Ron Weasley sucks

By Eric Crampton 08/02/2014

Finally. JK Rowling’s admitted what readers of Yudkowsky’s continuum have long known: Ron Weasley sucks. Well, she didn’t quite put it that way – she said instead that Hermoine should never have wound up with Weasley. Which is true, because Weasley sucks.

In Harry Potter and the Methods Of Rationality, Potter was trained in the methods of science and rationality before discovering magical Britain. And so he decided to approach magic scientifically to see how it worked. Great fun.

Here’s how Yudkowsky’s continuum dealt with Weasley. Harry meets him in Chapter 7. We don’t hear from him much after that. Which is as it should be.

“Cor,” said the red-haired boy, “are you really Harry Potter?”
Not this again. “I have no logical way of knowing that for certain. My parents raised me tobelieve that my name was Harry James Potter-Evans-Verres, and many people here have told me that I look like my parents, I mean my other parents, but,” Harry frowned, realising, “for all I know, there could easily be spells to polymorph a child into a specified appearance -“
“Er, what, mate?”
Not headed for Ravenclaw, I take it. “Yes, I’m Harry Potter.”
[After Ron explains Quidditch]: “So let me get this straight,” Harry said as it seemed that Ron’s explanation (with associated hand gestures) was winding down. “Catching the Snitch is worth one hundred and fifty points? ”
“Yeah -“
“How many ten-point goals does one side usually score not counting the Snitch?”
“Um, maybe fifteen or twenty in professional games -“
“That’s just wrong. That violates every possible rule of game design. Look, the rest of this game sounds like it might make sense, sort of, for a sport I mean, but you’re basically saying that catching the Snitch overwhelms almost any ordinary point spread. The two Seekers are up there flying around looking for the Snitch and usually not interacting with anyone else, spotting the Snitch first is going to be mostly luck -“
“It’s not luck!” protested Ron. “You’ve got to keep your eyes moving in the right pattern -“
“That’s not interactive, there’s no back-and-forth with the other player and how much fun is it to watch someone incredibly good at moving their eyes? And then whichever Seeker gets lucky swoops in and grabs the Snitch and makes everyone else’s work moot. It’s like someone took a real game and grafted on this pointless extra position so that you could be the Most Important Player without needing to really get involved or learn the rest of it. Who was the first Seeker, the King’s idiot son who wanted to play Quidditch but couldn’t understand the rules?” Actually, now that Harry thought about it, that seemed like a surprisingly good hypothesis. Put him on a broomstick and tell him to catch the shiny thing…
Ron’s face pulled into a scowl. “If you don’t like Quidditch, you don’t have to make fun of it!”
“If you can’t criticise, you can’t optimise. I’m suggesting how to improve the game. And it’s very simple. Get rid of the Snitch.”
“They won’t change the game just ’cause you say so!”
“I am the Boy-Who-Lived, you know. People will listen to me. And maybe if I can persuade them to change the game at Hogwarts, the innovation will spread.”
A look of absolute horror was spreading over Ron’s face. “But, but if you get rid of the Snitch, how will anyone know when the game ends?”
Buy… a… clock. It would be a lot fairer than having the game sometimes end after ten minutes and sometimes not end for hours, and the schedule would be a lot more predictable for the spectators, too.” Harry sighed. “Oh, stop giving me that look of absolute horror, I probably won’t actually take the time to destroy this pathetic excuse for a national sport and remake it stronger and smarter in my own image. I’ve got way, way, way more important stuff to worry about.” Harry looked thoughtful. “Then again, it wouldn’t take much time to write up the Ninety-Five Theses of the Snitchless Reformation and nail it to a church door -“

And the best part: after Ron tells Harry to tell Draco to go away:

Harry counted to ten inside his head, which for him was a very quick 12345678910 – an odd habit left over from the age of five when his mother had first instructed him to do it, and Harry had reasoned that his way was faster and ought to be just as effective. “I’m not telling him to go away,” Harry said calmly. “He’s welcome to talk to me if he wants.”
“Well, I don’t intend to hang around with anyone who hangs around with Draco Malfoy,” Ron announced coldly.
Harry shrugged. “That’s up to you. I don’t intend to let anyone say who I can and can’t hang around with.” Silently chanting, please go away, please go away…
Ron’s face went blank with surprise, like he’d actually expected that line to work. Then Ron spun about, yanked his luggage’s lead and stormed off down the platform.
“If you didn’t like him,” Draco said curiously, “why didn’t you just walk away?”
“Um… his mother helped me figure out how to get to this platform from the King’s Cross Station, so it was kind of hard to tell him to get lost. And it’s not that I hate this Ron guy,” Harry said, “I just, just…” Harry searched for words.
“Don’t see any reason for him to exist?” offered Draco.
“Pretty much.”

The whole world anxiously awaits the arrival of Chapter 102. I will provide no further spoilers. But if you thought that Ron Weasley sucked, you really need to read HPMOR. Start with Chapter 1.

0 Responses to “Ron Weasley sucks”

  • I love Ron Weasley! Granted he is a knob but there’s always one of those types lurking in every book I’ve read…and I read a lot.