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Weasley is Our King

January 08, 2004

K2K: The Curious Dual Role of Ron in the chess game

What is so interesting about this game is that Ron actually plays *two* roles. He is both the Knight, fighting in the war, and the metaphorical player, giving the orders, when, as we all know, Dumbledore is the one calling the shots, directing the troops in the larger game (the war). Dumbledore is the metaphorical chess player in the war on the side of good. If he is a piece in the game (and he most certainly is), he is the King. However, in the game the trio plays, it is RON who directs all the action. It is Ron who is the metaphorical player. How do we reconcile this?

Rowling gives us the answer in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix:
Weasley is Our King

The metaphorical player in the game of chess is the King. His actual physical moves are limited, but if he is taken out of the game (checkmate), the game is over. Kings are leaders, they give the orders, and they direct the war, just as Ron does on the chess board. However, catchy little ditty by an unctuous Slytherin aside, Ronald Weasley does not, on the surface at least, appear to play the part of the King in the series.

Several people have pointed out how odd it was that Ron didn’t make Harry or Hermione the King in the chess game. Not only does Ron have to keep himself along with Harry and Hermione safe, he has to also make sure the King isn’t taken out, otherwise the game is over. Wouldn’t it have been more prudent to defend three pieces instead of four? Yes, of course it would, but prudence was not JKR’s intent. Her intent was to construct a metaphor.

Some might argue that if the chess game in PS/SS is a metaphor for the Second War, then the King should properly be Harry since without Harry, the game is lost. We do not believe this to be the case. While it seems as though Harry is the one who must defeat Voldemort, Dumbledore has a back-up in Neville. Neville is the other Black Bishop. While Dumbledore tells Harry that the Prophecy is most definitely about him, we think this is deceiving.

We’d like to point out that only Harry and Neville were seen to handle the Prophecy in the Department of Mysteries. We think this was deliberate. We’d also like to point out that Neville was indeed marked, if indirectly, by Voldemort when his followers attacked Neville’s parents scarring Neville in another way altogether. Neville is plan B, and therefore Harry is not the King. He is one of two Bishops. We do believe it is Harry who will ultimately defeat Voldemort (be the piece that takes the White King, as that is how the chess game played out), however, to the game as a whole, he is NOT the King piece — the game piece — this piece is Dumbledore.

If JKR’s authorial intent was indeed to use the chess game as a metaphor for the series as a whole (and obviously, we believe that was her intent or we wouldn’t be writing this), she assigned the roles in the game to specific characters with a purpose.

Harry could not be the King because he is not the King. Same for Hermione. Someone else in the series already plays this role – the leader, the guy running the show, sacrificing his Pawns and Knights when he must, the metaphorical player pitting his pieces against the forces of evil. Of all of the characters we have met so far, the character who most symbolizes the King in chess is Albus Dumbledore.

Yet… this is the very same role Ron plays in the chess game as player and leader, while simultaneously playing that of the Knight. Rowling herself tells us Weasley is Our King… what on earth could this possibly mean?


Ron is Dumbledore
If the chess game in PS/SS is a metaphor for the series as a whole, and the pieces the characters play a metaphor for their roles in the series, how do we reconcile the fact that Ron Weasley plays, not only the role of the Knight, but also that of the King – the same role played by Albus Dumbledore in the larger war? Pretty simple, really — Albus Dumbledore is Ron Weasley.

Rowling is rather predictable in how she introduces various magical concepts to us. She never springs anything on the reader. For instance, we are introduced to the concept of Animagi in chapter one of PS/SS in the form of McGonagall who can turn into a cat, only to have this very same concept used once more in Prisoner of Azkaban (PoA) with the Maurauders and in Goblet of Fire (GoF) with Rita Skeeter. We are introduced to the polyjuice potion in Chamber of Secrets (CoS) with the trio’s fruitless attempt to prove that Draco Malfoy is the Heir of Slytherin, only to later have it revealed to be crucial to the plot of GoF with Barty Crouch Jr. posing as Mad Eye Moody. We are introduced to the properties of the phoenix in CoS, and we see them displayed once again in GoF. In CoS, we are introduced to the house elves and their plight, and these downtrodden magical beings take on even more importance in GoF and Order of the Phoenix (OotP). In OotP, we meet a Metamorphmagus… does anyone want to bet against a repeat of this one?

We could go on (parseltongue, prophecies, dreams, magical moving portraits, chocolate frog cards, chess, etc.), but as observant readers already know, JKR doesn’t simply use these concepts and toss them aside — she recycles.

In PoA, we are introduced to the concept of time travel with the Time Turner. So far, we have yet to find another example. It would be unlike JKR to introduce us to something (especially something so big) and not bring it back into the plot with even greater significance. She has given us a subtle reminder of time travel with the time room in the Department of Mysteries in OotP. In a 2000 interview, when asked if Harry would travel in time again, JKR’s answer was ‘Not telling!’ Time travel is coming back… and it will be instrumental to the plot. What does this have to do with Ron, Dumbledore and the chess game? Everything.

Ron, our loyal Knight, will become a time traveler. He will be sent back in time to some point in the 19th century to live out the rest of his days at Albus Dumbledore, our venerable King. The exact mechanics of his journey in time are unclear, though we do believe it is unavoidable, and that it will in fact be the very move that enables Harry’s eventual defeat of Voldemort (the checkmate) and that it will also have something to do with the White Queen (Bellatrix). Though you may think us a couple of nutters for making such an outrageous claim, we do indeed have evidence. Lots and lots of evidence.

