Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Harry Potter Countdown: Relationships

Each Wednesday until Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows part 2 comes out I'm going to dedicate a post to an aspect of the series. Anyone who wants to join in is welcome, just let me know in the comments!

Today's topic is: The relationships in Harry Potter, which worked and which do I wish Rowling never even attempted?

Every now and then I think how lucky I was to grow up with Harry Potter. I've never been as excited as when I waited for the newest book to be released, and some of my favourite lunch breaks were spent discussing what chapter we were all up to and sitting in a circle each with a copy reading intently with little gasps, ooohs, ahhhs and giggles. I may have not been a part of the magical world, but I still felt like the books mirrored so many aspects of my life and one such area was relationships.

As I grew up and began to see my male classmates as something other than my cootie infested friends the same began to happen at Hogwarts, and as my friends and I were getting involved in stupid and frivolous 2 week relationships and dedicating entire slumber parties to crushes the Hogwarts kids seemed to be as silly as us. As I began to see real love bloom between people I knew I also began to see it between the pages.

As much as I wanted to love all of the matches Rowling made, I'm not always happy with some of the ridiculous relationships my friends find themselves in, so I guess it makes sense for me not to like them all, but some ugh, some were terribly thought out. So I'm going to talk about a couple of my favourite and least favourite relationships throughout the books and at the end I'd love to hear which you guys thought worked and which should have been deleted in the early editing stages.

Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks.
I wanted to like this couple, I really did, but what the hell was Rowling thinking? They simply weren't a good match, they had nothing in common and there were no indicators that they were even friends let alone prospective lovers. It was all too forced and unlikely, at least in my mind, but I had wanted it to work. Tonks was so energetic and colourful (quite literally) and I had hoped that her match with Lupin would bring the spark back to his life. Lupin was so sad, so dejected by society and alone I really wanted him to find love, build a home and live happily ever after. But all that happened was that he grew sadder and more bitter at his cursed lot in life and Tonks' vibrancy evaporated completely. There were a few glimpses of hope for them, when Lupin came to Bill and Fleur's cottage to tell them of his son's birth, I thought that was quite a beautiful scene, an indicator that perhaps he could have the happiness I always wanted for him. But it simply wasn't right. Worse still they both ran off into the fight and left their son and orphan, my love for these two characters plummeted greatly then, I'd spent 7 books seeing how much being an orphan haunted Harry and here it was happening again?! Not cool Rowling, not cool.

Arthur and Molly Weasley.
This was perhaps my favourite relationship of the entire series, no two people seemed to love one another as completely and head-over-heals-y as these two. In the final great battle when I realised Rowling was going to do her damned best to eliminate every single one of my favourite characters I held my breath hoping that she wouldn't dare split apart that relationship. Apart from their devotion to one another I loved that they had their priorities right, family was more important than anything, it didn't matter that they had barely any money or that Voldemort was hunting them down because they had one another. Apart from admiring their love I really respected them because their relationship and the morals that were so important to them lead them to produce some of the most level-headed and wonderful and caring characters in the series.

Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley.
I know people are generally on the fence about this relationship but I'm on the side of blechh. I felt like this relationship was only to give Harry something to lose, something to fear for once Voldemort was back. I know Ginny had a major crush on him from day one but it didn't develop like Ron and Hermione's relationship did, it just appeared one day. One minute Harry was laughing about how pathetic her crush was on him and the next he was imagining snogging her in the castle. I liked that he got to have some sort of human connection, some sun filled days to reflect back on and to fight extra hard for against Voldemort but I wish it had ended. It was one of my real pet peeves that in that terrible final chapter they were all partnered up with friends from school, it seemed too easy and convenient. But I particularly felt like this relationship had an expiry date on it and Rowling ignored it.

Harry Potter and Luna Lovegood.
This wasn't an actual relationship but one I think could have worked quite well. When Harry returned to the school after Sirius's death and could see the thestrals it was Luna who believed him, explained it to him and gave him comfort. There were quite a few of these little run-ins and meetings and I thought that in some ways they were so similar that it might just work. There was something very alone and special about both characters and I wish they'd been able to find a way to recognise that in one another. I feel like this relationship was authentic in all the places that Harry and Ginny's wasn't and I don't think it would have seemed like such a plot ploy for me. If only...

Honourable mentions:
Lily and Snape
Hermione and Ron
Fleur and Bill

Next week (8/6/2011): What one moment is guaranteed to have you bawling like a little baby every time you read it, without fail? 


  1. OMG Harry and Luna. I prayed and prayed to the Harry Potter gods to let them develop a relationship. I'm with you in that Ginny's and Harry's romance seemed juvenile and kind of watery. Something for the beginning of high school, nothing more. But he and Luna could have loved each other fully, I'm sure. Why Rowling, why, did you not see that?

  2. I'm so glad I'm not the only one! If only we could go back in time and change her mind!

  3. Finally got mine posted. Here's the link:

    I'm with Bekka about Harry/Ginny. I hated that pairing so much.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who wrote about pairs they wish would have happened. :)

  4. OMG I LOVVVEEE this idea! I am an obsessive-Harry-POtter-fan and I am definitely joining you in this weekly post!
    I actually liked Lupin and Tonks. I agree with you that there was no evidence of a friendship or anything otherwise. However, I dont know what it was about them that I absolutely loved.

    I agree with you about Molly and Arthur; they reminded me of many marriages I am around today (e.g. my parents, my aunt and uncle, etc)

    As for Harry & Ginny, I didnt particularly care for the relationship but I didnt hate it. I liked that Ginny was strong enough to let Harry go at the end of Half-Blood Prince. I think what Harry needed was someone strong, and he got that in Ginny.

    I loved Luna, and I think she and Harry would have been great together, but I think I gave up on that notion once Ginny came into the picture.

    The last one I'll mention is Lily and Snape. After reading their story, I almost wished Snape could have ended up with Lily. But that was just the romantic in me; I didnt want Snape to be heart broken even though he tended to be a big jerk.

    Anyways, I LOVEE this idea, and I just looovee your blog. I am following, and I'll be posting on June 8th for the next installment of the countdown. :)


  5. Yay definitely join in Amanda!! I liked Harry and Luna for the same reasons as you (the strength etc) but I didn't feel like it was a relationship destined to last forever. It just felt too neat and easy.

    I can't wait to see what you write next week!



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