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My least favorite character is Ron Weasley. Ron is a slacker who does nothing to improve himself. He complains about his family being poor while Harry lives with sadists. He's jealous of Harry while people are actively trying to kill him, Ron's worst moment comes when he abandons Harry and Hermione in the Forest of Dean. If Voldemort finds them he'll kill them on sight Ron goes to his brother's house to sulk. He's lucky that they forgave him I wouldn't. 

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On 3/28/2021 at 10:00 PM, kathyk24 said:

My least favorite character is Ron Weasley. Ron is a slacker who does nothing to improve himself. He complains about his family being poor while Harry lives with sadists. He's jealous of Harry while people are actively trying to kill him, Ron's worst moment comes when he abandons Harry and Hermione in the Forest of Dean. If Voldemort finds them he'll kill them on sight Ron goes to his brother's house to sulk. He's lucky that they forgave him I wouldn't. 

I've always had a soft spot for Ron.  He was a slacker because he is the youngest of a line of boys who did all the things.  He realized early on that all of them found their niche and whatever he did was never going to measure up.  Bill was Head Boy, Charlie was the jock, Percy was Percy (and who wants to out-Percy Percy), and the twins were the Class Clowns Extraordinaire.  I was a year behind my older brother in school.  It sucks being compared to a sibling for years.  I can not imagine how hard it would be having the same teachers as 4 of your older siblings.  

Yes, Ron's worst moment was abandoning Harry and Hermione, but he came back.  To me that is the important part.  

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Ginny is probably my least favorite of the 'good' characters.  She is basically a cardboard thin trope.

Ron, tbh, is probably the most realistic of characters in motivations and actions.  Harry is too much the on-page hero with the straight out of fantasy hero's journey.  Everybody fills a role.  Ron is probably the only one who seems like an average high school kids going through normal high school kid emotional sturm und drang.  He is a good friend, he is jealous friend, he is proud of Harry, he is resentful of Harry, he hates his family, he loves his family, he can be generous, he can be super selfish, he is not a great student or a great jock or super popular or super funny but he is in the close friend group of people who are all those things, so while he is glad to be in the cool clique he isn't really a cool kid.  He knows this and is resigned to it but is also a little mad at it.  In short he is a lot like a lot of other High school kids.  Harry and Hermione are definitely characters in a fantasy novel.  But Ron could be any character in any YA book.

Edited by DearEvette
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What about Mrs. Weasley? It still pisses me off when Ron became head boy and she bragged how all her sons got that honor, and the twins were like "Er. What are we.....?"

And the way she treated Hermione after Rita Skeeter wrote all those lies. And how she treated Fleur. 

It's no wonder Ron acts the way he does. It seems the older boys learned how to deal with her by seeking their own paths (even Percy), but I can see Ron desperately seeking her approval since he's a follower and not a leader. Arthur's love for their children and their friends is unconditional (he tries anyway). Molly's is not. And Ron knows that.

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33 minutes ago, Snow Apple said:

It's no wonder Ron acts the way he does. It seems the older boys learned how to deal with her by seeking their own paths (even Percy), but I can see Ron desperately seeking her approval since he's a follower and not a leader. Arthur's love for their children and their friends is unconditional (he tries anyway). Molly's is not. And Ron knows that.

I think the thing Mrs. Weasley is most proud of Ron for is being Harry Potter's friend. It must have sucked to first come after all his brothers in his mother's eyes, and then come after his BFF. I will always have a soft spot for Ron because I feel like all he ever really wanted was to be first for someone, and not always live in the shadows of someone "better" than him. 

Arthur Weasley rocked, though. He was a great parent, possibly the only one in the series. 

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Honestly, by the end of the series, I plain just didn't care about the Weasleys anymore. Probably because J.K. had spent the entire series shoving down the reader's throat how they were just the bestest, most perfect Wizarding family ever and it was just the ultimate goal of Harry and Hermione's entire life to become "real Weasleys" - fucking gag. Okay, I did still like the twins but then she freaking killed Fred. 

As for Ron, yeah I've heard the "he was a real teenager with real insecurities" argument for the decades long this series has existed and you know what, fair or not, because the books were a fantasy series, meaning there was a lot that was fantastical and "not real life" about it, I didn't have time for Ron's "real life insecurities". Because like there was scary, dramatic shit happening while he's busy boo-hooing about minor shit. 

So no, when I'm reading Harry literally having to constantly fight for his life, I don't care about Ron's millionth whining about being poor. And as I've said before, the irony of it is that while his issues seemed minor compared to the bigger stuff happening, he whined and bitched more than anyone else. If I were inclined to be a bit kinder towards the character in my older, more mature years, I recently re-read Goblet of Fire as part of a reading challenge. 

And if possible, I think I'd forgotten just how fucking annoying Ron was in that book. Like I remember the getting mad at Harry after his name came out of the Goblet. But lordy, the "poor me, I'm poor" whinging never fucking let up. Half way through the book, even after Harry'd done the first task and they were talking again and so all agreed that yeah, someone likely put Harry's name in there hoping to get him killed during the tournament. Ron's still going on about not knowing wizard gold was not real and how he thought he'd paid Harry back for a gift Harry gave him and on and on and on... 

Like honestly, even with how nutty Voldie was, if Harry constantly whined about his life that much (and let's face it, he had a lot to bitch about), I'd have hated it and hated him too for it. 

