Potterhead July – Ginny Weasley: An Exposition

potterheadjuly

Hosted by Aentee @ Read At Midnight, the Potterhead July blog festival is a way for bloggers to celebrate the much-beloved series in anticipation of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child‘s release. When I first came across the sign-up post for this festival, I was beyond ecstatic. I immediately signed up and decide I wanted to write about Ginny Weasley. I really loved her character in the books, but have always been peeved about the way she was portrayed in the movies. So for my post, I wanted to take the time to focus on this minor character, who I don’t think gets the kind of attention or appreciation she deserves. I’d like to apologize in advance for this very long post.

Not much is written about Ginny Weasley in the first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. We get a small peak at her character as the youngest of seven children, the only daughter of Arthur and Molly Weasley, who for the first time is left home without any of her brothers, as Ron, older than her by a year, attends Hogwarts for the first time. This is also the first time she sees Harry and like many in the Wizarding World, she is awe-struck.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is the first book that gives us a closer look at Ginny, but not many take the time to really think about what she went through in this novel. Here is where we learn that Ginny has a huge crush on Harry, so much so that it renders her incapable of being herself around him. The first time we get a glimpse of the real Ginny is when Malfoy antagonizes Harry in Flourish and Blotts, accusing him of being an attention-seeker. Ginny immediately defends Harry. This is one of her most defining characteristics throughout the series. Ginny Weasley will stand up for people she cares about when they are unfairly targeted.

At eleven years old, Ginny Weasley was possessed by Voldemort. I just want to take a moment to let that sink in. Imagine how lonely it must have been for this little girl, attending a new school and who is probably having trouble making friends. Her brothers aren’t a big help as they have their own lives and probably don’t want to be seen hanging out with a first-year. She finds a diary and for the first time, she feels like she can express all these feelings she has inside her. To her surprise, the diary isn’t just a place for her to write down her hopes and fears, it listens to her. Unbeknownst to Ginny, the memory of Voldemort’s younger self begins to control her. Students are attacked and no one know who is behind it. Something that really struck me is that at one point, Ginny strangles the school’s roosters. I can’t imagine learning this about myself, knowing that I killed innocent animals and it’s something Ginny had to deal with when she was eleven.

Ginny is for the most part absent in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, but I do want to highlight one scene. So much focus is given to Harry and his visceral reaction to the dementors. These creatures feed on dark moments in your past, for Harry this was the loss of his parents. For Ginny, it was what she experienced with Tom Riddle’s diary. Did she relive those moments when she strangled those roosters? Does she remember writing those messages on the walls in their blood? Does she remember ordering the basilisk to attack other children?

“Ginny, who was huddled in her corner looking nearly as bad as Harry felt, gave a small sob.”

In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Ginny, who has been very quiet while around Harry, begins to slowly come out of her shell around him. Yes, she still blushes when he smiles at her, but she’s no longer afraid to talk in front of him. One relationship that I don’t think got enough attention in the series is the friendship between Ginny and Hermione. Unlike Ron and Harry, Hermione has spent considerable time with Ginny. How do I know this? When Hermione is asked to attend the Yule Ball with Viktor Krum, the only one she tells beforehand is Ginny. And out of loyalty, when Ron questions whether Hermione actually has a date, Ginny quickly defends her without giving away her friend’s secret.

If you’re looking for the installment where Ginny is finally allowed to be herself, then pick up Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. In my opinion, it is in this book that Ginny becomes a fully-realized character. She’s strong-willed, snarky, loyal to her family, isn’t afraid to stand up for herself, and willing to risk anything in order to help her friends.

One of my favorite things about the Weasley family is how accepting they are. Unlike pure-blood families like the Malfoys, the Weasleys do not hold any prejudice against Muggle-born witches. We know that Ron is quick to defend Hermione against those who may call her a Mudblood, but it’s also an unacceptable term to Ginny a well, as we see when they both yell at Kreacher for his derogatory language. It’s very important to Ginny that people not be allowed to put others down, including themselves. Neville is a character that struggles with self-confidence and in one scene refers to himself as “nobody.” Without hesitation, Ginny tells him that he’s wrong in such a fierce way that I imagine it must have made Neville feel a little bit better about himself.

When looking more closely at a character you admire, it’s really easy to pass over those moments that show them in an unflattering light, but I didn’t want to do this with Ginny. I believe ignoring the faults of characters (*cough*movie Hermione*cough*) really does them an injustice. Although later Ginny finds it unacceptable to refer to Luna as Loony Lovegood, in the first instance that this eccentric character makes her debut, Ginny calls her just that. I don’t think at this point Ginny really understood how hurtful such a comment could be or that it’s still wrong to make fun of someone even if they don’t seem bothered by it.

