Ron Weasley often doesn’t get enough appreciation for what a great character he is. We want to shuffle him to the side when we talk about the golden trio, especially since some of his best scenes and lines didn’t even make it into the Harry Potter films. Which is a real shame, because Rupert Grint did a fantastic job portraying the character, and could’ve totally handled even more screen time.
Of course, Hermione Granger is an absolutely wonderful character (and I wouldn’t mind reading the series from her perspective), as is Harry and Luna Lovegood and Hagrid and the rest of the popular favorite characters. From Hermione, we all learned that knowledge and logic are awesome, from Luna we learned to stay true to yourself, from Hagrid we learned to be kind and understanding towards outsiders, from Gilderoy Lockhart we learned that fame is a fickle friend, but the truth is that we all have so much to learn from Ronald Bilius Weasley.
Sure, he offers comedic relief from time to time — “Why spiders? Why couldn’t it be ‘follow the butterflies’?”), but he’s truly so much more than a punch line. After all, where would Harry be without the help of his best friend?
You Don't Have To Be The Center Of Attention To Succeed
Throughout his life, Ron was constantly overshadowed by the people surrounding him. He had brothers who were extremely successful in and out of school, a younger sister who was a powerful witch (and a pretty awesome Quidditch player), a love interest who was the "brightest witch of her age," and a best friend who was the "chosen one." Still, Ron stayed true to himself, and never tried to steal the spotlight. He succeeded just by being himself.
Family Loyalty Is Important
Even when Malfoy and many others berated the Weasleys, Ron always stayed loyal to his family. He risked his life to go into the Chamber of Secrets to save Ginny, supported Fred and George's Wizard Wheezes, and always stood by his father.
Treat Your Friends Like Family
From the minute Ron met Harry, he treated him like family. He invites him to the Burrow for holidays, stays at the castle over breaks so Harry won't be alone, and keeps his parents so up-to-date on Harry's life that it's as if Harry is truly one of the Weasleys.
You Can Overcome Prejudice
Since Ron grew up in the wizarding world, he holds certain prejudices that Harry and Hermione don't share. For example, he believes that house-elves should be made to do household work without pay. However, he's proof that, just because you once believed something, doesn't mean you can't learn and change the way you think: throughout the series, Ron becomes more accepting and respectful of others, which ultimately leads to him and Hermione's first kiss. Awww.
It's OK To Have Flaws
Ron is sometimes jealous of the attention Harry receives, but he proves that it's OK to have flaws. He never pretends to be perfect, and instead works through his feelings and comes out the other side a stronger person because of it.
Book Smarts Are Not The Only Form Of Intelligence
Whereas Hermione is very logical and discovers new information constantly through reading, Ron provides a different kind of intelligence. He stays cool under pressure, and uses real-world intelligence to solve problems. For example, when Hermione can't think of what to do to free the trio from devil's snare, Ron yells at her to light a fire. He also has extensive knowledge about the wizarding world that both Hermione and Harry don't, since he grew up in that society.
Being Remarkable Can't Replace Being Good
Ron may be "ordinary," but he is also good, proving that you don't have to be "special" or "chosen" in order to do great things.
Be Brave, Even When The Going Gets Tough
After watching chess pieces get completely obliterated, Ron is still willing to sacrifice himself in the deadly chess game — at age 11! From the very beginning, Ron makes it clear that he fits into Gryffindor, because he's about as brave as it gets: he's always willing to sacrifice himself to save his friends and family.
It's Good To Express Your Emotions
When Ron is feeling upset or angry, he sometimes bottles it up, but often it spills over and he freely expresses what's bothering him. For example, the times when he grumbles and complains about little things are actually good, because he's able to express how he feels and then move forward.
You Can Always Come Back
Though Ron leaves in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, he eventually finds his way back, and then sticks with Harry and Hermione until the end. Here's to someone who was so much more than a sidekick.
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