When we first met Ron, he was described as quite the dapper gent: ‘tall, thin and gangling, with freckles, big hands and feet and a long nose’. Okay, maybe not. And upon meeting future best friend Harry Potter, Ron was embarrassed about many facets of his life; from his rubbish sandwiches to his even more rubbish rat.
While he might not haved seemed impressive at first sight, remember, it was from Ron that we learnt why wizards say You-Know-Who instead of Voldemort – plus, he taught Harry (and us all) about Dumbledore and, who could forget, Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans?
Ron may have been self-deprecating, but when it came to wizard chess he was your man – as he demonstrated in ‘the best-played game of chess Hogwarts has seen in many years’. When he, Harry and Hermione were faced with a life-size chess game in Philosopher’s Stone, Ron not only showed off his strategic prowess, but also let himself be ‘taken’ (which involved being brutally bludgeoned by a rival piece) in order to win the game.
Okay, so this one earned him a Howler, sure. But if he hadn’t helped Harry get to Hogwarts, how would they have rescued Ginny from the Chamber of Secrets? See, everything happens for a reason.
Being Harry Potter’s best friend came with certain requirements: be on hand to vanquish Dark wizards; be ready to roam dangerous and terrifying locations within a moment’s notice, and, of course, take the mick out of the teacher who seemed to loathe Harry the most: Severus Snape.
‘A five-year-old could have told us as much,’ sneered Snape. ‘The Inferius is a corpse that has been reanimated by a Dark wizard’s spells. It is not alive, it is merely used like a puppet to do the wizard’s bidding. A ghost, as I trust that you are all aware by now, is the imprint of a departed soul left upon the earth ... and of course, as Potter so wisely tells us, transparent.’ ‘Well, what Harry said is the most useful if we’re trying to tell them apart!’ said Ron. ‘When we come face to face with one down a dark alley we’re going to be having a shufti to see if it’s solid, aren’t we, we’re not going to be asking, “Excuse me, are you the imprint of a departed soul?”’
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
In Deathly Hallows, Harry, Ron and Hermione’s fight to destroy Horcruxes took its toll on Ron, who disappeared after the locket of Salazar Slytherin sent him spiralling into paranoia. Typical Slytherins, even the jewellery will torment you…
After leaving his friends to fend for themselves on their quest to find and destroy Voldemort, he returned in valiant style soon after, saving Harry from drowning in a frozen pool, acquiring the sword of Gryffindor and getting to destroy the Horcrux that caused him so much trauma. How far he came from puking up slugs.
‘Well, I’ve – you know – I’ve come back. If –’ He cleared his throat. ‘You know. You still want me.’
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows