Why Hermione Chose Ron in Harry Potter — Işık Barış Fidaner


It’s so surprising how J. K. Rowling, the famous author of Harry Potter, became a great and conflictual focus of global sexual politics while the sexual meaning behind the symbolism she depicted in the novel and the film remained exempt from examination. I’m talking about the Sign of the Deathly Hallows, which looks like this:


Here is the official description of the sign’s three components by Xenophilius Lovegood in the novel: 

“The Elder Wand,” he said, and he drew a straight vertical line on the parchment. “The Resurrection Stone,” he said, and he added a circle on top of the line. “The Cloak of Invisibility,” he finished, enclosing both line and circle in a triangle, to make the symbol that so intrigued Hermione. “Together,” he said, “the Deathly Hallows.”

Each object gives to its possessor a superpower to be used against death:

1) The man who owns the Elder Wand can always defeat another man without any effort and without any need for courage. It’s called “Elder” because (1) the wand is from an Elder tree, and (2) the owner can simply override the opponent just as the will of a grownup would naturally override the will of a child. To use a digital metaphor, the owner of the Elder Wand is basically Root, Superuser, Admin, Virtual Lord [1]. This is why each time an owner boasts his power, another envious man comes up who is willing to kill the owner in his sleep to get the Elder Wand, who will in turn be exposed and then killed and robbed by another envious man afterwards, and so on to infinity. Harry Potter Wiki page points out the interesting fact that “no witch is ever stated to have held possession of the wand”.

2) The one who owns the Resurrection Stone is supposed to be able to resurrect the dead but this operation always fails: The dead person comes back in a distorted form that is absolutely unbearable. The intense effort to overcome the loss of a loved one only aggravates the melancholy and the owner of the stone eventually falls into depression, some even kill themselves. All that courage and will goes to nothing in the face of the reality of death and loss. Since it was up to no good, the owners abandoned the Resurrection Stone, which then ended up inadvertently being turned into a most evil object called a Horcrux, by the supervillain Voldemort, the archenemy of Harry Potter.

3) The owner of the Cloak of Invisibility is able to hide from death, the absolute master, which turns out to be the best strategy against it. Harry Potter’s father owned the cloak. At some point, he left the cloak to Harry and reconciled with his death. In the novel and the film, Harry Potter often uses the cloak to hide himself from his enemies or to simply conduct secret investigations. Unlike the Elder Wand which challenges the possibility of death and the Resurrection Stone which challenges the reality of death, the Cloak of Invisibility accepts the inevitability of death, it just buys some time and postpones the final moment when death will finally come.

Let’s relate them in a simple formula: The Elder Wand stands for power without courage, the Resurrection Stone stands for courage without power, and the Cloak of Invisibility stands for their dialectical combination: The courage to deal with a greater power through temporary self-concealment, in other words, patience, discretion, endurance.

Moreover, the trinity of objects map to the trinity of main characters:

When Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley discuss the Hallows at Xenophilius Lovegood’s house, they each choose a different Hallow that they’d rather have: Harry chooses the Resurrection Stone, Hermione chooses the Cloak of Invisibility, and Ron chooses the Elder Wand. (Harry Potter Wiki)

How the objects match the characters is not so hard to interpret: 

1) Ron has the power without courage: He is the one who finally gets the girl, Hermione, but without deserving her love. This “happy ending” was found unsatisfactory and declared unfair by readers, viewers, actors, actresses, and even by J. K. Rowling herself who retrospectively called her choice of pairing Hermione with Ron a “wish-fulfillment” [2]. Isn’t Harry Potter the true hero? Why is he left empty handed?

2) Harry has the courage without power: He is the one who deserves the girl but cannot get her. He is the one who manifests the courage that motivates its readers through 4224 pages and its viewers through 1180 minutes. But to give him a “happy ending” would feel deeply false and would betray the fundamental motivation that moved the story forward. The consequence of Hermione choosing Harry would be even falser and more catastrophic than her act of choosing Ron, which is thus revealed to be an opportunistic choice. This is simply because “The woman does not exist” (Lacan), that she is the symptom of man.

3) Hermione situates herself at the point where undeserved power (Ron) and unreciprocated courage (Harry) are dialectically combined by the self-concealment of her desire and her choice not just until the end of the story or the film, but up until J. K. Rowling revealed her true desire in 2014 that Hermione should have been with Harry instead of Ron. Insofar as Hermione stood for Ron’s admiration for Harry, choosing either one would evaporate her being, which is why she had to self-conceal a nothingness by keeping her choice in abeyance. Thus Hermione was all along embodying the author’s symptom and desire. Remember how the symbol “so intrigued Hermione”.

Now please take another good look at the Sign of the Deathly Hallows: 


And tell me if I’m wrong when I say that:
1) Elder Wand (vertical line) stands for the penis (without balls).
2) Resurrection Stone (circle) stands for the balls (without penis).
3) Cloak of Invisibility (triangle) stands for the vagina.
And moreover that:
1) Elder Wand stands for the Father in Trinity who abandoned Jesus.
2) Resurrection Stone stands for the Son in Trinity who was crucified by the society.
3) Cloak of Invisibility stands for the Holy Spirit and the triangle stands for the Trinity itself as the symptom of Christianity. 

This also explains how Hermione, precisely by being a symptom, becomes the only one who can embody the full phallus by holding the balls and the penis together. 

And the “Expecto Patronum!” spell against the Dementors: When things get too Hairy with Harry “Potter” (broken vessel), Hermione can always “pat-Ron” to summon a Patronus and give Harry some perspective:

Hermione = Her-my-one + Harry-mine-only

Ron = Wrong + Run

Işık Barış Fidaner is a computer scientist with a PhD from Boğaziçi University, İstanbul. Admin of Yersiz Şeyler, Editor of Žižekian Analysis, Curator of Görce Writings. Twitter: @BarisFidaner


[1] See “An account is being blocked” 

[2] See “Hermione Should Have Ended Up With Harry — And J.K. Rowling Agrees” Sadie Trombetta


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