JK Rowling admits she was thinking of killing off Ron Weasley - Telegraph
Makes you wonder. Might not have been a terrible decision, of course, but it would have changed the books considerably, and probably opened up a Harry-Hermione romance no one would have been satisfied with.
But what is the point of Ron anyway? Apart from being the slightly uncool, hopeless foil?
Could Harry have completed his horcrux mission without him?
(I love questions like this....there's never a right answer....just lots of speculation...)