I’m sure that by now, most of you have heard about JK Rowling’s latest reveal:
“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.”
I have lots of feels about this. So let’s take it from the top…
Once upon a time, my brother and I were really close. When we first moved into our house, we shared a room while my parents did some work on the deteriorating living space. Even when we got separate rooms, we would make forts out of sleeping bags on Saturday nights and would wake up on Sunday mornings hidden in the structure we had created. That’s why it was bittersweet when, at the age of 11, I moved to the Junior High part of Corpus Christi…and he stayed behind in elementary.
To top it all off, Taylor had this beast of a teacher – Miss Dolan. Her summer reading list was a force to be reckoned with – she had all these outrageous titles that were way above Taylor’s soon-to-be fourth grade reading level. Seriously, Lord of the Flies at age 9 – what are you out of your fucking mind?
It’s not that Taylor was stupid…it’s not that Taylor couldn’t read well…it was simply that Taylor didn’t like to read (which is weird because now I hardly see him without a book). But for some reason, Taylor was having a tough time getting through the last book on his reading list: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
My mother came into my room the week before school started in a panic – it was bad enough that Taylor and I were the only two Asian kids in Mineola and that Taylor was freakishly skinny…but to have him be made fun of because he couldn’t read well, that was not about to happen on her watch. So, I read the last ten chapters of Harry Potter to my brother.
Taylor would lay in bed – thinking whatever he was thinking about – as I read about Professor Quirrell and some dude named Voldemort and this kid Harry. I had no idea what was going on but it seemed pretty interesting. So, after I read the last page, I wound up back to the beginning and began to read for myself…and the rest, as they say, is history.
I have so many fond memories of Harry Potter – I remember waiting in line at Barnes and Noble at midnight to get a copy of the latest book in the series. I remember my heart breaking when Sirius met his untimely end. I remember rushing home and just tearing through the book – not stopping as the moon went down and the sun came up – not emerging from my room until my eyes had rolled over each and every word.
In my 27 years on this planet, my phone has only been shut off for a period of longer than one hour in three instances:
1. When I went to Ireland
2. The day Jesse and I broke up
3. Whenever a Harry Potter book came out
It was the one time when I shut out the world, powered down, and lost myself in something so beautiful that I’d often close the book and think to myself, “There’s no way she’s making this up – this has to be real.”
And it was real – ask anyone who loves Harry Potter…it was real because we were a part of it. You got caught up in the magic of it all.
People think I’m crazy for loving a book so much but they just don’t understand – it’s not that Harry was a wizard who could do magic. It’s not because I was in suspense about whether Snape was good or bad. Hell, it’s not even about the fact that I identified with Harry as an outcast. It was because, for the length of those pages, I was somewhere else – I left my bedroom and lost myself in this world where anything was possible – where you could eat candy that tasted like ear wax, where the only battle wasn’t about politics or trade relations…but about good versus evil…I was transported to a world where you could truly be anything you wanted to be. I was a participant in the adventure of a lifetime.
As I’d close the latest installment of Harry’s adventures, the sensation of the journey I had just gone on stayed with me for weeks at a time. I counted down the days until the next book, preordered my copy online and in store just in case something happened. I’d made friends with the people in line and discuss theories via email.
And everytime J.K. Rowling opens her fucking mouth, I’m reminded of the fact that it wasn’t real.
As a writer, I don’t think you’re ever completely satisfied with your work. I understand that there are things you wish you had done differently, or that you had altered. But this is unacceptable:
“I know, I’m sorry, I can hear the rage and fury it might cause some fans, but if I’m absolutely honest, distance has given me perspective on that. It was a choice I made for very personal reasons, not for reasons of credibility. 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.”
I don’t think it’s right to come out and say that you REGRET a part of your story. I don’t think it’s fair to the fans, but more importantly, I don’t think it’s fair to the characters. Furthermore, it’s not fair to the generations of new readers who will now view Harry Potter differently because of these statements.
No one gives a fuck who Hermione ended up with. No one gives a shit if she’s satisfied sexually or if she and Ron fight about the fact that he’s not ambitious enough for her. No one cares if Ron and Hermione eat at the same restaurant night after night and barely say two words to each other in thirty years.
People care about the story you’ve written. And to go back on what you’ve done – to not give your art and work and words the support that you’ve received from a community of readers who absolutely love and value your gift, then you’re not who we thought you were. You’re just someone who’s out of ideas, and needs a publicist with a better strategy for getting you back in the spotlight.
Shut your mouth and leave it be. It was perfect…deal with it.