Why J.K. Rowling’s revelation means absolutely nothing

In a recent interview with Emma Watson for Wonderland Magazine, “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling made some of the most controversial comments of her career when she questioned the romantic pairing of Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley.

The announcement, which suggested Hermione would have found a better match in Harry Potter, has divided the obsessive fandom into two groups — Team Ron and Team Harry. As a huge fan of the series, I am embarrassed to reveal how emotionally invested I am in these characters, but one glaring question still comes to mind: why isn’t anyone on team Hermione?

While I agree that the Hermione–Ron relationship was doomed to fail, would he really have ever been able to make her happy? Who the young witch dated was by far the least interesting thing about her. So why are we so desperate to define her by who she shared her bed with?

Hermione was the brightest witch of her generation, regardless of which young hero was able to pluck at her heart strings. It was her wits and commitment to education that made her a great role model for school aged girls — not her happily ever after.

The young heroine tackled problems that plagued the wizarding world, solved mysteries that had faced her community for half a century and, as Hagrid so eloquently put it, “they haven’t invented a spell our Hermione can’t do.” So why do we care who she ended up with?

If the “Harry Potter” series has taught us anything, it is the value of friendship, the power of family and the importance of a night in the library. Nowhere in the series does it suggest that a person’s worth is defined by their significant other, something that makes these books so valuable among adolescents.

I have to say that this “controversy” has done little for me other than cause extreme disappointment on the part of my fellow fans. Part of the reason I chose to align myself with the “Harry Potter” fandom, as opposed to the equally popular “Twilight” series, was due to the presence of a strong, independently amazing female lead. Unlike Bella Swan, Hermione put her education, well-being and self-worth miles ahead of her need to find someone to procreate with.

This obsession with her relationship rather than her genius devalues Hermione as a character and takes away from all of her amazing accomplishments. In many circumstances her male counterparts would have been doomed had Hermione not been there to save the day.

In their first year at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, it was Hermione’s mastery of spells beyond her years that allowed the trio to triumph over a set of challenges designed for much more experienced wizards. In her third year she planted her fist firmly in Draco Malfoy’s jaw, a fantasy of many, and in the final novel she made the ultimate sacrifice–erasing herself from the memories of her parents to help them avoid the unnecessary suffering that came with knowledge of the wizarding war.

All of these events, a small sampling of her accomplishments, are a much more worthy focus than this love triangle that never existed in the novels.

Additionally, Hermione stood for values that we, as a society, should promote in young women. Despite being mercilessly teased for having her nose permanently in a book, Hermione never dumbed herself down in attempts to fit in. She never hesitated to stand up for what she believed in, even if that challenged her friends and alienated her classmates. Finally, Hermione put her life on the line to save the ones she loved, a demonstration of the courage many of us lack.

Rather than dividing into groups to debate who she should have been with, we should be focusing on what is really important: who Hermione was to all of us as a role model and heroine. And, just like whomever she ended up with romantically, we were lucky to have her.

Originally published at huntnewsnu.com.

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