Edited by truthaboutluv
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I also never liked Ron and Hermione as a romantic couple. I remember preferring her with Victor Krum. I thought it was cute how smitten he was with her. Better than Ron who fights and belittle her. 

Harry and Hermione didn't have to marry into the Weasley family to be considered family. Like many others, I wish the series ended with Harry going up to bed.

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5 hours ago, truthaboutluv said:

Honestly, by the end of the series, I plain just didn't care about the Weasleys anymore. Probably because J.K. had spent the entire series shoving down the reader's throat how they were just the bestest, most perfect Wizarding family ever and it was just the ultimate goal of Harry and Hermione's entire life to become "real Weasleys" - fucking gag. Okay, I did still like the twins but then she freaking killed Fred. 

As for Ron, yeah I've heard the "he was a real teenager with real insecurities" argument for the decades long this series has existed and you know what, fair or not, because the books were a fantasy series, meaning there was a lot that was fantastical and "not real life" about it, I didn't have time for Ron's "real life insecurities". Because like there was scary, dramatic shit happening while he's busy boo-hooing about minor shit. 

So no, when I'm reading Harry literally having to constantly fight for his life, I don't care about Ron's millionth whining about being poor. And as I've said before, the irony of it is that while his issues seemed minor compared to the bigger stuff happening, he whined and bitched more than anyone else. If I were inclined to be a bit kinder towards the character in my older, more mature years, I recently re-read Goblet of Fire as part of a reading challenge. 

And if possible, I think I'd forgotten just how fucking annoying Ron was in that book. Like I remember the getting mad at Harry after his name came out of the Goblet. But lordy, the "poor me, I'm poor" whinging never fucking let up. Half way through the book, even after Harry'd done the first task and they were talking again and so all agreed that yeah, someone likely put Harry's name in there hoping to get him killed during the tournament. Ron's still going on about not knowing wizard gold was not real and how he thought he'd paid Harry back for a gift Harry gave him and on and on and on... 

Like honestly, even with how nutty Voldie was, if Harry constantly whined about his life that much (and let's face it, he had a lot to bitch about), I'd have hated it and hated him too for it. 

Thank you I think there are similarities between Harry and Ron and Lily and Petunia. Ron and Petunia are envious of what they think the other has without appreciating their own lives. I always wondered why we never met Hermione's family. We might have learned why she makes the decisions that she does. I don't think the Weasley's are perfect Percy is a snob and the twins are troublemakers. However they are saints compared to the Dursleys.

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On 3/30/2021 at 9:27 PM, Snow Apple said:

Harry and Hermione didn't have to marry into the Weasley family to be considered family.

The fact that they both married into the Weasley family makes it easy to wonder if they truly loved Ginny and Ron or if they loved the idea of being part of the Weasley family and convinced themselves that they loved Ginny and Ron to become part of the big, loving wizard family they think the Weasley's are. 

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5 hours ago, Mabinogia said:

The fact that they both married into the Weasley family makes it easy to wonder if they truly loved Ginny and Ron or if they loved the idea of being part of the Weasley family and convinced themselves that they loved Ginny and Ron to become part of the big, loving wizard family they think the Weasley's are. 

This so much. A therapist would have a field day with that and it's not such an out there theory. First, both Harry and Hermione were only children. So neither had the experience of the sibling connection. While Harry was pure wizarding blood, unfortunately because his parents were murdered, he was raised by two abusive and sadistic assholes who hated all things magical. 

The Weasleys were his first and main experience of what a loving family could be. Of course he wanted to practically embed himself in their family. Hermione seemingly had loving parents (we assume so since J.K. really didn't care to give them much of a voice in the series) but she was the dreaded "mudblood". Again the Weasleys represented a big, pure blood family. 

Listen while I can buy Ron and Hermione genuinely wanting each other in a rather toxic ass relationship, I will never be sold on that boring ass, pulled out in the 5th hour Harry and Ginny relationship. If J.K wanted me to buy that shit, maybe not limit your hero's entire "soulmate story" to like 50 pages of a 7 book series. And Ginny fans can crow on every Buzzfeed list from now till the end of time of how she was really a badass and had so much hidden depth or whatever nonsense they pull out. Bottom line that shit was horribly written. 

And as I've said, reading her post Harry Potter books have just convinced me that J.K. just plain isn't skilled in writing romance.  World building, crafting strong mysteries, developing awesome villains - yes. Romance - girl, no. 

Edited by truthaboutluv
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32 minutes ago, truthaboutluv said:

Listen while I can buy Ron and Hermione genuinely wanting each other in a rather toxic ash relationship, I will never be sold on that boring ass, pulled out in the 5th hour Harry and Ginny relationship. If J.K wanted me to buy that shirt, maybe not limit your hero's entire "soulmate story" to like 50 pages of a 7 book series. And Ginny fans can crow on every Buzzfeed list from now till the end of time of how she was really a badass and had so much hidden depth or whatever nonsense they pull out. Bottom line that shirt was horribly written. 

Ginny always seemed like an afterthought to me. Because...

32 minutes ago, truthaboutluv said:

And as I've said, reading her post Harry Potter books have just convinced me that J.K. just plain isn't skilled in writing romance.  World building, mysterious, awesome villains - yes. Romance - girl, no. 

