I, like all the self-respecting nerds of the world, have Harry Potter on the brain. Deathly Hallows Pt. 1 was pretty amazing, and it got me thinking about the film series as a whole - but more specifically, the treatment of Harry and Hermione onscreen. One of the promotional posters for DH featured just Harry and Hermione in their formalwear standing inside the doors of a subway car, and the filmmakers also added (spoiler alert!) the Harry and Hermione dancing scene. Putting two and two together, many are concluding that TPTB are almost suggesting the possibility of a romantic undertone to the Harry and Hermione's relationship.
The internet took notice. And I read a slew of comments that basically amounted to "EW NO HARRY AND HERMIONE ARE LIKE SIBLINGS EW SHE LIKES RON" and a lot of "BUT JK ROWLING WROTE IT TO BE RON/HERMIONE." I could not help but roll my eyes.
Let me say first: yes, I ship H/Hr. Not very actively, mind you. I just prefer their relationship to Ron and Hermione's, regardless of romantic entanglements. And before I go on, I also want to make two things clear: 1) I do not profess to be a Harry Potter expert. It's been a few years since I've read the books, and so what's in my head is very big picture. I'm not going to quote the text and dissect its meaning. But if I goof something huge that needs correcting, please gently let me know.
Secondly, I do not want any hatin' rolling through these parts. I don't hate R/Hr, and I don't want anyone hating on H/Hr. I'd also rather no one use the word "delusional." Shipping one or the other is merely a difference of interpretation. We all read the same text. We just construed things differently from what was presented to us. No big deal. I know canon swung the way of R/Hr and H/G in the end, and that's fine. I'm not going to argue with canon. Canon's canon.
However, Harry and Hermione have a relationship in those pages. And even though Rowling made it plainly clear that Ron and Hermione had their (in my opinion) weird flirty-bickery-crush thing going on, I was always more interested in the the H/Hr dynamic. It always seemed far more stable, honest, and equal than the other relationships in the book. They knew each other completely, understood each other wordlessly, and stood by one another with very little angst. I appreciated how genuinely unfettered their relationship was. Ironically, it is perhaps this very lack of drama that makes readers unconvinced in a H/Hr ship, but it's what I like best about the two.
I will point out as well that numerous characters in the books assumed there was something romantic going on between Harry and Hermione - if I recall correctly, Cho, Rita Skeeter, and even Dumbledore all made the assumption before being reassured that they were just friends. Rowling went out of her way to have the characters verbalize their non-attraction, just to make sure everybody got the message. Which leaves me with the impression that the only thing standing in the way of a Harry/Hermione romance is the characters' desires themselves. That's totally valid. Rowling can make the characters feel however she wants them to feel. However, that doesn't change the circumstances and hallmarks of their dynamic, and so I feel free to ship them at will. The plausibility of the situation is still there.
And that's why I have to admire the filmmakers for boldly acknowledging just that: the plausibility. It's very clear, by this point in the films, that Ron and Hermione are headed for romantic bliss. However, the Harry/Hermione bond is one of the strongest in the films (the books are another beast) and I appreciate that Kloves and Co. didn't sweep it under the rug after six films of development. I don't think anyone's waiting with bated breath for Movie!Hermione to pull a switcheroo and declare her love for Movie!Harry. The movie relationship of Ron and Hermione is well-played onscreen too, frankly, and I actually appreciate it much more than I ever did in the books.
But Movie!Harry and Movie!Hermione share something very specific and intangible, and something very much separate from Ron. Even in the books, Harry and Hermione spent a large amount of important scenes of together without Ron - from the third act of time travel in Book 3, to the scenes with Grawp in Book 5, to the sizeable portion of Book 7 where Ron is gone and Harry and Hermione visit James and Lily's grave. Yes, Ron and Hermione spend big portions of time together sans Harry, but when the books are told through Harry's eyes, we, as readers, are not privy to these interactions. I think that's perhaps why I see more depth to the H/Hr relationship - it makes sense that any ship is stronger when 50% of it is the main character through which we view the entire world. And that's also perhaps why it's easier to strengthen the movie's relationships as opposed to the book's, because on film we are allowed to see what Ron and Hermione are doing when Harry's in the background, and even when he's not around. The sense of trio onscreen is excellent because of this.
So I just don't get all the outrage over the representation of Harry and Hermione in the films. I don't find it all that threatening to the Ron/Hermione dynamic, which is also rather well done, or even to the trio dynamic, which is solid. I've always been in the camp of those who saw infinitely more chemistry between Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe than between Emma and Rupert Grint. You may as well play to that strength, as long as you're not sacrificing the Ron/Hermione relationship. And I don't think they are. The filmmakers are making the Ron/Hermione attraction very clear, and in a way, the added Harry/Hermione interactions are confirming the lack of romance and closing the book on the very idea. It's certainly interesting that by acknowledging a possibility, the filmmakers are also bringing forth the rejection of the possibility, how it should be in canon.
In short: it frustrates me that so many are vehemently rejecting the film's portrayal of Harry and Hermione's relationship. I don't think you can deny their bond. You don't have to see it as a romantic bond, of course, but I just don't see how the relationship itself can, or should, be pushed aside. Whether or not you prefer it to the Ron/Hermione dynamic is up to you and the way you've interpreted JK Rowling's words. But Harry and Hermione are a very real entity on the page and onscreen, and they deserve the attention given to them in the films, regardless of shipping wars, "who likes whom," and the concept of "endgame."