Books Belong to their Readers
Tweets erupted last night rang from a number of fellow young adult authors. The one included above by John Green (The Fault in our Stars) caught my attention. It led me to question how much of the books belong to the readers and our own perception of what the author creates.
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 ended up with Ron.”No matter how much we as fans interpreted the series for Ron and Hermione to end up together, or Harry and Hermione, or Draco and Hermione (the ship list goes on and on), the feeling of betrayal from the Romione camp stems from how much Ron has been treated like a third-rate character.
We all know the second youngest Weasley has not had it easy in the series. The next biggest revelation over the transformation of our favorite ginger came when Rowling shared that she nearly killed him off after experiencing frustration with his future. In the film series, many of his heroic acts was replaced with humor and dumbfoundedness compared to Hermione's intelligence and Harry's bravery. Having often been deemed as the runt of the litter by even his family, Ron rarely earned credit where it was due. He was played second fiddle, and now finally settled with the idea that him and Hermione were married and had children, an alternative ending of him not even receiving true love to Rowling might not have been his either.
So what becomes of our own perceptions? Personally, I haven't figured Hermione to be with Ron, nor Harry, nor Draco. I fiddle with the idea she ended up with Viktor Krum. However, Rowling's official conclusion to the story's printed ending doesn't affect my own hesitant support of Romione.
Words are more than letters and syllables strung together as our own imagination creates a different landscape for sentence, paragraph, and book. It's one of the reasons why film adaptations are rarely successful with an entire audience of readers; we each see a scene differently no matter how successful or terrible the book is translated to the screen. The power of our minds takes characters' lives and give us a vision of someone and somewhere original and new, and carefully orchestrated prose has the ability to spark original and new theories. Even a novel set in the realistic present world has the power to be interpreted in hundreds of different ways, including the author.
Rowling's feelings does not change the outcome of what is left printed in the books. Even her original plan writing the books concluded Ron and Hermione ending up happily ever after. The series' ending has obviously given her hindsight and an alternate perspective of other possibilities. In the end, Ron and Hermione still gather with Harry and Ginny at Platform 9 3/4 Quarter to send their children off to Hogwarts. It's in fine print. Some may see the epilogue in other ways too. Books belong to their readers.