I think she just threw Ginny at Harry, made up some "badass"-lite traits and called it a day. Ron and Hermione I can understand a bit more in that they are the two people who know what it is like to be the team behind the Great Harry Potter. They have a huge amount of shared experience that no one else would ever truly understand. They have known each other for years, they've seen the best and worst of each other and remained friends through that. So okay, I can get the friendship growing into something more, not necessarily a romantic passion but a familiar and familiar love. Harry and Ginny though, I agree, I don't see it. 

The thing that is sadly a product of this being a book is that none of them met their spouse after high school. It would make more sense to me if Harry, or Ron or Hermione went on to university and met someone, or once they got started on their career paths. But I get that this being a book we are meant to root for the coupling of characters we know. Personally I would have preferred to find out that years later Harry, Ron and Hermione were all still very good friends who got together with their respective spouses and children for holidays or for family vacations rather than them all marring each other. It just makes their worlds seem very small. 

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12 minutes ago, Mabinogia said:

Ginny always seemed like an afterthought to me.

I think she just threw Ginny at Harry, made up some "badass"-lite traits and called it a day.

Yes, Ginny's sudden development also went against the "show, don't tell" rule. The reader never gets to witness what she does, it's always described by others. Fred, George, and Slughorn talked about her famous Bat Bogey Hex, but we never get see it. We don't even know what that hex does.

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21 hours ago, Popples said:

We don't even know what that hex does.

lol, I always just assumed it turned someone into a bat *shrug*

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2 hours ago, truthaboutluv said:

lol, I always just assumed it turned someone into a bat *shrug*

Since it had the word "bogey," I imagined it make bats fly out of your nose. Ouch! Creepy!

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On 4/1/2021 at 5:21 PM, Mabinogia said:

The thing that is sadly a product of this being a book is that none of them met their spouse after high school. It would make more sense to me if Harry, or Ron or Hermione went on to university and met someone, or once they got started on their career paths. But I get that this being a book we are meant to root for the coupling of characters we know. Personally I would have preferred to find out that years later Harry, Ron and Hermione were all still very good friends who got together with their respective spouses and children for holidays or for family vacations rather than them all marring each other. It just makes their worlds seem very small. 

I think Rowling was at least a little aware of the issue you raise, because I read her talking in an interview about how she wanted to make sure that that all these people didn't marry the first person they ever kissed. She somewhat did what she could within the strictures of the series in that they all had a relationship with someone else first. I included "somewhat" because in the case of Ron and Hermione, they were already into each other and Ron in particular was definitely using Lavender as a stand-in for Hermione and to make her jealous. (We get little of Hermione/Viktor, but while she obviously didn't end up with him I do think she gave him a chance of wooing her away from Ron. I remember her talking about how he came to the library each day to talk with her. He put effort into building a relationship and she wouldn't have just used him. He just wasn't the one for her, like most first boyfriends/girlfriends.) And Ginny basically says she just dated other guys to pass the time while she waited for Harry. Harry at least was truly into Cho and not pining after others during the Cho period.

I'll always think it should have been Harry and Hermione, but I can also see Ron and Hermione. While most people don't marry their high school sweethearts, the three of them went through so much unbelievable shit together that I can totally buy a marriage coming out of that. It would be practically impossible for a later relationship, started in college or during their careers, to reach the same level of bonding. It's way beyond normal childhood/teenage friendships. Usually it's the reverse, high school relationships not being very deep, but those three were basically imprinted on each other.

But none of that really applies to Harry/Ginny, which is written superficially and with little ink time in a long-ass series, and like others have said it came across mostly as making Harry an official member of the Weasley family.

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1 hour ago, Black Knight said:

I remember her talking about how he came to the library each day to talk with her.

More like to watch her study.  He's more of a physical being.  But I agree.  Hermione wasn't just using Viktor, though I do think she was thrilled to be the object of his attention when all the other girls were chasing him.

If you go by the movies, Ginny pursued Harry.  I'm not sure he saw her as much more than his best friend's kid sister until she kissed him in the Room of Requirement when they hid the potions book in Half-Blood Prince.  But I'd need to read the books again to see what might have been changed for the movies.  Ginny definitely had a crush on Harry from the beginning.

I still would have liked to see Harry with Luna.  He was by far the nicest to her -- until Neville suddenly decided he was into her.  And I still think Harry should have been a Hogwarts professor.  He was a great teacher. But I did not ever want Harry and Hermione to be romantically involved.  I love their platonic friendship too much.

 

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I liked Ron and Hermione's relationship. It's a bit of the only real life boyfriend/girlfriend thing going on in the series.

It was also sweet from Ron "she mental, that one" to the awkward but cute kiss. 

Harry and Ginny had no chemistry and that relationship was a dud.

I could have seen Harry marrying into the Malfoy family with their baggage and contemptuous relationship. There is never an explanation into why Narcissa Malfoy muttered Draco then pronounced Harry dead knowing he wasn't.  Did she think, what if this was Draco? How can I save him?

I'm going by the movies because I'd have to do a lot of rereading to see how different they were.

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8 minutes ago, tres bien said:

I could have seen Harry marrying into the Malfoy family with their baggage and contemptuous relationship. There is never an explanation into why Narcissa Malfoy muttered Draco then pronounced Harry dead knowing he wasn't.  Did she think, what if this was Draco? How can I save him?

I'm going by the movies because I'd have to do a lot of rereading to see how different they were.

