Ginny is the most underdeveloped love interest I have ever read, or heard of, in a very long time.
She was so inconsequential, they had to make up scenes for her to be in the movies, just so her character and relationship could somehow make sense by the end. And Bonnie Wright thought she would be getting an easy check for the first five movies (minus movie two).
Keeping in mind, Movie five (OotP) was released right around the time the last book was released. When I think of Order of the Phoenix and Ginny, I think of only one scene. And if memory serves (and it very well might not), that scene is not in the movie. Ginny convincing Harry that he was not being possessed by Voldemort, was perhaps the singular most helpful thing she had done in the entire series, and it wasn’t even in the movie.
Ginny was just… she was just there. She was nothing but a reward to Harry, the prize at the end of the adventure. She’s not even the prize itself. The prize, in the end, was the One Big Happy Weasley Family, the thing that Harry’s always wanted. He wanted the Big Family. Luckily, they had a vagina laying around that he could connect to. The seventh child in the family, and because we love the number 7, it must have been fate.
Was she meant to be such an integral part of Harry’s life from the beginning? I honestly don’t really think so. Maybe that’s what the author would tell you, but then again, the author would tell you a lot of things, and then eventually regret them. Were Ron and Hermione always meant for each other? Perhaps. That one, I could actually believe. Though I’m loathe to admit it, the whole ‘falling in love with your bully and/or rival’ era seemed to be a dangerous trend in kid’s entertainment in the 90’s to 00’s. Refer to Even Steven, As Told by Ginger, Hey Arnold, The Nanny, Roseanne, Ed, Edd, & Eddy, anything Dan Schneider has ever produced (Freddie/Sam, Quinn/Logan, Josh/Mindy), and so on. It was a disturbing time.
After the sixth book, JK said in an interview (there’s a source somewhere, I can’t do all the work, go learn stuff) that Harry and Hermione were getting ‘too close’ before, and the Half-Blood Prince’s textbook was the flimsy excuse to have them separate for a while.
I won’t try to break this down, not because of the obvious usage of the two things that had transpired in the two months between books that have some meaning (Hermione gravely injured by Dolohov, Harry informing her of the Prophecy) that could have lead to more antagonizing moments and not have Hermione become the scourge of the entire 6th book for me. No, I won’t break that down, because I’m still stuck on the idea that she thinks that they were ‘too close’. What the fuck does that even mean? I can understand characters getting away from you, but seriously, what the actual Fuck? Is she telling me, even back then, that when she was writing their natural progression as characters, bonding, their purest form of a friendship being explored (everything from a glimpse being an entire conversation (beginning of fifth book), Hermione finally conquering her fear of saying ‘Voldemort’ (despite the fact that she had never heard of the name until she turned eleven) just to convince Harry to stand up and lead a Rebellion and it leads to getting too close, have them argue over a book? She watched a professor torture her best friends in front of her, had to fight Death Eaters, got struck down, was told of the Prophecy, and could only respond with… ‘But you’re cheating!’ It’s like the entire year was the punchline to ‘Killed, or worse, expelled’ line that probably made her famous.
Look, I’m well aware that I’m saying nothing different from the rest. The sixth and seventh books have a lot of problems, problems that just can’t be ignored, and even though normal teen drama seemed to have been taking over the sixth year, it was still just as bad as everything else in that book.
“So, you just found out that the Dark Lord wants you dead. You have a literal deathwish. So we don’t have much time? How about a snippet of a flashback?” I’m not a fan of the sixth book, obviously, but the ‘romance’ was not the main reason.
Back to Ginny – I don’t hate her. I don’t love her. I felt neutral about her. And that, perhaps is the absolute worst you can feel. In sports, or any entertainment, you want to be the person they root for, or jeered at. No reaction at all, is the worst reaction.
Ginny didn’t do anything for me to care about her. She was there to be with Harry, much like Mary Jane in the Toby McGuire SpiderMan (first movie, specifically, although I actively hate her in the movies after).
Ginny is recognized for being in the Weasley family. The only daughter. Butterdish. ‘Mum, I wanna go on the train.’ Wrote in a diary she never purchased, and knew she couldn’t afford, and didn’t report when it started talking back. Sassy. Was invited to the ball by Neville. Named Dumbledore’s Army, I think. Bat-Bogey Hex. Dated Michael Corner and Dean Thomas. Inspired a dragon in Harry’s chest, and I’m convinced that it’s supposed to be a child-friendly metaphor for him growing ‘chest-hair’, meaning puberty.