Ginny also tends to be very blunt in her opinions and while this may rub some people the wrong way, I actually think it was necessary in this book. As we all know, Harry is especially moody in HP5. I know a lot of us wanted to smack him upside the head a few times and while Hermione and Ron tried to be understanding, they were constantly walking on egg shells around him. Ginny on the other hand, never felt the need to sugar-coat things for Harry.

      “I didn’t want anyone to talk to me,” said Harry, who was feeling more and more nettled.
      “Well, that was a bit stupid of you,” said Ginny angrily, “seeing as you don’t know anyone but me who’s been possessed by You-Know-Who, and I can tell you how it feels.”
      Harry remained quite still as the impact of these words hit him. Then he wheeled around.
      “I forgot,” he said.
      “Lucky you,” said Ginny coolly.

Ginny’s relationship with her brothers is really interesting to me. I grew up with two brothers and sort of felt that need to prove that I was just as tough as the boys growing up, so I can’t imagine how it might have been for Ginny who had six older brothers. While I think it’s always the assumption that she must have been closest to Ron because he was only a year older, this wasn’t the case. Fred and George are two halves of a whole, not because they were twins, but because they were brothers who enjoyed getting into mischief together and enjoyed a good laugh in general. One thing I noticed while researcing for this post is how often Ginny is seen with these two. Whether it’s joining in an impromptu dance routine or being the go-between with them and Harry, it’s clear that these two had a very strong influence on her.

“The thing about growing up with Fred and George,” said Ginny thoughtfully, “is that you sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.”

And can we just take a moment and give this girl a round of applause for sneaking into the broom shed to practice with her brothers’ brooms when they weren’t paying attention because they wouldn’t let her play with them? She didn’t let six older brother stop her from doing something she loved and I’ve got nothing but admiration for her because of it.

Not letting her brothers’ bossy (though mostly well-meaning) attitudes dictate what she does is one of my favorite things about Ginny. It stands to reason that she’s been bossed around quite a bit by the six of them over the years and maybe this is why it’s so important for her to stand up for herself as she grows older. Being the only girl could not have been easy, especially when they all have an opinion on things like who she should date. In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince there is a lot of conflict between Ginny and Ron. It is my humble opinion that Ron was pretty insufferable in the book when it came to his sister Ginny. For some reason, he felt that he could be judgmental when it came to his sister’s love life and while I understand that he was probably feeling protective of her, I couldn’t help but applaud Ginny for calling him out on his hypocrisy and sexist attitude.

       “…let’s get this straight once and for all. It is none of your business who I go out with or what I do with them, Ron —“
      “Yes it is!” said Ron, just as angrily. “D’you think I want people saying my sister’s a —“
      “A what?” shouted Ginny, drawing her wand. “A what, exactly?”

Like I said before, I don’t want to paint a picture of Ginny Weasley as a perfect person. While I do believe she was justified in her anger toward Ron, she didn’t always handle that anger well. She could be down-right mean to him. She felt that he was being unfair to her and knew exactly how to hurt him back in response. She’s also very judgmental when it comes to Bill’s relationship with Fleur. At the time I read this, it was comedic to see how the males reacted to Fleur versus the females, but looking back, I do feel that it was an unfortunate portrayal of female relationships. There’s also that unfortunate nickname Ginny gave Fleur.

Ginny has really come into her own in this novel. While we as readers tend to focus on Ginny when she is interacting with the three main leads, it’s interesting to note that she has her own set of friends apart from them, her own love life, she’s a Quidditch star in her own right, and Slughorn was so impressed with her Bat-Bogey Hex, he invites her to his exclusive club. No matter how popular Ginny became, she was always there to defend her friends. Whether it was defending her Quidditch team from rude comments made by Zacharias Smith or Luna from a couple of bullies, Ginny is not someone you should ever mess with.

“Oh, it’s been all right,” said Luna. “A bit lonely without the D.A. Ginny’s been nice, though. She stopped two boys in our Transfiguration class calling me ‘Loony’ the other day —“

It would be remiss of me to leave out the fact that in this installment, Harry and Ginny end up getting together. I can go on and on about why I think they make a really great pair, but I just want to say that these characters have a lot more in common than many people realize. Yes, both of them enjoy the game of Quidditch, but they also have a similar energy, each is ready and willing to go on an adventure at a drop of a hat. They both have strong leadership skills and are willing to go to great lengths for the things they believe in. Both have had terrible encounters with Voldemort, but neither has lost their spirit because of it, they’ve pressed on despite the horrors they’ve witnessed.

