Ron Weasley will NOT turn to the Dark Side
By turning to the Dark Side I mean, of course betray Harry, which is inevitable many say, as it is a classic theme in heroic fiction.
The main reasons for this is are jealousy of Harry’s fame, wealth and Ron’s own ambitions. I will discuss each of these in turn, and then present some other relevant information at the end.
Jealousy of Harry’s fame; some will say that the big fight between Harry and Ron in GoF, after Harry’s name appears in the Goblet of Fire, is an indication of how much Ron is jealous of Harry.
In Chap. 18 ” Oh, Harry, isn’t it obvious?” Hermione said despairingly, “He’s jealous!”
“It’s always you who gets all the attention, you know it is… I know you don’t ask for it, but Ron’s got all those brothers to compete against at home, and you’re his best friend and you’re really famous, he’s always shunted to one side whenever people see you and never mentions it but I suppose this was just one time too many.”
As true as this may be, it is Harry, not Ron who prolongs the fight, in Chap. 19, when Harry is talking to Sirius in the Gryffindor common room, Ron inadvertently interrupts the conversation.
It was Ron. Dressed in his maroon paisley pajamas, Ron stopped dead facing Harry across the room, and looked around.
“Who were you talking to?” he said.
“What’s that got to do with you?” Harry snarled. “What are you doing down here at this time of night?”
“I just wondered where you ---“ Ron broke off, shrugging. “Nothing. I’m going back to bed.”
Here we see how much Ron misses Harry, but Harry angry about the interrupted conversation with Sirius, just lashes out, driving Ron away, again. After this, Ron never tries to end the fight, waiting for Harry to move first, until after the First Task.
But Harry was looking at Ron, who was very white and staring at Harry as though he were a ghost.
“Harry,” he said, very seriously, “whoever put your name in that goblet --- I --- I reckon they’re trying tom do you in!”
It was as though the last few weeks had never happened --- as though Harry were meeting Ron for the first time, right after he had been made champion.
“Caught on have you?” said Harry coldly. “Took you long enough.”
Hermione stood nervously between them, looking from one to the other. Ron opened his mouth uncertainly. Harry knew Ron was about to apologize and suddenly he found he didn’t need to hear it.
“It’s okay,” he said, before Ron could get the words out. “Forget it.”
“No,” said Ron, “I shouldn’t’ve ---“
“Forget it,” Harry said.
Ron grinned nervously at him, Harry grinned back.
In OotP, there is even less for Ron to be jealous of, as he is made Prefect alongside Hermione and he helps Gryffindor beat Slytherin out of the Quidditch Cup.
In the beginning, Ron may have been subordinate to Harry; however, Ron’s knowledge of the wizarding world may have closed that gap early on. Over their relationship Ron and Harry are no longer Hero and Companion, but equals, playing off each other’s strengths against whatever odds.
Jealousy of Harry’s Wealth; although Ron never makes a big deal of his families financial situation, he has commented on it occasionally.
In SS, Chap. 6, “You never get anything new, either, with five brothers. I’ve got Bill’s old robes, Charlie’s old wand, and Percy’s old rat.”
In GoF, Chap. 28, Ron speared a roast potato on the end of his fork, glaring at it. Then he said, “I hate being poor.”
Harry and Hermione looked at each other. Neither of them really knew what to say.
“It’s rubbish,” said Ron, still glaring at his potato. “I don’t blame Fred and George for trying to make some extra money. Wish I had a niffler.”
Again in OotP, things are looking up, Fred and George, at Harry’s prompting get Ron new dress robes and for making Prefect, he gets a new broom, which allows him to try out for the Quidditch Team.
In all that time Ron never tried to make money the easy way, by duping people or conning them, he doesn’t even follow in the twins footsteps by creating a new market for something. This shows that he has a very strong sense of morality and will not be swayed by the quick money scheme or sudden large amounts of money given by strangers for information or with suspicious motives. I believe he gets this from Mr. Weasley.
Ron’s own ambitions, these we see at the very beginning of the relationship, when Harry brings Ron to the Mirror of Erised:
Ron, though, was staring transfixed at his image.
“Look at me!” he said.
“Can you see all your family standing around you?”
