Ginevra: The Betrothed

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011 | Author: Hollie

Ginevra Molly Weasley was born in the dog days of summer under the sign of the Lion. A true Gryffindor, there is no doubt. On this day, the Weasley family was blessed with a baby girl; the first to be added to their family tree in a wizard’s age. Our Harry Potter canonry insists this is evidence that Ginny was destined to become a gifted witch. If her Aunt Muriel predicted such a thing, we know she would have been right. So why are we often “meh” about Ginny Weasley? I will attempt to answer that, perhaps uncovering the jewels of her true being, something I think we should all take the time to discover. Ginny may not be my absolute favourite character, although I do have a great amount of respect and admiration for her. If we just knew her a little better, I think we’d love her like the daughter, sister, friend and lover she has become right before our eyes.

Ginny’s antique name could be of great significance, and I don’t mean the curious kind; Ginevra is a Welsh (or Italian) derivative of Guinevere, and we all know who that is, don’t we? Queen Guinevere, the fair and noble wife of King Arthur, the true and fierce lover of Sir Lancelot – the exceptional lady who brought the Round Table and one-hundred knights as her dowry. Although not altogether wholesome, Guinevere is of noble character, withstanding the challenges faced by a Queen ruling in a rugged (not to mention bloody) era of Britian’s history. if decidedly mythical, she was a ‘real woman’, one that we can cast a contemporary light on: she did not lead a virtuous existence, but she certainly stayed true to her heart and her beliefs. Like Ginny, Queen Guinevere was destined to lead an exceptional life. It seems trivial, but Ginny’s father’s name is Arthur. It is worth mentioning!

Is our Ginny a Guinevere? Not precisely, no, but we can draw similarities, as I’m sure Jo has. For one, Ginny Weasley comes from a noble, pure-blood wizarding family. Despite their lack of wealth and social status, the Weasleys are courageous, kind, and of the highest moral standards. They would serve any kingdom admirably. To add, they descend from a line of brave magical talent, so it seems, and have proven themselves to be amongst the most unyielding of Voldemort’s opposition. As members of The Order, they are like knights – they fight to save their ‘world’, and while doing so, sacrifice the comfort and joy of their home, their namesake, and their lives. As wise and selfless people, they seek no alternative, pressing on through the years of the Dark Lord’s reign.

Ginny may be the precious family jewel, and like any stone, she is lovely, but has an amazingly tough exterior. And like a precious gem, she is formed from the elements of nature, having purpose and strength that the ordinary eye fails to see. Jo once told us that Ginny is “…a fairly forceful person (and always has been…)”. We know we are not dealing with a mousy little sister who tags along with her brothers. In fact, she has learned much from them: “The thing about growing up with Fred and George is that you sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.” (OP29) In turn, Fred and George come to realize the awesomeness of their youngest sibling:

“Yeah, size is no guarantee of power,” said George. “Look at Ginny.”

“What d’ you mean?” said Harry.

“You’ve never been on the receiving end of one of her Bat-Bogey Hexes, have you?” (OP6)

She’s rare – the youngest and only girl, often in the protection of her parents, brothers, or Harry himself, but perpetually proving her own power as a witch and cleverness as a young woman: “I’m three years older than you were when you fought You-Know-Who over the Philosopher’s Stone, and it’s because of me Malfoy’s stuck back in Umbridge’s office with giant flying bogeys attacking him – ” (OP33) Throughout the series, we come to know and respect Ginny Weasley for her wit, moral character, talents and strength. However, I’ve noticed a lot of us have a hard time uncovering a whole image of her; she is always in the picture, but never at the centre of it. I have an inkling that this is the cause of fans’ difficulty accepting her as Harry’s betrothed. I use the arguably outdated term because I find its concept is entangled in the tale. A prominent hint is the resemblance of Lily and Ginny in appearance, attitude and reputation. Jo comments on Lily’s school days, saying, “Like Ginny, she was a popular girl.” And like Ginny, Lily had no problem working for the underdog, voicing her opinion, and maintaining independence. Both women possessed natural magical talent, and both were brave and strong in fighting evil with love. Like Slughorn says, they are equally “lovely…”.

Aside from Hagrid, Ginny and her family were the very first to befriend Harry in the wizarding world. He quickly becomes an honourary member of the Weasley clan, connecting him to Ginny at a tender age. There is something quite sacred about this, and it is impossible to ignore the circumstances that solidify their relationship. The shared adventure and family gatherings, as well as the sharing of burdens, milestones, successes and failures naturally weave their lives together. To Molly and Arthur, Harry is “…as good as” a son to them. In my point of view, nature has betrothed the pair, and in the end, they find each other independently, and by choice.

Getting a bit tired of fairy tales? Let us look at a modern point of view: Ginny is an exceptional witch, quite worthy of both our and Harry’s adoration. She is an incredible role model to readers, and here’s why: from a young age, she has been able to keep up with her brothers – not because they are boys, but because they are basically insane. She laughs with them on many occasions, not garnering the attitude of her mother (who thoroughly disapproves of their antics). Her own sense of humour is unrivaled, even upping the ante for Fred and George – she is so clever and dry, it would probably be difficult to discern her jokes from mere commentary at times. Ginny’s humour contains the same wryness as Harry’s, making for a smart pair. We really can’t forget her unforgiving mockery of Fleur. I think it would be difficult to gain Ginny’s respect as a future sister-in-law, unless you were rugged, great at Quidditch, unnervingly brave, and downright sarcastic. Not too much to ask, right? Looking past the epilogue, it’s easy to see that Ginny puts her intelligence to much further use, becoming a sports journalist. In a rather male-dominated industry, I’m sure it would have been refreshing to see her bright face and fresh perspective dawning the pages of the Daily Prophet. Besides, she does have her credentials in check: a former member of the Holyhead Harpies. Imagine having their poster on your bedroom wall, then having the gumption and skill to become one of them. A dream come true for a young woman, indeed. In all of this, she is lucky to share her life with someone who is equally as passionate about her. Remember the unnamed beast summoned inside of Harry? Only Ginny could conjure such a thing!

My favourite thing about Ginny Weasley is, in the end, her compassionate soul. She seems to understand Harry, Luna, Hermione, Neville, and many other characters in their time of need. She does not dote on her popularity, and seems quite unabashed by it. It is quite clear that her friends are her true friends, no matter their status. She takes Neville to the Yule Ball when I’m sure she could have had her handpick of dates. She befriends Luna despite her oddities and social awkwardness. She loves Hermione as a sister, making her part of the Weasley family as much as Harry is. It is easy to picture Ginny as a wonderful mother and wife someday: creating a sanctuary with Harry, enjoying a career as a writer and role model, and continuing to ward off evil with her good spirit.

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