I’m linking up here and the prompt is “New Beginnings.”
So, I’m in the middle of reading Harry Potter, and I am really feeling that suddenly waking up to find out that one is a wizard and then getting whisked off to a magical world out of mundane, tedious (and in Harry’s case horrible) reality would be quite a refreshing thing.
Can you imagine? Especially after all the build up, Harry has been living in dull misery then he finally gets a letter, something of his very own, but after tons of tries and sitting in a miserable shack with his crazy family, he still hasn’t read it. Then a giant bursts in and starts talking about his family, tells him he is a wizard and gives him a wondrous letter, now that is a key to a fabulous new existence.
I know none of us is living under a stairwell, but well with the dreariness of the world even for those of us not seriously affected, doesn’t a magical world opening up tantalizingly before our eyes sound wondrous?! Especially with such a start as a visit to Diagon Alley?
I’ve been reading my sister’s illustrated versions (she has 3 and I’m going to get her the 4th as a belated grad gift so I can read it, I’m going to wait for myself until they are all out). I think these really bring the magic of Harry Potter to life. And I really needed something soothing to read.
One thing that really bugs me about the later Harry Potter books is how the trio doesn’t become the quad. That Ginny is unnaturally excluded or pushed to the side with people more naturally not part of the best-friends group. At the beginning it is completely understandable that Ginny isn’t part of “the” group. Towards the middle it looks like that is naturally changing, but then in the later books the progression stops and a weird barrier is put in place around the trio, as if it is more about the marketing idea of the trio than a realistic and satisfying portrayal.
Oh, bear in mind that I’m talking about book Ginny (Ginny in the movie is as much of a loser as movie Ron, don’t get me started on that subject).
Two young boys become best friends fairly easily as kids can do. Through unlikely circumstances they befriend a previously annoying young girl. They are all at an age when life is very boys vs girls, when a year’s difference in age is huge in their eyes, and when younger siblings are automatically annoying. So it totally makes sense when one boy’s kid sister isn’t included in their friend group. Add to that the fact that said kid sister has an awkward star struck crush on the other boy and it really makes including her unlikely. Since Hermione and Ginny get along and Hermione is around constantly, its pretty natural that those two become close.
In the middle books, when Ginny gets over her crush (or hides it well), when they are all at the age when boys and girls start becoming more interested in each other and co-ed stuff is more normal, and with the pattern of the four hanging out over the holidays plus many of the dark events affecting Ginny as much or more than the rest, Ginny is more included in things as expected. Obviously siblings in a friend group can cause some clash, as well as all the complex crush stuff, but she is more obviously in the midst of things.
Then Ginny is added to the Quidditch team, the DA is started, and Ginny and Harry are mutually interested in each other and then later, together. So it seems as if, with the four so close already, this would make Ginny their equal, right? Not in fossilized marketing fan driven writing land apparently (or whatever it was). No, the trio still have their inner circle catch ups that it makes no sense for Ginny not to be in, on no planet, no reality; she’s with them all the time, she’s sister to Ron, best friend to Hermione, girlfriend to Harry. She’s as smart as them all and braver than two.
The crowning insult is in The Deathly Hallows when the trio go off on their own, and independent Ginny is forced by Mum to go to school while the others are off on their own adventure, and Harry doesn’t do much to change that. She’s excluded from their plans for “safety” or whatever. She is just a year younger and acts older than Ron anyway. Its not merely that she doesn’t go with them, she is hardly in the book in that period, she’s not given as important a place, she’s just sort of “waiting” for Harry to appear like Prince Charming which is a role that doesn’t fit him or her at. all. Ginny Weasely meekly waiting?! As if.
Ron Weasley is not an unattractive, bumbling oaf. Thanks a lot, stupid movies (actually it seemed that in the seventh book in a few parts, JKR was influenced by the previous movies). He has five brilliant and gifted older brothers, a famous best friend, and his younger sister is the family baby and only girl (a combination for lots of attention if anything is). He is also a preteen/teenager. Each of these things alone is enough to make him insecure, but together?
And he doesn’t look like Rupert Grint. I had wished that they had cast Domhnall Gleeson (I said that before he got famous), but he would have been too old, and really almost anyone else would have been better, Grint is decidedly unattractive. Ron may not have been handsome like Bill, but that does not mean he had to be ugly.
Harry and Ron both have the genetic capacity (just like Hermione) to be brilliant. They were a rather lazy, but they were just as smart, if not smarter than Hermione. Their OWL grades were lower than hers but barely (and for Harry one was higher), and she spent more time studying. Intelligence is brain capacity not outcome
Anyway, back to ruining Ron. After watching the third movie one time, I consulted the book during the confrontation scene among the Marauders and the Trio, and discovered one of Ron’s lines in the book was given to Hermione in the movie which made him look like a cowering idiot.Another let’s-make-Ron-look-like-an-oaf was his little response to the cruel taunting of the Horocrux. People, in the book, he was CRYING. He loved Hermione and because of his insecurities, he was genuinely jealous of Harry.
Which love brings us to the biggest movie crime. Because Ron loved Hermione he was emotionally tortured (as was Harry, he cared too) while she was physically tortured. Ron was not a calm person, panic was usually his default. Does emptily staring as he did in the movie really match his personality? I mean Harry was pretty upset too; what decent person would be thrilled hearing anyone, much less a friend, tortured? But for Ron, that was his beloved. I am still stunned by the insensitivity of that scene in the movie.Isn’t the “real” Ron just precious in that scene? So much shipping of this couple.Calling all Ron Weasley appreciators.For the record, I would marry Fred or George Weasley, sorry, I don’t love Ron that much; I like him and Hermione together.