Changing Your Own Ending

6 Feb

If any of you reading this are huge Rowling fans like myself, there’s no doubt you saw an article yesterday about an interview she did. Emma Watson, who stars as Hermione in the Harry Potter movies, was interviewing JK Rowling when she said that she should have had Hermione and Harry end up together instead of Hermione and Ron.

WHAT?!?!?!

My mind was sufficiently blown. I told my husband and he seemed non pulsed. This only ebbed my anger. I said that it almost seemed like Rowling was writing her own fanfiction to which he responded, “It’s not fanfiction, she wrote the books.” True, but that’s not what she wrote into the books. She’s proposing a change. To me, it borders on fanfiction. It’s not cannon, it’s fic.

My argument is that while it seems plausible, it changes too much of the story. Hermione and Ron have a flirtation early in the books and it’s very subtlety written. I’m reading the fifth book now and it seems obvious to me. Also, the Harry/Ginny plotline appears as early as Book 2. To put Harry and Hermione together would involve taking away the entire Harry/Ginny back story. This is no small change she’s proposing!

This got me thinking about writing in general. Have you ever written something and then realized that you wanted to change the ending? Was it too late? What did you do? If we realize this early on, before something goes to a publisher or editor, we still have a chance to fix it. Once something is our of our hands, is it too late?

Rowling says that she was clinging to the plot she originally imagined and that’s why she had Ron and Hermione end up together. She wasn’t letting her characters develop naturally as she went, adjusting their outcome to the personalities she was writing. I know that this is a hole I could easily fall into because I’m such a planner. When following an outline, how often do you readjust the ending to reflect what’s already written?

As a fan, I’m disappointed in this announcement. As a writer, it intrigues me. Whether a fan or not, how do you feel about Rowling’s announcement?

Until next time, write on.

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9 Responses to “Changing Your Own Ending”

  1. Lauren Henderson February 6, 2014 at 12:45 PM #

    I always wished that Harry and Hermione had ended up together… So I’m not mad. But now I really wish she’d done it. I actually never read the whole Harry Potter series… I know.. blasphemy. This makes me want to get on that so I will know all the backstory that I’m sure the movies leave out.

    Like

    • Sam February 6, 2014 at 3:17 PM #

      If you read the books I think you’ll find that Ron/Hermione is dropped in very subtly early on. I think you’ll like the parts that are the same as the movie, too. Seeing them in print is strangely thrilling!

      Like

  2. literaryliason February 6, 2014 at 6:00 PM #

    I haven’t read the books so I don’t have a romantic preference, but I have to admit, I think it’s neat that an author is willing to divulge this to fans.

    Like

    • Sam February 6, 2014 at 6:05 PM #

      I like to know she’s still thinking about her books so much. It’s cool to see her still so involved. Thanks for commenting!

      Like

      • literaryliason February 7, 2014 at 10:09 AM #

        Yes, I love her involvement and commitment to fans. Just because a book ends does not mean that fans want the world to end. She keeps it alive for them. Even if fans don’t agree with her beliefs as far as what she did or wished she did, it gives them something to talk about.

        Like

  3. Jeyna Grace February 6, 2014 at 9:57 PM #

    I support Ron and Hermione, as Harry and Hermione are more like siblings to me. But personally I think Rowling should not have said it.

    I dont know her reason behind sharing such information, but its causing a civil war among HP fans. Also, what would new readers think about Ron and Hermione now that Rowling made it clear it was a mistake?

    Like

    • Sam February 6, 2014 at 11:20 PM #

      I’m a little surprised she said it, too. Although, Rowling uses Pottermore to continue revealing facts to fans and has come out with controversial comments before (Dumbledore being gay). I wonder if it was provoked by her personal reflection or someone who planted the seed in her brain. Very interesting none the less.

      Like

  4. Camilla February 7, 2014 at 7:10 PM #

    I think it is completely within Rowling’s right to feel that Hermione should have been with Harry, but I don’t like that she stated it publicly. It implies that there’s a great big chunk of the story (e.g. the Ron-Hermione semi-flirtation) that she’s not happy with, and as a reader I’m sad to hear that. I also feel that by saying she wishes she put Harry and Hermione together she in a way invalidates one of the best male-female friendships I’ve come across in fiction. Personally I never read this as a ‘love triangle’ and always appreciated their brother-sister type bond, and this new information is making me look at it differently and I don’t like it much.

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    • Sam February 7, 2014 at 7:46 PM #

      I love how you said this. It makes me, as a fan, sad to know the artist isn’t happy with her own work. That’s spot on! As I’m rereading the fifth book now, I’m second guessing the relationships between the three. Thank you for helping me put my feelings into words.

      Like

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