Char­ac­ter as­sas­si­na­tion

Harry’s a wrong ’un; Ron Weasley’s a cad – no­body hates a Pot­ter char­ac­ter like a Pot­ter fan. Tara Brady grabs her poi­son pen

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Cover Story -

TWI­HARDS have Teams Ja­cob and Ed­ward, but the Pot­ter­verse is far more frac­tured and torn by al­le­giances and teen crushes. Just as vast tracts of broad­band are given over to the imag­ined soft-porn cou­plings of Pot­ter-in­spired fan fic­tion, an equally pas­sion­ate mi­nor­ity spend their time round­ing on per­ceived Hog­warts ri­vals. Those in favour of a Hermione and Harry hook-up have ma­jor ide­o­log­i­cal is­sues with those who don’t. Oth­ers dis­miss any read­ing that doesn’t see Harry and Draco’s stand-offs as a bit Top Gun. A vo­cal fac­tion dis­misses Ginny Weasley as a vile usurper. Many mis­sives have been ex­changed. Many fire­wars have started. No­body hates a Harry Pot­ter char­ac­ter quite like a Harry Pot­ter fan. Huge shrines list and be­moan how JK Rowl­ing “got it wrong from the be­gin­ning” with “my beloved Snape/Neville/Tom Rid­dle”. Here, we hon­our these hot-headed net-trolls with a tribute to in­sider conflicts. earth does Hermione see in that oaf? Prob­a­bly smells of milk. Gin­ger. Bossy, joy­less, stroppy mug­gle. Al­ways scold­ing. De­rides Ron as “an in­sen­si­tive wart” and for hav­ing the “emo­tional range of a tea­spoon”. Dis­misses Quid­ditch as a “source of bad feel­ing be­tween the Houses”. A to­tal swot, her pri­or­i­ties run thus: “We could have all been killed or worse ex­pelled; now if you don’t mind I’m go­ing to bed.” Slaps Draco for a re­mark about Ha­grid and has to be restained from fur­ther vi­o­lence. Snape is right: she is “an in­suf­fer­able know-it-all”. Also, when ac­tor Emma Wat­son flashed her no-no bits two years ago, it cor­rupted our young, im­pres­sion­able minds. A sim­per­ing stalker girl who swipes dear­est Harry from un­der the nose of Cho Chang, Hermione and Luna. A “tramp” who dates other men be­fore Harry, she’s com­pletely un­wor­thy of him and finds def­i­ni­tion in the first two let­ters of Hog­warts. She’s the one who got mixed up with the in­ter­ac­tive dairy, so it’s her fault Sirius is dead. Mur­derer! Books six and seven are ru­ined by JK Rowl­ing telling us that Ginny is now a stone fox. You can’t de­velop a mi­nor char­ac­ter into Harry’s love in­ter­est; you just can’t. Plays a long game: “I never re­ally gave up on you. Hermione told me to get on with life, maybe go out with some other peo­ple . . . And she thought you might take a bit more no­tice if I was a bit more my­self.” Yes. Be your­self un­til your prey suc­cumbs.

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