Understanding Ginny

ginnyI’ll admit from the start, I’m not one for the “shipping” debates (which student should date which). Nevertheless, there is some importance to the whole dating scene, not least the fact that Rowling’s a big fan of Austen’s novels, so romance will undoubtedly play a part.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the shipping debates, there are a few different camps, and the debate can get really heated. There’s Harry/Hermione, Harry/Ginny, Ron/Hermione, Harry/Luna, Ron/Luna. I know there are others, but those are the main camps. Of course, HBP answered many of these questions: Harry/Ginny became a reality, and Ron/Hermione is just about as close to reality as you can imagine. No surprises here, really: there were hints and foreshadowings all along, and the Ron/Hermione pairing (even if it never comes to perfect fruition in the series) is an alchemical necessity (alchemy series still pending, stay tuned).

But who is Ginny? We’ve been told relatively little about this character, which is strange because she ends up being the hero’s girlfriend. In short, we’re introduced to her as a whiny little girl who has an infatuation with Harry and gets tricked by a magic diary into almost killing people. Not good so far. As she grows up, she becomes good at Quidditch and at snogging. She moves through boyfriend after boyfriend, and it turns out in all of it she was still holding out hopes for Harry. What do we make of this? We’ve been given pretty much zero dialogue between Harry and Ginny, especially after their relationship begins. In short, it’s easy to see why some people favor Hermione as the right partner for our hero – we know her (the good and bad), and we love her. Ginny’s sort of a mystery with an attitude.

But I like Ginny, and not just ’cause Harry likes her. I’ll agree from the start with the complaints that we’ve just not been shown enough of Ginny. In some ways, it almost feels like we’re supposed to like her because she’s “hot” or something. It’s quite odd that Rowling has not given us a better picture of this character, and we hope she’ll turn out to be something really special in Book 7.

Nevertheless, I like her, and I know why Harry likes her. We’ll take most of this from a “literary criticism” standpoint to try to figure out why Ginny is necessary.

Anima/Animus
Ginny is Harry’s anima. Quick (and inadequate) summary: anima refers to feminine traits, and animus, masculine. The two must meet and be drawn to each other, becoming more like one another (meeting somewhere in the middle). It’s where all that “getting in touch with your feminine side” talk comes from, guys. It’s the whole “opposites attract” thing, and to be “whole” (or whatever), the two need to influence each other. Let’s put this together using Harry and Ginny.

The Anima and the Mother
If I recall my archetypes properly, the animus’s (Harry’s) anima (Ginny) often carries characteristics quite similar to a Good Mother figure; we’ve all heard it said that guys are often initially attracted to women who remind them of their mothers, and women, the same with guys who are like their fathers. In Harry’s case, his initial mother figure is Petunia, an obviously bad mother. Mrs. Weasley, on the other hand, is a good and positive Mother, and Ginny, at one point in HBP, gives a look almost identical to Mrs. Weasley. In fact, you can’t really get more like the Mother figure than her own daughter! So if Mrs. Weasley represents the caring, nurturing mother for Harry, Ginny is an obvious attraction for him.

Ginny’s character
We know precious little about Ginny, but we know she’s fiery. Harry needs that. For the first 11 years of his life, he wasn’t much allowed to be himself at all. He’s still having trouble asking questions, because he was told from day one: “Don’t ask questions!” He needs someone with attitude, who is certain of herself, to bring him out of his shell even more.

Then there’s the snogging. We know Harry is…well, timid around girls. The whole Cho debacle was a mystifying experience for Harry. With Ginny, there’s no tip-toeing around, no having to guess at what Ginny is feeling. She’ll tell you, and she might punch you if she’s angry. And she obviously has no problem showing affection and expressing her desires – Harry certainly got his chance to practice his “snogging” technique with Ginny as a girlfriend. (Of course, as Ginny’s animus, Ginny needs Harry to pull her to a more balanced way of thinking as well).

Ginny, the Anti-Susan
But I’ve been thinking lately that there might be one more way of looking at Ginny that might help us understand who she is a bit better. In an interview shortly after the release of Half-Blood Prince, she repeats an old line of complaint against C.S. Lewis’ Narnia series:

“There comes a point where Susan, who was the older girl, is lost to Narnia because she becomes interested in lipstick. She’s become irreligious basically because she found sex,” Rowling says. “I have a big problem with that.”

While I think this is an unfortunate reading of Lewis, if Rowling buys it, it might make a lot of sense for her to create Ginny the way she has. Ginny has certainly “found sex,” and she’s teaching it to Harry, our inhibited hero (I don’t mean to suggest that they’ve slept together at all. Rowling has stayed far clear of that, and I’m happy she has). In fact, while the Pevensies are four (Lucy, Edmund, Susan, and Peter), the Hogwarts heros are three (Harry, Ron, Hermione) except for a short spell (haha) in Book 6. Making Ginny the fourth might be her way of saying, in subtle fashion, “Susan should have been included.”

So, for what it’s worth, there’s my short contribution to the ‘shipping wars. Harry/Ginny makes sense for literary reasons. I do hope that we learn more about Ginny in Book 7. It’ll be difficult to fit it in, with so much to reveal about Snape, Dumbledore, Neville, James and Lily. I fear we’ll end up short-changed on Ginny again. But even some sort of brave contribution to the war would be helpful. Perhaps if there’s an attack at the Bill-Fluer wedding?

50 thoughts on “Understanding Ginny

  1. Hi Travis,
    I hope you don’t mind that I hopped over here from the HogPro boards. I’ve been meaning to check out your website, and am really enjoying your posts.

    Thanks for this enjoyable and balanced literary look at the shipping wars. I like your last idea about Ginny being a kind of anti-Susan — though I wonder just how conscious JKR is of her literary predecessors while in the actual act of writing, certainly the echoes influence her a lot.

    One somewhat silly and obvious note that came to mind as I read your reflections on Ginny as Harry’s anima — her red hair. The mother he’s only known in photos (and in shadowy memories of anguished shouting) had red hair too.

    Beth

  2. Beth, don’t mind at all, glad to see you here!

    I know what you’re saying about how conscious JKR is about her literary predecessors. She’s described their influence more like a big sort of melting pot of ideas that all blend together into the writer that she is. But I think we’ve seen her make deliberate enough connections with other writers in the past to see that she at least sometimes knows whose ideas she using.

    Yes, very good addition to the anima question. I’m certain her red hair is a part of his attraction to her, for the anima/mother reason, and the simple fact that red-haired wizards have been a source of caring and strength for him from his first time on Platform 9 and 3/4 till now.

  3. Just now finding my way back…it’s been a busy week.

    I’ve been re-reading Philosopher’s Stone and that whole first scene with the Weasleys on platform 9 3/4 really stands out to me. I actually felt a bit shivery though when the train pulled out, leaving a half-laughing, half-crying Ginny running along in its wake. You could say that Harry “leaving” Ginny at the end of HBP was foreshadowed here!

  4. hi travis,to say the truth its the first time that i left a comment to you. i enjoy reading any thing about harry/ginny and i think that ginny is not mysterious at all its the oppisite totally oppisite its that ginny always was there infront of harry but he didnt see her he didnt look at her eyes and know what are inside it from love and then he saw her kissing dean so he kind of feel her alot actulley i think he loved her but he tried hard to forget her because he knew she had crush with dean but he couldnt move away again he wanted to be with her and then she get over dean and then try with harry again until he couldnt hold himself better than that so he kissed her in the quiddetch match and for my surprise he kissed him too without thinking that 5o person was looking at them what do you want more than that all i had to say harry really loves ginny .from sara

  5. sara, thanks for your comment! I think the “mystery” to Ginny is simply that J.K. Rowling has not spent anywhere near as much time developing her character as she has the others. I think most people agree that Harry loves Ginny and that their relationship makes sense. Readers like myself just want to learn more about her, get to know her the way we know Harry, Ron, and Hermione, I guess.

