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Harry Potter: The Tragic Life Of Remus Lupin

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Things You May Not Have Known

remus lupin david thewlis image
Warner Bros.

He may be a side-character in the Harry Potter saga. And his plot may do nothing more than to add yet another puzzle piece to the Harry Potter series. Yet, the story of Professor Remus Lupin is quite extraordinary on its own.

The Harry Potter books and films portray the life of Remus Lupin as a tragic affair. Though the films don’t go into quite so much depth as the books. On-screen Lupin, played by David Thewlis, first appeared in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. His backstory is shrouded in mystery for much of the film. But any super-fan will know that his tale runs much deeper. Let’s take a look at some finer details of the werewolf’s character that you may not be aware of.

Becoming a Werewolf at 4 years old

So, where did his story start? Well, he was turned by Fenrir Greyback before his fifth birthday. During Greyback’s trial Lupin’s father spoke against the werewolf community . He stated that they were “Soulless, evil, deserving nothing but death.” Furious, Greyback attacked Remus while he slept. His father saved him from death, but could not stop the curse from taking hold. He and Remus’ mother tried many treatments, but they were unsuccessful. They covered Remus’ condition, moving to a new town when suspicions started.

Werewolf Origins of His Name

J.K Rowling is renowned for using symbolic names for her characters. Remus Lupin is yet another example of this int he Harry Potter series.

In Roman mythology the name Remus describes one of the two young brothers – Remus and Romulus. Both were raised by a she-wolf after King Amulius ordered their death.

Remus’ surname “Lupin” also nods to lycanthropy. “Lupin” in Latin translates to “wolf”.

Ironically, Remus’ father Lyall also has lycanthropic tendencies. In Old Norse language “Lyall” translates to “Liulfr”, which means “wolf”.

The Tragedy of The First Wizarding War

It’s clear throughout the saga that the First Wizarding War was tragic. Harry himself lost both his parents. Lupin also lost heavily. He lost two of his beloved friends through death (Lily and James). Another through imprisonment (Sirius Black), and another through betrayal (Peter Pettigrew).

Remus despises his Patronus

The Patronus is a powerful spell in the wizarding world. It is used many times throughout the saga. Many Patronus’ are symbolic to the wizard who wields it. Harry Potter’s Patronus is a stag, like his father, James. Snape’s is a doe which symbolises his love for Lily. Dumbledore’s is a phoenix, dedicated to his beloved pet phoenix, Fawkes.

Remus’ Patronus was never revealed. Yet, in an entry on Pottermore J.K Rowling confirmed that it was a wolf. Not a werewolf. The wolf symbolises family and loyalty as well as being non-threatening. But Remus still despised the shape, as it only reminded him of his curse.

Remus and Tonks

The love story of Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks is very much bypassed in the Harry Potter films. The Order of the Phoenix gave a little insight into their relationship, but nothing more than a scene or two. It was the very last film where we saw their close affections for each other. One of the final scenes showed their bodies, their hands reaching out for one another as they died side by side.

Yet, it was the sixth book that shone a light on the pair’s romantic story, albeit one full of struggle.

Lupin was hesitant to marry Tonks due to his lower social standing and their difference in age. She witnessed Fleur Delacour’s affections towards Bill Weasley during a battle. This prompted her to act on her own feelings. Lupin rejected her affection but they married in 1997 and later had a son they named Teddy.

The Boggart Scene holds a deeper meaning

In a more light-hearted scene The Prisoner of Azkaban shows Lupin teaching his class how to defend themselves against a Boggart.

In fact, the Boggart holds a deeper meaning for Remus Lupin. It’s how his parents met. His mother, Hope, who was a muggle, mistook the Boggart for a real attack. Lyall saved Hope but did not reveal that the attacker had been a Boggart until later. The pair even had a Boggart topper for their wedding cake.

Lupin’s death for a Weasley’s life

In 2016 J.K Rowling dropped a bombshell on the Harry Potter fandom community. In a tweet marking the anniversary of The Battle of Hogwarts she apologised for Lupin’s death. With a separate tweet she then went on to confess that she hadn’t planned to kill Remus Lupin:

‘In the interests of total honesty I’d also like to confess that I didn’t decide to kill Lupin until I wrote The Order of the Phoenix.’

She continued: ‘Arthur [Weasley] lived, so Lupin had to die.’

But who killed Lupin? It wasn’t revealed in The Deathly Hallows. But the final book shines a light on the answer. It was Death Eater Antonin Dolohov who cast the final deadly spell. Tonks died at the hands of Bellatrix Lestrange leaving their only son, Teddy, an orphan.

When speaking to MuggleNet. Director David Yates stated that they almost shot Lupin and Tonks’ final battle scene. But they ran out of time due to the 3-D conversion.

His legacy lived on through his son

The books also reveal more about Teddy.

The epilogue to the Deathly Hallows Pt.II film didn’t show what had become of young Ted. Other fiction filled the in-between gaps. Nymphadora’s mother, Andromeda Tonks raised the young orphan. Later, Ted attended Hogwarts and resided in Hufflepuff house. He eventually became head boy.

But in the epilogue to the final book he is spotted kissing Bill and Fleur’s daughter, Victoire, by James Potter.

An uplifting end to quite a family story.


Thanks for reading our article on the tragic life of Remus Lupin. Did we miss anything? Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.


