“I’m the sixth in our family to go to Hogwarts. You could say I’ve got a lot to live up to.” —Ron Weasley, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
It’s always difficult to stand out in a large family. Often under-appreciated but never forgotten, the Harry Potter series' comic relief character Ron Weasley was perhaps the most relatable and entertaining member of the central trio of Harry Potter, Ron, and Hermione Granger. Despite his insecurities and occasional mistakes, in both the books and the movies, Ron always wore his heart on his second-hand sleeve.
Raise your wand while we explore some wizardly facts about one of the best friends a Boy Who Lived could ask for.
Ron Weasley Facts
1. A Time of Turmoil
Ron Weasley was born on March 1, 1980 to Arthur and Molly Weasley at the height of the First Wizarding War.
2. Full Name
Ron's full name is Ronald Bilius Weasley.
3. Life in a Large Family
Ron has six siblings. He has five older brothers, Bill, Charlie, Percy, Fred, and George, and one younger sister, Ginny. As we will see, being part of a large family is a big part of Ron's character and his experiences at Hogwarts, for better or for worse.
4. Pure Bred
The Weasleys are a “pure-blood” family, meaning they have no muggles (non-magic) or muggle-borns in their family tree.
Despite the fact that they're pure bloods, the Weasleys are often labelled “blood traitors.” In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, for example, the Malfoys deride the Weasleys for sympathizing with Muggles and being friendly with Muggle-borns.
6. The Burrow
Ron grew up in a charming house called The Burrow, on the outskirts of Ottery St Catchpole in Devon, England. In 1997, the Burrow became the Headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix after the death of Albus Dumbledore.
7. Chance Encounter
Ron’s first mention in the Harry Potter series comes in Chapter 6 of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. When Mrs. Weasley sees a befuddled Harry struggling to find Platform Nine and Three Quarters, she helps him out. Mrs. Weasley says, “All you have to do is walk straight at the barrier between platforms nine and ten…Best do it at a bit of a run if you’re nervous. Go on, go now before Ron.”
As Mrs Weasley introduces Harry to his soon-to-be best friend, she also introduces readers to a new character to love.
8. Great Expectations?
When Ron says he’s got a lot to live up to, a quick look at some of his older brothers’ achievements prove he’s really not exaggerating. Let's explore the Weasley Boys' greatest hits: Bill was Head Boy during his time at Hogwarts, Charlie was the captain of the Quidditch team, and Percy was just made a Prefect in Ron’s first year. While twins Fred and George could never boast the same kind of prestige (and would never want to), everyone finds them hilarious, and their grades are generally decent.
9. Second-Hand Everything
Being the second youngest in a large family of high achievers hasn’t just left Ron with general sense of inadequacy, it’s also left him with a lot of hand-me-downs for his years at Hogwarts. As Weasley tells Harry in the first movie, “You never get anything new, either, with five brothers. I’ve got Bill’s old robes, Charlie’s old wand and Percy’s old rat.” Hey Ron, sharing is caring.
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10. Go Cannons!
Ron is passionate about Quidditch (a competitive magical sport played on broomsticks), and is an avid supporter of the mostly unsuccessful team, the Chudley Cannons.
11. Deepest Desire
In the very first book, Harry uses his invisibility cloak to explore Hogwarts at night. Soon enough, he and Ron begin to secretly march around the castle on the regular, only to discover the Mirror of Erised, which shows them each what they most desire. While Harry sees himself with his mother and father, Ron sees himself standing alone as Head Boy and Quidditch captain. More than anything else, what Ron desires self-determination. Ron wants to be seen as his own person, and not defined by what people know about the Weasley family.
And what do you know? Ron continued to do his family proud, making Prefect in his fifth year at Hogwarts.
13. Keeper Without Confidence
Ron tries out to be the Keeper for the Gryffindor Quidditch team, and succeeds. Ron is reasonably good in the position, but a lack of confidence often leads to an inconsistent performance. Again, struggling to live up to other Weasley brothers, we have to point out that Fred and George are strong athletes. Womp womp.
14. Who Needs Luck?
What distinguishes Ron from Harry Potter are a lack of confidence and self-belief. Harry knows this and tries to circumvent this leading up to a big Quidditch game in their sixth year at Hogwarts. Harry pretends to slip some Felix Felicis (also called “Liquid Luck”) into Ron's morning pumpkin juice, giving Ron the desired placebo effect to keep his nerves at bay. Ron’s ensuing performance is flawless.