“No – I’m alone – but I’m different – I look older – and I’m Head Boy!”
“I am - I’m wearing the badge like Bill used to – and I’m holding the House Cup and the Quidditch Cup - I’m Quidditch Captain too!”
Here we see what Ron’s ambitions are, in Dumbledore’s words,
“It shows us nothing more or less than the deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts. You, who have never known your family, see them standing around you. Ronald Weasley, who has always been overshadowed by his brothers, sees himself standing alone, the best of them…”
Notice that Ron is standing alone, not surrounded by adoring crowds of people, he’s not doing it for the fame or glory, he’s doing it for himself, he is the one who wants this, to prove he can.
And again in OotP, Ron is starting to see his heart’s desire become attainable, his prefecture, a place on the Quidditch team, winning the Quidditch Cup. It doesn’t seem so far fetched, now.
Some other themes of note:
1) Ron is similar to Peter Pettigrew, not very likely, as Ron doesn’t tag along after those more powerful than himself, and he is not short or dumpy.
2) Ron will be tricked into betraying Harry, earlier in their relationship, this may have been a real concern, but since the effects of Tom Riddle’s diary, the circumstances surrounding the origins of Harry’s Firebolt, Harry’s entrance into the Tri-Wizard Tournament and the luring of Harry to the MoM in OotP. Ron, and indeed any member of DA knows to what lengths the Dark Side will go to pull you in and will be on his toes to avoid being snared.
In closing, I would like to point out something that many of the people out there seem to forget, it’s not just Harry and Ron, there is also Hermione, and not in any shipper sense, but as a equal member of the team. When the three of them work together there is hardly any solution they can’t find.
We call them the Trio, which mystically is known as a Triad, wherein Ron represents ‘Heart’, Hermione represents ‘Mind’ and Harry ‘Soul’ or psychoanalytically the ‘Id’, ‘Superego’ and ‘Ego’.
Yes Ron will turn to the Dark Side
“I’m the sixth in our family to go to Hogwarts. You could say I have a lot to live up to. Bill and Charlie have already left—Bill was Head Boy and Charlie was captain of Quidditch. Now Percy’s a prefect. Fred and George mess around a lot, but they still get really good marks, and everyone thinks they’re really funny. Everyone expects me to do as well as the others, but if I do, it’s no big deal, because they did it first. You never get anything new, either, with five brothers. I‘ve got Bills old robes, Charlie’s old wand, and Percy’s old rat.
Ronald Weasley, youngest of the Weasley boys has become a most beloved character in the Harry Potter Septology. Not only is he a caring and loyal friend to our hero, but he also has all the redeeming qualities of a fabulous wizard. But is our best friend turning down a dark and dangerous path? By evaluating Ron’s character traits and character flaws one can presume that he has the definite potential to turn to the “Dark Side,” or find himself in a position that allows him personal gain, to the detriment of the Order and possibly even his best friend. This argument accounts for any intentional or unintentional issues that arise causing problems, and causing Ron to do something that he would normally not do.
Character traits and flaws present in Ron
Ron being the youngest boy in a large family becomes problematic and potentially dangerous. Ron has to fight for all the Recognition he can get. He believes that what he does or doesn’t do is of no consequence. If he does well, someone else in his family has already done it, and if he doesn’t do well, then he’s not living up to the expectations set by his brothers. Couple this with being the best friend of the Boy Who Lived, and you get one underestimated kid. Ron has to work at being the best, and if he is, well its no big deal, and if he isn’t, then he should be.
Unhappy being Poor
Compounding the fact that Ron has to deal with being in his brothers and Harry’s shadow most of the time is the undeniable fact that the Weasley's are poor. The incessant piles of hand-me-down robes, tatty second hand books, leaves Ron incredibly discouraged and often the butt of Slytherin jokes.
“Why is everything I own rubbish?” Ron GoF 10
Ron often will become moody and embarrassed when it comes to money issues. Several examples of this can be found in Goblet of Fire when the appearance of Leprechauns Gold and the nifflers reveal the magic quality of the galleons. Ron becomes embarrassed and distant with Harry once he finds out that the galleons he gave Ron at the end of the Quidditch World Cup had vanished, and Harry hadn’t told him.
