Geeklings I was going to write about something entirely different today (you’ll have to wait till tomorrow to find out) but I had a discussion with a friend of mine that I think is more important. I won’t name said friend as he/she is totally wrong on his/her way of thinking I don’t want them to feel shunned. But never the less I would enjoy a healthy discussion.
As many of you know (through my many mentions… oooooooh accidental alliteration!) I am smack dab in the middle of the great re-reading of Harry Potter. I’m currently half way through the Half-Blood Prince (this kind of feels like a name drop but I don’t care) and I can feel the finish line approaching and it makes me sad. While I’m not ready to quite deal with those feels yet I would like to add how much I love the Half-Blood Prince. Every time I read it I feel like it’s one of my favorites in the series but every time I sit down to read it I find that I have forgotten so much. While I remember the important aspects (like a certain unbreakable curse) some of the stuff in between gets hazy. Why is that? Half-Blood Prince is probably the most important book in the series (a debate for another day) yet every time I read it it’s almost like the first time. In some ways that’s kind of special. A feeling I’d give my left arm for when re-reading the Dark Tower books, but that series is so ingrained in my soul that it now just comes across as catching up with old friends… Sorry this is a rambling that has little to do with the bigger picture here.
I was talking to my friend today about my progress in the book (he/she is also a very big Harry Potter fan) and was discussing how it’s one of my favorites in the series (much like I did in the paragraph above). I’m not entirely sure how we got on the topic but this person tells me, with a straight face I imagine, that they found Ron annoying. That alone was unsettling but then they went into their reasons why, lets say a nerd fight broke out (there were no bloodshed or tears though… wait. Friend. If you’re reading this, there were no tears, right? I mean I was right and I can see that being defeating but I wasn’t looking for tears.) Allow me to map out what was said and my response to each Ron complaint.
Friend’s main argument was that Ron was always jealous of Harry and how he (Ron) wished that he was the one with the fame and fortune. Friend used the example that when they looked in to the Mirror of Erised, Ron saw himself winning the House Cup. This, Friend believed, was a display of how selfish and fame driven Ron is. I had a problem with this because I felt that was an unfair way to categorize Ron. The Mirror of Erised takes place alllllllll the way back in year one, and the gang are just innocent kids then. When Harry looks in the mirror he sees his Mom and Dad which makes perfect sense since he’s lived an entire life without them. Dumbledore claims to see a nice pair of socks which is such a Dumbledore thing to see. The fact that Ron sees himself winning the House Cup doesn’t necessarily mean that all he wants is fame.
Ron comes from a large family where he’s constantly overshadowed. Everything he gets is second hand and brothers like Percy, Charlie, and Bill are all very successful wizards. Even Fred and George have their own little niche and fan club. Ron is constantly trying to keep his head above water in order to be recognized. Winning the House Cup makes sense as it would be a shining moment for him to stand out on his own. I don’t think it has so much to do with fame as it does wanting to be recognized. And again this all happens year one. I’m sure if Ron were to look in the mirror year four and up he might see a certain lady wizard who he fancied.
Continuing down the jealousy train, Friend believed Ron was both jealous and angry with Harry for getting into the triwizard tournament. This one is a little more tricky to navigate because Ron was angry and jealous but not because he wanted the fame for himself. When Harry’s name is called for the tournament, Ron feels betrayed by his best friend. He believes that Harry found a way to enter his name into the Goblet of Fire without telling Ron. Of course he’s angry and hurt about this. They always do everything together and the fact that he believes Harry would purposely do this without telling Ron makes him feel even more overshadowed. Of course Ron eventually comes around but I feel his anger here is justified because he’s a teenager and teenagers are dumb (for further examples see all of Harry in year five… ugh!). This is more of an instant where Ron is suffering from a case of the hurt feelings and lashes out.
Ron is constantly in a tough position. Not only is he overshadowed by his family but in his friend choices. Hermonie is the smartest wizard in their class and is constantly getting better grades as well as thinking up the best solutions. And Harry is… well Harry. I don’t think Ron necessarily feels the need to be more famous than the two of them, but considered an equal. That’s why the Slug Club bothers him so much. Ron was present for everything and contributed largely, and all he wants is to be noticed. Just a “I see what you did here” is all. It must be very frustrating to feel like you’re invisible a lot. I think part of Ron’s problem is finding his own identity outside of Harry and Hermonie, and books five through seven help establish him outside of the two of them. Each one of them is a part of a wheel and they need each other to keep spinning (#sappymetaphor).
Friend and I also argued about Ron’s loyalty which I thought was absurd but Friend did not. Outside of year four I feel that Ron is nothing but loyal to Harry. Constantly putting his neck on the line both physically and emotionally to back up the things Harry says. I can even re-call a couple of times where he wanted to fight other students who were calling Harry a lair. In a lot of ways Ron is Harry’s biggest cheerleader.
It’s strange because up until today I believed that everyone thought highly of Ron. He’s like the Samwise of Harry Potter. I never would have suspected that there were fans who thought this way of him. So I guess I’m turning it over to you Geeklings. Am I 100% right (as I frequently claimed with my nerd fight with Friend) or are there more of you who feel the same way as Friend? Do some of you think that Ron is disingenuous or a friend with ulterior motives? Or are most of you like me who think Friend is on crack? Sound off in the comments, please and thank you. And be nice. Friend made a good argument despite mine being better (hahaha).
Oh! Friend (as I know you’re probably a little flustered right now) I just wanted to say that I always enjoy our “arguments” and despite what you think if you say the sky is blue I’m going to agree with you… except today. Today it was grey