Letting Go after Publishing: Why Rowling Shouldn’t Have Commented on Ron and Hermione’s Relationship

Have you heard the latest buzz in the Muggle world?

Hermione-actress Emma Watson interviewed J. K. Rowling for the British entertainment mag Wonderland and some of Rowling’s quotes have made quite a stir.

The magazine itself doesn’t hit newsstands until next week, but snippets of the interview have leaked, wherein Rowling claims she made a mistake pairing Hermione with Ron instead of Harry:

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.

She goes on to say:

I know, I’m sorry. I can hear the rage and fury it might cause some fans, 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. Am I breaking people’s hearts by saying this? I hope not.

She also adds that Hermione and Ron will probably end up in couple’s therapy.

Not surprisingly, Potter fans have taken sides on the issue. Personally, I’m for leaving Hermione and Ron alone, and here’s why:

Rowling finished writing the books.

That’s it. That’s my only reason.

A writer will always have the itch to go back and change things. Words are permanent and you want everything to be perfect, I get that, but I’m coming from a reader’s perspective.

Any time a writer tries to dial back the clock and correct or clarify something that’s already been published, she pulls apart her intricately woven story and exposes all the ugly wires underneath. She reminds her readers that it was “only a story.” Not real people in a real world trying to solve real problems but just some characters slapped on a page.

To write an enthralling story is to create an illusion—a magic trick—and every time Rowling steps in and says, Oh wait, I should’ve done this instead, the illusion is spoiled.

Furthermore, by questioning Ron and Hermione’s relationship, Rowling violated the rights of her readers. Check out my next post for more on that.

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8 thoughts on “Letting Go after Publishing: Why Rowling Shouldn’t Have Commented on Ron and Hermione’s Relationship

    1. The only thing that comes to mind, Jeyna, is that maybe Rowling wanted to give Emma something juicy for Emma’s debut as guest editor for “Wonderland” (not to mention a little publicity for herself). If I remember correctly, Rowling also helped out Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe in one of his first “adult” interviews when she talked about how she initially planned to kill off Ron . . . I guess this interview builds on that one?


  1. Well said indeed! I actually liked the pairing of Ron ans Hermione and thought they were just perfect for each other. I never saw a Harry-Hermione pairing, to be fair.


  2. Agreed. Besides, Hermione brings some much-needed…something (I haven’t had coffee yet)…and Harry and Ginny are both brave and Quidditch addicts. Works for me.


  3. just pointing it out: rowling in no way shape or form says that hermione should have ended up with harry. she just feels that she’s not as satisfied with R+H as she hoped. no mention of harry in any of her quotes.


    1. A valid point, HP. Rowling never says flat out that Hermione should’ve been with Harry or even that she made a mistake pairing Hermione with Ron (which is how it initially sounded when parts of this interview were leaked and everyone jumped to conclusions – including me!). When the full interview was finally released, however, Rowling did say: “In some ways Hermione and Harry are a better fit and I’ll tell you something very strange. When I wrote Hallows, I felt this quite strongly when I had Hermione and Harry together in the tent! I hadn’t told [Steve] Kloves that and when he wrote the script he felt exactly the same thing at exactly the same point.” She then adds: “And actually I liked that scene in the film, because it was articulating something I hadn’t said but I had felt. I really liked it and I thought that it was right. I think you do feel the ghost of what could have been in that scene.” Thanks for checking in and contributing to the discussion!


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