Oh god. Where to begin.
When Harry Potter became a phenomenon, I was a bit too old for the initial hype. I was a sophmore in college. The only reason I came to read it was that I was dumping trash in the trash can and I spied a brand new book before I dumped my trash. It was the first book of the Harry Potter series. I picked it up before I dumped my trash and proceeded to read. I was hooked.
What followed after that was daydreaming about what house I would be in (I now know it is Ravenclaw), and doing midnight book buys with my friends.
J.K Rowling is ruining all of that for us now.
In case you didn't know what happened, J.K is doubling down on her TERF-yness by all kinds of tweets.
To fully understand the problem with this, you have to be a little nuanced. Just a little bit though. You see, all menstruating people are not women. That's the nuance. That is it, right there. That's all you got to do. J.K then doubled down, and used "My black friend said it was okay." Only, with a lesbian.
My husband (and many other people, I am aware he did not coin it) have a saying. "You die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become a villain" In our social media times, you have to die pretty quickly not to become the villain.
This other one isn't a surprise. Stephanie Meyer has always been trash. The only black person in the whole Twilight franchise is an bad guy, who is super ashy (like... he needed some shea butter badly) and didn't have time to get his locs retwisted before being changed. I am not talking about her though. I am talking about the Twilight Fan-fiction groups.
If you listen to our podcast, then you know, the only fan fiction I read is Twilight. Whenever there is a disaster, they band together, writing fiction and raising funds. I tend to struggle with this group of women, because in the entire history of me reading the fan fiction, I have come across a Black Bella, once. And she was biracial. The story was never finished and Bella talked about bbq sauce a lot in the story.
I haven't heard a Black Lives Matter. I haven't heard a rallying call. I haven't even heard support of anything, and quite frankly, I am tired. I am tired of having to bring it up. Being an ally, being a true ally is stepping forward, and none of these women seem to do that. I do remember at some point someone bringing up the fact that no one seems to write POCs in their stories, except for when Zafrina, or the Quileute Tribe (which, they got the severe short end of the stick on this story as well) comes in. And everyone was like "They don't exist in the story." Every single story has characters that aren't in the story, but you still write about their slim milky throats just fine.
Guys I am tired. I AM TIRED and I know Quinzel is too. Can we just have a brief stop on shitty behavior and tired excuses for the rest of 2020? I need a break.
J K Rowling has recently come out saying that she regrets having Ron and Hermione end up together. She believed that Harry and Hermione should have gotten married. Now for every Harry and Hermione shipper there is an astounding unified whoop and hooray. At this point it is a coulda, woulda, shoulda hope that cannot be taken back.
I like to fancy myself a writer. I certainly have not felt the joys of having anything published and can certainly not fathom the success that Ms. Rowling enjoys, but the regret for any writer is very much a real thing. There have been several stories that I have written that I wished I could change, especially after witnessing the productions of my plays at my old high school. Your work being presented to you in such a manner that is no longer confined to your mind can throw a lot of curves at you. New interpretations can bring to light that which was never conceived before. This is all part of the process.
Once something is presented one way, especially in such a public forum, changing anything is not only extremely complicated but not easily accepted by the masses. Writing may be something that is created by the writer, but once shared with an audience, ownership expands out to them as well. The audience may not be legally entitled to any kind of monetary rights, but they own their interpretations. Artists attempting to go back and change things or sharing their regrets never go over very well.
George Lucas is probably the most famous for attempting to fix or change his beloved work. The tweaks to his original trilogy were thought downright unholy by most of the fandom. The lack of appreciation for his prequels made Lucas slam the door shut on sequels that were proposed when Episode I began production. Lucas, unfortunately, took these harsh fan opinions very personally and scrapped the idea before finishing the prequel trilogy. Since selling the franchise to Disney, the sequels have been made real and are being put into production. The importance of this point? The majority of the fandom still feels the same about the about the entire franchise as they did back when the prequels were made. Now it just seems that Lucas has more confidence in his decisions regardless is the fans support him or not.
This is all to point out again that if you choose to make any kind of change or comments on a body of work that has already been shared with an audience of one or one million outside of your own mind, that audience is entitled to comment and feel about that same body of work in any manner that they please regardless if that opinion is the opposite of the creator. The voice of the audience is a powerful and persuasive tool. It can help change the path of a television show and even change the path of an upcoming sequel. It just cannot change that which has already been made. This is what brings me to Miss Ginevra Weasley.
Rowling’s sentiments of changing who Harry ended up marrying puts in to question the kind of girl he did end up marrying. This regret may have been due to a rumor where Steve Kloves, screenwriter for all of the Harry Potter films, turned to Ms. Rowling and questioned why Harry didn’t marry Hermione. This could be completely untrue, but even with her current second thoughts there is just too much built into the relationships of Hermione and Ron and of Harry and Ginny throughout the series that I am confused by her sudden remorse.
