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The Perfect Partner for Hermione: Ron or Harry?

Published February 13, 2014 by A. Featherquill

A few weeks ago, the Potter world was rocked by JK Rowling’s expression of regret over having Hermione end up with Ron, in an interview with no less than Emma Watson herself.

For Rowling, it seemed that it was more logical for Hermione to end up with Harry. However, she stuck to her original plan to have Hermione marry Ron. (See this article)

Quoting another Pottermore News article containing the full conversation between Rowling and Watson:

Watson: I thought we should discuss Hermione… I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times but now that you have written the books, do you have a new perspective on how you relate to Hermione and the relationship you have with her or had with her?

Rowling: I know that Hermione is incredibly recognisable to a lot of readers and yet you don’t see a lot of Hermiones in film or on TV except to be laughed at. I mean that the intense, clever, in some ways not terribly self-aware, girl is rarely the heroine and I really wanted her to be the heroine. She is part of me, although she is not wholly me. I think that is how I might have appeared to people when I was younger, but that is not really how I was inside.

What I will say is that I wrote the Hermione/Ron relationship as a form of wish fulfillment. That’s how it was conceived, really. For reasons that have very little to do with literature and far more to do with me clinging to the plot as I first imagined it, Hermione with Ron.

Ah.

I know, I’m sorry, I can hear the rage and fury it might cause some fans, but if I’m absolutely honest, distance has given me perspective on that. It was a choice I made for very personal reasons, not for reasons of credibility. Am I breaking people’s hearts by saying this? I hope not.

I don’t know. I think there are fans out there who know that too and who wonder whether Ron would have really been able to make her happy.

Yes exactly.

And vice versa.

It was a young relationship. I think the attraction itself is plausible but the combative side of it… I’m not sure you could have got over that in an adult relationship, there was too much fundamental incompatibility. I can’t believe we are saying all of this – this is Potter heresy!

I know that a number of people have already expressed their opinion on Rowling’s revelation. I promised last February 3 to post mine in a few days. Unfortunately, it took me more than a week before I could post an article. Still, it’s better late than never, so here is my take on the matter. At least, my post fits Valentine’s day.

When we use logic, we could really say that Hermione would have been the best match for Harry. Imagine, the chosen one ending up with the most capable and brightest witch of their age… They would definitely be a power couple. With her intelligence, talent, and character, Hermione would have been a great wife for the chosen one.

But, stripping him of his reputation as the savior of the wizarding world, Harry would have been quite similar to Ron. A young wizard with skill, but quite delinquent in classes at times. A student who has a tendency to break rules, but does it for the good of others. A boy who is talented at Quidditch. A very loyal friend. A brave and bold Gryffindor until the very end. Only, Harry has more self-confidence than the often unnoticed Ron whereas Ron has a bit more sense of humor and gets into comic situations more often than Harry.

However, come to think of it, Ron was a prefect. While he could have been chosen by Dumbledore in order to lighten Harry’s load, Ron was still deemed qualified. In fact, he was second only to the chosen one. Also, given that he believes in himself, Ron was a decent Keeper. He was great at wizard chess. In the Deathly Hallows, his talent and leadership skills started to surface. He even learned to understand Hermione’s advocacy to fight for the rights of the house elves.

While I think Hermione-Harry sounds like a “perfect” match, I personally prefer Hermione marrying Ron. The humor of the youngest Weasley boy balances the intense character of Hermione. Furthermore, by the end of the series, I think we could all agree that Ron matured significantly.

Yes, Ron and Hermione might need to attend marriage counseling at some point. But, I’m confident that they would be able to figure things out and would still have a healthy relationship.

Also, I think, if Hermione and Harry ended up together, their children would experience TOO MUCH pressure. People would expect that, having an A-witch as mother and having the chosen one as father, their children MUST do well and make a difference. Ron and Ginny could tone down the pressure for their children with Hermione and Harry respectively.

Finally, Hermione-Ron becomes even more endearing because of the couple’s imperfections which the two constantly try to bridge. In the end, couples need to put effort to maintain love in the relationship. It’s not just about falling in love, but also, and more importantly, about staying in love. It’s not just about two perfectly compatible people coming together, but about two imperfect beings accepting each other’s flaws and bridging each other’s differences.

