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No, this isn't signaling the return of me making lots of Harry Potter entries (I heard those sighs of relief!), but recently, thanks to a NonyMice going to back to a four year old entry and a three year old entry I made, I've had my thoughts about Harry Potter come back to the surface, so to speak. And I realized to my shock that I am still more than a little bitter about the way things played out. Seriously, by the time I finished the last book I literally hated Harry (the character), but after ranting about all bad things I ended up pushing the whole thing out of my thoughts and moving on with my life. However, thanks to my NonyMice thoughts about Harry Potter (books and character) have come back front and center in my mind, along with the extreme disappointment with the way Rowling ended her series.
The plus side, I suppose, is that all this lead me to finding my Potter books again. No, I haven't reread them, but finding my review notes shoved inside Book Seven brought back more memories then rereading the books themselves probably would.

Now I want to make something perfectly clear up-front, this entry is not to bash Rowling, as a person or an author, though I really, at the end of the day, ain't thrilled with her Potter books. However, as a person, I have tremendous respect for Rowling, though I do admittedly find her writing (at least in the Potter books) lacking. However, something interesting for me to realize is that recently(ish) I learned something about Rowling as a person that if I'd known before (at least before finishing the last book) I would probably find myself in the canon-defender camp, even though I really hated the last book, or at least the last half of the last book anyway.
For those interested in what that is, I recently(ish) learned that Rowling has totally put her money where her mouth is, so to speak. I think everyone knows that before Potter, Rowling wasn't exactly rolling in cash, but now after Potter she's doing pretty well, right? Yeah, understatement. Well, instead of putting lots of her cash offshore to keep a little somethin' somethin' for herself, she's actually supporting (fully) the system that originally supported her. So, yeah, I respect the hell out of her for that.

New Note: 7-24-10: Okay, fine, I'd have still not liked the book, because it's not as though knowing the above about Rowling would've actually changed my opinion of the book itself, just the author. So, I still wouldn't have liked the book, and I would've still talked about why, but I would have probably toned down some of my more extreme comments on certain things.)

So, with that in mind little ones, gather around while I tell you a story about the great Rowling ship wars, that are, I suppose, in some part still going on today - three years later. At least my Mouse seems to think the ship wars are still happening anyway.
(WARNING: Long entry is llllooooonnnngggg.)

Okay, it's not really about the ship wars, just some of my thoughts on the Potter books three years later. Some of my thoughts/impressions of aspects of the books have changed, but my impression of the overall has not.

First, I'll talk about the second old entry the Mouse commented on, which was basically me squeeing over some Movie Five news. Why? Well, because all the hints at that time seemed to indicate that Harry was going to be real close to Luna. Since I ship Harry/Luna (as one of my many pairings) that made me happy. It also made me think that Harry/Luna was still in the game as a potential canon ship. Why? Well, because at that time I thought the movie people knew more about Rowling's grand plan then I did. Turns out they didn't. So, why am I even happier about that now then I was then? Cause that means the people behind the movies only had the same information I did and they came to the same conclusions that I did. So, I might have been in delusion-land, but at least I'm not (or wasn't) there alone.

I even remember telling someone at the time, though I don't remember who, that even if Rowling didn't write Harry/Luna that they'd never be able to take away Movie Five, and that's true, I can still watch Movie Five and be happy about all the Harry/Luna goodness it had even if, in the end, Rowling didn't go there.

And to be perfectly honest, I don't always understand why people need (or at least many seem to need) canon validation on their pairing. Now don't get me wrong, I totally understand debating why a pairing could be canon, which is what I did with Harry/Luna - put forward why I felt it could end up canon using all the evidence at my disposal to do so, but at the end of the day I don't/didn't need Harry/Luna to be canon to continue liking the idea of said pairing. Admittedly, with Harry/Luna I might have only put it forward as a canon contender because I wanted more Harry/Luna fanfic written (it is, even now, one of the lessor written pairings in the Potter fandom), but even with that in mind, I didn't need Harry/Luna to be canon to continue enjoying the pairing.

To be honest, Harry/Luna isn't even my favorite Harry Potter pairing, and I know my favorite pairing(s) had NO chance of actually being canon. Why? Because depending on my mood, my favorite Potter pairing is Harry/Voldemort or Harry/Lucius, and I don't think anyone anywhere expected Rowling to write Harry/Voldemort or Harry/Lucius, and it's not even because those are slash pairings.
(And despite that I would've cheered if Rowling had written Harry/Draco, as shockingly many Harry/Draco fans seemed to expect. I may never understand why some thought Rowling would actually write Harry/Draco. I mean, I could maybe see her writing a slash (i.e. homosexual pairing), but not really, and certainly not Harry/Draco. Okay, fine, I get that some folks think Rowling inserted lots of Harry/Draco subtext in Book Six on purpose, me personally I think it was completely unintentional on her part. I enjoyed it anyway, I just don't believe she did it on purpose.)

