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Competing Friends, or In Ron's Defense



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  #1  
Old January 29th, 2008, 5:53 am
blaqlives  Female.gif blaqlives is offline
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Competing Friends, or In Ron's Defense

Discussion of the editorial Competing Friends, or In Ron's Defense by Hazel Impey.



Last edited by blaqlives; January 29th, 2008 at 6:05 am.
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  #2  
Old January 29th, 2008, 9:09 am
SeverusSupporte  Female.gif SeverusSupporte is offline
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Re: Competing Friends, or In Ron's Defense

I totally agree. There is no such thing as a "better" friend when it comes to your best friends. Everyone has their own way to contribute to a friendship, and different ways of reacting when there's a bump in the road.


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Old January 29th, 2008, 2:02 pm
lifter57  Undisclosed.gif lifter57 is offline
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Re: Competing Friends, or In Ron's Defense

Amen


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Old January 29th, 2008, 3:16 pm
_magic_freak_  Female.gif _magic_freak_ is offline
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Re: Competing Friends, or In Ron's Defense

Yay! You managed to put into words what the thread for hpboy13's editorial has been trying to say since the editorial came out! Thank you!


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Old January 29th, 2008, 4:20 pm
inkling7  Female.gif inkling7 is offline
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Re: Competing Friends, or In Ron's Defense

Now if hpboy13 reads this what will he say? You have said what most of us have been trying to tell him and have been beating our heads up against a brick wall to tell him in our own ways. However I think he still won't agree and I suppose that is his prerogative. I do agree with you - as there are many kinds of friendship as you said. It's just that Harry likes/prefers Ron's kiind a bit better than Hermione's as this makes him feel more comfortable and happier. However her friendship is no less more valuable because the trio as a team compliment each other and make a good team because of (not in spite of) their strengths and weaknesses.



Last edited by inkling7; January 29th, 2008 at 4:23 pm.
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Old January 29th, 2008, 4:33 pm
kiri12  Female.gif kiri12 is offline
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Re: Competing Friends, or In Ron's Defense

Are y'all ignoring all of the sacrifices Hermione made for Harry? I mean, for heaven's sake, Ron's a good friend and Hermione has her moments too but Ron's lack of confidence in himself actually decreases his and Harry's friendship. Hermione has sacrificed so much more. The friendships that have been developing have ups and downs, yet Hermione has been a much more helpful asset to the trio than Ron. "Socially unacceptable faults" and a lot worse than Hermione's pet peeve about logic and books. When will Harry see this? Probably never. Maybe NO ONE will ever notice Hermione's unwavering loyalty.....

Kiri12


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  #7  
Old January 29th, 2008, 9:16 pm
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Re: Competing Friends, or In Ron's Defense

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiri12 View Post
Are y'all ignoring all of the sacrifices Hermione made for Harry? I mean, for heaven's sake, Ron's a good friend and Hermione has her moments too but Ron's lack of confidence in himself actually decreases his and Harry's friendship. Hermione has sacrificed so much more. The friendships that have been developing have ups and downs, yet Hermione has been a much more helpful asset to the trio than Ron. "Socially unacceptable faults" and a lot worse than Hermione's pet peeve about logic and books. When will Harry see this? Probably never. Maybe NO ONE will ever notice Hermione's unwavering loyalty.....

Kiri12
How is appreciating Ron's character and his friendship with Harry not noticing what a loyal friend Hermione is? No one denies that. But friendship is not a contest. It's also not about usefulness. And I respectfully disagree that Hermione has sacrificed more. What is that supposed to be? Ron has left his family, known 'blood-traitors', at the frontline of the war, when he went with Harry. How is that less than what Hermione did? Their sacrifices have always been on equal terms. And they did it because they deeply cared for Harry and wanted to support their best friend. But again that's nothing that should be set against each other.

Ron's insecurities obviously haven't decreased his friendship with Harry. We see them closer to each other and even hug after Ron has destroyed the locket. We see them still close and on good terms 19 years after the war.

