Ginny is the Future

by The Duchess

They say behind every great man, there is a great woman.
They never say what’s behind every great woman.
I love Ginny. Perhaps as the youngest child and only girl with two older brothers, I over identify somewhat. Ginny is, however, one of the main reasons I continue to read the HP series. I love the subtle, gradual way that JKR has allowed her to develop, but Ginny played a major part in OotP and we will see more of her from here on.

Several things about Ginny seem to me to be key to her personality and her future:

  • She copes much better with being part of the Weasley dynasty than Ron.
  • She has got over her crush on Harry and that has helped her develop emotionally.
  • She has magical, social and emotional power.

To explain these things I have to talk about the Weasley family as well as Ginny herself – bear with me.

Ron and Ginny: The Curse of the Big Family

Don’t get me wrong, I like big families. I have uncles, aunts and cousins enough to populate a small planet. Truth be told, it’s a good job I didn’t start having children early in life or I might have gone for six or so. I love all the stuff you can do without even inviting people over (board games, water fights, forming your own Quidditch team); I love the way it’s a ready-made gang when you need it. Here, however, are a few of the curses of the big family: if you are not part of a big family – just trust me on this, it’s not all canon, just THE TRUTH.

Hand-me-downs:

You get them, you don’t really want them, your parents can’t afford new stuff so it’s this or nothing. JKR handles it perfectly in the argument over Ron’s dress robes (GoF). If you do get any new stuff, books, games, clothes, anything, you don’t get to keep and cherish them because…you have to pass them on to your younger siblings/cousins.

Colour coding:

Why are all Ron’s non-uniform clothes maroon? So that poor old Molly can tell what clothes belong to which of her sons. We don’t hear about the other boys, but I’m betting they have the same issue with some other colour. Poor Ronnie’s underpants are probably maroon as well.

And most important, Loss of identity (especially at school): “Oh are you Charlie’s brother?” “Look, look, it’s Charlie’s brother.” “You don’t look like him.” Ad nauseam. And then there are the teachers: “We’ve had your brother in this school and he never got into trouble.” “Oh well, I didn’t expect any better from you, knowing whose brother you are.” “Are you the latest addition to the clan MacWeasley?” Aaargh!

These are all funny, sweet, entertaining things to outsiders and occasionally even to insiders but, as we know from Ron’s experience, sometimes you just long to strike out on your own and not follow in anyone’s footsteps. Ron suffers from this worst of all the Weasley boys. Percy has formed a personality so far removed from his older and younger brothers that people don’t judge him by his relationship with them; Fred and George have each other as natural allies. Poor Ron. I imagine everyone at Hogwarts who doesn’t call him “Fred and George’s brother” call him “Harry Potter’s mate.” Hermione understands (GoF, The Weighing of the Wands).

I don’t know where all this leaves Ron. I have been worrying about him since the “If you want to kill Harry you’ll have to kill us too!” outburst in PoA (Cat, Rat and Dog) — reckless, I thought. But I think I know where it leaves Ginny: with a much greater sense of self than Ron can manage at the moment.

Ginny simply doesn’t have it as bad because, as the only girl, she doesn’t have to live up to other people’s expectations of her (based on their experience of her brothers) unless she chooses to; and she seems to choose not to. And she doesn’t get as many hand-me-down clothes (books and cauldrons can’t be as embarrassing) and there are those special relationships she must have with each of her parents. I know Molly and Arthur love all their sons but they might have spent eight years “trying” to have a girl before Ginny was born and then they gave her the perfect “counterpart” name for her father…it’s so sweet you could cry, or maybe vomit.

Don’t Tell Anyone: Ginny’s Gorgeous

I am not a “shipper” and certainly don’t want to drag that particular dead horse in here for another flogging, but I like the analysis that Kelli Kearney gives of Ginny at Madam Puddifoot’s. She points out that the language JKR uses of Ginny is very flattering compared to the descriptions of Hermione or Luna. Ginny is described in OotP (Career Advice) as “windswept” after Quidditch practice and her eyes “reflect the firelight” in Sirius’ kitchen (OotP, St Mungo’s Hospital). She has not (yet) been described as “pretty,” “attractive,” or “beautiful,” but her beauty is apparent.

