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    Forum » Harry Potter » The Books » Jo reflects on Ron/Hermione pairing
    Jo reflects on Ron/Hermione pairing
    ArryGrotterDate: Saturday, 2014-02-01, 23:40 | Message # 1
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    I was rather shocked to see this! :o

    http://www.snitchseeker.com/harry-p....e-96430

    Quote
    J.K. Rowling: “I wrote the Hermione/Ron relationship as a form of wish fulfillment,” she says. “That’s how it was conceived, really. For reasons that have very little to do with literature and far more to do with me clinging to the plot as I first imagined it, Hermione ended up with Ron.”

    “I know, I’m sorry,” she continued, “I can hear the rage and fury it might cause some fans, but if I’m absolutely honest, distance has given me perspective on that. It was a choice I made for very personal reasons, not for reasons of credibility. Am I breaking people’s hearts by saying this? I hope not.”

    "I know there are fans who knew that too and who wonder whether Ron would have really been able to make her happy"


    I personally feel that if Hermione as written to end up with Harry, that it would be boring and predictable (in the sense that the lead guy got the lead girl). I quite liked the bickeringness of her relationship with Ron and how the both of them were cautious about the whole thing.

    I've never been a Harmony shipper. I'm very surprised to see that Jo is making these comments.

    Edit: Upon re-reading the article, Jo never does say that Hermione should have ended up with Harry - just that Ron wasn't necessarily the perfect pairing for her...
     
    xhanax315Date: Saturday, 2014-02-01, 23:52 | Message # 2
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    I knew particularly that Hermione didn't belong with Ron from the very beginning. It's not really all that shocking.
     
    Britreads4funDate: Saturday, 2014-02-01, 23:59 | Message # 3
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    i was always a ron/hermione shipper, but, being a grown up now, i can see the argument that they wouldn't have lasted after the initial sexual tension faded away.
    reading through the article, it does seem like the "i should have put harry/hermione together" will be what she goes with, but really, i just...no. one of my favorite things about harry potter was that harry and hermione were BFFs and there was no romantic feelings involved ever.
    what i'm saying is, i guess, that jo can say what she wants, but ron/hermione is canon.
     
    ArryGrotterDate: Sunday, 2014-02-02, 00:04 | Message # 4
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    Quote Britreads4fun ()
    what i'm saying is, i guess, that jo can say what she wants, but ron/hermione is canon.

    Yeah, I think that's what a lot of people (cough Harmony shippers) need to understand. Jo is reflecting on her work and commenting that she could have done things differently. She's not admitting anything went down between Harry and Hermione within canon.
     
    sjcuk13Date: Sunday, 2014-02-02, 00:36 | Message # 5
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    It has always come across to me when I read the books that Harry and Hermione were never meant to get together.

    I cant argue with the author though as they are her characters she could have wrote them any way  she liked and most people would have accepted that. however she did write that Ron and Hermione got together and produced children. 

    The fact that Ginny gets the guy she has had a crush on since she was 11 I think came off as being right. Nothing seamed forced or contradicted any facts that had come up in other books.

    The fact that Ron and Hermione got together again felt right when I was reading the books. I really don't see what she has to gain now for bringing this up. JK wrote it and at any time could have changed her mind yet decides to tell us all now.
     
    ccollinsmithDate: Sunday, 2014-02-02, 05:21 | Message # 6
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    I wonder if she's just trying to ignite the fandom again, now that the forums are closing.

    She'd have to rewrite the books with the Harry/Hermione concept in mind in order to make it believable.


    THE GLITTELUTION WILL NEVER DIE!
    viva la glittelution!
     
    sjcuk13Date: Sunday, 2014-02-02, 05:48 | Message # 7
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    If all JK wanted to do was to ignite the fandoms again then all she would have to say is that she is writing a sequel (even if it didn't have Harry in it at all) the fans would jump at it.
     
    ccollinsmithDate: Sunday, 2014-02-02, 06:09 | Message # 8
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    Except that she's not writing a sequel at the moment.