I think it was an interesting point made by this editorial that Ron's flaws seem to be more socially unacceptable. Having insecurities is unfortunately considered a weakness in our society and it sometimes even seems to be a taboo. So JKR has assigned Ron to be the one of her characters who has these deep insecurities, but she also has him to be the one to overcome them big time. Ron made mistakes, but he always made up for them. Harry loves both of his friends very much. Rightfully so.


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  #8  
Old January 29th, 2008, 10:42 pm
piklpodlistener  Undisclosed.gif piklpodlistener is offline
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Re: Competing Friends, or In Ron's Defense

I agree with ronjalina.


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Old January 30th, 2008, 12:41 am
inkling7  Female.gif inkling7 is offline
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Re: Competing Friends, or In Ron's Defense

Hear! Hear! Or as the Weasley twins would say Ear! Ear!

Harry is more comfortable around Ron because of the many things they have in common but is still close to Hermione - and Ginny for that matter - but as we keep pointing out friendship is not a competition and there are different kinds of friendship which they all had with one another. For instance Hermione and Ginny seem close - because they are on the same planet emotionally so to speak and likewise with Ron and Harry because they are similar in many ways.

Kiri12 better hop onto the other forum and give hpboy13 his much needed support.


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Old January 30th, 2008, 2:55 am
bigbirdbanana  Female.gif bigbirdbanana is offline
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Re: Competing Friends, or In Ron's Defense

As said in the thread following hpboy13's editorial, Ron has had a sheltered upbringing and therefore is the last of the trio to mature. Also in that thread there were several comments made that Ron's insecurities ran deeper than just being overshadowed by his 2 best friends in brains and "specialness". He also had 5 older brother to contend with; 3 of which were prefects and 2 of those went on to be Head boys and the other Quidditch Captain. Then there were Fred and George who were really funny and very clever (though in a completely different way to Hermione). Then he his younger sister was more popular than him and equally as good and possibly better at quidditch.

When he left he had been wearing the locket and when it was destroyed we saw all the things that were constantly playing in Ron's head when he wore it. Imagine for several hours at a time being told that your best friends don't like and that the woman you love has fallen for your best friend and that your parents would prefer Harry as a son compared to himself.

And hpboy13 says he wasn't very loyal compared to Hermione, however it would have taken an extreme amount of loyalty to come back and ask for forgiveness not once but TWICE!!
And someone in the books (Dumbledore i think) said something along the lines of: It's easier to forgive someone for being wrong than for being right.
This was in reference to Percy not coming back to his family after it was discovered that they were telling the truth. However it is highly relevant to Ron's situation(s).
And he put his family in danger again. And hpboy13 says Hermione sacrificed more in choosing to go with Harry, however, at least she knew that her parents were going to be safe, whereas Ron going with Harry meant putting his family in even more danger.

As many people have already said, friendship isn't about how much the person does for you or how loyal they are, it's how much you have in common/how nice they are etc. It's their personalities not their skills which cause you to become friends with someone.


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Old January 30th, 2008, 2:56 am
Linda4546 Linda4546 is offline
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Re: Competing Friends, or In Ron's Defense

Cool. It's really great to see lively discussion on the forums again. I have loved the editorials since book 7 was published but there are not enough of them. 'Hope we get more discussion like this.
P.S. I love Ron and Hermione. Harry would not be able to choose between them and neither would JKR, just like parents can't choose between their children. It's a good thing we don't have to.


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  #12  
Old January 30th, 2008, 5:31 am
Night Owl  Undisclosed.gif Night Owl is offline
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Re: Competing Friends, or In Ron's Defense

Also keep in mind that the books only cover the first 18 years of their lives (a very small percentage in a typical wizard's life-span, although their early years were admittedly quite eventful). It is clear that by the epilogue (which really is part of the story), Ron is very comfortable with his role in the trio (really a quartet by that point in time, or a small chamber choir if you include their kids), and they have had at least a decade or two for all of their friendships to strengthen without the barriers of childhood insecurities. Many people who do not make perfect friends at age 18 make fantastically loyal and steadfast companions by age 30.


