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Ginny: The Canon Mary Sue

Wednesday, May 02nd, 2012 | Author: Heather

While the boys are away having fun in Brazil, I figured I would take this opportunity for a little girl  talk. If you recall, Hollie discussed Ginny Weasley last year in her summer series and I thought I would take a shot at her, as well.

Ginny is one of the few polarizing characters in the Harry Potter series, with Snape being the other notable example. If you ask ten different people how they feel about Neville Longbottom or Mr. Dursley, the answers you get will be along the same lines with ridiculous amounts of love for Neville and distaste at the thought of Uncle Vernon. Ginny will get a diverse response.

On the surface, Ginny seems like a perfectly fine and strong, female character. She’s tough, she’s a skilled witch, she’s vivacious, and she’s hot. All good qualities, right? So why do I sigh and roll my eyes at the thought of her?

Well for starters, she’s wonderful. I think that’s the main reason I have never gotten along with her. Now before you say anything, I’m not being catty and hating the popular girl because she has what I don’t. Hermione’s smarter than me, Fleur is more alluring, Katie Bell’s more athletic, and I love them all. But when it comes to Ginny it’s almost as if she’s too perfect. Like Jo put a Mary Sue right into the middle of canon who just happens to be the perfect woman for Harry to fall for.

I have racked my mind for a flaw in Ginny, but the only one she seems to have is that she lacks one. From a literary point of view- and I’m sure Hollie will agree with me- this is an awful harmartia that no one can relate to. When was the last time you were kvetching with your friends and one of them said “Ugh! You guys are so lucky. I wish I had a flaw!” If someone said that to you ,you’d get angry, right? Well I’m getting angry at Ginny.

This brings me to my next complaint. Ginny is not a fleshed out character. Her perfection makes her appear one-sided. We don’t really get to know her until Half-Blood Prince and even then it’s not a very thorough characterization. My theory is that Jo was really, really close to finishing HBP when someone asked her about Harry’s love life. Suddenly, Jo realized that she had forgotten to write into the books a love interest for Harry so she grabbed the closest available character and said “ENCHANT HARRY POTTER WITH YOUR FEMININE CHARMS!!!!!!!!!!!” (In my mind J.K. Rowling shouts at the pages of her manuscripts. I dare you to prove me otherwise.)

Ginny’s development seems crammed into one book and it’s not gradual or subtle at all. It’s unrealistic. Yes I understand that we’re seeing her from Harry’s point of view and he suddenly saw her as a woman and not just as Ron’s kid sister. Yes I understand that Jo was preoccupied with Voldemort. And yes I understand the difference between xylem and phloem. (Oh sorry. I probably shouldn’t write blog posts in biology class.) But doesn’t it bother anyone else how Ginny magically transforms from an awkward pre-teen with a tendency to blush to a fiery, mature woman while no one was looking? As a fiery, mature woman myself I can assure you that this is not how growing up happens. Did Ginny use a potion or something? If she did someone should have told 13-year-old Heather about it.

All in all, I just wish that we had a chance to know Ginny outside of what she was to Harry. As her own character with her own motivations and her own personality and her own reactions. The other female characters have lives beyond Harry, but Ginny seems limited. It’s really too bad because I feel if I saw less of “flawless, exceptional Ginny” and more of “vulnerable, relatable Ginny” I could really like her. But unfortunately we’re left not with a strong woman like Molly Weasley or Professoer McGonagall, but with the empty idea of one.

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Category: Books, Canon  | Tags: , ,  | 7 Thoughts