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Old April 30 2011, 01:42 AM   #1
MNM
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Why does Ron get the shaft? (HP books and movie minor spoilers)

So now, anyone who has watched or read the Harry Potter movies/books knows that movieRon gets cut a raw deal. Reduced to nothing more than comedic, scared third wheel of a side kick while Harry and Hermione are pushed as the stars.

Now I have never been Ron's biggest fan, but that doesnt preclude me from recognising that this occurs and pondering the ideas of why it does.

I have a few possible ideas that I suspect play a part into it:

1. Standard Hollywood approach would be for a leading Man, the leading lady and the rest sidekick/background noise. Now unfortunatly for Ron, Harry is the star and Hermione is pushed as the leading lady (curious to a point, that the stars love interest isnt in that place, but then there is no way to realistically put Ginny in that role ahead of Hermione). So tough luck for Ron, funny sidekick scenes are what he gets.

2. Maybe it is in part down to the actor? Grint does well in the comedic spots but can he manage anything more? Personally I cant say, havent seen enough to say definitvely. However there could be a case that he has been "typecast" in the minds of those who create the movies, such that "Grint is the funny sidekick, thats the stuff we do for him" nothing more. But of course maybe it is more "Grint can only do the funny side kick stuff, so best leave it at that."

3. Playing in with both of the above to a point is that scenes from the books that could show Ron as more are left out. Why? Well the HP books are long to begin with and lots of stuff gets cut willy nilly anyway, so if you have a funny sidekick who is established in that role, scenes that dont conform with that view/portrayal of him are easy meat from the chopping board. "Ron does something brave? dont need that, cut the damn thing". Remember Ron's valiant line to Sirius in the Shrieking Shack in book 3 about how he will have to go through Ron first before he gets to Harry? Brave boy, when you consider Sirius is thought to be a murder at the time and Ron's leg is broke/injured. Of course, movie Ron didnt get to say that, Hermione laid down the law to Sirius in movie land, while Ron whimpers, in a comedic style of course. Perception of Ron as a certain type of character limits his development as why does Hollywood need a strong Ron in these films, we already have the leads?

4. Radcliff and Watson. Both these actors have a shed load of chemistry together. Much more so than Watson does with Grint and by far and away more than Radcliffe does with the girl who plays Ginny. The filmmakers and Powers that Be take advantage of this chemistry, that cant be denied. Take a look at the marketing of the films, the promotional material etc... near all of it shows Harry and Hermione front and centre and Ron, if he is lucky, is in the background. Interviews with cast? People fall over themselves to interview Emma, they then interview Dan if he is there, take many pictures of the two hanging off each other and if he isnt there they let you know why he wasnt there. Then they get a brief comment from Rupert. If he's there, often he isnt, and if he isnt, well, no ones going to the trouble of mentioning why.

So why does this aspect shaft Ron in the actual films as opposed to just in the marketing of them? Well if as the above points suggest, Ron is viewed as the "third one" of the trio, then he can be sacrificed in ways to illuminate the main two. For example OotP, lots of Ron centric stuff gets cut from the book plot (him being made prefect, him getting on the Quiditch team, him being the team hero after winning the game as keeper etc..) Harry and Hermione hugs (when he arrives a Grimould place for one) and general togetherness stays in.

When you combine all of the above with writers/directors that like the chemisty between two characters, they go out of their way to empahise that and downplay everything else. I'm not saying they are building to a Harry/Hermione ending, they arent, it will be like the books, but for a relationship that wont happen they put in an awful large amount of effort to show it.

For example, in the last film, Deathly Hallows part 1, a tender Ron/Hermione scene was cut from the film.

http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/165...-was-cut.jhtml

What was the reason it was cut for? "The overall tone of the film was quite intense", so this light hearted couple-esque scene, which would certainly help the Ron/Hermione romance (which along with the Harry/Ginny one in the films really could use all the help they can get to make it work on screen), could never fit.

Fair enough. I am sure the stuff that get didnt cut contributed to the plot and atmosphere much more?

...people remember the Harry/Hermione dance scene right? Personally my favourite scene in the whole movie series. Two minutes of nothing more than Radcliffe and Watson light heartedly dancing to a really great song, and at times you can actually see Watson biting her lip to stop herself from laughing her ass off at how deliberately goofy Radcliffe is dancing.

