Why the hate towards Ron Weasley? In the near-decade since the final Harry Potter book was published, there has been a weird backlash against Ron, especially in regards to his relationship with Hermione. People claim Hermione is far too good for Ron, that they’re incompatible, or that she should have been with Harry, or even Draco.
Ron is a crucial part of the series, a commendable character, and a deserving complement to Hermione. Their relationship was one of the most well-developed aspects of the series and would not, as some seem to believe, deteriorate.
First of all, that JK Rowling interview.
"I wrote the Hermione/Ron relationship as a form of wish fulfillment. [...] For reasons that have very little to do with literature and far more to do with me clinging to the plot as I first imagined it."
She also recognizes that, in some ways, Harry and Hermione might've been a better fit.
She doesn't say, "Hermione shouldn't have ended up with Ron," or, "Harry was right for her all along." She simply acknowledges that she envisioned the Ron and Hermione relationship for personal reasons, rather than typical literary construction. It doesn't invalidate the relationship. As for Harry and Hermione, they are best friends who rely deeply on each other, so it's not surprising that they would fit together in some ways. It doesn't mean they should have been together romantically or would have been suited to spend their lives together.
The versions of Ron and Hermione presented in the movies are different than the characters in the books.
The next thing we need to take into account is the fact the movies significantly alter our perception of the characters and their dynamic as a couple. On-screen, Hermione is perfect and devoid of flaws, while Ron is wholly underrepresented, so naturally, people basing their opinion on the movies alone might not think that Ron deserves Hermione.
In the movies, Hermione’s weaknesses are completely glossed over. In the book, Hermione is incredibly intelligent, strong, and compassionate, but she’s a fully-rounded, human character with shortcomings. She can be, at times, overly cautious, judgmental, insensitive to social cues, rigid and legalistic in her perfectionism, and overly rational. The movies depict her as a bossy but endearing know-it-all, but fail to delve into how obnoxious she can come across, especially beyond the first three films.
Not only does Hermione lose her flaws, but the movies also give her the strengths of others, even moments from Ron himself. The most significant example is when Ron, though seriously injured, courageously defends Harry against Sirius Black in Prisoner of Azkaban, saying, “If you want to kill Harry, you’ll have to kill us too!" This line is transferred to Hermione in the movies, while Ron lays on the floor. Also, in the first book, when the trio is trapped in the Devil’s Snare, it is Ron who keeps his head and Hermione who panics, whereas in the films, Hermione rescues a floundering Ron. It’s important to have strong female characters on-screen, but stripping Hermione of her flaws ultimately makes her less real than her book counterpart.
On the other hand, the films fail to showcase Ron’s attributes. He’s the heart and soul of the trio— emotionally grounded, strategically-minded, generally calm and cool (excepting when spiders are involved). He’s trustworthy and honest, always upfront about how he really feels, even if it doesn’t come across politely. He’s truly funny and often the primary comic relief of the series, not simply because of pratfalls, but because he’s got a great sense of humor. An example of the poor adaptation of the fiercely loyal Ron is when Snape picks on Hermione in Prisoner of Azkaban. In the books, Ron calls Snape out on his unfair treatment of Hermione, while in the movies, he says, “He’s got a point, you know.” The films have a tendency to incorrectly relegate Ron to useless or buffoonish sidekick.
People seem to forget just how valued Ron is.
He’s “the thing Harry Potter would miss most” and the one who gave him a family and a home. He’s the glue of the trio, and when he’s not around, Harry and Hermione tend to get on each other’s nerves.
"Harry liked Hermione very much, but she just wasn’t the same as Ron. There was much less laughter and a lot more hanging around in the library when Hermione was your best friend."— Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Both were devastated during his absence in Deathly Hallows. Ron represents a safe place for Harry to relax— he doesn’t press Harry or try to control him; he expects nothing of him but friendship. The movies have a tendency to focus on Harry and Hermione and leave Ron in the background. With Harry as the protagonist and Hermione’s position as the female lead (not to mention the movies' bias towards her), the two often take center stage, but there’s much more of a balance between the three in the books.
Ron is not a failure.
