Dramione Character Traps: Ron Weasley
Out of all of the characters, Ron seems to get the worst treatment in Dramione fan fiction. He’s very often depicted as a petulant, ungrateful man-child who is suddenly put off by Hermione’s wild hair, practical dress sense, and career-focused mindset. He lashes out or breaks up with her, thus driving her into Draco Malfoy’s arms. Aside from the fact that this defies Ron’s characterization in the original series – which is the main focus of this article – it seems strange that Ron is being demonized so severely within the same fandom subset that ships Hermione with a former Death Eater.
My least favorite depiction of Ron is of him cheating on Hermione because he’s unhappy with the relationship. Admittedly, I’ve only encountered this depiction once, but it is a mildly popular piece of fan fiction (for those of you who are curious, it’s called Everything Changes by inadaze22 and is most definitely for mature readers), and it’s likely that there are others out there that use this particular plot device. Ron’s loyalty is a defining characteristic in the original series, and now suddenly he’s an adulterer? It just doesn’t fit.
Following on from the above point, I’ve come across a handful of writings that portray Ron as being very superficial. Yes, Ron once made a comment in Book 4 about Eloise Midgen’s nose being off-center, but that doesn’t mean that he’s suddenly going to get sick of Hermione just because she doesn’t look like a movie star. Ron has undergone too much character development throughout the rest of the books to be held up against this particular shortcoming. Not only that but he and Hermione have gone through far too much together for him to give up on her over something so trivial.
One rather scary character transformation on Ron’s part is when he’s shown to have quite an explosive temper. In canon, Ron is grumpy at worst – stabbing his food with more vigor than usual, making snarky comments at Harry and Hermione, and stomping away in a huff. In fan fiction, his anger can be more wrathful, verging on physical (though, thankfully, I’ve never seen a piece of fan fiction where he raises a hand against Hermione). It’s just caricatured to the point of real excess, and although Ron is generally pretty abrasive in the original series, he is not defined by his anger the way he is in fan fiction.
Overall, there seems to be a pattern of taking small character flaws on Ron’s part and exaggerating them excessively as a plot point to split up the golden couple. Of course, Dramione can’t really work without Ron and Hermione breaking up (unless you ship a polyamorous relationship between the three of them, in which case all power to you!), but Ron doesn’t have to be a shallow cheater for that to happen. All in all, Ron really does seem to get the short end of the stick as far as Dramione characterization goes, which is a real shame considering how much vitriol he tends to get in the fandom already.
Now, these analyses wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for the very existence of Harry Potter, the titular character of the seven books – and my next object of scrutiny. Stay tuned!