  6. I just wanted to mention that since Ginny always loved Harry, he might have not noticed her for that simple reason, that she was there for him. When she moved away from him, that was probably an a2wakening to his feelings for her.

  7. i personally find this a good argument. though i still hate the harry/ginny shipping. period. she may be his soul mate. but the least jk could have done was give us more info on her. thats my biggest problem. not to mention i always had hopes for Harry/Luna. it just seemed that she would end up with harry. i mean jk wouldnt bring in some random character just to be with neville. and since when did it say luna/neville were together? i dont remember that. -looks confused- she wouldnt bring luna in to be with neville. she has a way more important part. and i also dont see why if luna had alot more in common with harry than ginny ever did, besides her possibly lacking in confidence unlike the fiery ginny, why she hadnt been introduced to the series earlier. i think luna definately has something to do with the: “ravenclaw will have its day” thing. but once again. Harry/Ginny? sorry not for me. Never liked the idea. But i fully Support Ron/Hermione.

  8. Hello Anna,
    You’re quite right that Luna is not getting together with Neville.

    The enthusiastic speculation about that was put to rest several years ago by JK Rowling herself. She posted on her web site about it, as follows:

    “I see Neville and Luna as very different kinds of people and while they share a certain isolation within Hogwarts, I don’t think that’s enough to foster true love – friendship, perhaps, although I think that Neville would always find Luna’s wilder flights of fancy alarming.”

    However , notwithstanding that, I think it may be beside the point when you say:

    “i mean jk wouldnt bring in some random character just to be with neville”

    That’s true enough, but it implies that Luna has to have been brought into the series to be with *someone* (and therefore if not Harry, Neville). However I think there are other perfectly good reasons to bring Luna on board which have nothing whatever to do with romance. 😉

  9. S_B, you can’t just let a statement like that hang.

    Please share your thoughts on what those other perfectly good reasons for bringing Luna on board might be.

    As for Harry and Ginny, JKR’s thoughts on Ginny are that she’s a good match for Harry, and I have to agree. Here’s the quote, taken from the Accio Quote website:

    JKR: Well I always knew that that was going to happen, that they were going to come together and then part.

    and also:

    JKR: Well, no, not really, because the plan was, which I really hope I fulfilled, is that the reader, like Harry, would gradually discover Ginny as pretty much the ideal girl for Harry. She’s tough, not in an unpleasant way, but she’s gutsy. He needs to be with someone who can stand the demands of being with Harry Potter, because he’s a scary boyfriend in a lot of ways. He’s a marked man. I think she’s funny, and I think that she’s very warm and compassionate. These are all things that Harry requires in his ideal woman. But, I felt — and I’m talking years ago when all this was planned — initially, she’s terrified by his image. I mean, he’s a bit of a rock god to her when she sees him first, at 10 or 11, and he’s this famous boy. So Ginny had to go through a journey as well. And rather like with Ron, I didn’t want Ginny to be the first girl that Harry ever kissed. That’s something I meant to say, and it’s kind of tied in.”

  10. Hi Reyhan,

    Well okay, I’ll share some thoughts. There’s no shortage of reasons why JKR might have wanted to introduce Luna into the series. She’s an absolute gift of a character.

    Luna is there, for one thing, as a foil and a counterpoint. She provides a radical alternative view of things, enriching the narrative with complexity and contrast. For example, Luna’s isolation allows us to focus more clearly on aspects of the isolation of other key characters (eg Harry, Neville) – and her rather different ways of dealing with it gives us a contrast and a background against which to more clearly perceive/understand the choices and personalities of the central characters.

    Apart from narrative device, Luna is also there as a plot device. While some plot developments follow the conventions and established forms of the series, Luna provides a wild-card option – a possible wacky, left-of-field alternative that (against all hope) might just work. IOW she has been central to the developing plot complexity.

    Beyond that, there is little doubt that Luna is a gold-mine of obscure information about odd events, opinions, myths and facts (and a liberal sprinkling of non-facts…) from the wizarding world. Her preoccupations – and those of her father – provide a conduit for Rowling to introduce a lot of obscure information into play that otherwise would simply not come up. It’s perfect.

    Last but not least, Luna provides a basis for endless humor and light relief – even among some of the darker moments. Nowhere is this more clear than in her commentary on the final Quidditch match of the series (ch 19, HBP). Hilarious. But it doesn’t end there. From reading the Quibbler upside down to her endless succession of bizarre earrings, Luna is a comic device of the highest order.

    No doubt Luna also provides a “shipping” wild-card, among the mix of other purposes she serves. But that is hardly her only – nor even her main – role as a character in the series.

  11. Well, ok. Those are all perfectly plausible reasons for including her in the story. But I must confess I was hoping you’d go further, and speculate (with good supporting evidence, of course) about the role she might play in DH.

    My own expectation (or hope) is that one of these days, one of those incredible theories she seems to pull out of the blue will prove to be true and will be a great help in the quest to undo Voldemort. Also, her ability to see thestrals might come in useful.

  12. Uh-oh. Here I go — I’m afraid not many people are going to be very happy with what I have to say. Please don’t be offended, though — these thoughts are just my opinions.

    I dislike the Harry/Ginny pairing immensely. I completely disagree with the notion that she is the ideal girl for Harry. Travis, I appreciate your comments on the way she was never well-developed in the stories, and I believe she was certainly not a well-developed, important-enough character to fill the huge spotlight role she was given as Harry Potter’s girlfriend.

    I also disagree with Rowling’s own assessment of who Ginny is: that she’s tough without being unpleasant, that she’s funny, and that she’s warm and compassionate. I do not find her funny, I find her rude (think about the way she mocks Fleur in HBP). I do not find her warm and compassionate, I find her sassy and arrogant (think of the way she responds to Harry in book 5 when he’s afraid he’s being possessed by LV). I do not think she’s tough w/out being unpleasant ( think of the way she reams Hermione out about her lack of understanding of Quidditch). There is a not-so-fine line between a girl being feisty or “fiery” and a girl being just plain rude. With Ginny, I think JKR has crossed that line.

    I also do not like the formulaic way in which JKR came up with this “ideal girl for Harry”. It seems like she just threw together a dash of this and a pinch of that and — voila! Harry’s perfect match bursts onto the scene. She also gave Ginny an overload of “positive” attributes in a way that strikes me as contrived. I’ve heard people refer to her as “Super Ginny!”, a moniker which I think suits. She’s pretty, she’s popular, she’s a brilliant witch, she’s even a Quidditch star! Gag me — it’s phony.

    And you made another good point, Travis — about feeling like we’re supposed to like Ginny just b/c she’s “hot” — I agree. I feel like the main device JKR uses to bring Harry towards Ginny is nothing more than sex appeal! I’m not saying sex appeal is a bad thing in and of itself, but to have it be so in the forefront — where is the substance of this relationship? I see none.

    I was also extremely disappointed at the example Ginny sets for other young women — if you really want to get the guy, snog lots and lots of other boys until the one you really want finally notices you! And what about those other boys? Apparently she was deceiving them the entire time she was with them, b/c she was always holding out hope for being with Harry.

    And when JKR talks about Harry needing to be with a girl who can stand the demands of being with a marked man like him — I’m sorry, but hasn’t that role been filled the past five books by Hermione? She’s been with Harry through thick and thin — it’s not like JKR really needed to create another girl to fill this spot.

    Grrrr…I could go on, but perhaps I’ll spare you all the rest of my rant.

  13. Legilimency, you can’t say Ginny just burst onto the scene: she has been there since PS and she has always loved Harry. In fact, Harry met her before he met Hermione.

    I’m also not sure I agree with your view of Hermione as being a girl who can stand the demands of being with Harry. Hermione worries. She scolds and lectures. On at least one occasion (the broom incident in POA) she rats him out to the authorities. In a completely well-intentioned sort of way, obviously. But still. Nothing against Hermione – she’s a great best friend, loyal and brave and smart as well as the only person who seems to have a social conscience in the whole crew – but girl-friend material for Harry, she’s not. There is no spark between them. Never was.

