The ramblings of a freelance writer, novelist and avid reader.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Weasley Ruminations

OK, I hope everyone doesn’t think I’m not on-board the Weasley Family fan train – I am the conductor of said train (shut up English teachers – the double negative totally works in this sentence). I can’t help that I just really want to hit Ron in book four – but I get it. I still love him; please continue to follow my blog. Pretty please with sugar on top! I also promise not to talk about any more elements – I’ll stick with fire (unless one of you comments about other elements and then I might respond in a book-club-type-banter sort of way).

Before we really get going, I have to apologize. Every year I think December won’t be a busy month and then things pile up and I don’t write as many posts as I want to. I will try harder, at least to get HP – Mondays done.

Alright so I’m picking the Weasleys as this weeks topic because Matt commented (!) and we haven’t talked about this wizarding family nearly enough yet. In book 4 we finally get to hang out with the older brothers – three cheers for Bill and Charlie – both of whom don’t appear in the movies and really haven’t been in the books all that much yet (can you believe it?). I think this just proves how much of the story still has yet to be told. Before I forget – for those of you who’ve only seen the movies, I really want to know your take on Bill and Charlie in these next four books because I can’t believe this is the first time you’re being introduced to them. Also, for everyone else – Do you think both older brothers will make an appearance - or wedding scene – in the last two movies?

Weasleys. Yeah, they really are the opposite – or at the other end of the spectrum? – from Harry in basics. He has money, they don’t. They have a huge family; Harry has none (The Dursleys don’t count here). The Weasleys are about as pure-blood (not in the Malfoy way) as you can get, Harry’s mom comes from a non-magic family. The magic world constantly surprises Harry while the muggle world constantly surprises the Weasleys. The amount of stamps on the invitation to the Quidditch World Cup in book 4 is about as funny as the screaming phone call to the Dursley household in book 2.

I agree on the plot braiding – or plot magnifying? – Matt mentioned in his comments; Rowling has a way of bringing up the Weasley money issues and then making that an important sub-plot that at times braids into the main plot. Ginny’s books, Ron’s broken wand, Weasley Christmas sweaters, even the flying car are all plot advancements that also flesh out the Weasley essence.

The use of hand-me-down or borrowed items furthers the plot and subtly reminds the reader that money is (or is not?) an issue:
- Percy’s rat Scabbers – or secret keeper breaker Wormtail
- Ron’s dress robes
- The invisibility cloak (Yes, I know this is not a Weasley item, but it’s a gift which could just be hero cycle stuff, but also works in the hand-me-down aspect).
- The Marauder’s Map (both “borrowed” from Filch’s office, and handed down to Harry – Wow, he’s really collecting those hero cycle gifts).
- Even the Weasley tents used at the Quidditch World Cup are borrowed, and the tickets in the top box were awarded to Arthur.

The money issues aren’t new in book 4 – but they grow the characters. Fred & George have been saving and scheming for Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes – and here again the leprechaun gold and constant secret keeping by the twins in this book do so much more than just show money issues. Also Percy – his role in this book is more pivotal than I realized before. He’s starting to pull away from the rest of his family and I think this has at least something to do with the not caring attitude of his parents. They aren’t rich, they don’t have a lot of money yet the Burrow is always a happy, friendly home. Arthur & Molly are more concerned with their kids and friends than money; but that’s not what Percy sees at the office day in and day out. So who’s right and who’s wrong?

There is just so much more to talk about. You can argue this point if you want – I love that I try to get people to argue and no one ever does…you can though. I’m not 100% correct, in fact I doubt if I’m even 60% correct. So share your thoughts!

Anyway, we could talk about the Weasleys (a gaggle of red-heads totally fits into my fire imagery theme too) for about thirty more posts, so I’ll just leave this one with a final thought. A friend recently commented on the Twilight series – after seeing the second movie – she thought it was horrible for the ordinary, normal guys to have to compete for Bella’s affection with a vampire and werewolf. I think her exact words were, “Team Edward or Team Jacob? What about Team Mike Newton. Let’s hear it for the nice, normal, average guy. I’m on his team!” So my final Harry Potter thought for today’s late post – if Harry is the chosen one and extra special then isn’t it nice that Hermione always chooses Ron – the nice, ordinary friend lost in the shuffle of extraordinary best friend and numerous bright, talented siblings?

Please insert your thought, comments, and ruminations here.


  1. First, I love how Ron gets the girl (yes, Harry gets the girl too, but Ginny's too perfect for me to like her all that much) he deserves the lovin' after being overshadowed by his family and his friends in pretty much every way possible. Plus, he's just such a normal person who manages to rise up to the challenges presented to him because of his loyalty to his friends.

    Second, I'm pretty sure Bill and Charlie Weasley will be appearing in the final movies as they are listed in the cast lists on Wikipedia and IMDB. I doubt they'll be in much of the plot, but they will finally be there, and for that, I am very excited.

    I'd say one of the biggest pieces of Weasley awesomeness is the sweaters; I just love that bit. It's a beautiful idea, because more than anything it shows how much love is in that family and how it is transferred to Harry. I'm starting to loose my train of thought, but yeah... Sweaters are awesome, especially when they're made just for you by Molly Weasley.

  2. I am not just a random friend. Any anti-Twilight comments I make, I want full credit for!

    I agree that the Weasley brothers (elder) seem oddly lacking in the films. I miss them. The scene with Phlegm and Bill is heart wrenching, and Charlie always seemed like the essence of cool. Percy's growing separation from his family did stick out to me, too. I see this happening a lot to my students once they go off to college. I tell their parents that the kids'll return as they get older, but honestly, I don't get to hear about that aspect of things as much.

    Speaking of Percy, it bothered me that Rowling added the ongoing joke that Crouch gets Percy's name wrong when two seconds later he addresses Arthur Weasley by name. That's implausible.

    I found a couple other things like that. Harry forgets to include a bezoar in his antidote, yet isn't a bezoar itself an antidote??

    Also, Aberforth is cited as practicing charms on goats (which seems like a fairly adult joke for a Scottish woman in a "children's" book, no?) and not being able to read. When we meet him, his patronus is a goat. Ahem. but he seems perfectly intelligent, just not as erudite as his brother. Sad.

    Again, I *love* these books. I think Rowling is a gifted plotter AND writer, but upon rereading, certain things stand out.

    I was reminded in this book that Ron barely realized that Hermione was a girl. He considered anybody and everybody before one of his two best friends for the ball. Even then, he asks her to go with him just to save his hide. It's not until she shortens her teeth up, straightens out her bushy hair, and puts on a frou-frou dress that he "sees" her. Pretty realistic for a teenage boy.

  3. Blog Author Retraction:

    Dear Reader,
    In the above post I quoted a friend's comment about the Twilight empire. I would like to clarify that this friend was indeed English teacher - Ms. Mara Corey. The same one who wrote the word solipsism in her comment about last week's HP Monday post. Yeah, that one...

  4. I think I've seen places/random people with no authorization from the twilight empire who sell Team Mike shirts.

    Also, I get to take a whole class on Twilight in January, and we are gonna tear it to shreads. If anyone is interested in my ruminations on Twilight at that time, let me know.

    Final Twilight Comment: I feel this comic sums up my feelings about the Harry Potter/Twilight debate:

    Back to the HP goodness.