Ron Weasley Was Never Just a Sidekick
One of my favorite Ronald Weasley moments takes place during Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Just to refresh your memory, Harry and Ginny became an item in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, but Harry ended the relationship at the end of the book. This extract is from Chapter 7 of Deathly Hallows when Ron walks in on Harry and Ginny kissing:
‘You ditched her. What are you doing now, messing her around?’
‘I’m not messing her around,’ said Harry.
[…] ‘She was really cut up when you ended it -‘
‘So was I. You know why I stopped it, and it wasn’t because I wanted to.’
‘Yeah, but you go snogging her now and she’s just going to get her hopes up again -‘
‘She’s not an idiot, she knows it can’t happen, she’s not expecting us to – to end up married, or -‘
[…] ‘If you keep groping her every chance you get -‘
‘It won’t happen again,’ said Harry harshly. The day was cloudless, but he felt as though the sun had gone in. ‘Okay?’
Ron looked half resentful, half sheepish; he rocked backward and forward on his feet for a moment, then said, ‘Right then, well, that’s . . . yeah.'” (DH 117-118)
In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Neville is praised and rewarded for standing up to his friends. I believe that this moment of Ron’s is equally as impressive – not only is Ron standing up to his best friend, but he is doing so in defense of his sister (and justifiably so). Not that anyone could think that Ginny needs someone to defend her, but this small moment shows us Ron’s true character: a brave young man who isn’t afraid to stand up for what is right.
Ron doesn’t just provide comedic relief throughout the series. In my not-so-humble opinion, Ron shows more courage and bravery than just about any other character. We all know that Ron isn’t the best at charms, but that doesn’t stop him from attempting to curse Malfoy in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Even though he was injured by Snuffles in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, he wasn’t afraid to stand up to Sirius, whom he believed to be an escaped convict. He’s loyal to Harry in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire even when he’s mad at him and they haven’t spoken in weeks. No matter his feelings, Ron is willing to put his own pride aside for the safety of his friend.
Year after year, Ron Weasley is loyal. He is strong. He tries even when he doesn’t want to. He could’ve easily let Harry go from his life, but he didn’t. He stayed by him because he loved him and because Harry needed him. Harry needed someone to lift him with humor. Harry needed someone to stand up for him – if not for the protection, then for the morale boost and to have the knowledge that someone was unconditionally on his side.
Ron Weasley was the first friend Harry had ever really had. Ron Weasley left his family to help Harry hunt Horcruxes, unable to guarantee their safety or even communicate with them. Ron Weasley spent years being jealous of Harry, but he put his feelings aside daily.
Ron may not be the most talented wizard, but he is the kind of person we all need in our lives. All of us have talents, and just because Ron’s weren’t as tangible as his friends’ or family’s does not mean that he is a useless sidekick. I honestly think that he is underestimated and underappreciated by the fandom. He has so many moments of bravery and demonstrates knowledge that Harry and Hermione did not have. The trio all brought strengths to the table, and I truly believe that Ron is just as important as Harry or Hermione.