DAN: When you do interviews, you’re faced with the choice to either be the most boring person on earth or just get ridiculous things written about you from time to time
JOSH HOROWITZ: Sometimes it might be good to be boring
DAN: It might be but I just get bored of myself
[Happy 25th Birthday Daniel Radcliffe! (23 July 1989)]
"You’re so innocent!"
You’d think so, wouldn’t you…
Book Ron was an interesting, attractive and relatable character, and I feel that the movies really unfairly relegated him to the position of comic relief. The dynamics of the trio had to be simplified into hero + heroine + mascot, and that robbed us of a truly fascinating character. So here are a few things you should remember:
1. He really is poor and it matters. HP may have huge issues when it comes to representations of race and sexuality, but deserves a round of applause for having a character come from a low-income background, with the fact of their poverty not glossed over but made into a plot point. JKR is really consistent about this – about the things Ron eats and wears and buys and doesn’t buy, the way he reacts when Harry unwittingly flaunts his own wealth. Poorer kids who have to go without brand name clothes will see themselves in Ron, and richer kids will learn that poverty isn’t something you deserve. Kids who empathize with Ron because he can’t afford to replace a broken wand are less likely to grow up to be assholes who complain about the extravagant lifestyle of people on welfare.
2. He has knowledge about the world. Out of the trio, he is the only real insider in wizarding society. Hermione is the one who knows magical theory and basically everything that can be found in a library. But when it comes to wizarding society and all of its habits, rules and unspoken assumptions, he is the one who can fill the other two in. Throughout the course of the septology, he does almost as much exposition as Hermione.
3. He is actually quite intelligent. Despite what the movies would have you believe, he is not dumb. He is mediocre in most of his schoolwork, and lacks Hermione’s booksmarts, but he is an excellent chess player, meaning he possesses good strategic abilities. He is the one who keeps a calm head while throttled by Devil’s Snare, and he talks Hermione through saving both their lives. He has decent observational skills, after all he was to one to spot inconsistencies in Hermione’s third-year time table. Seeing his common sense and social insight as less valuable than Hermione’s academic knowledge betrays an inherently flawed definition of intelligence. (Especially since academic knowledge tends to be gendered as male, and social knowledge as female, think of Poirot and Miss Marple.)
4. He is loyal. He is the embodiment of loyalty. The movies erase some of the most poignant moments proving this, and hand some of them over to Hermione. But it is Ron who stands in front of Harry, daring Sirius Black to kill them both, despite his broken leg. It is Ron who repeatedly defies Malfoy and even Snape to protect Hermione from verbal abuse. When his mother believes tabloid lies about Hermione, he takes Hermione’s side. When his brother tells him to stop being friends with Harry because of the political risk, he is so furious at the suggestion that he tears up the letter. He is unthinkingly loyal to his friends, this is why it is such a big deal that he leaves in the seventh book – because it contradicts who he really is.
5. He is genuinely funny. In the movies we are more likely to laugh at Ron than laugh with him, and the jokes he makes tend to be somewhat juvenile. But in the books his sense of humour evolves with him and with the reader, leading to this dry, snarky, irreverent tone that is genuinely very enjoyable. Ron is fun to read, and he sounds like someone who would be lots of fun to be around. He jokes a lot, but it is rarely spiteful, and often meant to comfort or distract someone – a proof of emotional intelligence.
6. He is kind. I don’t really how to put this, other than the fact that if Ron was a girl, he would be immediately defined as a caretaker. He stays in Hogwarts over Christmas so that Harry doesn’t have to be alone. He often acts oblivious and selfish on the surface, but ultimately he really obviously pays attention to the wellbeing of his friends. From his words and actions and body-language we can piece together the sort of person who can make life suck less just by showing up, who is always there for his friends even if he cannot do anything specific to help.
