If Ron and Hermione are so great, why do people always say that Hermione deserves better? Did she really "settle" for Ron? I mean, there was an international Quidditch player trying to get with her once upon a time. Was Ron really the best she could do?
Yes, yes he was. Don't believe me? Read on, my friend.
1. Ron always defends her.
The movies kind of butchered this. There's that famous scene in Prisoner of Azkaban where Snape calls Hermione an insufferable know-it-all, and Ron leans over and whispers, "He's right, you know?" Pretty hard to make a case for them being together after that, right?
In the books, Ron didn't agree with Snape. In fact, he did the opposite. He very loudly said, "You asked a question, and she knows the answer! Why ask if you don't want to be told?" There was never a time in the books where Ron agreed with what Snape said about Hermione, actually. And though he certainly did his fair share of good-natured teasing, he never stood for anyone treating her badly. Remember how upset he was when Bellatrix was torturing her in Deathly Hallows? Yeah, we stan a real man.
2. They support each other.
Sure, the books are full of them arguing, but they're also full of them supporting each other's interests. Ron made fun of Hermione's S.P.E.W., but in the end, he was on board to help the house elves. Hermione showed up to Ron's Quidditch matches and cheered him on. They didn't have identical interests, and they sometimes didn't even like what the other did, but they supported each other anyway!
3. They're good friends already.
"Oh, but the only thing Hermione and Ron had in common was Harry!" I hear you say. I shake my head at that bold-faced lie. Ron and Hermione were as close of friends as they were Harry. Remember Prisoner of Azkaban, when they went to Hogsmeade together because Harry couldn't and had an absolutely wonderful time? And every time Harry is off doing his own thing, he always comes back to find them together, either studying or talking or playing a game. They didn't have to hang out when Harry wasn't around. They chose to because they genuinely liked each other as friends.
4. The movie didn't do them justice.
One of the biggest problems with the movies was how Hermione and Ron were portrayed. The movies stripped away a lot of Ron's personality and made him into the character for comic relief, while giving a lot of his iconic and redeeming lines and character traits to Hermione. In the books, Ron is the one who enlightens the other two about the wizarding world, knowing everything about the Ministry and Quidditch and a host of other things that Hermione wouldn't find out reading books. He's genuinely funny and smart (remember when he beat McGonagall's chess set in the Sorcerer's Stone? At the age of 11?) and self-sacrificing (remember when he sacrificed himself to that same chess set? At the age of 11??) and an all-around good guy. As I heard it said on a Tumblr post once, "Movie Ron is the person book Ron is afraid of being in his lowest moments."
5. They fight, but they always make up.
And honestly? That makes them a much healthier couple than a lot of YA pairings. No matter what, you're going to get into arguments with your SO. It's unavoidable. Ron and Hermione have long been down that road, and by now they know what's too far, and how to make up after fights. Those are super important life skills, especially for a long-term relationship.
6. A lot of Ron's issues stem from lack of self esteem.
Ron's haters always pick apart his flaws, without thinking about where those might come from. He has an enormous inferiority complex, and it's not hard to see why. The youngest son of five older brothers, the best friend of the Chosen One and a certified genius, Ron gets overshadowed all the time. He has trouble seeing the value in himself, and that's a big driving force for a lot of his actions throughout the series (like in Goblet of Fire, when he left Harry for a few months, or in Halfblood Prince, when he downgraded to Lavender Brown). He canonically struggles with feeling like he doesn't deserve Hermione, that she and Harry are better together and secretly love each other. And yet the fandom simply confirms all of that, without bothering to think why Ron might act and think this way. Speaking as someone with very huge self-esteem issues: not cool, man.
7. Hermione is also flawed!
The thing the movies left out about Hermione was that she was also flawed. She was critical, a bit too self-absorbed, and not super in tune with her emotions or those of the people around her. And honestly? That's so completely cool. An awesome female character who kicks booty and has flaws at the same time? I am so here for it.
It also shows that she's not "too good" for Ron. She's not the perfect goddess the movies make her out to be. She's just a very intelligent, driven, flawed girl who fell in love with the funniest and most caring guy she knew.
Why was Hermione not "settling" when she got together with Ron? Because she loved him, and he loved her, and that's enough. They care about each other enough to work through their differences, and that's what makes any relationship really strong and special.