21

When Ginny joined the Gryffindor Quidditch team and was showing talent, it came as a complete surprise for her brothers. George said:

“Actually, I dunno how she got so good, seeing how we never let her play with us. . . .” “She’s been breaking into your broom shed in the garden since the age of six and taking each of your brooms out in turn when you weren’t looking,” said Hermione from behind her tottering pile of Ancient Rune books. “Oh,” said George, looking mildly impressed. “Well — that’d explain it.” ~Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 26: Seen and Unforeseen

Could be that her family was protective of Ginny, considering her their little baby girl, but I don't recall even Mrs. Weasley forbidding Ginny to participate in any sports activity. She mainly opposed Ginny being told Order secrets related to the return of Voldemort, which was understandable. And even in that case, Ginny's brothers had no problem with Ginny getting information Mrs. Weasley considered too dangerous and thus unsuitable for her age, for example, Sirius' and Lupin's update on the Voldemort situation at the beginning of Harry's fifth year:

“Asleep, yeah, right,” said Fred in an undertone, after Hermione bade them good night and they were climbing to the next floor. “If Ginny’s not lying awake waiting for Hermione to tell her everything they said downstairs, then I’m a flobberworm. . . .” ~Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 6: The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black

So if they were fine with Ginny being told Order secrets, why not let her join their Quidditch games? After all, they let Ron join and from what I could tell they were also fine with girls (Angelina Johnson, Alicia Spinnet and Katie Bell) playing Quidditch on the Gryffindor team, so why not play with their little sis?

Is there something in the Weasley family dynamics I am missing?

  • 38
    Because she's a girl – Valorum Dec 22 '17 at 13:33
  • I think it was simply because she was the only girl in the family and the youngest one at that and they were all just protective of her (As its easy to hurt yourself in Quidditch and kids usually get rough while playing). Even Fred and George who are usually very mischievous wouldn't have wanted Ginny to get hurt. Also participating in a sporting event is different from playing in your backyard – dobby Dec 22 '17 at 13:38
  • @Preeti could be. but wouldn't their refusal to teach her to endanger her more? if she was interested and they refused to teach her as the wording 'we never let her' suggests? Why weren't they afraid of Ginny experimenting alone? After all it is evident from the quote above that her brothers think Ginny is not likely to give up if she wants to do or hear something forbidden... – user68762 Dec 22 '17 at 14:02
  • 17
    @Morrigan No. I don't think Fred and George thought through that much. If she has been doing this since she was six years old then they were not too old themselves(They are only 3 year older than her, right!). Its just like typical older brother behavior to not include younger sister in their games. (My own brother did that to me. ;) ) – dobby Dec 22 '17 at 14:12
  • 13
    as an older brother, younger siblings are annoying, I have a slightly older and slightly younger brother and then a much younger brother that would always try to play games with us that we would then have to tone down, when it was just the three of us we could go all out and it was way more fun – Wraith Leader Dec 22 '17 at 14:24
48

As Valorum said, it's basically because she's a girl, but it's more involved than that. Ginny is the only girl and the youngest, so it's probably a bit of them being protective and a lot them not wanting her to hang around them because they think she's annoying.

Ginny is the youngest

Not wanting the youngest kids around is a common dynamic in mixed-age groups even if it's all boys or all girls. Goodness knows my older siblings and cousins spent enough time trying to get rid of me when I was trying to hang out with them instead of the siblings and cousins younger than me. Now that she's older (and more openly assertive!), they do pay more attention to her, even if they don't play Quidditch with her.

Ginny is the only girl

The fact that they happily play with the girls on their team doesn't mean a whole lot. Insofar as protectiveness is involved, lots of boys are more protective of their own sisters than they are of girls in general. But it's more likely that they assumed she wouldn't be good enough at Quidditch for it to be fun to play with her, or just generally didn't want to hang out with girls and their cooties. Now they're older and they've grown out of this.

When George says “Actually, I dunno how she got so good, seeing how we never let her play with us,” he's talking mostly about the past. It is grammatically ambiguous, but Hermione's response ("since the age of six") supports the interpretation that he means they never let her play with them when they were children. They still don't seem to (at least not in #4), but it's clear that this precedent was established when they were quite young.

The Hermione factor

Another big part of why the Weasley boys start treating Ginny more as an equal is because Hermione does, which brings her at least partway into the Harry-Ron-Hermione group.

