Back when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 opened in Summer 2011, most people had little to no doubt that it would NOT mark the end of the eponymous boy wizard’s term as part of the pop culture zeitgeist. Sure enough, since then Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has begun writing a spinoff movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, in addition to producing a play about Harry’s unpleasant time growing up in the Dursley household (before learning of his magical heritage, that is).

Rowling has caused something of a stir within the Harry Potter fan community, and not because of anything having to do with future projects set in the Potter-verse (either in written form and/or on the big screen). No, the storyteller has instead revealed a major regret she’s since had about her books and the movies based on them – that she ultimately had Harry’s BFFs Ron and Hermione get together.

These quotes will be printed in an upcoming issue of Wonderland magazine, but were picked up by The Sunday Times (hat tip to /Film) and have since been spreading around the internet like wildfire; Rowling, for her part, anticipated as much, but was nonetheless frank in speaking her mind about this particular issue:

“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. 

“I know, I’m sorry, I can hear the rage and fury it might cause some fans, but if I’m absolutely honest, distance has given me perspective on that. It was a choice I made for very personal reasons, not for reasons of credibility. Am I breaking people’s hearts by saying this? I hope not.”

Emma Watson, who played Hermione in the Harry Potter films, was being interviewed alongside Rowling at the time and commented on that idea, saying “I think there are fans out there who know that too and who wonder whether Ron would have really been able to make her happy.”

[UPDATE: For clarification, the headline for the original Sunday Times article is “JK Admits Hermione Should Have Wed Harry” (via CNN), even though she is not quoted as saying that explicitly in the excerpts taken from the article, featured above. This is where the claim that Rowling believes Harry and Hermione should’ve ended up together comes from.]

Twist ending – turns out Ron was the third wheel this whole time

Funnily enough, screenwriter Steve Kloves – who penned seven of the eight Harry Potter movies – is not only an open fan of Hermione, but he’s long been accused of being a Harry/Hermione “shipper” by many hardcore fans, based on the argument that his scripts devoted more time to developing that relationship than the Hermione/Ron romance. So, if you were to argue that Harry/Hermione makes the most sense, then the movies would be a better place to start with than the books (in the latter, Ron wasn’t quite so dunder-headed as he was onscreen).

The Harry Potter fan in me probably would’ve gotten more excited had Rowling said she wishes that Harry had ended up with Luna Lovegood – or if she admitted that Remus Lupin was gay (Alfonso Cuarón thought so) and having him get together with Nymphadora Tonks was a bad idea – but then again, I was always somewhat outside the box with my Harry Potter shippings.

How about it, Harry Potter fans – are you glad that Ron and Hermione got together? Or would Harry and Hermione (or something else altogether) have been the more reasonable choice?

Source: The Sunday Times [via /Film]