This question was triggered by this section of DVK's answer on Is Viktor Krum a good wizard? :

Hermione liked him enough to actually go out with him somewhat seriously. Since this is NOT a Hollywood romantic comedy, I'm going to make an assumption that Hermione's personality is that of a typical nerdy know-it-all girl; and nearly 100% of those that I have known (and I've known plenty) were almost exclusively into guys who had intelligence.

To which I commented that she end up with Ron Weasley. DVK replied with this:

Ron is the best Wizard Chess player in the entire series. Just because he was a lazy student, don't make him not intelligent.

I remember him playing chess only in the first book, but I don't remember him showing smartness anytime after that, did he?

  • 1
    Do we know whether the Ghoul disguise was Ron's idea?
    – b_jonas
    Commented Jun 16, 2012 at 11:38
  • 12
    Ron comes up with the idea of going to the Chamber of Secrets for a fresh supply of basilisk fangs in DH chapter 31. Harry calls him a genius for this.
    – b_jonas
    Commented Jun 17, 2012 at 15:21
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    I know plenty of teenagers that are very intelligent, but that don't apply themselves or observe things well - much like good old Ron. I adored him for this reason. He reminds me so much of so many of my favorite students. Commented Dec 31, 2012 at 7:12
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    It's probably worth noting that what pushed Hermione "over the edge" with Ron wasn't an instance of intellectual intelligence, it was his ordering the House Elves away from the Battle Of Hogwarts - showing both presence of mind and an empathy/respect for the elves that no-one else did. This heavily implies that it's this aspect of him, not grades, that she finds attractive.
    – DavidS
    Commented Feb 28, 2020 at 16:36
  • @DavidS That's a good point, but I would probably characterize it as his (somewhat untapped) intelligence brings him to a level that Hermione could tolerate him, but his empathy won her heart. Both were required for different reasons to make the relationship work. Commented Feb 28, 2020 at 16:50

7 Answers 7


Not only was he one of the greatest wizarding chess player in the series but he also finds Harry and Hermione when he figures out how to use the deluminator. He has street smarts, in a similar way to his elder brothers Fred and George.

  • Not to mention he managed to learn Parseltongue from the 3-5 times Harry spoke the language. Commented Sep 16, 2020 at 18:49

Despite being a "Lazy" student, Ron was fairy competent at his school work, at least in regards to his testing. Which, unlike Muggle tests, had practical portions to prove they actually could do spells, etc. and not just memorize answers for a paper test.

Harry James Potter has achieved: Astronomy A, Care of Magical Creatures E, Charms E, Defense Against the Dark Arts O, Divination P, Herbology E, History of Magic D, Potions E, Transfiguration E

These are Harry's scores, but we know that Ron got similar scores:

He looked around. Hermione had her back to him and her head bent, but Ron was looking delighted.
“Only failed Divination and History of Magic, and who cares about them?” he said happily to Harry. “Here — swap —”
Harry glanced down Ron’s grades: There were no “Outstandings” there. . . .

Other than Defense Against the Dark Arts, I'd hazard a guess that Ron's scores are identical to Harry's.

Ron got an E in Transfiguration:

And I ought to tell you now, Potter, that I do not accept students into my N.E.W.T. classes unless they have achieved ‘Exceeds Expectations’ or higher at Ordinary Wizarding Level.

Also an E in Potions.

“And so you did when Professor Snape was teaching the subject. Professor Slughorn, however, is perfectly happy to accept N.E.W.T students with ‘Exceeds Expectations’ at O.W.L. Do you wish to proceed with Potions?”

We also know that later in life Ron became an Auror, which was a task only given only to the elite, in both intelligence and skill.


In the last couple of books he is continually having ideas and providing observations which Hermione describes as 'brilliant'.

Ron seems to not be academically strong as that does not interest him but he is intelligent when he actually thinks about things.

Hermione might well have sensed that and found it attractive even if that frustrated and confused her because he did not 'seem' her (or anyone's!!) type.


Well, let's look at it this way: Is magic, and being good at it, biased around intelligence? Hermione is clearly smart, and though spellcraft in Harry Potter seems very reliant on brute force memorization (aptitude for which does not necessarily make one intelligent!) I think we can all agree that it does seem to be learned similar to the way one learns any cerebral task, (mathematics, programming, writing, etc) by careful practice and forethought.

Because Ron is good at magic. He may not be better than Harry or Hermione, but by sixteen he was able to duel adult wizards and do fairly well for himself. By seventeen, he was winning fights against fully grown adults. If magic is biased on intelligence, then Ron must be pretty decent. He had a large amount of abnormal practice, but he didn't die during it, which leads to the conclusion that he was doing something right.

  • 1
    Plus he was a pretty good Quiddich goaly too!
    – Nick Shaw
    Commented Jun 18, 2012 at 13:15

In the books we see several instances where Ron's intelligence shows:

  • Ron is the one who frees the members of Dumbledore's Army from Umbridge's supporters by tricking Crabbe and Goyle into eating 'sweets', i.e Weasely's Wizarding Wheezes (Nosebleed Nougat, Puking Pastiles, etc).

  • As others have already noted, Ron nearly matches Harry in his O.W.L. results.

  • Ron is the one who realizes Harry can get Slughorn's true memory of Tom Riddle by using the Liquid Luck (note: the movie changed that).

  • As others have already mentioned, Ron figures out how to get back to Harry and Hermione via the Deluminator.

  • During the Battle for Hogwarts, when Ron and Hermione notice Harry disappearing from the Marauder's Map, it is Ron who realizes he must have gone into the Room of Requirement. Hermione even asks herself why she didn't think of that.

  • Ron is the one who reopens the Chamber of Secrets door to get the Basilisk fangs, by imitating Harry's Parseltongue ("Did you ever notice Harry talks in his sleep?").


J.K. Rowling described Ron as “not the most intelligent”.

When J.K. Rowling answered why Dumbledore gave Ron the Deluminator, she described Ron as not the most skilled or intelligent when explaining his role in the trio.

Sampotterish: Why did dumbledore want ron to keep his deluminator

J.K. Rowling: Because he knew that Ron might need a little more guidance than the other two.

J.K. Rowling: Dumbledore understood Ron's importance in the trio. He wasn't the most skilled, or the most intelligent, but he held them together; his humour and his good heart were essential.
- Bloomsbury Live Chat, (July 30, 2007)

Whether she meant that’s he’s not the most intelligent just out of of the three of them or more generally isn’t clear - but she doesn’t seem to consider Ron particularly smart.

  • 5
    -1; the quote specifically talks about his position in the trio, so "he wasn't the most intelligent" must be in comparison to Hermione Granger (who's intelligence is important to the trio). Your conclusion is overreaching.
    – T.J.L.
    Commented Feb 28, 2020 at 16:26
  • Yeah kinda like Ringo Starr was not the best drummer of the Beatles.
    – Marvel Boy
    Commented Aug 18, 2020 at 14:12

Ron did a non-verbal spell when he was 12 years old. He nearly died to make sure that Harry got the Philosphers Stone. He defended Harry countless times. Need I say more?

  • 3
    "Need I say more?" - I'm afraid you do. Currently, only your first example is actually relevant to the question. You don't need to be smart to make a self-sacrifice, or to defend another person.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Sep 16, 2020 at 9:10
  • And to continue F1Krazy's point you should not only edit in some more relevant examples but back those examples up with evidence, for example, quotes from the books.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Sep 16, 2020 at 9:28
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    "Ron did a non-verbal spell when he was 12 years old." Did he? Which spell was it? Can you provide quotes from the book to back this up. Commented Sep 16, 2020 at 10:05

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