The epilogue to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows canonically paired off Harry with Ginny and Ron with Hermione, but that hasn’t stopped fans from shipping their own versions of the romantic futures of the characters. Even J.K. Rowling got in on the fun when she suggested that Harry would have been better off with Hermione, while the actors have their own ideas about the relationship fates of the characters they portrayed.
Unfortunately, not all of them are quite as sunny as you’d expect. The Huffington Post recently sat down for a roundtable with Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), Matt Lewis (Neville Longbottom), Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood), and Katie Leung (Cho Chang), discussing all manner of things related and not related to Harry Potter. However, the interview doesn’t truly take off until the interviewer asks the cast where they see their characters headed in the years after the book’s conclusion. Some of the suggestions are both plausible and entertaining – Katie Leung sees Cho Chang as a coldhearted entrepreneur, while Evanna Lynch envisions Luna Lovegood as the host of a traveling wildlife documentary series – but Rupert Grint sent things off the rails and broke the hearts of fans when he declared that things didn’t turn out too well between Ron and Hermione.
“I would expect Ron has probably divorced Hermione already. I don’t think that relationship would have done very well,” said Grint, painting a bleak picture of the aging, useless divorcee. He later confirmed that Ron would be struggling with Tinder while “living on his own, in a little one-bedroom apartment. He hasn’t got a job.”
Ever the true friend, Matthew Lewis tried to cheer Ron up in his future plans for Neville.
“Neville works at the school, right? So he’s a professor, just enjoying that,” said Lewis. “Maybe he’s trying to get Ron a job, man. And he keeps throwing it back in his face, like, ‘I don’t need your help, Neville; Jesus, just leave it.’ And I’m like, ‘Come on, it’s fine, we’ll sort it out, just trying to get you back into the fold.’ Yeah, him and Hermione don’t see eye to eye because I’ve taken Ron’s side in the relationship, obviously. They’ve got everyone split off, friends wise. I don’t know who you guys chose? Did you choose Hermione?”
Fun, right? But let’s slow things down for just a second.
While I could easily believe that Ron and Hermione’s marriage didn’t last, I’m struggling with the bleaker aspects of this scenario. I just can’t see Harry (or even Hermione) letting Ron enter that kind of tailspin. Yes, he has the emotional depth of a teaspoon. But he also has an incredible support structure of emotionally intelligent friends and family members, a group that includes Harry freaking Potter (still married to his sister, another close friend of Hermione’s), as well as a whole gaggle of no-nonsense older brothers and friends like Neville that would totally hook him up with a job as soon as he asked. If anything, the cast seems just as distressed about Rupert’s fatalism as their characters would have been in the novels.
That’s what was so great about the supporting cast in Harry Potter. They always looked out for each other. They weren’t the type to take sides (at least not for long) or to let friends become bitter loners just because one relationship didn’t work out. I’d like to imagine that Ron and Hermione would have managed to remain cordial, if only for the sake of Rose and Hugo.
As for the other aspects of the scenario? Sure, why not. It was always a little strange to think that everyone in the wizarding world married someone they met in high school, so it stands to reason that some of those relationships would have fallen apart. Ron and Hermione just weren’t right for each other, and that doesn’t make them any less heroic.
Oh, and it also doesn’t mean that Harry should have ended up with Hermione. Harry’s relationship with Ginny is goddamn perfect and I don’t care what J.K. Rowling has to say about the matter.