1. Uncanny Resemblance

We often joke about how unobservant Harry is, and though he hasn’t made the connection we have, he does indeed dutifully describe for us both Ron and Dumbledore’s appearance. Harry describes both Ron and Dumbledore as tall, thin and possessing a long nose (though Dumbledore’s has been broken a couple of times). These three characteristics are repeated by Harry when he meets either of these two characters for the first time in almost every book.

Dumbledore is described as having long fingers, while Ron is described as having large hands and feet. Unless Ron is a mutant, having large hands would also mean having long fingers. Dumbledore is very, very old with white hair when we first meet him, but when Harry visits a fifty years younger Dumbledore in Riddle’s diary, he is described as having auburn hair. In other words, Dumbledore was once a redhead just like Ron. While we know Dumbledore has sparkling blue eyes, JKR has very curiously neglected to have Harry mention Ron’s eye color for five whole books now. We know nearly everyone else’s eye color, including Arthur Weasley’s (blue), but we don’t know that of Harry’s best friend.

Dumbledore’s one other key characteristic, the scar above his left knee, is mentioned in the first chapter of PS/SS. While Harry hasn’t noticed any tell tale scars shaped like the London Underground on Ron, we do indeed know from PoA that Ron has sustained a serious injury to his left leg. Though JKR curiously, and very pointedly, dances around which leg exactly it is that Ron has broken, we have determined that it is indeed his left leg. When Sirius conjures the manacles and attaches Peter to Ron and Lupin, he attaches Peter to Ron’s left side. If you are injured and using only one crutch, you would, of course, use the crutch on the side of your injured leg. Sirius shackled Peter to Ron’s injured side – his left.

2. How sweet it is…
Though on the surface Ron and Dumbledore seem to have little in common, they both have a great love for sweets. When we first meet Dumbledore he offers a lemon sherbet to Professor McGonagall. When we first meet Ron he introduces Harry to the wonderful world of wizarding candy. In PoA, he goes into a blissful trance describing to Harry and Hermione the wondrous confections to be found at Honeydukes, the magical sweets shop in Hogsmeade. In CoS we learn that Dumbledore likes to use the names of sweets as his office password. In PoA, Ron suggests to Hermione that they bring Harry back some Cockroach Clusters from Honeydukes. In GoF, when Harry returns to the castle to alert Dumbledore of Crouch Sr.’s strange appearance on the grounds of Hogwarts, he must guess the password to Dumbledore’s office. He goes through a whole list of normal sweets, but to Harry’s disbelief, the password ends up being, you guessed it, Cockroach Clusters.

But that is not all… In the last chapter of PS/SS, Dumbledore tells Harry that he lost his taste for Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans after eating a vomit flavored bean in his youth. There is one problem with this… Bertie Bott was born in 1935. While Dumbledore is over 150 years old, and for him, ‘youth’ is a relative term, he could not have possibly eaten a Bertie Bott Every Flavor Bean until the 1950’s, most likely even later, making him well over a hundred years old. Even in Dumbledore terms this is hardly his ‘youth’. Before anyone makes the brilliant observation that the Bertie Bott card isn’t canon, be sure to read the statement from Wizards of the Coast concerning their collaboration with JK Rowling on the making of the cards posted to The Leaky Cauldron.

3. “Dumbledore knows pretty much everything anyway” — JKR

Dumbledore really does seem to know ‘pretty much everything’, even for a very wise old man with an army of pictographic spies.

In PS/SS, he knows precisely what Ron saw in the Mirror of Erised and exactly why Ron saw what he did. He tells Harry that there are other ways of being invisible, but are we to believe that Dumbledore was really waiting around every night for Harry to show up in front of the Mirror? He either knew exactly when to show up, or he was there the first time as Ron. When Harry asks Dumbledore what he himself sees in the Mirror, Dumbledore tells him he sees himself holding a pair of socks. What is it that Ron’s mother is always giving him, but he never appreciates? Socks.

Dumbledore also knows the exact moment to show up and save Harry from Quirrelmort. In fact, Harry leads us to believe that Dumbledore orchestrated the entire thing. Now, we know Dumbledore lets Harry do some things he wouldn’t let an ordinary student do, but isn’t keeping a Pawn of Voldemort around for an entire school year a very dangerous thing to do? Why yes it is… unless of course Dumbledore knew that everything would turn out okay in the end.

In CoS we learn that Dumbledore never really trusted Tom Riddle, even before the murder of Moaning Myrtle. In the Chamber scene, Riddle tells Harry that Dumbledore never liked him as much as the other teachers. When Fudge comes for Hagrid and Lucius for Dumbledore, Harry and Ron are hiding under the invisibility cloak. Dumbledore knows exactly where they are and gives Harry a message. Not only that, but does anyone else think it odd that Dumbledore wasn’t worried about what might happen to Harry after he leaves? Once again, Dumbledore sets Harry up to complete a very dangerous task. Either Dumbledore is truly mad, or he knows how it all turns out.

In PoA, Dumbledore very readily accepts the innocence of Sirius Black. One might come to the conclusion that he knew Sirius was innocent all along. In fact, many have. The only testimony he hears comes from Sirius himself (a convicted felon). He has already made up his mind to send Harry and Hermione back in time before they get a chance to tell their side of the story. When Harry and Hermione do go back in time, you will notice that every single thing happens in exactly the same way both times. There was never a time through in which Buckbeak was killed or Harry didn’t cast his Patronus. JKR is even very careful to put in the door slamming from the second time through in the first time through. Yet… it is Dumbledore himself, as his ‘first time’ self, who ends up saving Buckbeak – he distracts everyone inside Hagrid’s hut so that Harry and Hermione can make off with Buckbeak. Later, when Harry tells Dumbledore about Trelawney’s prophecy, Dumbledore is not in the least bit phased. In fact, Harry is surprised he can take it so calmly. In addition, Dumbledore seems to be very adamant about Peter getting away being a ‘good thing’. Oh sure, Peter owes him a life debt, but Dumbledore is just a little too convinced that it is all for the best.

