One of the most wonderful aspects of the Harry Potter series is how each character has a rich and complex backstory. This is true not only for main characters like Harry, Ron, and Hermione, but also for secondary characters, like Ginny, the Weasley twins, Draco Malfoy, and Luna Lovegood. Learning more about each of these characters adds additional color and context when reading the books – it makes each subsequent re-read more interesting, in my experience.
It’s for that reason I decided to start a series of posts with facts about different characters; this post obviously focuses on facts about the Weasley twins, Fred and George. Learning more about these two charming characters will help you laugh harder at their jokes and pranks, and mourn deeper the losses they each experience.
If you’re curious to learn more facts about Fred Weasley and George Weasley, read on. I guarantee they’ll be at least one that surprises you.
Featured photo credit: Emily Matthews via Flickr
Facts about the Weasley Twins
- The Weasley twins’ parents are Arthur and Molly Weasley. I know this piece of information is arguably one of the least surprising facts about the Weasley Twins if you’re a fierce Potterhead, but it never hurts to mention the obvious for the ones who are just getting to know the saga.
- The Weasley twins were born on April Fools’ Day. Coincidence? I don’t think so. J.K. Rowling never mentions the twins’ birthdate in the books. However, she confirmed that their birthday is April 1, April Fools’ Day. It makes total sense as Fred and George have a knack for practical jokes.
- Molly might have named the twins in honor of her brothers. Molly Weasley had two older brothers, Fabian and Gideon who were killed by the Death Eaters during Voldemort’s initial rise to power. If you’re a meticulous reader, you may have noticed the names’ initials match those of Fred and George.
- In their seventh year, Fred and George joined Dumbledore’s Army, the organization taught and led by Harry Potter.
- The two actors who portrayed Fred & George Weasley are twins in real life. As you may know, not all movies cast twins to play twins. Sometimes, the director gets one actor or actress to play both characters. Not the Harry Potter movies, though. The Weasley twins are played by real-life twins James and Oliver Phelps in the movie adaptations.
- We’ve all been Molly Weasley trying to (unsuccessfully) differentiate Fred and George. However, while the Weasley twins are two leads in a pod, the Phelps twins have a tiny mark that gives their identity away. A mole! George (Oliver Phelps) has a mole on the right side of his neck, which Fred does not have.
- They caused Ron’s Arachnophobia. We are all familiar with Ron’s irrational fear of spiders. Apparently, he developed his phobia after the twins turned his teddy bear into a spider. On a side note, the twins were just little kids when they did this spell, with no magical education. That just speaks of how talented they were!
- They play the greatest prank ever on Harry’s first cousin, Dudley. Unless you’ve read the books, you’ll find the following fact utterly satisfying. In Goblet of Fire, the Weasley family goes to No. 4 Privet Drive to pick up Harry for the Quidditch World Cup. Fred “accidentally” drops a Ton-Tongue Toffee near Dudley, who inevitably picks up the toffee and eats it. The sweet made Dudley’s tongue swell and grew so long that it looked like”“a great slimy python.”
- They open their joke shop, the Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes. It isn’t until Order of the Phoenix we learn about the twins’ intentions of opening their joke shop. Their plans finally become a reality in Goblet of Fire when they open the shop in Diagon Alley.
- The twins got financial aid from Harry to open the joke shop. Once again, this fact isn’t a surprise for HP book readers. For winning the TriWizard Cup, Harry receives a prize of 1,000 galleons. After learning the Weasley twins have bet money with a bookie named Ludo Bagman for the Quidditch World Cup, and he paid them with Leprechaun gold (worthless), Harry decides to give the twins the money so they could fund their store.
- The twins dropped out of – and never graduated from – Hogwarts. Fred and George didn’t exactly excel in their academic pursuits and finally dropped out of Hogwarts after interrupting the O.W.L exams with a magnificent fireworks display. We can’t deny that the twins know how to leave a room with style.
- They’re the only Weasley brothers who don’t become prefects. Honestly, this doesn’t come as a surprise.
- They don’t get along with Percy. It is easy to understand the nature of their relationship as Percy’s tendency to stick by the rules and the twins’ tendency to break them don’t really go well together.
- Professor Umbridge is likely the twins’ archenemy. In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the twins and Professor Umbridge become mortal enemies. They refuse to submit to Umbridge’s authoritarian treatment. The enmity escalates to the twins igniting fireworks throughout the school.
- The Weasley twins are better together. If you’re an eagle-eye reader or watcher, you may have noticed that the worst things happen to the twins when they’re apart from each other. Just look at George’s ear mutilation.