    Ginny in some ways is the opposite of Hermione. She doesn’t seem the type to tell him to be careful. She’s more likely to tell him to go kick butt. JKR uses the word “hard” to describe the look in her eyes. She is also his match because she’s been close to Voldemort, and been victimized by him (aka Tom Riddle) and survived. I loved the way she responded to Harry in OotP when he thought he was possessed. No nonsense. Quick dash of reality. I see her as someone who will fight beside him, let him go off without any nonsense when he needs to, greet him with a passionate kiss when he comes back. She’s his Valkyrie.

  14. Legilimency, I’m somewhat sympathetic to your Ginny rant. For a character who is supposed to be Harry’s true love, she’s surprisingly underdeveloped – and JKR is generally quite a good character writer.

    But I will disagree with this…

    I do not find her warm and compassionate, I find her sassy and arrogant (think of the way she responds to Harry in book 5 when he’s afraid he’s being possessed by LV).

    Actually, I think that’s one of the more redeeming Ginny moments. Harry needed a good slap on the face, and nobody else could figure out how to give it to him. Being a good friend to somebody (especially somebody as difficult as Harry) takes more than just warmth and compassion.

  15. I think Ginny’s hilarious, personally. I love her sarcasm.

    I think my respect for Ginny went through the roof at the end of HBP, when Harry said he needed to end things with her because of Voldemort, and she simply said something like,”I figured it’d be for some noble reason.” That’s class, and coolness under duress.

  16. Sorry, Reyhan — have to completely disagree with you. Just because Ginny was present in all the books doesn’t mean she ever had “presence”. She was completely in the background, and many others (including John Granger) have agreed that JKR just sprung her on us as an important character. Her significance in book 6 came a day late and a dollar short — it felt very forced.

    About Hermione — Harry needs her and has found her far more useful in the books than he has ever found Ginny. He’s made it through five and a half years worth of trials before he even notices Ginny — and this is supposed to be someone he needs? On the other hand, he does need Hermione. Her scolding, worrying and lecturing ground Harry out — just when he’s ready to do something really stupid, Hermione steps in and gives him a reality check, stopping him in his tracks. She is the voice of reason he needs to hear. Ginny’s just a cheerleader at best. And let’s not forget the way Hermione helps Harry intellectually — where would he have been all these years w/out her brains? Whereas the only part Ginny’s ever played in Harry’s adventures is lying unconscious at the bottom of the Chamber of Secrets — some help!

    Even examine the books from a plot standpoint and you will see how far Hermione’s significance in Harry’s life outweighs Ginny’s — you could write Ginny out of the books completely (just get a stand-in for the CoS scene) and her absence would make no difference! Try doing that with Hermione’s character.

    And since when does Harry need someone to tell him to “kick butt”? He’s always done that anyway — Ginny’s cheerleading is superfluous.

    And it is true that we now know that JKR intended to write no “spark” between Harry and Hermione — yet the truth is that tons of readers felt one there, or felt one could have easily been written in! There are entire websites devoted to this concept. (Incidentally, I believe it is Ron and Hermione who have absolutely no spark or chemistry whatsoever, but that’s another rant altogether).

    Doug — thanks for your sympathy. I lick my wounds as I try to comprehend how a normally great character writer (as you said) could possibly commit this blunder of shallowness. It’s too bad — I think there even could’ve been a way to write Ginny in more fully that would’ve worked, but, alas, this is not what we got.

    And you’re actually reinforcing my point about Ginny’s supposed “warmth and compassion” — that was how JKR perceived her character, and I was just saying the book 5 incident where Ginny confronts Harry is more like a sassy slap in the face than a demonstration of warmth and compassion, which I can find nowhere in my recollection of these books.

    And Travis, Travis — you disappoint me! After JKR gives us a relationship between Harry and Ginny which consists of little more than snogging, Harry tells Ginny he has to leave and she agrees and makes some little comment about it being “noble” and you call that “class”? Travis, please — how on earth is that class? The entire good-bye scene reminded me of something out of a Sweet Valley High book! But then again, so did the rest of the Harry/Ginny relationship. It was, in my opinion, by far the weakest element of the entire series.

  17. Oh, wait — one little edit: I should have mentioned that Ginny does join Harry’s adventures in book 5, in the Department of Mysteries. Yet her presence there qualifies her to be Harry’s girl no more than Luna’s presence does.

  18. Legilimency, it seems that you’re a little dissatisfied with the Harry-Ginny pairing.

    There is one point on which I can wholeheartedly agree with you: I can see no spark whatsover, not even the barest smidge, between Hermione and Ron. And even if I could, I would ask myself: what does she see in him? She’s smart. He’s not. She’s a hard worker. He’s not. She cares about things beyond her supper and Quidditch, he doesn’t. She has insight into people and is supportive and caring. He does not.

    Love is truly blind in that case.

  19. Oh, goodness, there’s all sorts of fun to be had here.

    A lot of people were really upset with JKR after Book 6, especially when she called her Ron-Hermione set-ups “anvil-sized hints.”

    Sorry, folks, but they were anvil-sized hints. I remain baffled that anyone who actually read the series ever thought Harry-Hermione was a possibility, or that Ron-Hermione wasn’t inevitable. Harry’s and Hermione’s interactions with each other never looked anything other than thoroughly platonic.

    Ginny is not a cheerleader, and based on her fiery attitude, I’m quite certain she’d have no problem telling Harry if he was being a great prat about anything. I don’t think Ginny was sprung on us at all. She was the set-up girlfriend for Harry from the first few chapters of CoS.

    The relationships in this series (minus perhaps Lupin-Tonks – which was sprung on us out of nowhere) have been by far the easiest things to predict. They were almost “gimme” predictions on JKR’s part.

    Legilimency, ever broken up with someone for a good reason and had them respond entirely irrationally?

    Of course Hermione has been “more useful.” She’s one of the three in a triptych fiction, and she’s the other half of the alchemical “quarreling couple.” She’s more central to the books that Ginny was ever intended to be. But the idea that since her friendship is more useful, that Harry-Hermione makes sense doesn’t work at all. Good thing we’re not all out there looking for “useful” people to marry. People might feel, you know, used.

    The greatest weakness in the writing of Ginny, I maintain, is that JKR wasn’t able (for plot reasons) to spend as much time on her.

    But again, the anima/animus pairing works well with Ginny. It wouldn’t have worked with Hermione.

  20. The greatest weakness in the writing of Ginny, I maintain, is that JKR wasn’t able (for plot reasons) to spend as much time on her.

    Well, that, and the fact that Ginny appears to get a radical character upgrade in OOTP, with little explanation. And that her new character seems to have just been assembled from a checklist of desirable attributes.

    Ginny, the hot redhead, effortlessly catches the Snitch to win the Quidditch match. She then heads back to the castle, followed by a legion of admiring men, all of whom are smitten by her sassy demeanor and endless stream of witty humor. All adults find her completely charming, so after a quick change of robes, she heads off to the Slug Club party, where she’ll socialize with the rich and famous of the wizarding world. A couple of Slytherins try to harass her on the way there, but she easily dispatches them with with the world’s most powerful Bat-Bogey Hex…

    I mean, of course she’s the perfect girl for Harry. She’s pretty much written as the perfect girl for any 17 year old boy on the planet!

    I think it’s instructive to compare New!Ginny and Luna, both of whom arrived on the scene at about the same time. Luna is both well-written and well-developed. She may not have had tons of page time, but she’s a completely unique and memorable character. And we’ve learned a lot of about her perspective, her backstory, her strengths and flaws and so forth.

    I just don’t see why New!Ginny couldn’t have gotten a similar treatment.

  21. Reyhan — *cheers* — it’s so good to agree on something! I concur with absolutely every single thing you said about the Ron/Hermione pairing. It may have fit the alchemical formula, but it was forced as a romance — nothing at all like the quarreling couple of Han Solo and Princess Leia, where we can understand the attraction.

