This weekend, the Harry Potter fandom, still active after all this time, was rocked when J.K. Rowling admitted that pairing Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley wasn't the best idea. According to The Sunday Times, which highlighted an interview between Rowling and Emma Watson, both women “agree that Harry and Hermione were a better match than Ron and Hermione." This has not gone down well with the vocal group of Harry Potter fans on Tumblr, unless you shipped Harmione all along.
While the intense reactions of a bunch of teenagers (and adults) seem silly, the intensity of the reaction shows how lasting Harry Potter's influence has been. The last film, Deathly Hallows Part II, was released in 2011 and the last novel was released in 2007, but people still care. Outside of Tumblr, people have commented on Rowling's tendency to revive Potter publicity — the announcement of Dumbledore's sexuality, the recently announced Harry Potter prequel play and the future Fantastic Beats and Where to Find Them film — as pathetic attempts to revive the series' popularity. Salon's Dan D'Addario and BuzzFeed's Matthew Zeitlin wondered whether Rowling wasn't discrediting herself as a writer by repeatedly subverting her characterizations. "I, for one, look forward to the next 40 years of Rowling suggesting potential alternative paths for such well-drawn characters," D'Addario tweeted.
But the best reactions are among the die hard fans, and the shipping war (yes, war) that has erupted between Romione and Harmione and how, nearly seven years later, one comment from an author about fictional characters can inspire such strong emotions, specifically denial, rage, and amusement. We can't wait for all the Harmione fanfiction:
J.K. Rowling regrets bringing Ron and Hermione together despite their "mind-blowing" sex life, fanfic sources report.— Brian Phillips (@runofplay) February 3, 2014
(Just kidding, we can definitely wait.)