Friday, July 15, 2011

Why I Love Fred and George Weasley

When Reading with Tequila celebrated Harry Potter Week last year, no one submitted a post about the Weasley Twins. Amy noticed the lack of Fred and George love and volunteered to help us commemorate these wonderful characters.

Why I love Fred and George Weasley
by Amy from and Backseat Writer, Backseat Reader and the soon-to-be-unveiled Weasleys Wizard Wheezes

Ever since Fred and George offered to send their little sister, Ginny, a genuine Hogwarts toilet seat when they first appeared in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, I was intrigued and amused by the Weasley twins. Undoubtedly, the freckle-covered redheads are favorite characters in the Harry Potter series. Fred and George are classic under-achievers, instead using their brilliance to amuse, befuddle, and challenge the world around them. Instead of opting for a career in the Ministry of Magic, Fred and George realize early on that their dream is to open a joke shop.

Despite their mother’s disapproval, the twins do succeed in opening Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, thanks to Harry’s generous donation of his Tri-Wizard Tournament winnings. While in their seventh and final year at Hogwarts, Fred and George not only successfully market the Weasley brand, but also make a legendary departure from Hogwarts a few months after High Inquisitor Dolores Umbridge kicks them off the Gryffindor Quidditch team. Taking to their brooms after causing a plague of vandalism, chaos, and disorder, the Weasley twins leave their Hogwarts education behind for good and open their physical shop at 93 Diagon Alley.
Who doesn’t love a good joke shop? Weasleys Wizard Wheezes has everything from love potions to canary creams to joke wands to adorable, little creatures named pygmy puffs! The shop is a wild success because the Weasley twins are ambitious, clever, and hilarious.

However, the undercurrent of evil spreading in the wizarding world during Voldemort’s second rise also affects the Weasley family, specifically the twins. George loses his ear to an unfortunate severing charm while rescuing Harry from his aunt and uncle’s house, and as mentioned earlier, Fred is killed by a Death Eater during the Battle of Hogwarts. Still, George somehow manages to pick up the pieces of his shattered life, eventually marrying school chum Angelina Johnson and having two children, a girl and a boy named Fred.

Many find Fred’s death to be exceptionally cruel, preferring that both Fred and George die together due to the close bond they share. Therefore, there have been elaborate efforts in the Harry Potter fan world to “undead Fred” through fan fiction, art, theories on why Fred isn’t really dead, and so on. Clearly, Fred’s death is one of the saddest in all the Harry Potter books resonating with fans who love the Weasley twins.

Despite being funny, the twins are loyal friends to Harry, brilliant entrepreneurs, and do not run away from the fight against Voldemort. Charming, witty, and clever, Fred and George continue to amuse me every time I open a Harry Potter book by stealing Percy’s prefect badge, setting off Weasleys’ Whiz-Bangs, or accidentally “dropping” Ton-Tongue Toffee in front of Harry’s cousin. Whenever I need a laugh, I know I can find get a few from my most beloved Harry Potter characters, Fred and George Weasley.

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