Nope. Not enough.
Then, there was something that absolutely pissed me off. It wasn’t all of her actions, which, according to every other story, would make sense, as likability depends completely on a character’s actions. No, it was her inaction that irked me. It was the fact that she didn’t put up a fight, and stayed behind.
A friend had a similar problem that I didn’t think about at the time, but when he watched ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’, he was mad at the way the character of Astrid was handled. Remembering how she stood out as a character in the first movie, I have to agree. She was just so… complacent in the sequel. She just took on the role of a complacent, or dare I say it, ‘tamed’, girlfriend. Willing to step aside and wait until the hero did his hero stuff. Because it was Hiccup’s movie, and she was just there to be the supporting character. I suppose that’s alright, if she wasn’t, very aggressively, NOT that in the previous movie.
Winning a dragon race isn’t exactly the same as being the badass she was in the first movie.
That applies to Ginny. The one thing she was, that I could gather from the first six books, was that she was ‘sassy’ and ‘rebellious’. So her just letting Harry walk away, like she had no goddamn stakes, and no actual fucking emotion when Harry told her that he had to go vanquish the almighty beast that had, essentially, masterminded a plan that killed their equivalent of Merlin and God combined (Draco’s idea, but no one else knew that). From someone who regularly threatened the fucking Weasley Twins, and was part of the Ministry Six, stepping to the side was something that felt like it came straight out of the Prophecy.
I’m not going to repeat the whole reason why that was stupid. Going to a Death-Eater controlled school should explain itself. Being kidnapped by Death Eaters is another, and… going back to the school?
Ugh. But for how stupid it all was, it was what that always represented. The end goal might have been a giant family for Harry, but in the end, Ginny could have never been part of the Gryffindor Golden Trio. JK was too afraid to pull the trigger on having Ginny heavily involved in the seventh book. It was always Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Maybe it could have all lead into deeper conversations, an actual interaction between the two as they discussed how to live their lives after the war, Ginny’s fears on how the locket tugged at her in a familiar way.
Ginny should have been a Summer Girlfriend. But an abused orphan, deprived of love, clung onto someone who showed him a single semblance of affection.
See how I wove a story into that with just one sentence, and made it all make sense? They probably should have had a conversation or something like that to defend the idea. After all, that’s honestly what it looks like, and that’s a negative thing. Ginny didn’t defend herself as anything but a casual girlfriend to have. The girl that wasn’t clueless in relationships as Harry, the girl that could teach him a thing or two about how to respond to a girl (like how dates work, and how you should consider their feelings (like what he didn’t do with Parvati or Cho), and all that crap), someone who had never been in a proper relationship, before becoming no more than a friend to Harry, because her idolization of the legend that is the Boy-Who-Lived was truly over. A story arc-ish kind of moment.
Or – they form a timid friendship in fourth year, and it naturally develops from there. I will stress this – She should have been a part of the group. But I guess the ‘Golden Trio’ is more marketable. I have no idea why his group of friends didn’t expand since first year. Yeah, Neville and Luna were there, but they never really… you know, broke into the main cast of characters. They were minor characters with story arcs that conflicted with Harry’s main story. He never let them in like he did with his first friends. Well, ‘on-screen’ anyway.
Ginny should have been a powerful character, smart and fresh from her tenure under Voldemort, a supportive and knowledgeable friend who gave as much as she could take. Almost an enforcer type role, in a way. A strong support, and a stubborn friend to knock Harry back in line. A median for Ron and Hermione when they’re in one of their moods. A voice of reason, or a volcano for Harry to settle. A mix and clash, a dichotomy of a relationship, much like Ron and Hermione, but much less verbal abuse.
That’s how that relationship should have gone.
But it isn’t. And that’s how I feel about Ginny. Not enough to be mad at, not important enough to care about. Not enough of character to be called a main protagonist ultimate love interest.
But hey, that’s just me.
I will continue to break down characters, Harry Potter-verse or otherwise, so tell me who you think should be next, and you’re welcome to contribute to this in the comments below. I may even add to this and credit you. (Speaking of which, credit to AtomicStryker and Robert Gurrola for inspiration for some added scenes.)
Thank you for reading my over-analysis of a fictional character, and please comment below.