Ronald Bilius Weasley (aka Ron, aka Roonil Wazlib, aka Won-Won) started out as just a kid with dirt on his nose, needing a place to sit on the train. Little did he know that his choice would lead him down a road more exciting and dangerous than the darkest path through the Forbidden Forrest. As a member of one of the most well-known trios in pop culture, Ron is often overshadowed by his two best friends, Harry Potter and Hermione Granger. But when you actually take a look at Ron, what he’s accomplished and how he’s grown, you’ll see he’s a strong, well-written character. His staunch loyalty, exceptional skills, and feats of bravery would see him emerge from the Battle of Hogwarts having played an integral part in the events leading up to the destruction of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.
(Note: This post refers to the book version of Ron. While I adore Rupert Grint, and think he was brilliant, the film version suffered due to changes on a script level.)
RONALD WEASLEY LOVES HIS MOTHER (and the rest of the Weasley brood)
Ron is overshadowed by his six siblings, yet it’s clear his family comes first. From risking death by basilisk to save Ginny in The Chamber of Secrets to defending his mum’s cooking (“’She hasn’t got much time,’ he added quickly, ‘you know, with five of us.’” [Philosopher’s Stone]), he shows that he’s a family-oriented lad. During his hunt for horcruxes in Deathly Hallows, he remained heartsick not knowing how his family fared. After seeing Fred die (*sobs*), Ron would’ve rushed to avenge his brother’s death, but Hermione reminded him it was more important to slay Nagini than kill Rookwood. And after the loss of Fred, Ron even took over his duties at Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes (post-book timeline) to help George. Not only was Ron dedicated to his family (except for maybe Percy. Let’s be real, Percy was a dicknose), but he enfolded Harry and Hermione into his family with as much loyalty. After learning the Ministry was rounding up Muggle-borns, he offered to teach Hermione his entire family tree to pass her off as his cousin. Yes, weird when you consider their romance, but they weren’t together at the time.
Speaking of friendships, this fucking kid did so much for his friends.
A FIERCE FRIEND
- Remember the time Ron (with the help of Fred and George) stole his dad’s car to rescue Harry? Why? He was worried after not hearing from his best friend all summer.
- Remember the time he volunteered to be Harry’s second in the midnight duel?
- Remember all the times Ron stood up to those who bullied his friends?
- Remember that time Ron engineered Hagrid showing Harry the dragons in GoF? Even though he and Harry were on the outs, he wanted to warn him.
- All the times Ron would do something small to make his friends feel better? Like making a bereaved Hagrid a cup of tea, giving Dobby Christmas presents, and helping a hurt Harry into his pajamas?
- Remember that time that he couldn’t help but think of others? Worrying about the Cattermoles and the house elves, etc.
- Remember the times Ron worked hard to make up with his friends after they had a row?
Hermione isn’t the only one with brains. Many of Ron’s contributions come from his knowledge of the wizarding world. His insight into the Ministry of Magic was crucial in the trio’s planning for their Ministry break-in. Hermione may have “A History of Magic” memorized, but The Tales of Beadle the Bard, info on dragons, and knowing blue robes signified working for the Department of Magical Maintenance? Those were all knowledge that Ron had at hand. He brings the street smarts, paralleling Hermione’s photographic memory for academia. It’s through Ron that Harry (and the reader) is introduced to so much about the Wizarding World. In my opinion, it’s more helpful to know that house elves and goblins have a different type of magic than whether wand legislation contributed to the goblin riots of the eighteenth century.
This isn’t to say that Ron isn’t smart in the traditional sense. He’s just as capable as Harry in classes (receiving similar O.W.L. marks) as well as having an impressive N.E.W.T.-level course-load. In Deathly Hallows, Ron impresses many D.A. members by knowing that food is one of the five exceptions to Gamp’s Law of Elemental Transfiguration. Sure, he only learned it due to Hermione’s lecture earlier in the book. BUT HE LISTENED. And he’d work hard for causes he believed in–from taking over the defense of Buckbeak’s appeal, to staying up all night in search of a way for Harry to breathe under water.
In fact, Ron resolves a lot for Harry. He’s the one who suggested the Chamber of Secrets could be in the girl’s bathroom. He proposed that Harry use the Felix Felicis to get the memory from Slughorn. He came up with the idea to grab the basilisk fangs from the Chamber to destroy the horcruxes (and is able to mimic Parseltongue to do so). From his killer chess skills to keeping cool during the Devil’s Snare debacle (another thing the movies changed), Ron’s brain works logically, particularly under pressure.
