Yes, the two of them liked to bicker. Yes, she might have thought he had the emotional range of a teaspoon. And yes, he might have thought that she was a know-it-all, but one thing was undeniable… Their spark. Even when they were fighting, their banter was top notch. They played off one another’s energy and came alive when verbally sparring.
Then there was the attraction which became increasingly obvious between the pair. Whilst jealousy is an ugly emotion, both Hermione and Ron felt it. Firstly, when she went to the Yule Ball with Viktor Krum and then when he started dating Lavender Brown. While we don’t condone the way they behaved – teenage emotions can be wild – the fact that they couldn’t stand to see the other with anyone else speaks to their desire to be together.
Hermione didn’t have that kind of connection with Harry. Of course, the pair of them loved each other, but it was a bond that felt familial rather than romantic – Harry even said that Hermione was like a sister to him. There was no frisson or intense emotion when the two of them talked. Instead, there was friendship, respect and a clearly platonic bond – proving that boys and girls can be best friends. Wouldn’t it be a shame to ruin that by suggesting their relationship had to be romantic because they got on so well?
We also think that Hermione and Ron were good for each other. As the old adage goes, opposite attract, and that’s exactly what happened here. Where Hermione could sometimes be too serious, Ron was there with his laidback humour to balance her out. And when Ron lacked emotional intelligence, Hermione brought balance with her perceptive insights. Their differences were one of their greatest strengths, allowing them both to grow together and learn from one another.
With Harry, Hermione didn’t have that balance. The two of them, whilst supportive of each other, were too serious to be a couple. Harry himself lamented the lack of laughs they had in Goblet of Fire, when he found himself spending an extended amount of time with Hermione in the aftermath of his fight with Ron. They both needed someone who would bring out their lighter sides and they couldn’t be that person for one another.
Finally, we have to mention how Hermione and Ron would always find each other – even when they weren’t a couple in an alternate reality. In that exact situation in Cursed Child, they were miserable and chose to give their souls to the Dementors so they could be together in another world. If that doesn’t prove to you that they were inevitable then nothing will.
Let’s rewind a moment. While the Harry Potter books were still coming out in the mid-noughties, the story still unfolding, the fandom was rife with predictions on how things were going to end: would Voldemort be vanquished? Who was going to die? Who would Hermione end up with?! And although we now have our answer amidst a clatter of Basilisk fangs, with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child confirming that Hermione and Ron did indeed live happily (yet bickering-ly) ever after, some fans still insist it could’ve ended another way.
After all, while Hermione and Ron spent most of their Hogwarts years at each other’s throats, Harry and Hermione’s relationship was always gentler, kinder, easier. The pair seemed far more in tune with each other, while Ron’s jealousy over Hermione usually resulted in multiple upsets. Sure, some argue that true love is forged through the flames of passion, but what about a love that is more sustainable, more honest, more congenial… more, dare we say it, happy?
In those (frequent!) moments where Hermione and Ron had fallen out, we actually get to see a lot of Hermione and Harry together – and how peaceful and productive they are as a duo. After Harry and Ron’s big fallout during Goblet of Fire, we see Hermione emboldening Harry. In fact, Harry flourished in her company, becoming a better wizard and smashing that first task with her help. Ron usually just copied Hermione’s homework. Isn’t a couple supposed to be equal?
Even J.K. Rowling herself has said in past interviews she wonders if it should’ve been Harry and Hermione instead, pondering if Ron and Hermione’s union ended up being ‘wish-fulfilment’. It’s a fair point. At times, Hermione and Ron’s situation felt downright unhealthy rather than gentle ribbing. How many times did Hermione wind up in tears over something Ron said? At times, you could argue that Ron was borderline possessive – infuriated when she went to the Yule Ball with Krum, policing her choices rather than acquiescing.
In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, we get to see a physical manifestation of Ron’s feelings, when his experience with Slytherin’s locket reveals that he too had thought about Harry and Hermione together. Years and years of not confronting his feelings had turned his love for Hermione into something sour. And leaving Hermione and Harry alone in their darkest hour only shone a light on how much stronger that bond was. In the film, this idea is taken even further, with their unforgettable dance to Nick Cave’s O Children only further convincing us of their power together.
Sure, emotional maturity is something Ron was able to work on, and 19 years later, all seems well in Ron and Hermione’s married world. But there are so many subtle moments between Hermione and Harry that we just can’t shake off…
But what do you think? Who was Hermione's one true love?
If you're in the mood for some more wizarding world discussions why don't you have a look at some of our other debate club features?
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Or decide whether you think Sirius Black was a role model or reckless rogue.