Jeff O'Handley, Author

Jeff O'Handley

The Doubting Writer Finds His Voice

Upset in the Potterverse

What was the biggest story of the weekend? Was it the decision by the grandmasters in Punxsutawney, PA, that Phil would see his shadow? Nah. Six more weeks of winter was an easy call this year. Maybe it was the laugher of a Super Bowl? Uh, no. How about the revelation from J.K. Rowling about Harry Potter? Ding!

IN case you missed it, Ms. Rowling admitted that she thought that she got at least one thing wrong in her epic series about the wizarding world. Harry, she thought, should have ended up with Hermione. According to the interview, Rowling declared it was “a form of wish fulfillment.” Never mind the Potterverse; the sound you just heard was the collective gasp of the world’s authors.

Did Ms. Rowling mean to say that she wrote Hermione as a stand-in for herself? That her heart’s desire was a man like Ron? Was Hermione a stand-in for herself all along? I don’t know. I’ve always viewed Hermione as a great character; I don’t care if Rowling wrote her as a stand-in or not. She was an integral part of the team, and her tempestuous relationship with Ron actually felt pretty authentic to me.

Author wish fulfillment is generally considered A Very Bad Thing. I believe, however, that Ms. Rowling was not talking about it in the way we think. Consider this quote as well: “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.”

That changes some things, at least from the dreaded ‘wish fulfillment’ side of things. Now, as for whether she got the final relationship right or wrong, I’ll leave that for others to decide.

That’s it for me today, how are you all?

11 Responses

  1. Oh yes characters telling you what to do. I feel your pain J.K. but I'm Hermione/Ron all the way. I have a character in my MG that I loathe but I know he will get a measure of success no matter how much I wish he didn't.

  2. I'm with you, Sheena-kay–I think a Hermione/Harry ending would have been too….I don't know, I'm not sure. I think Harry may have found a better match in Luna!

  3. I think Hermione/Harry would have made sense in the Potterverse, but Hermione/Ron makes sense in real life. A demanding, controlling girl like Hermione would want a guy she could control in real life. Just my take… 😛

  4. You know what's funny about all the arguing I've seen? It doesn't take into account how that events of book 7 changed them. Ron could be an unfeeling 'git' on a regular basis, but mightn't he come out of book 7 a much better person?

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