    If she wants to ignite the fandom without having to do any actual work, all she has to do is drop this sort of bombshell in the press.


    THE GLITTELUTION WILL NEVER DIE!
    viva la glittelution!
     
    NotMyDaughterDate: Sunday, 2014-02-02, 07:01 | Message # 9
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    Correct me if I'm wrong but I'm not seeing JKR saying "It should have been Harry/Hermione" anywhere in there..? I'm seeing "It shouldn't have been Ron/Hermione" and then a silly headline added onto it by the paper.

    “I see a light in the kitchen. Let us not deprive Molly any longer of the chance to de­plore how thin you are.”
     
    ArryGrotterDate: Sunday, 2014-02-02, 08:49 | Message # 10
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    Quote NotMyDaughter ()
    Correct me if I'm wrong but I'm not seeing JKR saying "It should have been Harry/Hermione" anywhere in there..? I'm seeing "It shouldn't have been Ron/Hermione" and then a silly headline added onto it by the paper.

    Yes, this is the exact observation I also made. Media as usual twists what the real story is rolleyes
     
    YoanaDate: Sunday, 2014-02-02, 10:21 | Message # 11
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    Firstly, this is the reason why I firmly believe only the books are canon. Author thoughts and ideas can give an insight into the process behind the finished work but can't change what's there.

    Secondly, I like that Harry and Hermione were just friends the entire time. It's refreshing to have an opposite sex relationship between straight characters that doesn't move into romance territory, and it rings true, too. It's also my opinion that it makes Hermione a stronger character, because she's not the love interest - just a best friend who happens to be female. I think that's good for children's literature.

    And finally, she says she made R/H for personal reasons, not reasons of credibility, but it did sound credible to me - even before I'd participated in any discussions about the books, their attraction rang true. Now whether they'd make it long-term is another matter but it's also not in the books so I'd say there's no incredibility to speak of.

    Added (2014-02-02, 10:21)
    ---------------------------------------------

    Quote ccollinsmith ()
    She'd have to rewrite the books with the Harry/Hermione concept in mind in order to make it believable.
     
    I don't like Harry/Hermione but a new HP book? She could write about Fenrir and zombie Bellatrix for all I care, bring it!


    Message edited by Yoana - Sunday, 2014-02-02, 09:00
     
    sailorlumDate: Sunday, 2014-02-02, 16:56 | Message # 12
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    I've got a soft spot for Harry/Hermione, since it was the first HP ship I ever shipped (although I was never active in the H/Hr fandom), but I agree that all JKR is necessarily saying is that she thinks Ron/Hermione is implausible [for working out in the long run], while at best, Harry and Hermione would have been a better match if she hadn't written it as more of a brother/sister-like relationship in canon.

    And implausible doesn't equal impossible, and I don't think that JKR necessarily regrets writing R/Hr for her wish fulfillment, although she is definitely sorry if her admitting it now causes people heartbreak, IMO. Maybe she regrets writing it that way, or maybe she's just seeing how she did write it that way as wish fulfillment, after she's had some time and distance, and feels it best to just admit that now that she's realized it, but is sorry if that upsets the fans. I'll reserve my judgment on that for when I see the full interview, although I could see how JKR could regret it if she thinks it encourages people to believe it will likely work out to stay with someone who needs to change significantly before you can be truly happy and healthy with them.

    And whether JKR felt like she made a mistake or not, what happened in canon stands. Implausible or not, R/Hr was end game and made it happily to the epilogue. JKR said they would have needed 'relationship counseling', which indicates to me that either a) they got that in canon and that's how they wound up happy or b) they didn't get that in canon but wound up happy anyway, in spite of the implausibility of it working out in the long run without that. Either way, implausible or not, canon stands.

    Really, all this gives the H/Hr shippers is greater plausibility to take it AU and make H/Hr happen. Which is great for H/Hr fic writers and for the H/Hr ship (gives it some more weight, even though it was never canon), IMO. And R/Hr peeps still have canon, and the fact that it's not impossible for it to work out, because it did, in spite of the odds. Sounds like JKR sees R/Hr being happy and healthy in canon, despite the implausibility of that actually happening were it real life, that she now sees.

