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Ginny Weasley

Ginevra Molly "Ginny" Weasley is a fictional character in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. Initially, Ginny's role is minor: she is identified solely as the younger sister of Ron Weasley, Harry Potter's best friend. She does have a crush on Harry, and is uncharacteristically bashful in his presence. As the series progresses, Rowling greatly expands Ginny's role, developing her character and eventually including her as an active participant in Harry's adventures and the quest to defeat Lord Voldemort, and as Harry's principal love interest.

Character development

Ginny is the youngest of the seven Weasley children and the only daughter, "the first girl to be born into the Weasley clan for several generations". According to Rowling, this makes her a very gifted witch. Rowling's official site states her birthday as 11 August, 1981. One of Ginny's central stories in the series is as Harry's ultimate love interest. In an interview with The Leaky Cauldron and MuggleNet, Rowling revealed that she "always knew that that was going to happen, that they were going to come together and then part." The author explained that, as the series progresses, Harry, and by extension the reader, discovers that Ginny is in fact the ideal girl for him. Rowling stated that Harry "needs to be with someone who can stand the demands of being with Harry Potter, because he's a scary boyfriend in a lot of ways." By the later part of the series, Ginny and Harry "are total equals" and "worthy of each other". The author also commented that she enjoyed writing the "big emotional journey" that both characters go through, and that she really likes Ginny as a character.

Appearances

First four books

Ginny is introduced in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. She makes only two appearances in Philosopher's Stone when Harry and four of her brothers leave for Hogwarts. Though too young to enrol, she begs her mother to let her go to the school. At the end of the book, she is excited to catch a glimpse of Harry when he returns.

Ginny becomes more important in the series in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, when she is a first-year Hogwarts student. She joins the Gryffindor House a year below Harry and Ron. While she appears to play a mostly behind-the-scenes role in the book, looking mysteriously ill and providing light humour with her obvious crush on Harry, Ginny is essential to the book's plotline: a series of unexplained attacks that leave several Muggle-born students petrified. Harry eventually discovers that a magical diary once belonging to Tom Riddle (the young Voldemort) is possessing her as a means to access the Chamber of Secrets, and unleash a Basilisk on the school. It is later revealed that Lucius Malfoy was responsible for planting the diary amongst Ginny's new school books; he hoped that her actions would discredit her father and lead to Albus Dumbledore's removal from Hogwarts. After Ginny naively tells "Tom" (the memory residing inside the diary, in which she writes) about Harry's survival and Voldemort's destruction, Riddle brings her to the Chamber of Secrets, intending to restore himself to full life by killing her. Harry, however, discovers the entrance to the Chamber, and with help from Fawkes and the Sorting Hat destroys both the Basilisk and Riddle's diary, thus saving Ginny's life. Rowling explained that Ginny does not owe Harry a life debt for saving her life. When asked what would have happened if Ginny had died and Riddle had escaped the diary, the author replied that this "would have strengthened the present-day Voldemort considerably.

The climactic scene in which Harry saves Ginny from Riddle's diary and the basilisk is compared by several Christian writers to John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress, as in this scene "Harry descends to a deep underworld, is confronted by two satanic minions (Voldemort and a giant serpent), is saved from certain death by his faith in Dumbledore (the bearded God the Father/Ancient of Days), rescues the virgin (Virginia [sic] Weasley), and ascends in triumph. It is noteworthy that this statement predates Rowling's revelation that Ginny's full name is actually Ginevra, not Virginia.

Ginny has little involvement in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire; she directly interacts with Harry only three times in the two books. In The Goblet of Fire, Ginny honours a promise to attend the Yule Ball with Neville Longbottom, despite Ron's telling her to go with Harry.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Ginny becomes a more important character. By the opening of the book, she has "given up on Harry months ago", and Harry and Ron learn that she met her current boyfriend, Michael Corner, while accompanying Neville to the Yule Ball. By then, Hermione Granger is aware that Ginny has a boyfriend, but Ginny has not told her protective brothers because she knows that they will "take it badly." Ginny displays a talent for Quidditch not formerly known to the reader or to the rest of the Weasley family. Hermione reveals that since her brothers would not let her play Quidditch with them, Ginny had been breaking into the broom shed and practicing secretly with their brooms since the age of six. When Dolores Umbridge punishes Harry with a "lifetime" Quidditch ban, Ginny replaces him as Gryffindor's Seeker. Though everyone agrees that she is not as talented a Seeker as Harry, she proves a good replacement as she catches the Snitch in two important games. She later becomes a Chaser, a position which she finds she is more comfortable with.