Yes, Rowling was right to say that Hermione would have been a great match for the chosen one. Also, with her character and capabilites, Hermione really would have deserved someone as talented, as noble, and as famous as the boy who lived. But Ron is, in many ways, similar to Harry minus the fame. Ginny is also talented and has gone through a terrible experience with the Dark Lord that allows her to understand Harry’s issues well. The qualifications of Harry does not make Ron less deserving of Hermione and the qualifications of Hermione does not make Ginny less deserving of Harry because love’s eye does not look at such qualifications alone.

I hope I did not hurt anyone’s heart with this post. Anyway, all is fair in love. We are free to support whatever ship we want. Happy Valetine’s Day to everyone. May we all be moved and inspired by whatever form of love in the next few days.

Stay magical,
A. Featherquill

A Love That Might Have Been

Published February 3, 2014 by A. Featherquill

Yesterday, JK Rowling’s confession that the love team of Ron and Hermione might have been a mistake hit news. In a few days, I will post something about this topic, but, for now, I will stick to my intended post as I owe it to one of my first readers, Claudia. She asked me to write about my opinion on why Cho and Harry did not end up together. I promised to make this topic my feature for February, the month of love, and this post is the fulfillment of that promise.

However, before I begin with my take on the matter, I want everyone to keep in mind that there may be other ways of explaining why Cho and Harry’s relationship did not work out. I have tried my best to be fair for both parties and address the different factors affecting their romance. But if I still miss other factors, please forgive the limitations of this post. Anyway, love sometimes has reasons that one cannot easily understand and it has a certain complexity that makes it often difficult to fully grasp.

To start, I will describe Harry Potter’s type of girl. This description is, of course, based only on the two relationships he had and so may not be very accurate. Yet one must not dismiss it, either. Cho and Ginny are both pretty, talented witches who are good at Quidditch.

Ginny seems to be a better player than Cho as she always beats her in games. However, based on Oliver Wood’s description of Cho, the Ravenclaw seeker plays well enough. Because Cho is a Ravenclaw means that she has a decent level intelligence, although this trait seems to have been downplayed in the books and movies. On the other hand, Ginny executes spells and hexes very well.

Nevertheless, they have differences. No two people are exactly the same, anyway. Ginny is more sassy and tough. Cho is more sentimental. Due to this attitude, Cho became very vulnerable when Cedric died and made her defend Marietta Edgecomb, who, according to the books, was the only friend who patiently comforted her as she mourned Cedric’s death.

Here lies the problem.

Cho was still in the process of mourning. For all we know, she might have been in a state of depression or melancholia – conditions that were reasonable for her to go through. Cedric did not die of an illness or a typical accident. He was mercilessly murdered and so she did not expect his death. Thus, I do not think she is, by nature, weepy and whiny. It is natural for people going through mourning, depression, or melancholia to sometimes act the way Cho did. What she needed was someone patient enough to listen to her.

However, Harry was already worrying about other serious matters. Even before knowing the whole prophecy, he knew that he would have a major role in fighting Voldemort. Also, it seemed like, if he could forget the trauma of Cedric’s death, he would. So sharing the details repeatedly might not have been what Harry needed at the moment. Harry could not afford to listen to Cho, comfort her, and wait until she is ready to devote herself to Harry alone. In her state then, Cho could not qualify as the girlfriend of the chosen one. Likewise, Harry could not take on the role of Cho’s boyfriend.

Therefore, I was not surprised when Cho went for Michael Corner because, according to Ginny, the latter tried to comfort her. Also, Ginny seemed to be more fit for the role of the chosen one’s girlfriend. Anyway, she’s tough and sassy. Moreover, she had been a victim of Voldemort before. If you may recall, she had been used by the memory of Tom Riddle in The Chamber of Secrets. Thus, more than Ron or Hermione, it was Ginny who somehow experienced an inch of the whole of Harry’s problems. She once directly suffered from Voldemort’s dark tricks and, therefore, could relate to Harry. This common experience would create a strong emotional bond between the two.