But yeah, tender Ron/Hermione scene doesnt match this hugely "intense" atmosphere of the film. So bye bye. Harry and Hermione scene designed to showcase the characters in ways they probably shouldnt since neither ends up together? Keeping that boy. Ah well, Ron shafted once more.

Ron is the equivalent of Cyclops in the X-Men films. Shafted left and right to make way to show Wolverine and Jean.

What are peoples thoughts? Have I missed any reasons for this choice? Am I looking at it wrongly? Is there anyone out there who thinks Ron doesnt get shafted throughout the films and that in fact they do a good job of portraying him?
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Old April 30 2011, 04:16 AM   #2
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Re: Why does Ron get the shaft? (HP books and movie minor spoilers)

You pretty much nailed it, with the exception of...


Ron is boring. He has exactly no qualities or even interests that Harry and/or Hermione don't share. Ergo, he gets shafted, and why not? As I've opined before, he should have been killed in Year 5 or 6, allowing the promotion of Neville to third wheel - Neville, who does have a personality and interests substantially different from that of the others.

What's more, once Ginny (Ron with a vagina) becomes a major factor in the series, even his importance as Harry's strongest link to the magical community takes a nosedive. Result: a character that's effective in prose to bounce ideas, dialogue and such off of Harry, but is far less important once the Radcliffe/Watson chemistry, cinematic visuals and other factors are brought into play in the movies.
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Old April 30 2011, 04:22 AM   #3
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Re: Why does Ron get the shaft? (HP books and movie minor spoilers)

Grint is charming and his scenes work sometimes by the force of conviction - but he really hasn't developed as an actor, doesn't give the impression of being very interested in it, and is occasionally unintelligible.
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Old April 30 2011, 04:31 AM   #4
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Re: Why does Ron get the shaft? (HP books and movie minor spoilers)

I thought he was pretty good in "Driving Lessons" and "Cherrybomb".
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Old April 30 2011, 04:34 AM   #5
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Re: Why does Ron get the shaft? (HP books and movie minor spoilers)

I thought they finally got Movie Ron right in the Deathly Hallows. They finally have him acting heroic while still being funny and not a buffoon. I thought Grint gave the best performance of the film.
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Old April 30 2011, 05:27 AM   #6
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Re: Why does Ron get the shaft? (HP books and movie minor spoilers)

I think much of it has to do with the chemistry between Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson. I mean, his role really didn't change too much until Prisoner of Azkaban when their chemistry just couldn't be denied. If it were an original film and they didn't have to follow any books, I could see Harry and Hermione getting together very easily. They really do have Mulder and Scully type chemistry and it's a pity that they have to waste it in the end. Stuff like that doesn't come around every day.
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Old April 30 2011, 05:33 AM   #7
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Re: Why does Ron get the shaft? (HP books and movie minor spoilers)

Really? I thought that Grint and Watson had pretty good chemistry.
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Old April 30 2011, 07:31 AM   #8
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Re: Why does Ron get the shaft? (HP books and movie minor spoilers)

MNM wrote: View Post
...people remember the Harry/Hermione dance scene right? Personally my favourite scene in the whole movie series. Two minutes of nothing more than Radcliffe and Watson light heartedly dancing to a really great song, and at times you can actually see Watson biting her lip to stop herself from laughing her ass off at how deliberately goofy Radcliffe is dancing.

But yeah, tender Ron/Hermione scene doesnt match this hugely "intense" atmosphere of the film.
I didn't find that scene particularly light-hearted. I actually found it quite sad and bittersweet -- it was, in essence, about two people whose world is falling apart around them, remembering, for a little while, a time when things were safe and when they were more innocent. There's certainly a subtext of "what might have been," too. The characters were acting a bit goofy, but the mood was quite melancholy, I thought.
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Old April 30 2011, 07:47 AM   #9
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Re: Why does Ron get the shaft? (HP books and movie minor spoilers)

cause Hermione is a futa?
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Old April 30 2011, 06:09 PM   #10
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Re: Why does Ron get the shaft? (HP books and movie minor spoilers)

edited: no idea what went on here.

Last edited by MNM; April 30 2011 at 11:25 PM.
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Old April 30 2011, 06:13 PM   #11
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Re: Why does Ron get the shaft? (HP books and movie minor spoilers)

Sci wrote: View Post
I didn't find that scene particularly light-hearted. I actually found it quite sad and bittersweet -- it was, in essence, about two people whose world is falling apart around them, remembering, for a little while, a time when things were safe and when they were more innocent. There's certainly a subtext of "what might have been," too. The characters were acting a bit goofy, but the mood was quite melancholy, I thought.
To a point I agree with you. The very start and very end of the scene is like how you say. Especially at the end where they stare into each others eyes, and I am sure a good chunk of those watching thought they were about to kiss (what a development that would have been...)

