One of my
least favorite things in the Prisoner of Azkaban film is the handling of the
Scabbers-Crookshanks narrative, and more specifically how in the movies it’s a
far more one-sided fight completely in favor of Hermione. In the movie we get
one scene of Ron warning Hermione to keep her cat away from Scabbers—a Scabbers
who is apparently not ill or who Ron isn’t bothering to medicate like in the
books, and a Scabbers that Ron can apparently almost forget to bring to
Hogwarts necessitating his mother to run after the train to give the rat to
Scabbers suddenly being missing, Ron accusing Crookshanks with no evidence and
Hermione defending her cat. The two are angry, but there is no real emotion, no
actual hurt behind the words. Crookshanks could have accidentally spilled Ron’s
inkwell and he would sound just as angry.
minutes later, they are in Hagrid’s Hut where their friend miraculously
produces the rat—not without chiding Ron “you should take better care of your
pets” which automatically frames the situation as Ron’s fault to the audience. To drive the point further home
Hermione, rather than simply be relieved and happy for her friend that his pet
was not actually eaten, immediately starts in with “I think you owe someone an
apology”. Ron purposefully acts obtuse, and further removes himself from the
audience’s sympathy by replying “Next time I see Crookshanks, I’ll let him
know” allowing Hermione a self-righteous “I meant me!” as if this is the greatest affront of her life.
And none of
this is how it is in the book. At all.
Crookshanks makes multiple attempts on Scabbers’ life throughout the novel in
front of the Trio. This is partly because Hermione continues to allow her cat
near Scabbers despite Ron repeatedly telling
her not to. Because he cares
about Scabbers. Despite him being a hand-me-down and a bit dull, Scabbers is
his pet and Ron cares about him. He gets him—likely expensive—tonic when
Scabbers begins losing weight and fur, he takes to carrying him around to keep
him safer from Crookshanks. Scabbers is his pet and we are shown that Ron would
be very upset if he were to lose him.
the stage for when he does, when
Pettigrew as Scabbers fakes his death and frames Crookshanks. Keeping in mind
Ron’s feelings about Scabbers this whole previous year, his resulting actions
make perfect sense. He is incredibly upset with Hermione and confronts her,
only for her to deny her cat had any involvement.
maybe it seems like he’s being mean to Hermione by shutting her out—something
that Harry also does during the Firebolt fight that is conveniently left out of
the movie—but look at it from Ron’s point of view. Hermione’s pet was
attempting to kill his pet all year. He repeatedly requested she keep her pet
away from his, and Hermione largely did not respect that boundary. When
confronted with pretty damning evidence considering the circumstances, Hermione
still refused to admit any possible blame and defended her cat who almost
certainly—again, considering the circumstances—ate his rat. And just a note,
Harry is equally convinced Crookshanks did it, even if he’s not as emotionally
charged in his conviction. Why shouldn’t
Ron be angry with her? Why shouldn’t he want her to admit her cat’s fault? His
friend refused to listen to him all year and is now seemingly disregarding his
feelings because she’s too proud to admit she’s wrong.
the thing. Once Hermione comes to Harry and Ron with the news about Buckbeak
losing his trial—something far more important—they make amends. In fact it is
Ron who does the most. Just to refresh everyone’s memory:
do this,” said Harry. “They can’t. Buckbeak isn’t dangerous.”
dad frightened the Committee into it,” said Hermione, wiping her eyes. “You
know what he’s like. They’re a bunch of doddery old fools, and they were
scared. There’ll be an appeal, though, there always is. Only I can’t see any
hope…Nothing will have changed.”
will,” said Ron fiercely. “You won’t have to do all the work alone this time,
Hermione. I’ll help.”
flung her arms around Ron’s neck and broke down completely. Ron, looking quite
terrified, patted her very awkwardly on the top of the head. Finally, Hermione
really, really sorry about Scabbers…,” she sobbed.
old,” said Ron, looking thoroughly relieved that she had let go of him. “And he
was a bit useless. You never know, Mum and Dad might get me an owl now.”
(Prizoner of Azkaban, pages 291-292, Scholastic Hardback Edition)
says anything in this scene, and it is mostly Ron who extends the olive branch.
This makes sense as the matter primarily concerns him and Hermione, but I just
want to make it clear that Ron is not pressured into forgiving her, he is not grudging
about it. In fact, he is already offering her his help before she even
apologizes, and once she does he immediately tries to downplay his hurt
feelings over Scabbers’ loss—mostly out of a fourteen year-old’s discomfort
with crying and hugging from girls they may or may not have a developing crush
on. He doesn’t gloat over the apology or being right, and he instantly drops
chapter fifteen out of a twenty-two chapter book. Hermione and Ron are not
feuding up until nearly the end of third year, as depicted in the movie.
Hermione does in fact apologize about Scabbers while Ron is not an ass about
it, and the narrative leaves them off on mostly even ground. The rest of the
book consists of Ron working on the appeal for Hermione as she prepares for all
her exams, worrying over her impossible schedule, her health, and so on. They
barely even bicker that entire duration.
Ron is a
great friend to Hermione. The movies just didn’t want to show that.
As a Slytherin, I have quite a few thoughts on the whole “Slytherins are inherently evil” bias.
Slyrherins are not evil, many of our actions just fit in the more gray areas of the scale. Don’t get me wrong, there are some fucked up Slytherins, but there’s fucked up and twisted wizards from other houses too, BCJ and Pettigrew being some examples.
