The epilogue of the Harry Potter Series takes place nineteen years after the defeat of Lord Voldemort. In that time, Harry and his friends have started their careers and started their families. However, there’s one character that deserved a better ending: Ron Weasley.
Ron should have been a stay-at-home dad and house-husband because he deserved a softer epilogue than the one J.K. Rowling gave him. After all, his greatest anxieties all come from feelings of inadequacy that come from being compared to others and their accomplishments for his whole life. He has five older brothers whom he had to compete with for attention and praise. His best friend is Harry Potter, The Boy Who Lived, and his wife was called The Brightest Witch of Her Age all through school. He was always in someone’s shadow.
Eventually, Ron was able to build his own reputation, first as a star Quidditch keeper, and then as an integral part of defeating Voldemort. He destroyed the locket Horcrux and broke into the Chamber of Secrets for basilisk fangs to destroy more. He even found himself on his very own chocolate frog card. He has proven himself enough. He does not need to spend the rest of his professional life being compared to someone else.
Based on post-series interviews and additional information shared by author J.K. Rowling, fans know Harry and Ron became Aurors in the Ministry of Magic and worked to reform the system, and Hermione became a force for justice in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. This puts Ron squarely in the shadow of Harry and Hermione again. He does believe in justice and surely wants to improve the wizarding world, but he does not need to be Harry’s sidekick to do so.
Rowling said Ron would leave the Ministry to help George run Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, the twin’s joke shop. In this version of his career trajectory, he only left the Ministry to help George. He was stepping in to replace Fred after his tragic death in the Battle of Hogwarts. Rowling has set Ron up for a future of anxiety about not being good enough to fill Fred’s shoes.
Ron should have been allowed to be a stay-at-home dad to Rose and Hugo. He could have spent his adult life creating a home for them and a welcoming place for their friends, as well as his own. As a stay-at-home dad, he could still be active in his community and active in the social changes Rowling wanted him to be a part of–he could just do it in his own way.
Molly Weasley was a nurturing woman, and an amazing cook and homemaker. Ron could have learned a lot from his mother about building a home. The Burrow was always in chaos, but at the same time, warm and inviting to those who needed it. Ron would be able to pick the parts of his childhood that brought him joy and bring them into his own home. Rowling should have let Ron go soft in the belly and learn how to knit just like his mother. When the kids were in bed and Hermione was struggling with the work she brought home, he could bring her tea and let her rant about her day. Then he would take the cup away, let her go back to work, and start on some homemade biscuits for her to bring to the office the next day to share with Harry.
The parts of his childhood he resented, the lack of attention and being compared to his siblings, for example, he would make sure are never experienced by his own children. By being a stay-at-home dad, he would have the ability to keep track of his kids’ favorite foods and never accidentally pack them the very sandwiches they have always disliked. He would put in the effort to create a warm and stable home. If Rowling had let Ron skip joining the Ministry all together and just let him spend some time with his family learning how to cook, bake, and clean, he could have supported her as she tried to take on the whole broken institution. Then when the kids were small, he would dote on them endlessly and make sure they always felt valued and supported.
Then, maybe when both children had gone off to Hogwarts, and he had a bit of empty nest syndrome, Ron would be emotionally ready to stop by the joke shop and lend George a hand. Joining the shop after he’s had time with his own family and had time to reflect on his own life without being in someone else’s shadow, he could be part of the shop without bringing his childhood anxieties with him.
Ron would be an excellent number two under Harry Potter’s new Auror division, but why should he have to spend his entire life in the number two slot? Ron would be great at managing a joke shop and supporting his brother George, but why should he be forced to replace Fred, instead of joining when he was ready? Ron Weasley is a good man with a warm heart, and his instincts are to protect and care for others. Rowling should have let those parts of his personality thrive in a domestic environment. Ron deserved a kinder, quieter future.
Ron Weasley is a good man with a warm heart, and he should have been a stay-at-home dad in the Harry Potter epilogue.