Attention all Harry/Hermione shippers, your prayers have been answered. J.K. Rowling has stated in an interview, conducted by actress Emma Watson, who played Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films, that Harry and Hermione should have gotten married. The book has Harry ending up with Ginny Weasley, Ron’s younger sister, while the two friends end up betrothed. All these years later, the author is telling us she made a mistake.
The interview for Wonderland magazine is being previewed by the Sunday Times, but the information from that article is so internet shattering that it’s making the rounds now. Rowling tells Watson that Ron and Hermione would have needed marriage counseling. She also mentioned that the reasons for putting the two together were personal, which makes sense as the character of Ron is based on one of Rowling’s best friends. While no where in the quotes released does Rowling state that Harry and Hermione should have ended up together, the headlines from the Sunday Times says just that.
This is what the author said about her reasons:
"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.
This is the second time Rowling has dropped a nuclear bomb on her story. Not long after the seventh, and final, book was released she told the world that Dumbledore, the twinkle eyed Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry headmaster, was homosexual. This time around the announcement is more of a regret, where the Dumbledore situation is a clarification on a character’s sexuality that wasn’t relevant to the plot in any way.
As far as what this means to the books, it means nothing at all. I write, I know what it’s like to create a character. More to the point, I read a ton of books. One thing that is always true is that the book and story belongs to the reader once it’s out in the world. A novel is a shared experience between author and reader, and when the story unfolds that is how it shall be forever. There is no changing things after the fact, and all clarifications or regrets expressed by Rowling are interesting at best. They color your perception of the writing process, and hers was one of the most fascinating, which should be made into a documentary at some point.
It’s the choices we make that make us who we are. Same goes for the stories we tell. A Harry and Hermione marriage may not have had an insecure husband who thinks he’s too pathetic for a beautiful and talented wife. Instead it would have been a loveless, platonic, marriage. At least based upon the Harry and Hermione relationship developed in the books. Sure, maybe the wrong people got married. That happens in life as well, and what’s clear from the books is that those who were together at the end were so because that’s the direction the narrative took them.