    I myself like both H/Hr and R/Hr (and H/G), and I have no problem with a writer writing wish fulfillment, as long as they recognize that in real life it's not likely to work out that way (I do the same thing with taking Snape/Lily AU and having Snape start to make better choices before it's too late, so that the ship can ultimately sail happily and healthfully - so I can't throw stones,  whistle esp. since Snape has way more issues than Ron, IMO, lol ). Ideally, JKR would have given Ron more character growth on page to make it more believable (he did have some), but oh well. Maybe R/Hr shippers could take it as a challenge to write some new fic where they show how Ron grew into the kind of person Hermione could be happy with in the long run. Maybe Ron learned enough from the events in DH for that to happen naturally, or maybe Hermione got them into relationship counseling at some point, idk.
     
    ccollinsmithDate: Sunday, 2014-02-02, 22:29 | Message # 13
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    I'm sorry there were too many elliptical steps in my thought process to make my comment easy to follow.

    My point was that it does not matter that JKR did not actually say it should have been Harry/Hermione. Her comment will give ammunition to the Harmonians regardless. Based on her comment, Harmonians are already saying "See? We told you! It should have been Harry and Hermione!"

    So yeah, that is the primary debate that her comments will stir. And my point was that she would have to rewrite the books entirely in order to give Harry/Hermione credence because I don't think it is a credible pairing based on what is actually found in canon.

    Her comments also give rise to the question of "What constitutes canon?" A lot of Ron/Hermione shippers give credence to pretty nearly every word that comes out of JKR's mouth. That could change in the very near future.


    THE GLITTELUTION WILL NEVER DIE!
    viva la glittelution!


    Message edited by ccollinsmith - Sunday, 2014-02-02, 22:39
     
    sailorlumDate: Monday, 2014-02-03, 00:46 | Message # 14
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    LOL, I'm not surprised at all, that the Harmonians are taking this interview and running with it beyond the bounds of reason and saying "See, I told you it should have been H/Hr!" In fact, I was just telling my husband about the interview, and how it would surely ignite another ship war with the Harmonians and the R/Hr shippers. I bet it's already made a certain journalfen comm. *goes to check* Yep, there it is. lol Oh, and there are some who think it lends credence to the Ron the Death Eater trope, too! (I don't know whether to laugh or cry, but I'm unsurprised, really).

    Nor am I surprised when some R/Hr shippers are upset at the revelation that JKR doesn't think the ship was realistic, after all, esp with the Harmonian gloating on top of it (I can dig the disappointment and not looking forward to the Harmonian gloating). Although some people are taking it a bit too hard, IMO.

    I think it's pretty clear that what JKR thinks is most realistic in real life does not necessarily equal what actually happened in canon, (it's not like she's saying that R/Hr wound up being a train wreck in canon, only that they should have if she was being more realistic, given the [lack of] character growth she wrote for Ron) but, I'm also very sure not everyone is going to make that distinction (or won't be ticked off that she now thinks they shouldn't have worked out, realistically, given the character growth Ron already had). So then there's that, to add to the latest kerfluffle.

    And yeah, JKR would have needed to rewrite some stuff with regard to Harry and Hermione in canon, to make them work in canon (make them not stick with the brother/sister feeling, have Hermione give up on Ron, have Harry not fall for Ginny, etc.), not that everyone is going to make that distinction, either.

    And yeah, I'm not surprised that this interview is restarting a debate about whether JKR's opinions should count as canon (seems like that happens after just about any interview where she rocks a part of fandom's world). But seeing as R/Hr did happen in canon and worked out, improbable or not, I think the worst that can be said about R/Hr is that Hermione and Ron are lucky it worked out, and it didn't become a train wreck (not that some people aren't going farther than that with it). And JKR isn't denying that it was her intention for R/Hr to be end game. A lot of R/Hr shippers saw that intention, and were right.