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Comics & Literature

Harry Potter: The Questions You Keep Asking, Answered

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Draco Malfoy Harry Potter image
Warner Bros.

It’s been over 24 years since the first instalment of the Harry Potter series was published. But regardless of the length of time passed, many questions are still left unanswered. Fansites still tear apart page upon page looking for the key to unlock J. K. Rowling’s extraordinary mind. Interviewers have fired question after question at the infamous author. Yet, when one question is answered, it seems to open the flood gates for many more.

J. K. Rowling has now moved onto crime fiction. But she still finds the odd spare moment to grace Potter fans with her virtual presence. Using Twitter to answer some of the endless questions’ fans have conjured.

Let’s take a look at some of the most valid Harry Potter questions asked on Twitter and how J.K. Rowling answered them.

What happened to Fluffy the three-headed dog?

Poor Fluffy wasn’t mentioned again after being set free in the Forbidden Forest. Never fear! Rowling is here to tell us of Fluffy’s fate.

Back in February 2015, Rowling replied to the question on Twitter. stating that ‘He was repatriated to Greece. Dumbledore liked to put Hagrid’s more foolish acquisitions back where they belong.’

Beyond the happily ever after

A snapshot of Harry, Ron and Hermione’s Happily Ever After is presented at the end of the final book. The three (and Ginny) complete the circle by walking their own children to the Hogwarts train.

But, their lives developed much more than having children. As Rowling revealed back in 2007. Hermione began her career within the Ministry of Magic. She worked in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. Here, she became instrumental in the improvements for the treatment of house-elves. After this, she moved to the Dept. of Magical Law Enforcement, where she ensured the eradication of pro-pureblood laws.

Harry and Ron took different paths. Harry became an aura, a highly trained law enforcement officer. Ron went into the family business, helping his brother run Weasley’s Wizarding Wheels.

Did Harry, Ron and Hermione return to their schooling?

There’s a huge gap at the end of The Deathly Hallows. The pages seem to jump from the defeat of Voldemort to 19 years later. So did the famous trio return to school?

Rowling stated that Hermione returned to Hogwarts to complete her NEWT’s. But Harry and Ron did not, instead, they followed their career paths straight away. Although, I’m pretty sure defeating the source of all evil scores big points on a C.V.

Harry’s scar shape is important, right?

Well, no. Unfortunately, Rowling just thought ‘it looked cool’.

Potter super-fans have other ideas, though. One Tweet back in 2019 revealed that the scar could symbolise much more. @TodayYearsOld Tweeted:

‘Did you know Harry Potter’s scar isn’t a lightning bolt, but the hand motion to cast Avada Kedavra.’

Avada Kedavra is a killing curse used within the Dark Arts. The hand movement looks like a lightning bolt, but much softer. Not surprisingly, the Tweet went viral and caused shock waves through the Potter community.

What does Hufflepuff’s common room look like?

We are taken on a trip to Slytherin and Ravenclaw’s common room, and we spend a lot of time in Gryffindor’s. So, when fans asked Rowling for a description, she was only too happy to oblige.

‘The Hufflepuff common room is accessed through a portrait near the kitchens, as I am sure you have deduced. Sorry – I should say ‘painting’ rather than portrait because it is a still-life. It is a very cosy and welcoming place, as dissimilar as possible from Snape’s dungeon. Lots of yellow hangings, fat armchairs, and underground tunnels leading to the dormitories. All of which have perfectly round doors, like barrel tops.’

Is there more than one Wizarding school?

If you are one of those people who watch the films before the books. You’ll have probably asked ‘Is Hogwarts the only school for wizards?’. In this instance, it’s the books that hold the key, and if you take notes in ‘The Goblet of Fire.’ Students from other schools arrive at Hogwarts to attend the Tri-Wizard Tournament.

The books reveal more about a couple of schools, such as the Palace of Beauxbatons. Beauxbatons is a beautiful chateau situated in the Pyrenees mountains of Southern France. Durmstrang is another, and one of the three largest in Europe. Durmstrang is situated in the northmost regions of Norway or Sweden and is known for its Dark Arts.

Rowling has since revealed more schools, including Castelobruxo, Mahoutokoro, Uagadou and Ilverymorny.

Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood end up together?

It’s a no, which has disappointed fans. But the two remained close friends as Luna followed a career in Wizarding Naturalism. She became famous for tracking rare creatures before marrying Rolf Scamander.

Neville married fellow Hogwarts student Hannah Abbot. Surprisingly, Neville became an aura before returning to Hogwarts as a Herbology Professor.

Did Draco Malfoy get his just desserts?

This is a big one for Potter fans who wished to see Draco pay for everything he subjugated Harry to. But, as The Deathly Hallows hints, it appears he went through a huge transformation.

Draco was a complex character, not only a member of Slytherin, but he was also a bully. But much of his behaviour came from his upbringing.

Draco tried to prove himself to the Dark Lord, only to be rescued by the three he often tormented. This caused him and his mother to neglect Voldemort once it was believed Harry was dead. The two avoided Azkaban, and he went into a very dark place, emotionally. But he emerged a changed man. He had a wife and a son, and a simple nod to the trio 29 years on seemed to solidify that he had changed.


Thanks for reading our article on unanswered Harry Potter questions now answered. Did you already know these? Did we miss any big ones? Let us know in the comments below.


Check out 5 Hidden Messages In Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows That You Missed HERE.

Read IMDB information on Harry Potter HERE.

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