There’s no time to mourn. She’s got a war to win.
October 31, 2016 6:42 PM   Subscribe

Six brothers. That’s how many brothers it takes to make a Ginny Weasley. That’s how much familial finally-a-daughter pressure is required to make a Ginny Weasley. That’s the weight of hand-me-down boy’s-jeans and you-can’t-do-it-you’re-a-girl that’s necessary to make a Ginny Weasley. Women of Harry Potter: Ginny is Not Impressed by Sarah Gailey.

Also by the same author: Hermione Granger: More Than a Sidekick.
posted by guster4lovers (46 comments total) 60 users marked this as a favorite
 
Love it.
posted by signal at 6:57 PM on October 31, 2016


I really wish Ginny had been foregrounded more in the books. Her stake in the fight is so damned interesting and the books never really deal with the fallout of her possession. I think Rowling's instinct to keep her journey in the background was one of the biggest mistakes she made.
posted by lemonadeheretic at 6:59 PM on October 31, 2016 [7 favorites]


Good read.

I'm in the middle of reading the series to my boys, and it's an interesting exercise - because I know where everyone winds up, I can pay more attention to these "background" characters who will rise to important roles at the end - particularly Neville and Ginny.
posted by nubs at 7:07 PM on October 31, 2016


OK, that was so great that it actually made me want to read the Harry Potter books. I've seen the movies, and absorbed a lot of my wife's fandom just because I love her and I want to be able to talk to her about the things she enjoys. But I've never wanted to read the books. This makes me reconsider that. Thank you.
posted by seasparrow at 7:21 PM on October 31, 2016 [5 favorites]


I just found it annoying that all of them neatly ended up with their (equivalent of) high school sweethearts. Like, really? Yes, it's a children's series and not really the place to explore the nuances of the lasting power of teenage romance, but it seemed too disney-fied. Especially Hermione--all of her potential and she ends up with Ron? Is there not a magical Ivy League where she could have met the equivalent of herself, and founded a magical corporation at which she is magical CEO and rules the magical world? Nope, gotta settle down at 18 with Ron Weasley and be an ordinary wife, got it. What a letdown.
posted by Autumnheart at 7:25 PM on October 31, 2016 [37 favorites]


Was just about to post when ding dong... trick or treat!.... Harry Potter got some licorice. It didn't snap. Gave candy to two Gryffindors today. Harry Potter ... the costume who lived.

I loved this. Although I have to go back and reread the end as I hadn't recalled Ginny took Potter's last name.

I particularly like the idea of Ginny being forged in a house with so many older brothers, unnoticed and then exploding out as seeker, leader, fighter.
posted by chapps at 7:29 PM on October 31, 2016 [4 favorites]


(and seasparrow, read the books! They are rich texts, to say the least. My son grew up with them, and they were the metaphor through which we discussed the right to fair trial and the importance of limiting arbitrary state power, Guantanamo bay, slavery ...)
posted by chapps at 7:34 PM on October 31, 2016 [4 favorites]


One thing to keep in mind when it comes to HP characters settling down with their childhood sweethearts: given how small the Wizarding world is, unless you marry someone from another country or a muggle or someone significantly older/younger than you, you really are in all likelihood going to meet your future spouse at Hogwarts. It's a small, closed community. Also, Hermione does not end up being an "ordinary wife." She's the goddamn Minister for Magic.
posted by yasaman at 7:38 PM on October 31, 2016 [64 favorites]


Especially Hermione--all of her potential and she ends up with Ron? Is there not a magical Ivy League where she could have met the equivalent of herself, and founded a magical corporation at which she is magical CEO and rules the magical world? Nope, gotta settle down at 18 with Ron Weasley and be an ordinary wife, got it. What a letdown.
At least based on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Hermione's the one with the high-powered job and Ron is the one supporting her behind the scenes, and also running a joke shop (It's hard to imagine Ron being especially supportive, but that's what the play says!).
posted by peacheater at 7:39 PM on October 31, 2016 [7 favorites]


chapps, sorry I beat you to it! I was kind of shocked no one else had posted it because it's so freaking amazing.

I've read the books several times and this made me want to read them again - seasparrow, you should read them!
posted by guster4lovers at 7:42 PM on October 31, 2016 [2 favorites]


OK, that was so great that it actually made me want to read the Harry Potter books.

If you go into the books expecting what was in this fanfic, you'll be disappointed.

However, I do remember finishing The Cursed Child and thinking that I liked Ginny, and Harry/Ginny made sense, but I can't remember why I thought that.