    And now, with the new interview, a lot of H/Hr shippers who saw potential in H/Hr know that they were right to see the potential (it just wasn't potential that was realized in canon, and it wasn't JKR's intent that it would be realized in canon).

    I guess my only point earlier, was that if everyone kept it within reason, it didn't need to explode into a whacky ship war. But of course it's going to. Of course. It's Potter fandom. These things happen. lol


    Message edited by sailorlum - Monday, 2014-02-03, 00:47
     
    MrSleepyHeadDate: Monday, 2014-02-03, 20:51 | Message # 15
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    Quote ccollinsmith ()
    Her comments also give rise to the question of "What constitutes canon?" A lot of Ron/Hermione shippers give credence to pretty nearly every word that comes out of JKR's mouth. That could change in the very near future.
    While I generally consider JKR's interviews as canon, what I consider canon are supplemental facts about the series. When JKR starts discussing her own perspective on the series, that's when I think the canonical interpretation collapses. While I may cite her own view on her characters to support my own (e.g. Snape is not a nice guy), I don't expect it to be considered factual. It's an interpretation, though I tend to be biased towards her interpretation because she is so intimately attached with each of the characters.

    This recent comment, to me, shows the dangers of treating everything JKR says about the Potter series as 'fact.' In reading the excerpt, it seems clear that she is talking specifically about how her interpretation has changed/matured upon reflection. How is that different than if I left the series thinking Snape is still a juvenile, petty, mean person (though also brave and self-sacrificing - which, I think, is an acceptable interpretation of canon), but, after 6 years of reflection (and debate in the Snape analysis thread) I decide that, no, he is beyond retribution and that he would have done better to have forgotten Lily all together? Of course, that changed interpretation is, I think, caused by a reflection on what should have happened, rather than what did happen. It's not viable as fact, just as personal interpretation and reflection.

    JKR's 'revelation' about how she's changed her mind on Ron/Hermione is along the same lines (though definitely not the same as my straw man comparison). She seems to have looked deep inside herself and found that she wrote Ron/Hermione for reasons that made sense at the time but no longer hold up to who she's become. It has nothing to do with the canon: she didn't read through the series and say, "Wow, it makes no sense for Ron/Hermione to get together - I was setting up Harry/Hermione this whole time!" Rather, it seems like she thought to herself, "Looking back, I wrote Ron/Hermione because that's how I initially wanted it and I didn't want to change that for X reason. With 20/20 hindsight, maybe it doesn't make sense for them to be together."

    And are those thoughts okay? Sure they are. But it's just a testament to how different perspectives shape different interpretations of the same thing. Her interview tells me more about her own growth as a person/writer rather than any deeper insights into the canon. And I think (hope) she intended it this way: she's not saying that it should be Harry/Hermione, contrary to what the newspaper headlines read, but that Ron/Hermione was written for subjective reasons. So I don't see why the shipping wars should start anew: all that we would be arguing is JKR's change of heart - not any change in canon. It's not like the revelation that Dumbledore is gay: that had roots in canon that could be dissected. Rather, this is a revelation more in line with if she changed her mind and said that Snape was good, great, and flawless. It wouldn't make Snape flawless, but it would make Snape 'lovers' who agreed feel more supported (just like the current Snape 'haters' feel buttressed by a shared view with JKR).

    I find it a bit funny, actually. After JKR's apparent incredulity ofthe fans who thought Harry/Hermione possible, she now seems to have realized that their perspectives do have merit. A bittersweet 'win' for Harry/Hermione shippers who finally won the 'respect' of the author.

    Edit: All good points, sailorlum. :)


    Message edited by MrSleepyHead - Monday, 2014-02-03, 20:53
     
    ccollinsmithDate: Tuesday, 2014-02-04, 03:00 | Message # 16
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    @MrSleepyHead - 

    You make good points, and I really like your analysis of the content of JKR's comments... But my point was essentially that a lot of people are not going to parse and interpret JKR's words the way you have done. They are going to react emotionally based on their preferred ship. Whether it's rational or not, Harmonians already feel empowered. And that's not even counting the really off the wall Hermione ships.

