Here’s why fans who hate Ron for leaving Harry and Hermione in Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 are wrong. The Harry Potter franchise’s climactic finale aired in two parts, based on J.K. Rowling’s book of the same name. In the last movie, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) teams up with Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) to hunt down and destroy the remaining Horcruxes—the key to the wizarding world finally defeating Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) once and for all.

When Voldemort created the seven Horcruxes, he was on a quest to achieve immortality. A Horcrux is an object with a hidden fragment of a wizard or witch’s soul, and making one requires the combination of murder and a “horrific act“, which J.K. Rowling herself keeps hidden in her books. They are usually wicked objects that have a nasty influence on anyone carrying it—except for Harry himself, who accidentally became Voldemort’s seventh Horcrux when he tried to kill him as a baby. In Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1, the trio of wizards must carry Salazar Slytherin’s locket as they continue their journey to find the other Horcruxes, as they are temporarily unable to destroy the artifact. This evil locket is one of the main reasons Rupert Grint’s character left in the movie.

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After the trio snatches the Slytherin locket from Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton) in the Ministry of Magic, they disapparate into a forest. Something goes wrong during the apparition and Ron’s arm gets badly wounded. Not only are they unable to apparate before Ron heals, but they also discover they can’t destroy the locket. Ron carries it around his neck, which enhances his feelings of insecurity and inferiority, leading to an irrational jealousy of his two best friends’ close relationship. On top of that, Ron was the only one who had a family to worry about at that point in the series, during a time when Voldemort was targeting everyone who wasn’t a pureblood Death Eater. Harry didn’t have any parents, and Hermione had used Obliviate on her parents in a heartbreaking scene, in order to protect them. Ron is left obsessing over the radio transmissions every night, expecting to hear Weasleys on the ever-growing list of dead wizards.

Throughout the Harry Potter saga, Ron struggled with showing his feelings to Hermione—much like she did, as well. But most importantly, he was always by the side of “the boy who lived,” who was always the center of attention; be it positive or negative. So for all his Hogwarts years, Ron struggled with insecure feelings of inferiority towards “the chosen one”, which were likely not made any easier by Hermione dwarfing both of them in intelligence and skill.

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Perhaps the most valuable detail to Ron’s exit in The Deathly Hallows is the fact that he comes back. He saves Harry’s life and retrieves the sword of Godric Gryffindor, which they use to destroy the locket. Harry uses Parseltongue to open the locket, and it lashes out at Ron, showing him his worst fears, screaming insults and cruel words meant to break him. Even at this moment Ron knows what to do, ignoring his fears and destroying the locket. This moment in Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 shows a general truth about Ron: that although not the obvious hero, Ron always proves he is a true Gryffindor, remaining brave and ever-loyal to his friends.

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