The Harry Potter series’ success can be attributed to several factors, but it's the story’s ability to keep the characters relatable and human that proved a hit with the fanbase. One of the relatable aspects of the series was the focus on friendship; the central trio is something that people of today would dub #friendshipgoals.
Ron is seen as a figure of true friendship by Harry Potter fans because of his role as Harry’s loyal sidekick. Over a decade since the last novel, Ron has been immortalized as one of the best friends shown in fiction. However, while Ron was a great friend on many occasions, he was also not-so-great in some other moments.
10 Good Friend: Going To The Forbidden Forest To Face Spiders
Out of everything that Ron was afraid of (even including Voldemort), spiders would top his list of fears. Ron wasn’t shown to have ever gotten over his phobia of these arachnids, which means going to the Forbidden Forest–right in the heart of the location where hundreds upon hundreds of Spiders lived–was the sign of true friendship.
He didn’t even go there for Harry and Hermione, as one might think, but for Hagrid. Harry and Ron needed the information to prove Hagrid’s innocence, and Ron went through with meeting Aragog despite fearing the worst. To top it off, Ron was right to be afraid of Aragog, because the monstrous spider swiftly ordered his kids to eat him and Harry. Still, Ron never held this against Hagrid.
9 Bad Friend: Abandoning Harry And Hermione
Before the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, fans were certain that Ron would never abandon Harry. He was supposed to be a loyal friend, while Hermione filled the role of the smart friend.
This was why it was a shock when Ron ditched Harry and Hermione fairly early on in their quest for the Horcruxes. Even worse, he expected Hermione to go with him, meaning he was prepared to leave Harry all alone in the middle of a forest to fend for himself. This should remain Ron’s greatest regret if he were ever questioned about it.
8 Good Friend: Sticking Up For Harry When Nobody Believed Him
Why was it such a disappointment when Ron abandoned the Horcrux quest? Because he had previously proven himself as Harry's most supportive friend. Ron only had Harry’s word for Voldemort returning to a body and killing Cedric, yet he instantly believed him.
Not only did Ron never doubt Harry’s claim, but he was also the first one to defend Harry against the naysayers. This was seen upon their first night back at Hogwarts, where Seamus created a scene and accused Harry of being a liar. Ron immediately stepped in and stood in front of Harry, ready to defend him in any way. He went up against the entire dormitory and even took Harry shouting at him immediately afterward without getting mad.
7 Bad Friend: Abandoning Harry During The Triwizard Tournament
Perhaps the reason he instantly believed Harry about Voldemort being back was that he felt bad about not believing him earlier on in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Here, Ron was awful to Harry, in that he added to Harry’s misery at being branded a cheating glory-seeker for seemingly putting his name in the Goblet of Fire.
Ron would abandon Harry straight after the Goblet chose him as a champion, and his jealousy caused him to be no better than Malfoy. Ron wouldn’t speak to Harry for a few months, despite sleeping in the bed next to Harry’s, contributing to Harry’s loneliness in that difficult time.
6 Good Friend: Coming Back And Saving Harry's Life
Of course, he more than made up for abandoning Harry and Hermione earlier in Deathly Hallows, when he returned and saved Harry’s life in the process. Ron didn’t need to come back (he could’ve stayed well off at Bill’s house due to his status as a pureblood), but he chose to return to his best friend.
He then instantly jumped in a freezing pool of water to pull Harry out, and then resuscitated him. Add to that, he then stepped forward and destroyed the Horcrux that had tried to kill Harry. All in all, there was no better way to illustrate how much he loved Harry as a friend.
5 Bad Friend: Treating Hermione Horribly In Half-Blood Prince
Ron’s character development saw him going through phases where he was downright horrible to people, and his friends weren’t exceptions. In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, he bizarrely blamed Hermione for kissing Krum a full two years earlier, even though she and Ron had never been romantically linked.
Still, he treated her as if she’d been unfaithful to him, and was mean to Hermione for months. He kissed Lavender Brown whenever Hermione was around in order to make her jealous, and then didn’t even invite her over for Christmas at the Burrow (even though that had been a tradition). It’s surprising that Hermione ever forgave him.
4 Good Friend: Rescuing Harry From The Dursleys
“Rescuing Harry” isn't even an exaggeration, seeing as the Dursleys were starving the poor boy before Ron convinced his brothers to accompany him to bring Harry to the Burrow. Before Ron came along in the flying car, Uncle Vernon had boarded Harry’s room with steel bars with the intention of never letting him out.
Harry hadn’t been out of his room for weeks and wouldn’t have been able to go to Hogwarts had it not been for the great escape orchestrated by Ron. More importantly, Ron then gave Harry a place to stay for the summer, where the latter experienced a happy home life for the first time.
3 Bad Friend: Accusing Hermione of "Fraternizing With The Enemy"
The first time he experienced what real jealousy was like, Ron took it out on Hermione. He was blindsided by how jealous he felt towards Viktor Krum, as he was inwardly romantically interested in Hermione.
As a friend, though, Ron was pretty mean to her by accusing her of compromising her principles in favor of dating the “enemy.” Not only did this cause an argument, but it also ended up ruining Hermione’s entire night. They got into a heated confrontation soon enough, which then led to Hermione storming off. Had he just kept his jealousy aside, his friend would’ve at least had a nice night at the ball.
2 Good Friend: Standing Up For Hermione Against Malfoy
Before he was old enough to feel romantically jealous, Ron showed how much he valued Hermione as a friend in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by being the only one to defend her against Malfoy’s prejudice.
Ron would attempt to curse Malfoy for calling Hermione a Mudblood, but ended up hitting himself due to his faulty wand. Although Ron belched slugs for hours, he never felt resentment toward Hermione for being the reason he found himself in such an embarrassing situation. More significantly, Ron instantly attempting to retaliate against Malfoy, when no one else made a move, showed he was the one who cared most about Hermione’s honor.
1 Bad Friend: Making Fun Of Neville Longbottom
There’s no point in skirting around it; Neville was a pretty big loser in school. He didn’t have any friends who hung out with him regularly, and he kept embarrassing himself. However, Ron was still considered a close friend of Neville’s, and the latter regarded him in such a way even more.
This is why, when Ron found the idea of Neville managing to get any girl to be his date for the Yule Ball hilarious, it was a display of him being a rather cruel friend. Ron knew Neville was insecure about being a social outcast, but still openly laughed about this with Harry. Although Neville might not have been there in person, Ron did make fun of his less-than-popular position publicly.