As you've probably heard, actor Phillip Hoffman was found dead Sunday morning, of an apparent drug overdose. This, of course, is a tragic event. I don't know much of his work, but from what I've heard he was a very gifted actor. What I do know about him is from the Hunger Games movie series, in which he has been playing Plutarch, who is a pretty important and somewhat complex character.
From what I've heard, all the work acting-wise on Mockingjay: Part 1 is done and the movie is post-production, so he will be in that movie, and only seven days were left for shooting Mockingjay: Part 2, leading to the same conclusion. We Hunger Games fans can breathe easy, knowing we still have the inclusion of both an important character and a great actor in our series. Nonetheless, it's only appropriate to say RIP, Phillip Seymour Hoffman. You will be missed.
In a shocking turn of events, J.K. Rowling gave a recent interview in which she stated that, in hindsight, she was wrong to put Ron and Hermione together at the end of the Harry Potter series, even going so far as to say Hermione and Harry would've been a better match. She stated that the couple was "wish fulfillment" for her, and that they would have ended up needing counseling.
- By putting Hermione with Ron instead of Harry, Jo made the point that the heroes don't always "get the girl", that the more ordinary sidekicks can have that chance as well. That's an important thing to many people, and more realistic, in my opinion.
- Also, Harry and Ginny are also a pretty darn perfect match, so let's not throw Hermione in there.
- Hermione and Harry's friendship was one of the most beautiful parts of the series - the fact that they were friends instead of romantic partners gives us hope for real friendship between guys and girls, and also just gives us a really great friendship to look towards.
- Ron's character development is completely ignored by this statement. Yes, Ron was a bit unstable throughout the series, and not always the heroic type. I recently read The Psychology of Harry Potter, and in one of the essays, the author pointed out that Ron exemplifies the anxious type of attachment style. (There are three kinds of attachment styles in relationships, anxious, avoidant, and stable. At this point I'd like to note that I show signs of both anxious and avoidant attachment, though I learn more towards anxious. So yes, there is some personal investment in this.) Hermione, however, is a "stable" type, and thus grounds Ron. What's more, throughout the series, especially towards the end, we saw Ron's character make some amazing, hope-inspiring strides, in realizing himself, facing up to his own feelings, and finally becoming a hero. In stating that Hermione and Ron's relationship wouldn't have worked, Rowling discounts Ron's development. And that, to me, is the most offensive point of Rowling's new statement.
Most of us writer-types, including our famous buddy John Green, have come to agreement at this point that Rowling's statement can't change anything. For one, the book is of the reader as much as of the writer. I myself believe in a three-level origin of meaning, which I explained (or, rather, Sage O'Riley explained) in an earlier post. For another, Rowling appears to be focused on this "wish fulfillment" issue, or in basis, that she got in the way of her own story. This seems like more of a personal problem, and one with which I'm going to disagree.
Finally, as my good friends Julia and Hero pointed out in a Skype conversation Sunday, it's been something like six years since the last Harry Potter book was written, which means Rowling is now so far away from her books, it's probably hard for her to remember where she was coming from or even how all the plot details go. I mean, six years ago, only two of the books I'm still working on had been written, The Ice Enchantress's Plot and The Last Hope, and trust me, that was a long time ago.
To end us off on a happier note, and since I'm already on the topic of writing news, I'd just like to remind you all of the three big YA novel releases this week (yesterday, in fact) that I'm super excited for! First of all, the final book of the Shatter Me trilogy, of which I'm a big proponent, Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi! I'm hoping for a smashing ending with a continuation of Mafi's beautiful prose.
Then we've got the third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cress by Marissa Meyer. This looks to be pulling the other characters (from Cinder and Scarlet) together in a sci-fi retelling of Rapunzel.
Finally, there's a new book beginning a new series, Alienated by Melissa Landers. This book has already gotten some fantastic critical reviews and is highly popular on Goodreads. I'm eager to check it out!
Images via screenrant.com, merryfarmer.net, and Goodreads.