Birthday greetings to Ginevra Weasley, the unexpected!


Aug 11, 2017

Posted by: Amanda Kirk | Comments

Birthdays, Character Birthdays, News

Ginny Weasley turns 36 today—August 11, 2017.

Weren’t you pleased when you found out that “Ginny” was short for “Ginevra” and not “Virginia”?  No offence to the Virginias out there—that’s a lovely name as well.  It’s just that Virginia is probably what you assumed her full name to be; Ginevra was unexpected.  And that’s what makes Ginny such an interesting character—pretty much everything about her is unexpected.

0After all those sons, the Weasleys were surprised and delighted to have a daughter.  J.K. Rowling has been asked if there is significance to Ginny being the seventh child, and she has responded that Ginny has quite enough going on for her without making use of that bit of folklore—she is a very powerful witch, after all.

When we meet Ginny, she seems to be a shy, mousy Harry Potter fan girl.  With her elbow in the butter dish and other clumsy mishaps in front of Harry, she exemplifies our fears of making fools of ourselves in front of a crush.  But, with J.K. Rowling’s skill at foreshadowing, we get hints early on that there is more to Ginny than meets the eye.  The first comes from Ron in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets when he notes that Ginny’s shyness around Harry is out of character: “You don’t know how weird it is for her to be this shy, she never shuts up normally…”  Then in Flourish and Blotts, Ginny stands up to Malfoy when he teases Harry about the attention he had been receiving from Gilderoy Lockhart.

WeasleykidsGinny falls off Harry’s radar for awhile and re-emerges in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix as a brave witch with power belied by her stature.  By the time we learn that she has been taking her brothers’ brooms out in secret to teach herself to fly, we are not surprised.  We also learn that she is very attractive and not lacking for boyfriends.  Harry doesn’t care about that one way or the other at first but gradually we see his feelings for Ginny grow, as much a surprise to him as to us.  This is cleverly done by J.K. Rowling.  Many readers, myself included, assumed early on that Harry would end up with Hermione.  When it became clear that Hermione and Ron would be a couple, I for one had a bit of fear that Harry’s lack of a love interest might be a foreshadowing of his death at the end of the series.  Hermione and Ron would have each other but Harry was destined to meet his fate alone and leave no lover bereft.  I admit I was relieved when he and Ginny became a couple, not just because I could see how perfectly suited they were for one another, but because it gave me confidence that Harry was not going to die at the end.  I realise she still could have written it that way but it just felt less likely with Ginny in the picture.  I never took their break-up very seriously—it was clearly just a bluff for Voldemort’s sake, to protect Ginny from Voldemort using her to get to Harry.  It was clear throughout the final book, from their good-bye kiss to the way he searched for her dot on the Marauder’s Map, that they would get back together as soon as Voldemort was vanquished.  I even appreciated the way he did not rush up to her after the final battle because he knew, with quiet confidence, that they would be spending the rest of their lives together.

Gina_weasleyNow, nineteen years later, Ginny and Harry are celebrating her birthday just a few weeks prior to sending their second child to Hogwarts for the first time.  They will probably have a big party at the Weasley residence, with the cousins playing together, and plan a joint trip with Ron and Hermione to go to Diagon Alley to get school supplies.  I like to think that Harry still thinks how lucky he is every time he looks at Ginny.





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