- Actors James and Oliver Phelps are two of only 14 people who appear in all eight Harry Potter films.
- James and Oliver Phelps aren’t natural redheads. The real-life twins are brunettes who had to dye their hair for filming.
- The twins also pranked Voldemort. Yes, even the Dark Lord was a victim of the twins’ pranks. In Philosopher’s Stone, the Weasley twins bewitched snowballs to pelt the back of Professor Quirrell’s head. As you might remember, the back of Quirrell’s head was actually Voldemort’s face. So, technically, the twins were throwing snowballs at Voldemort’s face.
- The twins were the only students to “give an order” to Peeves, a troublesome poltergeist at Hogwarts. This scene didn’t make it to the movies, but in the books, right before they’re about to depart from Hogwarts, the Weasley twins order him to “give Umbridge hell.”
- They set up two shops before opening their joke shop in Diagon Alley. First, they open a shop at the Disused Bathroom, a boys’ lavatory on the sixth floor, and then, they move the shop to a bathroom on the seventh floor.
- The twins invented their own nicknames at age five. The twins came up with their nicknames, Gred and Forge, after their mother gave Fred and George the wrong sweaters for Christmas. Consequently, Fred was walking around with a G on his sweater while George was walking around with an F. Hence Gred and Forge.
- The Weasley Twins give Harry the Marauder’s Map. During their first year at Hogwarts, Fred and George stole the map from Filch’s office. They had been taken to his office for letting off a Dungbomb and saw a drawer marked “Confiscated and Highly Dangerous.” George dropped another Dungbomb while Fred stole the map from the drawer.
Facts about Fred Weasley
- Fred was born first. The books never mention which twin is older. However, Rowling solved the mystery after a fan asked on Twitter, and the writer replied “Fred was born first. I always thought that was obvious!”
- Fred dies in the Battle of Hogwarts. While this is one of the saddest facts about Fred Weasley, but apparently it was inevitable. J.K. Rowling was convinced that one of the Weasleys had to die during the Battle of Hogwarts. Except she wasn’t sure which one. She first contemplated killing Arthur Weasley but desisted because he was like a father to Harry, and the young wizard wouldn’t have stood another loss. Then, she considered killing off Ron. Finally, Rowling chose to kill his older brother, Fred.
- Fred’s name is the last word Bellatrix pronounces. We find many iconic moments during the Battle of Hogwarts, but few ones show the power of love, as well as when Mrs. Weasley starts dueling Bellatrix Lestrange. As soon as they confront each other, Bellatrix starts taunting Mrs. Weasley, taking it too far by asking what will happen to her children “when Mummy’s gone the same way as Freddie?” It doesn’t take long until Mrs. Weasley casts a deadly spell that hits Bellatrix right in the chest.
- James Phelps, the actor who plays Fred, was also deeply affected by his character’s death. James Phelps told People magazine he was on a bullet train in Japan when he read about his death. He couldn’t get himself to believe Fred was dead and only then hit him how attached he was to the character.
Facts about George Weasley
- George is the quiet twin. Of all the adjectives in the world, “quiet” isn’t one you’d associate with the Weasley twins. While both twins have an inventive and effervescent personalities, George always seems to be following his older brother.
- George was the better Quidditch player. There’s no need to say that both twins stand out as fantastic Quidditch players. In fact, Oliver Wood admits they were two of the best Beaters that the Gryffindor Quidditch team ever had. However, George was more effective, managing to hit a Bludger six times in Quidditch scenes.
- George lost an ear. During the Battle of the Seven Potters, the younger twin was flying with Remus Lupin on a broomstick when Snape fired an off-target Sectumsempra curse aimed at a Death Eater’s wand instead hit George’s ear.
- George never fully recovered after Fred’s death. After Fred’s death, J.K. Rowling openly stated that George Weasley was never the same. According to Rowling’s tweet, George couldn’t cast a Patronus again because most of his happy moments, which were with Fred, were tinged with sadness.
- He gets married and has two children. George Weasley married Angelina Johnson after the Second Wizarding War. They had two children, a son named Fred after his late brother and Roxanne.
- He carried on with the twins’ dream. Despite not recovering from Fred’s death, George continues to run the joke shop. Eventually, Ron would join him.
- George kept Fred’s wand. After Fred died, George decided to keep his wand so a piece of his brother would always stay with him. Eventually, George would give his wand to his son, and kept Fred’s wand as his own.
Did you know all these facts about the Weasley Twins, or do you know other facts about Fred and George? Let me know in the comments!