And let’s talk about instincts. He may have flunked Divination, but a lot of his passing jokes come true. Example: His comment that Tom Riddle’s special services award was for killing Moaning Myrtle. Not really, Ron, but close. Also, his intuition was spot on when trying to keep the others from using Voldemort’s name, and therefore, saving them from the taboo.
A TRUE GRYFFINDOR
It’s easy to magnify the sacrifice of those who died for, or because of Harry. The Potters, Sirius, Fred, Lupin, Tonks…I’m not trying to belittle their deaths (*raises wand for Colin Creevey*), but how many times does Ron risk his life for Harry’s quests or to save a loved one? A FUCKIN’ LOT! Here’s a bulleted list, because any other form would send me on a tangent longer than Xenophilius Lovegood’s hair.
- Allowing a gigantic chess piece to strike him down so Harry could stop Snape (Actually, Quirrell, but we didn’t know that yet.) Not to mention braving Fluffy as well as other obstacles standing between them and the Stone.
- Following the spiders to the Forbidden Forest because he, like Harry, knew they’d acquire info on the creature petrifying students.
- Going into the Chamber of Secrets to save Ginny (Yeah, he got stuck behind the wall of rubble with Lockhart, but that’s because the series bears Harry’s name and not Ron’s).
- Standing on a broken/mangled leg to put himself between a notorious criminal and his best friend. (This was cut from the film version of PoA because the screenwriter hates me).
- Followed Harry to the Department of Mysteries under the impression that Voldemort was there torturing Sirius. He then battled Death Eaters alongside his friends. (BTW, why were his scars from the brain thoughts/tentacles never mentioned again? Just curious).
- Fought Death Eaters again during the Battle on the Astronomy Tower (Some would argue the case that he had the Felix Felicis behind him, but fuck that, because it’s gutsy to take on a group of people aimed to kill).
- Was one of the “Seven Potters” who tried to throw Death Eaters off Harry’s scent. He even stunned a Death Eater midflight when attacked.
- Volunteered to go with Harry on the quest for horcruxes and saves Harry’s life at the frozen lake.
- Begged Bellatrix to take him instead of Hermione when captured at Malfoy Manor. (His screams and ramming against the trapdoor while hearing her tortured, break me every time.)
- BATTLE OF HOGWARTS. (No Felix Felicis this time, bitches!) He uses his great skill, is the first person to defy Voldemort directly after Harry’s “death,” and, with Neville’s help, takes down Fenrir Greyback.
Okay, so I ended up going into tangents after all. I can’t help it, justice for Ron is uber important to me.
One argument against Ron is his leaving Harry and Hermione on the horcrux quest (SO. MUCH. CAMPING. WHY.) But let’s look at what happened. The locket, carrying a piece of VOLDEMORT’S SOUL, played on the trio’s emotions. Yes, Harry and Hermione were simply irritable, but Ron wore the locket more than either of them. Not to mention, there was a lot more internal turmoil for the locket to play with. Like his insecurities (major Middle-Child Syndrome, being best friend to The Boy Who Lived, and worrying that Hermione’s feelings weren’t reciprocated), fear for his family’s lives, the seemingly endless hunt for Horcruxes, and the physical weakness of being splinched. Yes, he leaves, but then IMMEDIATELY wants to return since distance broke the locket’s spell over him. Unfortunately, he was captured by snatchers and was unable to find Harry and Hermione when he tried to return to their last campground. By giving him the Deluminator, Dumbledore knew Ron’s loyalty would never falter. As Harry told him, Dumbledore “must have known [he]’d always want to come back (Deathly Hallows).”
Ron is one of the most well-developed characters in JK’s Wizarding World. We see his good side, his bad side, even his fanboy side. We get a sense of who he is and watch him grow throughout the seven novels. He overcomes prejudices (like his thoughts concerning werewolves and half-giants) and learns to think about others that he wouldn’t have given a second thought before (i.e., house elves). He has his faults, like every human being, wizard or muggle. Say what you will about him, but you can’t deny, he has heart.
So, Ron, DON’T LET THE MUGGLES GET YOU DOWN!
Do you love Ron as much as we do? Let us know in the comments!