    I do agree with the point that we should be careful about what we define as canon. About the only thing I am convinced is canon are the books themselves. I also think that explanations of how elements of the Wizarding World work are perhaps authoritative if not canonical, Pottermore is probably a secondary canon, and JKR's interpretive opinions are not canonical at all. I am also pretty convinced that she likes to yank the chain of the fandom from time to time. My general rule is that it's not canon unless it's been written by JKR for publication - whether in print or on the Web.

    Oh, btw, there are very few Snape fans of my acquaintance who believe that Snape is flawless. So I think most Snape fans would roll their eyes at a comment like that from JKR and just assume she was pandering rather than feel the love. Just sayin'. ;)


    THE GLITTELUTION WILL NEVER DIE!
    viva la glittelution!
     
    MrSleepyHeadDate: Tuesday, 2014-02-04, 20:28 | Message # 17
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    Quote ccollinsmith ()
    Oh, btw, there are very few Snape fans of my acquaintance who believe that Snape is flawless. So I think most Snape fans would roll their eyes at a comment like that from JKR and just assume she was pandering rather than feel the love. Just sayin'. ;)
    Oh, this I certainly agree with! I was being a bit hyperbolic, which is always dangerous. I realize that almost everybody realizes Snape is a character with many layers and gray areas, and it is certainly a disservice to claim that 'Snape lovers/fans' gloss over the negatives and see him as flawless (and, likewise, that 'Snape haters' don't recognize the good he did and see him as irrefutably horrible). I should have tried for a bit more realism in my analogy, but I hope the comparison is still understandable. I think the Ron/Hermione shipping debate is on par with the good/evil Snape debate in terms of contention, so drawing a parallel to the ever-active Snape analyses is, I think, a good context for how to perceive JKR's Ron/Hermione comments.

    And I agree with your previous point that many will not bother to look deeply into JKR's comments, and they will instead take it at face-value (and, worse, by what mainstream news outlets have in the titles). So many articles I've seen pronounce that JKR thinks Hermione should have ended up with Harry. Of course, that's what sells: it's a catchy title that will draw in everybody who remotely knows what Harry Potter is. But it is completely different from what JKR actually said, which is that she has rethought her personal motivations for writing Ron/Hermione and does not think they are the natural match. While a comment like that does have grounding in deep character traits from the canon, it does not change the canon, nor does it really give any deeper insight into Ron/Hermione (from a character analysis level) than I have read, for instance, on CoS. Many still argue that Ron/Hermione aren't the best natural fit, that they would probably have arguments, etc. For example, there is a thread on CoS entitled "Did Ron and Hermione have a happy marriage?" So the same reflections that JKR has now revealed about her character analysis of Ron and Hermione have always been around. What JKR really contributed is the motivation for why she wrote Ron/Hermione throughout the series. But that doesn't change the canon, nor should it really, in my opinion, fuel any new debates.

    Of course, that isn't realistic. As I said earlier, that the author agrees with a theory provides a perceived validity to the theory by the fans - though that isn't necessarily true. Just because JKR's own perspective on Snape aligns with mine doesn't inherently make my argument 'right.' It may lend a bit of credence to it because JKR knows her characters so well, but at the end of the day it is not an agreement on fact but on perception.
     
    sailorlumDate: Tuesday, 2014-02-04, 23:30 | Message # 18
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    Thanks, you make good points, too, MrSleepyHead :)

    Quote MrSleepyHead ()
    It wouldn't make Snape flawless, but it would make Snape 'lovers' who agreed feel more supported (just like the current Snape 'haters' feel buttressed by a shared view with JKR

    Actually, JKR has stated in interviews that she sees both good (highly admirable qualities) and bad (deeply horrible qualities) in Snape, and that she meant for him to be a character that people would debate whether he was good or bad, and that she herself likes Snape, although she'd like to smack him hard. So, both Snape 'lovers' and Snape 'haters' have some shared views with JKR that they can feel buttressed by. It's only the people who see Snape as flawless or as without any redeeming qualities at all, who are left out (since JKR has made it clear that it's important to her that Snape (and all but one of her characters) not be seen as wholly good or wholly bad, and she's flat out said that the only character who may be all bad is Voldemort, and even that's a maybe).

