The Weasley family is the sweetest part of Harry Potter. They fight and goof off together like a normal family, and they aren't particularly well off. Even so, they love each other and extend their means as far as possible to make everyone feel loved — including chosen family members like Harry Potter. Part of what makes the family feel so full is how each one of the Weasleys becomes a three-dimensional character of their own. It's not just Harry's best friend Ron. Every Weasley has a distinct personality and a unique reason to love them.
As the series progresses, it becomes clear how heroic the Weasley family is. They may be pure-blooded, but they're willing to stand up to Voldemort in a way few other families are. They battle back his evil and represent what is good about the wizarding world. Because the family is given such vivid life by author J.K. Rowling, there are plenty of details about them audiences might not know. From family feuds to bloodlines, here are 40 things you didn't know about the Weasley family.
The Weasleys aren't meant to have a great deal of money. It's one of the reasons Harry is so drawn to them because they aren't at all stuck up or snooty. For that reason, the Burrow is meant to be a pretty modest — but no less magical — home. In the movies, though, the land surrounding that home is always changing.
It's understandable that the films couldn't use the same land over the ten years when the movies were shot. Still, it's often jarring to consider how the Burrow's surroundings have shifted. You would think someone in the family would notice that they live in a completely different place.
Decades before the story of Harry Potter begins, The Pureblood Directory was written. The book designated the 28 families in the wizarding world who could still claim pureblood heritage. That meant that their blood had not mixed with muggle blood at all.
The Weasleys were among those families, as were the Malfoys and the Blacks. The families were referred to as the "Sacred 28." While many of the families on the list were proud of their inclusion, the Weasleys were not. They often went out of their way to help muggles and befriend them, as the story reveals time and time again.
Because the Weasleys are so willing to befriend muggles, many of the other pureblood families consider them to be blood-traitors. This means that they have betrayed the wizarding world by aligning themselves with muggles. Of course, that point of view is totally warped and misguided. The Weasleys know that magical ability does not make wizards and witches superior to muggles.
Questions of character and morality are what separate the good from the bad. It's the choices we make that define us, not the gifts we are born with. That's one of Harry Potter's largest lessons and the Weasleys are a perfect embodiment of it.
Although the entire Weasley family has an important role in the story, Ron is definitely the family's most important character. He's Harry's best friend, and he plays an enormous role in Voldemort's downfall. It's no surprise, then, that Ron's name is mentioned 5,809 times over the course of the novels.
Ron is the second friend that Harry makes in the wizarding world, after Hagrid. The two of them bond on the train to Hogwarts, and Ron is a huge reason that Harry chooses to be in Gryffindor. Without Ron, Harry's story would be much different, and potentially quite a bit darker.
The Burrow may not be much, but it's a warm, friendly place, especially for Harry. Harry stays at the Burrow when he's left the Dursleys for the summer. That makes it a refuge for him, a place where he can go to be with his favorite people.
Harry often said that the Burrow was his favorite place, which makes sense. It's the home that he always wanted, one where he was treated like a normal part of the family. The Weasleys are Harry's surrogate family. The Burrow is his home away from home, a place he can go to feel comforted.
Percy's falling out with the rest of his family is rectified by the end of the series. Because that falling out had so much to do with his loyalty to the Ministry, Percy tried to split the difference between his family and his work.
Percy eventually became the head of the Department of Magical Transportation. It's an important reminder that ambition will get you far, but so will the love of your family. Percy wanted to be the Minister of Magic. Instead, he spent a little more time with the people he loved, and still had a pretty great career as well.
Ron is not the most threatening presence, but that's not a bad thing. He's a warm and comforting figure for Harry for most of the story. They have their fights, but most of the time they're relatively minor. Ron is a good companion. He's loyal and sweet, but he can be mean when he needs to.
That's why Ron's Patronus is a Jack Russell Terrier. It's a cute, loyal animal that can also be quite fierce. Patronuses are supposed to reflect the personalities of their owners. Ron's does that perfectly and reinforces the idea that he's a great friend and companion for Harry and Hermione.