Narcissa loves her son more than she loves Voldemort and his ideology.  They were separated and she didn't know if Draco was alive or dead.  In that instant when she realizes her son is still alive, she makes the decision to lie.  She was done with being a Deatheater and all that it entailed.  Also by that point, Voldemort had made her family's lives a living hell.  Lucius does his bidding and ends up in prison, then Voldemort wants Draco to kill Dumbledore to prove the family's loyalty, then Voldemort takes over their home.  She wanted out and the only way out was defeating Voldemort once and for all.  

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Yeah, I have never liked Harry and Ginny. It was easily the worst relationship of all the ones in the books. Last time I re-read the series, I tried to give it more of a chance instead of always thinking "I hate this" throughout HBP, but I'll just never be crazy about Ginny altogether. The funny thing is I remember thinking the character was interesting for the first time when OotP came out all those years ago, then it's like she went backwards in HBP. 

I didn't hate Ron and Hermione--and I thought it was well-written and obvious from the first book alone that they were the endgame--but I guess I always liked Hermione and often disliked Ron, so in a way I guess I wanted her to have better than him. I enjoyed Hermione and Krum. I never would've wanted Harry and Hermione. The few times Ron is at odds with one or both of them and Harry and Hermione have to go it just the two of them, they just lacked spark for some reason. I like to think Ron came to appreciate that even though he was always second best in the world to his brothers and in his own family, he was always first for both Harry and Hermione. His only talent was being the glue that held the trio together because he was literally comic relief for them from the tension of what was happening at any given time. If Harry had ended up with anyone, I would've picked Luna, although I would've been fine with the book leaving that area of his life open at the end. Or, if we did meet his wife for the first time in the Epilogue (which I still wish had been that Austen-style ending she had planned instead), it wouldn't have been that big of a deal.

I don't think Ron is alone in being an asshole most of the time. Ginny and the twins, especially Fred, as well as Percy and Molly are all jerks. I guess it's just me that even though I could see their flaws, I always sympathized with Percy and Molly to a degree. From the first moment we meet Percy, yeah, okay, he's annoying and develops a big head, but he's practically bullied by the twins and he's the only one of the lot that tries to be what Molly wants instead of constantly being a problem child. As for Molly, she's pretty much running a gigantic family all by herself. Arthur is often not around, he doesn't pull in much money, and then he rarely ever disciplines the children and even unintentionally undermines her. I'm referring to the way he often commiserates with the children about her, lol, or encourages them to keep the issues between them and him so that Molly won't find out. I mean, I understand it, she has a temper, but parents are supposed to be a united front to their children. Maybe she would've been less OTT if she felt like she was backed up on some things. Really the only two arguments we ever hear about involving Arthur were offscreen--the one with Percy and then the one Fred talks about when he tried to trick Ron into an Unbreakable Vow; although to be fair he does scold the twins at the beginning of GoF before Molly takes over. Anyway, part of me wonders how the characters would've been different if Arthur *had* died in OotP as she'd planned*. I ultimately think she made the right decision, because it's hard for me to picture Ron's character ever really being alright after that. Plus, what Arthur adds to the family is similar to what Ron adds to the trio--he alleviates a lot of the tension that builds up between Molly and the kids because of how goofy he is, and so it would be hard to see a happy ending for the family without him there.

* Plus, Sirius' story is just so tragic. I would've liked if he had got a little more good life before it was all over. I imagine that even if he hadn't been swapped in to die that book rather than Arthur, that he would've died at some other point regardless though if "The Forest Again" in DH was always going to happen.

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As vicious as Petunia was, and nothing excuses her not giving Harry even the basics, to the point of not even giving Harry Dudley's storage room, I kind of felt sorry for her. 

1) Like Ron, I think she came under the effects of Harry being an unwitting Horcurx. I don't think it would have stopped her for spoiling Dudley, but it might of reduce her abuse from sadism to benign neglect, where the family would be somewhat indifferent to Harry, but he would have clothes that fit him and his own room since from when he was a baby.

2) I have a feeling when she was talking about her parents being thrilled that Lily was witch, that Lily ended being the favorite child.  Maybe not in the overt way of "Welcome to the Dollhouse," but maybe in the same vein of "Young Sheldon," where Sheldon got all the cool experiences because he was a genius whereas Missy & Georgie had to stay behind. Or in "Hey Arnold" where Helga was ignored in favor of her beautiful and talented sister Olga, which turns her into a cynical bully who makes a literal shrine to the first person that showed her kindness. If the family was somewhat middle-class, and it seemed it took a crap ton of money to get through Hogwarts, Lily might have gotten a lot of special stuff, while treating Petunia as an afterthought and might have forgo some extras. On top of being jealous because she wanted to be magically too, that might have rubbed salt in her wounds. Like Olga in Hey, Arnold, while I believe Lily not to be at all a malicious person, she might not have registered her parent's favoritism of her. 

I think I more fascinated by Draco's & Dudley's arcs in the series. I kind of pity Dudley as well because he was lead astray by his dad's bigotry and his mother's jealous and realized too late that Harry wasn't "a waste of space," and lost many years to build a better brother type relationship. At least he made peace with Harry. 

Edited by Ambrosefolly
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4 hours ago, TheGreenKnight said:

I like to think Ron came to appreciate that even though he was always second best in the world to his brothers and in his own family, he was always first for both Harry and Hermione. His only talent was being the glue that held the trio together because he was literally comic relief for them from the tension of what was happening at any given time.

I like that take on Ron's character/purpose. While he might not have actively added much to the trio, I don't think Harry and Hermione would have been as successful without him. Sometimes you just need that goofball who tags along and doesn't really help in a tangible way but is good at keeping others from getting lost in their own heads. 