    Travis — It’s too bad we have to disagree so wholeheartedly on these matters when we could certainly agree on so many other topics. Romance is a highly subjective thing; I will try to keep that in mind as I comment.

    I disagree that the anima/animus pairing works well with Ginny. And, from reading your post, you are claiming that Harry is attracted to Ginny because she’s a nurturing mother-figure. So I guess she is useful to him after all — when Harry needs a mommy and a blankie and someone to kiss his boo-boo. As you can see, I think the anima/animus pairing is bunk, and we have no evidence it influenced JKR anyway.

    As for Hermione being “useful” — I was mainly referring to her place of significance in the plot, which is undeniable, and a point which you have cleverly dogded b/c it is, of course, irrefutable. It’s not that Hermione is more “useful” to Harry — she’s simply far more important to him. The person one is most intimately involved with should not be on the periphery of your life, especially with other women being more involved. And I don’t think most of us are out to marry the most useless, insignificant-to-our-lives person we can find, either. Try telling that to the next girl you ask out on a date: “No, really — you’re not useful to me at all! I find you useless and unimportant in my life’s major events!” See what she says.

    And about those infamous, anvil-sized hints. What many of you don’t seem to realize is that we all perceived the hints, but we could find no psychological backing in the story on which to ground them (because there is none), so we assumed JKR was being her usual, clever self and had something else up her sleeve. What staggers me is that the rest of you didn’t pick up on the fact that Hermione hero-worships Harry throughout the entire series, that she obsesses over his safety, and that she is bonding with him through every trial. Harry even begins to hear her voice in his head telling him what he should do, and has dreams about his crush (Cho) turning into Hermione! He also has nightmares where Hermione is in danger, and is always desperately trying to protect her through all of their shared various trials.

    I hate to criticize JKR because, for the most part, I love her work. But she almost embarrassingly overlooks all the glaring signs she wrote into her books that would indicate an eventual Harry/Hermione pairing. She is not a great writer of romance.

    And please don’t try to use the weak logic that she set up the Harry/Ginny pairing by Harry saving Ginny’s life in CoS, because guess what? He turns right around and does the same exact thing for Hermione in PoA!

    You have also pointed out that there was nothing going on between Harry and Hermione that was more than platonic. First of all, we never knew for certain what was going on in Hermione’s head due to the fact that the books are written from Harry’s perspective only. Second, the same exact thing was true of Harry and Ginny! Don’t you realize that Harry never had anything more than platonic feelings for Ginny until that moment in HBP where he sees her snogging that other boy? Plotwise, JKR could have pulled the exact same thing with Hermione, and frankly, it’s what many of us were expecting. We weren’t a million miles off the mark; on the contrary, we were just an inch away from what actually happened (right scenario, wrong girl)!

    And by the way, John Granger, your friend who has made us all so aware of the alchemical formula, said himself that the usual pairing of the quarreling couple did not necessitate a Ron/Hermione pairing in these books; indeed, he believed Harry/Hermione to fit better with the subtext of the story!

    Rant, rant, rant…

  22. Oh, Doug! Excellent stuff — my sides are splitting from laughter. You are right — Ginny was not so much written as a character, but as a caricature of a popular high school girl.

  23. Travis,
    I am 100% in agreeance with you. I too find it very shallow to look for useful people to have a relationship with… Ouch. That bode well for real life.

    We need to remember that the story is from the perspective of a 12-17 y/o boy. At first, not interested in girls. Then later girl crazy.

    I’m satisfied that it is a realistic representation of an adolescent boy’s emotional and social development.

    It’s a story about our three hero’s adventures and who they encounter, from Harry’s perspective. Even if Harry didn’t notice Ron and Hermione liking each other, I sure did.

    I seriously cannot understand how Legilimancy could hold such a bombastic and grudging position on this.

    Matthew

  24. See? This is why I don’t do shipping. People get more fired up about this silly topic than any other.

    Here goes.

    Legilimency, I’m incredibly baffled as to how someone of the caliber of JKR, who clearly is exceedingly well-versed in world mythology and in the study thereof, would not in any way be influenced by mythological archetypal patterns, not least anima/animus. To make such an argument is nothing more than a bare assertion with no facts imaginable to back it up.

    But let’s say Rowling knew nothing about mythological studies. The whole point of Campbell’s mythological archetypes is that they can be found in all mythologies/stories throughout history – and Campbell didn’t come along till last century. Which means that you don’t have to know about the anima/animus archetypal pattern to write about it.

    How in heaven’s name can you say I “dodged” your point about Hermione’s usefulness? I admitted your point about her usefulness! I just argued that her usefulness to Harry is not a setup for a Harry-Hermione relationship.

    But speaking of dodging points, you shifted my point about anima/animus and the mother figure into a different point, and then argued against it. I don’t necessarily think it’s “useful” for Ginny to be like her mother. I think it fits archetypal patterns, which is why I think it fits the story. Again, if you really think JKR is not influenced by mythological archetypes, I don’t know what to say.

    You’re really twisting the whole “useful” thing. My point also does not lead to the conclusion that you go out and find a useless person to date. I think that’s what we called “reductio ad absurdum.”

    As far as hints go, anyone who got to the end of GoF and still thought Harry-Hermione was a possibility and that Ron-Hermione was a red herring…I think I’ll just not finish this sentence.

    And please don’t try to use the weak logic that she set up the Harry/Ginny pairing by Harry saving Ginny’s life in CoS, because guess what? He turns right around and does the same exact thing for Hermione in PoA!

    Oh good lord. He saved Sirius, Hermione, and himself simultaneously, and from Dementors. So no, he does not do the “exact same thing” as save a girl who represents everything that feels like “home” to Harry, who also has a crush on him, from possession by Lord Voldemort, a piece of whom Harry carries inside his own head. Practically and symbolically, there are radical differences between Harry’s rescue of Ginny in CoS, and Harry’s rescue of himself, Sirius, and Hermione in PoA.

    Plotwise, JKR could have pulled the exact same thing with Hermione, and frankly, it’s what many of us were expecting. We weren’t a million miles off the mark; on the contrary, we were just an inch away from what actually happened (right scenario, wrong girl)!

    She could have had she wanted to, but it would have been a lousy choice, and contra all the evidence. See? I can make bare assertions, too! 😉

    And by the way, John Granger, your friend who has made us all so aware of the alchemical formula, said himself that the usual pairing of the quarreling couple did not necessitate a Ron/Hermione pairing in these books; indeed, he believed Harry/Hermione to fit better with the subtext of the story!

    John and I have spoken about this on the phone. While John is disappointed in the way JKR handled the Harry-Hermione shippers after HBP, the reason he backed off the Ron-Hermione pairing at one point was not because the alchemical reading didn’t fit that pairing, but because he was backing off on his strict application of the alchemical formula in the first place, something he later regretted. As far as I recall, the most John ever gave in to the Harry-Hermione theory was to say that they might have a brief relationship, but ultimately it would be Ron-Hermione.

    I swore I’d never get into the shipping conversations, and here I go. I need to go read some other threads now.

  25. Matthew — The first thing you need to understand is that Travis did a great job of twisting my words about someone getting into a relationship with someone b/c they are
    “useful” to that individual. The original argument that I was refuting was from people trying to claim it was better for Harry to be in a relationship with Ginny b/c she fit his needs (ie., was “useful” to him). I said that was a poor argument, and if you wanted to argue that way, it’s obvious that Harry needs Hermione far more than he needs Ginny. “Needing” someone is a lot different than finding someone “useful”.

    And I’m sorry, but your reading of Harry’s character as “girl crazy” is quite wrong — Harry has little experience with girls and is not preoccupied with them at all — he’s got much bigger, more important things to worry about. Besides, even when he’s in love he’s only focused on one person at a time — I think a phrase like “girl crazy” implies that he is just interested in girls in general, which he clearly is not.

