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The Dog Ear: Thoughts on Rowling reveal

Campus Correspondent

Published: Monday, February 3, 2014

Updated: Monday, February 3, 2014 21:02

One of the many aspects of the Harry Potter series that I love is how J.K. Rowling has always been very forthcoming with additional information about the characters that extend beyond the text. I remember finishing “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” and reading article after article of interviews with Rowling. I learned so much more about the character’s lives after they were liberated from Voldemort’s reign of terror.

As the years went on, I picked up additional facts every time I went on mugglenet.com, my favorite Harry Potter website. Then came the launch of Pottermore in 2012. This website allows users to have an interactive reading experience, a sort of reading and computer game hybrid. The perk of using Pottermore was that it contained new writing by Rowling. Backstories of characters we knew little about, histories of wizard families and random tidbits were hidden all over the website. I have never heard of an author that expanded upon her story for so long after the books were published. The information has been fantastic … until the newest piece came to my attention this past weekend.

“Harry Potter should have married Hermione, admits J.K. Rowling,” “J.K. Rowling questions Ron and Hermione’s relationship” and “J.K. Rowling admits Hermione didn’t really belong with Ron” – these headlines from The Telegraph, hyable.com, and Entertainment Weekly stunned me.

Why is Rowling suddenly changing her mind? In an article on hyable.com, Rowling is quoted as saying, “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.”

Even though Rowling feels this way, is it right that she essentially changed a plotline that we have all known and accepted since “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” has been published for seven years? It isn’t simply the new idea of Hermione with Harry, but it is also the idea of both Ginny and Ron married to someone else. Would Ron have reconnected with Lavender Brown and Ginny with Dean Thomas? Or would entirely new wizards be brought into the story for them to marry? Rowling’s one statement has a snowball effect on the other characters’ lives.

Harry and Ginny were together in “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince,” and it was clear that Ginny liked Harry ever since she met him. Rowling foreshadowed Harry and Ginny’s relationship for a long time before anything actually occurred between them. If Hermione were to have married Harry, Harry’s relationship with Ginny, and Ginny’s infatuation with Harry, would have needed to dissolve early in order to bring Hermione and Harry together romantically.

Personally, I wanted Hermione and Harry to be together so I have a small feeling of satisfaction that my wish came true in a small way. However, I accepted Hermione and Ron as a couple as Rowling’s matchmaking became evident. I even found reasons why they should be together instead of with anyone else.

From now on, though, Rowling’s announcement will change how I read the books and watch the movies. When the author admits they should have written differently, you can’t help but think what could have been had she followed through with her other idea.

 

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