34

In the woods at the Quidditch World Cup Ron is clearly shown to be attracted to the Veela, to the extent that they totally disorientate him. Harry, on the other hand, is unaffected.

Further still along the path, they walked into a patch of silvery light, and when they looked through the trees, they saw three tall and beautiful Veela standing in a clearing, surrounded by a gaggle of young wizards, all of whom were talking very loudly.
"I pull down about a hundred sacks of Galleons a year," one of them shouted. "I'm a dragon-killer for the Comittee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures."
"No, you're not," yelled his friend, "you're a dish-washer at the Leaky Cauldron...but I'm a Vampire Hunter, I've killed about ninety so far -"
A third young wizard, whose pimples were visible even by the dim silvery light of the Veela, now cut in, "I'm about to become the youngest ever Minister for Magic, I am."
Harry snorted with laughter. He recognised the pimply wizard; his name was Stan Shunpike, and he was in fact a conductor on the triple-decker Knight Bus.
He turned to tell Ron this, but Ron's face had gone oddly slack, and next second Ron was yelling, "Did I tell you I've invented a broomstick that'll reach Jupiter?"
"Honestly!" said Hermione again, and she and Harry grabbed Ron firmly by the arms, wheeled him around and marched him away.
(Goblet of Fire, Chapter 9, The Dark Mark).

Compare this to the night before when, at the game, Harry and Ron are both said to be equally overcome by the Veela. Both of them want to throw themselves off the Top Box in a fit of gallantry. Both of them go light-headed when the Veela start to dance. (Hermione, a girl, was unaffected and found the whole thing rather pathetic).

Harry and Ron are both straight, full-blooded, hormonal teenage boys. Why then is Ron overcome by the Veela in the clearing whereas Harry is completely unaffected (to the point of being able to laugh at the exagerated claims of others)?

Ron's Veela fixation continues later in the book. Ron is rendered completely speechless by Fleur (a half-Veela) asking him to pass her a plate of food. Harry is able to talk to her normally. Ron later loses his mind and asks her to the Yule Ball. Harry isn't interested. It seems that Ron has more than a passing schoolboy crush on Fleur; he's completely overpowered by her in a way in which Harry (and, most likely, others) simply isn't.

What can account for Ron's especial susceptibility to the charms of the Veela? Why does he fall for Veela all the time whereas Harry was only seduced by them on one occasion?

  • 9
    For comic purposes – Valorum Sep 1 '17 at 20:58
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    I would assume it's because Harry has a piece of a mature (and highly capable) Dark Wizard rattling around inside his tiny brain. – Valorum Sep 1 '17 at 21:04
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    @Valorum Are you saying that Voldemort couldn't be seduced by a good Veela? I'm not sure I'm convinced. ;) – The Dark Lord Sep 1 '17 at 21:05
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    @TheDarkLord Well to be fair, Your Evilness, you are unable to feel love, thanks to the circumstances of your love-potion birth. I would guess extreme infatuation is similar. – Mage Xy Sep 1 '17 at 21:08
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    2b fair to Ron, his response to Fleur isnt unique: “She’s a veela!” he said hoarsely to Harry. “Of course she isn’t!” said Hermione tartly. “I don’t see anyone else gaping at her like an idiot!” But she wasn’t entirely right about that. As the girl crossed the Hall, many boys’ heads turned, and some of them seemed to have become temporarily speechless, just like Ron. – user68762 Sep 2 '17 at 1:02
45

It's probably because Harry has a stronger will than Ron.

Harry seems to be able to resist mental magic better than Ron (except for the Dark Lord being in his thoughts). For example, Harry is able to learn how to resist the Imperius Curse completely. He also has a natural ability to resist it, and even the first time he's Imperiused, he's able to fight it off. Ron doesn't have this ability.

Comparatively, Ron seems to be fairly weak-willed and therefore more susceptible.

For example, the Horcrux locket seems to affect Ron more than Harry as well.

“Because that thing’s bad for me!’ said Ron, backing away from the locket on the rock. ‘I can’t handle it! I’m not making excuses, Harry, for what I was like, but it affects me worse than it affected you and Hermione, it made me think stuff, stuff I was thinking anyway, but it made everything worse, I can’t explain it, and then I’d take it off and I’d get my head on straight again, and then I’d have to put the effing thing back on – I can’t do it, Harry!” - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 19 (The Silver Doe)

It affects them all, but the Horcrux had the biggest effect on Ron.

