Harry Potter was always the hero. He was courageous enough to stand up to Lord Voldemort and brave enough to survive without his family. So of course everybody wanted to be like him. The brave, popular Gryffindor, the chosen one, the saviour. But let's face it, most of us aren't like that in real life. We may know someone who is, but that too is rare.
Then there was Ronald Bilius Weasley, popularly known as Ron. Now, he was someone you could easily relate to. His qualities were average compared to Harry, but that is what made him more believable and easier to relate to for me.
He wasn't the hero, but he was someone without whom the story would always be incomplete.
Don't get me wrong. It's not that people like Harry don't exist, but there is a reason he was called 'the chosen one'. It's because there was only one. Yes, he was really popular and everybody knew him. People in the wizarding world really did not bother much about Ron. Probably because he was perceived as a tag along, a fact that he later proved wrong.
He was never in the limelight, but was still very important to Harry. And that is what matters.
Harry had issues like dealing with the most dangerous wizard in history, while Ron had to deal with embarrassing letters from his family, some seriously ugly (but full of love) sweaters from his mother and not to forget those dress robes he had to wear for the ball and Harry consoling him that they just look traditional.
"Traditional?! They're ancient! I look like my great-aunt Tessie! I smell like my great-aunt Tessie!"
Yes, I can relate to that feeling so well.
The women! Oh, the women. Ron could never approach one in his life and it took him seven years to finally confess his love for Hermoine, which was surely brought on by the fact that they were all on the verge of dying. Harry landed up with the coolest of the lot, Ginny Weasley. But Ron's awkward moments were well profiled. And I for one have been through the same.
"Hermione's got nice skin... You know... As far as skin goes I mean."
Harry was forever under the spotlight, but Ron was more of a moment's man. He had his share of ups and downs and that made me connect better to him. I can't deny that I too have fallen for the placebo effect just like Ron did, when Harry pretended to pour Felix Felicis (Liquid Luck) into his glass and gave him a huge confidence boost before the match. And they won.
We all have friends who are dear to us and people we really care about. It is for them that we take extreme steps, it is for them that we go that extra mile. Ron did that every time it was demanded of him. Yes, he did abandon Harry & Hermione once. But that just makes it seem more real, doesn't it?
There are times in life when you get frustrated and you feel like giving up. A Harry would never do that. He would soldier on relentlessly. But Ron let it get to him, like it has to me and so many of us. Sometimes, that happens just so that you can throw things into perspective.
Also, it isn't always about Harry being in the front seat. Remember Ron got angry when he thought Harry had lied to him about putting his name in the Goblet of Fire? Even after a huge fight, Ron helped him out without letting Harry know, but later confessed to it.
Although he learnt that Harry really did not put his name in, it just goes to show that Ron still cared for his best friend while the rest of the world was against Harry which I'm sure you have done too. That just makes Ron a little more realistic to me.
Not saying that Harry wouldn't have stuck his neck out for Ron. But he was mostly preoccupied with You-Know-Who, dementors, crazy potions professors and what not. He had bigger burdens to deal with and in all those times, Ron just went along with him.
Helped him out at every step of the way without caring about what might happen. Stealing his dad's car, walking into a spider's lair (big deal for Ron), being the knight on the chess board. He did it all, because he always knew it was Harry who was the chosen one and he was okay with it. And that endeared me more towards his character and made him more lifelike for me.
" Harry, it's you that has to go on, I know it. Not me, not Hermione... YOU!"
This isn't about Harry being more popular or basking in glory (which he did not), but about Ron being more than a mere presence. Harry had a life which can only be a wild fantasy. He actual saved the wizarding world from perishing. That's just too damn huge for you to imagine yourself doing.
Sure Harry had issues too. But when it came to him, everything was magnified. But Ronald Weasley, he was there as a friend and as a person you can identify with. His struggles are something we have all faced. I know he wasn't as glorified as Harry was in the series but that is probably why I could relate to him more and look up to him. And the man himself agrees too: