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On February 1st, Harry Potter fans were shocked by reports that author JK Rowling was having doubts about the marriage of characters Ron and Hermione.
“It was a young relationship,” Rowling said in an interview with Emma Watson, who played Hermione in the films. “I think the attraction itself is plausible but the combative side of it…I’m not sure you could have got over that in an adult relationship, there was too much fundamental incompatibility.”
Minutes after the news hit the internet, Romione (Ron and Hermione) fans were engaged in a tense verbal joust with those of the Harmony (Harry and Hermione) front. Cries of “I knew it” and “how could she” were slapped across the fluctuating pages of Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.
As a long time proponent of the harmonic relationship between Harry and Hermione, I was overjoyed. Even a die-hard Romonian can imagine Ron and Hermione’s marriage difficulties, especially considering their turbulent teen years. We also have only ever seen Ron and Hermione interact in the presence of Harry. What would they even talk about on a date? I can’t imagine that a successful marriage is built on bickering and reminiscing about that time you killed Voldemort and were besties with the most famous wizard of all time.
But within six days, the full interview came out, revealing that Rowling wasn’t having as many doubts as was initially believed.
“Oh, maybe she and Ron will be alright with a bit of counseling, you know. I wonder what happens at wizard marriage counseling? They’ll probably be fine. He needs to work on his self-esteem issues and she needs to work on being a little less critical,” she said.
Does this news change what we know of Harry, Hermione, and Ron? This new information was not as much of a shock as the online panic posts made it out to be. It is fairly obvious to anyone who has read the books that Ron and Hermione have a complicated relationship and would certainly face challenges in the future. It also doesn’t take much imagination to see Hermione and Harry developing feelings for each other. I think both sides of this love triangle are possibilities and as to who is the “perfect” match for Hermione, I’m not sure readers or Rowling can answer that. After all, soul-mates are a rare occurrence in the real world, so maybe the uncertainty of Ron and Hermione’s relationship was just a bit of realism in their fantastical world.
With all this new speculation of the series’ romantic relationships it’s important to remember that the love triangle of Harry, Ron, and Hermione is far less important than the friendship of Harry, Ron, and Hermione. In the end Harry Potter is about the destruction of evil and the conquest of love, and it gets there through the unlikely, legendary, and loving friendship that began with three misfit eleven-year-olds knocking out a mountain troll in a school bathroom. Harry, Ron, and Hermione have always been there for each other as friends and I don’t think anyone, author or reader, has any doubts that their friendship is inseparable.