So, a certain author who can’t keep her editorializing mouth shut just lobbed this bombshell into my life: J.K. Rowling said in an interview that she should not have paired up Ron Weasley and Hermoine Granger, but she instead should have married off Hermoine with Harry Potter in the famous series.
NO. WHAT. NO NO NO.
Okay, I realize there are some readers who may have no horse in this race. “So what?” you yawn, as you take your leave of my blog for something more your speed. But even if you haven’t read the series, or don’t care, the reasons I will defend Ron Weasley as a Very Good Catch for Hermoine or, really, any gal are universal and you might be interested to hear even if you don’t care about the wizarding world.
1. Ron is loyal.
Let’s face it: a more self-serving guy would have parted ways with social outcasts the likes of Harry Potter (delusional hot-headed martyr), Hermoine Granger (Little Miss Know-it-All), Neville Longbottom (klutsy, bumbling orphan), and Luna Lovegood (serious weirdo) before the friendships even began. But again and again, he stood by them and stood up for them when it did him social or physical harm. Dumbledore believed so much in Ron’s loyalty that he gave him the deluminator, which lead Ron back to his best friends just when they needed him most. Even when he tried to leave and look out for himself, he immediately regretted it and walked back into danger because he couldn’t abandon his friends. That moment when Ron returns? I might have cried just as much at that part as many of the poignant death scenes, because I find that friendship and loyalty that Hermoine and Ron show Harry to be so beautiful.
2. Ron is brave.
Just because he didn’t sacrifice himself for the good of the entire world ala Harry and the big J.C. doesn’t mean that he isn’t brave himself. In fact, I often thought he was even MORE brave, in the true definition of the word, because he had more fear and he still stuck his neck out, again and again, anyway. Ron is the kind of friend who will play the most deadly variety of wizard chess, knowing he will get knocked out, just so his friends can advance to the next place. He’s the kind of friend who jumps into a frozen pond to fish you out when a nasty Horcrux is drowning you. He will hop on the back of a dragon if his friend says it’s the way out of a fix and scream the whole time. So yes, he’s as human as they come and has very human fears/insecurities. But he chooses to trust, and that makes him brave.
3. Ron is funny.
I have a hard time saying who my favorite HP character is depending on the day. Ron is among them, though, because he is consistently humorous. Guys with a sense of humor (especially if they can ocassionally be a bit self-deprecating) are super attractive. I also like it when people are funny without really realizing it. Ron is funny! Harry? Not so much. He takes himself too seriously. Yawn.
4. Opposites attract.
Apparently, Ms. Rowling has said in this article that she doesn’t think Type-A Major Bookworm Hermoine would be able to settle into a happy life with laid-back, happy-go-lucky Ron. With all due respect, Ms. Rowling doesn’t know me and my husband, or evidently any other happy couple who benefits from a incongruance of personality. The thing is: my husband calms me. His influence has been to slow me down, to make me see the everyday fun in life, to help me develop a necessary extroversion on occasions that warrant it. And I, in turn, have helped him to see the benefits of organization and applied motivation, not to mention a quiet night at home. Did it cause (does it still sometimes cause) some strife? Sure! But we are better people for it, because our personalities compliment one another. Hermoine needs a calming influence, not someone who will make every molehill into a mountain (cough*Harry!*cough)
5. Friends always fall in love. But sometimes they are just friends.
I’ve had a fair share of male friends throughout my life (lucky me!) I know at some points early on I would get confused about my feelings for these awesome fellas, because it all felt a little bit like falling in love. They were so fun! We always laughed together! They were so smart! They had tremendous talent! They were beautiful people! So then I wondered, does this mean I’m in love with them? The answer was yes, and no. I should note this applied to my lady friends, too. But in a heteronormative culture, I was always made to think that I should be on the lookout for boy/girl romance. I came to realize that yes, I was falling for all these beautiful people, but it didn’t mean that it was romantic love. But this is important to note: that doesn’t make the love somehow inferior. I *hate* the idea of Harry and Hermoine’s friendship being belittled by this latest interview with J.K. Rowling. Do they develop a great love for one another throughout the series? YES! Does this mean they should get married? NO! They are the deepest of friends. They tell others over and over again that they are friends, close like siblings. Hermoine NEVER leaves Harry. Never. It is because she loves him madly, because he is her best friend. But not all best friends are destined for romance, and isn’t that a wonderful thing? Re-writing her intentions for Harry and Hermoine sends a bad message–that a boy and a girl can’t simply be friends. I don’t like to say “just friends”, because that makes it seem a small thing. And it’s not. I remember getting so frustrated in college when mutual acquaintances would be trying to convince my friend Charlie and I to become a couple because our friendship was “so cute!” Well, yes, it was cute. And we will always be friends. That is a very special thing, on its own. Hermoine and Harry will always be friends, and that is no less significant than Hermoine and Ron’s partnership…it’s just different.
I don’t think it really matters, in the end, that an author is backpedaling on a fictitious relationship(s) 10 years later. But it does matter, at least to me as the mom of three sons and the wife of one very amazing friend, that fellas out there know that girls DO like guys who are loyal, who are brave, who are funny, who are different, and who are their friend but also something extra. Sometimes it’s not The Chosen One who gets the girl.