Why I’ve Forgiven Lavender Brown
Today is Forgiveness Day, a day we will use to forgive all the fictional characters that have negatively impacted the books they were featured in. The Potter books are filled with many of these tragic characters: Peter Pettigrew, Draco Malfoy, Marietta Edgecombe, and Severus Snape to name a few. However, there’s one character that has never had a chance to be forgiven. Lavender Brown is hated viciously by fans because she got in the way of the Romione love story. It’s a shame that she’s hated for this reason because it lessens her character, diminishing her into a love interest and nothing more.
One of the main reasons fans are disgusted with Lavender and Ron’s relationship is that it prevents Romione from happening sooner in the series. However, there were a lot of reasons why Hermione and Ron didn’t get together sooner. Hermione was more mature than he was; the pair refused to admit that they liked each other; Ron was jealous of Harry and Hermione’s friendship; and the pair was busy saving Hogwarts every school year. Ron and Hermione had such a great friendship going, so why ruin that? In Ron’s eyes, it was probably easier to start a new relationship with Lavender.
I believe that you can ship Romione and still forgive Lavender. Compared to other villainous characters in the series, Lavender’s crimes are quite small. If we look at things from Lavender’s perspective, we can understand her better. She saw everything about Ron that we as readers love. She pursued a guy she liked, which took real courage. Honestly, her boldness is what makes her a classic Gryffindor. Neither Ron nor Lavender was in a relationship at the time, so Lavender started dating Ron. There’s no crime in that. Yes, it was obvious that Hermione had feelings for Ron, but she didn’t communicate this to him. Ron is the last person who would understand what girls are thinking.
Too often Potterheads view Lavender through Hermione’s jealous eyes. While this is completely natural, it’s important to look at things from Ron’s perspective. Ron hasn’t had any attention up until now. Everything is always about Harry. Ron is desperate for attention, and Lavender gives him plenty of it. Ron definitely needed a boost to his ego. I was happy to see Ron so sure of himself when he was with Lavender. While the Ron and Lavender relationship was very shallow, it did have some positive aspects.
Then there’s the ultimate reason why I forgive Lavender. She had no idea what relationship drama she was interrupting. It wasn’t until after Lavender and Ron got together that Hermione realized she wanted to be with Ron. Ron dating someone else made it clear that he was open to a relationship. In a strange way, Lavender made Romione possible.
Let’s be honest. Ron wasn’t ready to date Hermione yet. When he starts dating, that doesn’t mean that he’s ready to start dating Hermione. Lavender is all about obsessing over Ron, but Hermione isn’t. Hermione exchanges sarcastic quips with Ron in a non-romantic way. Ron’s relationship with Hermione was more mature, less focused on physical affection, and well developed. This is the kind of relationship someone never has with their first girlfriend. Ron’s relationship with Lavender teaches him more about himself, and it is short-term while Romione lasts much longer.
Remember earlier when I mentioned Lavender being a classic Gryffindor? She’s loyal to Ron, to her friend Parvati, and to Hogwarts. She returns for the final battle against Voldemort. The same boldness and impulsive behavior that made her throw herself at Ron was also what spurred her into action in battle. Lavender is more than just a love interest. She is a brave witch who is loyal to the people she cares about.
Ultimately, can we blame Lavender for having a crush on Ron? She expressed her affection for him in a different way than Hermione did. I’ve met some Potterheads who vehemently hate Lavender and compare her to Pansy Parkinson or even Bellatrix Lestrange. Lavender isn’t a villain; she’s just an affectionate person. Instead of shaming Lavender, the fandom should be open to a different perspective.