Hell, take that even further, and realize that Harry/Luna isn't even my favorite het pairing, back in the day I liked Harry/Narcissa and Harry/Parvati more then Harry/Luna. These days I think I like the idea of Harry/Tonks and Harry/Bellatrix more then Harry/Narcissa, Harry/Parvati AND Harry/Luna. Though I can't usually read Harry/Bellatrix fanfic, because most of the Harry/Bellatrix fics I've read take Bellatrix completely out of character, and if I'm clicking on fic marked Harry/Bellatrix, it's because I want to read Harry/Bellatrix, not some watered down Narcissa-like version of Bellatrix.

It's sort of like how I can't always read Harry/Hermione fanfics, though I like Harry/Hermione as a pairing too, but so many Harry/Hermione fics are written as though both of those characters are all "Muggles rule, magicals suck," which is certainly not an attitude I get from Harry, but even Hermione doesn't seem all that pro-Muggle, she's much more interested in house-elves and other magical creatures, so... Now I would guess that she's probably more likely to be a muggle-defender then Harry, but even then it seems to me that Hermione pretty much wrote off the muggle world as much as Harry did. Sure, unlike Harry she did willingly spend some time in the muggle world, but the time she spent in the muggle world became less and less as the series marched on, and as she grew up I'd imagine that trend continuing.

Ooops, I'm getting into a fanfic rant when I started this entry to talk about the actual books not the fanfic. So, moving on now...

Though I think that's why I don't always understand the need many folks seem to have for their pairing to be canon. Would I like for one of the ships I ship to finally end up canon? Yeah, it might be interesting, but not being canon has never stopped me from shipping something, and probably never will. Just looking at the small few pairings I mention above, even if Rowling had been willing to write one of my pairings in to canon for Harry it would have been pretty impossible (without having a harem/hisem - i.e. Harry as a raging flaming bisexual) for her to write all my Harry pairings in to canon.

But, and here's the part rival (or the "winning") shippers apparently need to see me admit, Rowling didn't write Harry/Luna. See, I do in fact know that, but what may surprise you is the fact that I'm honestly okay with that. All things considered I'm probably more then okay with that.

Sure, out of Rowlings canon pairings I dislike Harry/Ginny the most, because I feel like it was the worst written, but I don't think she wrote any of her OTP pairings well. So, yeah, I'm cool that she left my pairings in the hands of fandom.

Ron/Hermione was the one suspected Rowling pairing that I thought I might not end up hating, but by the time Rowling got done with them I hated the canon pairing of Ron/Hermione. There's also Remus/Tonks which I still believe was only written because Rowling wanted to prove that Sirius and Remus didn't have some epic gay love thang going on (which is something I never thought, cause, hey, Sirius and Remus was all to willing to believe the other one was the bad guy back in the day, so if they had something going on, it wasn't something that could be described as healthy, unless it started later after Sirius' time in Azkaban, and then Sirius wasn't exactly the model of mental health), and frankly in writing to sink ships instead of writing to sail ships I think Rowling actually hurt her chosen pairings.

I think at the end of the books that was one of the biggest problems with Ron/Hermione and Remus/Tonks, and to a certain extent Harry/Ginny, instead of focusing on the ships Rowling wanted to sail, she seemed to be more interested in using her ships to sink the other ones. I.E. Harry/Hermione and Sirius/Remus. But in doing so she gave a kind of validity to the ships she was trying to sink, which probably wouldn't have happened if she'd just ignored the shippers she didn't agree with, and just wrote her pairings. Especially with Ron/Hermione, because honestly Rowling makes it sometimes feel as though practically all the Weasley's (including Ginny) are Harry/Hermione shippers, and by having the characters see/think it then she indicates that there is something to see and fear, you know. And to a smaller extent she did the same thing with Remus/Sirius, because certain things she tossed in there seemed to only be there to scream at the reader "see, HE IS NOT GAY!" and if taken a certain way could be seen as Sirius trying way to hard to hide his gayness.

