So what is it with Ron Weasley from the Harry Potter novels? We are to think that he is the side-kick, the guy who stumbles into a friendship with the Boy Who Lived, and bumbles along till the end. But there is also the chap who ended up with the girl at the end of it all. So which is the real one?
I believe that Ron was probably one of the most talented and powerful wizards in the Harry Potter universe. Let me explain why…
An eleven year old Ron won the wizard chess game set by Professor McGonagall in his first year that helped stop Voldemort from getting the Philosopher’s Stone. It was as Dumbledore put it, “the best-played game of chess Hogwarts has seen in many years.” I guess that establishes that he is basically intelligent and is capable of thinking many steps ahead.
Ron’s later spells of brilliance
I think that it also explains why in the later books he is apparently quite accomplished in casting spells. Indeed Tonks remarks on his ability in the “seven Harrys” episode to the utter surprise of Hermione. Again in the Deathly Hallows he recalls Gamp’s Law of Elemental Transfiguration to everyone’s utter surprise.
Despite no previous ability, Ron is able to mimic Harry’s “open” command to the Chamber of Secrets and enter to retrieve the basilisk’s fangs. Another brilliant idea of Ron. He had only heard Harry say it once before, when Harry spoke to the locket – at a time when Ron should have been otherwise too busy to remember just how to pronounce open in parseltongue. Was it not moments ago that he had chased the doe to the lake, plunged in and rescued Harry and pulled out the sword of Gryffindor? And was it not moments later that the horcrux inside would try and defend itself by presenting Ron with unwelcome visions and sounds. And yet, in the midst of all this, Ron remembers the snatch of parseltongue he heard. Wow!
The Weasley family
The Weasleys appear much more talented than anyone would give them credit for. Perhaps Arthur’s pro-Muggle feelings kept him from advancing in the Ministry, but look at the rest of the family. Bill and Charlie seem well respected within their circles. When dragons are needed for the first task in the Goblet of Fire, who should they call on but Charlie? And Bill seems to be one of the few wizards that get along with goblins enough to work at Gringotts. Percy seems to rise up the ladder in the ministry in Goblet in the first year since he leaves school. He rises up fast enough that when Barty Crouch is unable – thanks to the Imperius Curse – to judge the Triwizards Tournament, they send Percy as the replacement judge.
Fred and George seem to be extraordinarily great wizards. They crack the secret of the Marauder’s Map in their first year. Their exploits in the Order of the Phoenix (the fireworks and general nuisance including a swamp they created) are legend. They never completed school and yet their ability seems to be very good – their Wizard’s Wheezes are universally admired (maybe not by Umbridge).
Ginny appears talented enough to attract the attention of Slughorn in Half Blood Prince. Later she displays talent in attacking spells in the Deathly Hallows though she is not supposed to be fighting being underage.
And that bring me to Molly. She appears to be the perfect housewife but is the one who finally kills Bellatrix Lestrange – who was probably the most talented and evil among the Death Eaters.
So why should the remaining member of the family not be just as notable?
The Fidelius Charm
When the Weasleys go into hiding in Hallows, most of them go to their Aunt Muriel’s and Bill and Fleur remain at Shell Cottage, both of which are placed under a Fidelius Charm. Arthur is the secret keeper of the former and Bill of the latter. Only the secret keeper may share the location of the place with anyone. Witness the way Mad-Eye had to show Harry the address of Number 12 Grimmauld place through a piece of paper that Dumbledore had written the address on. And yet Ron is able to tell Dobby to take Luna, Ollivander and Dean to Shell Cottage even though he is not Secret Keeper. This is not an easy charm to break and Voldemort had to rely on Pettigrew’s treachery to get to the Potter’s residence in Godric’s Hollow.
He gets the girl
After being generally a prat, he finally gets the girl. From the way he worms himself to her good side in Half Blood Prince (moaning her name while recovering from the poisoning) to the sudden display of caring for the welfare of the house-elves during the final battle, he makes a conscious effort at making the move on Hermione. She is also made to miss him terribly when he takes off from the tent after an argument. That was not the first time Ron played hard to get though. Earlier he did it in asking her to the Yule Ball in Goblet and going around with Lavender in Prince. And given Hermione’s intelligence, is it likely that she fell for an idiot side-kick. She probably (using woman’s intuition?) figured out that he was more intelligent than he made out to be early enough.
Ron Weasley is the guy who keeps out of trouble’s way and yet gets to participate in most of the glory. He makes Prefect in fifth year (even Harry does not), gets on the House Quidditch team, seems to be a better than fair dueler and gets the girl. I think he may be the hero of the tale after all (after all where does the sidekick get the girl)!
Any thoughts people?