(Freckles - what is up with these fan artists' freckles?)
posted by betweenthebars at 7:42 PM on October 31, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yeah I don't really think there's much in the movies to tell us anything about Hermoine and Rons relationship but she becomes Minister of Magic so not really ordinary.
posted by LizBoBiz at 7:43 PM on October 31, 2016


Ooh Ooh! This is great, and perhaps also an appropriate place to add in a link to the fantastic series of one-shot meditations on some of the women of the Potterverse written by dirgewithoutmusic over on AO3 :
We must unite inside her walls or we'll crumble from within

This is the one on Ginny

The one about Pansy Parkinson is also quite good
posted by Wretch729 at 7:46 PM on October 31, 2016 [9 favorites]


Also can I just say the accompanying fan art is a wonderful addition to these. I don't know if the author or some editor at Tor did that but I love it.
posted by Wretch729 at 7:49 PM on October 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


that was great. like so many women's lives; yes of course I'll take care of that for you but can I get on with it I have got. things. to. do.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 7:52 PM on October 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ron becomes the Tim Kane of the wizarding world, doesn't he?
posted by schmod at 7:55 PM on October 31, 2016 [2 favorites]


It never hit me reading these books that my mother is a Ginny Weasley. Yes, this fanfic describes her pretty well.
posted by Strange_Robinson at 8:08 PM on October 31, 2016 [2 favorites]


"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."

Let's be honest. Ginny is cool, but she's still only the 3rd coolest Weasley. (Maybe 4th after Molly.)
posted by mrgrimm at 9:19 PM on October 31, 2016 [5 favorites]


But I've never wanted to read the books.

The level of sheer joy of language upon a page present in the books makes reading them worth the time. Rowling really REALLY loves language, and she plays with it constantly on a lot of levels (the pseudo latin/greek of the spells is the least of it) and reading the books is full of so much linguistic fun....

Seriously, read the books.

Or, alternately, get the UK version of the audiobooks and have Stephen Fry read them to you. It's like having your favorite uncle who has a great love of language read you books designed for the kind of language play he loves, and he does it without fatigue and damn I loved listening to those.
posted by hippybear at 10:28 PM on October 31, 2016 [10 favorites]


All the fan art in the Hermione article is A+ on point 10/10 will headcanon that forever now status.
posted by Hermione Granger at 11:00 PM on October 31, 2016 [6 favorites]


I have conflicted feelings about the books that are on balance positive. Rowling is very good at putting the joy she has in her characters and setting onto the page, making them a real pleasure to read.

I do think that Ginny as a secondary character was a mistake, though. Rowling obviously couldn't make everyone a primary character, but Ginny could have addressed the gender imbalance a little, and would have had a really interesting POV to add.

I just found it annoying that all of them neatly ended up with their (equivalent of) high school sweethearts. Like, really?

Yeah, I thought this was one of the weakest points. I think Rowling is an instinctively good storyteller, but not a particularly sophisticated one. (Which you can see more obviously when she tries to write about cultures outside of Britain.)

Even without the pairings-up, these kinds of epilogues always leave me disappointed. They're rarely well done. They're usually tacked on because the author can't bear to leave anything ambiguous or unresolved, even if it's beyond the scope of the story.

I don't buy the argument that the high school sweethearts thing is more realistic because the wizarding community is small. Even in small communities, people's high school romances get shaken up. The pool's smaller, but people still swim around the pool awhile before settling down. There's also the whole international wizarding community, which Hermione could easily be involved in as a scholar or politician. But the reason it's Ron is because he's obvious.

But I don't think we should write off Hermione as "ordinary" because she got married. Hermione's anything but.

... I also like Hermione and Ron as an idea though. Less so Harry and Ginny.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 3:48 AM on November 1, 2016 [5 favorites]


So why is Ginny not impressed by Sarah Gailey? What has Sarah done to her?
posted by MartinWisse at 4:27 AM on November 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


A violent argument erupts between Ginny Weasley and Shania Twain over who is the least impressed.
posted by dr_dank at 4:31 AM on November 1, 2016 [9 favorites]


I don't buy the argument that the high school sweethearts thing is more realistic because the wizarding community is small. Even in small communities, people's high school romances get shaken up. The pool's smaller, but people still swim around the pool awhile before settling down. There's also the whole international wizarding community, which Hermione could easily be involved in as a scholar or politician. But the reason it's Ron is because he's obvious.

