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The Untold Truth Of Ron Weasley

J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" books gave birth to one of the most popular (and highest-grossing) film franchises of all time. They follow the title character, a boy who learns he's a wizard and is invited to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. There he makes lifelong friends (and enemies), and he discovers it's his destiny to fight and ultimately defeat Lord Voldemort, the evil wizard who killed his parents.

At Harry's side are his best friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. We first meet Ron on the platform at King's Cross station, and Hermione introduces herself on the Hogwarts Express shortly after. By the end of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" the trio are best friends, and they only grow closer as the series progresses.

Over the course of eight films, we learn a lot about Ron and his family. As one of the franchise's central characters, Ron's life is well chronicled. However, there are actually a few things about him that weren't directly revealed in the films, or even in the books. From deleted scenes that show a different side of Ron to the hidden facts Rowling has revealed about the character, here's the untold truth of Ron Weasley.

Ron was inspired by one of J.K. Rowling's best friends

According to J.K. Rowling, a school friend by the name of Sean Harris partly inspired the character Ron Weasley. The author dedicated "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" to Harris, calling him her "getaway driver and foul-weather friend." In that book, Ron and Harry fly Mr. Weasley's modified Ford Anglia from King's Cross to Hogwarts, crashing it into the Whomping Willow. Harris once owned a similar car, Rowling has revealed.

"That turquoise and white car meant freedom and no more having to ask my father to give me lifts, which is the worst thing about living in the countryside when you are a teenager," Rowling said on her website (via Wales Online). "Some of the happiest memories of my teenage years are zooming off into the darkness in Sean's car." The author went on to say that Harris would turn up to rescue her in the distinctive car, just like Ron did with Harry. He was also very supportive of her writing. "He was the first person with whom I really discussed my serious ambition to be a writer and he was the only person who thought I was bound to be a success at it," Rowling added.

Ron's name never changed

J.K. Rowling spent six years writing "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" (released as "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" in the United States) and creating her magical Wizarding World. During that time, she subjected her work to a lot of re-writes and edits, but one thing that never changed is Ron Weasley's name. "Ron was the only one of three major characters whose surname never changed," Rowling revealed on her website. "He has been a 'Weasley' from start to finish," she added.

Rowling "discovered Ron" while on a train journey from Manchester to King's Cross on the very first day that the idea for "Harry Potter" came to her. She quickly came up with his surname, too. It was inspired by the weasel, one of her favorite animals. "In Britain and Ireland, the weasel has a bad reputation as an unfortunate, even malevolent animal," she said. "However, since childhood, I have had a great fondness for the family Mustelidae; not so much malignant as maligned, in my opinion."

Ron knew more about Tom Riddle than you think

When it comes to book-to-movie adaptations, it's pretty much guaranteed that not every written scene or storyline will make it onto the big screen, despite how much fans might want to see them. That certainly ended up being the case with the movie version of "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," which cut out a big Ron moment.

Ron and Harry both got detention for crashing Arthur Weasley's flying car into the Whomping Willow. Harry was forced to spend the evening answering fan mail with Gilderoy Lockhart while Filch ordered Ron to clean awards in the Trophy Room. Later, when Hermione notices the name "Tom Marvolo Riddle" on the front of the film's mysterious diary, Ron reveals that he's heard of him. "That night I had detention, my job was to polish the silver in the trophy room — I remember because I kept burping up slugs over Tom Riddle's trophy," Ron told Harry and Hermione. "He won an award 50 years ago. Special services to the school, or something."

The moment was filmed, but it became a deleted scene. Not only did this scene foreshadow Riddle's importance at the end of the film, it showed that Ron contributed more than you think. He's often portrayed as a little clueless in the early films, but that's down to time constraints as much as anything else.

Ron's arachnophobia was real

Ron's greatest fear throughout the "Harry Potter" series is spiders. He explains in "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" that this phobia stems from a childhood prank Fred played on him, turning his teddy bear into a "great big filthy spider." Rupert Grint conveys Ron's fear of spiders very convincingly on the big screen. The actor didn't have to do too much acting during the spider scenes, because Grint also suffers from arachnophobia. "I don't like spiders in real life," he told the BBC. "Even rubber ones I get really scared of." Grint said his phobia made several of the spider scenes "challenging."