 

2 hours ago, Ambrosefolly said:

I have a feeling when she was talking about her parents being thrilled that Lily was witch, that Lily ended being the favorite child.

I completely think that's what happened. I think of it like Lily became the center of the family and while she might not have meant it to happen, even their parents probably didn't mean it to happen, Petunia became the "other one", as in "this is our beautiful, talented, brilliant daughter Lily, oh, and that's the other one". 

It was 100% wrong of her to take it out on Harry, as it was wrong of Snape to take out his hatred of James on Harry, but in both cases I understand where the character was coming from so that makes them more interesting than your standard mustache twirling villains for me.

2 hours ago, Ambrosefolly said:

I kind of pity Dudley as well because he was lead astray by his dad's bigotry and his mother's jealous and realized too late that Harry wasn't "a waste of space," and lost many years to build a better brother type relationship. At least he made peace with Harry. 

I pity Dudley because with his parents that kid never stood a chance of being a decent, understanding person. He is the perfect example of how a toxic environment can mold a young mind.  

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14 hours ago, Mabinogia said:

pity Dudley because with his parents that kid never stood a chance of being a decent, understanding person. He is the perfect example of how a toxic environment can mold a young mind.  

This.  And if some of the passing observations Harry made of him throughout the series were any indication, Dudley wasn't very bright or impressive at school and was heading towards a life of being a giant failure because rather than teach him some discipline and help him when he could be helped, his parents preferred to spoil him and make all types of excuses for him.

Dudley was so going to be that guy at the dead end job blaming everyone for his failures because his parents convinced him other people were the ones who were always the wrong one and bad people who just didn't appreciate and see how special he was. 

 

19 hours ago, TheGreenKnight said:

Yeah, I have never liked Harry and Ginny. It was easily the worst relationship of all the ones in the books. Last time I re-read the series, I tried to give it more of a chance instead of always thinking "I hate this" throughout HBP, but I'll just never be crazy about Ginny altogether. The funny thing is I remember thinking the character was interesting for the first time when OotP came out all those years ago, then it's like she went backwards in HBP. 

Yeah because while J.K. finally gave her some modicum of personality, as a step to setting up the eventual coupling up with Harry, she didn't beat the reader over the head with how suddenly super awesome and bad ass she was like that mess in HBP. I remember when initially reading OOTP and noted that J.K. made a point to show how Ginny was no longer running off and blushing whenever Harry showed up, that it was probably to set up the eventual pairing. 

But then as with her many fails in writing romance, it went almost nowhere. There were multiple missed opportunities, moments that were so glaringly obvious, for building an organic connection between the two (possessed scene anyone? Rather than write an intimate moment with Harry and Ginny, she for some reason writes Hermione leaving a family vacation to be the only one that can drag Harry out of the room), not to mention that she chooses to introduce Luna in this book. 

And proceeds to give her more of a backstory and an identity in that one book versus Ginny in four. And also creates a strong emotional connection between Luna and Harry. Meanwhile, Harry and Hermione were still off having adventures without Ron in that book, she inexplicably makes Cho jealous and threatened of Hermione. The whole thing was a clusterfuck. But again, at least Ginny wasn't insufferable and shoved down the reader's throat like she was in HBP. 

And that likely happened because again, she did such a shit job setting up their romance in the previous books, she made the worse writing mistake of going for the old telling versus showing. We kept being told how super special amazing and talented and perfect Ginny was but sure as hell didn't see it. Even Harry's feelings was a bunch of corny ass lines that read like some teenage fanfiction than a genuine depiction of this boy's developed over time attraction to this girl.

I've said it before and I'll keep saying, HBP read like Harry was just horny and J.K. had beat the reader over the head with how all of Hogwarts suddenly thought Ginny was the hottest chick on the block and so Harry decided he was suddenly so into Ginny. And that's fine, since they were teenagers and many teenage relationships are pretty shallow. But then don't try to later sell me that that shit was some great soul mate love story. 

 

19 hours ago, TheGreenKnight said:

The few times Ron is at odds with one or both of them and Harry and Hermione have to go it just the two of them, they just lacked spark for some reason. I like to think Ron came to appreciate that even though he was always second best in the world to his brothers and in his own family, he was always first for both Harry and Hermione. His only talent was being the glue that held the trio together because he was literally comic relief for them from the tension of what was happening at any given time.

I've read this take a few times and I'm a bit torn on it. On the one hand, I can see where the argument comes from that Harry and Hermione alone together was often so serious. Of course that's usually because their alone times were usually high stress, dramatic situations. That said, I feel like there's an argument to be made that Harry was the glue that held the trio together. 

Because I counter this argument by always noting that would Ron and Hermione have even become close friends and eventually more without Harry? Because unless some think their 11 year old bickering was romantic tension even then, I'd say they pretty genuinely couldn't stand each other. As in Ron thought Hermione was an annoying know it all and Hermione thought Ron was an idiot. 

Lest we forget that it was Harry's decision to go rescue Hermione, an idea Ron initially went, "sucks for her", that created the friendship. And yes, Harry and Hermione weren't as light and fun alone together and didn't have the spark Ron and Hermione did (of course some say spark, others say annoying bickering that got tired by Book 4) but what they did have was an almost seamless partnership and way of working very well together. 