Quidditch vs. Order secrets

It's not too surprising that they don't object to Hermione telling her everything now, because (a) they've all grown up, (b) she needs to know about Voldemort in a way that she didn't need to play Quidditch.

  • 29
    Not just them. The reaction of the parents is the big thing. As someone who's spent time as an older brother, if you get hurt that's a shame, but if the little sister gets hurt, and further it was your fault, God help you, because nobody else down here will. – T.E.D. Dec 22 '17 at 20:32
20

George doesn't say that their parents didn't let Ginny play, he says that he and his brothers didn't let her play.

It's not unusual for children to exclude their younger siblings from games on the grounds that they are too young to play the game properly. It is also common for brothers to exclude their sisters from games on the grounds that girls can't play the game properly.

This behaviour is not kind and (especially in the second case) not logical, but kids can be like that. They pick up prejudices from their parents and other adults and act on them more openly than the adults might (at least in these supposedly "enlightened" times).

  • 14
    That's only a technicality though. If the parents come down on you like a ton of bricks when the little sister gets hurt, the natural result is to not allow the little sister to participate in activities that could result in her injury. Its pretty well-established in the books that the one thing above all else you don't want to do in Potterverse is tick off Mrs. Weasley. – T.E.D. Dec 22 '17 at 20:36
15

All these answers are good, but I think that they are trivializing the most important motivator: Molly Weasley.

Molly was a very domineering person, and she desperately wanted a girl child, and was increasingly frustrated until Ginny was finally born.

Ron’s self esteem is a running sub-plot throughout all the books, culminating in the revelation given by the Gaunt horcrux specifically taunting Ron for not being the girl that Ron’s mother wanted.

Ron is constantly brushed aside, while Ginny is always under Molly’s wing. Ron gets used and damaged hand-me-downs, Ginny gets new stuff. Ron or Fred or George get in trouble at school? A howler. Ginny gets in trouble? Molly visits.

Molly kills Bellatrix for daring to aim a curse at Ginny.


Now, children learn from their parents. Fred and George can go out and bludger each other all they want. But should Molly discover that Fred and George did anything to put Ginny in harm’s way, imagined or not, they would have their mother’s wrath to pay. Better to exclude her than risk it.

Psychologically, this need not be understood or necessarily even recognized by the family. They pick up on their mother’s attitude toward Ginny and develop an aversion to involving her in their get into trouble ways. (I suspect they have plenty of lesser experiences getting yelled at by Molly because of something they did together while including Ginny when younger.) And, as the other answers say, because Fred and George were thick as thieves and didn’t want their sister involved with cool guy stuff, like Quidditch.

So here’s an upvote for @T.E.D’s comment too.

  • 6
    Yes, to me also seems as if molly was very protective of ginny as the youngest, but am not sure about ginny getting special treatment. She was also getting second hand stuff - in book2 diary tom says: "My diary. Little Ginny’s been writing in it for months and months, telling me all her pitiful worries and woes—how her brothers tease her, how she had to come to school with secondhand robes and books. Also do you refer to molly's visit to the time when Ginny was in mortal danger, being taken to the chamber of secrets? A visit seems justified in this case... – user68762 Dec 23 '17 at 8:30
  • Things don’t have to be taken to their logical extreme or be unreasonable to be either unbalanced or perceived. – Dúthomhas Dec 23 '17 at 18:02
  • True.we know Ron had these thoughts, else voldy's trolling locket wouldn't have such an effect with the Least loved, always, by the mother who craved a daughter line so it may have been a contributing factor. Possibly. But we don't see any special treatment on Molly's part. Not sending a howler to a kid who was about 2b killed in the chamber but rushing to visit to see whats going on doesn't seem preferential treatment to me. it seemed she was worried about her kids safety equally, remember the bogart incident? Ginny's corpse wasnt the first to make appearance. That's why i wouldn't jump t – user68762 Dec 23 '17 at 18:50
  • 2
    ...to conclusions. Also I dunno why, but to me always seemed that Percy was mrs. W's favourite. .. – user68762 Dec 23 '17 at 19:24
7

The Weasleys are poor and even used brooms are expensive and therefore closely guarded.

I think the brothers were very carefully to their brooms and guarding them jealously. If you don't have been raised up with several siblings: The youngest child is always the one who is guilty of breaking things deliberately (even if they aren't, I speak from experience, I was the youngest).

And as the others said, she is a girl. Little boys may have some qualities, but being obnoxious and disdainful to little girls seems to be an culturally independent trait.

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