In the Deathly Hallows, Hermione Jean Granger married Ronald Bilius Weasley and they raised two wonderful children named Rose and Hugo.
Seven years after Queen JK Rowling published the book—along with the highly controversial epilogue, by the way—the Queen stirs the waters of the Wizarding World. A few days ago, JK Rowling reveals in a (leaked) interview conducted by Emma Watson (the actress who played Hermione, in case you’ve been living under a rock) that the Hermione and Ron pairing was the Queen’s form of wish fulfillment and they would have needed relationship councelling. In other words, loosely translated, Ron and Hermione shouldn't have happened. Harry and Hermione should have. In tumblr (or boating) terms, the ship has begun to sunk. The canon is weak.
I confess that in the pages after the epilogue (the blank ones, if you were wondering), I wondered if Hermione would get her happily ever after. She’s the most brilliant witch of her age, after all, and I’ve emotionally invested my own happiness in hers. Seven years later, I’ve come to realize a plethora of things that Hermione was bound to have known when she married Ron.
This is my defense of their pairing.
Although I understand that there are multiple ways to write out the Epilogue, ending with Hermione with Harry or Ron or even Draco, I like Ron with the heroine precisely because their relationship seems to be the most accurate depiction of a romantic, real-world sort of love.
Don’t shoot at me just yet! Let me explain.
When the pair first meet, Ron says she is unbearable. Hermione was indeed unbearable. She was this bossy know-it-all kid who nobody wanted to be friends with. To top it all off, she had this mane of bushy hair and big teeth. At this point of the story, she was not the Belle of the ball.
Ron, on the other hand, is dirt poor and has a list of sibling legends to live up to. Poor kid. It's never great to enter school under someone's shadow.
Then Ron and Harry save Hermione from the Troll in the girl’s bathroom, and a friendship is born. (Granted, she wouldn’t have been there if Ron’s mean comment hadn’t made her cry.)
Fast forward a few years later: Hermione goes to the Yule Ball with Victor Krum. They’re fourteen and Ron’s got the emotional range of a teaspoon. He doesn’t understand his own feelings about Hermione, who has bloomed into this red rose in a garden of white ones.
They’ve both changed, surely. Ron is evermore aware of Harry’s hero image, and he finds himself inferior. He's gotten more keen to prove himself as a person. On a side note, can’t we all relate to this? Isn’t there someone whose once made us feel like we might as well be trolls next to him?
Hermione’s changed as well. She’s a girl who has gone through/ is going through puberty! It’s that period in a woman’s life when one’s social status is defined by how pretty they look or how well they dress. So what does Hermione do? She sticks with Harry and Ron, and ditches Sleekeasy’s hair potion after the ball. One night of fun and attention is great, but she says that it’s too much of a bother to do everyday. She’s not your average beauty queen.
Another two years later, and a rift forms between the pair. They just can’t seem to get along. So much so that Harry has had to hang out with them separately, so it couldn’t have been easy…
Here I come to a speed bump in the Harry/Hermione pairing. Harry commented that spending time with Hermione involved much of the library and not much talking. Yes, they’re great friends, and yes, Hermione understands him shockingly well, but if Harry wasn’t too keen on how he spent his time with Hermione, then how could they get married and have kids? Sometimes, to know if a couple would work out, I find it useful to look at whether or not they can be comfortable with the silence between them. Was Harry really comfortable? Or just highly tolerant?
But there’s another thing about the Harry/Hermione pairing that bugs me. It’s so logical. It made sense that Hermione, the brightest witch of her age, would end up with Harry Potter. It made sense! Often however, relationships based on love do not make sense at all. Well, there’s a little sense, (i.e. don't marry a psychopath just marry a high-functioning sociopath) which is why although I adore the idea of Draco/Hermione, it’s probably not going to happen.
Which leads me to the Deathly Hallows. At some point during the hunt for the Seven Horcruxes, Ron ups and leaves.
But he comes back.
His return made me come to love the Ron/Hermione pairing. Relationships (the ones that last) will be bumpy. Sooner or later. When one allows another human being to be that intimate with himself, some ugly skeletons are going to just topple out of the closet. It’s inevitable. Ron and Hermione fought incessantly. He was always jealous. She was always seen to be superior (note I didn’t say she was superior). How could this relationship have worked out?
Ron came back.
They may have needed a thousand counseling sessions together, but this is why they would have worked.
It would have been so much easier to leave, but he stayed.
Lastly, there is a nineteen year lull between the last battle and the epilogue.
After the War, when both characters killed a horcrux each, mind you, Ron and Hermione spend a year apart when the latter goes back to Hogwarts to finish her education.
I’ll assume they change over that year. Wouldn’t you?
What else happened within those nineteen years?
Before their marriage?
Ron’s brother died in the War. He became an Auror—what he always wanted to be. His family (because of the joke shop) wasn’t poor anymore. He claimed (later in life) that his greatest achievement was being featured on a chocolate card. Note: not defeating a horcrux, not being an Auror, not even being friends with the Harry Potter. I find it safe to assume that he’s finally secure with himself as Ron Weasley.
Hermione went back to school. She fought for House Elf Rights as a Ministry worker—she did what she believed to be right, not what people expected her to do. She had income and beauty and brains. She didn’t have to keep seeing Ron. Isn’t this the kind of woman who would marry someone she loved even if it was beyond logical reason? For God’s sake, this was the teenager who made piles of socks in an attempt to free house elves!
And then, eventually, they got married.
I don’t think their story was a perfect happily ever after. I assume they get into a few rows every week…But does that mean that they aren’t a great couple? Not to me.
To me, a marriage is building a life with someone—not just being perfect together—and sometimes, building a life gets messy. Your hands get splintered, your feet get blistered, your eyes grow weary of looking to the future. But realistically, one doesn’t always find and marry Harry Potter. Realistically, one has a Ron Weasley—an imperfect person to love.
That, to me, is the beauty of Ron and Hermione.
I think it’s much more romantic to build a life with an imperfect man with the emotional range of a teaspoon.
But that’s just me.