I’ll need to be extremely efficient word-wise to pull this off, because I have MANY opinions regarding J.K. Rowling’s recent statement that she should’ve paired Hermione with Harry, not Ron.
Like many fans, I was shocked/appalled by this news (not least because Emma Watson seemed to agree with her). However, my shock has nothing to do with who I ship at Hogwarts (::cough::Dramione::cough::). My concern comes from the fact that THIS SERIES ENDED SEVEN YEARS AGO.
In the Grantland piece I linked to above, Zach Dionne comments that “It’s hard avoiding the creeping feeling that J.K. Rowling might spend the rest of her career echoing George Lucas’s sketchy revisionist tricks.” I’m with him on this, and not only because I a) mostly disagree with everything Lucas has done the last 20 years and b) would hate to see another series I love tinkered with more than it already has been. Sadly, I could probably write several thousand words on the implications that a Harry/Hermione relationship would have had on the series, from tonal shifts to thematic changes to massive plot upheavals, but that’s not what I really want to focus on. I want to focus on this quote from J.K. in particular:
“I wrote the Hermione/Ron relationship as a form of wish fulfillment. 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….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.“
Ugh. Three things here:
1) When you write a book, it’s your book; it’s what you want to see in a book. You should never write a book for someone else, so to suggest a book not be wish fulfillment is bad advice and silly.
2) The idea that Ron/Hermione goes against LITERATURE and CREDIBILITY is beyond stupid. a) A Harry/Hermione pairing would have been completely cliche, and b) what does that even mean? Is she saying the book would have been objectively better? How could she possibly know that? It isn’t as simple as substituting one character for another, and if it were, that would be evidence of awful writing.
3) Most importantly, I’m sorry, but shut up. I honestly don’t think writers should talk about their works AT ALL, never mind enter into revisionist dialogue like this. A work should stand on its own, without increasing levels of author commentary. A novel is like a conversation with readers, and the work is the author’s half of that conversation; there shouldn’t also be asterisks and footnotes and every other thing. Put it in the book if it’s important.
Again, the George Lucas thing, because obviously these books are tremendously important to so many people, but honestly, move on, J.K. Continue to write, continue to grow, but let sleeping hippogriffs lie.