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Theories and Harry Potter

 So the big news in literary gossip this week was J.K. Rowling’s shocking reveal that she didn’t believe that Hermione should have ended up with Ron. I myself was a little saddened to read this but at the end of the day everyone will interpret a book in their own way. I myself was an English Literature major and therefore had to take a couple of theory classes. I must admit that I never really enjoyed it. It’s not that I’m not an analytical person, I just hate it when that is the main point of my reading.

I want to enjoy a novel without thinking about Marxism, Author, Queer, Feminist and the zillion other theories out there. Mind you they will sneak their way in because that is human nature. An example would be that I was recently reading a very popular Fantasy series and I recognized that the author throughout the series used rape to mark characters as villains. I can handle violence in novels but when every single bad guy became a progressively worse sexual sadist I couldn’t help but start applying Feminist Theory to the text.

When reading the Harry Potter series I didn’t consciously apply any theories to the text because I was too engrossed. In light of the new comments I have to take the Reader Theory into account because I disagree with Rowling. She has said that in order for them to work Ron and Hermione would need a lot of therapy and that Hermione should have ended up with Harry. I myself think that the reason Ron and Hermione work is because they are opposites. Ron brings out the carefree side of Hermione and Hermione brings out the serious side of Ron.

It’s funny that I feel this way because as a writer I had always preferred the Author as Context  Theory because I like to believe that I am the ultimate authority on my stories. Now as a reader with strong feelings I can’t help but think that the best thing about the literary theories is that there are so many and that I don’t have to attach myself to any of them (the blessings of not being in academia). So I will end this post by saying that I think that Harry and Hermione are too serious for one another, but if you disagree I will continue on in my little dream world where Ron and Hermione are blissful as well as Harry and Ginny. 

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  1. I never took Author Theory, too boring for me.

    “What did the author mean by using the word sunny?”

    Um, maybe the sun is shing and it’s sunny? LOL

    But, I totally agree with you on the Ron/Hermione & Harry/Ginny thing. They compliment one another as couples, as opposites, and I’m happy with how the books ended (Though I’d always take more 😉 )

  2. I was disappointed with the entire discussion, too. In fact, I think my Tweet was something to do with “Pfft.” OK, so they don’t SEEM to work, but they do. Don’t go back on it now. We’re invested. Plus, poor Ginny … so she’s just the nice girl he marries until Hermione comes along?

    See, why waste the brain cells? Pure Reader Response Theory myself (M.A., English)

  3. JKR sounds a bit like a mum who can’t understand why her son doesn’t fancy that really nice pretty girl he used to know, and ends up with someone she doesn’t like. She did a really good job in setting up the attraction between Ron and Hermione – which she develops through seven books – but she knows that there’s trouble there, and wants to tidy it up. In this case, she’s a better artist than critic. People end up in awkward relationships. It’s the way of things.

  4. I don’t care how many letters you have after your name, the reader rules the day, always has and always will. If I’m unhappy about how a book ends, I will question my spending on the next one. I don’t read reviews that analyze a books prose. It’s a waste of my time. JKR has said a couple things in the wake of the series ending that I could have lived without knowing. It is her prerogative to philosophize about her books. It’s mine to ignore them.


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