Daniel Radcliffe praised his co-star for overcoming his fear of spiders during the Forbidden Forest scene, putting it down to willpower and the spellbinding practical effects. "He was helped slightly by the fact that Aragog was so impressive," Radcliffe said (via Screen Rant). "We couldn't really be scared when we were thinking, 'Wow, that's so cool!'" However, while Grint might have overcome his fear of spiders, Ron did not. During Defense Against the Dark Arts class in "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," Ron's boggart manifests into his greatest fear, a giant spider which he eventually sends flying on roller skates. Of course, the boggarts were special effects creations and Grint was able to laugh when he told IGN about the "picture of a spider on roller skates" that he had to act next to.

Ron was meant to swear a lot 

The "Harry Potter" books are adored by kids and adults alike, but they were originally aimed at children. Because of this, J.K. Rowling was instructed by her editors not to use swear words in her books. This was only really an issue for one character: Ron, who, as Rowling explained in a 2005 interview, "is definitely a boy who would swear." This initially caused the author difficulty as she was writing Ron's dialogue, but Rowling soon came up with creative curse words and ways around the no-swear rule. "Merlin's beard!" and "Merlin's pants!" were just two common swear-like phrases many of her characters used. Ron put his own spin on the expression: "And what in the name of Merlin's most baggy Y-fronts was that about?" he asks Hermione in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows."

Rowling also got around writing swear words for Ron by leaving them to the reader's imagination instead. In "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," Ron almost explodes in a fit of anger after Snape gives him detention. He clearly swears while telling Harry and Hermione about it. "'D'you know what that — ' (he called Snape something that made Hermione say 'Ron!') ' — is making me do?'" It doesn't take much to imagine what Ron might have said there. The films were PG-13 and dropped this strict "no swearing" rule, which is why Ron often utters things like "bloody hell." He even tells Harry to "p*** off" when they fall out during "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire."

His cousin Mafalda was supposed to appear

Ron Weasley has a notoriously large family, and we're not just talking about his six siblings. He has aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, and all manner of relatives. Some have been mentioned once or twice in passing, like his uncle Fabian and his great aunt Tessie, but some you've probably never heard of — like Mafalda. Anyone who's ever read the first "Harry Potter" book might remember Ron mentioning her father, though. "I think Mum's got a second cousin who's an accountant, but we never talk about him," he revealed to Harry.

J.K. Rowling later explained that Mrs. Weasley's second cousin was actually a stockbroker who'd been "very rude" to her and Mr. Weasley in the past. "But now he and his (Muggle) wife had inconveniently produced a witch, they came back to the Weasleys asking for their help in introducing her to wizarding society before she starts at Hogwarts," Rowling revealed on her website (via TeenVogue). Mafalda was going to be introduced during "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" as, believe it or not, a Slytherin.

The author explained that Ron's cousin was originally going to serve as a unwitting informant for the trio. "Mafalda was supposed to convey certain information about the Death Eaters to Harry, Ron, and Hermione, because as a nosy, eavesdropping Slytherin who likes to impress, she does not keep her mouth shut when she overhears their sons and daughters talking," Rowling said. The author ended up having to cut the character from the book, with Rita Skeeter fulfilling Mafalda's gossipy function.

This is why Ron's Patronus is a Jack Russell 

Each character's Patronus is unique and significant to them. Harry's Patronus manifests into a stag and it connects him to his father James, whose Animagus form was also a stag. Harry is, of course, taught to produce a Patronus much earlier than a lot of his friends and classmates, so we have to wait until "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" to discover what form Ron's Patronus takes. During a DA (Dumbledore's Army) meeting, Harry teaches Ron and the other members to perform the complex spell. After a few attempts, a silvery Jack Russell Terrier bursts out of his wand and knocks Neville off his feet.

J.K. Rowling first revealed what Ron's Patronus would be in a 2005 interview. "Ron's Patronus is a small dog, like a Jack Russell," she said, noting that this was "a really sentimental choice, because we've got a Jack Russell. He's insane." Some fans have argued that there's a hidden meaning in Ron's Patronus after seeing Hermione produce a Patronus in the form of an otter. Jack Russell Terriers are known for chasing otters, after all.

The origin of Ron's enchanted radio

Ron's enchanted radio is something of an enigma in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1." He appears to have had the radio with him since the trio left the Burrow and listens to it frequently while they are hunting for Horcruxes. It's often reduced to background noise and plays a nondescript Wizarding World news channel which, in the book, is Lee Jordan's "Potterwatch." Jordan's pirate radio show plays a much bigger part in the "Deathly Hallows" novel, but it's not introduced until much later in the story. When Ron reunites with Harry and Hermione, he has the radio with him. Ron spends weeks tuning it until he's finally able to access the show using a password.

