"It was the romance every Harry Potter fan wanted to see. Now JK Rowling has admitted she got it wrong by pairing off Hermione Granger with Ron Weasley rather than her franchise’s hero."A blogging friend posted a Slate magazine article on Facebook today that argued Rowling's initial instincts were sound. "J.K. Rowling Is Wrong. Harry Potter Should Not Have Ended Up With Hermione," the headline read. Why? Hermione & Ron were the best part of the books, the article argues. Their personalities complement each other. Moreover:
"Is it so difficult to believe that an intelligent, type-A woman would want to be with a kind, charismatic, supportive, but penniless guy? Does Rowling really think her wildly popular children’s books would have been better if they suggested that smart women are only well matched with traditionally successful men? (Harry, for all his personality flaws, is certainly traditionally successful—athletic, rich, famous.) The way that Ron and Hermione’s relationship defied traditional gender roles is part of what made it so charming. For Rowling to disavow it now is disappointing." [emphasis mine]
That paragraph comes close to reflecting my own feelings on the matter. While I honestly don't have a strong opinion about Ron & Hermione winding up together, there's a part of me that's happy Hermione didn't end up with Harry. Just because everyone wants to see it doesn't mean an author is obliged to write the obvious, stereotypical happy ending.
I started thinking about other would-be romances that didn't have a conventional, fairy-tale ending. I absolutely adored "The Wonder Years" on TV some years ago, and while part of me was rooting for Kevin & Winnie & was disappointed that they didn't ultimately wind up together, I accepted it. (I was very glad that they still stayed the best of friends, though.)
Likewise, right now, I am caught up in the final episodes of "How I Met Your Mother" -- but while Ted & Robin always seemed so good together, unless the writers pull a fast one and throw in a surprise twist of some sorts, we all know how this will end in a couple of week's time: Barney & Robin will wind up married & Ted will have (finally!!) met The Mother of the title. I'm finding that (for me, at least) knowing how things end isn't detracting from my viewing pleasure (although a few of the episodes lately have seemed like filler -- I just want them to get on with the wedding, already...)
As I commented to my blogging friend, "I guess it's the contrarian in me" -- (and then it struck me) -- "or maybe a reflection of the way parts of my own life have unfolded" -- (I guess I don't have to explain that further here...!) -- "but I like it when things don't always turn out the way you think or hope they will."
Hey, I like fairy tales as much as anyone. But if I've learned one thing over the past 16 years, it's that fairy tales don't always come true.
And sometimes, the less conventional storyline & ending turns out to be more interesting anyway.
What do you think?