If a pairing really has no leg to stand on, so to speak, then I'm just saying it's probably not a good idea to have characters thinking that said pairing could happen, and then later having a few characters actually living in fear that said pairing might happen. Clearly Ron's worst fear was Harry and Hermione running off together, and even Ginny seemed to think it was possible. After all, she was worried about Harry having a relationship with someone while he was off battling Voldemort, and considering Hermione was the only female he'd spend any real amount of time around while off doing that, it starts to look like Ginny fears Harry/Hermione just as much as Ron.
(Though, maybe possibly that was Rowling's way of throwing the losing shippers a bone. *shrug* Though all things considered, I very much doubt those loop-holes are intentional.)

*sigh* I didn't mean to go off on ships here, I really didn't, but [Cartman voice]it's my journal and I'll do what I want![/end Cartman]. Anyway, I'll move on now to talk about the first entry my Mouse brought back to my attention.

Anyway, the first entry my Mouse replied to was made sometime after Book Six (though he/she replied to it very recently - I'm talking last month), and at that time, by the time I was finished with Book Six I totally hated Ginny as a character. The good news, if you want to look at it that way is that by the time I was finished with Book Seven I pitied the character of Ginny. Why would that be good? Well, because I don't hate her anymore, though all told I am still massively confused by the way Rowling handled her character.

So, yeah, I called Ginny a bad name in that entry, which clearly ticked the Mouse off, which I can somewhat understand, especially if Ginny is the favorite character to the Mouse. No one really likes seeing people talk smack about a character they like, and I get that. Though they came here, it's not as though I went to their journal to say bad things about her.

But my issues with Ginny, as a character, actually started in Book Five. In Book Five she was not the same character that she's been in the first four books. You can tell me I'm crazy until you're blue in the fact, but because I actually kind of like the Ginny of the first four books you'll never convince me that Book Five Ginny is the same Ginny. In those early books she's a little shy, and perhaps a little repressed, and totally messed up during Book Two, but all things considered that is understandable, even if I still feel to this day that she got off way to easily at the end. However, after Book Two, we admittedly didn't see her much in Book Three, but in Book Four she seemed to have found a place in her own mind where she was comfortable being Just Ginny, and that Ginny wasn't a bad person. For example, even though she would've clearly loved to go to the Ball with Harry (if you take her comments in later books into consideration - "I never got over you.") then she would've loved more then anything to dump Neville and go to the Ball with Harry, but she didn't, she was a decent person, and wouldn't allow herself to blow-off Neville just because she had an unexpected chance with her one true love.

Before Book Five, my bias against Harry/Ginny as a pairing had more to do with the fact that I'm less than fond of the Weasley clan as a whole (I will address the *gasping outrage* over this statement in a moment), not really the characters of Harry/Ginny themselves. Also, since the Weasley's accepted Harry as family even back then I didn't see any need for Harry to marry Ginny so he could become an official Weasley. Clearly, though Rowling thought it was a cute idea and wanted to do it. Hey, her books, she can if she wants, that doesn't, on the other hand, mean I have to like it.

Yeah, that's right, I don't really like the Weasley family. SUCK IT! *coughs* No, actually I do have reasons for that, and I will try to explain them a little bit. Mostly though it really boils down to me and Rowling seeing that family much differently. Rowling clearly feels that the Weasley's are a perfect family, and everyone should want a family like them. As far as I'm concerned they are about as far from perfect as one can get. Okay, fine, they are better than the Dursley's, so there's that at least.

That doesn't mean I hate them all, in the beginning I didn't think much about them at all. Until Ron laughed at Draco's name. Now I'm not saying I hate Ron because of that, cause I don't, but I'd have probably reacted like Draco if when I was eleven years old someone laughed at my name. So, I can't bring myself to hate either of the boys because of that scene. They were totes eleven year old kids mouthing off that's all.
(I basically just don't like Ron, because over the course of the series he revealed himself to me as a person that will always blame others when things don't go his way. He didn't get that job, it's not his fault, it's because that boss was biased pureblood/muggleborn, and in his head Ron believes he was the more qualified, but in the end probably wasn't is what I'm saying. And in a way that's not entirely Ron's fault, as I'll hopefully show as I talk more about the Weasley's.)

But (outside of Ron) I'll start with the first Weasley that rubbed me the wrong way, and that would be Molly Weasley. As far as I'm concerned, Molly is an overbearing shrew who drives her husband and kids crazy, but she's totes what one should want as a mother-in-law. Oh, hell no! If I married into that family I'd move as far away from the clan as Bill and Charlie did, or one of us (Molly or myself) wouldn't survive.