“Then a voice hissed from out of the Horcrux. ‘I have seen your heart, and it is mine.’

‘Don’t listen to it!’ Harry said harshly. ‘Stab it!’

‘I have seen your dreams, Ronald Weasley, and I have seen your fears. All you desire is possible, but all that you dread is also possible …” - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 19 (The Silver Doe)

It confirms to Ron that all his insecurities and fears are valid, which it doesn't do to either Harry or Hermione.

“Stab!’ shouted Harry; his voice echoed off the surrounding trees, the sword point trembled, and Ron gazed down into Riddle’s eyes.

‘Least loved, always, by the mother who craved a daughter … least loved, now, by the girl who prefers your friend … second best, always, eternally overshadowed …” - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 19 (The Silver Doe)

Harry also has a piece of the Dark Lord's soul, which may also make a difference, as the Dark Lord (and therefore his soul pieces) is a strong willed wizard who's also incapable of love.

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  • This is a smart answer. But, if Harry's willpower is so much stronger, why did he fall for the Veela so strongly during the Quidditch final? He and Ron reacted the same on that occasion. – The Dark Lord Sep 4 '17 at 9:23
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    Thanks! :) My guess would be that Harry quickly "learned" (whether consciously or unconsciously) how to not fall for the Veela, while Ron remained susceptible. In addition, we know that Harry saw the Veela's true form, which might have helped shock him out of it a bit. (However, this is less sure, as mind control might still work on a victim who knows they shouldn't fall for it.) – Mal Sep 4 '17 at 20:05
30

Harry was (subconsciously) doing the things that help you to remain in control when confronted by a veela. By comparison, Ron is doing all the things that make you susceptible.

We know that Harry is affected by their glamour

The Veela had started to dance, and Harry’s mind had gone completely and blissfully blank. All that mattered in the world was that he kept watching the Veela, because if they stopped dancing, terrible things would happen … And as the Veela danced faster and faster, wild, half-formed thoughts started chasing through Harry’s dazed mind. He wanted to do something very impressive, right now. Jumping from the box into the stadium seemed a good idea … but would it be good enough?

But certain things seem to help you control your passions; not looking directly at them.

Harry screwed up his eyes, too; he wanted to keep his mind on the game

And not listening to them. Note that when he's looking at the referee he isn't entranced by the Veela either.

As one, the Weasley boys and Harry stuffed their fingers in their ears, but Hermione, who hadn’t bothered, was soon tugging on Harry’s arm. He turned to look at her, and she pulled his fingers impatiently out of his ears. ‘Look at the referee!’ she said, giggling.

When Harry encounters the Veela in the clearing, he's not looking at them, nor is he listening to them. He's paying more attention to their victims. The fact that he's seen their true forms may also help to break the infatuation.

Watching through his Omnioculars, Harry saw that they didn’t look remotely beautiful now. On the contrary, their faces were elongating into sharp, cruel-beaked bird heads, and long, scaly wings were bursting from their shoulders –

By comparison Ron is doing all of these in reverse; staring intently and listening carefully. The same happens when he meets Fleur.

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  • 3
    Good points. But why was Ron particularly affected? It wasn't just that Harry could control himself, it was that Ron couldn't. He was affected the worst (especially around Fleur), not just compared to Harry but compared to all the other boys in the school. – The Dark Lord Sep 1 '17 at 22:55
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    @TheDarkLord - Because he's a schmuck. Also, the fact that Harry is more interested in looking at Cho is probably a big factor. His attention is divided whereas Ron is looking at her full-beam – Valorum Sep 1 '17 at 22:56
16

Harry considers the veela dangerous, so he resists them

Harry, when first encountering the veela during the 1994 Quidditch World Cup, (where veelas acted as cheerleader squad for the Bulgarian team) was taken by surprise, same as Ron. At first, Harry was completey enchanted, and found the veela beautiful:

"Veela were women… the most beautiful women Harry had ever seen…" ~Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Chapter 8: The Quidditch World Cup

And he was completely overtaken by their magic:

"... Harry stopped worrying about them not being human—in fact, he stopped worrying about anything at all. The veela had started to dance, and Harry’s mind had gone completely and blissfully blank. All that mattered in the world was that he kept watching the veela, because if they stopped dancing, terrible things would happen."

