Ron Weasley, best friend to Harry Potter and Hermione Granger, turns 37 this year. Born March 1, 1980, the youngest Weasley son grew up to be a Gryffindor, Quidditch Keeper, and essential member of the trio that brought down Voldemort and his Death Eaters. Throughout the Harry Potter series, we saw Ron become a more confident wizard and continually be there for his friends in the face of adversity. He may have been a bit silly, clumsy and annoying at times, but there can be no doubt about his bravery and how much he cared about his family and friends.
To honor Ron on his birthday, I looked back at some of his best moments in the eight-film franchise where the talented Rupert Grint translated the character to the screen. From Ron's adorable younger years to the capable man he became later on, here are 11 times Ron stood out.
Wizard chess sacrifice – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
This is one of the best scenes in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and one where Ron really gets to shine. He figures out that they need to play a game of wizard chess on the giant board in order to reach the next door. They're able to win thanks to Ron being great at the game, but it takes the young wizard sacrificing his piece for them to do so. It was a brave move by Ron since the giant game was just as violent as its smaller counterpart and a moment that really solidified that his character was more than just a cute sidekick.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Rescuing Harry from the Dursleys – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
When your best friend has bars on his window and is being treated terribly, what do you do? Well, Ron's willing to steal his family's magical car and enlist his brothers in a rescue mission! The Weasleys fly the car right up to Harry's window at the Dursleys' house to save him. Their mission doesn't go unnoticed though, and soon Ron is playing a tug of war with Uncle Vernon for Harry. Luckily they're able to get away and as they fly to freedom, Ron being the good friend he is wishes Harry a happy birthday. Even though Mrs. Weasley isn't thrilled with their escapades and Ron perhaps should have at least left a note, the rescue shows how far he's willing to go for Harry. He's willing to risk his parents' wrath to save his best friend from horrible circumstances. Taking Harry to the Burrow was the best birthday gift Ron could have given the Boy Who Lived!
Flying the car to Hogwarts – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Ron's decision to fly the car to Hogwarts instead of waiting for his parents might not have been the best idea, but at least he was thinking outside the box! Plus seeing the young Weasley at the wheel was just priceless. At first he's not that bad, but as soon as he realizes the Hogwarts Express is right behind them and gives us an adorable look of horror, he sends the car for a spin that almost results in losing his best friend out the door! After pulling Harry back in, Ron flies them to Hogwarts only to smash into the Whomping Willow and realize his wand is broken. From there we get some more rather cute horrified expressions and high-pitched exclamations from Ron before the car kicks the two wizards out and disappears. It's a fun scene showing Ron's good intentions ... and how his plans don't always work out!
Trying to curse Malfoy – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
When Draco Malfoy insults Hermione by calling her a Mudblood, Ron isn't about to stand there and do nothing. This is another moment where Ron is trying to do the right thing but it doesn't go as planned. With his wand still broken after his encounter with the Whomping Willow, the curse bounces back on him and Ron finds himself throwing up slugs instead of Malfoy. It's a perfect example of how much he cares for his friends and wants to stand up for them in the face of bullies like Malfoy, no matter what the consequences may have been.
Facing Aragog and spiders – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
We learn that Ron has arachnophobia in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, which makes the whole situation in the second installment of the franchise his worst nightmare. However, even though he'd rather be following butterflies than spiders, Ron doesn’t leave Harry on his own to investigate. Ron keeps going with Harry despite his fears because he knows they have to do everything they can to find out what's happening and save Hermione, the others, and Hogwarts. It shows Ron's true spirit that he’s able to stick with Harry for as long as he does with giant spiders around him!
Public support of Harry - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
After the events of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, not many people believe Harry about the return of Voldemort. The wizard newspaper The Daily Prophet is especially spreading the Ministry's message that Harry and Dumbledore are wrong, which starts to influence many people, including Seamus Finnigan and his mother. Seamus starts to fight with Harry about what really happened when Ron walks into the Gryffindor common room and intervenes. He stands by his best friend when Seamus demands to know if he believes what Harry's saying and Ron counters by asking if anyone else has a problem before they both exit. It's a short scene for Ron, but it shows his loyalty and belief in his friends. With the turn of opinion against them, it could have been easy to not stand up for Harry or to even just be silent and lead Harry from the room. Instead Ron answers Seamus' question head-on so everyone there knows where he stands.
Saying what everyone's thinking – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Ron delivers quite a few great one-liners in the franchise, but this one in particular is the character at his best. After the trio witnesses Katie Bell cursed by a necklace, they find themselves in front of Professor McGonagall, who asks them "Why is it when something happens, it is always you three?" Ron says what everyone's thinking at that point and answers with "Believe me, professor, I've been asking myself the same question for six years." The friends do always end up in the right or wrong places at the right or wrong times depending on how you look at it, to end up right in the thick of whatever's happening at Hogwarts. It makes sense to us who know they're the protagonists of the story, but Ron just captures brilliantly how it seems to the characters themselves at that time. It's been six years … how do they keep getting into these things?
Awkwardly sitting between Ginny and Harry – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Ron gets right between his best friend and his sister here in what is such a perfect moment for the character. Whether he's sensing something is going on and is being a protective older brother or is just this awkward might be debatable, but Ron clearly doesn't see a problem with plopping down right between the two. He then fittingly starts eating as if nothing's wrong at all. Oh, Ron.
Stopping Harry from leaving – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
With the death of Mad-Eye Moody and George's injury after the Order of the Phoenix tries to safely bring Harry from the Dursleys' to the Weasleys' home, Harry decides he should leave to start his quest for the Horcruxes on his own after all. When Harry says he doesn't want anyone else to die for him, Ron very rightly reminds him that this fight is bigger than him and it wasn't just for him that everyone was out there. Here he's the one that can see the big picture and what the world is truly facing while Harry cannot. He's right that they can't leave without Hermione too since they would definitely be goners without her and reminds Harry about the trace. Ron is right that going it alone would be a favor to Voldemort and put Harry right where his enemies want him. It's an inspired moment for Ron and fortunately he gets through to Harry.
Shaking Dobby's hand – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
This may seem like such a small thing, but it's one that shows the kind of wizard Ron is. The movies don't explore the house elf storyline and S.P.E.W. as much as the books do and it's a shame Ron's line about warning the house elves at the Battle of Hogwarts, which leads to Hermione kissing him, wasn't included in the films. However, here at least we see how far Ron has come on the issue. When Dobby arrives at the house, he says hello to Harry and then starts to explain what happened. When he sees Ron he says hello as well and Ron moves to shake his hand. It's a small act of kindness and respect, but it's so much more than Dobby has received in his life from wizards, especially those who grew up solely in the magical world. It's one of Ron's shining moments that he does such a thing when so much is going on!
Destroying a Horcrux and returning to his friends – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
Ron left under terrible circumstances and immediately regretted it. Eventually he finds his way back and destroys a Horcrux! After that he finally sees Hermione again, and clearly should have led with something other than "Hey," but his explanation of how the Deluminator helped guide him back is so sincere. Destroying the Horcrux and sharing his experience here really shows how far Ron has come at this point despite his mistakes. It's a big turning point for the character as he returns for good to be with his friends to the very end.
Tell us your favorite Ron Weasley moment in the comments below!