To sum things up, it seems that Cho had been expecting something Harry could not provide. On the other hand, Harry needed a strong girl at a time Cho was emotionally vulnerable. Because of the circumstances, the two did not have much opportunity or energy to warm up to each other and adjust. Having dated other boys before, Cho might have expected more from Harry. While a cheerful Cho would have allowed Harry time to adjust, the depressed version of her did not have much of that patience. Also, to be honest, Harry was not that gifted with dating skills. In the Yule Ball, he did not bother to entertain his date even just to be polite and let her enjoy the night. Finally, as there was an impending war already, Harry could not make himself an ever-present boyfriend. He was also going through something which meant, probably, that catching up on his dating skills really could not be his top priority.

Had it been in another space and time, Cho and Harry could have ended up together. But that means being in a different story.

That is my take on the matter. Again, there is a likelihood that I haven’t addressed all the factors involved in the Cho-Harry love affair. But I do hope that this post entertained everyone, especially Claudia.

Stay magical,
A. Featherquill

Love Lives On: More about Lily and Snape

Published January 23, 2014 by A. Featherquill

As promised, this month will be devoted on Lily and Snape’s relationship – how Snape created love out of the pain of Lily’s death, how the two friends became united in spirit in their protection of Harry, how Lily lives on through Snape’s patronus.

This being the 3rd week of the month, I will feature the stuff I have found on the internet that echo the message of my 1st week post. Here are the things I found:

1. Snape and Lily, Mirror of Erised

snape lily mirror

I got this image from falaciaintencional.tumblr.com. This fan art displays my idea that, had Snape looked at the Mirror of Erised, he must have seen Lily.

2. The Silver Doe and the Eye of Snape

This one is an article I found in mugglenet. It was an original editorial by Daniela Teo. It explains the role of Snape’s Silver Doe in establishing understanding between Harry and Snape, how it brings Lily and James together, and how this event exposes subtly the soul of the Half-Blood Prince/Potions Master. Also, it tries to view events in the series through the eyes of Severus.
Here’s my favorite quote from the essay:
On the other hand, by sending the silver doe to the producer of the stag Patronus, the boy who looks just like his father, Snape also sent Lily back to James, and the doe to its true half. It must have been the last thing Snape wanted to do, to show his image of Lily to the image of James, and old possessive memories must have risen up in him as well. But to temper that idea, there was also the reality of a meeting soul-to-soul between Harry and Snape. This meeting had started much earlier, during Occlumency lessons, when student and teacher had glimpses of each other’s most private and painful memories. In the forest, upon sending the silver doe Patronus, Snape realized he was baring his heart to Harry, even though he stayed well hidden.
I got this from the tumblr site entitled Whispers in the Static. I think the user is named Nathaniel Emmett. This fan art depicts Snape in the middle of a dark forest with only the Silver Doe for company. It demonstrates the loneliness and pain that Severus must have experienced in his life and how Lily serves as the symbol of hope that pushes Snape to go on, to be brave, and to stay true to his new commitment to serve the good.
snape and his patronus

4. Aspenlinmer’s blog

I already cited Aspen’s blog in my earlier post. But his entire site is a goldmine of information about Severus Snape that I still decided to feature it here. His essays really reach the depths of and dissect the complexity of Snape’s character.
penance paid

I found this artwork by Lazeros on deviantart. For me, this piece captures the ending of my 1st week post: “Finally, the two friends who have drifted apart once more become together in spirit.”

The artist expressed the desire to make the artwork better. Whether or not the revised artwork happens (or has happened), this one is already meaningful. Kudos to the artist!

Stay Magical,
A. Featherquill

Creating Love Out of Pain

Published January 9, 2014 by A. Featherquill

This month, we will celebrate the birthdays of two important characters in Harry Potter – Severus Snape’s on January 9 and Lily Evans-Potter’s on January 30. In honor of these two friends, this month’s theme will focus on them.

This article was inspired by one of the many interesting conversations I had with my blogger friend Aspenlinmer – in particular, our exchange of replies about his post “Loving Those Who Cannot Love You Back”.

