By now I’m sure everyone has heard about this and everyone in the fandom has lost all their shit. But if you missed it, are feeling particularly listless at work, or suffer from insomnia like me then read on chums.
So a few weeks ago JK Rowling came out and said that Harry and Hermione really should have ended up together. At first I was upset, authors should stand by what they write, it’s not like you can take it back. Or maybe, ” the real reason you’re so angry is that Dumbledore never told you any of this himself”. I kid, but after some consideration, I am 100% on her side. I guess it was hard for me to accept this because I hold Rowling in such high esteem. Lady can do no wrong. But that is not entirely true. As much as I’d like to believe otherwise, she is a muggle just like everyone else. She can and does make mistakes. And the one she is admitting to is huge. It is extremely important that she addressed it, because how many people have said that they were blindsided by Ron and Hermione’s romance? It was a shock for a lot of us. I personally could never make sense of it, but I accepted it because who knows her work better and what is meant to be, than the Gre(y)at Lady herself? Well, not so. She wrote the ending at a time in her life when she had not figured out what being in love meant.
I have been thinking about this a lot and putting my personal biases/shipments aside, it really should have been Harry and Hermione. I was thinking about Lily, James and Snape and how Lily chose the “bad boy” instead of the loyal friend who had been there for her all along and even long after she was gone (weeps). I understand how Snape deeply hurt her, but then again he was battling with how he was nurtured (it’s going to take a while to shake off his upbringing) but he realizes he was wrong and sought forgiveness. On his own he realized he had been mixing with the wrong crowd, and had Lily forgiven him, he would have ditched those losers a lot sooner. Meanwhile James is an awful magical being. He is just a no gooder, picking on and tormenting other students. James shows no remorse and there is no evidence that he changes. He is a nightmare but she picks him?! There is no way that Lily could actually love James truly, but she loves her sweet baby child. I can only imagine how unsatisfying her marriage to James must have been, but then along comes Harry bringing her joy. Way before He Who Must Not Be Named shows up on the scene, she is pouring all her love into that child, it’s her ray of hope.
This is where Harry and Hermione come into play. They should have ended up together because it would bring us full circle. Ron is just another James, he teases his fellow classmates mercilessly. Of course the parallels between Lily and Hermione are clear. And as we progress through the series we see the similarities between Snape and Harry arise too. With all these clear parallels between characters, it was hard to read that the same mistakes were made again. Voldemort, evil incarnate, was defeated, but to have really have sealed the deal- made all things final, Harry and Hermione should have ended up together. If true love had prevailed in the first place, one could argue that there would have never been a second rising of the Dark Lord. Or at least we would have been reading Neville Longbottom and the Sorcerer’s Stone, or which then she would have to rename Neville Longbottom and a Series of Unfortunate Events.
At any rate, I think she may have just realized with some perspective what she had done. She did start out writing the ending first and for her to say she should not have stuck with it is profound. When she wrote that ending she was leaving her husband and moving out with her child. She literally is saying she had not yet then learned from her mistakes in her first marriage. I am proud that she realized she had Hermione, who is next gen Lily, make the same mistake twice. Her admitting that Harry and Hermione would have been the right pairing, took chutzpah. She is not just critiquing her work, but her life before the entire world. Because the ending will remain and I do believe it is realistic, how many of us make the same mistake over and over? But her readers will know that this is at least not the ending she stands by; she has grown and her ideals of love with her. It is important for people to walk away knowing that this is not a strong model of love. Because she could have kept this to herself, not like the ending put people off from reading the series, but she wants us to learn from her. JK Rowling may have picked the wrong guy a second time, but the third time is the charm; she got it right with her current hubby and she is getting it right with this announcement. And of course this all just makes me love her more. This is what separates great authors- great humans apart, owning up to your shit. Cause man oh man, I shan’t name drop, there are a lot of authors out there that produce not only completely unrealistic visions of love, but glorify unhealthy relationships.