Yeah, this. Many of the folks where I grew up stayed where I grew up and married other people I grew up with, but very few of them married someone they ever dated in high school. Every now and then I'll see in someone's Facebook feed a picture of a now-married couple of people who I knew as a kid and think "Did they even know each other in high school?"
posted by hydropsyche at 5:16 AM on November 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


The reason it's Ron is because JK Rowling was hell bent on having everyone marry into the Weasley family.
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:45 AM on November 1, 2016 [3 favorites]


I actually think it's pretty realistic that you would marry the people you fought Voldemort with. The people that I've known who have been dating or hooking up during intense stuff have almost all ended up married, even if they were young at the time.

Anyway, I love Ginny and Molly both. They are crappy and boring in the movies and that is reason #789 why the movies are super disappointing.
posted by gerstle at 5:57 AM on November 1, 2016 [6 favorites]


I know (what seems like) a statistically-improbable of married college-educated city-dwelling snake people who were high school sweethearts. Of the 6 couples I know, almost all of them fall into a pattern of smart, incredibly career focused woman + fun stay at home parent type who are both very loyal people in general. Basically, they're people who found a perfect relationship by Sheryl Sandberg's definition at 15. To me, Ron and Hermione are definitely the type. Add in some war trauma and I can...kind of...see Harry and Ginny lasting.

I would expect a lot of relationships to change and form post-Hogwarts, which I think is pretty consistent with what we've been told about characters outside the trio.
posted by lemonadeheretic at 6:08 AM on November 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think the pairings might have been easier to deal with Rowling had skipped the epilogue in Deathly Hallows. All you see is these "just so" couplings and perfect children, but there's no time to get into the story of how it happened.

With the Cursed Child (from what I understand) you actually get some time to see what adult Hermione & Ron and Ginny & Harry relationships look like. Because it's a story that gets to spend time with the characters, as opposed to just a tacked-on feeling chapter at the end of a 7 novel epic.

I like to contrast the epilogue to All Good Things, the finale of Star Trek TNG. Part of what was great about Beverly and Jean-Luc in the series was the fact that you always knew they loved each other, but also that they might not be great partners for each other. And you see that in All Good Things. They were married, but now divorced but they still love and respect each other. The show had enough respect for the audience to not expect us to believe any schmoopy happily ever after crap. In the Deathly Hallows epilogue the "happily ever after crap" is all that there is.
posted by sparklemotion at 8:26 AM on November 1, 2016 [9 favorites]


I never really bought into the Harry/Ginny relationship. Harry didn't seem to pay much attention to Ginny until book 6, and even then, it didn't seem like they had developed much of a friendship by the time they started dating. Ginny eventually comes into her own, but as noted above, she gets backgrounded in a way that's not fair to her character and all the shit she went through. I think she deserved a relationship with someone who really gets how badass she is.

Truth be told, though, I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Harry/Luna 'shipper. That relationship felt much more organically developed. HP/LL 4 lyf!
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 8:42 AM on November 1, 2016 [5 favorites]


I think the pairings might have been easier to deal with Rowling had skipped the epilogue in Deathly Hallows.

I'm pretty sure I've read reports that Rowling wrote the epilogue well before the series was even truly underway and that she was working toward that along the entire series.
posted by hippybear at 9:02 AM on November 1, 2016


(It's hard to imagine Ron being especially supportive, but that's what the play says!)

Considering Ron's strengths in the texts are strategic thinking and a deep and intuitive understanding of wizarding world politics, it's not shocking to me that Ron would have supported Hermione in their adult life ambitions.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:06 AM on November 1, 2016 [4 favorites]


I'm pretty sure I've read reports that Rowling wrote the epilogue well before the series was even truly underway and that she was working toward that along the entire series.

I can absolutely believe that (for a bunch of reasons that are kind of snarky sounding so I deleted them, because honestly I really did enjoy the HP books and I'm glad that J. K. Rowling created and shared this world with us AND she got the chance to make a living off of her work).

I just wish that someone had told me to skip the epilogue before I read it (not that they would have had a chance... I'm pretty sure that I had zero human interaction the weekend that Book 7 was released).
posted by sparklemotion at 9:42 AM on November 1, 2016


A “Ginny Weasley” would also be a great name for a cocktail.
posted by acb at 9:53 AM on November 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


A "Ginny Weasley" is the virgin version of the alcohol-based "Ginny Potter".
posted by hippybear at 9:55 AM on November 1, 2016 [9 favorites]


Everything the second link says about Hermione is great. As it happens, as a kid reading the books I always imagined Hermione looking like Prunella from Arthur, for some reason, so actually black Hermione makes a lot of sense to me. (That is to say, my head-canon Hermione was never explicity white.) Anywho. Love all that.