Slytherins are goal oriented and driven, unafraid to do what it takes to achieve their goals, often leading to the degradation of both mental and physical health. But at the same time, Slytherins have a personal set of rules that they create for themselves that they will not cross or break for any reason. Rules set by others are simply suggestions and will be easily tossed aside if they hinder progress, but breaking our own rules is out of the question. Sacrificing personal morals, beliefs, and personalities for any reason is not who a Slytherin is.
We’re also unafraid to admit who we are. Other houses have created horrible, twisted wizards like I’ve mentioned before, but unlike the other houses, Slytherin house isn’t afraid to claim it. Just because Slytherin openly admits to producing evil wizards doesn’t mean all Slytherins are evil does it?
Speaking of evil, what really is it anyways? Yes, murder, abuse of any sort whether mental or physical, sexual abuse, torture- all of that is shit. Cruel to the core. But putting the obvious aside, what is evil? Going against what is preordained? Forging your own path against the wishes and wills of others? Going against the normal and trying to achieve personal goals no matter what has to be done in the process? Take out the comic book concept of evil and destruction and chaos and think of some of the Slytherins considered evil. Narcissa didn’t murder, didn’t cheat, didn’t torture. Hell, she wasn’t wven branded with the Dark Mark! She sides with Voldemort and her husband in order to protect her son, her family, as we as keep peace with Lucius. She sided with Voldemort because it was the way she saw that was the easiest to achieve her goals- she was provided protection and her family was safe and protected. As soon as she realized Voldemort did not care for Lucius or herself, not did he care about the life of Draco and intended him to be murdered, she went against him and stopped fighting for him to keep her family safe. Hell she even lied about the death of Harry, the boy her family swore against, all to keep them safe and alive! She knew it was the only way to reach her son and ensure his safety!
And look at Regulus, Sirius’s brother. He didn’t want to be scorned, be mistreated like Sirius was, so he adopted the views of his family for self preservation. He followed Voldemort and even joined his ranks to ensure he would be treated the way he wanted to be. It would bring pride from his family, he wouldn’t have to suffer like he watched Sirius suffer. But as soon as he realized what Voldemort was doing was against his beliefs, his moral code, his set of rules he set for himself, Regulus revolted and even went a step further to try and stop Voldemort. As soon as he realized that Voldemort was as willing to treat others like scum, like slaves, and abuse and torture them like his parents did Sirius, the future he wanted to escape, he went against it and fought against it, even sacrificing himself to achieve his own ends. Yet he still told Kreacher not to tell his family what he’d done so they would not view him as they did Sirius.
There are much more Slytherin wizards like these two than like Vdemort, yet they’re considered evil because of the house they were sorted into. Remove the veil of evil and really analyze Slytherins. Slytherins aren’t evil, they’re self serving and goal oriented and often dont follow the same rules as others. They can definitely be assholes at some points though.
And the pure blood bias thing? Think about when Hogwarts was founded. Witch trial, witch hunts, an anti-magic mania was all happening. Slytherin wasn’t an ass, he just wanted to keep wizard kind safe from Muggles and didn’t trust Muggle Borns because regardless of possessing magic, they were still raised in a Muggle society with muggle beliefs and bias and could pose a threat to wizards and the wizarding community. They were a possible danger and Slytherin wanted to protect his own kind. Once the prejudice disappeared and the trials stopped, however, more selfish and cruel Slytherins manipulated that view of Slytherin into racist bigotry to justify their own unfounded hatred.
Although, ya know, putting a giant fucking unpredictable snake hidden in a secret chamber of the castle, regardless if your heir could control it or not, to stand guardian over the wizards of non Muggle descent to protect them from any Muggle threat, was a dumbass idea. Of course it’s bound to backfire, especially if the heir is a complete and utter bloodthirsty raving lunatic.
So yeah, ramble over. One about Hufflepuff is probably coming soon I have a lot to say about them
“This octopus was NOT impressed when I interrupted its morning feeding stroll during my scuba dive in Melbourne, Australia. It blew itself up like a parachute multiple times to try to intimidate me, before trying to torpedo me like a bowling ball! Octopuses are beautiful, intelligent creatures and this one was using its most creative methods of self defense. Or maybe it was just hungry and angry at the same time (= hangry?)
Of all things I'm really upset that they cut Ron yelling 'Hermione' is DH. That would have taken no extra screen time or even effort at all
The thing is, I think that scene was a crucial turning point- for Romione, yes- but also for Ron as a character. To be honest, I wouldn’t particularly mind if they cut out his screaming (spoiler alert: yes I would and we all know it) as long as they’d kept in the “No! You can have me, take me!” line. As if anyone in the fandom could watch Rupert Grint say that line and then go and argue the fact that Ron was selfish and didn’t care about his friends.
Like, can we just emphasise that Ron Weasley, master chess strategist and known keeper of rationality during times of stress, just freaking loses it. He offers himself up in her place, he struggles like hell to get to her, he screams her name and sobs hysterically, he punches the wall with his fists and tries to apparate without a wand. Yet, despite all this, he still manages to pull through enough to actually get her out of there. Ron Weasley does a damn good impersonation of Wormtail’s voice, disarms Bellatrix fucking Lestrange, duels with like half of the known Death Eaters in the series, and successfully apparates- for the first time, no less- in an extremely high pressure situation like. Can we just.
If this had been in the movies I think the fandom’s general opinion of Ron Weasley would increase in positivity tenfold.
I could make a million more posts defending Aang or Katara or Suki or Mai or anyone (don’t get me wrong I most definitely will) but how about people just stop hating characters because everyone (excluding Zhou and Ozai etc.) is awesome and amazing