As you're probably already aware, over the weekend a new interview with J.K. Rowling hit the media. And as you're probably already aware, this interview included some rather...opinion dividing news...about how things ended up in Harry Potter.
Yes, they're fictional characters and we shouldn't be getting so worked up about them. But at the same time, these are the characters that shaped our childhoods, our teen years, our twenties. Characters that we grew up with. Characters that we love and relate to. So we can't help but take it personally when the creator of these characters announces - seven years after the fact - that she thinks she made a mistake with one of the major relationships.
Obviously, the fandom immediately erupted. With joy from those who sail with the good ship Pumpkin Pie, and with anger/disappointment/WTF DID YOU DO, ROWLING feels from those on Team Romione.
I've been thinking about it a lot following my initial outrage, and I think I've managed to finally sum up my feelings about why I find this so enormously disappointing.
1. It implies that the only two people Hermione could ever be with are two guys she hung out with in high school.
Yes, the Golden Trio went through a lot together, so it's understandable that they'd be friends forever. What DOESN'T automatically follow is that Hermione - the one who goes back to Hogwarts to finish her education, the one who ends up with a career that needs further education, the one who dated a world class quidditch player - will never find anyone more suited to her than her two best friends from high school. Furthermore, why does she have to end up with ANYONE?! She saved their arses a million times, and influenced millions of girls all over the world. Why did her entire story have to be turned into this?
2. It doesn't just damage the contents of the epilogue. It damages the entire series.
The epilogue was, let's be honest, pretty bad. Rowling started to drop hints about the future relationship between Ron and Hermione at the same time that she started to drop hints about the future relationship between Harry and Ginny - in Chamber of Secrets. So by saying that Hermione should end up with Harry after we sat through FIVE BOOKS building up completely different relationships? Not. Okay.
3. Ron's "not smart enough" for Hermione.
For all that he's the Chosen One, Harry's not much smarter than Ron. By saying that Ron's not smart enough, Rowling is effectively forgetting everything she wrote about the character. Sure, Ron's not the most academic of characters. Not don't forget that he destroyed a Horcrux. He was Gryffindor's keeper for two years. He became an Auror. HE BEAT MINERVA MCGONAGALL'S CHESS SET WHEN HE WAS TWELVE. Intelligence isn't limited to exam results, Rowling.
4. It once again makes Ron the forgotten Weasley.
Ron's at the bottom of the pile as far as Weasley children go. Bill and Charlie are the cool, popular successful ones. Percy's a pretentious arsehole, but he's still brainy as hell. Fred and George are the jokers, the ones who are always getting into trouble but who everyone loves just the same. Ginny's the long awaited girl. And Ron's the Other One. The sidekick. The one who, in the movies, is reduced to a punchline. By saying that she wishes that once again the hero had gotten the girl, Ron's back at the bottom as nothing more than an afterthought.
5. It turns the entire series into a love triangle.
Okay, so the actual books don't really feature typical love triangle content. But knowing the the author has gone from being on board with the canon she created to shipping? You can't avoid the feeling that the two best friends are locked in a battle over a girl. You inevitably read into every conversation, every touch between Harry and Hermione. Joanne, dude. Go write pseudonymous fan fiction to deal with your feels and leave canon alone.
6. What does this mean for Ginny? And for Ron?
It's one thing to say that you wish Harry and Hermione had ended up together. But by saying that, you leave fans wondering about the others. Does Ron spend the rest of his life in a tragic bachelor apartment? Does Ginny - the famous quidditch player - end up married or does she have a string of boyfriends and never settle down? Providing a single line statement like that does more damage than good.
7. It impacts future enjoyment of the series.
Sure, you can ignore the interview all you want. It's true - the interview doesn't change what happens in the books. But you're still going to have that niggling doubt in the back of your mind whenever you read or watch the series that the creator wishes she could retcon the entire thing. It damages our entire history with the series to know that she regrets what she wrote.
8. Of all the things she could possibly regret, it's THAT?!
Not making Neville and Luna canon. Killing Fred. Killing Tonks AND Lupin. Snape being an enormous bully. Not giving us more Marauder's Era stories. ALBUS SEVERUS. These are things that should be regretted. Romione is nothing compared to these things.
9. Leave us alone, Mel Brooks!
Sure, Joanne, regret your decisions all you want. That's your prerogative, it really is. You created the characters, you can absolutely regret the way things panned out. Just stop telling people about them. Because that rips the fun out of things for everyone. Even the Pumpkin Pie shippers, because now they're all going to be disappointed that you DIDN'T write the story you wish you had every time they read it.
Do you agree? Disagree? Or are you just jumping with joy because the good ship Pumpkin Pie sails again??