope for Ron and Hermione, but this time, there won’t be any come-from-behind victory. Because I believe Kishimoto understands what’s truly at stake. When he saw what a juggernaut he had created, he set the stage for the ultimate victory in writing, the greatest triumph I could ever ask for in writing: two people meant for each other finally coming together after years and years of heartbreak. He will triumph where Rowling failed.



On a final note, I would like to say something to all the Ron and Hermione shippers out there.