It’s really a shame that we don’t get to see Ginny too much in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, but I want to touch on a few things. Ginny’s relationship with Harry comes to an abrupt end at the end of the Half-Blood Prince and while she doesn’t agree with this decision, I think in some way she understood that there were more important things to worry about than her romantic relationship with Harry. We see that she still cares deeply for him, but she doesn’t push him, accepts that he is destined (as well as determined) to fight Voldemort. As fierce as ever, while the Golden Trio is out trying to find and destroy Horcruxes, Ginny along with Neville and Luna are trying to hold down the fort at Hogwarts. Despite the danger, she along with other students returns to Hogwarts to take a final stand against the Dark Lord and his Death Eaters.

Ginny is a character that undergoes tremendous growth over the course of seven books. She went from having a very meek beginning to being one of the most fearless and brave characters in the series. There’s much to admire about her and I hope that you’ve found something in my post that made you feel the same. I’m always up for a discussion on Ginny Weasley, so leave a comment and let’s talk! In the meantime, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite Ginny scenes:

      “Three dementor attacks in a week, and all Romilda Vane does is ask me if it’s true you’ve got a hippogriff tattooed across your chest.”
      Ron and Hermione both roared with laughter. Harry ignored them.
      “What did you tell her?”
      “I told her it’s a Hungarian Horntail,” said Ginny, turning a page of the newspaper idly. “Much more macho.”
      “Thanks,” said Harry grinning. “And what did you tell her Ron’s got?”
      “A Pygmy Puff, but I didn’t say where.”

Advertisements

35 thoughts on “Potterhead July – Ginny Weasley: An Exposition

  1. YAY I LOVE GINNY TOO! I am very angry when people think she’s just the ‘boring pretty love interest’ or whatever. Because y’know, you don’t have to like her, but she is pretty awesome. *nods* And yeah, I agree that often movies do seem to remove the faults of characters, which sucks because that’s what makes them more interesting and complex! Wonderful post. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really love Ginny as a character, although I admit that she doesn’t tend to make it into my lists of favorite Harry Potter characters. I do really admire her. If there weren’t so many fantastic Harry Potter characters, she’d definitely be up there on my list.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ha I love the comment about book 5 when everyone was annoyed by Harry. Thank goodness for Ginny providing a much-needed level head and the guts to actually speak up.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve actually never been a fan of Ginny, but your post really made me think differently! I think getting caught up in wish Harry has been coupled up with someone else made me forget all the great moments she had. Especially that line about her also being possessed by you know who, I remember the first I read that feeling extremely smug and proud of her. Which I forgotten all about. I also liked how you didn’t overlook her less admirable moments and took a really detailed look at her character. This is great!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad to hear it! I have a great appreciation for shipping, but I think it can sometimes skew the way we see characters, seeing them as a pair instead of individuals. This is always made harder when your ship isn’t canon. I really love that line from her too, we as readers forget what she went through bc so much focus is on Harry, but she continued to carry the burden of her encounter with Tom Riddle. Thank you, I think character flaws are so important to making these characters more realistic.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This post should be read by people all around the world who have read the series. While I admire Ginny as a character, for being brave and courageous in her own way, I admit that I didn’t notice some of the points you’ve made in this post, like Hermione and Ginny’s friendship. I don’t know how I missed that one. So I’m really grateful for this post because this made me appreciate Ginny a lot more.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this sooooooooo much, what a fantastic article!!! Ginny has always been one of my favorite Harry Potter characters (I’m very upset there’s no Funko Pop yet!) and you captured her brilliantly. I love seeing her progress from SS to DH and you really do pick up so much behind the scenes and between the lines about her when you reread the books. I don’t really ship many Potter pairs ironically but I always loved Ginny and Harry so much, for the reasons you mentioned. They’re well suited in a number of ways but I love Ginny as an individual an awful lot. I just finished rereading Goblet of Fire last night and I was always struck by the fact that Ginny goes to the Yule Ball with Neville despite her crush being free, because she told Neville she’d go with him, and she keeps her word. That meant a lot to me. In general, I’ve been very Grinchy about Potter lately- there is always So. Much. Discussion. that it makes my brain rebel a little. But going back to the books for the first time in a couple years made me super happy and your post made me super happy! I couldn’t resist clicking when I saw it was about Ginny. You did a wonderful job 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your kind words. Yes, Ginny isn’t a part of the Golden Trio, but she still undergoes a lot of growth. I think many people just see her as Ron’s sister or Harry’s love interest, but she is a force to be reckoned with all on her own. I didn’t me mention the Yule Ball and Neville in my post, but yes, it was one of those instances where you gained a lot of respect for Ginny. She was true to her word and that’s a great trait to have. Thanks again!

