Category Archives: Harry

JKR loses faith in Ron & Hermione as couple

by Deborah Chan/Arabella

Yes, the pub is still in operation. We’re just in that kind of post-New Year’s, snoozy, shut-in-the-house-by-the-massive-winter-storm-and-subzero temps apocalypse.

However, whilst we’ve been busy shoveling snow in the U.S., J.K. Rowling has been shoveling Ron and Hermione out of marital happiness. And right before Valentine’s Day, no less.

Heartless.

She has decided that Ron and Hermione really don’t work as a couple.

In an interview with Emma Watson, guest editor for Wonderland magazine, she says:

“If I’m absolutely honest, distance has given me perspective on that. It was a choice I made for reasons, not for reasons of credibility. Am I breaking people’s hearts by saying this? I hope not.

“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.”

Watson responded,

“I think there are fans out there who know that too and who wonder whether Ron would have really been able to make her happy.”

A huge controversy, while the books were being published, was over the Shipping Wars—who would end up with whom. Some hated the Ron and Hermione pairing, feeling that Harry and Hermione made the better pair. Others liked Hermirone in an opposites-attract-kind-of-way. We had some pretty heated arguments in the pub on the subject.

John Granger has written a post at HogPro on Rowling’s reverse, which you can check out here.

But here are some questions I have for you:

  1. Given the saga’s alchemical nature, did Rowling make a mistake? What do you think she meant by “reasons, but not for reasons of credibility,” “wish fulfillment” and “clinging to the plot”? Did she write her characters into a romantic corner because of her alchemical scaffold? In other words, did she fail to make character sense in order to make alchemical sense?
  2. What do you think of an author who rejects their own storyline and characters as written? Does this make the author wrong at the time but now correct? Can an author reverse herself and not damage her story?
  3. How does this affect your feelings about the original story? Do you feel let down by Rowlings musings?.
  4. Do you ever feel that Rowling, much as we appreciate her for giving us such a splendid story, would do better to stop tinkering with the story post-saga?

The Scariest Harry Potter Book Is . . . The Half-Blood Prince

pensieveWith the penultimate novel in the saga—Half-Blood Prince—we know that things must become much worse before they can become better and reach resolution in the seventh and last novel.  We should thus expect that it will be chilling in unmatched fashion, and I shall argue that it’s the scariest of them all!  Let’s take an eerie walk through the dark corners of Half-Blood Prince, to places seemingly devoid of light or hope . . . .

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NY Comic Con 2013

The exhibition/booth floor was packed at NY Comic Con 2013
The exhibition/booth floor was packed at NY Comic Con 2013

This past weekend (10/10-10/13) was the eighth annual NY Comic Con, where tens of thousands of fans gathered each day (for an estimated total of 120,000 overall) at the spacious yet ever-crowded Jacob Javits Center in midtown Manhattan to attend panels, fun activity sessions, and autographing booths, and to engage in cosplay while purchasing all manner of geekware and collectibles.

I was in attendance on Friday as Princess Leia (from the original Star Wars film) and on Saturday as Hermione Granger.  Much fun was had by all! Continue reading

Love Is in the Air . . .

Snoopy ValentineLiterally!  Throughout Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince, Cho Chang and Ginny Weasley have been juxtaposed—both in the air of the Quidditch field and on the ground—as Harry’s possible love interests: 

“Yeah,” said Ron slowly, savoring the words, “we won.  Did you see the look on Chang’s face when Ginny got the Snitch right out from under her nose?” (OotP, chap. 31, p. 704)

Boy, did Ginny ever get “the Snitch right out from under” Cho’s nose!  As we see yet again, when “Ginny play[s] Seeker against Cho” in Half-Blood Prince and Gryffindor beats Ravenclaw 450 points to 140, the other Snitch that Ginny was “Seeking” enters the Gryffindor Common Room and stumbles upon the big celebration of the Quidditch win:

“Harry looked around; there was Ginny running toward him; she had a hard, blazing look in her face as she threw her arms around him.  And without thinking, without planning it, without worrying about the fact that fifty people were watching, Harry kissed her.” (HBP, chap. 24, pp. 532-33)

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What’s in Your Stocking?

It’s only when Harry becomes a student at Hogwarts that he knows for the first time in his memory the joys of Christmas, including the practice of receiving (and giving) gifts.  When Harry expresses surprise at finding a pile of presents at the foot of his bed on Christmas morning, Ron says, “What did you expect, turnips?” (SS ch. 12, p. 200).  Well, having lived with the Dursleys . . . yes! 

For the most part, Harry receives the same sorts of gifts each year from the usual caring and kind suspects: homemade sweaters and food from Mrs. Weasley, books and candy from Hermione, Quidditch stuff and candy from Ron, etc.

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You’re Invited to . . . a Deathday Party?

Halloween marks the occasion of the death of Nearly Headless Nick (a.k.a. Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington), which was caused by having been “hit forty-five times in the neck with a blunt axe” (CoS p. 123).

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We find out in Chapter 12 of Chamber of Secrets that October 31, 1992 is Nick’s five hundredth deathday. Hoping that Harry will attest to Nick’s being impressively frightening so that he might be allowed to join the Headless Hunt, Nick invites Harry and his friends to his Deathday Party. Ron skeptically asks a good question: “Why would anyone want to celebrate the day they died?” And Hermione characteristically looks forward to what she can learn from the experience: “A deathday party? . . . I bet there aren’t many living people who can say they’ve been to one of those—it’ll be fascinating!” (CoS p. 130).

With Hermione’s inquisitive spirit, let’s have a go at wrestling with Ron’s question. Is there something more going on here than a chillingly gothic setting for the horrors to be unleashed by the re-opening of the Chamber of Secrets?

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Harry Gets by with a Little Help from His Friends

No, this is not a Beatle’s tribute to Harry Potter. Instead, it’s the next posting from the recent Harry Potter and Philosophy collection. Dr. Jennifer Mogg and one of her students, Kendra Tully (both at Bridgewater State University), are co-author

s of an article that analyzes Harry’s friendship with Ron and Hermione from an Aristotelian perspective.

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Harry Potter Numerology: One (Unity)

You may have noticed the recurrence of several numbers in the Harry Potter series and wondered what it all meant. In fact, this is a popular topic of speculation on forums and in critical essays. In this new series, I’ll give you my take as I explore

occurrences of various numbers throughout the series and explain how I believe J.K. Rowling uses numbers as signposts and signals throughout her texts.

The study of number meanings and symbolism, and their influence on Life, is called “Numerology”. More specifically, Numerology is “the study of a cosmic code that uses numbers as symbols… Continue reading