The Burrow is a busy place in part because the Weasleys are largely self-sufficient. They grow a lot of their own food, which means they have a rather large garden. In the wizarding world, a large garden is likely to attract gnomes. These gnomes don't just scare away squirrels, though.
They're actual magical creatures that infest a garden and are quite capable of ruining its produce. There are few animals capable of more destruction, which is why Harry and Ron are tasked with de-gnoming the garden in several Harry Potter video games. Those de-gnoming sequences didn't make the films, but they can take some solace in their appearance in the video gaming world.
The Weasleys live near a fictional England village, but it's one that's named after a real place. Ottery St. Mary is an actual village near Exeter, which is where J.K. Rowling went to university. The fictional village of Ottery St. Catchpole is home to the Weasleys as well as the Lovegoods, the Diggorys, and the Fawcetts.
It seems like a rural part of England, a quiet place for wizards to settle. It makes sense that these homes are fairly spaced out. After all, hiding magical activity can be a tricky thing if there are lots of muggles lurking about everywhere.
Harry Potter called on a number of brilliant British actors to fill the series many roles. Julie Walters was one such actress. She plays Molly Weasley, and she's in almost every film, with one notable exception. Although she filmed scenes for Goblet of Fire, they were ultimately cut for time.
The filmmakers were concerned that Molly's scenes in the film made it drag slightly, and so Walters isn't in the film. That kind of thing happens to actors all the time. Still, it would have been nice for Julie to be able to appear in every single film in the series.
Ron eventually joins the Gryffindor Quidditch team himself, but before that, he was a fan of the Chudley Cannons. The Cannons are a professional Quidditch team that Ron follows and knows a great deal about. The team plays in the British and Irish Quidditch League, but they last won the League Cup in 1892.
Many Quidditch prognosticators believe the team's glory days are behind them, but the Weasleys surely love lost causes. Ron supports the team in spite of their failures. He has faith that one day they'll be as great as they once were, and like any good sports fan, he'll be there to see it.
One of the craziest fan theories out there is that Ron Weasley is actually young Albus Dumbledore. The evidence behind this theory isn't exactly convincing, but there are some interesting tidbits. Both characters have long noses, and Dumbledore was supposed to have red hair in his youth. What's more, the scar on Dumbledore's leg could be from when Ron broke his during Prisoner of Azkaban.
The theory is pretty unlikely, in part because their personalities are so different. What's more, Ron isn't a particularly gifted wizard. Dumbledore, on the other hand, is supposed to be one of the greatest wizards to ever carry a wand.
After the events at the end of Deathly Hallows, both Harry and Ron become Aurors. They certainly have the experience to catch dark wizards, and they're both good at thinking on their feet. After Ron did that for a few years, he left the Ministry of Magic to help George run Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes.
The joke shop is one George started with Fred before his tragic death. Ron was always just a little salty about the fact that he didn't receive a family discount. It's possible that he went to help George just so he could get his hands on some of the store's joke gifts at a discounted rate.
The Burrow looks a bit ramshackle, and that's partially explained by the huge family the Weasleys have crammed inside it. Part of the house's appearance can also be explained by how Arthur Weasley went about building it. Instead of using normal building materials, Arthur chose to build it out of muggle scraps.
Arthur has long been obsessed with anything created by muggles, and his house is a tribute to that. The house is built out of the leftovers even muggles couldn't find a use for. Arthur could, though, and managed to recycle the stuff in order to create a unique home for his family.
The Battle of Hogwarts is the climax of the entire Harry Potter story, so it's fitting that many of the story's characters would want to commemorate it. Bill and Fleur do so by naming their daughter after the battle.
Victoire, which means "victory" in French, was born on the first anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts. Her name is meant to honor the victory, but also remember those who lost their lives in that fight. Bill lost a brother, and others lost even more. It was a battle worth fighting, but it came with more than its share of sacrifices.