...

"And as the veela danced faster and faster, wild, half formed thoughts started chasing through Harry’s dazed mind. He wanted to do something very impressive, right now. Jumping from the box into the stadium seemed a good idea… but would it be good enough?"

Harry and Ron had the exact same response: They decided to support the Bulgarian quidditch team and tried to dive from the podium to impress the veela.

Later in the game, however, Harry witnesses the veela using their magic to influence the referee:

"Harry looked down at the field. Hassan Mostafa had landed right in front of the dancing veela, and was acting very oddly indeed. He was flexing his muscles and smoothing his mustache excitedly. “Now, we can’t have that!” said Ludo Bagman, though he sounded highly amused. “Somebody slap the referee!” A mediwizard came tearing across the field, his fingers stuffed into his own ears, and kicked Mostafa hard in the shins."

Seeing them without glamour seemed to sober Harry up completely:

"...the veela lost control. Instead of dancing, they launched themselves across the field and began throwing what seemed to be handfuls of fire at the leprechauns. Watching through his Omnioculars, Harry saw that they didn’t look remotely beautiful now. On the contrary, their faces were elongating into sharp, cruel beaked bird heads, and long, scaly wings were bursting from their shoulders— “And that, boys,” yelled Mr. Weasley over the tumult of the crowd below, “is why you should never go for looks alone!”

After witnessing all this Harry probably classified the veela as dangerous magical beings, not unlike those he learned about the previous year in his DADA lessons from professor Lupin.

Ron, on the other hand, seems to posess a much simpler approach towards the veela: veelas are beautiful, so he is entranced by them. It is never shown that he is wary of the veela when he is our if their 'range', and when they approach him he seems immediately fall under their influence each time.

It is not as if Harry isn't suspectible to the charms of the veela, he clearly is, but he chose to resist them, and he does it successfully. Harry has a remarkably strong will against mind control, (later in the same year he was even successful resisting the imperius curse), so it is unsurprising that he was also successful to resist the veela as soon as he understood why it would be embarrassing or even dangerous to succumb to the veela charms. It is not described how exactly he does it: in the case of Fleur Delacour (who is part veela) Harry has clearly no problem maintaining eye contact and communicating with her without being affected:

At that moment, a voice said, “Excuse me, are you wanting ze bouillabaisse?” It was the girl from Beauxbatons who had laughed during Dumbledore’s speech. She had finally removed her muffler. A long sheet of silvery blonde hair fell almost to her waist. She had large, deep blue eyes, and very white, even teeth. Ron went purple. He stared up at her, opened his mouth to reply, but nothing came out except a faint gurgling noise. “Yeah, have it,” said Harry, pushing the dish toward the girl. “You ’ave finished wiz it?” “Yeah,” Ron said breathlessly. “Yeah, it was excellent.” ~Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Chapter 16: The Goblet of Fire '

Notice how different is the boys reaction, through both are looking at Fleur, Ron is completely smitten by her, while Harry seems uninterested.

It seems that having a romantic interest or being in a relationship gives immunity from the veela charms

In addition, Harry was interested in Cho Chang, so it's likely that it's also boosted his 'will save'. It seems that when a person already has a romantic interest, veela magic has much less effect: Cedric Diggory, for example, who was also interested in Cho, remained unaffected by Fleur, unlike Ron, who passed by at that time and became the unintended victim of her charm, asking her out and thus embarrassing himself.

Yet, unlike Harry, even after encountering veela a few times and 'getting burned' each time, Ron is unable to draw conclusions based on these encounters - he just thinks veela are beautiful, Fleur is beautiful, so she must be one, and has no idea what happened to him:

“I don’t know what made me do it!” Ron gasped again. “What was I playing at? There were people—all around—I’ve gone mad—everyone watching! I was just walking past her in the entrance hall—she was standing there talking to Diggory—and it sort of came over me—and I asked her!”

Harry is the one who has to explain to him how veela charms work and what happened to him:

“She’s part veela,” said Harry. “You were right—her grandmother was one. It wasn’t your fault, I bet you just walked past when she was turning on the old charm for Diggory and got a blast of it—but she was wasting her time. He’s going with Cho Chang.”

