For those of you who are huge Harry Potter fans, the most recent news from J. K. Rowling saying that she regrets the relationship between Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger may or may not come as a surprise. If fact, Rowling says that she wishes that she hadn’t let herself write the relationship because in the end, it made a lot more sense for Hermione to end up with the hero of the series, Harry Potter. Fans are going back and forth online and in person with shouts of “I knew it!” or “Impossible!” in regard to the news. But in the end, it really shouldn’t matter who J. K. Rowling set Hermione up with at the end of the Harry Potter series. And here’s why.
As is said repeatedly in the books, Hermione Granger is the brightest witch in her class. The brightest witch of her age. Perhaps one of the brightest minds the wizarding school of Hogwarts has ever seen. Rowling herself stated that Hermione is a borderline genius, and demonstrates this fact over and over again throughout the series. She is often the first person to master a new spell, and is able to do more advanced magic in the guise of helping Harry and Ron with their many plots and troubles. She earns the top testing marks in nearly every class when performing for the Ordinary Wizarding Level Examinations (known as O.W.L.s) , getting the highest grade of ‘Outstanding’ in every class aside from Defense Against the Dark Arts, where she received the next highest grade, an ‘Exceeds Expectations.’
In addition to her bookish cleverness, Hermione is the one the boys always turn to for help, be it with their essays or for ideas in the midst of a bad situation. Hermione is the one who figures out most of the puzzles in The Sorcerer’s Stone, getting them through the Devil’s Snare as well as the tricky logic puzzle which could have had her or Harry drinking poison if she was wrong. In The Chamber of Secrets, Hermione figures out what the creature of the chamber is, and Ron and Harry are clueless until they take the hint from a paper clutched in her frozen hand. Hermione keeps a cool head in The Prisoner of Azkaban, having been given the time turner, a very advanced piece, to get to her lessons all year. She guides Harry, figuring out who else they might be able to save thanks to Dumbledore’s hint. As the books grow more dense and their adventures more numerous, Hermione was still there, planning their escapes, coming up with plans, and being the one with the magical know-how to get the job done. Hermione is by all accounts a brilliant woman on her own, without Ron or Harry to help her, which is why it shouldn’t matter who J. K. Rowling sets her up with in the end.
While it may have been fun to debate which boy Hermione would choose at the end of the series, a debate whose flames had quieted after the release of the seventh and final book when it became clear from the epilogue that it was Ron she would marry and have two children with, I would suggest that continuing the argument really belittles her character. Is who she marries really the most important part about Hermione’s life after the Battle of Hogwarts? I would say not.
According to J. K. Rowling, who as fans know, plans out her character’s backgrounds meticulously, Hermione is the only one of the trio to go back to Hogwarts after the final battle to defeat He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named to earn her Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests (N.E.W.T.s) . She continued her work with S.P.E.W., trying to earn rights for the underprivileged house-elves as well as other non-human but intelligent creatures. She helped to revolutionize the Ministry of Magic (with assistance from Harry and Ron, of course, but who do you think did most of the work?), to eliminate old laws that leaned toward pure-blood control, and on the side, even translated the original Tales of Beedle of Bard from runes. And she’s a mother of two on top of all that.
With all her accomplishments, it shouldn’t matter who J. K. Rowling set Hermione up with in the end. Why? Because Hermione Granger is a character that young girls can look up to, someone that shows them that being smart and not hiding your intelligence is the best way to be. By fighting over what man she should end up with instead of focusing on all of her accomplishments, we’re telling all those little girls that everything you do doesn’t matter, as long as you choose the right husband. And while a good life partner can be an important part of life after school, I would say that the wizarding world would much rather laud her expertise in transforming the Ministry rather than praising her choice of husband, and that we Muggles should do the same.
By Marisa Corley