Angelina Johnson had had an ongoing relationship with both Fred and George in the background of all the Harry Potter novels. They play together on the Quidditch team, and Angelina went to the Yule Ball with Fred. After Fred's death, George married Angelina Johnson and they had two children together.
Their children were named Fred II and Roxanne. Fred II is clearly a tribute to George's late twin brother. Angelina and George both fought in the Battle of Hogwarts alongside Fred, and their son's name is another way for them to commemorate his sacrifice. Angelina Johnson is a relatively minor character, but even she has an impact on the story.
In the movies, the team behind-the-scenes worked incredibly hard to make the Burrow feel like a home. One way they achieved that feeling was by adding children's drawings to many of the walls. It makes sense that any proud parent would hang their children's drawings, and the Weasleys had lots of children.
These drawings were done by real kids so that they would look convincing, and strewn about the house. The Burrow is a lovely, warm place, but it's also a little chaotic. The drawings contribute to that feeling of chaos and make the whole house feel like it's teeming with life.
Harry is often gifted with the fastest racing brooms around. His family had quite a bit of money, and Sirius bought him the Firebolt he relies on for much of the series. The Weasleys don't have as much money, so Ron's quidditch broom is not nearly as nice.
He flies as Cleansweep Eleven as the keeper for Gryffindor, and the broom does its job well. Ron ends up having a pretty remarkable game and becomes more confident in himself as a result. Whether he was flying a Cleansweep Eleven or a Firebolt, Ron is a more naturally talented flyer than he gives himself credit for.
Ron may have been a decent Quidditch player, but Ginny was even more talented. She was a chaser, and she went on to play professional Quidditch for several years. She played for the Hollyhead Harpies, an all-female team that likely competed with Ron's beloved Chudley Cannons.
Ginny stopped playing Quidditch eventually and took a position as the Quidditch correspondent for The Daily Prophet. That's when she also started a family with Harry. Ginny's talent at the game was evident in the books, and she made good on it later. The Weasleys produced some great Quidditch talent, but none was greater than Ginny.
Although the Burrow is never touched in the books, in the movies, it's burned down by Death Eaters. It happens in Half-Blood Prince when the family is home for the holiday. It's meant to reinforce how grim the situation is in the wizarding world. Death Eaters can basically do whatever they want.
The added scene confused some fans of the series who knew that it didn't appear in the books. The Burrow is an important landmark in the Harry Potter story, and burning it down doesn't make a ton of sense. It's never addressed where the Weasleys live in the aftermath of the fire, either.
Actors often take props from sets when they're through filming, even if they aren't allowed to. It's a way of commemorating the experience. That explains why Chris Rankin, the actor who plays Percy, stole Percy's jumper or sweater from the set. Chris ultimately had to return the sweater when someone on set discovered that it was missing.
Ironically, Chris's character Percy would not have approved of his theft. Percy is nothing if not a rule-follower. He cares quite a bit about authority and power. That explains why he followed the Ministry for years at the expense of his connection to his family.
The Burrow is one of the most ornate sets in the Harry Potter films because it's supposed to feel like a cluttered house. When people take the Harry Potter studio tour, they visit the kitchen in the Burrow. The kitchen is on full display for the tours, complete with many of the props used during the filming.
Taking that tour, it can be easy to immerse yourself in the world of the films. You can pretend to be a Weasley, if only for an hour or so. Because the kitchen is on full display, it's one of the most visited locations in the entire tour.
Ron and Harry don't divination class very seriously, and with good reason. Even so, some of the predictions that Ron makes in the class end up coming true. One such prediction is that Harry will come into a great sum of money in the near future. The next year, Harry wins the cash prize at the end of the TriWizard Tournament.
Ron also speculates that Tom Riddle earned his honor for special services to the school for murdering Moaning Myrtle. While that's not actually the case, and it's not really a prediction, Ron is right that Tom Riddle did murder her.
One of the greatest inventions in the Harry Potter series is Molly Weasley's clock. This clock tells the Weasley matriarch where every member of her family is at the moment. It's a useful way to keep track of your children, especially when you have so many.