By the end of OotP, while Harry is still wondering about his one disastrous date with Cho, and Ron and Hermione are still circling each other nervously and bickering about Viktor Krum, Ginny has moved on to her second steady boyfriend (Dean) and has another admirer (Neville). I think also it takes a fair amount of (what we call over here) “brass neck” for a girl to start going out with a boy who shares her brother’s dormitory. I’m hesitating to use the term “sexuality,” as I don’t think there will be any sex per sein the books, but Ginny’s confidence, attractiveness and success with boys will have a part to play in books 6 and 7.

Ginny seems to be over her girlish crush on Harry but not embarrassed by it. When he is in those scary tempers, when his best friends dare do nothing but placate and console him, she is at ease with him, argues with him and puts him straight. She is not only over the crush, she is also over “famous Harry Potter,” The Boy Who Lived; she doesn’t believe he’s bound to be right just because he is who he is. I was particularly struck by the scene in OotP (Career Advice) where she brings Harry his Easter egg in the library. They talk; at her prompting he opens up with the thought that has been worrying him for days, she sits with him, she takes part of the egg without asking – she is caring, helpful, relaxed around him, not flirtatious but confident physically as well as emotionally.

The Future? I’ve been trying so hard not to think about this. I like to let JKR do her worst and just accept it. But I can’t help it.

Scary Predictions 1

I think Ginny’s role will increase in HBP and something about her sexuality (OK, I’ve said it now) will come to the fore. I don’t really need to speculate about what or with whom. Love interest for Harry? Maybe – maybe 10 years from now. These things take time.

HP is not a love story and I don’t feel strongly that A belongs to B, blah, blah, but of all the main child characters, Ginny is the only one “dating.”

I would draw your attention to a minor point in OotP that I haven’t read anyone else commenting on. In OotP (Educational Decree No. 24), Ron tries to run up to the girls’ dormitory to see Hermione; the staircase turns into a slide and he can’t get in. Minor detail? Trivial? Unimportant? Maybe just a little joke? Polyjuice seemed like a little joke in CoS – look what happened in GoF. The notion of an animagus was shown to us in just one scene in PS/SS . Look where that led us in PoA. Chloe Uttley has written an editorial called Picking for Patterns where she expounds The Two Book Rule – read that; I’m with her. This “joke” in OotP is going to matter; a boy or man trying to get into the girls’ dormitory is going to matter.

I wrote most of this article before I read Brooke’s editorial in Madam Puddifoot’s. Liked it very much, and I agree, only JKR knows!

Scary Predictions 2

Hermione and Ginny are going to fall out; they will sort it out in the end. Two lines from OotP have led me into this belief:

In “Out of the Fire,” when the gang is forming its plan to find Sirius using Umbridge’s fireplace and Ginny suggests the Garrotting Gas ruse, Hermione “looked surprised at the readiness with which Ginny had come up with this lie.” Later in the same chapter, when Ginny thought Hermione was going to betray them to Umbridge, she “stared at Hermione at though she had never seen her before.”

Ginny and Hermione like each other but they don’t always see things the same way. Maybe they have been too close for too long and assume they agree on everything; they don’t.

JKR has indicated that Ron and Harry will be more distant during HBP. Where would the story go if, for example, Ron was off the Quidditch team and Ginny was still on it? What if, in the midst of that tension, romantic attachments started to form between any of these four characters?

Scary Predictions 3

Who is the most magically powerful of the Weasley children? Ginny. If you think Fred or George might be more powerful, note how impressed they are by her power (OotP, The Noble and Most Ancient etc.), her Quidditch ability, and general sneakiness (OotP, Seen and Unforeseen).