15. The Right Broom for the Job
Ron’s broom as Keeper was a Cleansweep Eleven, which he received as a present from his parents for becoming a Prefect.
16. “As for me, I’ll be a knight”
Ron is a very skilled chess player: His prowess allows the trio to pass one of the obstacles protecting the Philosopher’s Stone during the life-sized game in first year. The character's victory prompts Dumbledore to award Gryffindor 50 points and proclaim Ron's feat "the best played game of chess that Hogwarts has seen these many years.” Ron Weasley: Hogwarts legend.
Ron suffers from crippling arachnophobia. In a truly awful back story, this fear which was sparked by Fred and George, who transfigured his teddy bear into a giant spider when Ron was a child.
18. Cute but Fierce
Ron’s patronus (a spell which produces a silver guardian animal) is a Jack Russell terrier.
19. Sentimental Patronus
J.K. Rowling has described the redhead character's Patronus as a "really sentimental choice" for the story. She herself has a Jack Russell.
20. Huge Appetite
Ron is a voracious eater, claiming at one point in Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire that he “could eat a Hippogriff.” I, for one, will never forget the scene of tiny Ron double-fisting chicken wings in the Hogwarts Great Hall during one of the film's drool-worthy banquet scenes.
21. A Man of Fine Taste
Ron's least favourite sandwich type is corned beef. His favourite is bacon. Good call, Ron.
22. From Beginning to End
The role of Ron is portrayed by British actor Rupert Grint in all eight film adaptations. He's one of only 14 characters to appear in every film.
23. The Cursed Child
In the original West End production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Ron is portrayed by Paul Thornley. In the hit play (based on an original story by Rowling herself), Cursed Child era Ron struggles with fatherhood and being a good husband, but through it all he's there for his friends Harry Potter and Hermione Granger.
There were a few other actors who enjoyed very brief stints as Ron throughout the film series. Jamie Waylett plays him when he is disguised as Vincent Crabbe in the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets film adaptation, as does Steffan Rhodri when he is disguised as Reginald Cattermole in the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 film adaptation. Daniel Radcliffe also plays Ron in the "Seven Potters" scene in the same film. Grint still provided the voice for the character each time.
25. Second is the Best
Ron was the second friend Harry ever made. The first is Hagrid, everyone's favorite bearded groundskeeper.
26. Chocolate Frog Fiend
Ron is an avid chocolate frog card collector. He has about 500 cards, each of which highlights a famous wizard and explores their impressive life story.
Ron had a pet rat named Scabbers whom he inherited from Percy. In his third year, the rat is revealed to be Peter Pettigrew, a traitor to all wizard-kind who was long believed to be dead. In our humble opinion, the Pettigrew character reveal is one of the creepiest parts of the entire series.
28. Follow The Spiders
Rowling said that her Boggart (a monster that takes on the shape of a person's greatest fear) would be a spider, like Ron’s.
29. You Know Who
Ron does not like to hear Voldemort's name spoken out loud throughout most of the series, and as such never says it even when his friends Harry and Hermione do. However, Ron says the name three times in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. That's character development, kids.
30. Bad Case of the Cinderellas
In the seventh book, Ron is shocked to learn that Harry Potter and Hermione Granger never heard of the children's stories by Beedle the Bard, which he grew up with. Hermione reminds him that she and Harry were raised by muggles and tells him that they grew up with fairy tales like "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves" and "Cinderella." Ron did not know that “Cinderella” was a story. He thought it was an illness.
31. Family Feud
Though they really dislike each other, Ron is actually distantly related to Draco Malfoy. Ron's paternal grandmother was a Black, and the Black family is related to the Malfoys through Narcissa, Draco’s mother. Ron and Draco Malfoy are third cousins, but it is unknown if they’re aware of this.
32. Every Christmas...
Ron isn't fond of the color maroon, which we learn when he receives his Christmas jumper from his mother.
33. The Deluminator
This gift is a little cooler: Ron inherited a Deluminator from Albus Dumbledore after Dumbledore’s death, which is a device used to remove light sources from immediate surroundings, as well as bestow light. It looks like an ornate silver cigarette lighter. In the seventh book, the deluminator is a huge help to the trio as they explore the origins of the mysterious Peverell brothers, collect Horcruxes, and search for the Elder Wand.
