Happy Birthday, Arthur Weasley!

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Feb 06, 2018

Posted by: Dawn Johnson | Comments

Birthdays, Books, Character Birthdays, Fandom, Fans, Films, Fun, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Philosophers / Sorcerers Stone, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, J.K. Rowling, Movies, News

Albus Dumbledore may be viewed as the wizened mentor of the Harry Potter series, but Arthur Weasley is the enduring father figure. He never tries to take James place in Harry’s life–or usurp Sirius’ role as godfather and confidant–but he is the reliable, steadfast presence that both Harry and his children need. Throughout J.K. Rowling’s incredible epic tale of good versus evil, triumph over tragedy and sacrificial love and friendship, Arthur Weasley exists quietly in the background, faithfully going about his daily life in the wizarding world as husband, father and employee, an example for all readers of what it looks like to humbly live with humor, kindness and resolve.

On this, Arthur’s birthday, we celebrate the virtues that make us admire him and the memories that make us wish we, like Harry, could be welcomed into the Weasley family.

1. Arthur Weasley is a commendable father and “fun dad”.

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Not to say that Arthur Weasley fits the negative stereotype of “fun dad” who checks in for the hijinks but checks out for the discipline and tough parenting–the books give no indication of that. In fact, he makes his opinions and expectations quite clear when it’s important to do so (such as when Arthur expressed his reservations to Percy about the Ministry’s underhanded motivations for promoting him and condemned their mistreatment of Harry and Dumbledore after Voldemort’s return).

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But for the most part, he is a man who is content with his life and takes joy in it, which informs the way he approaches his children and his job. He sees the humor in the world around him, enjoys experiences for their own sake and has his priorities in order. He’s mischievous enough in his own right to appreciate his sons’ escapades (fancy a ride in an enchanted Ford Anglia, anyone?) and adventurous enough to take them on family trips to Egypt and the Quidditch World Cup. His children clearly inherited his ingenuity, spirit and appreciation for a good joke, and his healthy curiosity and penchant for hobbies (Muggle artifacts included) no doubt translated to loads of amusing conversations and magical experiments within the family. He is the quintessential “fun dad” in the best sense!

2. Arthur Weasley is a dependable friend. 

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Dependable sounds awfully boring but, in truth, being a constant in someone’s life is anything but. It means you’re there for all the ups and downs, all the good and the bad. Arthur Weasley is a committed man who does just that–he sticks with you and sticks up for you. When Harry was accused of unlawfully performing the Patronus Charm outside of school, thus breaking the statue against underage magic, Arthur Weasley accompanied him to the trial, giving Harry support he got from few others.

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And when Harry needed advice or insight, Arthur Weasley gave it. Like Sirius, he chose not to treat Harry like a child too young and fragile for the truth, but, with the wisdom of a parent, Arthur knew to how to give an honest appraisal tempered by experience and good judgment. He proved a valuable source of counsel, whether Harry knew it or not.

3. Arthur Weasley is a principled man. 

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Long before Arthur Weasley joined the Order of the Phoenix and fought in the Second Wizarding War, he was an unabashed proponent for Muggle rights in both the wizarding community at large and among his colleagues at the Ministry of Magic. His pureblood status meant nothing to him, and he was far more concerned about doing work that was good and beneficial than whether it would see him promoted or materially successful. He put those principles into practice daily, though they were demonstrated most poignantly for the purposes of the story when he graciously welcomed Hermione and her muggle parents into the wizarding world–and continued to do so.

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He did not back down on his stance even when under intense pressure by the Death Eater-occupied Ministry of Magic after Voldemort’s return to power. Though it could have cost his job–and, let’s be honest, much more–Arthur Weasley approached Albert Runcorn (Harry Potter transfigured through Polyjuice) to openly express his disgust for turning a coworker in to the Muggle-born Registration Commission. He was determined to be a strong advocate for the persecuted and only when the danger to his family became too great did Arthur finally withdraw into hiding like many other Order members, continuing the fight through other means.

Arthur Weasley’s part in the greater story may seem a small one, but the small impacts made by the best, if humble, among us have lasting effects. His influence on Harry is truly immeasurable, and the example he set for his children in integrity and lust for life affected the characters, people, they would become. Let’s celebrate his life and his contribution with a raise of your wands, Potter fans. We may not be Weasleys by name, but we can most certainly be Weasleys at heart!

 





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