" Always the tone of surprise."
-- Ron Weasley, to Hermione (DH5)
"That makes me sound a lot cooler than I was."
-- Ron Weasley, to Harry (DH19)
Ron Weasley is Harry Potter’s best friend and the youngest son of Molly and Arthur Weasley. The story of Ron’s life is one of being overshadowed by his family and friends, yet it is Ron’s heart and humor that have solidified his friendships and given those around him the support they needed to carry through (BLC). Tall and gangly with bright red hair and freckles (PS6), Ron has a way of keeping things lighthearted that makes him well-liked, despite occasional bouts of stress (GF19). He also played an instrumental role in Voldemort’s defeat (DH36), and though history may not remember him for it as it will Harry, Ron learned as he grew that this did not make him any less important (DH19).
Ron met Harry on the Hogwarts Express in 1991, and they quickly became friends. A funny sort of jealousy existed between them, with Harry in awe of Ron’s family and knowledge of the wizarding world and Ron of Harry’s money and fame (PS6, PS12). However, despite feeling angry with Harry at times, such as when he thought Harry had deliberately entered the Triwizard Tournament (GF18) or misled him in the hunt for Horcruxes (DH15), Ron deeply cared about his best friend and overwhelmingly supported him – putting his life on the line several times (PS16, CS17) and supporting Harry in the face of doubters (OP11, OP14). Harry knew this when he quickly forgave Ron each time he returned (GF20, DH19).
Ron also had another relationship which faced some growing pains over the years – his friendship with Hermione Granger. Though attracted to each other for years, the two showed this mainly by bickering (DH11); Ron certainly didn’t step up when he had the chance and ask Hermione to the Yule Ball, for example, though he spent the whole evening envious of her date, Viktor Krum (GF23). In his sixth year, Ron came to the cold realization that Hermione had likely snogged Krum and retaliated by getting involved with Lavender Brown (HBP14). The superficial relationship soon fell apart (HBP24), and though Ron continued to fear that Hermione wouldn’t think him good enough for her (DH19), they finally came around to each other just before the Battle of Hogwarts (DH31).
Ron did manage to capture some glory while at Hogwarts, as Keeper for the Gryffindor Quidditch team. An avid Chudley Cannons fan his whole life (CS3), Ron tried out for the Gryffindor team and made it in 1995 (OP13) – only to find himself a nervous wreck during matches (OP19). When he finally found his focus, though, Ron ended up being a team hero and leading them to two Quidditch cups (OP20, HBP24), fulfilling a lifelong dream (PS12).
Above all, through his childhood, Ron played an instrumental part in Harry’s epic encounters with Voldemort. Among other things he sacrificed himself so that Harry could reach the Philosopher’s Stone (PS16), journeyed with Harry into the Chamber of Secrets (CS16), helped form Dumbledore’s Army, fought and was severely injured in the Department of Mysteries (OP36), defended against the Death Eaters that broke into Hogwarts (HBP29), saved Harry from drowning and destroyed a Horcrux (DH19), figured out how to break into the Chamber of Secrets again, to destroy another Horcrux (DH31), and fought in the Battle of Hogwarts, breaking one of Voldemort’s Silencing Charms and defeating Fenrir Greyback (DH36). Though he later jokes of being “extremely famous” (DH/e), it would not be undeserved.
Following Voldemort’s defeat, Harry, Neville and Ron were recruited by Minister Shacklebolt to be Aurors, and seek out the remaining Death Eaters (Today1, PC/JKR1). Ron also helped George run the hugely successfulWeasleys’ Wizard Wheezes shop (BLC). Sometime between 1998 and 2005, Ron married Hermione, with whom he had two children, Rose and Hugo (DH/e). And in the end, he got the fame he had desired ever since the Mirror of Erised showed him as Head Boy – and got his picture on a Chocolate Frog card (BLC).
Mother: Molly (Prewett) Weasley.
Father: Arthur Weasley.
Maternal grandparents: Molly and Sirius are "cousins by marriage," (OP6) so Molly's parents are probably related in some way to the Prewetts listed on the Black Family Tree (see BFT and my notes).
Paternal grandparents: Septimus and Cedrella Weasley (see BFT and my notes).
