We all know the name Ronald Weasley. We all recognize that mop of red hair and freckles in an ugly sweater. But not all of us agree on our sentiments toward him. A portion — sadly, a very large portion — of the Harry Potter fandom loves Ron to death. They fall for his humor and the bumbling comic relief he adds to the series, and on a deeper level, often relate to him and his imperfections. As arguably the most ordinary of the famous Hogwarts trio, Ron is the most likely to fall short in classes, feel insecure and complain about the little things, putting him on the level of ordinary people in a way that Harry and Hermione are not. However it is in part because of this exact reason that he is actually the absolute worst. I send this article out into the world knowing how much it will be hated, but I do so because I firmly believe in my convictions about Ron's character, and I believe they need to be shared with a fandom that is, if you'll excuse me, deluding themselves. Sure, Ron is funny in the first couple installments of the series, but from the very beginning there are off-putting signs; and basically book four in, he lost my respect and failed to earn it back. And here are my reasons why:
1. Ron is disgustingly insecure.
Yes, he is the sixth of seven children. Yes, he is poor, and he isn't the best student. But no one likes a whiner. Amongst a cast of heroic characters who embrace their flaws and strive for greatness, Ron lags behind, striving for however much pity he can get, always grumbling about being poor or not being good enough at Quidditch or whatever else it is bringing him down for the day. Honestly, he and Moaning Myrtle should try spending some more time together. Even in that wonderful moment when Ron triumphed over his nerves and performed spectacular save after spectacular save during the Quidditch match in Half Blood Prince was fueled by Harry's quick thinking and general concern for his lacking best friend.
2. He is always negative.
Ron can't do anything right. Ron doesn't believe that Harry is telling the truth about putting his name in the Goblet of Fire. Ron hates Hermione for being smarter than him. Ron whines about being poor. Ron thinks S.P.E.W. is stupid. Ron whines about being poor. Ron hates his pet rat. Ron can't find any Horcruxes. Ron likes Hermione but can't understand why being rude to her hasn't made her fall madly in love with him. Ron whines about being poor. And you may think, "But it does suck for him that he's poor!" — which yeah, sure, it can be sad, but get over it. I would rather be poor with a loving family than rich with murdered parents any day, and so would the best friend Ron constantly complains too about his problems. And even beyond that, do you ever hear Ginny complaining? No, you do not. Because she is a thousand times cooler than her idiot brother.
3. He's the biggest Drama Queen imaginable.
He's going to have to get his leg chopped off because he got a little bloodied by Sirius's teeth. He's going to resign from playing Quidditch because he's so nervous for the matches. He's poor. He is invisible to his too-big family. (Again, Harry must love hearing how much Ron hates his life when Harry grew up orphaned and abused, wanting nothing more than to be loved by a family.) He disowns Harry as a friend because he believes that Harry entered the Triwizard Tournament (which makes no sense by the way). He stops talking to Hermione for half of their third year because he thinks Hermione's cat — not Hermione, just her cat — ate his pet rat THAT HE DIDN'T LIKE IN THE FIRST PLACE. He stops talking to Hermione because she brings a date to the Yule Ball. It's not like he brought a date too or anything or bashed her very publicly just a few days previously and used her as a self-esteem boost thereafter . . . oh wait. He walks out on Harry and Hermione during their hunt for Horcruxes because he's hungry. You get the picture.
4. He's just plain dumb.
It's no secret throughout the series that Ron isn't the most powerful wand in the shop, but even beyond that, he displays very little brain power in the real world as well. "Oh, my parents are on the other side of the barrier? Oh well, I guess they're going to be stuck there forever, so may as well steal their flying car even though I'm TWELVE and drive it visibly through the sky to get to Hogwarts instead." Not like that's going to end poorly. And then, behold a tree, and what does he do? He hits the dashboard of the falling car and tells it to stop. Because that's a real spell that will definitely work and not just leave him with a broken wand and an even more dismal grade point average. He jokes about entering the Triwizard Tournament and then cheers everyone one that tries to enter underage. Oh, Harry got chosen even though he didn't put his name in? Better stop talking to him for the rest of the term. And then, a scary dragon? I guess that means Harry didn't enter his name, so they can be best friends again. He has a crush on a girl for six-plus years? Better treat her poorly; that ought to show her you're marriage material. And yeah, some of you will argue that it did work, but it shouldn't have, and J.K. Rowling herself has admitted that Hermione should not have ended up with Ron and that their union was very much her nostalgic desire to stick to her original plan getting in the way.
5. He puts everyone down.
"Oh Harry, your parents are dead? Well, I have a loving family that doesn't have much money, so my life is so much worse." Hermione is smart and knows the answer to every question in class, so he makes her cry and almost gets her killed by a troll. Harry goes through a terrifying tournament meant for much older wizards, so Ron alienates him. Hermione finds someone who makes her happy? Well, better not let that happen; he makes her cry again. Hermione starts a club to save House Elves? That's the stupidest thing he's ever heard. Hermione asks him to go to a Christmas party with him and more or less reveals her feelings, so he makes out with one of her dorm-mates in front of her, and then pretends he doesn't know why she's upset (or possibly really doesn't know, which would take us back to the whole "Ron is stupid" thing). "Oh Harry, you have to find all the Horcruxes? I'm going to hate you because I haven't done anything helpful, and therefore, you should be doing everything and have all the answers".
6. Harry and Hermione could do better and deserve better.
Besides her ending up with Ron, a jerk who put her down for over six years, Hermione is generally badass. She doesn't deserve someone who doesn't admire her brains, someone who doesn't support her attempts at strength and freedom and equality. She doesn't deserve someone whose solution to misplaced anger is cruel words and disassociation. She doesn't deserve someone so stupid; she needs someone who will challenge her intellect, or she's going to get bored and frustrated. And as for Harry, why would Harry want to hear someone complain for years on end about the life he lives when it is exactly the life that Harry would give absolutely anything to have? Why would Harry want a best friend who is always jealous and takes it out on him? Why would Harry want a friend who gets mad at him for the attention he gets, when he wants nothing more than to be invisible? Why would Harry want a friend who dreams of glory but never follows through with any substance? Why would Harry want a friend who acts like a pitiful child? Harry deserves a best friend who supports him and believes in him, and who pays attention to him long enough to understand that he doesn't want attention or glory; he just wants a place to call home (ahem, Hermione, Neville, Luna, Ginny . . . pretty much everyone but Ron . . .).
So, all in all, Ron kind of sucks in my eyes. When J.K. Rowling released that she almost killed Ron off, I found myself screaming at my computer screen, "WELL WHY DIDN'T YOU THEN?!" which will probably make the Ron lovers hate me even more. But that's okay because I am firm in my convictions. Ron is the worst, and Harry and Hermione are the best, so Ron should go die and be replaced by Neville or Luna or basically anyone else. If I have offended you with my statements, I deeply apologize, unless you are one of those idiot girls who love Ron and say you want to marry him. You could do better. He is a bad ideal. Imaginary boyfriends are supposed to be incredible, not lackluster whining gingers who make their way into the minds of millions by tagging along with two actually worthy characters. Sorry, but it's true.