7. He has a huge inferiority complex. The movies hardly touch on it but in the books it is his main character arc. He feels inferior to his brothers’ achievements, to Harry’s chosen status, to Hermione’s intelligence. It is explicitly stated in book four that he doesn’t understand how can someone not want to be chosen. The books are far more clear in implying that he gets together with Lavander because he’s insecure about romance. The Horcrux doesn’t get to him through his love for Hermione like it does in the movie, it gets to him through the nagging suspicion that he has never been good enough for anything or anyone ever, including Hermione. And the movie laughed off the scene after the destruction of the Horcrux, when Harry finally gets how much Ron suffered of this fear of being second best and Ron gets that Harry never chose to be chosen. But fear of being inadequate is the primary driving force of Ron throughout the septology, and the movie fails to see value in Ron just as Ron fails to see value in himself: his caring, his loyalty, his wealth of non-academic knowledge and his awesome sense of humour are not tangible achievements, and they are not something somebody notices about themselves.
Movie Ron is the person book Ron is afraid of being in his lowest moments, an incompetent oaf who makes rude jokes and chews with his mouth open, somebody their friends only keep around out of pity and habit, somebody Hermione would have to settle for out of a lack of better options. But book Ron, for all his flaws, is a loyal, funny and warm person with many valuable practical skills. Also: I can imagine Hermione regularly thanking her lucky stars for ending up with someone as amazing as him.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released seven years ago - July 21, 2007.
I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT WAS 7 YEARS AGO!
First in line at Dymocks Sydney! Oh yes :D
LET ME TELL YOU A STORY
Seven years ago I was at Sectus London, a Harry Potter convention that was already organised when JKR announced the release date on the same weekend. The final book was to be launched at midnight, halfway through the con. There was some frantic scrambling (new panels being thrown in, for example), ESPECIALLY when those scans leaked online (con organisers arranged little ribbons to wear - pink if you didn’t read the leaked copy, and green if you were ready and willing to discuss spoilers). The con was at a university, and they organised for the in-house bookstore to be open to hold the launch.
We queued (I was totes first).
We bought our copies.
And then one of the most surreal experiences of my life: we went to the cafeteria, a windowless underground cavern, and read right through the night. Hundreds of people, sprawled out into the wee hours, under florescent lighting, and utterly utterly silent.
Occasionally you would hear little giggles, or stifled sobs, but for the most part it was just ringing silence.
The impact this series had on our generation is phenomenal.
9am the next day spoiler programming started and a panelist ripped out the epilogue in front of everyone. Good times.
Seriously this experience - and the books as a whole - will stay with me absolutely forever.
HI MEL THIS IS HOW WE MET, BEING THE FIRST TWO PEOPLE IN LINE! (i am in one of those pictures, asleep in the corner on blankets and doonas that we took from our various hotels) (i was reading the camping bit and it was LATE and it’s a bit boring you gotta be honest)
this experience was PHENOMENAL and seriously. seriously. the best experience i’ve had with fellow fans. NO ONE spoiled anyone that wasn’t already and didn’t want to talk about it. it was SO QUIET and everyone just. RESPECTED THE HELL out of each other.
you don’t think harry potter affected our generation? you’ve never been in various rooms in a convention centre as it was DEAD QUIET as everyone read a book.
it was - dare i say it - a magical experience.
i think this may just be the greatest string of tweets in the history of mankind
TO BE COMPLETELY HONEST I REMEMBER EVERYTHING BUT READING THESE TWEETS AGAIN AFTER SO MANY MONTHS IT ALMOST FEELS SURREAL LIKE “I CANT BELIEVE THIS PERSON IS ME”
god bless you grawly
meanwhile i’m asking the real fuckin questions
The Stars Of ‘X-Men: Days Of Future Past' Play Fuck, Marry, Kill +
the contrabass saxophone is such an absurd instrument
talk dirty to me
Have ya’ll seen the double contrabass flute before???
reblogging my own post because what in the fuck
i give you the contrabass tuba. Why is it real. I dont know.
Know what’s even better?
why do these exist???
MAKEUP BY PETER PHILIPS AT THE DIOR COUTURE AUTUMN-WINTER 2014-15 SHOW.
Now in Kyiv, near embassies…
We are sorry!