Ginny also joins Dumbledore's Army. While in the D.A., she displays that she is an immensely talented witch: in the film adaptation her power is first shown in the Room of Requirement, where she destroys a mechanical Death Eater with the Reductor Curse, and later in the Department of Mysteries, where she almost obliterates a real Death Eater by using the same spell; we also see that her Patronus is a horse. Both these events are examples of Rowling's subtle parallel contrasting Ginny with Cho Chang throughout book five (as displayed on her chapter-plan for the book on her website), in order to establish which girl is a better match for Harry. Ginny is one of the five members of the D.A. who join Harry's attempt to rescue Sirius Black from the Department of Mysteries. During the fight, a Death Eater breaks her ankle and she is knocked out, but she is restored to full health by Madam Pomfrey, back at Hogwarts. Ginny breaks up with Michael when she finds him to be "sulky" over the Ravenclaw Quidditch team suffering a loss to Gryffindor, and soon starts dating Dean Thomas.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Early in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, readers learn that Ginny has indeed become "too popular for her own good". Professor Horace Slughorn respects her magical abilities enough — after seeing her cast the Bat-Bogey Hex on Zacharias Smith — to invite her to join his "Slug Club", an exclusive group of students hand-picked by Slughorn as promising young achievers or students from influential families. Ginny spends more time with Harry when she becomes a Chaser for the Gryffindor Quidditch team, and substitutes for Harry as Seeker when Severus Snape puts him in detention during the Quidditch Final.

After witnessing Ginny kissing Dean fiercely in a private hallway, Harry, in a sudden surge of jealousy, feels the urge to jinx him. He tries to chalk up his emotions for her as equal to his emotions for Ron; she's "like a sister to him". However, after nights of dreams with her in them and fantasizing about kissing her, Harry soon comes to terms with the fact that he fancies Ginny, but since Ron has voiced his frustrations over Dean dating his sister, Harry interprets this as Ron not wanting any of his friends to date her. This leads to a shouting match and cold relations between Ron and Ginny until Ron is poisoned, after which all is forgiven. Ginny hates it when Dean hovers over her and the relationship turns sour after Christmas. They finally break up in April, with an accidental "nudge" from Harry under the effects of Felix Felicis, a potion which brings the drinker luck. Though worried about Ron's reaction, Harry now takes advantage of any chance to spend more time with her away from the prying eyes of their classmates. After Gryffindor wins the Quidditch Cup against Ravenclaw, Ginny trumps Cho in the final as Harry serves a detention with Snape. When Harry returns to the common room, Ginny rushes to him and hugs him in victory. Overcome with delight at victory, Harry kisses her, thus sparking their relationship.

Ginny, along with the other four members of the D.A. who went to the Ministry with Harry the preceding year, tries to protect the school when Harry and Dumbledore are away. They, along with several members of the Order of the Phoenix end up fighting the Death Eaters who have entered the school aided by Draco Malfoy. Ginny escapes without injury. After Dumbledore's death, Harry decides to end their relationship as he fears his feelings for Ginny would place her in danger. Harry is then surprised at how well Ginny handles his decision.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Ginny is first seen in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows after Harry is brought to the Weasley home before his birthday; Harry was escorted by members of the Order of the Phoenix to the Burrow to hide out before his seventeenth birthday. While waiting for the others to turn up, Harry fights an overwhelming urge to hug her, even though Mrs. Weasley is present. Propelled by the revelation that Harry, Ron, and Hermione are leaving to seek the remaining Horcruxes, Ginny asks Harry to come into her bedroom and gives him a kiss that Harry notes is more passionate than any that the two had shared the year before. Ron "accidentally" walks in on the moment, however, and Harry notes that she seems to be, for once, reduced to tears by this. Ron tells Harry that Ginny was "cut up" when he ended their relationship and asks him to promise not to "go snogging her again," as she will "get her hopes up," Harry, remembering the reasons why he broke up with Ginny, reluctantly agrees. Despite their break-up, Harry's feelings for Ginny are still strong, which he frequently addresses throughout the book. While on the journey, Harry compares missing Ginny to having a "constant stomach ache." He also frequently takes out the Marauders' Map to search the school for Ginny's labeled dot. For much of the novel, Ginny's experiences are revealed only indirectly; she is at Hogwarts while the three lead characters are not, and the reader only learns of her activities as the central characters hear news of what is happening at the school. Through the portrait of Phineas Nigellus Black, they learn that she is leading -along with Neville and Luna Lovegood- a re-formed D.A., and has been banned from Hogsmeade trips. Ginny participates in a plot to steal Gryffindor's sword from Snape, whom she thinks is working for Voldemort. While on Easter Holiday, Ron is discovered on the run with Harry and Hermione, endangering the Weasley family. Ginny goes into hiding with her family and does not return to Hogwarts.

