Welcome to the next edition of Secondary Character Saturday.
Name: Ronald Bilius “Ron” Weasley
From: The Harry Potter series
By: J. K. Rowling
Written in: Ron first appeared in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone which was published in 1997.
Why: Ron is the everyman of the Potter series. In the triumvirate that crowns the Harry Potter food chain you’ve got the hero (Harry), the brains (Hermione), and the foil (Ron). He is flawed, there’s no doubt about it. As the youngest brothers he’s neither the smartest, nor the bravest, nor the funniest.
- “I’m the sixth in our family to go to Hogwarts. You could say I got a lot to live up to. Bill and Charlie have already left – Bill was Head Boy and Charlie was captain of Quidditch. Now Percy’s a prefect. Fred and George mess around a lot, but they still get really good marks and everyone thinks they’re really funny. Everyone expects me to do as well as the others, but if I do, it’s no big deal, because they did it first.” [Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by JK Rowling, Scholastic Inc. New York, New York, pg 98]
Throw his little sister Ginny into the mix and he’s not even the cutest. He doesn’t seem to have any special “thing” that he can point to and say “this is what I do best.” So Ron is always searching for his moment in the sun. It doesn’t help that his best mate is the world-famous (at least in the wizarding world) Harry Potter. Ron suffers from insecurity from the start and it gets worse as the books go along. He is also largely clueless when it comes to women. Just ask Hermione. But Ron is loyal, funny, and generous. He’s grounded in a way that neither Harry or Hermione seem to be. And in this way Ron seems the most human of the central characters in the series. (In fact, as a pure blood Wizard he’s the least human. But while other Pure Bloods hold that over mere Mud Bloods it never seems to enter into Ron’s equation of friendship.)
Pros: Loyalty, Nerve, Sense of Humor
Cons: Easily frustrated, occasionally lapses in his loyalty, procrastinates, jealous
Shining moment: Ron’s shining moment (imho) comes in the first book when he plays the game of Wizard’s Chess. It takes both courage and skill to play the game, and Ron willingly sacrifices his piece (and himself) so the others can win the game and advance in their goal to stop Quirell.
“We’re nearly there,” he muttered suddenly. “Let me think… let me think…”
The white queen turned her blank face toward him.
“Yes…” said Ron softly, “it’s the only way…I’ve got to be taken.”
“NO!” Harry and Hermione shouted.
“That’s chess!” snapped Ron. “You’ve got to make some sacrifices! I take one step forward and she’ll take me— that leave you free to checkmate the king, Harry!” [Ibid, pg 283]
Runner up Shining Moment: Working with Harry to save Ginny from the Chamber of Secrets in book two.
Silliest moment: Probably my favorite Ron moment happens in the second book, and it involves belching slugs. ‘Nugh said.
Least shining moment: He is least likeable in the last book when he leaves Harry and Hermione to finish the quest for the Horcurxes on their own. That is pretty weak. It is almost unforgivable. But Ron is human (well, he’s a wizard, but he has very human tendencies) and his weaknesses and failures make him more relatable to us. And Ron realizes his mistake, of course, and comes back.
Before your fret…
So I know some of you are not going to like the fact that Ron is listed here as secondary character, but before you throw an unspeakable curse my way please consider that the books are named “Harry Potter and the…” Harry is the primary character. Ron and every one else are, therefore, secondary.
AND lest you Snape or Luna lovers loose heart, just because I picked Ron this time doesn’t mean I wont pick another H.P. character another time. Saturday comes around once a week after all, and, clearly, I’ve got some pretty strong opinions up my sleeves.
- 15 Harry Potter Facts (todayifoundout.com)
Thanks to Ellie, Maggie, Bill and Stevie for their input on this blog post.