Podcast Question of the Week – Episode 97

This week’s episode has a major focus on the Weasley family with Ron in the spotlight, for better or for worse.

Near the start of the chapter Fred and George say that they have been trying to deny Ron was their brother for four years. This is a joke, obviously, but what does Ron have to do to gain their favor? In those four years he has been part of saving the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone, he has entered the Chamber of Secrets to save Ginny and fallen foul of Peter Pettigrew and Sirius Black’s problems. What more does he have to do to gain their respect?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and tune in next week to see if your ideas are discussed on the show!

  • I think Ron has always had Fred and George’s respect. They’re just being typical older siblings. They even might actually be a bit jealous that their dorky younger brother has gone on all of these adventures and chosen not to include them in any of it. Even if that’s true, they’re always there when they need him, especially in the last book, when Ron hangs out with them when he’s fighting with Harry.

    • thegiantsquid

      I think the jealousy thing is probably accurate. Fred and George are popular because they’re so witty and funny, and they enjoy the spotlight. Ron does brave, heroic things and gets some attention. They recognize that, but being jokesters, they have to spin it in a silly way because that’s how they function in the world. I don’t think they’re consumed by any jealousy, but they cope with those feelings by acting like he’s still a slightly insignificant little boy.

  • DisKid

    I think the twins do have respect for Ron in a sense. They don’t dislike him, are grateful to some things he has done, would help him if he needed it, and I think they’re probably even a bit impressed with what he’s done even though they’re never going to admit that. I think the only one that doesn’t have their respect is Percy. I think they’re giving the most respect to Ron that they’re ever going to. Ron is their only little brother. He’s their only shot at having a little brother to pick on, with their personalities they’re surely not going to pass that up! It’s the easiest way for them to show that they like him. Also since he’s the closest thing to them personality wise they may even be picking on him not only because he’s younger, but also because he may fight back with them in a way closer to how they want as opposed to the bigger brothers. It’s fun to have one who retaliates!

    In other words….they’re a couple of goofy big brothers who tease Ron because he’s younger, most like them, and they like him. If they were my boys and did not pick on Ron I would be concerned that they don’t really care for Ron.

    • Agree with you totally. All the teasing and sarcastic jibes — that’s just how big brothers WORK! ^_^

    • flighty_temptress

      Although I agree with most of this, I definitely think Ginny is more like them than Ron is.

      • DisKid

        Ginny’s a girl, it’s different ūüėČ

  • SlytherinKnight

    I think that the twins are acting just like older brothers do, I’ve got a younger brother who is just under three years younger than me, just about the difference between Ron and the twins, and while I do ‘pick’ on him as is my right as the older brother, I wouldn’t trade him for anything. And I believe that’s exactly what the twins feel about Ron, however their reputation is of pranksters and such, so they don’t really want to show affection for Ron but they do care for him. I also think that Fred and George are quite impressed with what Ron has done/gone through during Hogwarts as people before me said, the Stone, Chamber of Secrets and Sirius/Peter incidents, it is definitely more than what they’ve done at least in the big picture.

  • Hufflepug

    They do respect him, they just love to tease him because he’s their little brother and probably don’t understand that Ron gets upset easily when someone plays upon his insecurities. They’re boys… all three of them want to be cool and act like nothing bothers them, but of course we know that some things do indeed bother Ron. So that makes it appear like he doesn’t have their respect, when really it’s just hard for him to recognize it.

  • Socks & Slugs

    Fred and George tease everyone. It is just what they do, their nature. We all know they have great love and respect for Harry, yet also tease him all the time. In OotP Chapter 26 page 576 (US ed), Gryffindor has lost at quidditch and Ron is blaming himself; Fred and George tell Harry that they refuse to tease Ron and will hold onto the jokes about his playing for a ‚Äėparty‚Äô. This shows that they really care and do not want to tease when Ron is felling so horrible. Unfortunately we never hear them tell Ron they have respect for him, while they both live.

  • PuffNProud

    Perhaps the twins give Ron a harder time than they should because Ron is their only younger brother, thereby capturing 100% of their ire. The older boys have more younger brothers with whom to spread their love and torment. Ginny, as the only girl, gets a “pass” most of the time.

  • RoseLumos

    Maybe the reason Fred and George are so hard on Ron is because they are somewhat jealous of him. We know Ron wants to be recognized as a great student like Bill and Percy or as a great Quidditch star like Charlie. I bet Fred and George have some of the same feelings. They are, like him, the younger brothers of three students that have gained a wide respect by professors, students, and their own parents. While they have their own personality traits that make them stand out, they still have a huge shadow to fill. Now imagine what it must be like the be the older brother of Ron, who already has done some pretty extraordinary things, whether Ron realizes it or not. I wouldn’t be surprised if they have “Middle Child Syndrome” trying to compete against their older AND younger siblings. I think we see a little bit of this when Ron is made prefect in the beginning of the book. They are probably so hard on Ron because, even though they are proud of him, they don’t want Ron to realize that, in many ways, he has surpassed them on many levels.

    • ChocolateFrogRavenclaw

      I totally agree with this! To people outside of Hogwarts (mostly the ministry), Ron’s name probably comes up more than their names do. I think (and I may be wrong) that Ron is even mentioned in gossip articles (Rita Skeeter possibly) while Fred and George are not. Despite pretending to not care about their little brother, I really think the twins are jealous of his level of celebrity.