In the movie version, the radio that Ron carries is a Muggle device that has been enchanted to report the magical world's news. We know this because there's a deleted scene that shows Arthur Weasley tinkering away on a bunch of radios, but sadly it didn't make it into the final film. "They're for the Order," he tells Ron. "So many on the run, it keeps them connected with the rest of us, [so they] know they're not alone." The scene is brief, but it ends with a close-up of an enchanted radio, and in the background there is one that looks just like Ron's.

This deleted Ron scene could have changed everything

In "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1," Harry, Ron, and Hermione are caught by snatchers when they apparate into an unprotected part of the forest. This scene differs from the book, which sees the trio caught by snatchers and taken to Malfoy Manor when Harry accidentally says Voldemort's name while listening to "Potterwatch," momentarily forgetting it is Taboo.

It appears the film was going to follow a similar scenario to the book initially, as a deleted scene that shows Ron revealing that very pertinent information proves. Ron reveals to Harry and Hermione that he overheard this vital intel at the Ministry of Magic. "It's Taboo. You Know Who's name. That's how they track people now," he explains.

Since the film majorly condensed the first half of the book, including this scene would have resulted in some plot holes down the line. The movie omits "Potterwatch," so Harry doesn't have that distraction, and therefore there's not really a believable way to have him say Voldemort's name by mistake. The scene would have meant big changes to the plot had it remained in the film.

J.K. Rowling almost killed Ron off

J.K. Rowling was brutal in her ability to kill off beloved characters — from Albus Dumbledore, to Hedwig, to Dobby, to Fred Weasley. Even though she later admitted that the latter was perhaps too cruel a stroke from her mighty pen, she still seriously considered killing off another Weasley sibling. In 2011, The Guardian published a leaked interview Rowling did with Daniel Radcliffe for the "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2" DVD. In it, the author said that although she never originally intended to kill off a member of the golden trio, Ron was on the chopping block for a while.

It was "midway though," Rowling revealed, "which I think is a reflection of the fact that I wasn't in a very happy place, [so] I started thinking I might polish one of them off. Out of sheer spite. 'There, now you definitely can't have him anymore.'" Thankfully, the author pulled back and said that in her "absolute heart of hearts of hearts," she wouldn't have done it. Ron survived the series, but it was a close call for a while.

Ron and Hermione's romance was wish fulfillment for J.K. Rowling

By the time Harry, Ron, and Hermione enter their sixth year at Hogwarts, it's clear where each character's heart lies (even if they aren't in a relationship with their significant other yet). In the epilogue of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2," viewers see these relationships — Harry and Ginny, and Ron and Hermione — realized and going strong 19 years later. Of course, fans have strong opinions about the final pairings, but J.K. Rowling was determined Ron and Hermione would end up together.

During an interview with Emma Watson for Wonderland magazine (via MuggleNet), Rowling explained that this decision was "for very personal reasons, not for reasons of credibility." She told Watson: "I wrote the Hermione/Ron relationship as a form of wish fulfillment. That's how it was conceived, really. For reasons that have very little to do with literature and far more to do with me clinging to the plot as I first imagined it, Hermione ended up with Ron."

Time and "distance" have given the author perspective, however. Rowling acknowledged that Ron and Hermione might not have actually made the best couple and that they probably needed marriage counseling to make their relationship work. Watson concurred, saying, "I think there are fans out there who know that too and who wonder whether Ron would have really been able to make her happy."

Ron and Hermione's relationship was trimmed for the films

Although J.K. Rowling expressed some doubts about their relationship after the fact, the author was committed to the Ron-Hermione pairing while writing the books and when the films were being made. Director David Yates transferred her vision to the big screen in both parts of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," but it ended up being one of the smaller storylines in the films. Ron and Hermione's romance often felt shunted to the sidelines, which is understandable given how much other action was going on. However, it's perhaps also due to the fact that scenes of their blossoming relationship were cut down quite a bit.

In one deleted scene from "Part 1," Ron and Hermione take a break from Horcrux hunting and enjoy a few happy moments together. The couple-to-be is simply skipping stones and laughing. It's one of the lighter scenes they share together, and Ron teaching Hermione to skip stones mirrors the scene where she teaches him some piano, which did make it into the film.

In another deleted scene from "Part 2," Ron tries his best to say those three little words to Hermione after their first kiss in the Chamber of Secrets, but she shuts him down. "I don't want you to say anything you wouldn't say if we weren't about to be killed by a giant snake," she tells him. "You'll just ruin it." Neither scene would have altered the plot, but they would have helped build up Ron and Hermione's relationship.