But the middle portion of the scene is just the actors messing around. They are not even in character, its just Radcliffe goofing it up as much as possible and Watson, on more than one occasion, biting her lip to stop from laughing. It could easily be them messing around off camera. There's footage of them doing just that from the fourth film online for example, which was the inspiration, I think, to dance here to begin with.

My main point about the scene though was that a Ron/Hermione moment showing scene was cut, probably at the first time of asking, despite that romance needing as much help as it can get on screen due to how its been handled, yet this Harry/Hermione scene most likely was never, throughout the entire production of the film, ever in any danger of being cut. And the end result was Ron being scewed over again, as a moment showcasing the Harry and Hermione characters was deemed more important than a moment establishing the little details about Ron's relationship.

That said, the dance scene was by far and away my favourite of the last movie and I find it difficult to think of a scene from any of the movies which I actually enjoyed more, so I am not complaining it was there, just pointing out how it is a sympoton of the bigger "problem" that is Ron getting shafted.

C_Miller wrote: View Post
They really do have Mulder and Scully type chemistry and it's a pity that they have to waste it in the end. Stuff like that doesn't come around every day.
I've said before in other threads. Give it a few more years, cast Radcliffe as Bond, Watson as the Bond girl and you will get a Bond film that makes more money than anyother has before it. Imagine the poster, Radcliffe as Bond in the classic pose, the PPK with him, Watson draped over him, and the tag line "He now has a License to Kill to go with his Wand..." Money.
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Old April 30 2011, 10:45 PM   #12
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Re: Why does Ron get the shaft? (HP books and movie minor spoilers)

Anwar wrote: View Post
I thought he was pretty good in "Driving Lessons" and "Cherrybomb".
I saw him in Driving Lessons and Wild Target. Driving Lessons was o.k. (nothing specific against him) but he was really good in Wild Target. I'll have to catch the other one. Neither Daniel Radcliffe nor Emma Watson have done as much in terms of other movies as Rupert Grint has (so far).
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Old May 1 2011, 05:06 AM   #13
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Re: Why does Ron get the shaft? (HP books and movie minor spoilers)

The problem here is that Ron doesn't have a clear purpose in the books, isn't really good at anything and doesn't contribute much to the unfolding plot. That means he can be dispensed with easily in the movies as well.

As someone mentioned upthread, he does serve a purpose early on in the books just by being comfortable with the wizarding world and befriending Harry, for whom it is all strange and new. Ron being a normal, average and just basically unremarkable wizard probably felt like a good idea to Rowling early on for that reason. That part of the story is over with pretty quickly, though, Harry becomes aquainted with all things magic, and Ron is never really given anything else to do.

It's doesn't help that Hermione is easily the best of the main characters, the one with the most engaging personality, and the one for whom Rowling never stops coming up with good ideas. And of course Harry is the chosen one, etc. So Ron feels pretty useless by comparison. To be fair, Rowling does make Ron's feelings of inadequacy a theme of the later books, but it would have been better to just make the character more attractive and more interesting in the first place.
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Old May 1 2011, 01:27 PM   #14
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Re: Why does Ron get the shaft? (HP books and movie minor spoilers)

It would have been a better idea to make Ron a Slytherin while still maintaining that he came from a family of nothing but Gryffindors, it would have given him actual differences from Harry and Hermione and maybe advantages they didn't have either.
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Old May 1 2011, 05:25 PM   #15
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Re: Why does Ron get the shaft? (HP books and movie minor spoilers)

flemm wrote: View Post
To be fair, Rowling does make Ron's feelings of inadequacy a theme of the later books, but it would have been better to just make the character more attractive and more interesting in the first place.
I disagree.

I don't like saying these books are "children's books," but the fact is that many of its fans are in school.

In that world, Harry is the sports star, Hermione's the valedictorian, and Ron's the kid who has no idea what he's good at.

Given that, it seems Ron represents the VAST majority of kids in real world schools. His feelings of inadequacy next to the special top 5% of his school surely speaks to a lot of kids who live that same life. It'd be a shame to ditch them all and say "Ha ha...just like TV and movies, we're gonna go with the idea that if you're not a superstar in your field then you're worth nothing. Good luck, normal kids!"
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