Welcome to our "Harry Potter"/"Twilight" point-counterpoint on the two franchises' supercouples. Who's more epic: Hermione and Ron, or Edward and Bella? Sandie Angulo Chen makes the case for "Harry Potter" sweethearts Ron and Hermione below; Ryan McKee defends "Twilight" lovers Edward and Bella here.
I read the entire "Twilight" series, and unlike many in the Potter fandom, I'm no Twi-hater. I get it: Edward's "perfect," Bella's an everygirl, and it's love at first sight -- or first scent, in the case of cradle-robbing vamp (he's what, 107, to her 16?).
But once you realize that Ron and Hermione (Rupert Grint and Emma Watson) are destined to be together, their relationship becomes the romantic focus of J.K. Rowling's way-more-awesome-than-"Twilight" saga "Harry Potter." Years of unresolved sexual tension, sacrifice, verbal sparring, jealousy and best-friendship -- not to mention one unforgettable kiss -- make Ron and Hermione an epic couple, no matter what my "Twilight"-devoted colleague Ryan McKee claims.
I'd rather re-read and re-watch (I know, I've seen "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2" already) Ron and Hermione's single mid-battle snog than any of Edward and Bella's repetitive kisses.
Unlike Bella and Edward, Ron and Hermione grew up together. No, they don't declare their love for each other the moment they meet on the Hogwarts Express; they're only 11 and 12! As First Years, she tells him his spell-work is wrong, and he calls her a know-it-all, but for all their fighting, they quickly become loyal, if combative, friends. He's her white knight, sacrificing himself on the chessboard, defending her from toxic bullies, and rescuing her from Malfoy Manor. She's his always brilliant witch, and together they fight at Harry's side, eventually mirroring his parents as the pureblood wizard and muggleborn witch who fall in love.
Love at first sight is exciting, but the "friends who become lovers" archetype is filled with an overpowering sexual tension and charged chemistry that's even more delicious. Through thousands of pages (depending on when you started rooting for Harry's BFFs to eventually snog each other senseless), fans witness Ron defending and protecting Hermione, and Hermione challenging and inspiring Ron -- and both of them quarreling until they're hot and bothered. Anyone with eyes can see they're meant for each other, so by the time they share that all-consuming, adrenaline-fueled kiss in "Deathly Hallows," it's a no-brainer they'll get married and have their own kids to send off to Hogwarts.
Like younger versions of the couples in screwball comedies, Ron and Hermione sublimate their desire by resorting to passionate bickering. No one can push the other's buttons like they do, and they just can't get enough (even if they're too young to fully understand what they're doing). Somewhere between Hermione's Yule Ball with Krum in "Goblet of Fire" and Ron's snogfest with Lavender in "Half-Blood Prince," the whole of Hogwarts can tell that these two just need to be alone in the Room of Requirement once and for all. They might not lock lips until the final installment, but all those previous looks, hugs, touches are crackling with romantic energy.
Relatability to Fans
The definition of relatability is "enabling a person to feel that they can relate to someone or something." Except for meeting in high school, Bella and Edward's obsessive supernatural relationship is unrelatable (and easily perceived as unhealthy and stalkerish), whereas most of us have fallen hard for a close friend. It's practically a rite of passage, and it's the reason so many "Twilight" readers (yours truly included) are firmly on Team Jacob (although his killer abs don't hurt). Ron and Hermione are the romantic pairing of the "Harry Potter" series, and their "friends to more" story has had countless of fans since the moment Ron coughed up slugs defending Hermione's honor.
Likeness to Other Epic Couples
I just know Ryan is going to play the Romeo and Juliet card, but Bella and Edward vampire-pale in comparison. Regardless, Ron and Hermione are in amazing company. Other couples who grew from bantering friends to sizzling couples include Ross and Rachel, Jim and Pam, Emma and Knightley, Mary Jane and Peter Parker -- even the animated Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable (to name a few). As for couples who bickered their way through sexual tension, there's Harry and Sally, Elizabeth and Darcy, Benedick and Beatrice, Scarlett and Rhett, and Sam and Diane.
Ron and Hermione are epic -- and not just because it's been an epic wait to finally (finally!) see their "now or never" moment. They meet as children from vastly different worlds and grow into best friends who battle Dementors, Death Eaters, werewolves, dragons, even You Know Who himself.
For years, they banter and argue, joke and laugh, protect and defend, and not-so-secretly fall in love while helping their best mate save the universe. They're the classic opposites-attract friends whom you can't wait to get together. Ryan can keep his predictable, melodramatic Romeo and Juliet wannabes. I'll take Ron and Hermione, whose magical love story is the ultimate slow burn that develops into all-consuming fire.
Read Male Twi-Hard Ryan McKee's rebuttal here.