What To Do When The Story Tells You You're Wrong
Watch Sheena Try to Be British
So my hero right now is JK Rowling, who devastated the writing world by saying that it was a mistake to have Ron and Hermione end up together. Here's the full interview. It's really cool insight into Hermione's character by the two people who understand her the most.
|The chemistry...it sizzles.|
Which is silly, since she didn't actually go back and change it. And even if she had, everyone who was complaining would be rejoicing to have more Harry Potter. I'd be the first in line.
But it got me thinking, what would Harry Potter have looked like if it hadn't ended the way that it did. Spoilers abound, but if you haven't read Harry Potter yet, then shame on you and your family. :)
If Harry and Hermione ended up together, Ron could have married Luna. Luna's always been my favorite character anyway, and I think they could have worked out really well, if as soon as Luna became interesting Ron had started noticing. Ginny could have ended up with Neville. Doesn't that just make more sense? Is Ginny Harry's equal, as far as the story is concerned, or is she more of a minor character? Did she sacrifice and save the way Hermione did? Give up her family, and her home, risking her life by Harry's side a thousand times the way Hermione did? Is the best reason why Ginny ends up with Harry because of the family she comes from?
What's beautiful about the way Harry Potter ended, was that Harry ends with the family he's always needed. Those two friends closest to him are now the relations he'd see over holidays. Ron is literally his brother, and through him, Hermione is his sister. But if they had ended differently, would Ron no longer be his best friend if a marriage didn't state it he had to be? Do you really think that Harry had to marry into the Weasley family to be a member of it? Never. Harry would always be welcomed into that home, even if Ron was being a prat. Wouldn't there just be more dinner settings on the table? I wish Luna could have been at that table every Christmas, and Neville too. Love would have been bigger, the story would have ended happier, and in all ways, Hermione would have been happier with the boy she matched better.
I have to say, I totally understand why Rowling didn't make this choice. She decided the ending far before she saw it on the page, and that means so many details had to be placed in the correct place before she could move on. And think of the pressure and the timing. The public was beating down her door, she had to tell the story she had plotted out, even though the story was pushing a different way. There wasn't room to get Ron and Harry to become friends once she set up Ron's entire life and storyline to one direction. And also, it's hard to admit you were wrong about something. Writing is so much about trusting your instincts, and if your instincts can be wrong, then it's hard to trust your own ability.
Now the ending as is, is still brilliant and satisfying, because JK Rowling was as much of a genius when she was plotting as she was when she was prosing. It's a beautiful way to end, and I'm satisfied. I think Ron and Hermione would be a fine couple, though Ron would need to become more confident, and Hermione a bit less critical. I think it's such a gift that we get to see inside her head, and see the process she went through when telling one of the fullest and best stories ever.
But I hope this gift also inspires you, as it has inspired me, to trust the story you're telling, and make the changes the story tells you to make. Don't chase after every plot bunny, obviously, but listen early to the clues the story gives you. The times when you're heading in one direction, and the characters let you know they aren't satisfied with their destination, or that they could be happier in a different way then you think they will.
Let the characters make the destination. Sometimes you need to lose the plot in order to win the story.
And then you'll be on the way to a happier ending.
~Sheena Potterhead Boekweg