Harry Potter: Fanon vs Canon Shipping

Today, I read an interview between JK Rowling and Emma Watson; Watson was interviewing Rowling for the upcoming issue of Wonderland magazine. In said interview, JK Rowling confessed she regretted pairing Ron with Hermione. Upon reflection, Rowling saw their relationship as “wish fulfillment on her part” and that Ron and Hermione “would have needed relationship counseling.”

Personally, I was never convinced of Romione. I never saw love or even happiness between them, and ultimately their relationship felt forced to me. If you’ve ever spoken to me in person, or read any of my other HP related posts, it is clear I adore Harry and Hermione. Since reading this interview, I have felt a slight smugness and “haha, told you so” attitude. But I wonder how the rest of the HP fandom, particularly the die-hard canon fans, will react.

Since I joined Potterforum last December, I was shocked by the amount of Pro-Canon fans there are – especially the ones who go to the extent to verbally abuse anyone decrying something from the books; someone even accused me of not being a real fan, purely because I didn’t like Ron and Hermione. I’d always assumed that Potter-fans were above the petty stuff other fandoms are known for (I’m looking at you, Twitards). But, apparently not. And, in all honesty, that is a real shame. Since when did indulging or tweaking the details of the books we love become such a crime?

One of the amazing things about the Harry Potter fandom is the craziness of fanfiction, or fanon-shipping (“ship” as in “relationship”; or, romantically pairing two characters together). You name it, someone has imagined some ludicrous (or, plausible) relationship.

When it comes to fanon ships, there are usually some grounds to the . Like, the “subtext” between Harry and Hermione, or Dramione, or even Sirius and Remus. Whatever the explanation is, fans have a reason to ship two characters

As readers, we’re allowed to bring our own interpretation to the text. We can be imaginative and broaden our escapism. That’s why I find nothing wrong with fanon-ships. And, as a writer myself, I think JK Rowling wouldn’t mind either (she has even said so herself that, “as long as the characters aren’t doing things things that would be inappropriate for children’s books”, fanon-pairings is harmless).

Furthermore, there are dozens of reasons why people want to ship something that isn’t canon. Personally, I ship Harry/Hermione. Before you get all worked up, let me explain:

I was 7 when the first film was released. I had been reading the books, and the idea of romance between the characters wasn’t something to have occured to me yet. But, post the first Potter film, I remember reading in a K-Zone magazine Harry ❤ Hermione with a big love heart around them. I was furious. Mainly because I knew that there hadn’t been anything to support Harry and Hermione as a couple. I saw it was simply EVERYONE wanting to pair the hero with the girl. Typical.

It’s no secret that Steve Kloves, the screenwriter, is a fan of Harry/Hermione. And we all know that WB has commercialized their relationship.

But, after the film adaption of Half Blood Prince, I saw them in a new light. Not in an avid “I want them to be together” way, because by then we all knew who was going to end up with who. But I wasn’t against them being paired together.

For me, what has really sealed my love for Harry/Hermione, is a relationship I have with someone in real life. I won’t bore you with our story – but, we were often compared to Harry and Hermione. As brother and sister, as two best friends, but most importantly – two people who loved and cared about each other very much.

Now, when ever I watch the films from Half Blood Prince to Deathly Hallows part 2, I feel something in my heart. When Harry holds Hermione after Ron snogs Lavender, when Harry dances with Hermione, when Hermione is there for Harry at the graveyard – and when she says “I’ll go with you” — this evokes something truly deep and powerful from me. I’m usually tearing up when I see these scenes, because I know the love that they share.

Librarian from Potterforum, in particular, I can see that you are a purist for the books, and that is totally fine. I don’t expect you to change your opinion and say that there is a romantic connection between Harry and Hermione (off topic, they kinda do – JKR has said so herself they shared charged moments in DH, and “it could have gone that way” – but I digress). But, most importantly, you can not deny that there is some form of love between them. They love and care about each other; not necessarily in a hopelessly romantic way, but there are many shades of love.

So. Is there any better reason to ship something “non-canon”? If someone, who loves the series, identifies with a relationship between two characters, or experiences ANY sort of joy from from a pairing that “wasn’t real”… is that really so wrong? Aren’t we allowed to indulge in that extra bit of escapism? We’re certainly not hurting or offending anyone.

Since this “shocking revelation” from JK Rowling about Romione, I think that leaves fans warranted to ship whoever they want together. Because, even though JK Rowling was the writer, that doesn’t mean her word is law; she is human, and she too makes mistakes and wrong decisions.

Love is love, man. Don’t rain on someone’s parade, just because you don’t like the float they’re driving.

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