Ron didn't go back to school after the Battle of Hogwarts

Both the "Deathly Hallows" book and the second "Deathly Hallows" film finish with the Battle of Hogwarts and a brief scene set 19 years later. The epilogue gave little indication of what the golden trio had been up to in the years in between. After the book was released in 2007, J.K. Rowling discussed the fates of her characters — specifically whether they returned to Hogwarts for their N.E.W.T. year — in an interview with PotterCast (via Accio Quote).

Hermione, she revealed, decided to finish her education, but like Harry, "Ron was really done with schooling," and he was ready to start his career. Kingsley Shacklebolt, the new Minister for Magic, hired him as an Auror. "Kingsley would've wanted Ron, Neville, Harry and they would've all gone, and they would've all done the job," Rowling said. "And I think that that would've been a good thing for them, too. Because to go through that battle and then be relegated to the sidelines, I think they would've felt a need to keep going and finish the job."

Rowling did admit that she was tempted to have Ron "go back just to mess around for a year and have a break." She even wanted to write a graduation scene, but ultimately decided he should just go to work. Ron eventually left the Auror office and went to run Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes with George.

Ron's biggest achievement was getting a Chocolate Frog card

One of the first things we learn about Ron is that he's an avid collector of Chocolate Frog cards, which he teaches Harry about on the Hogwarts Express. Ron and Harry then bond over sweets, and he explains to the orphan that he has a big family of brothers to live up to. Each of them made their mark at Hogwarts either as Prefects, impressive Quidditch players, or Head Boys. "Everyone expects me to do as well as the others, but if I do, it's no big deal, because they did it first," he tells Harry in the first book.

Even though Ron eventually rivals his brothers' success at Hogwarts as a Prefect and a star Quidditch player, and is then instrumental in helping to defeat Lord Voldemort, it isn't until after the Battle of Hogwarts that he earns his biggest achievement. Ron, Harry, and Hermione are all celebrated and immortalized on Chocolate Frog cards following the battle. It was a particularly big deal for Ron, who, like Dumbledore, considers this to be his best achievement ever. "Ron will describe this as his finest hour," J.K. Rowling revealed in a web chat (via The Leaky Cauldron).

Inside Ron's extended family

The Weasley family tree is hard to follow at the best of times. It connects to the Prewetts on Mrs. Weasley's side and to the Blacks, Longbottoms, and Yaxleys on Mr. Weasley's side. And, by the end of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," the Weasley family tree includes the Potters, the Grangers, the Delacours, and the Johnsons, to name a few.

At least 12 Weasley grandchildren are born in the years after the Battle of Hogwarts, including Ron and Hermione's children, Rose and Hugo. Ron's only sister Ginny married his best friend Harry and they welcomed James Sirius, Albus Severus, and Lily Luna. His eldest brother Bill also had three children, Victoire, Dominique, and Louis, with his wife, Fleur Delacour. At the end of the "Deathly Hallows" novel, Rowling revealed a blossoming relationship between Victoire and Teddy (the son of Tonks and Remus Lupin), which, as James notes, really makes him part of the family.

Ron's second eldest brother Charlie remained unattached, but his third eldest, Percy, married a witch named Audrey, and they welcomed two daughters, Molly and Lucy. While Fred Weasley tragically died during the Second Wizarding War, he was never forgotten. His twin brother George married their classmate Angelina Johnson, and the couple named their first-born son Fred. They went on to have another child, a daughter named Roxanne. Ron definitely has his work cut out remembering all those birthdays.

How Rupert Grint really felt about playing Ron

Rupert Grint, Daniel Radcliffe, and Emma Watson were the faces of the "Harry Potter" films for many years, and they have sometimes spoken about what it was like growing up in the spotlight. For Grint, it wasn't always as magical as it seemed. "There was definitely a time where it felt quite suffocating," he admitted on the Armchair Expert podcast. He told host Dax Shepard that he was only originally contracted for two movies, so the level of commitment changed a lot. "It was heavy going, it was kind of every day for ten years. It's a long time." The actor definitely has fond memories from his time playing Ron (the cast and crew became like family and overall it was a great experience), but there were ups and downs. "It was a great place to be, but sometimes it definitely felt like, 'I want to do something else, see what else is out there,'" he said.

A few years earlier, Grint had revealed to The Guardian that there was actually a time when he thought about leaving the franchise. "Filming 'Harry Potter' was a massive sacrifice," he said. "I definitely remember thinking during one extended break, 'This whole thing is so all-consuming, do I really want to go back? Maybe it's just not for me.'" He ultimately stuck it out, but that decision meant "the line between Ron and me became thinner," he said. "I think we became virtually the same person."