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Old January 30th, 2008, 5:49 am
evanesco75  Undisclosed.gif evanesco75 is offline
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Re: Competing Friends, or In Ron's Defense

I couldn't agree more with this editorial, especially because I found the first one highly biased, and selective.

Ron is so strong in so many ways; I can't even imagine what courage it took for him to return, to look for Harry and Hermione, to apologize to them both. That sort of bravery is a lot harder to come by than the 'jump into danger' variety, to me.

I think the fact that Ron is the most 'normal' and ordinary of the Trio in a sense, makes him a target for certain readers. Personally, I find his character brilliant: he's loyal, funny, and loving. I'd love a friend like that myself! The boy left his entire family behind to support Harry; it's only natural to worry over their fates from time to time. That tension was present in Ron ever since they fled Bill's wedding, and who can blame him? Hermione's parents were safe and far away, so she could put them in the back of her mind while they Horcrux hunted. Of course, she would've missed them terribly, but at least she didn't need to worry over them being caught, captured, killed. Ron did.
I'm not saying he wasn't wrong, to leave. Not at all. He had a moment of weakness, brought on mainly by the locket, and he succumbed to it. Heck, I'd even say that's his primary flaw. He's always been insecure. I can think of many worse qualities, personally. Hermione's got her negative traits, as the author of this editorial pointed out. So has Harry. So, how come Ron's the only one who gets such flak?

Consider: Ron fought with Hermione in HBP due to his jealousy, which made him furious at the mere thought of her having kissed Krum. Then, Hermione fretted over him to Harry more than once: I don't know what I'm supposed to have done! Harry knew exactly what she 'had done' in Ron's eyes, but he chose to stay quiet. One might argue he did so out of awkwardness: how could he explain to her that what she'd done was years ago? It could even be loyalty to Ron, if he didn't want to reveal what a git Ron was being about it all. Whatever the reasons, Harry's silence helped in effectively prolonging the estrangement between his friends. I'm not saying it's his fault, but if he had told Hermione, the fight could have been much less significant.

To end this rambling post, I'd just like to say that each character has flaws, and it smacks of unfairness to target just one.


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Old January 30th, 2008, 10:26 am
MAGICicalMUggle  Male.gif MAGICicalMUggle is offline
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Re: Competing Friends, or In Ron's Defense

I think that there both really good friends to Harry but Hermione is more helpful and understanding and was willing to risk more to help Harry than Ron....And i do understand Ron for doing all the stuff that he did out of jealousy because i'm the same way lol...Well most guys are anyway but i also would understand how Harry felt too because i know how it feels like to have your friends abandon you.....umm...Well yea i guess it would be harder for me to truly forgive than Harry but at the end i wouldn't care as long as your friends again but i even though i hate choosing sides i still think Hermione is well a better friend.


And i guess it makes alittle sense because JKR said that she sees alot of herself in Hermione, And who loves Harry more than anyone? JKR!!


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Old January 30th, 2008, 12:26 pm
inkling7  Female.gif inkling7 is offline
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Re: Competing Friends, or In Ron's Defense

Girls mature a little faster than boys but Ron would still have laid own his life for Harry if it came down to that. Hermione although she helped Harry lots didn't have the same relationship with Harry that Ron did. Both were true friends but Harry preferred the companionship Ron gave him to the one Hermione did simply because they had more in common and Ron made him feel more at ease than Hermione did. JK could see that also otherwise she would have written Hermione up as the thing harry would miss most for the second task in GOF.

Poor Ron he'll be damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. At least he and Hermione end up happily married.