I was so disappointed that the movies cut out S.P.E.W. from Hermione's story. To me it's one of the most telling and interesting things about her character, that she would double-down on an injustice that doesn't even directly affect her, when there is so much blood-status prejudice in the world of HP. That's a mark of a big person.
posted by Zephyrial at 10:51 AM on November 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


A "Ginny Weasley" is the virgin version of the alcohol-based "Ginny Potter".

Pretty sure that if you tried to define Ginny by the state of her hymen, she'd kick your ass.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:53 AM on November 1, 2016 [9 favorites]


'Tis but a joke. Have a Shirley Temple to help you unwind. Or maybe a Roy Rogers.
posted by hippybear at 10:57 AM on November 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


Maybe someday we'll get a "Harry's Shadow" from Ginny's POV, a la Ender and Bean.
posted by imelcapitan at 11:39 AM on November 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


The thing is, suddenly ending up with someone you never paid attention to is a pretty realistic depiction of a relationship, especially in the wizarding world where you'be gone to school with literally all your peers. I think Ginny/Harry is a perfectly cromulent pairing, and looking back it's telegraphed consistently.

Would you complain about a relationship where a boy pursues his crush for years, and she never notices him until one fateful day? Because that's basically Harry and Ginny. Sometimes it's the girl who wins the boy, not vice versa.

The only pairing I like better is Draco and Astoria, who marry after leaving school, apparently oblivious to one another prior. Bonus points, in Cursed Child we see she had a profound positive influence on him.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 11:59 AM on November 1, 2016


Especially Hermione--all of her potential and she ends up with Ron?

It's weird how it's okay for male characters to marry characters perceived as less ambitious or educated but when a female character does it the inequality becomes very troubling.

Nope, gotta settle down at 18 with Ron Weasley and be an ordinary wife, got it.

Again, why assume that and not that Ron is the househusband? Especially given that absolutely nothing is mentioned in the epilogue about their careers and given their personalities it's more plausible Ron would be the stay-at-home parent.

Ginny made sense to me - Harry was always going to marry someone with similar outlook and sense of humor, who could be there for him without being clingy. Other than the fact that he had no interest in them (and they both seemed more interested in Ron) - Hermione would smother him and Luna is very intent on doing her own thing.

Ron becomes the Tim Kane of the wizarding world, doesn't he

Awesome? Yes.

And since we're reccing fic I'll add my favorite fic about women in the Potterverse - Could You Be a Little Less?
posted by asteria at 1:21 PM on November 1, 2016 [5 favorites]


hippybear, the entire point of the post was that Ginny Weasley is a strong, capable person, and not a weakened version of who she is when defined by her relationship to Harry Potter. So your joke was in bad taste, as was your "relax, it's just a joke" follow-up.
posted by cardioid at 8:19 AM on November 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Your definition of a nonalcoholic drink as somehow inferior or "weakened" fails to understand that the underlying core identity of a drink (that isn't a martini) is defined by all the ingredients that go into it that isn't the alcohol. And by the transitive property of mixology, Ginny was awesome all along.
posted by hippybear at 9:58 AM on November 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


The only think "weakened" about virgin drinks is that they don't have alcohol in them. They aren't lesser in any way. Similarly, virgins aren't weaker or lesser than people who are sexually experienced.

The joke that the Ginny Weasley is a "virgin" cocktail and the Ginny Potter is not, doesn't make value judgments about Ginny's actual strength or worth as a person. It makes a slightly off color assumption about Ginny's sexual experience. Which would be in poor taste if Ginny were a real person, but IMHO is fine for a fictional character (who was 10 when she was introduced (assumed virgin), and has a canon child now (known non-virgin)).
posted by sparklemotion at 10:00 AM on November 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ginny is so lackluster in the movies, compared to what we read in the books, I think, because Bonnie Wright was such a terrible actor. Ugh.
posted by Windopaene at 9:22 PM on November 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think the "virgin drinks are totally fine" argument would've come across a lot more clearly with better examples than two saccharine-sweet drinks heavily connected with children. And without the common defensive refrain of "I was only joking".

Basically, I'm saying you can't lead me to water and then get annoyed when I drink.
posted by cardioid at 10:11 AM on November 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


To be fair to Bonnie Wright, it's not like she had many opportunities to improve.
posted by asteria at 2:37 PM on November 3, 2016


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