    And please remember that I am not the only one who holds this position about the various ships going on — they didn’t call it the “shipping wars” for nothing. I have even conceded the fact that I believe I could have liked a Harry/Ginny pairing if JKR had given us a decent character in Ginny, but alas, she did not — and I am very far from the only person to say so. I was extremely disappointed, b/c these are great stories and deserved a great romance, if there needed to be romance at all. But that is not what we got.

    “Bombastic and grudging”, you say? That’s funny — that’s exactly how you and Travis sound to me.

    Travis — I’m not even saying JKR didn’t appeal to the anima/animus pairing — just that I think it makes for a lousy romance. “I love you because you remind me of my mother” is not what any young woman wants to hear. I don’t care how many times it’s used in mythology — it doesn’t mean that a romance based on this concept is a tasteful one.

    In fact, I think you’ve stumbled upon one of the weaknesses of JKR’s writing. You see, it’s not that I think I think she’s unaware of mythology and archetypes; on the contrary, I believe she’s extremely aware of them, but has, in some cases, made the mistake of forcing characters into formulas that just didn’t fit the psycho-emotional make-up of the character. Some people, like you, do not have a problem with this. You like to see all the formulas lined up and everything in its proper little place. For people like me, we can’t stand to see the nature of the character sacrificed just to fit the formula — it is so unsatisfying! Fantasy writer Madeleine L’Engle once said something to the effect that very often, characters do not want to obey what the author wants them to do — and that’s it’s often best for the author to listen to them!

    And if you want to ignore all the evidence I gave for a Harry/Hermione pairing, that’s fine, I understand — it’s what all who disagree with that position do. It does not in the least elevate my opinion of your sharpness as a reader to see that you arrived at the simplistic conclusion of a Ron/Hermione pairing — anyone could have seen that. What you did not see and seek to ignore is the enormous subtext that JKR wrote (inadvertently, of course) that supported a Harry/Hermione pairing. Are you really going to pretend like I’m way out in left field somewhere when there were international wars being waged over this? If you do, then you are resorting to denial — the fact is enough people saw it that way to make a very good case that JKR simply didn’t do as good a job as she thought she did, and that, I believe, is a result of the fact that she doesn’t get the anvil-sized concepts about the psychology of romance. A girl like Hermione Granger would never in a million years be attracted to a boy like Ron Weasley, period. It was thoroughly artificial and unbelievable from the word “go” — JKR had no right to expect people to have such a buy-in. She just wasn’t able to pull it off. But, yes, it fits the formula. Big deal.

    On to your remarks about CoS. Ginny did not feel like “home” to Harry back when he rescued her from the Chamber. And so what if she had a crush on him back then? He didn’t even notice her, and she moved along pretty quick, snogging as many boys as she could all along the way. Oh, yes, really the stuff of true love. But I guess we have to give Ginny some credit — after all, she really was holding out hope for Harry all the while — she was just “using” those other boys to get his attention. And so what about the connection they both have to LV? I guess that means anyone who’s ever been possessed by LV should end up as Harry’s true love! C’mon…practically or symbolically, that argument just doesn’t wash.

    Well, it’s interesting to read about “what you recall” about John Granger’s views on Harry/Hermione; however, your memory has apparently not been serving you as well as you think. You may be able to find some of the articles he wrote on the matter back in the archives over at HogPro, but he supported Penny Linsenmeyer (and her fine essay on why it had to be Harry and Hermione) all the way. He also said Rowling was certainly guilty of a breech of writing etiquette by springing Ginny on us virtually out of nowhere.

    Look, before this gets too ugly — I really like your site and I respect your views and your ability to write and to reason. Like I said before — romance is a very subjective thing, and I think we will simply have to agree to disagree on this one. Please understand that a lot of the reason for the heat behind my comments has nothing to do with a desire to put anyone down personally, but that I was so tremendously disappointed with JKR’s writing of this part of the story. I even believe a Harry/Ginny pairing could have been done well, but it wasn’t. I think I am entitled to my opinion on this, as you are most certainly entitled to yours. I hope we can continue to discuss our differences in a rational manner.

  26. Legilimency, “before this gets too ugly”? Before?

    A few things to start: I know there are a lot of really intelligent Harry-Hermione shippers out there, but it still baffles me. I checked with my wife tonight before returning to this site. “Did you ever think, while reading the books, that Harry-Hermione was a possibility?” She looked at me like I had two heads. “No! Not at all! Not even close!” My wife knows her literature, in some ways better than I do, and even more than that, she knows her psychology. If there were some psychological problem with the pairings as they are, some huge mistake JKR made about the psychology of romance, Tricia would have called B.S. So I don’t buy in the least that Rowling tried to cram psycho-emotional make-ups into formulas where they didn’t fit. Your assertion that I wouldn’t have a problem if Rowling did this, so long as the archetypal patterns fit, is completely false. It would drive me crazy if she did that. I don’t think she did.

    I’m ignoring your “evidence” not because I don’t think there is any, but because the Ron-Hermione and Harry-Ginny evidence is so overwhelming in comparison, that I really just don’t want to start an evidence war. There are entire sites for that.

    Travis did a great job of twisting my words about someone getting into a relationship with someone b/c they are “useful” to that individual.

    Dude, my comment in response to the “useful” thing was an off-handed comment that was not at all central to the point I was making. Let’s get past that one, ok?

    I’m not even saying JKR didn’t appeal to the anima/animus pairing — just that I think it makes for a lousy romance. “I love you because you remind me of my mother” is not what any young woman wants to hear. I don’t care how many times it’s used in mythology — it doesn’t mean that a romance based on this concept is a tasteful one.

    This is the last time I’m going to explain this point. If you miss it again, so be it. You don’t understand archetypes. They are not molds that must be forced; they are general patterns of deep-down, psychological things. I didn’t say Harry loved Ginny because she reminds him of his mother. You want to talk about twisting points, my friend? Go read the original post again. Speaking from a literary criticism point of view, the point stands. And this answers your complaint about my “home” comment, which point you also missed – The Weasleys were more like “home” for Harry than his own. They represent everything good about the WW to him, and Molly is like a mother to him. It was an easy set-up on Rowling’s part. We all should have gotten it. A lot of people did. I had Harry-Ginny pegged by book 2, as did my wife when she finally read the series.

    Now, let’s allow everyone to observe these two comments you made:

    Comment #21: As you can see, I think the anima/animus pairing is bunk, and we have no evidence it influenced JKR anyway.

    Comment #25: I’m not even saying JKR didn’t appeal to the anima/animus pairing … it’s not that I think she’s unaware of mythology and archetypes; on the contrary, I believe she’s extremely aware of them

    ‘Nuff said on that point.

    And so what about the connection they both have to LV? I guess that means anyone who’s ever been possessed by LV should end up as Harry’s true love! C’mon…practically or symbolically, that argument just doesn’t wash.

    Dude, you can’t say “practically or symbolically that argument doesn’t wash.” I mean, you can, and you did, but seriously – you don’t see the symbolic set-up there?

    If you’re correct about John Granger’s completely buying the Harry-Hermione thing, then we have yet another point on which John and I disagree. Nevertheless, just a few months ago, John told me on the phone that had he stuck with strict alchemical pairing (which he said he should have done), he wouldn’t have backed off Ron-Hermione. I wish I had left my Audio Hijack program running for that part of the conversation. I’d play you the sound bite.

    I really like your site and I respect your views and your ability to write and to reason.

    Thank you, and I’m glad you’re here and participate, and I value your input. You’ve got a lot of important stuff to contribute here. We just radically disagree on this one, and perhaps I’m partially annoyed because I’ve managed to keep ‘shipping debates off this site till now, and your (I agree with Matthew) bombastic entry into this thread took me a little by surprise.

    Indeed, we can proceed in a reasonable manner. I’m just not sure I have that much more to say about this issue. I think Rowling did just fine with it. Not her strongest point, but then romance was never meant to be central in the first place.
    I admitted freely from the start that Rowling has not given us enough about Ginny, and I hope this will be remedied. But I’m of the opinion that what we do have of Ginny is enough to know that she fits for Harry.