Some argue that Ron and Hermione are fundamentally mismatched, because Hermione is motivated and driven to achieve, while Ron is lazy. After the war, Ron works at Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes with George, while Hermione ends up in Magical Law Enforcement at the Ministry. Just because he runs a joke shop (likely several shops by then) doesn’t mean Ron doesn’t have a fulfilling career, as WWW is an innovative and successful empire. His job choice also allows him to be a support to his brother, who lost his twin and business partner. Ron finds fulfilling work that suits him, and after the traumatic youth these characters suffered, why wouldn’t he want a job that brightens peoples lives? Both Ron and Hermione dedicate themselves to making the world a better place— Hermione through the law, and Ron through humor. Half-Blood Prince specifically showcases WWW as important to the wizarding community during the war, boosting morale and lifting spirits. Ron’s a war hero and he’s not a dunce; he did well enough in school. He certainly could have stayed an Auror if he’d wanted to, but he, understandably, chose a new path.
To be fair, Ron and Hermione certainly do abide by different work ethics and would have to strive to make adjustments for one another. However, they would be able to compromise. Hermione initiates their relationship because Ron exhibits growth and an ability to listen and share her passions. We can assume they both continue on this path of development and compromise.
"But Ron is too jealous."
The next popular criticism of Ron, and by extension, his chances with Hermione, is that his jealousy would lead to a break down of their relationship. Ron’s fundamental issue is indeed his insecurity, the product of being surrounded by a rather illustrious group of family and friends. This low self-esteem often leads to jealousy for Ron. People are quick to slam Ron for being unexceptional in comparison to the hero Harry and genius Hermione, and then slam him for feeling insecure about it a few times. But aren’t we, on the whole, a lot more like Ron? Haven’t all of us felt like we couldn’t measure up? Cut Ron some slack.
We can assume that having played a major part in defeating the Dark Lord, growing out of insecure teenage years, and having the consistent support and affirmation of Hermione would help him to avoid going to that place as often. The hint that he outgrows his issues, to an extent, is that he works for WWW. If he was concerned with his pride and comparing himself to those around him, he could’ve remained an Auror with Harry.
Ron's departure in Deathly Hallows is not indicative of a larger problem with abandonment.
Some call Ron selfish and a quitter because he leaves Harry and Hermione during the hunt. Yes, Ron leaves. Stressed and frustrated by the journey, worried about his family, influenced by the Horcrux, he leaves. Much like Frodo’s misguided meltdown in Return of the King, but I don’t see anyone ripping into him! The trio were in a position where there was no opportunity to just step out and take a breather; they were trapped by the confines of their mission. After Ron leaves and cools off, he tries to return immediately, but is unable to because of the moving camp, which is why he ends up being gone for so long. This episode isn’t an indication that he’s going to give up on his marriage. Sometimes, people need to take a lap and have some space when dealing with stressful situations. There’s no indication that it’s in Ron’s nature to abandon.
They complement each other and Hermione needs him.
Just as Ron needs Hermione to challenge him to deeper maturity, she needs him as well. Ron is fun and light-hearted and rather than see him as inferior to Hermione for this, consider that Hermione might want some levity in her life. Bearing the weight of trying to change the world is hard and it’s not difficult to imagine that the Brightest Witch would want to come home to a fun and relaxed spouse. JK Rowling herself said, “It’s such a relief from being so intense yourself – you need someone who takes life, or appears to take life, a little more light heartedly.”
As has been established, Ron is cool-under-pressure and provides Hermione, who can be susceptible to tunnel-vision, with much needed perspective. She can also draw too hard of a line (she full-on stopped speaking to Ron and Harry in Prisoner of Azkaban, when she believed Harry was endangering himself by using a broom of suspicious origin), whereas Ron can encourage her to be more flexible. Despite having the “emotional range of a teaspoon", Ron has much more social ease than Hermione, who’s intellect, conviction, and hyper-rational mind, can often rub people the wrong way. Ron’s charisma and humor would win people over until they got to know Hermione well enough to soften to her.
Not to mention, picking at Ron and Hermione’s relationship insults Hermione. Hermione is a brilliant and self-possessed woman, do you think she’d share her life with someone who didn’t deserve her?
As you can see, Ron and Hermione make a good team. They essentially co-parented Harry for seven books. By the time they get married, they’ll have been best friends for a decade at least, so it’s safe to say they know what they’re getting into. This doesn't even touch on all the instances across books and films in which Ron and Hermione exhibit a profound connection and protect, look after and encourage each other. In JK’s words: