You could say I’ve got a lot to live up to. . . . Everyone expects me to do as well as the others, but if I do, it’s no big deal, because they did it first. You never get anything new, either, with five brothers.

Almost the first thing Ron reveals to Harry is that he is not looking forward to starting at Hogwarts under the shadow of his five older brothers’ reputations. Ron is accustomed to being his family’s youngest son, and therefore the lowest on the totem pole. He receives hand-me-downs and the brunt of Fred and George’s teasing.  He doesn’t believe he can do anything special compared to what his brothers have already accomplished at Hogwarts. Despite this, Ron immediately makes friends with the famous Harry Potter. Ron is a loyal friend, sticking by Harry through everything. His deepest desire is to make a name for himself, but by novel’s end, he is willing to sacrifice that dream to save his friends.

You’ve got to stand up to him, Neville! . . . He’s used to walking all over people, but that’s no reason to lie down in front of him and make it easier.

When Neville comes back to the Gryffindor common room with his legs magically glued together by Draco, Ron forcefully tells Neville to stand up to his bully. Neville takes this comment to mean Ron doesn’t think he’s brave, but Ron’s intent seems closer to a desire to see Draco’s power diminished. Ron is quick to jump to his friends’ defenses, even dragging Draco into an outright brawl during a Quidditch match because Draco insulted Harry. Despite his bluntness, Ron’s advice for Neville becomes the very thing that gives Neville the courage to try and stop the trio from putting themselves and their House at risk.

That’s chess . . . You’ve got to make some sacrifices! I’ll make my move and she’ll take me – that leaves you free to checkmate the king, Harry!

Ron’s loyalty and his chess proficiency are both imperative to helping Harry stop Voldemort from getting the Stone. Throughout the book, Ron proves he is a practiced strategist, and Professor McGonagall’s life-size chess game proves Ron can strategize even under pressure. Ron’s deepest desire is to achieve his own glory, but he is willing to sacrifice that personal success to help Harry and Hermione make it through the chess game. By sacrificing himself, Ron proves he cares more about his friends than his pride, and his actions not only make sure Harry can defeat Voldemort, but also earn Gryffindor points toward the House cup.