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 of course snippets of the interview have already leaked, wherein Rowling claims she made a mistake pairing Hermione with Ron instead of Harry. She says:
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. Ouch. Poor Ron. First Rowling has him slated to be killed and now he doesn’t even get the girl.
Of course there’s plenty of people pulling on both sides of the argument, but here’s why I think Rowling should leave Hermione and Ron alone:
She finished writing the books.
That’s it. That’s my only reason: She finished writing the books.
There’s always the itch to go back and change things as a writer. Words are permanent and we want everything to be perfect, I get that, but right now I’m coming at this 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 of 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 to a page.
A story is all about creating an illusion that readers can believe in. That is the essence of a writer’s job. And every time Rowling steps in and says, Oh wait, I should’ve done this instead . . . the illusion is broken.