From one of my old mailing lists, I found a series of OotP reviews made by a late reader. They were so brilliant that I just had to ask if I could share. She graciously agreed but on the promise that I don't give her name. Apparently, she is one of the lucky HP fans that retired from the fandom in 2003. Well, I wasn't so smart!
Here is her excellent review of the character of Cho Chang in the Book 5:
Another surprise that I should have seen coming. Hermione’s analysis of Cho was spot on. Yes, she was heartbroken about Cedric but life goes on. The Cho-the-widow we see in most fan fiction is atypical of a fifteen/sixteen year old girl for a boyfriend she had only dated for 6 months. And I wasn’t really surprised that she liked Harry. She flirted with him during their game in Book3 and wished him luck afterwards when Gryffindor played against Slytherin. She didn’t wear a Potter Stinks badge in Book 4, blushed rather tellingly when he asked her out. He himself wondered whether he would have had a better chance with her if he had only summoned the courage to ask her out earlier.
And the Cho-bashing is uncalled for – at least in my opinion. Cho showed character in this Book. She believed Harry contrary to popular opinion. She went out with him – following her own heart even though close f friends had probably advised her not to and people were probably talking about how unfaithful that was to Cedric’ memory. She had her priorities straight about Umbridge and the DA. NOTE: She was one of the few who actually conjured a Patronus in their last lesson. Definitely signs of a strong magical aptitude.
So Cho’s friend Marielle sold them out. Everyone hates a sneak but Harry and the others are not exactly pillars of morality themselves. They are liars (yes liars. I’ve noticed this argument elsewhere on the List and I am adding my tuppence to it. When you tell lies, you are a liar. Period.) He and Ron cheat off their homework all the time. They break school rules needlessly. Harry had a bad temper problem in Book 5 and he ill-treated Ron and Hermione for most of the book. I am not trying to justify Marielle. I also went to a boarding school and believe me, sneaking, tattling, tale bearing is the worst kind of crime. I’m just saying that judge and be judged! And Cho sticking up for Marielle like that was a plus in my opinion. It showed loyalty. I doubt if she felt as casually about the whole matter as she told Harry. But what was she supposed to do? Dump Marielle aside? Friendship is not about that. It’s about understanding and loyalty and second chances. Definitely, the two girls would have had private words before they reconciled.
So Cho is perpetually in tears. All I can say is this, you try having your boyfriend being the first victim of a notorious world terrorist, then find yourself attracted to the only survivor of that terrorist attack, and then find yourself in the middle of a situation where people do not believe there was ever a terrorist attack but that your boyfriend died from an accident probably caused by his own stupidity and that the survivor with whom you started dating is a mad storyteller or worse. Talk about putting a strain on a relationship! Harry needed a different level of maturity to deal with that and all his problems at the same time. I don’t blame him. I don’t blame either of them. If they were each six years older and in the same circumstance, their shared trauma would have drawn them together and the relationship would have worked. As it were, in the middle of their adolescent, egocentric stage of development, the relationship was doomed from the start. The thing is that we see events from Harry’s viewpoint and we sympathise with him first as readers. But when we look at the whole thing objectively, we have to agree to hold both of them equally responsible.