I have said that it's another one of the things I found interesting about the series and wondered about J.K.'s motivation. The decision to make Harry and Hermione go off multiple times without Ron. Chamber of Secrets was the only one she removed Hermione. But right up until the end, she had Ron have his tantrum and walk out, once again leaving Harry and Hermione to head off on their adventure. Sure Ron came back but not until Harry and Hermione had shared a lot of significant moments, without him, like Harry's finding his parents' graves. 

It's interesting you say Ron was first to them both because sometimes I wondered if he really was for Hermione. And that's not to say she had romantic feelings for Harry.  Maybe it was just a savior complex that she accused Harry of having, but there were many times that I didn't feel like Hermione placed Ron above her friendship and need to protect Harry.

It's also why another thing that bothered me was the scene when Ron's big fear was revealed of Harry and Hermione being together and J.K. had Harry be the one to say that Hermione was like his sister. I feel like that should have been a Ron and Hermione moment. That should have been Hermione's moment of fully verbalizing in the series just how much she cared about Ron. 

I guess what I'm trying to say is my take on it is to wonder if the friendship would have worked without Harry's life constantly being in danger? Like I could have seen Ron and Harry being close friends no question. But would Hermione have factored in at all? And so in a way it's less Ron's humor that was the glue but oddly the high stakes of Harry's life. 

Edited by truthaboutluv
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2 hours ago, Mabinogia said:

I pity Dudley because with his parents that kid never stood a chance of being a decent, understanding person. He is the perfect example of how a toxic environment can mold a young mind.  

 

1 hour ago, truthaboutluv said:

This.  And if some of the passing observations Harry made of him throughout the series was any indication, Dudley wasn't very bright or impressive at school and was heading towards a life of being a giant failure because rather than teach him some discipline and help him when he could be helped, his parents preferred to spoil him and make all types of excuses for him.

Dudley was so going to be that guy at the dead end job blaming everyone for his failures because his parents convinced him other people were the ones who were always the wrong one and bad people who just didn't appreciate and see how special he was. 

There are some commentaries I have watched and read, a lot of people think that the Dementors' attack on Dudley was the best thing that happened to him because unlike his parents, the Dementors were honest about how he was as a person. Dudley could have gone the complete other way and blame Harry for the attack, dismissing Harry saving him since the Dementors were after Harry, but Dudley ended up deciding that his parents were wrong and tried to make amends, even if it was clumsy since Petunia and Vernon never socialized him to apologize when he wronged someone.  

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6 hours ago, Ambrosefolly said:

As vicious as Petunia was, and nothing excuses her not giving Harry even the basics, to the point of not even giving Harry Dudley's storage room, I kind of felt sorry for her. 

1) Like Ron, I think she came under the effects of Harry being an unwitting Horcurx. I don't think it would have stopped her for spoiling Dudley, but it might of reduce her abuse from sadism to benign neglect, where the family would be somewhat indifferent to Harry, but he would have clothes that fit him and his own room since from when he was a baby.

2) I have a feeling when she was talking about her parents being thrilled that Lily was witch, that Lily ended being the favorite child.  Maybe not in the overt way of "Welcome to the Dollhouse," but maybe in the same vein of "Young Sheldon," where Sheldon got all the cool experiences because he was a genius whereas Missy & Georgie had to stay behind. Or in "Hey Arnold" where Helga was ignored in favor of her beautiful and talented sister Olga, which turns her into a cynical bully who makes a literal shrine to the first person that showed her kindness. If the family was somewhat middle-class, and it seemed it took a crap ton of money to get through Hogwarts, Lily might have gotten a lot of special stuff, while treating Petunia as an afterthought and might have forgo some extras. On top of being jealous because she wanted to be magically too, that might have rubbed salt in her wounds. Like Olga in Hey, Arnold, while I believe Lily not to be at all a malicious person, she might not have registered her parent's favoritism of her. 

I think I more fascinated by Draco's & Dudley's arcs in the series. I kind of pity Dudley as well because he was lead astray by his dad's bigotry and his mother's jealous and realized too late that Harry wasn't "a waste of space," and lost many years to build a better brother type relationship. At least he made peace with Harry. 

We don't know if her parents really favored Lily or Petunia just thought they did. You could argue that Petunia got to have a full life with her family while Lily never got to see Harry grow up. I think the encounter with the Dementors forced Dudley to examine his behavior he probable would have continued to bully others since his parents never disciplined him.

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13 hours ago, kathyk24 said:

We don't know if her parents really favored Lily or Petunia just thought they did. You could argue that Petunia got to have a full life with her family while Lily never got to see Harry grow up. I think the encounter with the Dementors forced Dudley to examine his behavior he probable would have continued to bully others since his parents never disciplined him.

It was an inference based on a comment Petunia made, and again, I doubt it would have been intentionally on her parents or Lily's part. No matter how nice your life turns out (and Petunia did seem to have a nice enough marriage and loved Dudley) a part of someone can't get past old hurts. See: Snape. As seen with his old Potions books, Snape was actually a pretty cool, clever person that Harry was shocked to find that he liked. If he got out of his Lily tunnel vision, he might have met someone else.  Hindsight, maybe she is glad she never came into the crosshairs of Voldemort, but doing magic would be pretty cool.

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7 hours ago, Mabinogia said:

Petunia became the "other one", as in "this is our beautiful, talented, brilliant daughter Lily, oh, and that's the other one". 