When Lord Voldemort returns, each one of the clocks points to mortal peril. This suggests that no matter where the Weasleys go, while Voldemort is in power, they'll be in danger. It's a terrifying reality that now hangs over their lives. That's what Voldemort's return means for every wizarding family, but especially for the blood-traitor Weasleys.
Most of the time, when someone curses in Harry Potter, it's only referenced obliquely. We don't see any swear words at all until the seventh book. When we do see one, it's Molly Weasley who gets to utter it.
Molly is usually an unfailingly kind person, but when Bellatrix Lestrange begins attacking her daughter, she steps up. "Not my daughter, you bitch," is one of the most famous lines in the entire series, and with good reason. Molly gets the only curse word in any of the books, and she uses it effectively. She even takes Bellatrix Lestrange out in the process.
Fred and George would likely be very proud of the lengths James and Oliver Phelps went to to audition to play them. The twins skipped school to make the audition and ended up getting the parts. Turns out, sometimes skipping class does pay off.
Of course, their willingness to flout the rules proved they were perfect for Fred and George. Of all the characters in the books, Fred and George are the two who care the least about the rules. They go out of their way to break them quite frequently, in fact. They like chaos, and even quit school early when it stops being fun for them.
Charlie Weasley is by far the most mysterious member of the Weasley family. He barely appears in any of the books, and even his room at the Burrow is something of a mystery considering J.K. Rowling is pretty fastidious about laying out all of the details of the spaces she's describing.
When it comes to Charlie's room, though, she's a bit oblique. It's likely just an oversight on her part, but it does seem like an odd one. It sometimes feels like J.K. forgets about Charlie for large stretches of time. It's easy to do, considering he barely factors into the story the books are telling.
Percy's fight with his mother is the stuff of legend. When she insisted that Voldemort had returned and went against the Ministry, he left the house. They didn't speak again for quite some time. Ultimately, the two of them reconciled after Percy realized the error of his ways.
In the end, Percy named one of his daughters Molly after his mother. It was a way to pay tribute to her and try to make up for the pain he had caused her. Molly loved nothing more than her family, and it tore her up to know that Percy had renounced them all.
The Burrow burns down in The Half-Blood Prince, but by the time Deathly Hallows starts, it's totally restored. The movies never explain how the building was restored. It seems like the filmmakers realized burning it down was a mistake, and were hoping some fans would just forget it happened.
Some probably did, but others were left wondering what had happened to the Weasleys' house. Of course, the Weasleys are magical people, so they may have been able to rebuild the house rather quickly. Even so, you'd think if that was the case they would at least mention it in one of the movies.
While not every member of the Weasley clan has a name that references Arthurian legend, many do. Arthur Weasley is named after King Arthur, and Molly's uncle is named Lancelot. Percy is a reference to Percival, one of the knights of the roundtable, and Ginny is a form of Guinevere.
While these connections might not mean much, they are interesting. The Weasleys are a noble and heroic family, so their names fit them well. Of course, Harry Potter plays with many of the elements of Arthurian mythology. The story of King Arthur is one of the foundational text for modern storytelling, and J.K. Rowling riffs on it liberally.
When Harry looks in the Mirror of Erised, he sees his parents. He longs for his family more than anything else in the world. When Ron looked in the mirror, he saw himself as Quidditch captain and head boy. Those may seem like superficial desires, but they speak to something deeper.
What Ron really longs for is validation. His older siblings took Hogwarts by storm, and Ron wanted to do the same as a boy. He wanted to live up to his older brothers. Ron ultimately did that and more and became a prefect in his own right during his fifth year.
Not every Weasley played Quidditch, but a Weasley has played every Quidditch position for Gryffindor. Ginny was a chaser, Fred and George were beaters, Charlie was a seeker, and Ron was a keeper. Although they didn't all play at the same time, the Weasleys have always been a big part of the Gryffindor roster.
