After reading that Ron defense post and how much you love him, I'm really curious as to why you like him so much! Have a good day xxxx
Of course! Okay, this is a mess, but off the top of my head:
Ron’s character comprises a lot of classic tropes that I particularly like—the big, stifling family; the humble beginnings; deep love under cover of laughter; the knight of heart who overcomes his fears. From the beginning, he’s colourful: an optimistic, humorous, buoyant kid, all red and gold and blue, flaring up in anger, in laughter, diffusing tensions with wide-eyed simplicity. To me, there’s something so charming in this self-proclaimed underdog, second always to his friends, and yet never hateful; so humble that he is oblivious to the fact that he is a key cog in his world dynamics.
Ron is never put under an admiring light, because Harry tends to rely on him with the spontaneity of a brother, and Hermione doesn’t share her insights with Harry. Because of Harry’s tranquil trust and because of his depiction in the movies, Ron has slowly become, in popular opinion, a simplistic oaf, a prop for crude comedic devices. To me, however, he is the easiest to identify with now—born in the worlds he inhabits, and yet overlooked by those who, he believes, shine brighter—at the Burrow, his twin brothers and his sisters, who bulldoze their way through life when he tends to take his lazy-ass time—in the magic world, Hermione and Harry, both raised by muggles and yet welcomed with open arms by strangers because of their skills. Ron’s skills are rarely put in the spotlight, and you know why? Because despite his tendency to frustration and anger, which are usually targeted towards himself anyway, he is usually quite unassuming, so convinced is he of his lack of self-worth.
Harry is humble, yes, and selfless, but he has a strong sense of his abilities, of his talent, and the luck that life, despite the hardships, has bestowed upon him. Hermione, potentially because of her blood status and lack of beauty in the early years of school, stuffs her cleverness in everybody’s face and has made it her definite trait. They can take pride in something. Ron, from beginning to end, is completely blind to his own abilities, damaging his sense of self in the process. As the series progresses, Ron falls more and more in the shadow of his friends, trying through temporary jolts to rise to the light (his trying out for the Quidditch team, Lavender,…), and falling back when this fails (keeper is still lesser than captain, and the respect he was looking for was Hermione’s, not Lavender’s). The point is: he is still looking for himself, as we all do at 15. He is still looking for a purpose, for a silver lining, when his close friends seem to have already found their purpose in life.
I think we don’t give Ron enough credit, again because Harry’s narration is biased. It’s been said that Ron is jealous, and angry, and susceptible, but time and time again Ron diffuses the tension between buttheads Hermione and Harry, and when he leaves—escaping the shadows I mentioned earlier, deciding to live for himself for a while—, Harry and Hermione’s relationship falls into silence and disinterest, because the link of warmth between them is ultimately Ron. I think he is very socially clever, despite being oblivious at times—he compliments Hermione when she most needs it, mingles his anger with Harry to lighten the burden, and is shown to worry and discuss Harry’s problems with Hermione behind the scenes, although we don’t have access to what is actually shared. He is also attuned to the atmosphere enough to crack a joke at exactly the right moment, unassumingly. I think this feelings-focused approach is also his biggest weakness: impulsive, he usually falls into self-hate and anxiety after his outbursts; attuned to his surroundings in a global rather than detailed way, he feels that he is overlooked, knows that he is under-valued, but does not know how to prove or to address it. Jealous, no—but envious of a life where he would feel more loved, more comfortable with himself, where he would get more admiration, absolutely. The issue comes from there, of course: his being poor, his being clumsy, his being always considered the Potter sidekick, second place, last place, these all erode his sense of self throughout the books. There’s a lack of self-respect in Ron: he always makes himself the butt of the joke, he becomes upset when people point out the flaws he knows and hates. But his need to be validated through others is both deeply immature and deeply relatable: it is a forced step before reaching the understanding that only you can know and respect yourself entirely.
To me, Ron (along with Neville) is the bravest of them all, and really deserves his place in Gryffindor. Contrarily to Hermione (who buckles under pressure often, because she is ultimately in need of control) and Harry, who is defined by his selflessness and is ready for self-sacrifice, Ron is always scared as fuck and yet always fights. He has the most to lose, being from such a big family. Yet he faces his arachnophobia at 12 in order to explore his best friend’s hunch about the spiders. At 11, he had chosen to potentially die in order to allow Harry safe-passing to the Mirror cave. He was born in the magical world: giants, Voldemort, even Sirius Black are not rational enemies to him, but the stuff of nightmares, legends that tamed and terrified him when he was little. How could he approach them with a level-head when he has been raised to fear them? He cannot be as rational as those who discover the existence of human villains when they reach teenagehood. To him, these are monsters. Ron not only has to fight them, he has to unlearn what petrified a whole nation, to challenge his education, the deeply ingrained fears and lore that has been part of his personality-building.
I think that’s what I like best of all: because he is so flawed and realistic from the get-go, he is allowed to undergo the most amazing character development, and to grow up before our eyes. That kid who was dismissive of “know-it-alls” and “weirdos”, raised to be casually racist towards other magical races (goblins, elves and giants), deeply unsure of his own worth, tortured between envy and deep loyalty/love, hateful of his humble station, becomes by the end of book 7 a defender of the school underdogs—standing up for Luna, Hermione and Neville several times throughout the books—; actively attuned to social justice (admiring of Grawp’s efforts, striking friendships with elves and insisting to leave them a choice to fight or to flee); too impulsive and hurt and worried not to leave the hallows quest, but humble and brave enough to come back immediately; showing time and time again pride in his family, and finally finding pride in himself through the last of Harry’s missions. Harry gives him the sword so that he can destroy an Horcrux. By the end of the book, Ron is whole enough, stable enough that he can finally equate his friend and give Hermione the fang so that she can destroy the cup as well.
Ron never sheds his anxiety, his self-consciousness, never loses this impulse of hiding behind humour; his growth is, realistically, not an ideal one. Yet his development is so compelling, and so full of lessons in life and new-found self-awareness. So yeah. That’s why I like him very much!