For many students at The University of Southern Mississippi, the Harry Potter series is a coveted treasure from childhood. Many of us grew up reading about the adventures of the bespectacled boy-wonder and his faithful friends as they battled to defeat the darkness that threatened to take hold of the magical world, and we fondly recall the thrills, chills and even romantic subplots within the novel series.
Earlier this week, fans of the series flew into an uproar as an interview between Emma Watson, the actor who portrayed Hermione in the cinematic versions of the novels, and J.K. Rowling, the author of the beloved series, was released. In the interview, Rowling said she regrets pairing Ron Weasley with Hermione Granger.
Adding salt to the wound, Rowling said she feels Harry and Hermione would have made a more realistic couple. She claims that she paired Ron and Hermione together for personal reasons, primarily as a way of clinging to the plot as (she) first imagined it. According to Rowling, there is too much basic incompatibility between Ron and Hermione for the two to adequately engage in a romantic partnership, at least without marriage counseling.
Overall there has been a mixed message concerning this response. Across campus, many fans are upset by the news, such as freshman Chelsea Kennedy. “After reading the books and seeing Ron and Hermione get together now that she’s saying they shouldn’t be together, it feels different, weird, kind of wrong in a way,” Kennedy said.
Others are relatively neutral about the release, respecting Rowling’s statement regardless of their own personal opinions. To this point, junior Andrew Dutton said, “J.K. Rowling is the only one that can say, ‘okay, this is what happened,’ because it’s her story. So if she feels regret about it, it’s perfectly within her right.”
Then there are those that agree with Rowling’s statements. “I feel like Hermione is way too smart for Ron,” said freshman Gabrielle Chamoun. “They realistically probably wouldn’t have been a good pairing.”
Personally, I believe that Hermione and Ron complete each other. They certainly have their differences, and yes, this may be a source of trouble, but the same is true for most realistic couples. As they say, opposites attract.
The pairing of Hermione with Ron, and subsequently Harry with Ginny, cements the concept of the golden trio – that is, the deep, life-long friendship of Harry, Hermione and Ron – in such a way that they are now family and thus cannot simply grow apart as friends are wont to do.
Other students have opinions on why Hermione and Ron work and Harry and Hermione would not.
“(Ron and Hermione) really disliked each other in the beginning, and over time they fell in love,” Dutton said. “Harry and Hermione never had that kind of romantic development.”
Despite her opinion that Harry is a better match for Hermione, Chamoun also admitted there was at least some validity in the pairing of Ron and Hermione.
“(Rowling) didn’t leave herself much of a choice,” Chamoun said. “If Hermione and Harry got together, that would leave Ron with who? Ginny? Incest isn’t cool. There are no romantic interests for him. Also, Ron literally loses everything else, so she can’t just leave him.”
Despite how we fans may feel about such a time-tested relationship being doubted or thrown under the bus, J.K. Rowling is the author of the beloved novel series, and thus the only one with the credentials to properly tell the story. In the end, we should all just be thankful to have had the opportunity to grow up beside such motivational and inspirational characters.
This issue should not be one that divides the fandom along a jagged faultline, but rather one that allows us to grow as a group and provides us an opportunity to revel in happy childhood memories.
For the full interview, visit hypable.com.