Faster than you can say “blast-ended skrewt,” Harry Potter fans can to this day conjure up several beloved book moments that were either poorly executed in the movies or omitted entirely — The Quidditch World Cup? S.P.E.W.? Peeves? — but today we’re here to talk about one character in particular who was done a large injustice by the film franchise: Ron Weasley.
Without a doubt, Ron is one of the most underrated characters from J.K. Rowling’s literature, but the way the films drastically misrepresented Harry’s best pal doesn’t exactly help his cause. Now, this isn’t to discredit Rupert Grint: his portrayal of Ron was brilliant. Even in the first film, when he was quite young, Rupert innately played to the heart and soul that was Ron’s character. Not to mention, his facial expressions were always spot on.
Despite Grint’s thoroughly enjoyable performances over the years, it’s a real shame that Movie-Ron was not as fleshed out as Book-Ron. Thanks to primary screenwriter Steve Kloves excluding so many of Ron’s shining moments, the youngest Weasley boy has been portrayed as a useless dope who didn’t belong in the Golden Trio, and it’s really got my wand in a knot.
While the films may have failed (or completely overlooked) some of Ron’s most courageous, humorous and character-developing moments, here are 8 straight out of the books that will remind you why “Weasley is our king!”
8. Ron’s Clapback In Defense Of Hermione
In the books, Ron often put himself on the line in defense of Harry and Hermione, even going head to head with Professor Snape a few times. In this onscreen portrayal, Movie-Ron sides with Snape when their potions master insults Hermione, to which Ron replies “he’s right, you know.” But this contradicts the very essence of Ron: He is the brave Gryffindor with a loyal Hufflepuff heart. Don’t believe me? Take a look at how unflinchingly Book-Ron defends Hermione:
“That is the second time you have spoken out of turn, Miss Granger,” said Snape coolly. “Five more points from Gryffindor for being an insufferable know-it-all.”
Hermione went very red, put down her hand and stared at the floor with her eyes full of tears. […] Ron, who told Hermione she was a know-it-all at least twice a week, said loudly, “You asked us a question and she knows the answer! Why ask if you don’t want to be told?”
-Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
7. Ron’s Dirty Divination Joke
Sure, Ron was funny in the movies, but the majority of his laughs were at his own expense. Ron’s real sense of humor was never fully developed onscreen, and some of his best quips and wittiest sarcasm remains hidden in the books — not to mention, he introduces us to a lot of great “wizard swears,” too. A perfect example of his fluent sarcasm is when Lavender Brown discovers a planet in their Divination class, and Ron drops some cheeky foreshadowing to their (brief) future relationship:
“Oh, Professor, look! I think I’ve got an unexpected planet! Oooh, which one’s that, Professor?”
“It is Uranus, my dear,” said Professor Trelawney, peering down at the chart.
“Can I look at Uranus, too, Lavender?” said Ron.
– Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
6. When Ron Stands Up (On A Broken Ankle) For Harry
The films gifted Hermione some of Ron’s most bad-ass lines. For one example, in the film version of The Prisoner of Azkaban, when the trio meets Sirius Black for the first time, believing that Black intends to kill Harry, Ron whimpers in the corner while Hermione stands in front of Harry saying “If you want to kill Harry, you’ll have to kill us too!”
Yep, those were actually Ron’s words. In the book, even though he was already in tremendous pain from his mangled leg, Ron valiantly defended his best mate:
Without knowing what he was doing, he started forward, but there was a sudden movement on either side of him and two pairs of hands grabbed him and held him back…”No, Harry!” Hermione gasped in a petrified whisper; Ron, however, spoke to Black.
“If you want to kill Harry, you’ll have to kill us too!” he said fiercely, though the effort of standing upright was draining him of still more color, and he swayed slightly as he spoke.
-Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
5. When Dobby Helps Harry Save His “Wheezy”
In the Goblet of Fire, it is Dobby — not Neville — who tells Harry to use the Gillyweed for the second Tri-Wizard task, so that he can save the one thing Harry would miss the most: his Wheezy.
A Wheezy, it turns out, is Dobby’s mispronunciation of Weasley, but it’s pretty darn cute how Dobby matter-of-factly refers to Ron as just another one of Harry’s cherished belongings, like his Firebolt. Bless him. Although Ron does not appear directly in this passage, it not only emphasizes just how much Ron means to Harry, it also shows that even though Ron has very little, he is still willing to give Dobby the sweater right off his back.
“Harry Potter has to go into the lake and find his Wheezy—”
“Find my what?”
“—and take his Wheezy back from the merpeople!”
“What’s a Wheezy?”
