Category Archives: Hermione

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.


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?

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

Family Ties in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix—Part 5: The Grangers and the Lovegoods

This continues a series begun last spring. If you’re new to this series, or wish a refresher, see Part 1–The Magical World, Part 2—Institutions and Groups, Part 3—The Trio, and Part 4—The Evanses and Dursleys for this series’ introduction and context.

The Grangers

The Grangers are Muggles, and Hermione is the only Muggle-born character we see who struggles between her love for and loyalty to both her blood family and wizarding family. Hermione is lucky—her parents are enthusiastic about their daughter’s magical abilities, embrace the magical world and her school, and are proud of her accomplishments.

Muggle parents are fascinating to contemplate. What do they think when they learn the source of their child’s strange, unfocused and troubling abilities? When their 11-year olds get a letter from complete strangers inviting them to a school the family has never heard of, to be taught to use their strange abilities? Who would believe it? We never hear of a Parent’s Day at Hogwarts, so do the parents ever even visit the school where their children spend seven years? Also, once the child enters the magical world, he or she is also leaving the Muggle world and its interests, most likely for good. Do the parents mourn? Worry? Feel conflicted over divided loyalties? Do they have the urge to pull their child out of the Wizarding World, and what happens to a magical Muggle child denied a wizarding education?

Unfortunately, we never get a glimpse into these quandaries beyond Hermione’s parents, and we get very little there.

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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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Heroic Hermione and the Love of Learning

The next article in the Harry Potter and Philosophy collection is by Patrick Shade (Associate Professor of Philosophy at Rhodes College, TN ), and is entitled “Heroic Hermione: Celebrating the Love of Learning.”   As the title suggests, the spotlight here is on Hermione Granger.  Gather ’round all ye bookworms, because Prof. Shade does justice to Hermione’s dedication to reading and study.

Here’s an abstract of his article (below the jump).

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Un-Locke-ing Order of the Phoenix: Part II

Part II: When Reason Rebels

It’s been a while since I posted Part I: Creating a Legitimate Order (apologies for the delay) in this three-part series (with Part III: Lockean Law of Nature to come out in the Spring) on Lockean political philosophy themes in Order of the Phoenix. The previous post focused on Locke’s justification in his Second Treatise of Government for the two-stage move from the state of nature to a political society/civil order by means of express consent. Some parallels were drawn, despite some disanalogy, between this two-stage move and Hermione’s role in the two-stage founding of Dumbledore’s Army.

This post focuses on Locke’s justification for the people’s right of rebellion/revolution when their legitimately constituted legislature/ruler violates the purpose of the state. Hermione—as the mind/reason figure—will again figure prominently in drawing parallels in OotP (with a little Deathly Hallows sprinkled in).

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Un-Locke-ing Order of the Phoenix: Part I

 Part I: Creating a Legitimate Order

Seventeenth-century British philosopher John Locke (1632-1704) penned a number of influential works in the history of modern philosophy, but one was especially revolutionary: Second Treatise of Government (1689-90).  Much in here profoundly affected Thomas Jefferson’s drafting of The Declaration of Independence–there is easily 25% similarity between the wording of Locke’s Second Treatise and Jefferson’s Declaration–from all men being born free and equal according to the Law of Nature to the authority of government by consent to the right of revolution.

Given Locke’s influence and British pedigree, it would be unsurprising for strands of his political thought to have been woven into Rowling’s saga.  A close reading of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix shows signs of a Lockean (if not Locke’s) approach to moving from a state of nature to a civil society and to that move’s being legitimately grounded in consent.

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Just Desserts… or Cauldron Cakes?: What Does Justice Look Like in Harry’s World?

For a while now, I’ve been thinking about what the Harry Potter series might be able to teach us about justice.  What does justice mean?  How should it be carried out? One of the reasons I started thinking about this was because I assisted with a course at Boston University this semester on Restorative Justice, which is considered to be an alternative to our current justice system.

Our current justice system is rooted in something called Retributive Justice, which is punishment-based.  So if you murder someone, you get punished in proportion with your crime, usually by going to prison.  Hence, an accidental killing gets less time than a premeditated crime because the premeditated crime is seen to be more duplicitous and therefore more punishable.

Or here’s a more concrete example, and I know it’s a sensitive one for me and for others: When Osama bin Laden ordered the September 11th attacks, our country responded with the understandable response: He killed our people, therefore we will kill him.  (This event, alongside the course I mentioned above, was actually the reason I started thinking about justice and Harry Potter because I think that, for those of us in the United States, at least, bin Laden is the closest equivalent to Voldemort we’ve had in this millennium).

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