JK Rowling has made plenty of shocking revelations regarding the Harry Potter series ever since the books and films ended. From Dumbledore to being part of the LGBT community to the death of Remus and Tonks as the exchange for not killing Arthur Weasley during the fifth book, Rowling never runs out of literary shockers that leave Potterheads shaking.
As a Potterhead myself, I’m used to these revelations. I’m fine with most of them.
But there’s one revelation that is as unforgivable as the Unforgivable Curses themselves: Harry Potter and Hermione Granger should have ended up together.
You read that right: JK Rowling no longer believes in the Hermione and Ron pairing. Just like Emma Watson (aka the lovely actress behind Hermione), she thinks Hermione should have ended up with Harry.
Harry and Hermione have no shortage of shippers (people who ship the pairing). No doubt, there was rejoicing when Rowling said this. The sheer number of Harry Potter and Hermione Granger fanfiction online proves this point.
But I beg to differ.
In this article, we’ll discuss the dynamics of Harry Potter and Hermione Granger: who they are, why people like them together, and why they are NOT the ship that got away.
The Harry Potter and Hermione Granger Dynamic
Meet the Characters
Harry Potter is the famous protagonist of the series. Orphaned when he was just a year old, Harry became famous in the wizarding world when he defeated Lord Voldemort as an infant. Often described as having his father’s looks (particularly the messy, jet black hair) and his mother’s green eyes, Harry is liked by most of the people he meets; most because Voldemort, Death Eaters, Dolores Umbridge and Rita Skeeter do not count.
Readers of the book know that Harry has suffered much. Because he lost his parents, Harry was forced to endure 11 years of mistreatment from the Dursleys, his closest relatives. Although he did find his happy place at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he had his share of bullies. People talked behind his back when they suspected him of opening the Chamber of Secrets. People were also divided when he claimed that Lord Voldemort was back.
People had come and gone in his life, most of them he loved. Sirius, Remus Lupin, Dumbledore, Mad-Eye Moody, Fred Weasley — the list of people Harry had lost due to Voldemort’s pursuit of him is endless.
Long story short: it’s hard to be Harry Potter. It was only natural to want The Boy Who Lived to find love in the best girl possible. Enter Hermione.
So, Who is Hermione in Harry Potter?
Hermione has always been one of the Harry Potter girls included in the list of potential lovers. Dubbed as the cleverest witch of her year, Hermione annoyed everyone at first with her know-it-all attitude thicker than her bushy hair. Eventually, once she started letting loose and showing people her compassionate side, the characters and the readers fell in love with the muggle-born witch. As the books and movies progressed, we saw and read more of Hermione’s emotions, personal struggles and humor.
To quote a scene from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire:
But Ron was staring at Hermione as though suddenly seeing her in a whole new light.
“Hermione, Neville’s right — you are a girl.”
And she’s not just any girl. Hermione serves as the voice for those who cannot speak for themselves. In “The Prisoner of Azkaban,” Hermione spent hours in the library to offer Hagrid counsel in his defense of Buckbeak the Hippogriff. During her fourth year, she started the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare (S.P.E.W.) to secure fair wages and working conditions for the house-elves.
Hermione, for all her flaws and strengths, is a superb girl who balances brains with beauty. So, isn’t it only right for the nearly perfect heroine to end up with the hero of Rowling’s fantastical series?
Harry and Hermione: The Hero and Heroine Complex
A strong argument for the Harry-Hermione pairing is the fact that both characters have been with each other during their best and their worst. Once they became friends officially, Hermione included herself in most of Harry’s adventures — from beating the troll in the girl’s bathrooms to uncovering more about the Deathly Hallows symbol. She was with Harry when he was about to reach the Philosopher’s Stone. She also aided him in his pursuit of horcruxes in the forest even after Ron left.
Out of the literary world, it makes sense to end up with someone who has been with you through it all. Plus, with Harry being the hero and Hermione, technically, being the heroine of the trio, they complete the hero-heroine romantic plotline.
But that doesn’t mean Harry and Hermione should end up together. Not all hero-heroine casts are ideal for each other, especially if you take a closer look at their preferences and personalities.
Harry Potter and Hermione Granger: Not The Ship That Got Away
Personalities and Preferences
For starters, Harry is a typical boy, meaning he prefers girls who are pretty. Cho Chang was described as pretty when Harry first encountered her and again when she was re-introduced in “The Goblet of Fire.” Plus, who did Harry Potter marry? The popular and extremely pretty Ginny Weasley.
Harry’s not being shallow for liking pretty girls; it’s just who he is. So, his preference immediately cancels out Hermione since, in the books, she was described as a plain Jane with extremely bushy hair and large front teeth. In fact, JK Rowling once doubted the casting of Emma Watson for Hermione since the latter was ‘too good-looking’ for the part. The Hermione you see in the films is a far cry from the Hermione of the books and the latter certainly would not have passed Harry’s standards.