GoF is a special case. Though we do find one really huge piece of evidence of Dumbledore’s ability to know what he really shouldn’t, we think that this was one of the times that Ron/DD may have actually tried to change the course of events. He goes to great lengths to prevent the younger students from entering the Tournament (the age line). He goes to great lengths to find the most trustworthy DADA professor possible (for only one year, and as a special favor) – Mad Eye Moody, someone he knows really, really well. Still, in the end, we believe the end result was exactly the same (except, perhaps, the death of Cedric).

So, what are we left with? Crouching Death Eater, Hidden Moody. When Dumbledore discovers that Moody is an imposter, he shows up with Snape and McGonagall in Moody’s office. He tells McGonagall to go fetch Padfoot. He tells Snape to go fetch Winky and some Veritaserum. Oh wait… go fetch Winky? How did he know to fetch Winky? Barty Crouch Jr. still looked like Moody. Perhaps Dumbledore really is a super genius, and figured out there had to be a connection to the Crouches. However, Crouch Jr. was thought to be dead and Crouch Sr. was present with Moody the night the names came out of the Goblet. Oh wait, you say, perhaps Dumbledore suspected Crouch only began impersonating Moody AFTER Halloween. Or maybe, just maybe, he was able to figure out that Crouch Jr. wasn’t really dead between the maze and Moody’s office. Maybe… but he tells Harry ‘you never knew the real Mad Eye Moody’. Everything else aside… this is something he could not possibly know with any certainty.

In OotP, Dumbledore knows from the very beginning to avoid Harry’s gaze. While three years have passed for us, only one month has passed for Harry and Dumbledore. How does Dumbledore know when to begin avoiding Harry? He avoids his gaze from the very first time they meet in the courtroom (despite telling Harry later that he sensed something behind his eyes – he never looked Harry in the eye, something Harry was exceedingly peeved about). This is BEFORE Dumbledore knows about the dreams. This is BEFORE the attack on Arthur Weasley. Dumbledore absolutely can not know that Voldemort is already in Harry’s mind. Later on, when the attack on Arthur does take place, Dumbledore knows the precise questions to ask Harry about the nature of the attack. We now know that Dumbledore is a Legilimens, however… Dumbledore could not have used this on Harry as he could not make eye contact for fear Voldemort would ‘spy’ on him. Speaking of which… the issue couldn’t have been spying as such. After all, Harry is still observing Dumbledore. He still hangs out at Order headquarters. He still knows the identities of most of the members of the Order. While he is left largely in the dark (with disastrous consequences), he still observes much that would be useful for Voldemort and his followers. Dumbledore does, however, give us a hint as to what it is he doesn’t want Voldemort to see:

“I was sure that if he realized that our relationship was – or had ever been – closer than that of headmaster and pupil, he would seize his chance to use you as a means to spy on me.” (US OotP Ch27 pg 828)

Now, we do know that Dumbledore really loves Harry. He tells him as much in that same scene. However, it is curious that JKR would emphasize (by placing it between dashes) the phrase ‘or had ever been’. It is not as simple as Dumbledore not wanting Voldemort knowing his true feelings for Harry and therefore be able to use them against him. After all, Voldemort now knows that, and his not knowing that ended up putting Harry and even more danger (the possession in the MoM). No, the significance is in the phrase ‘or had ever been’. The truth is, as far as Harry is concerned, they really aren’t any closer than Headmaster and pupil. Why was the line referring to a past relationship? Harry’s relationship to Dumbledore has been constant all through the series. Dumbledore orchestrates hoops for Harry to jump through, Harry jumps, they chat about it at the end of the school year. We believe this ‘had ever been’ refers to Dumbledore’s prior relationship to Harry as his best friend Ron. Dumbledore, of course, would not want Voldemort to know of this prior relationship because that would make Ron a target as well, messing up EVERYTHING. Without Ron, without Dumbledore, the game and the war are lost.4. Foreshadowing
Ron makes it very clear on several occasions that he hates the color maroon. Could it be because he will eventually be ‘marooned’ in time?

In OotP, Ron is nearly strangled by some purple wizard robes while cleaning up Grimmauld Place. Who do we know wears purple robes? Dumbledore, of course.

Socks are a running theme throughout the series. They are used as symbols of freedom, redemption and love. Ron, however, doesn’t ever really fully appreciate the socks his mother gives him. In PoA, he tosses them aside to gush over Harry’s Firebolt. In GoF, he gives his Christmas socks to Dobby. Socks are also seen attached to Molly specifically – she is seen fussing over socks, looking for socks, folding socks, packing socks. And if Molly wasn’t mother figure enough, Tonks tells Harry her own mother has this special knack for magically folding socks. In fact, the first time we see Harry, he is in his cupboard, looking for a pair of socks (though he has to knock the spiders off of them, not having a mother to fuss over them for him). Dobby is set free with a sock. Hermione knits socks for the house elves. Dumbledore, the man who clearly has all of the fame, power, respect, possessions and wisdom one could hope for in a lifetime, sees himself holding a pair of wooly socks in the Mirror of Erised. If you read this scene with Dumbledore being Ron in mind, it takes on a whole new and really huge significance Ron indeed becomes greater than all of his brothers, yet as an old man, he is still wistful for those socks his mother gave him and he never fully appreciated.

Ron’s vision in the Mirror of Erised is rather curious. He sees himself as Head Boy, Quidditch Captain and holding both the House and Quidditch cups. We know that Ron has this uncanny knack for predicting the future. If, indeed, he is a Seer as many suspect, might he able to see his future in the Mirror? As of OotP, he seems to be on his way to this future – Prefect (it’s the first step towards Head Boy!) and he is on the Quidditch team. Currently, he plays Keeper, a very appropriate position for a Knight, guarding a castle. If he does indeed end up becoming Quidditch Captain, he would also get to play out that dual role once more on the Quidditch field – Knight, as Keeper and King, as Captain.

In a few different places in the series, Ron is shown to hero- worship Dumbledore. Of all of these scenes, the most striking is at the end of PS/SS where Ron is extremely impressed with Dumbledore’s orchestrating the rescuing of the Stone.

“D’you think he meant you to do it?” said Ron. “Sending you your father’s cloak and everything?””Well,” Hermione exploded, “If he did – I mean to say – that’s terrible – you could have been killed.”

“No, it isn’t,” said Harry thoughtfully. “He’s a funny man, Dumbledore. I think he sort of wanted to give me a chance. I think he knows more or less everything that goes on here, you know. I reckon he had a pretty good idea we were going to try, and instead of stopping us, he just taught us enough to help. I don’t think it was an accident he let me find out how the mirror worked. It’s almost like he thought I had the right to face Voldemort if I could…”

“Yea, Dumbledore’s off his rocker, all right,” said Ron proudly.

In OotP, Draco composes a lovely song – Weasley is Our King. If that isn’t foreshadowing, I don’t know what is. One line in particular is given significance by Draco. He is heard singing it loudly during the game by Harry, and Draco later quotes it in italics – born in a bin. While Draco likes to make fun of Ron’s poverty, the phrase has a double meaning. ‘Bin’ is also a prefix meaning ‘double’ or ‘two’ – think ‘binary’. Was Ron ‘born’ twice? Leading a double life? Is Draco trying to tell us something important?

Movie!Canon, but worth mentioning anyway… in Dumbledore’s office on the CoS DVD, there is a hidden Easter egg that reveals a portrait on the wall of two wizard chess masters. One wizard is in red, the other in green. The floor beneath them is checkered like a chess board. As the camera pans towards the picture, ominous music is played. In another part of Dumbledore’s office, there is a portrait of Dumbledore (there are two Dumbledore portraits in all) where he is depicted in maroon robes standing next to a chess set.

Fancy a game of Chess? Part 3Chess Pieces & Play

1US Sorcerer’s Stone: Ch 1Pg 8
Dumbledore’s Description

Nothing like this man had ever been seen on Privet Drive. He was tall, thin, and very old, judging by the silver of his hair and beard, which were both long enough to tuck into his belt. He was wearing long robes, a purple cloak that swept the ground, and high-heeled, buckled boots. His blue eyes were light, bright, and sparkling behind half-moon spectacles and his nose was very long and crooked, as though it had been broken at least twice. This man’s name was Albus Dumbledore.

back to essay2 US Chamber of Secrets: Ch 13 Pg 245
Dumbledore’s description from Riddle’s Diary

They didn’t see another person until they reached the entrance hall, when a tall wizard with long, sweeping auburn hair and a beard called to Riddle from the marble staircase.

back to essay3 US Sorcerer’s Stone: Ch 6 Pg 93
Ron’s 1st Description

She pointed at the last and youngest of her sons. He was tall, thin, and gangling, with freckles, big hands and feet, and a long nose.

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4 US Order of the Phoenix: Ch 4 Pg 62
Ron’s most recent description

‘Let him breathe, Hermione,’ said Ron, grinning as he closed the door behind Harry. He seemed to have grown several more inches during their month apart, making him taller and more gangly looking than ever, though the long nose, bright red hair and freckles were the same.

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B) Scars, Sweets, and Secrets

5)US Sorcerer’s Stone: Ch 1Pg 15
Dumbledore’s scar above his left knee

“Even if I could, I wouldn’t. Scars can come in handy. I have one myself above my left knee that is a perfect map of the London Underground. Well — give him here, Hagrid — we’d better get this over with.”

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6 US Prisoner Of Azkaban: Ch 17 pg 335
Ron breaks his leg

All they could see now was one of Ron’s legs, which he had hooked around a root in an effort to stop the dog from pulling him farther underground — but a horrible crack cut the air like a gunshot; Ron’s leg had broken, and a moment later, his foot vanished from sight.

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7) US Prisoner Of Azkaban: Ch 17 pg 377
Evidence of which of Ron’s legs is broken

“And two of us should be chained to this,” said Black, nudging Pettigrew with his toe. “Just to make sure.”
“I’ll do it,” said Lupin.
“And me,” said Ron savagely, limping forward.
Black conjured heavy manacles from thin air; soon Pettigrew was upright again, left arm chained to Lupin’s right, right arm to Ron’s left. Ron’s face was set. He seemed to have taken Scabbers’s true identity as a personal insult. Crookshanks leapt lightly off the bed and led the way out of the room, his bottlebrush tail held jauntily high.