      Like

  7. THANK YOU FOR THIS. Ginny has always been my favorite character and I know that’s a controversial opinion, but it’s for the EXACT REASONS that you highlight in this post. She goes through tremendous growth and when I saw what she became in Goblet of Fire and kept becoming through 5, 6 and 7…like WOW. Although I love the Golden Trio, I’ve always connected to Ginny the most of any of the characters because I really was her with the putting her elbow in the butter dish…and then coming out to be louder and less shy and able to stand up for myself. I think a lot of people underestimate her. Thanks again for this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad to find someone who appreciates Ginny so much! Yes, I think that we tend to overlook characters like Ginny and Neville, because they aren’t main characters, but both have such amazing character growth. Ginny is quite the firecracker and the movies missed such an opportunity with her character. Ugh, it would have been wonderful. Thanks for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Ginny truly didn’t get enough screentime in the books or in the movies! I love how thoroughly you went through her character! I especially like how you mentioned her friendship with Hermione, because I feel like the female characters didn’t really get a chance to have a meaningful relationship the same way that Harry did with the four of his roommates (I think two of Hermione’s roommates even go unnamed, and I’m not sure who Ginny bunked with at all). The fact that they did have a friendship and it meant something was so cool. On top of that, I also like what you said about her brothers. Sometimes we associate Ron and Ginny by default by their age difference, but I like how you pointed out that Ginny really gets along with the twins and she likes it that way. Being in a family is complicated, and the Weasleys are no different!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, we needed more Ginny in our lives! I agree, Hermione was really the lone girl we got to know, but she was most seen with Ron and Harry. It’s nice to know that she and Ginny had a deeper relationship and it’s too bad we didn’t see more of this. Yes, Ginny and Fred and George really became a unit, she definitely preferred their company and I think that’s really indicative of her fun personality.

      Like

  9. Pingback: The Sunday Post // July 24, 2017 – Comma Hangover

  10. I never really like movie Ginny, but I do like book Ginny! That scene in HP5 where she snapped at Harry and that tattoo scene are my favorite scenes. I love how strong and independent she is, when Harry was gone Hocrux-hunting, she doesn’t weep and sit around worrying about him, she fight to defend Hogwarts students from the death eaters. She fight the other side of the battle. I notice how she had rocky relationship with book-6 Ron, but I admit, I also wanted to shake him a lot during that book 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Every time I reread these books, I love Ginny a little more, so thank you for writing this in-depth post about her character. I love that Ginny never felt like a second player – and the character herself fought every step of the way to maintain her own identity and life outside of the main character’s.

    Thanks for joining Potterhead July!!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Pingback: Monthly Wrap-Up: July ’16 | A Kernel of Nonsense

  13. I love this post! Ginny is one of the characters absolutely let down by the movie, in my opinion. You know, I never really thought about what she would have experienced when the dementors were around, but it’s scary to consider. The first time I read the books, it never hit me how young these characters were when they went through all of the adventures. I love that you pointed out her flaws; it’s easy to cast Ginny as the fierce defender of the bullied, but at times she’s pretty judgy herself (you made a good point about her reaction to Fleur – that could probably warrant a post all on its own!) Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much! Yes, movie Ginny was such a letdown. So much of the story is told from Harry’s perspective that it’s easy to miss this little moments for other characters. Ginny (along with Mrs. Weasley and Hermione) were very judgmental when it came to Fleur, but I’m glad Rowling opened the door for them to be more accepting.

      Like

  14. Pingback: Summer Favourites! | Twist in the Taile

  15. This is SUCH an amazing character analysis and I’m so thrilled to read it. Ginny is for SURE one of the most underrated characters in this series. It seems like she has a lot of little scenes, but she would have been an asset to the golden trio while looking for the horcruxes. BRAVO!!!

    Liked by 1 person

I'd love to hear from you. Share your thoughts here!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s