Madam Puddifoot’s: Why Viktor Will be the Victor

by Rosalyn Hart

Reading the many shipping theories in anticipation of HBP, I’ve been surprised by one thing: a Viktor-Hermione pairing has almost no support. This is surprising because of all the possible boys that Hermione could pair up with, Viktor is the only one that she clearly has some kind of romantic relationship with. So I’ve decided to stick up for Viktor in this editorial.

One objection that many readers have to Viktor is the fact that Hermione doesn’t seem to notice him until he asks her out. But is this really true? Let’s look at the chapter “The Quidditch World Cup” in GoF.

“He was very brave, wasn’t he?” Hermione said, leaning forward to watch Krum land as a swarm of mediwizards blasted a path through the battling leprechauns and veela to get to him. “He looks a terrible mess…”
(pg. 114, US edition)

At least at this point, Hermione is definitely showing some interest in Viktor. From this view, her snapping about him spending so much time at the library could be seen not as annoyance towards him, but as jealousy of all the girls who giggle and ask for his autograph.

We need to talk about Ron here. It’s obvious that Hermione is interested in him in PoA and GoF. If he’d asked her out to the Yule Ball, things might have turned out quite differently between them. But he didn’t. I think we can take Hermione at her word when she has the big fight with Ron at the end of the “Yule Ball” chapter of GoF. Basically, she says, “It’s too late, Ron.” And if Ron and Hermione did go out, they’d probably bicker constantly and the relationship wouldn’t last.

Jo told us in the Extra Stuff section of her website that Hermione’s wand has a core of dragon heartstring. In “The Weighing of the Wands” chapter in GoF, we find out that Viktor’s wand, too, is dragon heartstring.

When Ron and Harry are making up fake predictions for Divination class, Ron writes down that he will lose a treasured possession to Mercury. It’s clear that Hermione is very treasured to him. Mercury, the Roman god of flight, is represented by Viktor, who is great at flying. And Viktor’s last name backwards is “Murk,” which sounds like Mercury.

The god Mercury is called Hermes in Greek mythology. Grawp calls Hermione “Hermy” — interesting. Both of their names are similar to “Hermes.” Hermes was the messenger between the gods and humans. It’s possible that their letters are more than just chat; they might even be communicating about matters related to the Order of the Phoenix.

A valid objection to Viktor is the large age difference between him and Hermione. But as they both get older, the gap won’t seem as huge. When Hermione’s 20, he’ll be 24, and that’s a reasonable age difference. As Jenna notes in “What Are We Expecting?,” the Harry Potter books aren’t romance novels, and besides, the characters will only be in their mid-teens at the end of the series. Age difference or not, we can’t expect anything terribly serious to happen in terms of romance within the books. By the time Hermione and the rest of the trio are old enough for romance to be more important to their lives, the age difference between Viktor and Hermione will seem smaller. In the meantime, if they remain pen pals, Hermione probably likes corresponding with an older boy because her maturity level is much higher than that of either Ron or Harry.

What kind of boyfriend is best for Hermione? Judging from the way that she and Ron grate on each others’ nerves, it’s best for her to be with someone who’s somewhat similar to her. We don’t know a great amount about Viktor, but we do know a few things. Judging from his devotion to Hermione, he’s loyal. He spends a lot of time in the library, and it’s not just because of Hermione: after all, he must have been in there quite a bit in order to see enough of her to like her so much. Although he’s a famous Quidditch player, he’s embarrassed by fame and hates people like Karkaroff who try to butter him up (that’s why he likes Hermione). Although his native language is Bulgarian, he writes long letters to Hermione in English, so he must be pretty intelligent in order to become so competent in a second language. The main difference that we know of between their personalities is that he’s embarrassed by fame while she likes recognition. Otherwise, they’re surprisingly similar.

I don’t know what J.K. Rowling will decide to do with the romantic relationships of the trio. But I think that we can count fairly reliably on Viktor staying in the picture.