Then there's old man Weasley who brought himself to my attention in Book Two, and in the end I found him to be even worse then Molly. First, he has no backbone in dealing with his wife, which means he's more likely to avoid her, and by extension his own kids. But some of that I might not have noticed until well after Book Two, what jumped out in Book Two was not the fact that Art got into a fight, because I don't think anyone would dispute that Lucius Malfoy started the fight itself. My problem with Art here isn't that he couldn't avoid a fight, my problem is that he's the one who threw the first punch, thereby escalating a "shouting" match into a fist fight. What a great example he made that day for his kids. With that in mind, is it really any wonder that Fred and George thought giving a muggle (Dudley) magic candy was a-okay? Not really. Can't win with just words, it's totally okay to escalate then, at least that's the message I get from Art's actions in Book Two.
(Weirdly, for a long time Fred and George were the only Weasley's I loved, because they were the only ones who didn't seem to be pretending to be something they weren't. They were all very shades of gray, and totally okay with that.)

There are other things I could bring up about Art, but would admit up-front that those are more subjective things not really spelled out in the books themselves. Still these are Ron's parents, so in the end is it really any wonder that Ron turned out the way he did? Not for me.

However, going back to Ginny now, at first I wrote off Ginny's Book Five character change as a sign that Rowling was reacting to the "lack of strong females in the series" comments that she was drawing at the time. It was only later, shortly before Book Six, actually that I started thinking her character change might mean something else, and I actually liked the idea I came up with.

And Ginny's drastic character turn in Book Six reinforced my belief that there was still something Riddle inside Ginny and as he got stronger so did his influence over here. The Interview of DOOM (*grins* I'm sure we all remember why it was called that, right?) did more to knock that theory out then anything in the books themselves. *pauses* Ah, the theories the IoD spawned. Good times, good times, though my Ginny theory was NOT spawned by the IoD. But I still remember people calling it the IoD while wondering who was really DOOMed. Ah, good times, good times.
(And, yes, I was along for that ride, right up until about a month before Book Seven came out. What finally gave me pause with all the theories presented was that for ANY of them to come true, it all depended on Rowling seeing that certain things with Book Six didn't work/wasn't right/whatever as the fans did, and, as I say, just before Book Seven I started thinking that maybe Rowling didn't see that things were wrong/weird/whatever. Turns out I was right to have some doubts.)

*coughs* Okay, I'm going to wrap this up, since I may all ready be over the LJ limit, if not I'm probably getting close. So, I may have more Harry Potter talk again soon, cause my original plan was to cover all things Harry Potter three years later all in one entry, and that's probably not gonna happen now.

Anyway, at this point, I feel I should say that I don't hate every aspect of the Potter books, in fact I quite like many aspects, though I do feel they got worse and worse as Rowling drew closer to the end, despite the fact that I actually like Book Six. But Rowling not writing my pairing is not something I'm losing any sleep over. Okay, fine, I'm not losing any sleep over ANY of it, but yeah I was greatly disappointed in/with the last book, and if I hadn't decided to move away from Potter fandom there would, no doubt, be three years worth of Potter rants on this journal, because really the way Rowling wrote the characters (not SHIPS) in the last book is what turned me off, especially in the EoS (Epilogue of Shit) where we have clear evidence that none of the characters (Harry, Ron, or Hermione) really learned anything from their adventures, and they certainly hadn't changed for the better as characters even nineteen years later.

But even before the EoS Book Seven had done gone bad. Even though Harry, as a character, started out okay (in a way they all did, though I still question why Remus was so damn eager for Harry to become a killer, made me think Remus was the non-existent-but-should-have-happened traitor, actually), totally unwilling to kill an innocent person just to save his own ass. Though I did think he was a little naive to believe that no one in their group would sell them out. Hello, Peter, but I could've over-looked that. But later in the book he's totally willing to break out a dark curse because one of his teachers is insulted. Like, whoa, dude, what happened to being the better man? Or the fact that the "insulted" teacher was (or damn well should have been) totally able to defend herself. And that doesn't even count the other characters (and, yes, I'm including Ginny in the other characters) that suffered in characterization over the course of Book Seven.
(And, okay, somewhere in the middle of the book I started thinking that all Voldemort needed to do to beat Harry was dangle something shinny in front of him, and then use said object to lead Harry off a cliff. Granted, over the course of the books Harry was never the smartest student in the school, but in Book Seven - HOLY CRAP did that boy turn into a real dumb-ass!)

Again, there's much more that I could mention about the problems with Book Seven that have NOTHING to do with ships or the EoS, but since this is long as hell anyway, I'm going to stop here.

