In Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Ron Weasley was famously dosed with a love potion, but was that the only time?
The original Harry Potter series is still popular and a fertile source of fan speculation years after the final book and film were released. There’s enough information in the source material for dedicated fans to piece together and draw fascinating conclusions.
Everyone who has read Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is familiar with Romilda Vane’s love potion, which was meant for Harry but was unintentionally consumed by Ron. One such theory is proposed by Reddit user EquivalentInflation, who claims that Ron Weasley was under the effect of a love potion twice. However, according to this idea, Ron was also dosed.
The original poster makes a few points that correspond to the plot of Half-Blood Prince. Obsession, not actual connection, results from love potions, and Ron and Lavender’s relationship is pretty superficial. According to Fred’s description of them to his sister in Weasley Wizard Wheezes, the dosage only lasts 24 hours. According to the poster, the antidote that Professor Slughorn offers Ron for Romilda’s love potion also cured him of Lavender’s. They also point to means, motive, and opportunity:
It’s easy to slip anything into someone’s drink at a party. Weasley Wizard Wheezes sells love potions. She and Ron have shown a semblance of interest in one other, which the brew would encourage.
Of course, there are some legitimate criticisms. The poster responds to some of the allegations, such as people being aware of love potions or Lavender not being the kind to buy one, pointing out where canon contradicts these statements. The theory is supported by a reading of Half-Blood Prince, although it also supports counterclaims. Ron didn’t need a love potion to hook up with Lavender, given the book’s abundance of ill-conceived romances and horny youngsters who don’t know how to express themselves in healthy ways. Many people have pointed out that adolescence is generally marked by superficial and physical relationships like Lavender and Ron’s.
Furthermore, Ron and Hermione were regularly at odds with each other.
The idea that the romance begins to fade during the holidays has merit, as that is when Ron’s affections for Lavender begin to drop. However, it appears to be due to her gift of a necklace rather than a love potion wearing off, as he becomes enraged at Fred and George for mocking the relationship. When they return after Christmas break, Ron reacts positively to Lavender, contradicting the love potion idea. As the other example of a protracted love potion influence, Merope Gaunt and Tom Riddle, Sr., fell apart relatively immediately after Merope allowed the potion to wear off. When the novelty of the private devotion shows wears off, Ron and Lavender’s relationship begins to cool, and Lavender wants to be alone.
As others have pointed out, Lavender was more invested in the relationship than Ron, which means Ron was done with it once it served its purpose. As many have pointed out, it’s a jerk move meant to be a dig at Hermione — but since there are several other instances in the book of Ron being nasty to others, like kicking a first-year off of a seat he coveted or ridiculing Moaning Myrtle, it’s within his character’s limitations. And, as Romilda’s love potion in the Half-Blood Prince book reveals, if Ron were dosed, he’d be unable to think of anybody else except her, and he’d be aware that he’d been dosed as soon as its wore off or an anti-dote was supplied.
That isn’t to say it isn’t an intriguing notion or one without validity. What’s fascinating is that it may quickly go either way: canon both supports and refutes it. However, the fact that a now 17-year-old book can still be studied seriously demonstrates that Harry Potter is still a fun series to become a classic.