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Old January 30th, 2008, 11:13 pm
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Re: Competing Friends, or In Ron's Defense

I do not entirely agree with either editorial, as I think that both are mistaken about many basic aspects of both Ron and Hermione. However, I think that this one is a bit further from the mark. Indeed, too much of the editorial is not germane to the thesis: instead of contrasting the loyalties of Ron and Hermione, it simply ennumerates the mistakes that they make in general.

If we are to examine the relative loyalties, then it actually is pretty easy: contrast the situations where Harry fights with Ron or Hermione. When Harry fights with Ron (Goblet and Hallows), then it is because (in Ron's mind) Harry has something that Ron wants (entry into the tournament, Hermione's affections). When Harry fights with Hermione (Prisoner, Prince), then it is because Harry is doing (or possessing) something that Hermione thinks endangers Harry. Indeed, those situations offer the big contrast: when Harry is acting foolhardy, Ron defends Harry's foolhardiness: and it is probably not a coincidence that Harry's foolhardiness would add to Ron's enjoyment. In contrast, Hermione is so loyal to Harry that she willingly endangers her friendship to protect Harry. That is loyalty: and although Ron might well be capable of it, he never actually does this.

There were a few particular points on the characters that I think merit comment (and rebuttal!), too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazel Impey (sootyface)
Although he is loved by his parents and his family, they are confident enough to assume he takes this love for granted. But Ron, ever lacking in confidence, cannot.
Actually, this is not Ron's problem. Ron's problem is that he is a lost child in an overlarge family. He gets very little attention from his parents because they have too many kids. Ron also is acutely aware of the fact that he exists only because his mother wanted Ginny. In short, Ron is the classic "middle child" syndrome. It is psychologically debilitating enough when you are the 2nd of 3: but when you are the 6th of 7, it is amplified greatly!

(This is, in itself, a theme with Rowling: her male characters suffer from various types of emotional neglect in their upbringing: but that is an issue for elsewhere!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazel Impey (sootyface)
The problem Hermione has is that she tries to replace people with books.
Again, Hermione's problem is a bit different. It is not that Hermione replaces people with books: it is just that Hermione has no people skills. In large part this stems from the fact that she was a plain girl: Rowling (who considers herself to be plain) emphasized early that she wanted to use Hermione to give the plain-girls perspective. Now, something happened: by the time Hermione was 15, she was rather pretty. However, at that point, it was too late: Hermione's self-image is always that of the plain girl.

The plain girl self-image further explains the lack of people skills: Hermione's only solution for trying to impress people is to go completely overboard with showing off her brain! However, it backfires badly: leaving the poor girl extremely distraught in her first year when she realizes that all of her attempts to make people like her have only made them hate her. Five Euros says that this was not the first time that happened to her: but as Hermione knew of no other ways to make people like her (as she could not magically become pretty), she had no other recourse.

Indeed, I would rephrase this completely, and in a way that clarifies the more basic difference between Hermione and Ron that extends to the natures of their friendships with Harry. Hermione replaces beliefs with knowledge. Because of this, Herimone thinks whereas Ron believes. This leads Hermione to recognize the dangers of Harry being in Hogsmeade with a killer loose, or of the Firebolt, or of the Prince; Ron, on the other hand, wants these things to be OK, so he contrives specious reasons to accept that they are. Of course, this is why the two differ on issues such as SPEW, Giants, etc.: Ron believes, Hermione thinks. It is not a coincidence that Hermione finally jumps Ron after Ron stops believing and starts thinking. Rowling has a message there!

What then is more impressive is that Hermione is willing to endanger one of the most important things in her life (her friendships with Harry & Ron) because of what she knows and the inferences that she draws. A lesser individual would rationalize away the threats just to keep her quality of life.

I would note that I am not "anti-Ron" by any means. Ron actually is reasonably advanced for a teenage male, just not relative to Hermione. However, he often is the Burkian "good man doing nothing": Ron coasts, accepting life as it is. This, no doubt, is part of the psychological scarring of emotional neglect. However, it is not until his psychological catharsis in Hallows that Rowling has Ron transcend this.


