Harry Potter fans love to debate whether or not Hermione Granger could have ever been happy with Ronald Weasley as a husband, and even J.K. Rowling herself has admitted there would be some dissatisfaction in the relationship. After writing in defense of the couple in the play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Rowling reminded us of why it actually does work: because Ron Weasley often surprises us all.
Sure, he loves nothing more than eating and being lazy with his friends, he sticks his foot in his mouth more often than not, and he's sometimes as thick as one of Molly Weasley's Christmas sweaters, but who hasn't done those things? He also happens to have that trademark Weasley spirit that sometimes makes him irresistible.
Fans were shocked when Ron seemed to fall in love with Lavender Brown, but even more surprised to see him snogging her at every chance the two could get. Neither Harry nor Hermione seemed to be as physical with their love interests, or if they were, they were more discreet about it, and it was surprising to see Ron get the most kissing scenes.
It was even more surprising to see Ron stay with Lavender even after admitting he didn't particularly like her. He simply liked the physical aspect of their relationship. As idiotic as Ron can appear to be, this just made him seem to be like a giant jerk, and it was hard for many fans to respect him after this behavior. Fortunately he seems to have learned how to be a better boyfriend.
When Draco Malfoy called Hermione Granger one of the worst insults of the Wizarding World in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Ron surprised us with his bravery. Knowing that he's not the best at spells--and that his own wand was bound to backfire after it broke--he still attempted to cast the slug-vomiting charm on Malfoy, only to suffer the consequences of the spell himself.
Actor Rupert Grint, who played Ron Weasley, stated that he hoped the slugs that he had to spit out were plastic, and that while coughing up the slugs was difficult, it was also pleasant due to the different flavors of slime he was able to sample, like chocolate and lemon.
When we first meet Ron, it's difficult to say why he's even in the Gryffindor House. We soon learn that he's got loads of fears, but we also witness him demonstrate great courage in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone when he sacrifices himself for the good of his friends (and presumably everyone at the school) during McGonagall's nearly impossible chess game.
Ron visibly fearful of the consequences and knew exactly what he was getting into but chose to sacrifice himself anyway in order to help Harry (and Hermione, in the book) succeed on their mission. Dumbledore may award him points for playing a great game of chess, but we all know it was for his sacrifice and bravery.
Knowing what a slacker Ron is and how he hates doing his homework, many fans suppose he's not very bright. He tends to make a lot of decisions that match the theory, but that's true of a lot of developing teenagers. Ron is much brighter than given credit for, and we have Wizard's Chess to prove it.
Being great at chess isn't an automatic admission into MENSA, but it does indicate a clever mind that Ron certainly isn't known for. The fact that he is so good at it doesn't just reflect practice but skill, and it surprised many Harry Potter fans. It's quite possible that he and Hermione play Wizard's Chess together on dates, matching his wits with hers.
During Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Ron wasn't a great friend to Harry or Hermione. This was distressing, since Ron's loyalty is one of his best qualities. Once Harry's name came out of the Goblet of Fire, Ron wanted nothing to do with him. Later he may have admitted that he'd been a prat but at the time Harry really needed his BFF.
Ron was mean to Hermione throughout the book as well when he saw how Krum, a person he'd idolized only weeks before, fell for the clever witch. Jealous Ron is not a pretty Ron and he seems to have been green with envy in both circumstances.
Between Harry's favoritism, Hermione's Confundus Charm on rival Cormac McLaggen and the lack of any indication that Ron has Quidditch talent, all signs pointed toward him being an abysmal failure on the field. We even believed our assumptions were proven true as Weasley became "King" at Quidditch matches, until Harry pretended to give him a bit of liquid luck.
The fact that Ron thought he'd been drugged and was happy to still play is bothersome, but with the confidence brought about by the placebo effect he was able to demonstrate actual superior skills on the field, proving that he was indeed a good Quidditch player. He may not be on the Ginny Weasley scale, but he was definitely good enough to be Harry's keeper.
After refusing to support Hermione's Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare and even making derisive comments about her hard work, Ron seemed like the last person to support house elves. When he stopped Hermione during Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to inquire about their welfare and state that they needed to rescue them, we certainly didn't blame Hermione for kissing him.
It's one of Ron's best moments, and it's a shame that in the movie, they simply kiss out of relief over being alive. When Hermione throws herself at him over the comment, he responds so enthusiastically, throwing down everything he's holding and lifting her off the ground, that there is zero doubt about how he feels about her.
Who knew that fun-loving Ron would be such a miserable middle-aged man without Hermione Granger in his life? In the play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Ron presents a bleak picture with his Hermione-free life. Married to Padma Patil, he's a much less jovial version of himself, and far less happier.
When he runs into Hermione at Hogwarts, he is obviously still very much in love with her, and when the two discover that they were married in an alternate reality, they fight so hard for it, even while knowing they are doomed, that it's one of the most emotional scenes of the play. Ron is also quite smitten with Hermione as his wife in the play, and always touching her, discussing issues with her and being a protective husband.
One of the weirdest things that Ron's done is shame Ginny for her social life, particularly when it involved dating. After mostly ignoring his baby sister, or thinking of her as nothing more than a pest, he suddenly took interest when he learned that she'd had a few boyfriends in her life, including his own friend, Dean Thomas.
Anyone with a big brother knows that this is often normal behavior for a teenager whose sister has begun to date, but after having so little interest in Ginny it still felt like it was out of left field. When Ginny revealed how lonely she was at Hogwarts the year Tom Riddle possessed her with the diary, it was even more glaring how little Ron had had to do with her.
Many readers of the books were devastated to learn that Ron's reaction to Hermione's torture at the hands of Bellatrix Lestrange in the film was so muted. He's visibly upset, but he's not crying, screaming and beating the walls as he calls her name out like he was in the books.
Lots of fans were incensed that the nuances of Ron's character were swapped for pure comic relief in the movies, but this instance was particularly surprising since he was still obviously in love with her. Why tone it down so much? It makes much more sense for him to agonize over her pain.