  • SpinnersEnd

    I really think that Ron did earn the respect of Fred and George, even if Ron doesn’t see it and the twins don’t especially show it. I think if it really came down to it, the Twins would come to Ron’s defense. We see this in Fred and George refusing to tease Ron after Gryffindor lost the Quidditch match in this chapter.

    I think we also see a great illustration of this in book seven when the Order of the Phoenix comes to take Harry away from Privet Drive. We see George, Fred and Ron getting ready to pose as three of the seven Potters, and while the twins are still cracking jokes, we see them on equal footing for the first time in the series. They are in the same place for the same task with the same pressures.

    And when George loses his ear, Fred and Ron are both there, sharing in the pain, grief and relief, and that, I think, is the moment when we finally get to see the three brothers as equals.

  • ChocolateFrogRavenclaw

    What if this question was turned around. The twins seem to not have respect for Ron – but does Ron show his respect for them? He is much more obviously jealous of their popularity, but despite that, he rarely points out that he has respect for them or that he is fond of having them around. This is not just a one-sided attempt to be noticed and appreciated, Ron does not publicly recognize the twins the same way he wants to be publicly recognized by them. I think this is nothing more than a brotherly relationship. Both the twins and Ron rely heavily on support from one another, but neither one publicly displays this. The twins put Ron down in a way that many older brothers do, and Ron pretends like he doesn’t care or need them the way many younger brothers do. As they all mature, we see them growing closer (Ron staying with them in Deathly Hallows), but at this point, they are still teenagers trying to figure out who they are.

    • RoseLumos

      That’s a great point! We know Ron mentions to Harry how talented Fred and George are and how successful they become in later books, but does he even say it directly to them?

      • ChocolateFrogRavenclaw

        I don’t think he does (or at least we don’t see it….). If this is just a normal sibling relationship (as everyone has been speculating), then it seems even less likely that Ron would show Fred and George how much he appreciates and looks up to them. It seems like a sort of circular process to me – they don’t show appreciation for him and he doesn’t for them. Kind of a “which came first – the chicken or the egg” situation.

  • TrevorTheTurtle

    There is really no accomplishment on earth that could make siblings stop teasing each other if that’s the way they roll. I think they do respect Ron, this is just pretty typical brotherly behaviour in my opinion, they are there for Ron when it counts. Besides, every single Weasley child jumped right on board when the target was Percy, including Ron, it’s not like he’s the poor little helpless victim of the family, only maybe the most insecure, which is why he might take these things a little more to heart than Ginny or Percy. We’ve never seen him really upset about something Fred and George said for long. He almost always talks back to them anyway. It’s just that now that their favorite all-too-tempting bullseye Percy is gone, he’s the only one left besides Ginny, and they must pick on someone or they will explode or something. But think about it, Ron really looks up to them, he thinks they’re hilarious, and keeps telling Hermione how brilliant they are in this book. I think their relationship is pretty solid, he laughs with them more than he suffers at their hands, so to speak

  • Padfoot42

    I wouldn’t say the twins don’t respect Ron, in fact I think quite the opposite. Older siblings are just about always going to treat their younger siblings in this manner and I wouldn’t say that Ron needs to do anything more to gain their attention. I fail to see how they wouldn’t respect all that he has done with Harry and Hermione throughout the years and think that the twins feel (as most older siblings would feel) that they don’t really need to keep harping on about what Ron has accomplished. It’s simply not how siblings operate. Yes I’m almost sure they would congratulate him at the time of the accomplishment or acknowledge it but there really is no need for carrying on about it. Part of the reason I think that the notion that the twins don’t respect Ron is because most of the interactions we get are when Harry is present. At these times we see them usually joking or in the presence of friends. We never really see the at home or private interactions between the siblings and Ron and therefore are only left with the incomplete picture of the full relationship of those three siblings.

  • Roonil Wazlib

    In Goblet of Fire, Ron spends time with Fred and George while he and Harry are fighting, so I think the twins really do respect him and ultimately view Ron as a friend. I can’t imagine the twins allowing someone they don’t respect–Percy, for example–to hang out with them the way Ron does. In OotP, we see Fred and George feel worried and embarrassed for Ron when he performs badly in Quidditch. It’s about the only time they don’t make fun of him. If the twins truly did not respect Ron, then they would have no qualms about ridiculing his Quidditch playing.

    The twins tease Ron often, but not because they don’t respect him. Teasing and making jokes is just how they relate to people. However, the seemingly harmless jokes at Ron’s expense may make Ron feel like he doesn’t have the twins’ respect, even if that isn’t true. Fred and George probably don’t even realize how insecure Ron is or how much pressure he feels to live up to the accomplishments of all his siblings. To them, the teasing is all in good fun. But to Ron, the youngest and [in his eyes] most unremarkable Weasley brother and sidekick to the famous Harry Potter, the endless teasing confirms that he will never be exceptional, and is always destined to stand just outside the spotlight.

  • HallowsMaster97

    We know for a fact that Ginny and the twins get along really well. Due to the fact that all 3 of them share a mischievous, silly attitude. Whilst the twins don’t hate Ron, I’m sure they love and respect him but they simply have a harder time, bonding and relating with him.
    And of course, as with any sibling relationship…there is a twinge of competition. Ron is a prefect, best friends with the Boy Who Lived and he gets to live some ridiculous adventures. Teasing Ron is a completely normal thing to do as older brothers. In fact, I see it as a healthy relationship.