HPEF presents Infinitus 2010, a Harry Potter conference            TEXT  MENU

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July 15-18, 2010
Orlando, Florida

The Problem of Hermione  
Jillian Stanley  

Much fan fiction, much speculation, much argument, much dissatisfaction have arisen related to the chief female character in the Harry Potter saga. From the outset, romantic-minded readers wanted happy love outcomes for the main characters. Hermione, whatever her nature, would probably have become at the least a "placeholder" for female readers. In fact, J. K. Rowling imbued Hermione with some of her own characteristics; furthermore, in spite of being set on making a boy the hero of her stories, Rowling was a woman, with a daughter and a sister; it was inevitable that she created Hermione to be a strong and interesting person. Hermione on her own would not be a problem; it's giving her a "romantic" storyline and "happy ever after" ending that causes the trouble. Although many readers embraced the Hermione/Ron pairing, many others protested. Both in fan discussions and fan fiction, Hermione was paired with Harry, with Snape, with Draco, with Sirius, or with an entirely new man (non-canon), the reason being that such a strong character needed a stronger partner than Ron seemed to be. The presenter will provide an introduction and then the discussion will cover not only the pros and cons of pairing Hermione with each partner, but the dilemma confronting an author who finds herself with characters who don't quite fit into types.

Jillian Stanley (aka Zazie) began reading the Harry Potter books in 2001. In 2005 she founded the Sacramento Harry Potter Book Club, which continues to meet monthly. Currently working in a state government office, she formerly taught ESL/EFL in the U.S. and Europe, and taught writing and literature in community colleges. She wrote her master's thesis on the novels of Ethel M. Dell and E. M. Hull.

Formal Programming