How I Met Ron Weasley – Analyzing Ron’s First Appearance in Sorcerer’s Stone

Today on Kate’s Curiosities, we’re going to talk about one of my favorite Harry Potter characters: Ickle Ronniekins… er, I mean, Ron Weasley.

(I said Ron! How did he know?)

(Sorry, kidding)

Specifically, we’re going to talk about his characterization in the first two chapters he shows up in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. And there will be merriment and lots of literary nostalgia goodness.

But first, a Public Service Announcement:


The Magic of Reading

If you click the picture above, you’ll see that I have created a list of 23 books and series, from Early Readers to Young Adult, that I think capture the magic of reading and the joys of being bookish for all ages, either through their plots or through their equally bookish characters. Hermione, of course, had to be included on that list, but you’ll find many other lovely books, classic and contemporary, that you’ll want to check out if you haven’t already. Then, share it on your blog, your Facebook, your Twitter, your Tumblr. Share it with your bookish friends, and your friends who have bookish kids, and so on.

A lot of care and thought went into putting this together, and I’d appreciate some support in this endeavor. Plus I think you, my audience, will appreciate the literary goodness. There are even quotes from each entry about books and reading, for added goodness ūüôā Here’s the link if the picture doesn’t work:¬†https://read.rifflebooks.com/list/170475

Okay, I’m done with the self-promoting. Now onto Ron!

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Moving Pictures: A Brief Reflection on the Oscars Opening

The annual Oscars have come and gone, and this year I actually saw more than a few of the nominees (probably because I wasn’t, y’know, studying my butt off as was the norm up until now).

There were a lot of really great moments at Sunday night’s ceremony. But of course, grabbing attention from the get go is important, and what would a Neil Patrick Harris-hosted event be without a dynamite opening number?

Penned by the composer and lyricist of Frozen,¬†I found the song very intriguing given the cultural environment that surrounded this year’s Oscars. I won’t go into detail on all that, as there are others who have stated it better and more passionately than I could.

And also, it is interesting to reflect on the song after having seen the whole ceremony, because¬†so many of this year’s acceptance speeches ended up talking about¬†films as representative of issues that wouldn’t otherwise be talked about. That films even have a responsibility to be socially aware and advocate on behalf of others, and to do it right.¬† And on many levels, I¬†so¬†agree with all of that! All kinds of storytelling invite us to empathize with people in situations unfamiliar to us, and that is¬†part of what makes them so important.

But…¬†what about when we realize that a story¬†we love is¬†problematic?¬†

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Wibbly-Wobbly Timey-Wimey: Revisiting the Past in Doctor Who and the Works of Edward Eage

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(SPOILERS for Doctor Who Series 3-6, the works of Edward Eager, and Meet the Robinsons)

It has occurred to me recently that I don’t talk about books enough on this blog.

Considering that books were among my first loves, this oversight just won’t do. Of course, all types of stories are important, and I’ve talked about good old Harry Potter more than once. But there’s more than just Harry Potter on my bookshelf that deserves spotlighting!

So, like last week, I’m digging into my childhood to analyze an often overlooked favorite, in comparison to a pop culture phenomenon.¬†

In the 1950s, dramatic writer and lyricist Edward Eager, having a difficult time finding books to read to his son, began writing children’s books in the style of E. Nesbit ‚Äď stories about ordinary children who stumble on some kind of quirky magic (the first book, for example, involved magic that worked by halves ‚Äď the children had to wish for twice as much of something if they wanted the wish to work completely) that they then use to go on fantastic adventures through space, time, and even literature, referencing everything from One Thousand and One Nights to Little Women. Along the way, the children typically learn to use the magic wisely, and resolve conflicts in their ordinary lives.

Eager’s tales of magic spanned seven books in all (the last published two years before his death in 1964), but he did not use the same cast of characters across all seven. At most, a given cast of children would span two books. However, the siblings of Half Magic (1954) & Magic by the Lake (1957) and the cousins of Knight’s Castle (1956) & The Time Garden (1958), are connected by more than just their writer.

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What Harry Potter Has Taught Me About Family, Pt. 2

Welcome to the first Kate’s Curiosities post of 2015! Woo!¬†

I’m not sure if it was bad¬†planning or good planning on my part to make the first post of the year a continuation of the last post of the old year. But either way,¬†I hope you enjoy this further exploration into the dynamics of family in Harry Potter.

If you just found this post and have no idea what I’m talking about, here’s the link to last week’s post. Basically, the idea was to ruminate on what Harry Potter can teach us about the complications of family, something I think we all reflect on at this time of year as we see family that we maybe don’t see much the rest of the year.

So, without further ado, let us continue where we left off last week (BOOK SPOILERS AHEAD):

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What Harry Potter Has Taught Me About Family, Pt. 1

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The holidays have come and gone, which means a lot of quality time with family we may not see all that often. For many families, it’s a lovely time of year. But we have to acknowledge that, for some, family time isn’t such a good thing. I sometimes feel that our culture generally doesn’t acknowledge the work involved in the care and keeping of family.

And I think a lot of the misconception comes from the works we absorb when we’re younger. A lot of stories aimed at children either give a pleasant picture of family, the only problem usually a lack of appreciation, or are about finding family rather than dealing with one you already have. Serious family issues come up later in YA and adult works, usually with a dose of crudeness and cynicism. But if we started talking about these things earlier, in a constructive way, maybe¬†it could¬†help kids to understand and defend against stressful family situations earlier.

Family entertainment in general has made strides in recent years with depicting different types of families, such as mixed family and single parent situations. But there are certain works that do an exceptional job at dealing with the complexities of family in a clear, concise, and constructive way. 

The Harry Potter series, I think, is definitely one of them.

Despite that Harry starts out the story an orphan, the series is actually very concerned with family for two reasons:

1. Love is the strongest force in¬†Rowling’s Wizarding World, and love and family are closely connected.

2. Rowling develops her characters so thoroughly that she knows the family background of even the supporting characters. This family background often influences the characters’ decisions and values, either in support of or against¬†the way they were brought up. The characters feel real because, just like us, they are effected by their families, but can still make decisions and grow to be better.¬†

Now, I’m not saying family can’t be made of people you aren’t related to or grew up with. I mean¬†Ron, Hermione, Dumbledore, and the Weasleys all became Harry’s family, ¬†James became Sirius’s family when Sirius ran away from home, the Marauders became¬†Remus’s family when they protected his secret and kept him company on the full moon. But, as stated above, the relationships a person¬†has with the people they grew up with, who often¬†are blood related, can effect much of their decisions and outlook, and thus, for better or for worse, we have to deal with and understand these people.¬†

I’ve loved this series from a young age, but the more I revisit it, either through Pottermore, fan articles, rereads (or, when using the audiobooks on car trips, relistening), or the films, the more I see how Rowling’s depiction of family is both wholesomely simple, and yet surprisingly mature and complex. So, I have to wonder¬†what we can¬†learn from the family relationships of the Wizarding World in navigating our own relationships?*

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