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8) US Sorcerer’s Stone: Ch 17 Pg 300
Vomit Flavored Bean

” …I suggest you make a start on these sweets. Ah! Bettie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans! I was unfortunate enough in my youth to come across a vomitflavored one, and since then I’m afraid I’ve rather lost my liking for them — but I think I’ll be safe with a nice toffee, don’t you?”

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9 US Prisoner of Azkaban: Ch 10 Pg 197
Mention of Cockroach Clusters:1

“How about these?” said Ron, shoving a jar of Cockroach Clusters under Hermione’s nose.
“Definitely not,” said Harry.
Ron nearly dropped the jar.

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10) US Goblet of Fire: Ch29 Pg 579
Love of Sweets and 2nd mention of Cockroach Clusters

Harry had walked right past the stone gargoyle guarding the entrance to Dumbledores office without noticing. He blinked, looked around, realized what he had done, and retraced his steps, stopping in front of it. Then he remembered that he didn’t know the password.
“Sherbet lemon?” he tried tentatively.
The gargoyle did not move.
“Okay,” said Harry, staring at it, “Pear Drop. Er – Licorice Wand. Fizzing Whizbee. Drooble’s Best Blowing Gum. Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans … oh no, he doesn’t like them, does he?… oh just open, can’t you?” he said angrily. “I really need to see him, its urgent!”
The gargoyle remained immovable.
Harry kicked it, achieving nothing but an excruciating pain in his big toe.
“Chocolate Frog!” he yelled angrily, standing on one leg. “Sugar Quill! Cockroach Cluster!”
The gargoyle sprang to life and jumped aside. Harry blinked. “Cockroach Cluster?” he said, amazed. “I was only joking. …”

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11) US Order of the Phoenix: Ch 5 Pg 95
Chocolate Frog-Cards

‘But Dumbledore says he doesn’t care what they do as long as they don’t take him off the Chocolate Frog Cards,’ said Bill, grinning.

back to essay 12) US Sorcerer’s Stone: Ch 12 Pg 213
Dumbledore’s knowledge of Ron’s desires

“So,” said Dumbledore, slipping off the desk to sit on the floor with Harry, “you, like hundreds before you, have discovered the delights of the Mirror of Erised.”
” I didn’t know it was called that, Sir.”
” But I expect you’ve realized by now what it does?”
“It — well — it shows me my family –”
“And it showed your friend Ron himself as head boy.”
” How did you know –?”
“I don’t need a cloak to become invisible,” said Dumbledore gently.

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13) US Prisoner Of Azkaban: Ch pg
Secret Keeping

“So Black was the Potters’ Secret-Keeper?” whispered Madam Rosmerta.
” Naturally,” said Professor McGonagall. “James Potter told Dumbledore that Black would die rather than tell where they were, that Black was planning to go into hiding himself… and yet, Dumbledore remained worried. I remember him offering to be the Potters’ Secret-Keeper himself.”

US Sorcerer’s Stone: Ch 12 Pg 201
Ron’s presents from his Mom

“Every year she makes us a sweater,” said Ron, unwrapping his own, “and mine’s always maroon.”

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15) US Sorcerer’s Stone: Ch Pg
Dumbledore’s deepest desire

“Sir — Professor Dumbledore? Can I ask you something?”
” Obviously, you’ve just done so,” Dumbledore smiled. “You may ask me one more thing, however.”
” What do you see when you look in the mirror?”
” I? I see myself holding a pair of thick, woolen socks.”
Harry stared.
” One can never have enough socks,” said Dumbledore. “Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.”

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16) US Prisoner Of Azkaban: Ch 11 Pg 222

“Another sweater from Mum… maroon again… see if you’ve got one.”

(then later)

“What’s that?” said Ron, looking over, a freshly unwrapped pair of maroon socks in his hand.

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17) Order of the Phoenix: Ch 9 Pg 168
Ron’s Prefect Badge and use of socks

Only when Fred and George dropped in and offered to attach it to his forehead with a Permanent Sticking Charm did he wrap it tenderly in his maroon socks and lock it in his trunk.

18) Order of the Phoenix: Ch 6 Pg
Ron’s Future robes

Mundungus redeemed himself slightly in Mrs Weasley’s eyes by rescuing Ron from an ancient set of purple robes that had tried to strangle him when he removed them from their wardrobe.

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1. jOo - May 30, 2012

Ummm…what about Dumbledore’s real siblings…you know…the one with the exact electric blue eyes as Dumbledore?

2. tohtohtohcabbage - May 30, 2012

And the fact that they both consider their addition to Chocolate Frog cards as their respective greatest achievements?

3. potatoaster - January 17, 2013

Some of this is bullshit, some of it is brilliant. Thought-provoking, if nothing else.

4. Jordan - January 17, 2013

I believe that you are an unrecognized genius.

5. Victor - January 18, 2013

Bloody hell!

6. michaelcnemeth - January 18, 2013


7. tobias - January 18, 2013

What about Albus’ brother?

I found this read very intriguing, but theres just no mention of the brother, i see this as the only flaw.

8. ryan cummins - January 18, 2013

in 2004… this would have been the most amazing thing to have read. i thank you for this.

9. Pooja Subramaniam - January 18, 2013

This blew my mind in so many different ways. Thanks for the great article.

10. Emily McKee - January 18, 2013


11. The Pessimist - January 24, 2013

VERY interesting, but just to make it fair I would like to give some counter-arguments:

1. Dumbledore’s hair was described as auburn while Ron’s is bright red. Sure, it’s the same shade of red, but they are still distinctively different colors. Seems like kind of a longshot to use this as evidence.

2. What about Aberforth? Did Albus bribe someone to act as his brother? Or is Aberforth an older version of Percy/George?
It doesn’t make sense.