Going nearly a year without seeing her, Harry marvels at her beauty when she comes to Hogwarts to fight in the Battle of Hogwarts but, with the danger looming, notes he "had never been less pleased to see her." Mrs Weasley struggles with Ginny, who is still underage, to keep her out of the battle while Ginny protests. Remus Lupin suggests that Ginny stay hidden in the room, close to battle but out of harm's way. Ginny dislikes this but agrees. Later, when Harry needs to change the setting of the Room of Requirement to secure a Horcrux, Ginny looks delighted to leave the room and joins in the fighting. Even though she suffered the loss of her brother Fred, Ginny retreats to the castle grounds to help students. Ginny, Hermione, and Luna take on Bellatrix Lestrange. When Ginny narrowly avoids a Killing Curse, Harry decides to change his course to run over and take on Bellatrix, instead of Voldemort, but Mrs Weasley beats him to the fight and kills Bellatrix. When the battle ends and Voldemort is defeated, Harry sees Ginny with her mother and decides to not interrupt, thinking that "there would be time to talk later, hours and days and maybe years".

Epilogue

In the epilogue, set nineteen years after the events of The Deathly Hallows, Harry and Ginny are married and have three children: sons James Sirius and Albus Severus, and daughter Lily Luna. Rowling has extrapolated on Ginny's future, saying that after leaving Hogwarts, Ginny joins the Holyhead Harpies and, after spending a few years as a celebrated player, retires from the team to start a family with Harry. Ginny later becomes Senior Quidditch correspondent at the Daily Prophet.

Film portrayal

Ginny has appeared in all five film adaptations of the Harry Potter film series, played by Bonnie Wright. It is confirmed that Wright will play the part of Ginny in the sixth film.

Wright has described the character of Ginny as "Outgoing, friendly and confident. In an interview with Telegraph prior to the release of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Wright revealed that she got the role because her brother had read the books and told her she reminded him of Ginny, and when the casting took place, her brother told her she should go. Wright also commented that she wanted Ginny to end up joining Harry in his quest to defeat Voldemort as she thought Harry should not "have to go it alone." When asked about the scene in which Ginny and Harry kiss, Wright said she "wasn't expecting it at all. But I suppose I’ll get a feel of what’s to come when I see Katie and Dan’s kiss in this film."

While speaking about Ginny's character development in Order of the Phoenix, Wright stated that she "definitely enjoyed" doing the film, as Ginny is more confident and it was "really interesting to be a part of" the trip to the Ministry. When asked what she feels about "being a Weasley", Wright answered that she thinks "the humour in the Weasley family brings things more alive."

Attributes

Outward appearance

Ginny is described in the series as being small in stature, having long red hair and bright brown eyes. In the sixth book, Pansy Parkinson states that many boys consider Ginny attractive.

Personality

Rowling characterises Ginny as funny, "very warm and compassionate", and "tough, not in an unpleasant way, but... gutsy". During the first books, Ginny is portrayed as shy and quiet in Harry's presence, but according to Ron she actually "never shuts up". As Ginny's character emerges, Ginny becomes more confident, especially after Hermione advises her to give up on Harry, and begins dating other boys. Readers see evidence that she is extremely assertive, has a fierce temper and can be unkind when angered, but also that she is thoughtful and comforting when her sympathies are aroused. Ginny is one of the few characters who can say Voldemort's name without fear, as well as is one of the few characters who can address Harry calmly during his worst moods. Rowling draws some comparison between Lily Evans, Harry's mother, and Ginny as she said that Lily was popular as Ginny is. The author also commented that Ginny and Harry "are real soul mates" and that "They're both very strong and very passionate. That's their connection, and they're remarkable together.

Magical abilities

Little is known about Ginny's magical abilities during the first part of the series, but as Ginny joins Dumbledore's Army in the fifth book, she displays great power. As stated by Rowling, Ginny is a gifted witch, and her abilities are hinted several times during the series. George Weasley claims that "size is no guarantee of power" as he recalls being "on the receiving end of one of her Bat-Bogey Hexes", making this one of her signature spells. Professor Slughorn respects too much her magical abilities, that he invites her to join his Slug Club. Ginny demonstrated powerful magic in the final book as she can handle herself in the Battle of Hogwarts despite being only sixteen years old at that time. Ginny is also a talented Quidditch player. Hermione reveals to Harry and the Weasleys that this is due to the fact that Ginny has been practising since the age of six.

Under the influence of Tom Riddle's diary in the second book, Ginny is able to use Parseltongue to open the Chamber of Secrets. Rowling revealed that, as the part of Voldemort's soul inside the diary is destroyed by Harry, Ginny is no longer a Parselmouth nor possessed by Voldemort. In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, her Patronus Charm takes the form of a horse.

Family tree

References

External links

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