By Soumya Raj:
The dynamics of the Golden Trio in the Harry Potter series, of Harry Potter himself, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, seems to be suddenly disturbed as J. K. Rowling reveals that Hermione Granger should have been with Harry Potter, rather than with Ron Weasley. Seven years after the last book in the series was released, this is a surprising information, and fans all over are equal parts disappointed and relieved.
Harry Potter follows a quest narrative; it begins from childhood, goes through adolescence, and then into adulthood, (which in the Wizarding World begins at 17), where the main stem of the plot of the series is the hero-villain dichotomy between Harry and Voldemort, amongst others, where the binaries of evil and inherent goodness interplay consecutively till Voldemort, the antagonist is finally slain by the protagonist, Harry. Beside Harry are his most trusted and loyal friends, who stick by him and show genuine willingness in following him toward any mess he might be in, regardless of the sufferings they might encounter.
Anyone would expect at a superficial glance that Harry should end up with Hermione, and why should he not? Harry is the Chosen one, with his remarkable feats, talent and much spoken about and seen courage and determination, the hero. Hermione on the other hand is the not the quintessential dainty damsel in distress tritagonist, she is brave, she is not vain, but surprisingly unaware of her beauty, she values education beyond anything else, and has a genuine love for reading anything she can put her hands on. It is almost a “reverdie” of sorts, where Harry the epic-hero, an allegoric of courage and will power, meets Hermione, who is an allegoric of knowledge and loyalty, and a sizzling chemistry is expected, only, it is not present at all. Through the series, Harry’s feeling for Hermione’s are as he would have for his sister, if he had one.
Ron Weasley, the deuteragonist, Harry’s first friend, is the faithful, underestimated, arachnophobic friend, who from giving him a seat at the Hogwarts Express to trusting him with his family, and more importantly his little sister Ginny for a lifetime of marriage, happiness and prosperity, has been there for him through the thick and the thin of his life. Ron’s various talents, of being a very polished chess player, to being a great Quidditch player as well, then to go on to become a Prefect in the school, was discovered a book at a time. Unlike Hermione and Harry, who were confident in their skin, Ron has fits of nervousness from time to time, but as long as his friends as are by his side, he deals with them to the best of his abilities. Ron and Hermione have in their bond what Harry and Hermione lack, the undercurrents of sexual attraction and longing, a sort of “skinny love” where they refuse to admit it or express it till the very end, which comes out in pale shades from time to time, in holding hands and sleeping while they were in hiding, or Ron’s pointed envy towards Victor Krum over Hermione at the Yule Ball in the Goblet of Fire, or Hermione’s agitation towards Lavender Brown in the sixth book; are all instances of a bound attraction that Harry does not feel for Hermione.
In order to maintain the balance between the three, to keep the camaraderie intact, it is a good thing Hermione does not end up with Harry. The three become a part of the same family, with Harry marrying Ginny, who never gave up on him or her hero worship of him (which later turns into love), and Hermione ending up with Ron, who most of the time is full of doubts about himself, and Hermione’s confidence in him from time to time invigorates him. Consider the alternative; where Harry ends up with Hermione. It would be Ron who would feel completely severed from the group, and until he found a girl for himself, the harmony (that will ideally be disturbed by the romance) would not be restored. Also, as the protagonist, Harry is expected to fall in love with the girl who falls within the circle of the primary characters. J. K Rowling, kind of breaks the norm by making the deuteragonist fall in love with tritogonist, rather than the protagonist falling in love with her.
I have always felt that Ron Weasley has not been given as much credit as he deserves, no one expects him to finally “get the girl”, and ladies are not as easily charmed by Ron as they are with Harry. There is a blank where Ron’s charms are supposed to be, Harry is not as suave with the women himself, but has a history which distinguishes him in the Wizarding World, unlike Ron, who comes from a family which is modest to do, and has earned a reputation for hand me downs, for being large, for being ginger, in all the wrong manners. I believe that if Harry, Ron and Hermione, had existed in actuality, and Harry had ended up with Hermione, the romance would soon sizzle out because their personalities do not complement each other as well as Ron’s and Hermione’s do. I am glad, that Harry found love in Ginny, and J. K. Rowling revealed this information seven years later.