It seems apparent that a significant character will die in HBP. Don’t know who, don’t want to know. I’ll know on July 17th. Imagine for a moment it was Molly, or Arthur (or shh! Ron, no really shh! I didn’t just say that). If this were to happen the Weasley children will rise like the force of vengeance that only a big family can be and show the kind of power we haven’t yet seen from the good guys.

I know this is a bit like “Willow in Buffy” etc., but imagine…the days of the Bat Bogey Hex would be far behind us.

Scary Predictions 4

There was a small posting recently about King Arthur/Harry similarities; that is something that deserves closer attention than I can give it here – meanwhile, I am looking at a different pattern.

Another MuggleNetter has pointed out that the Weasleys all have names belonging to English and British royalty.

  • Arthur: King Arthur and we’ve had quite a few Prince Arthurs
  • Bill: Four King Williams and one on the way
  • Charlie: Two of those so far (I’m not placing any bets on another)
  • Percy: Not a king, but Percival (Parsifal) was one of the Knights of the Round Table that was allowed to glimpse the Holy Grail
  • Fred and George: Six King Georges and several Prince Fredericks
  • Ron: The name means “the king’s advisor”
  • Ginny: Ginny is short for Ginevra (Guinevere!)
  • NB: Molly need not fit the pattern, she was born into and named by another family.

Arthur, Guinevere, Percival…My knowledge of the legends of King Arthur comes from two sources: La Morte d’Arthur by Sir Thomas Mallory and The Once and Future King by T.H. White (“The Sword in the Stone” is the first book of this trilogy). If JKR hasn’t read both of these, I’m a flobberworm.

In the legend, Guinevere is married to Arthur. She loves and admires him but falls in love with Lancelot. You know this story, don’t you? There is a complex betrayal, a trial, a duel for her honour, a lifetime of banishment. Two points arise from this for me:

  • Lancelot is also called the “Chevalier Mal Fait” the “Ill-made Knight” (he has a broken nose and is not much of a looker). Does the name “mal fait” remind you of anyone we know? Scary.
  • The only piece of magic mentioned in the books that we haven’t yet seen is the Fidelius charm. It was key to the deaths of James and Lily Potter, the Order has a Secret Keeper (Dumbledore). It has to come back: one person keeping a secret for…maybe a couple…maybe a bit of jealousy and a possibility of betrayal?

It’s another love triangle thingy and, OK, I know I said I wasn’t shipping. I’m only shipping up to the point where I believe a romantic relationship is going to be very important – might I say critical – to the end of the seventh book. I had a strong view a few months ago that this would happen and would focus on the HRH trio, but I’ve changed my mind. I am not certain who will be involved but I am convinced it will happen.

It is going to take a woman of power and strength to see this through and survive. It doesn’t have to be Ginny, I know, but stand back and look at her for a moment:

Weasley is our Queen

Ginny is brave, beautiful, confident, a good friend, can keep a secret, a good liar and conspirator, a dangerous rule-breaker with no fear, a powerful witch.

I am certain that she will stay on the Quidditch team as a Chaser and this will make her a dominant character in Gryffindor House. Her connections with students in other houses via the DA will continue although the DA will disband. She has a wide circle of friends: this could make her a social leader, a powerbroker, the key to uniting the Hogwarts houses in the fight against Voldemort.

Ginny could fill any role in the story yet to be told. The one who brings Neville’s powers out from behind his fears? Someone who can save Harry from his anger and desire for vengeance? A powerful counterpart for Hermione? Hogwarts Head Girl? Quidditch Captain? The ultimate avenger in her own right? She will be a great woman with the type of mind and the guts to outwit Umbridge and other evil-doers. She won’t need to stand behind a great man.

Hang on a minute: Ginny is brave, loyal, cunning, probably very intelligent. Has anyone else noticed she is the perfect combination of the Hogwarts houses?

Ginny is the future.