This made me think of a quote from "A League of Their Own", when Kit says "You ever hear Dad introduce us to people? "This is our daughter Dottie, and this is our other daughter, Dottie's sister." "

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On 4/10/2021 at 10:02 PM, truthaboutluv said:

Even Harry's feelings was a bunch of corny ass lines that read like some teenage fanfiction than a genuine depiction of this boy's developed over time attraction to this girl.

You didn't think Harry's Chest Monster was good writing? 😉

I think Half Blood Prince is the weakest of the series, and Luna (hell, even Parvati) was a far better choice for Harry's one true love than Ginny. Rowling missed an opportunity there. Most of us grow into our coolness; we're not Secretly Cool All Along. The twins could have used more character growth as well.

As said upthread Rowling's writing is strong on plot, mystery, and world-building, but weak on supporting character relationships. IMO, there was no real need for the Trio to marry each other; it throws their balance out of whack. Also, if Ron is always second or third place to people he cares about, then it would be nice if he was married to someone he came first with (also discussed upthread), and Hermione seems destined to always outdo him. He even ends up as Replacement Fred, right?

Edited by Vanderboom · Reason: unthread =/= upthread
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4 hours ago, Vanderboom said:

You didn't think Harry's Chest Monster was good writing? 😉

I think Half Blood Prince is the weakest of the series, and Luna (hell, even Parvati) was a far better choice for Harry's one true love than Ginny. Rowling missed an opportunity there. Most of us grow into our coolness; we're not Secretly Cool All Along. The twins could have used more character growth as well.

As said unthread Rowling's writing is strong on plot, mystery, and world-building, but weak on supporting character relationships. IMO, there was no real need for the Trio to marry each other; it throws their balance out of whack. Also, if Ron is always second or third place to people he cares about, then it would be nice if he was married to someone he came first with (also discussed unthread), and Hermione seems destined to always outdo him. He even ends up as Replacement Fred, right?

Ron did get a girlfriend who thought of him first, and JK ruined that.  There is nothing inherently wrong with Lavender Brown as a character.  Maybe she could have been nicer to Hermione, but because the books are all about Harry the reader never gets to see into the girls' dorm.  Hermione was written as an insufferable know-it-all, living with her had to be difficult.  The problem is JK's retrograde gender ideas.  Hermione is "not like other girls" while Lavender is more traditionally girly therefore less than.  And yet, Lavender is a member of Dumbledore's Army and she is part of Neville's underground alliance in the last book.  She bravely fights in the Battle of Hogwarts only to become a victim of Fenir.  She deserved better. 

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The only reason I can think of why Harry is married is so that he can have a son named after Snape. His spouse being Ginny, only so JKR didn't have to explain who Harry's wife is. Unless it was someone else the reader was familiar with.

The epilogue 19 years later would have been better left out. JMO

 

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2 hours ago, tres bien said:

The epilogue 19 years later would have been better left out. JMO

Not just yours.

I read the epilogue the first time through the books, but never again. I basically pretend it wasn't written. I honestly didn't like anything about it and would have preferred to be left wondering and imagining how their lives turned out. 

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3 hours ago, tres bien said:

The epilogue 19 years later would have been better left out. JMO

This!  The series was not worthy of that epilogue.  I think I let a "aw, hell naw" when I read the part about Snape being some damned hero and Harry naming his kid after him. Fuck that noise, Snape was barely two rungs below Umbridge on the torturous teacher scale.  And no 11th hour reveal about his motives (barely....) would make me see him any differently.

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I personally consider Snape a hero overall, although he was clearly still very immoral at the end. Not all heroes are nice though. I tend to think of people as always being in a balancing act between improvement and degradation. Snape had degraded himself as part of the Death Eater crowd and was pretty far down the hole when he finally had his heel turn, so even though he had become "better" by the end of his life, that was still far down the Asshole Scale.

As for Lavender Brown, could anyone clarify if she's supposed to have died? If Rowling said so in interviews over the years, this is the first I've found out about it! I always assumed she was attacked by Fenrir, but was rescued by Trelawney before she could be killed? I never really liked the Lavender character, although I felt sorry for her in the sixth book. Ron just used her because he couldn't get over the fact that Hermione had dated someone in the past and he hadn't.

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I don't think JK Rowling would recognize a healthy relationship if you handed her a bag marked Healthy Relationships.

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I've had this thought rattling around in the back of my head the last few days. Do you think a kid in 2021 would actually be that enchanted with going to hogwarts? I mean yes, magic. But at the same time no more cellphone, no more Internet, no more social media, no more gaming, no more computer. The technological divide between muggle and magical is much deeper than it was when Harry was in school and I wonder if it's going to be more of a struggle for a muggleborn to fit in or even want to be there.

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3 hours ago, anna0852 said:

I've had this thought rattling around in the back of my head the last few days. Do you think a kid in 2021 would actually be that enchanted with going to hogwarts? I mean yes, magic. But at the same time no more cellphone, no more Internet, no more social media, no more gaming, no more computer. The technological divide between muggle and magical is much deeper than it was when Harry was in school and I wonder if it's going to be more of a struggle for a muggleborn to fit in or even want to be there.

I've wondered this as well, but magic is magic and I think they would want to be there. They would probably try to smuggle their phones in, but I imagine they would not be allowed to post on social media. Maybe the wizarding world would have their own computer games? Do they even have wizard movies? They have sporting events and musicians.