3. Rowling told the press that Albus Dumbledore is homosexual.
Which Ron isn’t. (Unless he had a change of mind when Hermione died)

4. Albus Dumbledore attended Hogwarts himself when he was young.
It doesn’t really say in the HP books if a person turns younger if he/she goes back in time, but if that wasn’t the case, Ron would have been at least 40 when he time-traveled. In the epilogue Harry, Hermione, and Ron are around 38 years old, so Ron could not have gone back in time before then.

5. “The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore” which Rita Skeeter wrote tells in detail about his childhood and even contains interviews with people who knew Dumbledore as a kid. How on earth could Ron/Albus fake such a thing?
The only possible explanation I can see for this is that Ron switched lives with the real Albus Dumbledore when he traveled back in time, but how would he do that? And why?
There are so many unanswered questions.

12. Jacob - February 15, 2013

No comments yet?!?!? I’m sold on it.

13. Amna - February 25, 2013

But Dumbledore was gay and Ron clearly isn’t

14. awbraae - April 1, 2013

That was rather thorough. I like it, partly because the knowledge that Dumbledore somehow has always rankled with me. This is pretty implausible, but I prefer it to ‘Dumbledore is just really really smart.’

15. shane - July 7, 2013

I didn’t read it all because it was too long for me however one flaw I did see is “If you are injured and using only one crutch, you would, of course, use the crutch on the side of your injured leg.” If you know anything about injuries and crutches you know that the crutch goes on the side that has the healthy leg. You do not use it to “replace” your leg as a “back up” of sorts but the crutch is used to remove any possible pressure from the injured leg. So leaning on it to the side that is healthy is the best way to do that.

16. No! Stahp!! - July 15, 2013


17. Christopher Elliot - August 8, 2013

We find out later that Dumbledore doesn’t actually see himself holding socks, so that theory is shot. And on the whole I think this whole thing is utterly ridiculous.

18. Test User - August 14, 2013

Very very interesting read. One typo : Dumbledore is not in the least bit phased. Should be “fazed”. As in “unfazed”. Not like “phasers set on stun”.

19. thisguy - August 15, 2013

well shit.

20. Ian - August 15, 2013

what about Grindlewald. dumbledore/ron met him in his teens. if ron/dumbledore went back in time he would be at least 37 years old. and dumbledore states he left behind a squibb sister and a brother to search for the elder wand. interesting stuff and i want to explain away these concerns lol. the story just become better if this theory is correct.

21. Stevie - August 15, 2013

What about Dumbledore’s family that we learn about in the later novels? I think this should be looked at again, including the last 2 books.

22. Copycat - September 7, 2013

This was written in 2004, before Half-blood Prince or the Deathly Hallows came out. He didn’t know about Albus’s brother, or the ending of the series. It was speculation about a “big reveal” that Ron was Dumbledore, and given the information he had to work with, it wasn’t that bad of a fan theory.

23. Adrian - September 18, 2013

Intriguing, but utter bullshit. Some of the points you made, alright, they are thought-provoking, but the whole concept of Ron being Dumbledore is absolute bullshit.

24. Valaine Shelby - April 30, 2014

Despite the fact that the last two books SEEM to debunk this brilliant theory, it is still valid.
J.K.has shared that using a time turner for too long of a time will turn your age backward and mess up the timeline in other complicated ways. Ron/Dumbledore as an adult or even old man after a full life with Hermione may have found a way to use a time turner successfully for that kind of “time distance.” Or being shot back in time may have been an accident. Either way, it resulted in a younger Ronbledore many years before Ron lived.

Two ways this could play out:
1) Whatever sent him back made him so young that he was taken in by the Dumbledore’s and made part of the family. The fact that he was “adopted” was never again mentioned. As this young man grew he slowly recovered his memories as Ron.
2)He took over the life of the original Albus Dumbledore after the original died. [Perhaps in a duel for the Elder Wand? OR just before?] I don’t believe Ronbledore would have killed the real Albus, but he may have stepped in and taken over his life after Albus died.

I personally favor the first option, but the second one is more plausible.

Don’t throw out this theory just because HBP and DH seem to invalidate it. It is just as brilliant as ever.

25. Valaine Shelby - April 30, 2014

Also, Ron never appreciated books and training in school. He always depended on Hermione. Then, as we know now, he married Hermione. If we take Ronbledore as truth, then we know that Hermione will die at some point (hopefully when they have already lived a full life). Who will Ron look to now for his book learning? Who will answer his questions? He will turn to the one thing his beloved wife always looked to- books. This is why Dumbledore is so obsessed with books in his “second” life. His brilliance comes not only from foreknowledge, but also from following the example his wife set for him.

26. Steph - May 16, 2014

You all offering counter-arguments using evidence from the latest books need to realize WHEN this was written. 2004, BEFORE the last books. Geez.

27. Dill - May 23, 2014

This is a great supported theory and all but, Dumbledore was born and went to Hogwarts and was seen as one of the brightest pupils ever to attend. And we all know Ron does not fit that description from the word “Bright”.

28. Alice - June 19, 2014

This article is so smart and opened my eyes for looking behind the HP-story.
Although, as mentioned above, there are some “mistakes” in the theory of Ron being Dumbledore (homosexuality, their siblings), JKR could still have drawn this connection of the two characters. It doesn’t need to be completely logic to be something like a stylistic device and to explain some things.
I now want to re-read all the books to find out more about your theory!