  27. Legilimency,
    I’m sorry if I misunderstood your point about Ginny’s usefulness to Harry.
    “About Hermione — Harry needs her and has found her far more useful in the books than he has ever found Ginny. He’s made it through five and a half years worth of trials before he even notices Ginny — and this is supposed to be someone he needs?”

    I took this to be indicative of your urguement and responded to that.

    “The original argument that I was refuting was from people trying to claim it was better for Harry to be in a relationship with Ginny b/c she fit his needs (ie., was “useful” to him). I said that was a poor argument…”

    I haven’t seen anyone argueing that Harry should be with Ginny because she fits his needs but rather because of their complementry personalities and Ginny’s acceptance of Harry’s role in his fight against Voldemort.

    You’re right. I wrote “girl-crazy” and generally Harry is not thus. I meant that he is a much more sexually aware young fella than he was in the early books. Because he wasn’t interested in Ginny as a girlfriend early on in the series doesn’t mean that her lack of presence indicates lack of importance in the overall plot of the series. Not to me, anyway.

    “And please remember that I am not the only one who holds this position about the various ships going on — they didn’t call it the “shipping wars” for nothing.”

    I do remember that, but that doesn’t mean I should agree with. Especially if the arguement is not supported to my satisfaction.

    In reading your comments I find the attitude with which you support your own arguements and reply to other people’s bordering on offensive. You seem to have a habit of making a statement as if it were made by someone else(usually using emotive and beligerant language) and then responding to that. Also, you write as if your arguements are infallible and we’re all fools or ignoramuses if we hold a different opinion. There’s no need for that.

    “when Harry needs a mommy and a blankie and someone to kiss his boo-boo.”

    “And about those infamous, anvil-sized hints. What many of you don’t seem to realize…”

    “What staggers me is that the rest of you didn’t pick up on the fact that… ”

    “And please don’t try to use the weak logic… ”

    “Don’t you realize… ”

    “The first thing you need to understand is that…”

    “Some people, like you, do not have a problem with this. You like to see all the formulas lined up and everything in its proper little place.”

    “What you did not see and seek to ignore…”

    “Are you really going to pretend…”

    “Oh, yes, really the stuff of true love.”

    “JKR had no right to expect people to have such a buy-in. She just wasn’t able to pull it off. But, yes, it fits the formula. Big deal.”

    “Well, it’s interesting to read about “what you recall”…”

    If someone disagrees or presents their evidence there is no need to attack their reading of the stories or their honesty. If you have strong arguements they’ll stand on their own without the personal and emotive remarks.

    I’m sorry if this adds to myself sounding bombastic and grudging. I certainly don’t want to come across that way. I just want to understand your agruements without having to decode them from the personal insinuations and sarcasm.

    Matthew

  28. Matthew — I appreciate the concessions you have made about the points we were arguing. It demonstrates both humility and maturity.

    However, I cannot overlook your bias in criticizing me for my way of responding to others’ posts. Listing every single quote you found “offensive” was quite unnecessary — it makes it look as though you are trying to humiliate me, and that’s a bit like the pot calling the kettle black, is it not? I will also point out that you have completely overlooked the rude and humiliating tone with which Travis has responded to me. Perhaps my comments would not have been so heated if he had not fed the fire. You also did not seem interested in bothering to quote the end of my last post, where I was attempting to make concessions and peace with the rest of you.

    I would also suggest to you that you might not be so critical of my remarks had we been on the same side of the argument. As things stand, your criticism of me appears to be suspiciously biased.

    If you feel it is fair and right to judge me and let the whole world know that you find my comments rude and offensive, then I feel justified by your example in letting you know that your comments in your last post criticizing me strike me as the rudest and most offensive of all.

  29. Legilimency, I’ve come close to shutting this thread down a couple of times now. Sarcasm and fiesty argumentation is one thing. Attacking other people’s motives and assuming bias is another.

    I’m sorry if you feel humiliated in any way, but given Matthew’s accurate list of frustrations with your comments, the complaint seems disingenuous to me. And to call Matthew, easily the most calm and civil discussant on this site over the past year “the rudest and most offensive of all” in his comments is troublesome to me. Explaining that you wouldn’t have been so heated had I not fed the fire is frustrating for me to read, honestly. I looked back and re-read my comments, and the only time I can admit an intentionally snarky comment is the “oh good lord” exasperation I expressed after you called the Harry saved Ginny setup “weak logic.” On the other hand, my intelligence, my understanding of literature, my ability to even make a coherent, honest argument, and my integrity in the discussion have all been insulted (not that I’ve ever actually felt insulted, which is why you don’t see me complaining about such). If there is anything I’ve said to you that has been insulting in any way, please let me know what it is, so I can apologize, and so I can make sure not to use those words/phrases again.

    You criticized Matthew, saying, “You also did not seem interested in bothering to quote the end of my last post” – which is also a bit funny, since you called my tone “rude and humiliating” but “did not seem interested” (do you hear your own rudeness there?) in quoting my own similar paragraph about valuing your input and being glad you contribute here.

    Matthew is not commenting out of personal bias, because he and I agree on this point. He’s been commenting here almost since the beginning, and he knows how conversations go here – they are calm and reasonable, and I stop them when they’re not. He knows the kind of discussion I’m trying to moderate here.

    This thread will only continue if we can get past the attacks and condescension (on everyone’s part, including my own). If not, I’ll block comments for this thread. Any more comments related to people’s motives, bias, rudeness, or anything of the sort will be deleted.

    Let’s move on with the actual discussion, if there is anything more to discuss.

  30. Travis — I think that the attempt to trade credentials in order to lend our arguments weight is a path to nowhere. For example, you cited your wife’s supposed prowess in literature as a reason for trusting the Ron/Hermione pairing. Well, I should tell you that my sister, who graduated summa cum laude in literature, believed Harry and Hermione to be the better pairing and the one JKR was after. And as far as your wife knowing her psychology — well, I doubt she knows it better than me, as I have degree in the subject. You see? We could go on like this forever.

    And your accusation that I do not understand archetypes is insulting and false. In order to gain a degree in psychology, one has to know about archetypes. I can, however, see how I have been angry and therefore unclear in my previous posts. I think it would be best if I appealed to your original comments on the subject:

    “Ginny is Harry’s anima. Quick (and inadequate) summary: anima refers to feminine traits, and animus, masculine. The two must meet and be drawn to each other, becoming more like one another (meeting somewhere in the middle).”

    Now, please understand — I am not saying that the anima/animus pairing is wrong; I am simply pointing out a few things about it that didn’t quite work for me. One is the fact that I found some of Ginny’s traits as expressed in HBP to be more masculine than feminine — mainly her athletic prowess, her bold, outspoken manner and her readiness for a fight. Even her sexual prowess — meaning she has a lot more “experience” than Harry does — is traditionally thought to be a more masculine trait. So these things just left a question mark in my mind as to Ginny bringing opposite and feminine traits into the relationship. As far as I recall, Travis, you did not elaborate on the masc./fem. thing, but I am interested in your input.

    Moving on, you said a few things about the mother-figure:

    “If I recall my archetypes properly, the animus’s (Harry’s) anima (Ginny) often carries characteristics quite similar to a Good Mother figure; we’ve all heard it said that guys are often initially attracted to women who remind them of their mothers, and women, the same with guys who are like their fathers. In Harry’s case, his initial mother figure is Petunia, an obviously bad mother. Mrs. Weasley, on the other hand, is a good and positive Mother, and Ginny, at one point in HBP, gives a look almost identical to Mrs. Weasley. In fact, you can’t really get more like the Mother figure than her own daughter! So if Mrs. Weasley represents the caring, nurturing mother for Harry, Ginny is an obvious attraction for him.”

