Guys, we’re HERE. The next-to-last chapter of the book—chapter sixteen. We have the trapdoor, the Sorcerer’s Stone, Voldemort… LET’S GO!
Welcome to Muggles and Mocha, everyone! In case you can’t tell, I’m very excited about this part of the book. In Sorcerer’s Stone, of course there’s a lot of world-building and such, but this book is a constant build, and EVERYTHING happens in these last two chapters. It’s a whirlwind, but I can’t wait to jump into it with you guys.
We discuss the whole chapter in the video below. Check it out for some thoughts about Neville’s house points, Ron’s unfortunate portrayal in the movies, my favorite challenge, and more!
Today, we’re talking about a topic that may be unexpected. This chapter is FULL of adventure, but there was a person who stood out to me who is often brushed aside—Ron Weasley. So, Ron Weasley fans rejoice! He’s going to be our main focus for today.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m trying to really pay attention to Ron because he’s either forgotten or belittled most of the time. And I’m guilty of this as well! Honestly, I think I harbor some resentment toward Ron for leaving in the seventh book, and I believe it’s affected the way I view him in the earlier books. I realize that’s hugely unfair and that everyone makes mistakes, especially when they’re in highly stressful, dangerous, deadly… every bad adjective… situations like the one Ron was experiencing in that book. I have no idea how I would have reacted in that situation, so I can’t judge.
Plus, Ron has some fantastic personality traits that should be recognized! I think the fandom and the movies have worked to slowly push him to the side and simply view him as comic relief, unintelligent, jumpy, and rash. But that just isn’t true, and this is one of the chapters where we can clearly see the type of person Ron is.
Ron truly steps up to the plate in this chapter, and I personally think the way the movie portrays him during this adventure is unfair. For instance, in the movie, when the kids fall into the Devil’s Snare, Ron panics. However, in the books, he’s the one who has to calm Hermione. As I read this chapter, I was very impressed with how Ron handled each of the challenges thrown their way; he was calm, cool, and collected. He shows a lot of courage, wit, and strength, and that needs to be recognized.
Specifically, I want to focus on—you guessed it—the famous chess match. This is Ron’s time to shine!
As a kid, I had this Harry Potter catalog full of different Harry Potter memorabilia you could order (this was before online shopping was so huge). There was this fantastic model of the chess set from the movie, and it was so cool. It was also like three hundred dollars. I don’t like chess that much. But I do think of that chess set from time to time…
Today, we’re going to cover four different traits Ron shows during this deadly chess match and how these traits demonstrate the strength of Ron’s character.
- Courage. Of course, this entire ordeal shows us Ron is brave. I think this particular challenge would have been the most terrifying part of the entire experience for me (minus Voldemort), but Ron immediately takes it in stride. He sees the chess set, realizes what the challenge will entail, then gets down to business. I’m not a huge strategy person, and I tend to freak out under pressure… so I most likely wouldn’t have made it out of there! And without Ron, I’m not so sure Harry and Hermione would have either. I’m impressed with the way Ron takes the lead, pushing his fear aside.
- Logic and Strategy. Okay, this is huge, guys! Like I’ve mentioned, I think we sideline Ron to the comic relief and make him out as a “dumb” character. While he might not be the most “book smart” character in the series, his strategy skills during this game in the face of death show a lot of wit, calculation, and brains. This scene proves there’s more to Ron than simply being the funny guy.
- Protection. During the match, we learn Ron is taking out many of the other pieces on the board, and he’s continually the one calling the shots. Through this, he tries to keep Harry and Hermione out of the fray as much as possible, which would be very difficult in chess. He has to pay close attention to every piece on the board so that Harry and Hermione don’t accidentally become collateral damage in their rush to victory. And in the end, we see he puts his friends above himself.
- Sacrifice. All of this brings me to, in my opinion, the most important trait we see from Ron here—sacrifice. Ron sacrifices himself so Harry and Hermione can go on and stop Quirrell. Once he realizes this is the way for them to win the match, he acts without hesitation, fighting fiercely for this outcome. And think about this—he’s ELEVEN. This would be difficult enough for a grown adult to do, much less a child. Ron acts with determination and bravery as he gives himself up for his friends. This action sets a tone for the rest of the books and shows Ron’s intense loyalty to his friends in the face of fear and danger. I’m going to work hard to bring other moments like this to light so we can recognize Ron’s sacrificial nature.
Hopefully, this has shown you I truly am going to strive to view Ron as the good friend he is. As I’ve mentioned, the movies don’t really do Ron any favors either. At this part, I feel like they try to portray Ron as scared during certain scenes, but in the book, that’s far from the case, even when facing the other challenges. We don’t see him waver once! So let’s give Ron the respect he deserves. To me, he’s the hero of this chapter, and as we go through the rest of the book series, I’m going to highlight other moments when he’s given the chance to shine.
Next week, we’re ending the book. For real. I’m sad but also excited. Spending this amount of time on such a short book has given us the opportunity to truly break it down, and I’ve learned so much already. I hope you have, too. Let’s keep going! We’re going to cover chapter seventeen… I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about what all goes down in that chapter. The article will actually be one I’ve looked forward to writing since this book club started: all about Lily’s sacrifice. You don’t want to miss it!
I hope you’ve enjoyed the article and the video! If there’s ever a certain topic from the chapters you’d like to read or hear about, please send me a message. I’d love to hear from you! Reach out to me through the contact button below.
I’ll see you next week, mischief-makers!
Disclaimer: I do not own any part of the Harry Potter series.