A HIDDEN HERO: THE IMPORTANCE OF RON WEASLEY IN THE HARRY POTTER SERIES
By Hannah Vincent
Word Count: 590
Rating: G (suitable for all audiences)
Summary: A discussion of Ron Weasley and the heroism of his character.
Hidden heroes are everywhere. Behind the light of the protagonist of a story or movie is an almost equally bright light of the hidden hero. One particular hero, I found recently, is Ron Weasley from the well-known and loved series, Harry Potter. From the very beginning of Harry’s journey in The Sorcerer’s Stone all the way through The Deathly Hallows, we are focused on Harry’s trials and victories. However, if we take a step back and allow our focus to settle on Ron, we find a loyal, brave, and selfless character who possesses virtues that could rival Harry’s.
It is in The Deathly Hallows that Ron’s character blossoms fully, revealing a man who longs to protect his loved ones and his freedom from Voldemort. Although Ron has a tendency to be cowardly and passive, once he is placed into a situation, he becomes a leader and a fighter. Watching his progression throughout the seven films, we see Ron struggle through the awkward stages of the tween and early teen years in Harry’s shadow, then realize he plays a special role within his circle of friends.
There are two points in particular that struck me while watching The Deathly Hallows: first, Ron’s initial role as Harry’s friend mirrors that of Sam to Frodo in The Lord of the Rings; and second, Ron’s masculine power is revealed when Hermione gives her feminine heart to him.
Focusing on the first role, Ron fights by Harry’s side just as Sam journeys alongside Frodo. Both friendships are tested when an object needing to be destroyed (a Horcrux or the One Ring) weighs heavily on the protagonists. Words are thrown like sharp knives and accusations are flung. The hidden hero leaves for a time, causing pain not only to the viewer but the protagonist as well. When light is needed to show the way (the Deluminator or Eärendil), the hidden hero uses these objects to find his friend and save his life.
The second point reflects the power of love between a man and a woman. After years of friendship, Ron and Hermione clearly start to fall in love. Although they remain friends, they tiptoe around their feelings for one another, setting the viewer on edge. During both parts of the film adaptation of The Deathly Hallows, Ron and Hermione share glances, words, or an innocent touch. Ron appears hesitant simply due to the fact he is not Harry Potter, but is a normal man. There is no doubt he would protect Hermione and vice versa, but after they share a kiss, his inner heroism comes alive. Ron is more willing to take risks and place his life on the line to defend those he loves, particularly Hermione. Her gentle yet fierce heart is a treasure Ron gladly fights for and would be willing to die for, if needed.
Hidden heroes such as Ron Weasley are often not noticed until the series (or films) have progressed for some time. Edmund in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe could easily have joined with the evil queen of Narnia, Merlin might have ruled the world with Morgana, or Fezzik and Inigo Montoya could have continued being mercenaries after Vizzini dies in The Princess Bride. Every hidden hero chose to step out of the shadow of the main protagonist and make a path of their own. Ron Weasley is one such hero who holds a special place in the heart of the literary world. He has strength, courage, and faithfulness, and has proven to be a worthy warrior.