34. Wand Trouble
Ron’s first wand was a hand-me-down from his brother Charlie. It was a chipped, twelve inch, ash wood and unicorn hair wand, and it caused him some trouble. After nearly breaking it in half at the start of his second year (remember in Chamber of Secrets when the flying car crash lands into the Whomping Willow?), he held it together with Spellotape.
Shockingly, tape didn't do the trick. The wand always malfunctioned terribly (giving Draco Malfoy plenty of opportunities to tease Ron) and eventually exploded. Before his third year, he received a new wand: Fourteen inch, willow and unicorn hair.
Ron received his first pet owl, Pigwidgeon, from Sirius Black in 1994. Harry described it as resembling a “fluffy snitch.” Although Ron berates the owl in public, he is actually quite fond of it.
Bulgarian Seeker Viktor Krum is one of Ron’s heroes, though Ron becomes intensely jealous of him once Krum asks Ron's friend (and love interest) Hermione to the Yule Ball in Goblet of Fire. Hey Ron, maybe you should have asked her out yourself?
37. Perfect For Each Other
Rowling has stated that Ron and Hermione are drawn to each other because they balance each other out. She says, “Hermione’s got the sensitivity and maturity that’s been left out of Ron, and Ron loosens up Hermione a bit, gets her to have some fun.” It's all about balance in the Harry Potter series (for instance, have you seen this amazing ?).
38. A Family of His Own
Ron has two children with Hermione Granger after the Second Wizarding War, Rose and Hugo. In the play, The Cursed Child, we get to know both of the kids much better than in the brief Epilogue to the seventh book.
39. Nieces and Nephews
Ron’s extended family also grew after the war: Bill and Fleur Delacour had three children: Victoire, Dominique, and Louis. George and Angelina Johnson had two children: a son named Fred (after Ron's older brother) and a daughter named Roxanne. Percy and his wife Audrey had two daughters: Molly (after Ron's mother) and Lucy. Ginny and Harry also had three children together: Albus, Lily, and James (to whom Ron is godfather. D'aww). Would I read a series about the next generation learning to share snacks on the Hogwarts Express and fight demons on the school grounds? Yes. Yes I would.
40. Happily Ever After?
Most fans were thrilled with the happily-ever-after ending where Ron and Hermione Granger married and grew a family, but most people don't realize that their union wasn't something J. K. Rowling believes wholeheartedly in, at least not in hindsight. In an interview that set the internet ablaze in 2014, Rowling reopened the Harry Hermione ship wars that most Potterheads barely survived the first time around.
She said, "I wrote the Hermione/Ron relationship as a form of wish fulfillment. That's how it was conceived, really. For reasons that have very little to do with literature and far more to do with me clinging to the plot as I first imagined it, Hermione ended up with Ron. I know, I'm sorry, I can hear the rage and fury it might cause some fans, but if I'm absolutely honest, distance has given me perspective on that. It was a choice I made for very personal reasons, not for reasons of credibility. Am I breaking people's hearts by saying this? I hope not."
She then went on to explore how Harry and Hermione may have been a better fit, stating that, "In some ways Hermione and Harry are a better fit and I'll tell you something very strange. When I wrote Hallows, I felt this quite strongly when I had Hermione and Harry together in the tent! I hadn't told [Steve] Kloves [the Harry Potter film producer] that and when he wrote the script he felt exactly the same thing at exactly the same point."
For those that wish for the happily-ever-after life for two of the story's heroes, Rowling did leave us with this: "Oh, maybe she and Ron will be alright with a bit of counseling, you know. I wonder what happens at wizard marriage counseling? They'll probably be fine. He needs to work on his self-esteem issues and she needs to work on being a little less critical."
It's really a roll of the dice with J.K. Sometimes her Twitter account brings back memories of the good old Harry Potter days. Other times, her Twitter account just infuriates her fans by revising the classic story.
41. All Over the Place
Ron is mentioned a total of 5,809 times in all seven books.
42. Things Might Have Been So Much Darker
Fans often feared the possible death of Ron, yet in 2000, Rowling seemed to dismiss these fears, stating, "As if I'm going to kill Harry's best friend." However, Daniel Radcliffe interviewed Rowling for a special feature on the combo pack Blu-ray edition of the final film. Rowling stated that at one time she explored the idea of ending the story in a pretty dark way.
The author wondered about killing one of three members of the trio, specifically Ron. She admitted that she wasn't in a great place in her life at the time, and luckily for all of us (and Rupert Grint), things didn’t go down that particular road.