“Harry Potter” star Emma Watson’s interview with JK Rowling has become somewhat of an international scandal. In it, Rowling expresses doubts about the relationship (which she created) between Hermione and Ron – quote,
“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, 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.”
Her statements have leaked out to The Sunday Times, the Guardian, and hoards of fans – both those that support the match and ‘Harmonians’ who see Harry as a better suitor for Hermione – are in uproar over Rowling’s recant.
The former are lambasting Rowling for controverting the plot – one devastated reader wrote on the Leaky Cauldron fan site, ‘Well thanks Jo for kicking down 10 years of what I consider to be the most beautiful, unconditional and bare bones real relationship that could ever exist between 2 people’.
Meanwhile, fervent Harmonians feel vindicated. One avid Harmonian expressed glee over the fact “that no matter what ended up happening in the books and the movies we were fucking right.” She and her ilk are finally receiving confirmation of what they had always believed was the true, though unwritten, romance, and they are reveling.
JK Rowling has not changed the Harry Potter series as it was printed, but her post-publishing comments have definitely influenced readers and their interpretation of the novels. The variety of responses from her fans has shown that Harry Potter is still very much alive – yet his eulogy exists, his fate bound in ink. Her comments from beyond the ‘printing’ have cast a shadow of disbelief on the magical world of Harry Potter.
In her interview, JK Rowling makes it clear that Hermione and Ron were not a relationship ‘meant to happen.’ Unlike in real life, where relationships are built, fall, and are not generally questioned, literary couplings are placed under intense scrutiny – however, they are generally accepted as a result of the author’s best effort at building a realistic relationship.
Often, while reading and studying literature, the text is put in its context as relating to the author and therefore influenced by her everyday life. This has been done for JK Rowling: there is a Harry Potter Tour that goes around all of the UK and attempts to isolate Rowling’s inspiration, and even a memorial for Harry Potter at the Elephant Café where she is believed to have written some of the first book. This is unique because JK Rowling is alive – usually, authors are only able to reach her level of fame posthumously. Her living fame gives her the power to reveal her thoughts behind the novels and their characters, and, more controversially, her doubts about the storyline.
I do not like these doubts voiced. JK Rowling constructed an imperfect magical realm that paralleled our chaotic reality, and within the incredible paradigm of Hogwarts and Diagon Alley existed very credible, grounded human relationships – including Hermione and Ron’s. Questioning the supposed durability of a fictional match that she herself made undermines the Harry Potter series as a whole, revealing unseen cracks in the storyline, the author’s crippling uncertainty.
To be fair, perhaps something like this should have been expected from a woman whose name is JK.