Happy Birthday, Ron Weasley!

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Mar 01, 2018

Posted by: Dawn Johnson | Comments

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

“[Dumbledore] knew what he was doing when he gave me the Deluminator, didn’t he? He – well,” Ron’s ears turned bright red and he became engrossed in a tuft of grass at his feet, which he prodded with his toe, “he must’ve known I’d run out on you.”

“No,” Harry corrected him. “He must’ve always known you’d always want to come back.”

Of all the characters in the Harry Potter series, Ron Weasley’s transition from book to screen was most inaccurate–some might say unjustly unflattering–altering or omitting some of his best, most courageous moments. As a result, for those who are more familiar with “movie” Ron than “book” Ron, he is a bit underappreciated, not unlike the character himself, ironically.

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The sixth of seven children and sibling to an exceptionally gifted lot, he often found himself navigating the wizarding world from beneath their shadows. As he stated to Harry with matter-of-fact resignation, “ Everyone expects me to do as well as the others, but if I do, it’s no big deal, because they did it first.

This put Ron in a difficult position, wanting to excel but wondering if the effort was worthwhile. And, on top of that, he became best friends with one of the most famous wizards of the age. It is remarkable, in fact, that he chose to befriend Harry at all, knowing that every interaction every day of their lives he would be called upon to set aside jealousy, frustration and the temptation to compare himself–not because Harry demanded it, by any means, but for the sake of their friendship.

L-R, Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) arrive late to class in Warner Bros. Pictures; family adventure movie "HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE." photo by Peter Mountain. CURRENT MOVIE SKED RELEASE NOV 16.

On this, Ron’s birthday, it is important to remember what a strong character he truly is. Though often overlooked by virtue of standing alongside Hermione’s brilliance and Harry’s innate talent, Ron is a genuine example of what steadfast loyalty, perseverance, humility and bravery look like, not to mention his well-timed wit and enduring good humor. And he did it all in a way that’s real, that holds him up as a model readers can in admiration follow. For while we often idealize–and idolize–our favorite heroes, we forget that their flaws make them relatable. Their persistence in the face of their faults lends courage because it reminds us that we, too, can stumble now and then, even turn back in moments of uncertainty, and still dust ourselves off, think better of it, and endeavor to rejoin the journey. We will fail each other. But true friends forebear.

We are not all Samwise Gamgee to Frodo Baggins. Oh, if we were! What an example of unwavering sacrifice and devotion! That was a beautiful story and an equally beautiful friendship to behold. But most of us are Ron Weasley. We get frustrated now and then. We overthink. We presume. We misjudge. We react poorly. We storm off. Maybe, we leave. But we calm down. We apologize. We laugh and love and move on. Because what we still want, in the end, is to give all that we have, all that we are–and more–to the ones we hold dear.

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Ron Weasley is the friend who rescued Harry from a barred bedroom–and in an enchanted flying car, no less. His loyalty and concern trumped the possibility of his parents’ ire and reproof. It even trumped the possibility of official censure from the Ministry of Magic. All he knew was that Harry needed help, and he had a way to give it.

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Ron Weasley is the friend who was jealous of Harry’s inclusion in the Triwizard Tournament, but was still concerned enough for his welfare that he fed Harry information about upcoming tasks. His loyalty and concern trumped his resentment and pride. Even before Ron knew Harry hadn’t lied to him, he did the right thing, whether it would be appreciated–or even deserved–or not.

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Ron Weasley is the friend who insisted that he accompany Harry into the Department of Mysteries and only left his side when befuddled by a curse. His loyalty and concern trumped any fear of danger or harm. And when he heard the news of Sirius’ death, he mourned deeply for Harry’s loss, doing what the best and dearest of friends do, sharing the weight of life’s greatest burdens.

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Ron Weasley is the friend who begged Bellatrix Lestrange to take him instead of Hermione. He desperately yelled, “No! You can have me, keep me!” His loyalty and concern and, yes, love, trumped any desire for self-preservation. Knowing all that Bellatrix was capable of, he would have willingly endured the torture, and the pain of being unable to do that on her behalf was almost unbearable.

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Finally, Ron Weasley is the friend who came back. And so much more. Yes, he succumbed to discouragement and insecurities, but we all struggle with that. J.K. Rowling crafted a character in Ron that we can love all the more for the way his strengths and triumphs are achieved at the cusp, the apex, of surmounting weakness and struggle. He is the best of what we all strive to be.

So, cheers, mate! To the best of friends a wizard, or muggle, could hope to meet–Happy Birthday!





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