Aspenlinmer opened his final paragraph with the following lines:

Therefore, in a seemingly impossible situation, I see hope for Severus. Although his hope cannot rest in reciprocation of his love for Lily, his love for Lily provides hope for circumstances to be transformed. He has hope that his love will cause some good while he is still here on earth, and hope that conceivably things may be different when he leaves the world.

My first reply was to clarify whether this love gives hope in that it makes the impossible possible. Aspen affirmed my idea. Then, it was his turn to ask me a question: Where do I see hope for Severus?

My response went as follows:

For Severus, since he’s already dead, I can see the hope for him in the new world that he has helped create for future generations. While it’s sad that the love cannot be reciprocated, the good part is that the love extends to other people, it not just goes back and forth.

It’s quite similar for others who are not loved back by their beloved. They can sublimate or redirect the love into other avenues. Do something creative or socially relevant thing. Or even simple things that can guide or help other people. Or even give time to oneself so that one can discover new things about one’s character. I view these things as similar to a patronus. From a very threatening situation you conjure something that can be a source of protection and salvation. And if one can manage to use it to communicate with others or make it extend to others, the better. Who knows…they may find a sweet surprise as they do this 😉

Creating love out of pain, emptiness, and desperation is extremely difficult. I suggested possibilities of doing it in my quoted response above, but those suggestions are surely not easy. Even when people do succeed in creating love out of pain, the hurt may remain. Thus, the Patronus Charm is understandably one of the most difficult spells to execute. It is useful in terrible situations, but, in order to cast it, one needs to project positive feelings despite the situation being very hopeless.

One painful, terrible situation is the life of Severus Snape. His beloved died possibly due to the details of Sybill Trelawney’s prophecy that he passed on to Voldemort. He lived the rest of his life without belonging to a community that fully trusted and accepted him. He was not anymore a Death Eater by heart while his relationship with the members of the Order of the Phoenix was not amicable. Finally, he knew that much of the pain he carries were caused by his own terrible mistakes – mistakes which he couldn’t anymore erase.

Probably, he had moments when he would say to himself “I wish I did this, I wish I did that, I wish I could still.” While reflecting on these things, an idea popped in my head. What would Snape see if he looked in the Mirror of Erised?

My guess is that he will see Lily Evans alive and well beside him.

While the Mirror of Erised typically shows a lack that we know is often difficult for us to fill, sometimes the image that it shows can still come true, although not always in the way we expect it to be.

In a way, Snape is one of those who have successfully translated their desire into reality. The means that he has used for Lily to return and remain beside him is his patronus.

As most Potter fans may know, Lily’s and Severus’ patronus take on the same form: a doe. While it is highly possible that Snape’s patronus has been a doe even when Lily was still living, that the revelation has been made in the scene wherein Snape delivers his famous line “Always” hints at the extension of Lily’s life through Severus.

If you can recall, one of the most difficult decisions that Snape has made was to agree to kill Dumbledore. In doing so, he has made himself the bait who will later on be killed by Voldemort. It is in the effects of his courageous death that Snape mimics Lily’s sacrifice. Like her, his death has become Harry’s protection as Snape’s sacrifice is the critical detail that will later on fool Voldemort into thinking that he could use the Elder Wand against Harry.

In a very dangerous moment, Snape figuratively acts as the invisible shield that protects Harry. While Lily’s protection may have faded by the time we reach the 7th installment of the series, Snape takes on the role of Lily’s love which, for a long time, has acted as a shield that safeguards Harry. He also takes on the role of a patronus since the meaning of this charm is to invoke a protector.

Snape’s role as protector has been foreshadowed by the chapter about the silver doe. In a very hopeless moment, Snape’s silver doe arrives to guide Harry so that the latter can find Godric Gryffindor’s sword.

I have to say that JK Rowling is brilliant for not revealing at once the identity of the wizard who has conjured the silver doe. Besides providing suspense and wonder, the uncertainty of ownership can also mean that the silver doe may figuratively have two owners. The living Snape is protecting Harry as much as the dead Lily does.

Then, it will not be far-fetched to say that, in Snape and in his patronus, Lily lives again. Finally, the two friends who have drifted apart once more become together in spirit.

Stay Magical,
A. Featherquill

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