    Going back to the original material in your article, I believe this whole anima/mother-figure section was your attempt to answer the question of why JKR chose Ginny for a romantic partner for Harry. And you are right — we’ve all heard that guys fall for girls that remind them of their mother, etc. This is merely a point of opinion on my part: yes, that certainly happens and it is used in literature/mythology and it could be exactly what JKR is doing here, but it was not satisfying to me as a reason for pairing Harry with Ginny for several reasons. First, you compared Ginny to two different mothers: Lily and Molly. We know so little about Lily that it is hard to say how much Ginny resembles her, other than that they both have red hair and are pretty skilled witches. So it’s something, but it just wasn’t enough to persuade me. Then there’s Molly — we certainly know a lot more about her, but what we know does not seem to favor Harry choosing a girl like her. She is bossy and scolding of her husband, and Harry finds her overprotective. By book 5, her “nurturing” seems to annoy rather than draw him. So, in sum, I didn’t see much to go on with either of these examples after I had considered your point.

    So this is my response to your insinuation that I contradicted myself. The claim that you had Ginny pegged from book 2 and your assertion that “we all should have gotten it” smacks of pride and egotism. I considered Ginny as Harry’s true love when I read book 2, but abandoned the idea when she started snogging every boy at Hogwarts because I couldn’t stomache the idea that this was supposed to be Harry’s true love.

    And this brings me to my two most important points about why I do not like the Ginny/Harry pairing, which revolves mainly around a couple of things about the way Rowling wrote Ginny’s character, and has nothing to do with either archetypes or alchemical formulas.

    The first thing I dislike about the way JKR wrote Ginny’s character is that I find her to be so rude. She engages in the second-grade practice of name-calling when she keeps referring Fleur as “Phlegm”, and she makes scathing remarks to Ron when he criticizes her for her lack of modesty after catching her kissing yet another boy. She later reams Hermione out so harshly that the two girls are left glaring in opposite directions. I cannot justify this speech as cute and feisty, and I don’t know why Rowling wrote it that way and then told us she thinks of Ginny as kind and compassionate — the example just doesn’t fit that label. (Incidentally, I find it a little ironic that some of you are so objectionable to what you call an offensive tone in these posts while you approve of Ginny, whose language is often harsh and offensive. I guess it makes a big difference whether or not the guns are pointed at you.)

    The second thing I dislike about the way JKR wrote Ginny’s character is that Ginny is so promiscuous. As someone who has attempted to defend these books against the charges of “promoting immoral behavior” in kids, I was really knocked back with this portrayal of Ginny. I really can’t defend it. And I really couldn’t understand why JKR would choose to write her this way. Why not emphasize virtues more meaningful than prettiness and popularity with the boys? How do we respect a girl who gives herself so freely to so many boys? This sets such a bad example for young girls reading the book, especially as snogging other boys was Ginny’s tactic for getting Harry to notice her. Also, sexual purity has held a high place with romantic heroines of the past — this was out-of-step with that tradition, and that threw me. Travis, I think you might be right about Ginny being the Anti-Susan, but I think it was done in poor taste. I was so disappointed! Jane Austen, where are you when we need you?

    “Dude, you can’t say “practically or symbolically that argument doesn’t wash.” I mean, you can, and you did, but seriously – you don’t see the symbolic set-up there? ”

    In saying this, you imply there was something I missed. If that is so, why not explain then, instead of just insinuating? That kind of makes it look like a groundless attempt to insult me.

    “In short, it’s easy to see why some people favor Hermione as the right partner for our hero – we know her (the good and bad), and we love her. ”

    Hey, thanks for pointing this out — and thanks for acknowledging that there are a lot of intelligent Harry/Hermione shippers. Many will not even admit that — I give you credit. I did not intend to start a shipping debate here — my original comment about Harry and Hermione was just an aside that happened to support my argument at the moment, but it got taken up, so we were off and running. I don’t mind agreeing to disagree on this. If we are all honest with ourselves, we none of us are persuaded by “evidence” on this topic — we are more going from a gut reaction that’s based on our own personal interpretations of romance.

    But I do want to make one thing clear: I never, ever had a problem seeing or recognizing JKR’s “hints” about a Ron/Hermione ship. This has been the single most frustrating false accusation we Harry/Hermione shippers have had to battle all along. We all saw it — we just couldn’t accept it! One main reason I could never accept a Ron/Hermione pairing even when I saw it indicated in the books was because I intensely disliked the way Ron treated Hermione. Yes, I saw the hints, but I never wanted to accept them due to the un-gentlemanly manner in which Ron behaves toward Hermione (and no, I never thought his behavior was either cute or justified). The other reason is the fact that I believe it unrealistic that a girl like Hermione would ever be interested in a boy like Ron, as per Reyhan’s comments above.

    But isn’t it great that JKR has given us such fantastic characters that we actually fight about them? But I am willing to lay the shipping aside — it’ll be a relief.

    And just to let you know, when I first started posting on this thread, I said I was sort of on a rant, and I didn’t really expect anyone to take my comments so seriously or so personally, especially as you said you were not really into the whole shipping thing. I can’t really agree with you that Ginny is a good match for Harry because I really can’t agree that she is a worthy character to begin with, and this disappoints me, but I do believe we can agree to disagree in peace.

  31. Travis — one more thing. I printed that last post before I had a chance to read your previous one.

    Just one question — if I do choose to take the time and cite every single incident where I believe you were rude and insulting to me, would you print that post? Or would it just get deleted? I’ll await your response before I spend anymore time on it.

  32. Legilimency, it seems we’ve reached a kinder, gentler conversation. Thanks for sticking with it ;).

    Trading credentials certainly won’t get us anywhere, I agree, but your wording, at least to me, made it sound like anyone who doesn’t agree with your psychological evaluation of the love pairings is an idiot (sort of like my wording made it sound like anyone who disagrees with the current love pairings is an idiot), I thought I’d bring in my wife’s opinion, who, I’m quite certain, knows her psychology every bit as well as you do, has a graduate degree in the field, and works with teenage students, day in, day out. In other words, kids just like Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny. And she thinks the pairings work well psychologically. Truth is, there are really smart people on both sides of the debate, and I’ll admit some of my language was a little strong, making it sound like you’ve got to be a moron to have missed Harry/Ginny and Ron/Hermione. I apologize for that, and I understand your position much better as a result of #30. I’ll respond at length later to your reasons for disliking Ginny (I’m at work right now) in a civilized manner =)

    I certainly wasn’t meaning to be prideful when I said, “We all should have gotten it.” Simply paraphrasing Rowling. And in my opinion, if Rowling thinks we all should have gotten it, I think we should have, too. While I can understand the appeal of Harry-Hermione, I just don’t think Rowling was that off-the-mark when she said the hints were huge. Now that I understand that it wasn’t that you ignored the hints, but that you thought she forced relationships that don’t work, we can get the conversation back on track.

    You are free to list your complaints about me here if I’ve not addressed them in either comment #29 or the apologies in this one, and I will not delete. I have gotten out of hand a bit in this. I need to stop commenting from work, really. I get short breaks, fire off a comment, and then realize later I didn’t read clearly enough. That was the case here, and again, I apologize. Again, thanks for sticking with the conversation. Let’s see where it goes from here now that we’ve chilled and are being reasonable.

  33. I feel that I’ve maligned Ron and I sense a need to rehabilitate him, not so much as a fitting partner for Hermione (that is her decision, after all as well as JKR’s), but in his role as best friend.

    I wrote that he wasn’t interested in anything besides his supper and Quidditch. Not true. He is of course passionately interested and involved in ridding the world of Voldemort. He is a good fighter for the good side. His wizard chess sacrifice in PS tells us where his heart is at. When it comes to the essentials, he tries to do the right thing.

    He reminds me a little of the characters of Merry and Pippin in LOTR. They too are fairly ordinary hobbits, who rise to the task of saving the world through their loyalty to Frodo as well as their innate sense of right and wrong.