I don't blame those fans who after reading the books or watching the films are of the opinion that Ron is a bit simple minded (despite being introduced in the first book as a wizard-chess grandmaster.) Ron, unlike Harry, doesn't seem to posess the ability to analyze data and draw conclusions, doesn't have a strong will like Harry, and growing up in a protected and supportive environment, he is less wary of the intentions of strangers. In addition, unlike Harry who had shown interest in Cho from the beginning of the fourth year, Ron at the same time seems less aware of the girls around him:

“Hermione, Neville’s right—you are a girl…” ~ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Chapter 22: The Unexpected Task

therefore it is understandable that in their fourth year Ron was easily distracted by and was much more susceptible to veela charms as it probably hadn't even occured to him to resist them. Even in his sixth year he seems to be a bit infatuated with Fleur during her visit to the Burrow and he is teased about it mercilessly by Ginny.

“Oh, that’s right, defend her,” snapped Ginny. “We all know you can’t get enough of her.” Harry Potter and the Half Blood prince - Chapter 5: An Excess of Phlegm

As Ginny notes later in the Trio's sixth year, Ron, as opposed to Harry at that point lacked experience with girls:

“No, I will not!” yelled Ginny, beside herself. “I’ve seen you with Phlegm, hoping she’ll kiss you on the cheek every time you see her, it’s pathetic! If you went out and got a bit of snogging done yourself, you wouldn’t mind so much that everyone else does it!” ~Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince - Chapter 14 : Felix Felicis

So Ginny more or less describes Ron as a randy teenager who lacks experience with girls, so he is weak against veela charms. Possibly that later, when Ron realized his feelings for Hermione and started going out with her he was able to fight veela influence better.

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1

There is at least one difference between Harry and Ron vis-a-vis Veela that is explicitly mentioned in the book:

"I'm telling you, that's not a normal girl!" said Ron, leaning sideways so he could keep a clear view of her. "They don't make them like that at Hogwarts!"

"They make them okay at Hogwarts," said Harry without thinking. Cho happened to be sitting only a few places away from the girl with the silvery hair.

So Ron's view of Veela beauty relative to normal girls is greater than Harry's. Whether that's because his view of Veela beauty is especially high or because his view of Hogwarts beauty is especially low, he may be affected more by Veela beauty because to him it is a greater increase in what he's used to than it is for Harry.

Additionally, there is another passage where Ron explicitly explains why it affects him:

When Fleur leaves the room in the beginning of Half-Blood Prince, we find the following:

Looking careworn, she left the room. Ron still seemed slightly punch-drunk; he was shaking his head experimentally like a dog trying to rid its ears of water.

"Don't you get used to her if she's staying in the same house?" Harry asked.

"Well, you do," said Ron, "but if she jumps out at you unexpectedly, like then..."

So apparently Ron can also resist the Veela charm if he has a chance to steel himself. In the instances where he was affected more than Harry it is possible that it was because he was unable to steel himself in time, or perhaps he doesn't always want to steel himself. We know that Harry has pretty good reflexes:

Voldemort raised his wand, but this time Harry was ready; with the reflexes born of his Quidditch training, he flung himself sideways onto the ground; he rolled behind the marble headstone of Voldemort's father, and he heard it crack as the curse missed him.

So this might be giving Harry the advantage in situations where they both want to avoid being smitten. And I would think Ron would be more likely than Harry to want to be smitten in a given situation.

Note that even when Harry manages not to totally lose his mind like Ron, he can still be affected somewhat. In the same scene from Half-Blood Prince we find Harry's reaction:

A young woman was standing in the doorway, a woman of such breathtaking beauty that the room seemed to have become strangely airless. She was tall and willowy with long blonde hair and appeared to emanate a faint, silvery glow. To complete this vision of perfection, she was carrying a heavily laden breakfast tray.

This would also fit with the above, because aside from at the Quidditch World Cup this was probably the most unexpected seeing of Veela that Harry encounters throughout the books.

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-2

Harry is an ascetic and has no respect for non true love. Harry doesn't need beautiful girls to seem cool. He also doesn't believe a beautiful girl is necessarily human. Meaning veela are non humans to him

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  • 1
    Do you have any evidence for any of these points you could edit in to back them up? For example, book quotes suggesting as such. – TheLethalCarrot Jul 13 at 20:59
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    Hi, welcome to SF&F. Since your answer is basically stating that the question is wrong (Harry is not a normal teenage boy) you'll need to provide some evidence of this. Do you have any quotes you can include to back this up? – DavidW Jul 13 at 20:59

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