So, yeah, I'm still more then a little bitter about the way Potter series ended, which to be perfectly honest, surprised me. Though it probably shouldn't cause I'm still more then a little bitter about the way Buffy the Vampire Slayer ended, and Buffy is older then Harry. However, I'm not (nor do I think I ever really was) bitter about the damn ships - I don't like them, and I'm not happy they happened, but I'm not bitter because they did.

Why? Well, the secret truth is that badly written ships, such as Rowling's, are so much easier to get around then well written ships would've been, though for the record it is totally possible to get around even well written ships, if you know, you want it bad enough.
Ship wars? *draws cuttlass* ARR!!! to arms to arms! hell and devil! man the cannons! ARR!!

*grins* I love you, man, but you can put away your sword, because this is talking about relation ship wars, not wars with actual ships.

Though, upon reflection that might be fun, put all the various shippers on ships and basically play battleship - last ship floating wins the ship-war.
Some relationships are exactly like a war, some cold and some hot. ;) a ships cannon could help there. ;)
Shortly after seeing your reply I got the most interesting mental images.

A real life game of battleship, with Ron/Hermione shippers on one side, and Harry/Hermione shippers on the other, and instead of the whole "you sank my battleship" at the end, it would be "you sank my relationship."
(Deleted comment)
*grins* If it helps we are not alone, I know there are others who feel if not exactly like we do at least close. Though most of them are like me (I think) they simply moved away from Potter fandom to protect their sanity.

Anyway, sorry it's taken me so long to see (and reply) to this. Shortly after making this entry real life decided to steal me away.

To be honest, I don't dislike the idea of Ron/Hermione, it just makes me sad that Rowling had to cut Hermione's heart out to make it work when with just a little bit of work Ron/Hermione could have worked without gutting Hermione as a character by turning her into Suzie homemaker. As for Remus/Tonks I just couldn't warm up to even the idea for several reasons - one, the way Rowling writes it, Remus comes off as clearly uninterested (even after she's pregnant, Harry (Harry, of all people) has to tell Remus that he should be home with his wife), but she (Tonks) just keeps pushing until she'd basically backed him into a corner, and that doesn't even count the whole "Remus ignores me so I lose my power until I can touch his magical healing cock" crap.

Snape... I suppose it depends on the mood I'm in. Okay, not really, I don't like him, but I don't hate him either, if that makes sense. As a character I love Snape, at least as I saw him until the end. I was one of those who'd hoped Severus was playing both sides, but was really always on his own side, but that didn't pan out. Personally, I'd have rather had evil!Snape over what we ended up with. However, in the last book Snape was kind of the least of my problems. Anyway, overall, no, I wouldn't want to hang out with Snape, but as a character I do like him, or at least I did before the end of Book Seven anyway.

Finally, as for me seeming so sore in the original entry, I may have overstated things in a bold effort to (finally) get it out of my system once and for all. Though in the end, I really do loathe the way Book Seven played out, obviously. *grin*
you never need to apologize for real life with me. :)

i'm afraid i'm still caught up in hp through fanfic. i read too much of it. so while you don't dislike the idea of ron/hermione, if rowling had to completely ignore hermione's character in order to make it work, you should! (i mean that in the nicest way, really) that is my problem with that ship - it doesn't work with the characters as developed by ms. r. the epilogue makes it seem as if ron is exactly the same - encourages his kid to stay away from slytherins and scorpius. and hermione scolds him. could be back at school in the great hall, right? i think its interesting that in an interview with emma and rupert, they say their kissing scene was difficult because after all these years, it felt like kissing a sibling. hell, even the actors can't stand the couple.

i see your point about tonks remus. but i realize i ignored your whole point about ginny in the original post. i agree that ginny's character develops in an odd way.

and i totally agree that ron's character sucks. in my opinion, he has 3 big moments: first he sacrifices himself on the chessboard so harry can go on and find the sorcerer's stone. good start. then he becomes ridiculously jealous during the triwizard games. was rowling that desperate for a plot? boys don't act that way. girls do :) i suppose this is where i began thinking the funny boy was gone and all that's left is the youngest brother of a big family trying to find a way to stand out. what better than harry's sidekick? finally, he abandons harry and hermione in the woods while searching for horcruxes. bad form, mate. that sealed it for me. ron=wuss. and this is the best choice for hermione?

as for snape, he's my favorite character and rowling hates him so i have a weak spot for him. i expected him to be loyal to the order but now that all is said and done, i wish he had been playing both sides. anything would have been better than pining pathetically over lily for 2 decades only to be killed by a snake bite. he's supposed to be super intelligent and a potions master for pete's sake. he had voldemort fooled to the end and he dies from poison? that's just wrong.