I’ve been thinking about writing a post about Potter relationships. How did certain characters end up together? Why? And with the recent news of Rowling’s comments about Ron and Hermione’s relationship, this seemed like the perfect time.
There are so many relationships within the series, so I’ve decided to make this post ongoing, posting related articles in the future. But for now, let’s start with the whole Harry/Ginny and Ron/Hermione thing. I’m going to begin by saying this news from Rowling isn’t going to be easy for any true Harry Potter fan because we are so accustomed with character A and character B being together. They should be together just because they should be together. But why?
HARRY AND GINNY
I personally think Harry and Ginny make a great couple, but if you would have asked me after reading, say, the first four books, I would have told you I thought Harry and Hermione would have ended up together… in fact, I had multiple conversations (and arguments) about said relationship. At the same time, however, Harry was mostly indecisive when it came to girls. No doubt he always loved Hermione, but don’t forget about Cho Chang. Let’s all take a moment to relive this famous line:
“Wangoballwime?” - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
He had multiple conversations with Ron about what a right foul git Cedric was for being with her because it created an obstacle for him. Harry finally kissed Cho after a DA meeting, but the romance was short-lived. The situation was only exciting when Cho was continually something Harry could not obtain, and when he actually got a chance to be with her, the relationship was far less than forever.
Fast forward to when Harry sees Ginny kiss Dean in the Three Broomsticks and then again inside the castle (this is after she dated Michael Corner, which Harry seemed to have no apparent interest in).
“But unbidden into his mind came an image of that same deserted corridor with himself kissing Ginny instead…The monster in his chest purred…” - Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
He begins to realize that he indeed has feelings for Ginny, and the two start dating (after Harry “luckily” bumps into Dean, who bumps into Ginny after he had taken some Felix Felicis). Ginny confessed that she never stopped liking Harry and always hoped they would end up together. And during the Gryffindor Quidditch victory party in the common room, they do.
“…Without thinking, without planning it, without worrying about the fact that fifty people were watching, Harry kissed her.” – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
What’s poetic about Harry and Ginny’s relationship is that it was so long in the making, and it finally culminates at the end of Book 6. Ginny clearly never stopped loving him, and Harry realizes she was under his nose the whole time. It’s all very romantic. But does that mean they are the perfect pairing, each other’s perfect match? Harry is very impulsive and rarely thinks before he acts, but he is strong and courageous, as is Ginny. This is why they work so well together. She is also able to keep her wits about her in difficult situations, which is a nice counterbalance to Harry’s personality. But whom else do we know is quick-witted and brave?
RON AND HERMIONE
Theirs is a love-hate relationship that started off in the very beginning of the series in Sorcerer’s Stone. Ron made fun of her know-it-all-ness when she corrected his pronunciation of Wingardium Leviosa in their Charms class. In Prisoner of Azkaban, the two are constantly arguing because Crookshanks and Scabbers are in continual scuffle, and Ron keeps yelling at Hermione.
One of the biggest moments comes when Ron finds out that Viktor Krum has asked Hermione to be his date to the Yule Ball. Ron and Harry have waited until the last minute, and Ron scrambles trying to find a date. At the end of the night, Harry walks back up to Gryffindor Tower to find Ron and Hermione in an argument.
“Well, if you don’t like it, you know what the solution is, don’t you?” yelled Hermione.
“Oh, yeah?” Ron yelled back. “What’s that?”
“Next time there’s a ball, ask me before someone else does and not as a last resort!”
-Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Then in Half-Blood Prince, Ron starts dating Lavender Brown, and Hermione keeps her distance until after Ron is poisoned by the bad wine in Slughorn’s office. She ends up sitting in the hospital with him. The first time he speaks, he says her name. At the end of the book during Dumbledore’s funeral, Ron is comforting Hermione.
“Ron, he saw, was now holding Hermione and stroking her hair while she sobbed into his shoulder, tears dripping from the end of his own long nose.” - Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
The love and affection are there, as they are with Harry and Ginny. So how do we draw a conclusion as to whether or not these characters should’ve have been placed together or with someone else when we are so used to the situation as it is?
PROS AND CONS
Pros for Harry/Ginny: They are really good at understanding one another. At the end of Book 6, Rowling even makes reference to the fact that Ginny never tried to change Harry or sway his decisions when he did things (646). Harry and Ginny are both strong, courageous people. They like to have fun. Without regard to grades, both are highly intelligent.
Cons for Harry/Ginny: They don’t spend a lot of time together, at least during the course of the seven books. I know Ron and Hermione were his best friends, but why didn’t Harry bring Ginny along when he went to hunt down the Horcruxes? Yes, he was trying to keep her safe, but I think she is more than capable of defending herself, as Neville would have been more than capable of leading the resistance at Hogwarts without Ginny. It’s not her fault, but Ginny is absent from the most crucial moments of Harry’s life, a time when a significant other would be the person you want there the most.
Pros for Ron/Hermione: Opposites attract. Hermione, extremely smart and level-headed. Ron, an athlete and easy-going guy who enjoys being funny. Both also brave. They are each other’s compliments, and they blend well together.
Cons for Ron/Hermione: They are OPPOSITE. J.K. Rowling, in her recent interview with Emma Watson, said that Ron and Hermione would have definitely needed marriage counseling. Their entire relationship throughout the series would support that notion. They are constantly fighting, and while that can be a sign of true love, it can also get old after a while.
While I don’t have a problem with the relationships how they worked out, I would like to say this: For the longest time, as previously mentioned, I was convinced Harry and Hermione would end up together. If for no other reason, consider this: Without Hermione, Harry would have NEVER survived the series, prophecy or no prophecy. I am not saying Harry was not able to fight the battle, but he would not have been able to do it alone. Hermione figured out the potion bottle challenge in Sorcerer’s Stone. Hermione figured out it was a basilisk in Chamber or Secrets. She helped him figure out the egg in Goblet of Fire. She convinced Harry to start the DA in Order of the Phoenix, which has no doubt proven useful. And in Deathly Hallows, she was the main reason both Harry and Ron survived. Almost every important moment in Harry’s life, Hermione was there, aiding him. These are moments where a significant other would be desired. Just consider that.
That being said, we can debate and argue, but when it comes down to it, nothing can be changed. Ron and Hermione are together with kids, as are Harry and Ginny. The relationships aren’t so outrageous that there would be something to be gained from changing them, only that things would have played out a little differently.