So genius! Keep up the good work =)

29. J - June 21, 2014

Ron was attacked by the brains in OotP, which could have given him the scar of the London Underground.

30. Sierra Davis - July 14, 2014

You forgot the part where Dumbledore leaves Ron the deluminator in his will.

31. Sierra Davis - July 14, 2014

Oh good point Copycat

32. Lori - July 16, 2014

What Copycat said. I’m laughing at everyone’s indignant reactions to this, because it was written without knowledge of Dumbledore’s past, and quite frankly, I think this would have been a lot more interesting than how the story/Dumbledore’s past actually did end. Even in DH – Ron was always obsessed with the Elder Wand, Dumbledore HAD the Elder Wand. With a few tweaks in the story on Rowling’s part, Ron could have taken the wand from Harry and traveled back in time with it. Also, this wouldn’t have made everyone hate Dumbledore, as Rowling’s revelation of his past seemed to. This could have added a whole new level to the story and it’s definitely a permanent addition to my list of headcanons.

33. Mohammad - August 19, 2014

Amazing theory. Of course niw their is infornation to disprove it, was a long shot anyways. Very thorough though.

34. SparkLife » 7 MORE Mind-Boggling Harry Potter Theories - October 16, 2014

[…] Weasley is actually time-traveling Dumbledore. I think we all just need to appreciate that this one actually got some major traction. (It's called the "Knight2King Theory," or "Ronblerore," and […]

35. I'mHereToPointFlaws - January 14, 2015

dumbledore has a brother, and unless you’re saying his family had yet other child, why would Ron take his new brother with him? to be convincing? I can’t buy this argument
Ron marries Hermione in the end, doesn’t he? then why does JK Rowling herself states that dumbledore is gay? or you’re saying that he pretended to be gay as dumbledore just to “be convincing”? I won’t buy this argument as well, but for the rest, it makes a lot of sense

36. Weirdest Fan Theories – Life of a Fangirl - January 31, 2016

[…] Explanation: In the chess game, Ron is a knight and a king. Evidently, this is foreshadowing the roles in the Second Wizarding War. There’s also the socks thing stemming from Ron’s ingratitude toward maroon sweaters. Here’s the link, because I can’t muddle through this. Knight To King Theory […]

37. 10 Outrageous Harry Potter Fan Theories That Might Actually Make Sense - WHSmith Blog - March 31, 2016

[…] probably wins the prize for most ludicrous fan theory! This fan suggests that Ron has been sent back in time to live out his days as Albus Dumbledore (or […]

38. Aragorn - June 1, 2016

“Also, this wouldn’t have made everyone hate Dumbledore, as Rowling’s revelation of his past seemed to.” @Lori, I think it made him more human. He isn’t only the mastermind who sets up hoops for Harry and talks to him about it anymore, but a human who actually has made mistakes. @In general has anyone considered that Voldemort is what Dumbledore could have been, just like Draco is what Harry could have been? Do you think manipulation is bad. The only time where I was truly mad at Dumbledore’s manipulation is when he meets them after they crashed into the Willow. He is basically like;’You’re hurt by a tree, planted because I wanted a tame werewolf, to use later as spy but I’m so disappointed at you because you tried the most risky thing just to come at Hogwards and made a few muggles think they must be crazy because they saw a flying car and I’m not even doing my research in my own fucking library, I left that to your best friend because I’m even to lazy to do something about a fraud, like teaching the classes myself or let Snape teach you and when you still say I’m the best wizard I just sent you my pet and a hat and hope you figure it out before you die, because a twelveyear old kid should look after himself and be able to handle a sword. Oh, dont forget I totally dont care if a broken wand causes problems in classes and I let you just make a highly illegal potion on the most obvious place in the castle. I am so good, I really am the best wizard world you Malfoymotherfucker!’ and yes, I know I am unfair but fuck nuance at the moment an no, I dont hate Dumbledore, even if it turns out he has more flaws then I expected but here another gem from the first part ‘I wanna give Gryffindor the cup, fuck you, Slytherins!At the last moment I snatch it away because I like Gryffindor more and was looking for a birthdaypresent for McGonnagal anyway*, and you’ve had it for seven years anyway, thats far too long, dont you agree? and dont forget, Harry has just saved the whole fucking castle and I know he would like it too and they were all really brave so lets just forget I totally didnt notice Quirrel was a pawn of Voldemort, shall we?’

*its totally not like I know her birthday.

**for all the outraged dumbledorefans, just mockingly pointing out some things doesnt mean he didnt do precisely enough in both books. I probably had too much experience with that ‘being disappointed’ technique so I’m really mad at a fictional character who is supposed to be good, for that. Seems legit in my logic (not). Rowling is just that good, I guess.

39. Maleki - October 3, 2016

Wouldn’t this create a time paradox? If Ron goes back in time to live his life out as Dumbledore, only to die at the end; he would be fated to continue to endure that loop for the rest of eternity, no? Sure, sure – info to disprove this, links to discredit that, but at the core of it – isn’t that a major underlying issue?


[…] “The idea was inspired by the Wizard’s Chess scene in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone in which Ron plays as both a knight and the king—the symbolic roles that Ron and Dumbledore, respectively, play in the greater wizarding war to come. While these seeds of a theory seem rational enough, the follow-through is less than convincing, relying on such superficial similarities as Ron/Dumbledore’s red hair, long nose, and fondness for sweets to build a case. The full theory is much more meticulous than I am going to say here, but if you’re interested it is listed” right here. […]

41. Sometimes Quiet is Violent - October 21, 2016

To everybody pointing out Aberforth, look at the post date and the context. This was posted before The Half Blood Prince.

