Sick and tired of Ronald Weasley bashing
If you’re a Harry Potter fan, then you may have heard what J.K. Rowling said last week about regretting putting Ron and Hermione as a couple, and how Harry and Hermione should have been together.
J.K. Rowling is a good writer. I always felt that her logic in the Harry Potter books was good. However, after reading her latest words, I’ve had to come to terms with little illogical aspects that bothered me in the series.
The one aspect that I’ve always wondered about is why J.K. Rowling kept bashing Ron as a character. She frequently put him down, making him jealous of Harry in the 4th book, supposedly unkind in the 6th book, scorned at in the fifth and sixth, and jealous again in the 7th book. In the 5th book, it was revealed that Harry would have been made a prefect instead of Ron. In the 6th book, when Ron made a brilliant save in Quidditch practice, we find out later that it happened by accident. His brothers and sister also put him down frequently, all the while praising Harry. There’s a saying that everyone is good at one thing. The ONE area where Ron was better than Harry and Hermione was in Chess, but that area was only dealt with in the first book, and was never spoken of again. To be a great chess player means that you have to be a great strategist. Harry made some big mistakes that could have been avoided if they had had a good strategist; so why wasn’t the one thing that set Ron apart from the rest brought into the story? It always seemed to me like Ron just kept taking hits as a character. J.K. Rowling’s recent statements saying that Ron and Hermione would have needed couple’s counseling in the future seems like another bashing of Ron.
Another issue that I had, was the fact that Hermione, who was very smart academically and emotionally and was kind, kept viewing Ron as someone who couldn’t accomplish much. Yet she didn’t have the smarts to see that this type of perception of your ‘best friend’ was very hurtful and could rightfully break a relationship. How many of you would keep calling someone your best friend knowing full well that they have such low expectations of you? Whenever Ron did accomplish something, she would be soooooo shocked. When he became prefect instead of Harry, she angrily said that it couldn’t be possible.
This is what I think: J.K. Rowling has admitted that she dated a lot of Ron -like characters in the past. These men may have been unkind to her. So she keeps bashing Ron because in retrospect she sees a lot of fault in these men that she dated. However, if indeed the character faults of Ronald Weasley were the character faults of the men she dated, then J.K. Rowling really needs to take another good look at Ron’s so called faults.
In the 5th book, Luna Lovegood calls Ron “mean at times” and Harry agrees. This is a classic case of telling not showing. How exactly was Ron mean from Luna’s perspective? She barely knew him. Oh, Ron wasn’t perfect, but how different was his behavior from Harry’s or Hermione’s? Harry didn’t treat Cho Chang well, blew up at everyone, disrespected people’s privacy, etc. Hermione never removed the hex she put on Cho Chang’s friend; the girl had that hex for life (on her face). That is CRUEL; being a snitch doesn’t merit that, and Hermione knew better.
Furthermore, why was Hermione never called to answer for her behavior? (the same thing can be said about Harry). Whenever Hermione was insulted, Ron was ALWAYS quick to her defense, always. We cannot say the same for Hermione. Even Ginny was quick to the defense of Harry, but Hermione was not like that for Ron. In the 6th book, Hermione laughs cruelly at Ron when he makes a mistake, and when he retaliates by making fun of her, she starts crying (typical). Harry comes to her defense saying that he also laughed at Ron’s mistake, but the difference in the laughter is never pointed out. Harry laughed as a joke, Hermione laughed vindictively. I’ve seen this behavior in myself and others in the past, getting upset at people’s mistreatment, but not paying attention to the seemingly little hurtful things I did that provoked the so called ‘mistreatment’.
In the 6th book Ron starts dating another girl, Lavender. This makes Hermione sad, but why did Ron do this? He had had enough (and rightly so) of Hermione always believing that he was incapable of success. (He also was being mean, and looking for attention, any attention). Hermione, who was smart and kind to others, never seemed to see how her negative perception of Ron was affecting their relationship, and never apologizes for this behavior in any one of the books. Imagine what the 6th book would have been like if Hermione had just admitted to viewing Ron in such a negative light, had apologized, and had promised to change. I think this could have helped Ron care about the wrong choices he was making in the 6th and 7th book, like dating Lavender.
Ron, on the other hand, opened up his family for Harry and Hermione and never once complained. An insult on anyone of his friends was taken as an insult to him. He never mocked or made fun of his family members. When Harry became the Quidditch team captain, Ron was genuinely happy that Harry would now get privileges that he and Hermione already enjoyed as prefects. This is why I had a problem with J.K. Rowling making him jealous of Harry. Sure, he may have had jealous thoughts, but to break up a close friendship out of jealousy just feels so out of place to me. It made me wonder why J.K. Rowling kept portraying Ron like this.
I’ve noticed that at times writers may have an image of a character in their mind, but the person that comes out of their pen does not entirely resemble that person. The men that J.K. Rowling based Ron on may have been unkind, but the Ron that came out of her pen wasn’t very unkind.
I’d like to conclude by saying:
J.K. Rowling, please stop bashing Ron. Whatever some Ron-like character did to you, please stop making an innocent character pay for their crimes.