Aunts & Uncles:
- Weasley: Arthur had 2 brothers but we don't know their names (JKR). According to Jo, Ginny is the first female to be born into the Weasley family in generations, so we can deduce that Arthur had no sisters (JKR).
- Prewett: Molly's brothers Gideon and Fabian Prewett (OP9).
- Surname unknown:
Cousins: Mafalda, a cousin who never made it into the books (JKR) and her father the Muggle accountant (PS6).
Siblings: Bill, Charlie, Percy, Fred, George, and Ginny.
Grandparents: Grandfather who originally owned Ron's "old and battered" wizard chess set (PS12). This grandfather could be either grandfather Prewett or grandfather Weasley (Septimus? BFT).
Location of childhood home: 'The Burrow,' near Ottery St. Catchpole, Devon.
Spouse: Hermione Granger. Given the ages of their children, the marriage took place at some point between 1998 and 2005 (DH/e).
Children: Rose (b. circa 2006) and Hugo (DH/e), and godfather to Harry's son James Sirius Potter (YL).
Pet: Initially Scabbers the rat (until 1994), then Pigwidgeon ('Pig'), a small gray owl (GF5).
Other canon notes and references
Wand: Initially used Charlie’s old wand. There is conflicting information about his second wand. According to PA4, it is 14-inch willow containing one unicorn tail-hair, but according to Jo's website it is Ash (JKR). Ron used this wand until it was taken by the Greyback and the snatchers (DH23). He never got that one back. Eventually he won Pettigrew's: Chestnut and Dragon Heartstring, 9.25 inches, Brittle (DH23). Ron also took a blackthorn wand from one of the first set of Snatchers and gave it to Harry (DH19, 23).
Broom: An old Shooting Star until late 1995 (CS3), then a Cleansweep 11 in 1995 as a reward for making Prefect (OP).
Devices: Wizard chess set, flying Ford Anglia, "heavy gold watch with odd symbols around the edge and tiny moving stars instead of hands," a gift from his parents (HBP18), Deluminator from Dumbledore (DH7), Sword of Gryffindor (DH36).
Career: Ron got his wish to be an Auror when he was recruited by Minister Shacklebolt to work with Harry to reform the Ministry and seek out the remaining Death Eaters (Today1, PC/JKR1). He also helped George run Weasley's Wizard Wheezes (BLC). The timing on this is uncertain; it is most probable that Ron assisted George later in life, rather than earlier, when his job as an Auror would have kept him extremely busy. --LWB, with thanks to Bandersnatch.
Organizations & affiliations: Dumbledore’s Army.
Skills: Chess, analysis and strategy. Tends to be wrong when he is serious, right when he is joking.
Hopes (Mirror of Erised): Ron sees himself as Head Boy, holding up the house cup and the Quidditch cup. He is Quidditch captain too (PS12).
Patronus: A Jack Russell terrier (TLC).
Boggart: A spider (PA7).
Handwriting: "untidy scrawl" (CS2).
Dates, flirtations, etc.: Ron attended the Yule Ball with Padma Patil in his fourth year (GF) and enjoyed a short, superficial relationship with Lavender Brown in his sixth year (HBP).
Birth name: Ronald Bilius Weasley.
'Ronald' name meaning: Ronald=Old Norse Rögnvaldr: "Having the Gods' Power" (OED).
'Bilius' meaning: Bilius=bilious, one of the four Medieval "humors" (temperaments), indicating anger and peevishness. Ron takes his middle name from his Uncle Bilius (WBD).
'Weasley' meaning: Does Weasley mean "like a weasel?" JKR: "In Britain and Ireland the weasel has a bad reputation as an unfortunate, even malevolent, animal. However, since childhood I have had a great fondness for the Family Mustelidae; not so much malignant as maligned, in my opinion" (JKR).
Other names: Dobby calls him 'Wheezy,' Luna calls him 'Ronald' instead of 'Ron,' (OP) and Lavender Brown calls him 'Won-Won' (HBP17). Ron's copy of Advanced Potion-Making got inscribed 'Roonil Wazlib' when his quill malfunctioned (HBP). Slughorn calls Ron 'Ralph' and 'Rupert' by mistake (HBP22).
The 'Running Weasel' fallacy: There was not a legendary chess player/warrior/king named 'Running Weasel!' This story is a fan rumor and not based on mythology or history.