The Harry Potter Theory

The essays included here are my musings and theories on the Harry Potter series. Some of them are bad, some of them are terrible, and some are actually okay. I post them on this blog because I am not confident enough to send them to the Lexicon, but someday maybe...

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I have been a Harry Potter fan for six years. At first I resisted the entreaties of my friends, dismissing the series as another mistake made by pop culture. Finally I gave in. Within five days I had obtained and read the first three books, and was trying to find out when the fourth would be coming out. I have never strayed since.

30 August, 2004

Harry and Ginny, a Connection I Should Have Made

For years I saw all of these wild rumors and slash pairing Harry Potter with Ginny Weasley. They all seemed so ridiculous. So I dismissed the one idea that unified them all as one of those crack-pot theories, or as taking Ginny's crush too seriously. After all, it ended in Goblet of Fire when she started dating Michael Corner. And a crush can easily be dismissed as Rowling demonstrating the awkwardness and inconvenience of adolescence. Because of this I never actually considered it, never noticed the glaringly obvious signs.

Then yesterday I began to reread Order of the Phoenix for the sixth time and was reminded of the fact that Ginny is given a more prominent role in this one. And then it hit me. Rowling is indeed building a romance between Harry and Ginny.

I should have realized it after reading Chamber of Secrets, because Harry saves Ginny's life. Throughout the series Rowling has fulfilled various archetypes, especially Campbell's monomyth. And one archetype so well known it has become a cliché is that of the warrior saving the life of his current or future love interest, thereby winning or strengthening her love. This does not always take the form of the knight saving the damsel in distress, and I doubt anyone could call Ginny a damsel. She is much too strong a character for such classification. Regardless, the archetype fits the circumstances perfectly, and I should have noticed it long before, except that I was willfully not paying attention.

But there are other signs as well. Harry and Ginny have never been friends, but they have gotten along well, when Ginny is able to keep from blushing. And they slowly begin to build a casual frienship. In Order of the Phoenix, the fact that Ginny is given more attention means that Harry is paying more attention to her, not as a girl but as an individual. In the past Rowling has always written so that the main foci of Harry’s attention are concentrated upon, and the truly important details she wants planted are mentioned off-hand.

Another reason for Ginny being given more attention is that she and Harry are involved in more things together. Her presence at DA meetings and in the showdown in the Department of Mysteries not only require mention of her, but also give reason for a strengthening of their casual friendship. At that showdown, three people joined with the trinity of Harry, Ron and Hermione. Neville’s inclusion is obvious, and Luna has already proved a valuable asset and will no doubt be useful in later books, but future romance is the only logical reason for including Ginny in these events, apart from her character development.

What I mean is that in this installment Ginny has been presented as a very strong-minded young woman who is not afraid to speak up, and she keeps her head in stressful situations. This counter-balances Harry’s tendency to not speak up even if he does have an opinion, and to be overcome by emotion when stress piles up. The common characteristic that they share is that they both are willing to protect their friends, which causes them to partake in the same events (i.e. what happened at the Department of Mysteries, and what will no doubt happen in future books).

And now I reach the final point of my argument. In Order of the Phoenix, Ginny joined the Quidditch team. Harry’s crush on Cho Chang developed because she was pretty and she was good at Quidditch. And it certainly helped that she was very sweet. The hindrances to their relationship were that she was still grieving for Cedric, she was extremely girly, and they did not have any foundation to build upon, so that Harry did not know how to act or what to say to her. Ginny on the other hand is not grieving a dead boyfriend, is not especially girly (mostly likely because she was raised with six older brothers), and already has an established friendship with Harry. But it is that fact that she now plays Quidditch that gives away Rowling’s plans. It was this fact that caused me to make the connection between all of the other signs. Because playing Quidditch will throw Harry and Ginny together even more, and may be what makes him finally notice her as a girl.

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