“Ronald Weasley, who had always been overshadowed by his furthers sees himself standing alone, the best of all of them…” Dumbledore SS 12
Despite his money troubles, and his perpetual role as being second in line, Ron has recently seen the beginnings of all his deepest desires coming true. In OoTP, We find that Ron, and not Harry has been placed into the position of Prefect. This is a much needed status boost for Ron, although everyone thought Harry was sure to get it (even though we find out later why he doesn’t.) Ron now has power, albeit not supreme or even a whole lot of power, but its power none-the-less. Responsibility comes with the power, and now Ron has more on his plate than ever before! We also see another milestone, however rocky the road was getting to it. Ron is made Keeper for Gryffindor team. With Harry, Fred, and George all sitting on the sidelines, Ron becomes the hero. He reveals a new found talent, but these have both been done before!!!!
Thus far we have only seen Ron lose control of his temper when someone in his family or Harry or Hermione are being called on integrity or merit. As we also have seen Ron can be rash and foolhardy when it comes to proving himself worthy. We also have seen many times in which his stubborn pride have gotten him off track with his friends. One particularly vivid example is Ron’s behavior after Harry was chosen for the Triwizard Tournament. Ron behaved immaturely and clearly over reacted at the realization that once again Harry and not he was going to be the center of attention. Ron didn’t talk to Harry, and stopped associating with him because he thought that Harry had found a way to get his name into the Goblet of Fire and didn’t tell him. This behavior, self-centered and selfish, is typical of Ron, and shows his temper when he is found in situations that challenge his worth. Ron often blindly follows his temper into compromising and dangerous situations.
We have heard Ron emphatically deny that he would become like Percy. Even in OoTP we see Ron’s blatant disregard to Percy when he receives the letter from him. However we can begin to see similarities between the two, not that Ron has the destiny to be Head Boy or anything like that, but there are characteristics present in both brothers that cause much trepidation. Ron and Percy both have a desire to become better than their family has become. His desire for recognition and praise are traits that we very clearly see in Percy. We also see a deep respect for material wealth and personal gain, as well as a desire to be in positions of power and authority. This however is in no way saying that Percy has gone to the Dark Side, only that the traits that have gotten Percy where he is, can be clearly seen in Ron as well.
How these character flaws put Ron in danger
Ron has a deep and great desire for power money and prestige, but how far would he go to fulfill his desires? We have begun to see a transformation in Ron and at first glance we are proud that he is stepping into the spotlight. But we can also see that Ron has the potential to be coerced and molded without knowing it is happening. Dark Magic is mysterious, and its strength is something that is not yet fully understood. The potential for Ron to inadvertently do something that puts not only Harry but also the Order, and the “Good Side” in danger is clear and ever present. Because of Ron’s definite need for recognition, he could easily be drawn in by the promise of personal growth, wealth, and power. That is something that Ron would be hard pressed to refuse. Another thing to remember is that Ron could be coerced and tricked into doing something, for purely unselfish and good reasons, but having it backfire as a part of the plan. Dark Magic and those who practice it have ways of coercing and persuading people to act and behave in ways that one would not normally behave. Were Ron to believe something that was not true, he could find himself in a bad temper for no reason. As we have seen Ron can focus his energy into the wrong outlet and cause many problems for those he cares about, or conversely, not associate with those he cares for and end up putting himself and others in danger. We have also seen the effect that people in power have on someone like Ron. Percy was drawn like a moth to a flame by the prestige of the Ministry. His judgment was clouded by the thoughts of his family’s inferiority and the infallibility of the Ministry. Ron too has similar issues with his family and the lack of respect they seemingly have. If he is not careful he could find himself on the same path as his brother whom he really and truly doesn’t want to be like.
Ron’s clear desire for recognition, his affinity for personal and material gain, a temper to match his hair, and the fact that despite what he says and feels he is more like his brother than he would care to admit, all make him a definite target for the Death Eaters and Voldemort. His shortfalls could easily be twisted to their advantage, putting not only Ron in danger, but his family, and his friends as well. Ron is probably one of the closest people to Harry, and it makes him wonderful bait to use to get to Harry quickly. By no fault of his own Ron has become a potential handicap to the fight against Voldemort and his followers.