The Harry Potter series ended in a tidy bow of Harry marrying Ginny and Hermione and Ron ending up together. Many fans didn’t like this, thinking that Hermione and Harry were meant to be together. Even Rowling speculated that she had made a mistake and should have favoured that pairing.
To that, I say poppycock. I mean. I’m all for a good bit of relationship fanfic, but there are some very good reasons why Harry and Hermione should not have ended up together. Others have written about this, but I needed to get this off my chest.
Why Hermione would not want to be with Harry
First off, Hermione is described as the brightest witch of her age. She is an equal to Harry in almost every way. In many ways, she exceeds him. He would not have succeeded without her. But if she marries him, she ceases to be his equal. She becomes “Harry Potter’s Wife”. She will always be second place to him. Brightest witch of her age, but second fiddle to her husband? Would she have been able to climb as high in the Ministry if she had been seen as second fiddle to Harry?
Besides, Hermione ending up with Harry is a trope. The hero defeats the villain and gets the girl as a prize. We’ve seen it a MILLION times before, and sadly, we will see it many, many more times. It’s expected. It’s old. And, quite frankly, it’s dated. By not ending up together, Hermione and Harry change the narrative. Harry doesn’t spend the series fighting bad guys with the woman he loves. It is one of the things that makes the Harry Potter series so endearing, that it doesn’t give into the trope.
Why Hermione might actually want Ron
This whole discussion also assumes that Harry is the better catch than Ron, but what if Ron really is a better choice? In the books, Ron is described as tall, lanky with red hair, freckles and blue eyes. (There is also a reference to big hands and feet, but let’s not go there.) So he appears to be good looking. So yeah, attractive.
Ron is also incredibly loyal to his friends, several times actually going at Draco for insulting Hermione or Harry. He also repeatedly risks his life to help Harry bring down Voldemort. That is something to be valued in a partner. Loyalty. He also seems to have a good sense of humour, which is apparently, something women really value in a mate.
But let’s look at his place in the Weasley clan. He is the 6th son, behind the amazing Charlie and Bill, the pompous Percy and the trouble making Fred and George. He isn’t even the youngest or only girl; that spot is reserved for Ginny. He’s used to being in the background, and while the mirror of Erised shows him wanting to be more, the post-Deathly Hallows world shows that he really isn’t. He becomes an Auror with Harry Potter and helps George with the joke shop.
So Ron seems to be someone who wouldn’t mind if his wife is more successful and powerful than him. In fact, I think he would love that his wife is Hermione Granger. He would have no problem bring the kids to the store while she goes to a conference or a meeting.
His mother is also Molly Weasley, perhaps the strongest willed character in the Harry Potter universe. She is not afraid of voicing her opinion and single handedly raised several heroes of the Second Wizarding War, in addition to being one herself. So Ron is used to being around a strong woman. I can’t see his masculinity being threatened by Hermione’s strong personality. He might even find it comforting and a bit of a turn on.
Why Harry would actually want to be with Ginny
But let’s go back to Harry. In the books he ends up with Ginny. The assumption by the Harry/Hermione crowd is that Ginny is not a desirable mate for Harry. (I think they have something against Weasleys, personally.) But in reality, Ginny is what Harry wants. By the last few books, Harry clearly finds Ginny attractive. (She’s a redhead like his mom.), and Ginny proves herself to be a hero in her own right, leading Dumbledore’s Army and fighting in the Wizarding Wars. But perhaps most importantly, by marrying her, he becomes a Weasley. He gets what he’s always wanted, a large family full of people who love him.
Why does Hermione have to end up with anyone at all?
Finally, why does Hermione have to end up with anyone at all? It’s 2016. She could have a complete and happy life without Harry or Ron. Or with both of them. I get it is a children’s book and there are still societal expectations, but the people behind this theory are adults. Yet they want to lay the “traditional” view over this series.
So in the end, I think Rowling got it right the first time. Hermione with Ron. Harry with Ginny. All this mucking about after seems silly to me.