Also, this is an interesting theory. It makes even more sense with Dumbledore giving Ron the deluminator – why else would he do that, if he didn’t know in advance what would happen? Ron was with Hermione and Harry throughout most of The Deathly Hallows, and he was the one to use the deluminator to find his way back. He also knew that Hermione would be able to use the Tales of Beedle the Bard and Harry would use the Resurrection Stone and Sword of Gryffindor,

Furthermore, this makes sense as to why Dumbledore always talked about the “greater good”. Ron knew that Dumbledore played a pivotal role in the war, and so did the Deathly Hallows. Why else would Dumbledore search out the Hallows from such a young age, except for a chance to be Master of Death?

Unfortunately, this creates a paradox. If Dumbledore gave the deluminator to his younger self, Ron, and Ron kept it, it came from nowhere. This could be referenced with the question Luna and Harry are faced with when they enter the Ravenclaw common room: “Which came first, the phoenix or the flame?” to which Luna answered, “I think the answer is that a circle has no beginning.” This is an endless circle of Ron becoming Dumbledore and Dumbledore giving Ron the deluminator.

Again, I love this theory and though it’s not possible in the canon story, I’d love to see it written in fanfiction.

42. Me - November 10, 2016

This theory that posits the idea that Dumbledore is actually a time-traveling, Ron Weasley. However, I think it makes more sense if you consider that Dumbledore is actually an older time-traveling version of Harry Potter. If you will, consider the following:
• This theory further gives credit to why Dumbledore is so knowledgeable of events.
• It explains why, when Harry receives his letter from Hogwarts that it is addressed exactly to where he sleeps – The Cupboard Under the Stairs (as this is not shown to be true for any other character)
• It explains why Dumbledore does not interact with Harry in his 5th year once Voldemort has returned. It is not simply because he does not want Voldemort to think they have anything other than a Headmaster, Student relationship but rather because he knows that the horcrux within Harry has strengthened given Voldemort’s return and is more likely to recognize Harry within Dumbledore. For, even Voldemort does not become aware of the connection until Arthur Weasley is attacked, which happens after Dumbledore begins to distance himself. In support, the horcrux’s themselves become easier for Harry to “tie into” once he knows of their existence and is in close proximity, thus similar issues could have arose if Harry and Dumbledore interacted too closely when Voldemort was still likely to try and possess Harry.
• It explains why Dumbledore is not the one to teach Harry occlumency. There is too much of a risk of Harry discovering the truth. Thus, Dumbledore must use the next most skilled person he knows at the craft.
• In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix we find out that there are divisions within the Ministry of Magic that deal with the magic that is Time. There is even a death eater who is halfway turned back into a baby. Thus, potentially, Harry, over a lifetimes of careers within the ministry, could have had access to this department and the individuals that work within it and could have used magic learned from the group to revert his lifecycle when he travels back in time in order to more effectively, infiltrate the Dumbledore family.
• Furthermore, it explains why Dumbledore is so understanding of Harry having to sacrifice himself to Voldemort when even Snape finds this to be unthinkable. This just does not seem to fit with Dumbledore’s character unless you consider the larger theory.
Now, let’s get into the big hitters that I think really help drive this theory home….
• It brings a new element to the theory that Harry Potter is immortal given the prophecy interpretation that some have come to conclude from… “either must die at the hand of the other, for neither can live while the other survives”
o If Harry actually is immortal, because he cannot die but by the hand of Voldemort, then it makes sense that Harry, as he continues to live on (for who knows how long) may have realized that the only way for him to die would be to time travel and die at the hands of Voldemort’s plan and more importantly, die while Voldemort is alive.
• And lastly, it explains why Dumbledore is the one that Harry meets in “King’s Cross Station” after submitting to the Avada Kedavra curse in the woods. The three people that are there are: The piece of soul of Voldemort (which we know was inadvertently attached to Harry), Harry, and Dumbledore (who is actually just an older version of Harry). Thus, Harry is actually conversing with himself, his own psyche/subconscious/soul. Because, why else would it be Dumbledore that comes to visit Harry at this point as he sits on the verge of the afterlife. Could another sould even access this halfway area if they were not attached to Harry’s soul or Harry’s soul itself. Why, if it could be anyone, would it not be Harry’s mom, or dad, or even Sirius. Further, it justifies why Harry has the ability to return to life, for he is technically already dead. I know, I know, time travel loops can become a bit confusing.

Anyways, to me, this seems to tie things together a bit more neatly. Thanks for reading and, I am interested to hear your thoughts….

43. Kata - December 10, 2016

It makes sense but what about the family? Dumbledore has a sister and a brother, Ariana and Albus, and Ron has many more siblings. JK Rowling said that she always imagined Dumbledore to be gay-yet Ron is with Hermione. Also, when would he of time-traveled without anyone noticing? You can only get one of them off the ministry. I know that Hermione is minister of magic, so she could probably change the laws or could have given a time turner to Ron, but she is rational, smart, and plays by the rules. And doesn’t Dumbledore see himself in the mirror holding the three deathly hallows? Those are I think his deepest desires

44. That One Harry Potter Question We're All Still Asking? J.K. Rowling HATES Getting It on Twitter - Viral News.ws- Grab latest news on trending and viral on social media. Trending news and photos from Facebook - September 13, 2017

[…] if I sometimes wish she weren’t. Come on J.K. Rowling, why you gotta come out and say the Weasley is Our King theory, which suggests that Ron is Dumbledore by way of time-travel, isn’t true? The books are done! […]

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