Charactor Shipping (Harry Potter)

Today I’m going to talk about something I almost never talk about. Shipping. I try to avoid shipping discussions for a couple of reasons. One, I actually don’t care that much. Some people in the Harry Potter fandom seem to be obsessed with who Harry, Ron and Hermione date, and to me, such things are the furthest from the point of the story as can be. Of course the reason is probably that I’m a 26 year old adult, while many HP fans are adolescents. When I was 15, I too was preoccupied with who everyone I knew was dating. The second reason I usually avoid shipping discussions is because I’ve seen them devolve into some pretty nasty arguments. People seem to get pretty wound up about this stuff. But despite that, I’m going to open up the floor on the issue anyways.

Since Half-Blood Prince, I think it’s apparent to everybody who is going to end up with whom, provided nobody dies. At this point, it’s pretty clear that it’s Harry/Ginny and Ron/Hermione. Yes, I know there are lots of other characters to ship, but somehow I don’t think Rowling is going to deal with the romantic lives of every character in the series.

Let me say first that I never considered Harry/Hermione as a possible couple even before book 4 when it became a bit more apparent that Hermione was in fact Ron’s romantic interest. To me, there couldn’t be anyone more unsuited for each other than Harry and Hermione. Hermione is a bossy know-it-all and Harry is a kid with a quick temper who tends to resent and/or distrust authority. See the problem? You can already see it. Hermione is constantly telling Harry what to do. Harry takes it in silent anger until Hermione says something that pushes his last button, at which point he usually loses it and tells her where to go in no uncertain terms. Most of CAPS LOCK! Harry is directed at Hermione. At which point Hermione, who seems a bit frightened of Harry’s temper, either cries or sulks. Not really a good pattern for a lasting relationship.

To me, Ron/Hermione definitely makes a bit more sense. Yes, they have their share of arguments, but if you look closely, it seems that they actually like arguing with each other. Hermione likes it because she likes to argue and be right (and let’s face it, in an arguement with Ron she’ll always win), and Ron likes it because he appears to get some sort of kick out of getting her all worked up. I think everybody has known a couple who were actually like this.

But where does that leave Harry? Well, with Ginny, I guess. But to be honest, I never really considered Harry/Ginny possible couple material until the very end of book 5, when Ron advises Ginny to choose a better boyfriend and then looks pointedly at Harry. That foreshadowing was just too glaring to miss. I admit I winced when I read that line; Rowling must have been tired at that point, so she decided to do her job with a sledgehammer instead of a chisel. Anyways, my point is that until Rowling came out and said Harry/Ginny, I didn’t really consider it. And it’s not because I don’t like Ginny, or that I don’t think she and Harry are well-matched. In fact, the problem is that I don’t feel that Rowling developed Ginny enough as a character for me or anyone else to make such an assessment either way. Ginny was basically a mute for the first four books. Only in five did she really begin talking, especially to Harry. But it might be that Harry is more the problem here. Even when Ginny did start talking to him, Harry appears to have zero reaction whatsoever to her. Of course he was sort of wrapped up in Voldemort and his bizarrely dysfunctional relationship with Cho Chang, but it seems to me that he should have started to become at least marginally more aware of Ginny as a girl and a person before promptly falling in love with her in book 6. Even if he had thought to himself in book 5 that she was getting kind of cute or something, that would have set up some foundation for his sudden overpowering attraction to her in HBP. As it was, he seemed to go from caring less about Ginny Weasley in book 5 to omg!, how I lurve that red-headed gal in book 6. It just seemed a bit sudden. I’m not opposed to it really, I just think Rowling could have handled it better.

So who did I think Harry was going to end up with? Well, to tell the truth, when Luna Lovegood showed up on the scene in the beginning of book 5, and there was the whole thing with the thestrals, I thought that maybe she was it, the girl for Harry. They seemed to share something that he’d been unable to share with his other friends, a sense of personal loss. I guess, though, that she probably is just a little too flaky for Harry’s taste. Especially for a kid who all his life has just wanted to fit in and be “normal”, at least by wizarding standards.

So fess up, fellow Potter fans. Who do you think would be the perfect couple and why?

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