The expedition members, the ones from Earth, they think that Ronon refuses to adapt to their customs because he is simple, and doesn't understand the rules governing their polite society. Teyla knows better, but she will keep this, as she does so many things, to herself. Ronon may not understand the advanced physics and mathematics that McKay rambles about, but he was an educated man, before the Wraith.
Among all of the 'Lanteans, only Ronon and Teyla have any memory of Sateda-that-was, before the Wraith came and destroyed his people, his family, his life.
Before that, Ronon left childhood with the traditional rites and ceremony of his people: a period of three days where he was permitted no food, drink, or speech. At sixteen, Ronon had found not talking the hardest challenge, fidgeting in place with the words threatening to spill from his lips. But he would not embarrass himself, so he bit the inside of his cheek until the bittersweet flavor of blood tinged his thoughts. At the end of the three days, he walked with his father and brothers to the chapel, a small stone building with beautiful stained glass windows. There, Melina waited, a vision of beauty in her traditional red dress, her long brown hair held away from her face with a golden circlet.
The city's shaman spoke the ceremonial Words of Joining, binding their hands together with a woven cord, signifying their eternal union.
The people from Earth are certain that he is involved with Teyla, but he knows the truth. He swore himself to Melina, and though his presence has led many innocents to death at the hands of the Wraith and sullied his honor, he has never broken his word. Ronon gave his word to love none but Melina Shivan for all of his life.
The Earth-born expedition members know almost nothing about him. What Teyla doesn't know, however, would fill one of the law texts he'd studied as a young boy, not yet a man. She doesn't know that he flinches every time she smiles, seeing the ghost of the Wraith in her too-knowing eyes, or that the commander he grew to despise, the man he killed by deceiving her, was his brother in all ways, once upon a time on Sateda-that-was.
She doesn't know that his hands, deadly with or without a weapon, once cradled a tiny infant as he looked down with wonder at what his sister Nuria had made. She doesn't know that he had a twin sister, once upon a time, who died along with her infant son. Most of all, the Athosian doesn't know that before death touched him, before the Wraith cast their horrific shadow once more over Sateda-that-was, Ronon had enjoyed a life other than what his military offered, however briefly.
He left his words behind on a blustery, cold day, before the Wraith ever contemplated Sateda-that-was; abandoned them along with a bouquet of red wildflowers on two early graves.
Ronon left behind so many things when he joined the fight against the Wraith.