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I’ve always been partial to side-kicks. I think it has something to do with the fact that I’ve never had the qualities of a hero. I’m not fishing for a compliment here –to be frank, I’m glad I don’t have a heroic personality. I’m the behind-the-scenes person. I’m the comic relief. I’m the best friend. Ron may be a side-kick, but J. K. Rowling took the time to flesh him out as a character in his own right.

When I started writing these little character spotlights, I wasn’t sure which angle to use. However, once I got into the swing of things I realized each angle would probably be different, in the same way that all of these characters are different. To this end, I have decided to list four reasons I love Ron Weasley.

1) He’s hysterical.
At least a third of “Goblet of Fire” is devoted to Ron’s obsession with the veela. This lead to such wonderful lines as “you know how I like it when they walk” and (my personal favorite) at the Quidditch World Cup, when he claimed to have invented a broomstick that can fly all the way to Jupiter. Ron’s gaping expressions and continuous attempts to impress Fleur Delacour (even when she was on the verge of becoming his sister-in-law) are absolutely priceless.

2) He’s clueless.
Like most teenage boys, Ron doesn’t often get it. In “Goblet of Fire” he antagonizes Hermione over her relationship with Krum. In “Half-Blood Prince” he leads Lavender on simply to gain kissing experience. In “The Deathly Hallows” he tactlessly tells Harry that he has no family. To paraphrase the words of Buffy (the vampire slayer), his foot likes to live in his mouth, and I can’t get enough of it.

3) He’s an excellent best friend. Sometimes.
When Ron’s on form, his ability to be a best friend (and his Quidditch playing) is excellent. It can’t be easy to be best friends with an extremely intelligent witch and a famous wizard, but Ron muddles along. The fact that he does muddle along (instead of skating by as an archetypal comic relief/side-kick) is a testament to the devotion Rowling put into crafting her characters. Ron is more than a side-kick: he’s a man who destroyed a horcrux, fought in battle and earned an Exceeds Expectations on his Potions OWL. In short, he’s pretty awesome.

4) He came back.
In the seventh book, as you may recall, Ron left Harry and Hermione. This was, in my mind, a small blight in the face of an otherwise quite extraordinary character. The most important thing about Ron is not that he left, but that he came back. He swallowed his pride, got some perspective and returned to Harry and Hermione with a full and contrite heart.

That’s why I love Ron. What do you love about him?