It seems like there's some natural flying talent in the family. When five of your seven children are good enough to make the team, something must be going well. It's unclear how much flying the Weasleys did at home. Maybe they just had a natural aptitude for it.
One of the best things about Ron is what a normal kid he is. Like most kids, he has a habit of collecting something. For Ron, it's chocolate frog cards. He has around 500, all of them documenting one famous wizard or another.
When Ron meets Harry, he's just a normal kid who has had a totally normal life. That's what makes him such a perfect friend for Harry. Ron knows a lot about the wizarding world, but he's also good at goofing off and being a kid. Ron helps Harry grow up in this strange world thanks in part to his totally normal hobbies.
In the muggle world, hauntings are treated like a paranormal or supernatural occurrence. In the wizarding world, they're fairly common. The Weasleys have a ghoul living in their attic who spends most of his time moaning over Ron's room. The ghoul is described as a "slimy, buck-toothed ogre."
He actually becomes important to the story when it comes down from the attic dressed as Ron. The ghoul is pretending to be a sick Ron so that the Ministry doesn't know he's out hunting Horcruxes. Ghouls may be more of a nuisance than anything else, but they can occasionally find ways to be useful.
Because Percy had estranged himself from his family, he was not in attendance at Bill and Fleur's wedding. The wedding was held at the Burrow, where space is a bit tight. As a result, Fleur and her sister stayed in Percy's room before the ceremony was held.
Afterward, she of course stayed with Bill. Percy's leaving the family caused them a lot of hurt, but it was mighty convenient in terms of space. The rest of the Weasleys had to stay in their own rooms because they all came to support Bill. Only Percy was left hanging out in the cold.
We learn pretty early on that both Harry and his father are very talented seekers. Before Harry was Gryffindor's seeker, though, that job belonged to Charlie Weasley, and he was apparently quite good at it. His reputation suggests that he could have played professionally, and maybe even gone to the World Cup for England.
Ultimately, Charlie's fascination with magical creatures won out, and he chose to pursue a career dealing with them. That's what made he and Hagrid such close friends. Both of them loved magical creatures, maybe even a little bit too much. Charlie ultimately takes Norbert when Hagrid is forced to get rid of him.
J.K. Rowling is remarkably precious with all of the characters she creates. She seems to love them like her own children. As a result, it was somewhat surprising to discover that J.K. had considered killing off Ron in Deathly Hallows. She initially made a promise to herself that she would never kill off anyone in the main trio.
During a bout of severe depression, though, Rowling considered killing Ron. Eventually, she decided to kill Fred instead, but there was a moment where Ron's life was in danger. Thankfully, he was ultimately spared and lived to lead a happy life with Hermione.
Molly has already lost a lot of Voldemort and his army. Before Harry's story begins, Molly has lost both of her brothers to Voldemort. Her brothers' deaths is something that she rarely speaks about.
In Order of the Phoenix, as she's fighting with a boggart, we learn that Molly's greatest fear is more death in her family. It's understandable after all that she's already lost. She does lose Fred in this second war, but thankfully, that's the only person she loses. The rest of her family remains whole and continues to grow long after Voldemort and his ilk have been defeated.
One of the first things we learn about Ron is that he's a very skilled chess player. That fact comes in the very first Harry Potter novel. That chess knowledge comes in handy during Sorcerer's Stone when a game of chess is one of the challenges required to get to the stone.
Ron sacrifices himself to allow Harry to get to the stone. In the process, he plays what Dumbledore believes to be a pretty great chess game. If Dumbledore says it, who are we to deny it? Ron may not always be a genius, but he certainly has a good mind for chess.
The Weasleys may not come from money, but they will be remembered fondly by history. The entire family played a crucial role in the defeat of Voldemort. Molly and Arthur were instrumental in the Order of the Phoenix, and Ron was Harry's best friend. All of Ron's siblings pitched in as well, and they all fought in the final battle.
The work of this generation of Weasleys will loom large over the family, and with good reason. They're all heroes in their own right, even Percy. It's not easy to stand up for what's right, but every member of the Weasley family does just that.