Ignoring the movies, because as amazing as they all are, they do not hold the detail that the pages of the books hold. If it is questioned as to why Harry would marry someone like Ginny with only the films as reference, then I could hold nothing against that. The film version of Ginny, and no I am not talking about the skills of the actress playing her, is pretty flat. I read an article about things J.K. Rowling got wrong, and Harry getting together with Ginny was one of them. The author felt that Ginny had no personality and could only be called nice. This author was even reminiscent of Cho Chang. This isn’t exactly a fair assessment of the redhead, unless you had only seen the films. The novel version of Miss Weasley is much more colorful. I would even say that she is all of the best qualities of her seven brothers all rolled up into one. She’s smart, funny, and feisty. Who doesn’t remember the Quidditch match scene where she purposely flew her broomstick at Zacharias Smith for making terrible remarks about the Gryffindor team?
Two of the things I most admired about Rowling’s writing in the Harry Potter novels is her ability to draw such rich characterization even from the tiniest of parts and her ability to foreshadow throughout the book and from book to book. Rowling just doesn’t make bland characters. The series is written from Harry’s perspective, and we are limited on what we see and what happens because of that. Ginny slowly becomes a part of Harry’s life a little more and more throughout each novel. I am not judging Rowling on her regret by disagreeing with her. I am however confused by this regret.
When I started on the Harry Potter train I had just finished watching the second film after it came out on video. I had friends that had tried to get me to read the books for years but I just never got around to it. That summer I finally decided to sit down and read the series. I binged my way through the first four, finishing only days before the fifth novel came out. I was immediately hooked then. I loved all of the characters and was probably a little more prone to the Weasley clan. The fact that Julie Walters played such and amazing Molly Weasley on the big screen didn’t hurt. I began to notice the youngest Weasley and would keep an eye out for her, especially after her role in the second novel. I started out sympathizing for the poor girl having to grow up and go through puberty with seven older brothers. The twins alone are enough to scare off anyone. Ginny was always there in the novels, and not just as a side note or a passing comment by her brother, Ron, to Harry. She was physically there and noticed by Harry, whether Harry felt it was important or not.
When the fifth novel came out, there was a scene in the hospital after Arthur Weasley was attacked. Harry was being very self-loathing and self-pitying as he was prone to do in this very angsty novel, when Ginny simply has enough and puts him in his place. That was the moment when I added two plus two. Putting together all of the other Harry Potter novels, along with the fifth, I knew that Ginny was going to end up with Harry. She had practically been groomed for him. Harry always wanted to be officially apart of the Wealey family the only other official way of doing this outside of adoption is through marriage. As much as Hermione and Ron have been with Harry through all of the trials and hardships, they could never fully grasp or understand the true evil and fear that was Voldemort. Ginny may not have come into direct contact with the older and more organized version of the Dark Lord, but she met the cunning and enigmatic and very evil teenage version of him, making her the only other person in the entire series that has any possible idea of how Harry feels and what he is going through. Hell, we knew more about Ginny’s boyfriends when she was dating them than we did about Malfoy’s goons. Don’t believe me? Go back and read about the Yule ball. There will be just a little too much information about what Ginny Weasley was doing, then there probably should have been when Harry was supposedly occupied with pining after Cho Chang. The knowledge we have about Michael Corner did mostly come from Ron, but it was there. A couple of talks about the boyfriend would have been enough to show Ron’s annoyance, but why would Rowling continue talking about it in such detail, if it weren’t important.
Hermione and Ron’s romantic relationship didn’t start to fully evolve until the fourth book, but the movies began to hint at that relationship earlier than that. As much as Harry was around Hermione, I don’t believe I ever saw any inkling of possible romantic feelings by Harry towards Hermione. The only time he really saw her as a true girl was when she got dressed up for the Yule Ball. His attention was however quickly diverted to Cho Chang when she arrived after.
I don’t see it. Rowling has clearly been one to say that she knows so much more about the world of Potter outside of the books. She even knew how the story would truly end when she wrote the first one. She may have never guessed what a fabulous on screen version of Hermione Emma Watson would bring to her world or the lack of use that Bonnie Wright’s character would see on screen when Rowling first started creating the Potter world, but the film franchise could have played a large part in her current thoughts. In the end, for an author who is known so well for her foreshadowing and characterization skills, Rowling certainly had to spend a lot of time planning and sorting out the path to have Hermione end up with Ron and Harry with Ginny. It is the only thing that makes sense to me, maybe not others. I feel it was certainly the path that I was intended to take.
Just let Ginny Weasley be and enjoy her much earned happiness with her husband. I personally wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of one of her bat bogey hexes, besides the fact that I’m sure she could kick any ass that said otherwise. She did survive seven older brother after all.