“Your Wheezy, sir, your Wheezy—Wheezy who is giving Dobby his sweater!”
Dobby plucked at the shrunken maroon sweater he was now wearing over his shorts.
“What?” Harry gasped. “They’ve got…they’ve got Ron?”
“The thing Harry Potter will miss most, sir!” squeaked Dobby.
–J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
4. Ron Scraps With Malfoy
Sometimes using a hex on your arch nemesis just isn’t as satisfying as using your fists. Plus, who doesn’t love when that slimy git Draco Malfoy gets punched in the face? On screen we’ve witnessed Hermione sock Malfoy in the nose, but did you know Ron was actually the first Gryffindor to go after Malfoy with physical violence —Neville being the second? It’s not only one of the earliest examples of Ron’s loyalty to his friends, but it proves he is also somewhat of scrapper.
“Longbottom, if brains were gold you’d be poorer than Weasley, and that’s saying something.”
Ron’s nerves were already stretched to the breaking point with anxiety about Harry.
“I’m warning you, Malfoy—one more word— “ […]
“You’re in luck, Weasley, Potter’s obviously spotted some money on the ground!” said Malfoy.
Ron snapped. Before Malfoy knew what was happening, Ron was on top of him, wrestling him to the ground. Neville hesitated, then clambered over the back of his seat to help. […]
[Hermione] didn’t even notice Malfoy and Ron rolling around under her seat, or the scuffles and yelps coming from the whirl of fists that was Neville, Crabbe, and Goyle.
– Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
3. When Ron Is Named Prefect Over Harry
Everyone loves to whine about how jealous and immature Ron can be, but does anyone remember how salty Harry was at Ron for becoming Prefect over him? Merlin’s beard, Harry, just let Ron have this one thing! Why Hermione and Ron earning Prefect status never made its way past the pages of the books, we’ll never know, but I for one would have loved to see proud Molly Weasley reward Ron his new broom! Rest assured, Ron handled his newfound authority like we all secretly hoped he would, and used it to squash his foes and protect his blokes:
“You’re not supposed to abuse your position, Ron!” said Hermione sharply.
“Yeah, right, because Malfoy won’t abuse it at all,” said Ron sarcastically.
“So you’re going to descend to his level?”
“No, I’m just going to make sure I get his mates before he gets mine.”
-Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
2. How Distraught He Is When Hermione Is Tortured By Bellatrix
The Bellatrix/Hermione torture scene was pretty unsettling in the film, but it is actually much more harrowing in the book because of Ron’s reaction — which we don’t see any of on screen. As poor Hermione screams, Ron starts shouting her name like an inconsolable maniac. Now, this is the kind of reaction that proves Ron does have an emotional range much bigger than a teaspoon:
Harry could feel Ron shaking.[…] “HERMIONE!” Ron bellowed, and he started to writhe and struggle against the ropes tying them together, so that Harry staggered. “HERMIONE! HERMIONE! HERMIONE!”’[…] Harry felt the ropes fall away and turned, rubbing his wrists, to see Ron running around the cellar, looking up at the low ceiling, searching for a trapdoor. […] Ron was now trying to Disapparate without a wand. […] Hermione’s screams echoed off the walls upstairs, Ron was half sobbing as he pounded the walls with his fists.
-Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
1. The Real Romione Kiss
During the attack on Hogwarts in Deathly Hallows, Ron suddenly realizes they need to save the House-elves. Hermione, the founder of the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare (aka, S.P.E.W.), becomes so turned on by Ron’s genuine compassion for elf rights, she literally throws herself at him. This gives a little insight to why Hermione truly loves Ron: he has a good heart. Plus, you just gotta love Harry’s response to the whole thing:
“Hang on a moment!” said Ron sharply. “We’ve forgotten someone!”
“Who?” asked Hermione.
“The house-elves, they’ll all be down in the kitchen, won’t they?”
“You mean we ought to get them fighting?” asked Harry.
“No,” said Ron seriously. “I mean we should tell them to get out. We don’t want anymore Dobbies, do we? We can’t order them to die for us.”
There was a clatter as the basilisk fangs cascaded out of Hermione’s arms. Running at Ron, she flung them around his neck and kissed him full on the mouth. Ron threw away the fangs and broomstick he was holding and responded with such enthusiasm that he lifted Hermione off her feet. […]
[Harry] raised his voice, “Oi! There’s a war going on here!”
-Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
No matter how the films may have tried to paint Ron as a witless, whiny coward, we will always be able to call on these canon book moments — as well as many others —to remind us how severely loyal and brave, yet lovably human Ron really was. Long live King Weasley!
Can you think of any other great Ron moments that appear only in the books? Comment below!