Weasley Is My King
Anyone who has spent any time with me knows how much I heart Ron Weasley. It’s not even (just) because he’s portrayed by the delicious Rupert Grint or because he’s the youngest boy in his family, outshined by everyone else. It’s not even because his friendship with Harry and Hermione tugs at my heartstrings.
It’s because Ronald Bilius Weasley is a tremendous human being who wears his heart on his sleeve.
So when I came across this particular tweet by comedian and creator of @GuyInYourMFA Dana Schwartz… I started seeing red.
A few people defended the Ron/Hermione pairing:
Stressed out hyper-competent career women can enjoy being with a kind-hearted goofy fiercely loyal dude rather than a copy of themselves?
— Kaila Hale-Stern (@kailahalestern) May 28, 2017
3. I bet Hermione loves to be able to converse to him about her biggest concerns and he being able to put them in perspective.
— Fernando Santiago (@santiagomfpr) May 28, 2017
Man what's with all the Ron bashing? I adore Ron. They made him a disaster in the films, not so much the books. Hermione, the opposite.
— Gee calls me Frankie (@SiriuslySmitten) May 28, 2017
… did y'all read the same books I did? Ron was never a "burden" ??
— Elizabeth Hyde (@elizabethmhyde) May 28, 2017
And then a few didn’t, instead echoing Schwartz’s thesis that Hermione would’ve come to resent Ron.
I asked my fellow MuggleNet staff members about their take on this opinion and ended up in a war of sorts — a thoughtful and insightful one.
Some spoke from the perspective of Harry/Hermione shippers and some spoke from the perspective of not wanting to ship any of the characters.
A standout quote about this issue came from MuggleNet staffing coordinator and podcast host Ariel Taranski:
Hermione consistently proved that she was a strong, independent woman who also exacted free will in all areas of her life. She wants to take all possible classes in her third year? Doing it. She wants to punch a racist, privileged white boy? Doing it. She wants to be an activist for house-elves? She’s doing that too. She wants to marry her best friend despite what misgivings people of the fandom may have? DONE, B******.
Ron isn’t a perfect character — far from it. He’s jealous, easily aggravated, petty, prejudiced, and a bit of a misogynist. He has no qualms icing Harry out in Goblet of Fire when he thinks Harry has lied to him. He doesn’t even try to be nice to the Patil twins at the Yule Ball because Padma was his last resort anyway. He’s easily distracted by pretty faces and curvy figures. He has the tendency to let his insecurities swallow him whole.
But he grows up. He matures. He learns. His character freaking develops. Hermione is a very shrewd judge of character and she chooses Ron for a reason. (It must be said that Hermione is not perfect either. She’s prone to being a hot mess at times.) Remember when she kissed him in Deathly Hallows? It’s because Ron realizes #houseelflivesmatter. (Thank you, Elayna Mae Darcy for that epic hashtag.) Hermione has agency. Hermione does not choose Ron as a last resort.
I’m not saying that Hermione HAS to be in a heterosexual relationship in order to be fully happy. I’m not even saying that she and Ron were fated to be together. I’m just saying I’m sick of this Ron bashing that’s become popular over the years. He isn’t a caricature nor is he a complete fool who plays second fiddle. Those who confuse movie!Ron with book!Ron do themselves a huge disservice and it upsets me. A lot.
Hermione doesn’t end up with 11-year-old Ron Weasley, who has dirt on his nose and thoughtlessly agrees to midnight duels with Draco Malfoy. She ends up with 17-year-old Ron Weasley, who has spent almost a year on the run, desperate to get back to his friends and save the world but smart enough to stick to their plans about not endangering his family’s life. He knows he’s messed up when he lashed out at Hermione and Harry for the discomforts and struggles of tracking down Horcruxes. He’s hardened by war. He screams, in agony, Hermione’s name when he hears her being tortured by Bellatrix in the Malfoy Manor. He reconciles with Percy and mourns over Fred’s body. He brags about Hermione’s empathy with non-human creatures.
He’s a good, solid man. He acts as a foil to Hermione; he allows her to breathe, to be human. They compliment each other very well. MuggleNet creative editorialist Holly Peckitt also had an opinion:
Ron and Hermione are like alternate parts of a jigsaw. Ron has the humor that Hermione needs to calm down a little, and Hermione has the work ethic and compassion that can at times inspire Ron.
Their inherent life experiences have shaped who they are. Ron Weasley, lifelong burden who will hinder Hermione’s ambition and keep her from acting out her dreams? No effing way.