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Old January 30th, 2008, 11:52 pm
inkling7  Female.gif inkling7 is offline
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Re: Competing Friends, or In Ron's Defense

It seems as Wimsey points out in one sentence that Hermione tries to win friends by showing off with her brain (and fails so it seems) to then be willing to jeopardise any won friendships by acting all goody two shoes to save Harry from any dangers. If she had been a bit more diplomatic she could have done these good deeds and convinced both Harry and Ron of the possible consequences of going into Hogsmeade or not having the broom checked out but she goes about it the wrong way and gets on Harry's and Ron's nerves. Notice how no other student agrees with her also about the broom and how the twins gave Harry the map so he could sneak out of Hogwarts. They all thought differently but were no less friends because of it even though they weren't Harry's closest friends.

Ron and Hermione were Harry's closest friends and Hermione was the brains of the group but remember as they all had different upbringings before Hogwarts they all saw things in different lights. Remember Harry didn't support Hermione with SPEW either and nor did most of the house elves. They actually refused to go into the Gryffindor's area because of her actions and Dobby ended up doing all the work. So Ron was right in a way for not supporting SPEW as the house elves didn't want it either.

I don't think Ron agrees with Harry's foolhardiness out of enjoyment - I think he agrees with Harry because that is how he would go about it. Remember these two are close friends because they have a lot in common and look at things differently to Hermione. That is the reason Harry misses Ron when he is not around and why he feels so comfortable when they are together (well most of the time). He doesn't feel that way with Hermione so she wasn't the one thing he would miss the most for the second task in GOF.


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Old January 31st, 2008, 2:53 am
hpboy13  Male.gif hpboy13 is offline
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Re: Competing Friends, or In Ron's Defense

inkling7, you are most certainly correct! I have not swayed in my opinions, I stay in agreement with what kiri12 said. This "different but equal" thing sounds a bit too politically correct to me - it's like the segregation that occurred between blacks and whites, they were supposedly "separate but equal", though there was nothing equal about it. Hermione's flaws that you pointed out are basic character traits. Some people's beliefs are bordering on ridiculous (think Luna), some people only believe what they find logical. There is nothing wrong with either one, and it's unfair to consider that a flaw. If Hermione believed anything presented to her like Luna does (and please don't start saying I'm against Luna, she's my fave character), we'd have a very big problem indeed.

Linda4546, I can't agree more, I love these types of discussions, even if I'm woefully outnumbered. Wimsey, the points you bring up are absolutely superb. I agree with you completely. inkling7, how exactly would Hermione have done this diplomatically? Harry would never have given up his broom, he goes to Hogsmeade with or without her blessing. She does all she can to keep him safe. One more thing: this editorial says that Hermione's also at fault for nto makign a move toward Ron. But she DOES. Se's the one who finally asks him to Slughorn's party. In PoA, they were fighting most of the time. In GoF, they were busy keeping Harry alive. As for the Yule Ball, I'm under the impression guys asked the girls. And in OotP, they were caught up with the DA, Umbridge, O.W.L.s, and a million other things. She makes her move as soon as the opportune moment comes.

Despite this editorial being a rebuttal to mine, I'm actually very flattered by it. I'm happy to think that I not only started a 4-page debate, but also caused another editorial to be written (and there is a scarcity of them these days). Though I do question the wisdom of keepign these threads separate, as they'll be largely redundant.


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  #19  
Old January 31st, 2008, 3:29 am
oliverxwood  Female.gif oliverxwood is offline
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Re: Competing Friends, or In Ron's Defense

i am sooo happy someone wrote this...you just can't measure friendship--that's the point--you don't judge your friends, you don't classify them--you just care about them. The reason why it's so important to have friends is because sometimes you need them to pick you back up when you waver.


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Old January 31st, 2008, 10:15 am
inkling7  Female.gif inkling7 is offline
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Re: Competing Friends, or In Ron's Defense

How true......


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