Rooting For The Underdog

Sorry Miss Rowling, You May Be One Of The Greatest Creative Geniuses On The Planet, But I Humbly Disagree With You About Ron And Hermione

J.K. Rowling said something in an interview a few years ago that’s been bothering me ever since. With a few new Harry Potter titles on book shelves this month (just in time for both Halloween AND Christmas), I figured this was as good an opportunity as any to get it off my chest.

Back in 2014, Rowling (the creator of the magnificent Potterverse) revealed that she wished she had Hermione marry Harry instead of Ron (Harry’s best friend and often under appreciated sidekick). Emma Watson (who brought Hermione to life in the blockbusting movies) echoed Rowling’s sentiment, wondering if Ron could make Hermione happy. At the end of the day, it seemed everyone agreed that Harry would be much better for the young Miss Granger in the long run. After all, Harry was courageous and valiant, the wizarding world’s messiah while Ron was considered a dour, surly hanger on.

I have just two things to say to that. Pure. Bollocks.

And since no one seems to have stuck up for Ron since, allow me to step into the ring and defend my man’s honour.

I always considered Harry, Ron and Hermione Hogwart’s secret super hero team. Each one filled a necessary role and complimented what the other two brought to the table. The team only worked when all three were working in concert and they only brought Voldemort down and saved the day because they were a team. And while I’ll argue until I’m blue in the face that Hermione was the most valuable member of said team, I’ll also argue Ron was just as necessary as Harry but he never got the credit.

Hermione was my favourite of the three. She was like the Batman of the Harry Potter world; whenever the butter beer really hit the fan, the first thing Harry and Ron did was turn to Hermione and ask her what he plan was. She wasn’t just the brains of the outfit, she provided the trio with wisdom and insight as well (even when she had to convince her two partners in heroics she knew what she was talking about). Without her, neither Ron nor Harry would have been able to find the front door some days.

My feelings about Harry were a little more conflicted. I could never help but see Harry as the popular guy in high school that made life tougher for all the other guys. He was the one everyone either wanted to be or be around. Make no mistake, the Boy Who Lived had a pretty tough go of it before he got his first invitation to Hogwarts, but once he passed through that hallowed entrance he was the most popular kid in the wizarding world. Outside of that celebrity, he was already Dumbledore’s favourite and there was a small fortune waiting or him. And let’s be honest, in school the kids with the popularity, money or the principle’s ear had it made in the shade. And Harry had all three.

Harry was a celebrity and the hero everyone either wanted to be or wanted to worship. He easily could have coasted on his rep and his choice of any girl in Hogwarts (make no mistake, it was a testament to his character that he chose not to be a jerk).

Ron on the other hand, was the guy I could relate to most. He was the average, unremarkable guy from a humble, working class family who wore hand me downs and carried a second hand wand. He was clumsy and awkward and while everything often came easily to Harry, Ron had to struggle and work for every inch of success he enjoyed. Ron and his family took Harry in as one of their own and as a reward Ron was almost always overlooked whenever he was with Harry. And even when he wasn’t. Everyone wanted to sit next Harry at lunch, Ron was just Harry’s sidekick, a fashion accessory along for the ride.

But here’s the thing, whenever push came to shove, Ron stepped up and answered the call. While Hermione was the brains of the trio and Harry it’s face, Ron was its emotional centre. He was the everyman with a heart bigger than the Forbidden Forest and a bottomless well of courage whenever he needed to step up.

Which is why I was so happy to see him and Hermione wind up together. Make no mistake, Hermione was a catch who deserved happiness and respect. She deserved the kind of guy who would put her on a pedestal and adore her. Not only was Ron that guy, but he’d also always be keenly aware how lucky he was to have her. Because unlike Harry, Ron had to fight and struggle and claw for any scrap of attention. Guys like that appreciate what they have because they had to struggle and bleed for it instead of having it handed to them.

How often do you find yourself cheering for the underdog in romantic comedies? The outcast or the outsider, the sensitive artist or the wallflower. How often are you hoping they defy the social odds and land the unattainable object of their affections? Well Ron was that guy, but instead of rooting for him it seemed everyone thought Harry deserved everything (including Hermione) because he was popular and cute and the hero, even when he couldn’t have accomplished any of his legendary deeds without Ron or Hermione.

Hermione’s happiness would have been the most important thing in Ron’s life. He would have treated her like a princess and treasured her every day. This isn’t to say Harry wouldn’t have, but trust me when I say Ron would have been better for everyone’s favourite witch in the long run.

Besides, who doesn’t want to see the underdog wind up with the girl in the end?