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Dumbledore's Army

A Collection of Posts Re: Fred and George Weasley

Compiled by Rocky

Revision date: October 12, 2002

"George and Fred-- they do anything to cause trouble. Gotta love 'em!"

–SkySparcz 2/24/02

Fred and George Weasley are possibly two of the most beloved characters in the world of Harry Potter. Have you ever met a person who did not appreciate the notorious Fred ‘n George? Their sharp wits and clever remarks could crack a smile even on Mr. Crouch’s face.

So far in the series, J.K. Rowlings has given us limited information about this pair of mischief makers. The Harry Potter community has had to develop their own speculations, discussions, and theories on the Weasley twins.

The Basics

Fred and George are the fourth (and fifth) oldest of the Weasley children. They both have red hair, are shorter and stockier than Ron, and are "identical to the last freckle". A common assumption is that Fred’s given name is Frederick, although same say that Alfred is a possibility. George, obviously, is George.

Figuring out the age of the twins is a harder matter than guessing their names. We know from Canon that the twins are born in April of 1978 (GoF). But the actual date is unknown. A popular assumption for a day is April 1. After all, what better birthday for the twins than April Fools?

There has always been much speculation about which is the eldest twin. Many people believe that George is the elder. As Kate griffith said, "I always thought George was oldest. Mainly because it's Fred who never shuts up." In canon, Fred does seem to be the more exuberant of the pair, if only marginally. George seems slightly more mature. So the theory here is that ‘with age comes wisdom’, or that since George seems more rational he must be older, if only by a few minutes.

However, there are those who believe Fred to be the elder of the two twins. According to Circex, "Fred is older…First-born twins are often the 'dominant' twin, the leader, the one who comes up with most of the ideas. This doesn't mean that the younger twin can't be more dominant or outgoing, just that usually the older twin is the one that is more...obvious? They generally do more to attract attention…The older twin gets first billing; they're usually the dominant twin in a same-sex twinship (esp. identicals)". Just as the ‘George-is-older’ supporters use the fact that Fred is slightly more out-going to prove their point, so do the ‘Fred-is-older’ fans.

The Mischief Makers

Fred and George love to cause trouble, no questions asked. In all the scenes the twins are in, most of them include either a practical joke, advise on practical jokes, or some form of witty banter. The twins are considered as possibly the best jokesters Hogwarts has even seen, their only competition being the Marauders. However, julietvancouver says, "Sure, others have blown things up, but did they create a whole career out of it?". That is true. The Marauders had a whole slew of jokes and pranks up their sleeves, but they didn’t decide to start a business based on them. To Fred and George, jokes and laughs are life.

Why is it that Fred and George cause so much trouble? Circex says, "Fred and George cause trouble that is meant to get a reaction. I think they do it, in part, to study people's reaction...it might help them to invent their jokes." In Goblet of Fire, Fred and George do test out their new Ton Tongue Toffees on Dudley to see what would happen. But many people also think that Fred and George cause so much mischief to set themselves apart from the rest of their family. Like Ron, they might be looking for some sort of identity, something that is unique to themselves. However, it is pretty obvious that the twins just love to make people, including themselves, laugh.

Group Dynamics

Although both individuals, it is possible to discuss Fred and George without looking at their group dynamics. After all, they are twins.

The Fredngeorge Syndrome

Many people see small yet distinguishable differences in the twins that often lead to people picking a favorite of the two. Yet there are still many Potterholics who see very little difference between Fred and George. "I've never really bought that there are huge differences between the twins in the first place--some people can bring up quotes and stuff…" (Michelle Ravel, 05/28/02). It is true that without one, there would not be the other. The twins complement each other perfectly. Even if Fred is more outgoing and George more reserved, together they are Fred ‘n George. "I've always thought of Fred as the Fire twin and George as the Air twin. Fred is fiery and brash, and he needs George's mellowness and (relative) calmness to thrive. Just like fire needs air to thrive. They balance each other out beautifully" (rebeccagrace, 09/15/02).

The Overshadowed Twin

Because of Fred’s zip, George is often times believed to be overshadowed by his twin. Fred does seem to be in the limelight more than George. He generally is more outspoken and brash (remember how he asked Angelina to go to the Yule Ball with him?), and therefore gets more attention placed on him. George, in contrast, seems to be more cautious and sensitive. He was worried about the cost of textbooks in Chamber of Secrets, he explained to Hermione why SPEW was a rather pointless endeavor, and we can assume that it was George who was worried about blackmailing Bagman. Fred is the twin who goes dashing forward madly without a care; George is the one who makes sure there’s nothing to trip over as he’s running. It is because of this cautiousness and more introverted behavior (if introverted behavior is possible for the twins) that people often times see him as overshadowed by Fred.

"Does anyone ever wonder who George went to the Yule Ball with?" (ginatheart, 12/06/02). It’s true. We never actually find out who George went to the Yule Ball with. More evidence for the "George is overshadowed" supporters. Fred has a grand time at the Yule Ball with Angelina, but what about George? JK Rowlings never specifies a date for him. Did he go with Alicia or Katie? Did he go with a girl from another House? Did he go solo? We never find out.

A Favorite?

Human beings have a need to pick out the very best, their own personal choice. So, which twin do Weasley fans prefer? People who think George is overshadowed generally favor him for it. Sympathy does create a fan base, and besides, who couldn’t love a sensitive guy? However, people also love Fred for his extremely extroverted ways. In a word, he’s fun, as is George. Is it too difficult to pick a favorite Weasley twins? "I love Fred because of his snappy replies, and George for his understated wit. I love Fred for his 'take-charge' attitude, and George for his thoughtfulness. And sometimes they switch roles, which is nice to see. Makes them more realistic. All in all, they're both good, caring Weasley boys" (prettyannamoon, 04/23/02). Yes, I think the consensus is that it is too difficult to chose a favorite. Whether dominant, overshadowed or interchangeable, no one can deny that they adore the Weasley twins.

Weasley’s Wizards Whizzes and the Bet

We learned at the beginning of Goblet of Fire Fred and George’s ambitious goal is to become entrepreneurs and start their own joke shop, "Weasley’s Wizards Whizzes". However, funds for this project are short, especially after the boys’ disastrous bet with Ludo Bagman. Fred and George bet thirty-seven Galleons, fifteen Sickles, and three Knuts, plus five extra Galleons for the rubber chicken wand. Thanks to Doctor Cornelius’ wonderful math skills, we know how much Muggle money turns out to be.

42 Galleons 15 Sickles 3 Knuts translates roughly into 42.888 Galleons, which in turn converts into $206.27 (US), or £132.22. "If Bagman gave them 10-1 odds, they received over $2000 in return-- unfortunately, in leprechaun gold" (Doctor Cornelius, 05/28/02). Harry’s 1000 Galleon prize money then was equal to $4,809.26 (US), or £3073.01. Hopefully that will be enough money to get "Weasley’s Wizards Whizzes" off its feet.

With so many theories running around about the twins, we can only hope that JK Rowlings will tell us more about the dynamic duo in the future books. However, for now all Fred and George fans seem to agree on one thing: "They both have their strengths and weaknesses that contribute to the team that is ‘The Weasley Twins’" (GryffinRose).

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