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In Goblet of Fire, Hermione tells Harry and Ron that electronic devices don't work at Hogwarts because all of the magic around would cause them to go haywire. Muggle-born attendance might plummet down to almost zero, which is just what the Death Eaters and pure-blood maniacs always wanted.

Voldemort invented the internet confirmed.

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They do have the Wizarding Wireless Network, which is how Hermione looked up the list of who is a registered Animagus, so it's possible that could be updated to allow for things like email to and from non-magic family and friends. One or more smart muggleborns could invent a device that would work as a magical cell phone and create a whole new industry. That would be fun to see actually. Bigots like Lucius would get one because they'd become as necessary as they are in real life and he'd hate himself every time he used it because it would remind him that a filthy muggleborn was behind it.

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13 hours ago, anna0852 said:

I've had this thought rattling around in the back of my head the last few days. Do you think a kid in 2021 would actually be that enchanted with going to hogwarts? I mean yes, magic. But at the same time no more cellphone, no more Internet, no more social media, no more gaming, no more computer. The technological divide between muggle and magical is much deeper than it was when Harry was in school and I wonder if it's going to be more of a struggle for a muggleborn to fit in or even want to be there.

To be honest, I've had this thought even in 00's as I was reading. I would have loved to go there, but I can't imagine not being able to phone home to my mother on a daily basis. Owl post was just stupid. The whole system seems to be designed to alienate muggleborn kids from their muggle families as much as possible. 

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2 hours ago, JustHereForFood said:

The whole system seems to be designed to alienate muggleborn kids from their muggle families as much as possible. 

I agree. I definitely think they needed a better way of supporting those families. Look at what happened with the Evans… Lily and Petunia seemed close until Lily went to Hogwarts. Petunia was (understandably) jealous and felt left out, not helped by the fact that the parents seemed to fawn over Lily. I’m sure that’s a very common dynamic in Muggleborn families that could have been forseen by Hogwarts. Maybe a word of warning or some tips on how to handle non-magic siblings so these resentments don’t fester like they did in Petunia?

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3 hours ago, JustHereForFood said:

I would have loved to go there, but I can't imagine not being able to phone home to my mother on a daily basis.

I wonder how widespread that attitude is. Kids wanting to phone their parents frequently hasn't been part of my experience. Not that they don't love their parents, but they are caught up in their own lives. I can't really see that being something that would dissuade most muggle children from attending Hogwarts. Plus, kids are kids whether magic or muggle, so if that's an issue, it would also have a negative impact on the number of magic children attending.

As far as smart phones, the internet, social media - well, that would be hard at first for a kid who's used to those things. But kids are pretty resilient. Previous generations of children managed to be happy without these things. I don't know that it would take that long for a kid to adjust - especially since Hogwarts becomes their main social circle, and nobody else at Hogwarts would have these things either. Does Snapchat matter so much when none of your friends and other people you know at your school are on it? Likely not. The importance of these things is dependent on lots of people using them.

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3 hours ago, MadyGirl1987 said:

not helped by the fact that the parents seemed to fawn over Lily.

We only have Petunia's word for that.  It may have seemed that way to Petunia, but it may not have actually been the case.  Do we know where Petunia went to school?  Did she go to boarding school, or did she stay home?  For that matter, and I honestly don't remember, where are Petunia and Lily's parents?  

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2 hours ago, Black Knight said:

I wonder how widespread that attitude is. Kids wanting to phone their parents frequently hasn't been part of my experience. Not that they don't love their parents, but they are caught up in their own lives. I can't really see that being something that would dissuade most muggle children from attending Hogwarts. Plus, kids are kids whether magic or muggle, so if that's an issue, it would also have a negative impact on the number of magic children attending.

Fair point. On the other hand, what about the parents? I don't see how muggle parents would be OK with sending their kids somewhere for 10 months each year without any means to contact them apart from a shrieking and pooping bird. I understand that wizards don't give a crap about muggles' opinions, but I wonder if there is a possibility for parents to refuse their children attending the school. Without, you know, someone obliviating them and kidnapping the child. Maybe I'm looking at it from a wrong perspective, as I am not familiar with boarding schools at all.

Wow, it seems I have some hidden resentment towards the series : D

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1 hour ago, Browncoat said:

where are Petunia and Lily's parents?  

They're dead. We don't know when but it was before Voldemort murdered James and Lily.

 

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22 hours ago, anna0852 said:

I've had this thought rattling around in the back of my head the last few days. Do you think a kid in 2021 would actually be that enchanted with going to hogwarts? I mean yes, magic. But at the same time no more cellphone, no more Internet, no more social media, no more gaming, no more computer. The technological divide between muggle and magical is much deeper than it was when Harry was in school and I wonder if it's going to be more of a struggle for a muggleborn to fit in or even want to be there.

I would have been thrilled beyond words but I'm an architecture geek, even as a kid. Especially in Harry's case. Under the stairs with the Dursleys or Hogworts? Hmmm... I never understood why Harry couldn't stay there during the holidays the way boarding school kids do. Shit, I'd never get tired of exploring that place. I guess that's why they all ended up going back and winding up in teaching positions. 

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I figure since students start Hogwarts at 11 years old, muggle borns are old enough for technology, but young enough to wean off them for the school year. And of course there's the excitement and distractions of learning magic. The hard part is finding ways to relax after lessons and on weekends. If they have wizard radio, I don't know why they don't have some kind of wizard TV.

The things I would miss are pens or computer/typewriter for essays. I'd be a mess with quill and ink.

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