    Quote ccollinsmith ()
    Whether it's rational or not, Harmonians already feel empowered. And that's not even counting the really off the wall Hermione ships.

    Oh, I didn't even think about how the other alternate Hermione ship shippers would react! :blink:Oh, dear, LOL   lol

    Quote ccollinsmith ()
    I do agree with the point that we should be careful about what we define as canon. About the only thing I am convinced is canon are the books themselves. I also think that explanations of how elements of the Wizarding World work are perhaps authoritative if not canonical, Pottermore is probably a secondary canon, and JKR's interpretive opinions are not canonical at all. I am also pretty convinced that she likes to yank the chain of the fandom from time to time. My general rule is that it's not canon unless it's been written by JKR for publication - whether in print or on the Web.


    Regarding canon: I'd say that, technically, just what is written in the text is primary canon, with Pottermore being secondary canon, and interview answers about facts of the wizarding world and facts about the characters being supplementary canon, and JKR's statements about her intent to be authoritative on what her authorial intent was (which I count as supplementary canon, unless she says she wanted it to be open for debate for a particular intent), and JKR's opinions to just be her opinions. Off course, I think it's up for debate whether she pulled off her intent well or in a believable fashion, but even if she wrote something I found to be unconvincing, I'd still count it as canon if she meant for it to be, since I figure it's her world and she gets to decide the facts of it. (I know some people prefer 'Death of the Author' but I think ignoring the autho'rs intent when debating what went on in canon, is taking it too far, IMO, since an author is often trying to communicate factual stuff about their world and characters through literary shorthand, and I think it best to heed the intent of a "law"/canon rather than the letter of it, at least for the purpose of trying to debate what "actually" happened in canon, or what's most likely to have happened, given it's a work of fiction - what's most likely to have happened in real life is another matter, that may or may not jibe with canon, IMO).

    So, since JKR's intent when writing the books was for R/Hr to wind up ultimately happy and healthy, I think that stands as canon, unless she were to pull a George Lucus and retcon/rewrite, in which case I may reject new canon for my headcanon, but I'd feel like it was still new canon (I just may not like it and may not count it for my personal headcanon purposes, or for my fanfic writing purposes [and would note that in my authors notes], and I wouldn't count it in past debates or debates about original canon, but would consider it in debates about the current state of canon).

    TBH, I actually wouldn't put it past JKR to be trollin' fandom, sometimes, since she did admit on Pottermore that she once joined some weights and measurements society just to tick off her sister, who she thought was taking the issue way too seriously. She also admitted that it probably doesn't say a good thing about her that she did this, so I think she knows she's not flaw free for trollin' her sister like that, so I don't think she's always or necessarily just trolling, when she stirs the pot. Although I do think she gets a kick out of fandom when she stirs the pot, sometimes, sincere or not, in her pot stirring.
     
    sjcuk13Date: Wednesday, 2014-02-05, 00:10 | Message # 19
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    Quote sailorlum ()
    (and all but one of her characters) not be seen as wholly good or wholly bad, and she's flat out said that the only character who may be all bad is Voldemort, and even that's a maybe).
    When JKR said that I was always under the impression she meant Gilderoy
     
    sailorlumDate: Wednesday, 2014-02-05, 02:38 | Message # 20
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    Quote sjcuk13 ()
    When JKR said that I was always under the impression she meant Gilderoy

    She mentioned Voldemort by name, at least twice, IIRC, when talking about it.

    Oh, and I stand corrected about the maybe, as the last time she was asked she said: "I think all of my characters without exception, Harry included, are flawed, I don’t think we have a wholly good or
    wholly bad character, with the exception of Voldemort, he is wholly bad,
    there is no redemption there." (source)

    I'm pretty sure she said maybe, about Voldemort, once, but I can't find that interview.
     
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