    As best friend, Ron has been a little wanting, with the whole jealousy trip he went through in GoF. But he understood what a git he was, apologised, and that’s all that needs to be said. No one is perfect, after all (with the possible exception of Lily Potter, and even she may have had her lapse in judgment, going for the popular jock instead of the greasy haired git whose love for her has inspired many a blog debate).

    My apology is motivated both by an innate need to be fair, as well as the fact that if Ron does sacrifice himself in DH, as I believe he may, I don’t want to think that my last comment about him was a slam.

    1. Well, well, you never know what you’ll find when you look back at old topics! Reyhan aka Red Rocker defending Ron!! 😉

  34. Ha! Sound a bit like Mrs. Weasley there, Reyhan. “I yelled at you before you left! And what if something had happened, and the last thing I said to you was that you didn’t get enough OWLs!” 😉

  35. I’ve read through many discusions on this site and this is by far the most heated.

    I don’t believe anyone mentioned the fact that Harry and Ginny have sort of special connection due to thier close involvement with Voldemort. Hermione has never even been near him until the end of Deathly Hollows. Regardless of what she’s read or heard, it’s something she’s simply never understand.

    Now that doesn’t mean that Hermione’s friendship isn’t special to Harry in it’s own way, or that Harry and Ginny have to hook up because of it. It just means that Ginny is more than just a throw away character.

    Legilimency said that Harry really didn’t need Ginny but I think he’s forgeting OOTP Christmas. Harry feared that he was being possesed by Voldemort and only Ginny could convince him otherwise because she acctualy had been.

  36. So, re Harry and Hermione..goodness! I thought these arguments were over!
    I was one of the people who could not for a single second imagine a Harry and Hermione pairing..As Harry said…he loves her like a sister, and it’s always been that way…

    I was astonished that even after the Goblet of Fire where Ron is totally jealous of Viktor Krum, and where it was extremely obvious that Harry had NO interest in Hermione and Hermione had NO interest in Harry..even then there were vehement H/H shippers!

    JKR is totally right – it was obvious for a LONG time that Ron and Hermione would end up together..although for the life of me, I cannot understand why a terrific girl/woman like Hermione would have ANY interest in immature Ron.

    As for Ginny, she is a terrific character. She was victimized by Lord Voldemort, and from then matures and grows. Horace Slughorn recognizes that she is one feisty, competent young woman..I love her ploughing into the Quiddith commentator..she is strong, smart, and compassionate, and the perfect mate for HP.

  37. Couples. I always thought of them as the soft and light part of the HP books. I’m really happy about your theories on Ginny, she is an interesting character that I would have liked to hear more about . I have always liked her, since she is the little girl in the family of boys and every time she opens her mouth, it’s interesting or funny and you want to hear more. I’m not sure for which couples I’m for…I used to think I was for Harry/Ginny and Hermione/Ron but now I’m not so sure anymore. My favorite character is Luna Lovegood so I would have wanted her with Harry or Ron but I know it won’t happen.
    Ron and Hermione are just classic, as you all say, it was obvious they were going to end up together though personally, I don’t know…I think I’m for them, they are meant for each other. But at the same time, I think I’m for Harry/Hermione as well, wouldn’t it have been well, funny, if Hermione would be seeing both and they would be fighting for who will get her? It would finish that Hermione would be with somebody else, perhaps Draco Malfoy? …

    When Draco would be nice, of course. Harry would be with Luna or Ginny and Ron would be with Luna or some other person… Just a thought.

    Kaeli

  38. Ah this was such a fun read. I really enjoyed it … brings back good ol memories of the shipping wars.

    I’ve personally always found Ginny to be a fantastic character. There’s just so much about her that’s there thorough out the seven books and subtle and then so much to extrapolate upon. Neville is similar. Unlike someone like Luna who I confess I find to be neither well developed or well written. She reads like a caricature and is quite possibly the most over-rated one dimensional character I have come across. She doesn’t have a story arch and I felt like at the end, she was still an unknown entity. I know someone above mentioned that Luna got a better treatment than Ginny but I disagree. That was more like oh well everyone can relate to being a weirdo in school and I’ll leave it like that. I don’t even have to give this person flaws.

    As for Ginny spreading immoral values .. what about Hermione huh ? She’s also dated a few guys … and kissed them as well. That would make her just as “immoral” as Ginny no ? What about the fact that she actually did just ask a guy out to make another one jealous ? Or the fact that she’s blackmailed people and hexed them for life ? Or led people to dangerous creatures ? She was also rude to Fleur .. so why is Ginny being singled out ? Actually, my fave moment in HBP was when Ginny got Hermione to shut up. Stop being a nagging shrew and have some faith in your friends huh ? Especially after they keep trying to get you to stop.

    I find it absurd that people call Ginny a bad role model cause she kissed a guy and whatever that there are other characters that do the same thing and WORSE get by passed completely.

  39. Laura, I agree that Ginny isn’t that bad and that she is normal even if she doesn’t pass very well at times and it makes me so sad to think that we didn’t get to know Ginny at all…almost. We know the basics about her but nothing more, nothing that would make her more exciting… I love her very much but that’s the only thing that I am disappointed with J.K. Rowling.

    Kaeli

  40. This is my opinion on Ginny. (In many ways I consider herself the opposite of myself.)

    She’s sweet, and we get the impression that she likes Harry even in Part 1 where she has to talk to Harry before they have even met.
    She for the most part stands by him. (But being honest, in Part 6 she is not so consistent. She may of course had been trying to make Harry jealous, but we don’t know.)

    But then she is also the sweet heroine (or object of the Harry’s desire) that doesn’t really have to prove herself and is already bestowed with what she wants.

    Despite my feelings for Voldemort, he continues to push me away. I prove myself time and time again. (I even go to jail rather than renounce him.) While he admits this and breaks me out of jail, he never gives me the closeness I want. (At one point he even humiliates me. As if I have any control over who Tonks wants to be with.)

    Ginny of course gets the ‘happily ever after’ end with Harry (the man she wants) while I die fighting for Voldemort even though I never got what I wanted. (I’m still trying to figure out why JKR says I’m the b…h when Ginny was trying to kill me as well.)

    I’m just saying Ginny got more rewards for less work and had a happy ending, while I did more work, didn’t get the reward I wanted, and then got killed.

  41. Actually for two strong women – I think Bellatrix fared better in the series than Ginny with regards to the treatment of men. Bellatrix, a devout follower of the Dark Lord’s manifesto was able to fight side by side with the leader of her cause both in the first and second war. She was able to be privy to most information and was sent out on her own as a leader of a squad on many occassions. She was given considerable power and training by her mentor and her performance was rewarded with praise and more responsibility when her missions were accomplished. When her missions failed – she wasn’t punished as severely as others, ie Lucius Malfoy. Whether or not she aspired for more from Voldemort on an emotional level is not really relevant. He gave her his trust and attention. Perhaps that’s all Bellatrix needed to turn her on.

    Ginny on the other hand was ousted by her lover, kept at arms distance for an entire book, not privy to information, not given responsibility and therefore was not allowed to perform at her utmost capabilities.

    In the context of being able to engage – I’d rather be Bellatrix than Ginnny. It seems Voldemort and the Death Eaters were very equal opportunity employers.

  42. Hi Bennu.

    I don’t deny I was given more trust and information so to speak.

    But on more than one occassion Voldemort does humiliate me. Perhaps the most painful one is where after he has been knocked out around the King’s Cross scene, and I try to help him, and he basically tells me to back off.

    You are right in that I enjoyed being given more to do. But I certainly wanted more of a closeness than I got. (One could also argue that I was effective because I was driven by the desperation for the closeness I never got. Sigh.)

    In terms of drama, I have to admit I was surprised that it wasn’t Ginny who gave me my death blow. (Seeing that by virtue of being in love with Harry, she was in fact my opposite.)

    SIDE NOTE: With Hermione being such an annoying know it all little Miss Perfect throughout the saga, aren’t you surprised that Harry or Ron never called her a b…h? Ha ha.

    Glad you see that us Death Eaters are ‘Equal Opportunity Employers.’

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