Plus, Hermione is equal to Harry in almost every way. They are both intelligent, but Harry is talented at quick thinking whereas Hermione is more academically-inclined. They also have their own type of idealism. Harry leans more toward the hero-complex and Hermione is all for “doing more good in the world” type of idealism.
If Hermione ends up with Harry, she stops being his equal and ends up being “Harry Potter’s wife.”
With Harry’s popularity and status, Hermione will no doubt end up as second fiddle to her famous partner. Would she have been able to snag top-ranks in the Ministry if people saw her as a second fiddle to the great Harry Potter?
Finally, Hermione ending up with Harry is such a ‘basic’ trope. The hero defeats the villain; therefore, he gets the girl. We’ve seen it a MILLION times. It can be tiring. By steering clear from this trope, JK Rowling spares Harry from a storyline of fighting bad guys with the woman he loves.
This is one of the reasons Harry Potter is an endearing series: the hero doesn’t always get the girl. The best friend does (but don’t worry. The hero gets the best friend’s sister).
Perfect for the Weasleys
As we all know, Harry and Hermione did not end up with each other. Instead, they found their forevers with Ginny and Ron Weasley respectively, which is great. After all, you can’t ever go wrong with a Weasley (unless you’re Penelope Clearwater dating a pre-Battle of Hogwarts Percy Weasley).
Ron and Hermione
For some Potterheads, Ron may seem like a questionable choice for Hermione. Apart from he’s the “unholy third wheel,” his character appears less stable to Harry’s. The sixth Weasley has always struggled with his want for recognition, affection, and finances. Compared to the other two, Ron is always the emotional one — a far-cry from Hermione’s stable and somewhat rigid personality. Could they really work?
This is where the concept of “opposites attract” comes in: Ron complements Hermione.
If Harry is Hermione’s equal, Ron is the missing piece that completes her. Ron’s humor and wit light up Hermione’s dreary day. His openness and vulnerability remind logical Hermione that it’s OK to have emotions.
Also, Hermione is Ron’s primary motivation, especially when they got together. We see plenty of this in “The Deathly Hallows.” After realizing he was wrong for letting his jealous of Harry and Hermione overcome him, he returns to the forest with Hermione primarily in his head. When he was about to destroy the locket, the horcrux revealed that his greatest fear was to lose the love of his life, Hermione, to the Boy Who Lived. Ron’s fear is losing Hermione, not Harry betraying him.
Plus, their will they/won’t they tension caused so much lovesick anguish, which made their pairing a must-have for the series. Starting from Ron accusing Hermione of going out with an enemy (aka Krum, aka his former Quidditch idol) to the Yule Ball to Hermione not talking to Ron when he dated Lavender (aka Won Won Enthusiast), the push and pull between the two was too electrifying not to like.
Harry and Ginny
As for the Harry and Ginny complex, I blame the films for the lack of Ginny’s characterization, which caused plenty of audiences to doubt her eligibility as Harry’s love interest. In the books, her character development was captivating: she started as a shy little girl who had a crush on the Great Harry Potter. In the end, she was a beautiful and talented witch whom the Great Harry Potter liked.
Ginny, like her brother, is as fiery as the color of her hair. She adds life to Harry’s dull moments. She doesn’t cry as much as other girls, reflecting her strong personality (a quality that captivates Harry later on). Apart from being beautiful, she is headstrong and proves to the world that even though she’s the youngest Weasley and the only girl, there’s no stopping her from proving a point.
Plus, she can snap Harry out in a way Hermione can’t. Since Harry is best friends with Hermione, he can be easily stubborn with her. With Ginny, it’s a different story. In The Order of the Phoenix, there’s a chapter where Harry is sulking in the library, worrying about getting possessed by Voldemort. His prissy attitude, which no one can penetrate, is pointed out by Ginny (sarcastically, a manner she has perfected). She snapped Harry out; the latter realizing he had been an idiot.
Harry and Ginny’s dynamic is well-balanced. She puts him in place, he triggers her emotions. Plus, they are the mirror of Harry’s parents, James and Lily Potter. Ginny, after all, is somewhat like Lily: feisty red-head with a knack for blasting off people she doesn’t like — a quality Harry and James found irresistible.
The Bottom Line: Platonic Soulmates
There’s no doubt that Harry and Hermione have chemistry, but it’s not the romantic kind. As Harry told Viktor Krum during their walk in the forest, they’re friends, if not brother and sister at heart. Harry and Hermione are soulmates but the platonic kind: they are important in each other’s lives and vital to each other’s growth.
And with that, we conclude the case of the HarMione ship being the ship that got away. Because folks, they’re not.