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Harry Potter: The Tragic Life Of Remus Lupin

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Things You May Not Have Known

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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.


More from our Harry Potter articles HERE.

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Comics & Literature

Book To Movie Adaptations Coming Soon

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Universal Pictures

It seems that Hollywood is on an adaptation bender these days. With the upcoming Dune film to the To all the Boys I’ve Loved Before Netflix franchise, there is a lot of money to be made in book to screen adaptations. And there are a ton of them in the works. Here’s 15 book to movie adaptations that will soon be coming to a screen near you.

1. The House of Gucci – November 24th, 2021

You don’t have to wait long to watch this true story unfold. Written by Sara Gay Forden, the book goes into the real-life whodunnit of the murder of Maurizio Gucci. Starring Lady Gaga and Adam Driver, this film is coming out this November.

2. Where the Crawdads Sing – June 24, 2022

This bestseller is going to premiere next summer on Netflix. The book, written by Delia Owens follows Kya; a young woman with a turbulent life, who becomes the prime suspect in a mysterious murder. Daisy Edgar-Jones is set to play Kya.

3. The Nightingale – December 23, 2022

The Nightingale, written by Kristin Hannah, follows the lives of two French sisters after their lives are torn apart by World War Two. The film stars sisters Elle and Dakota Fanning and is set to be released on 23 December 2022.

4. The School for Good and Evil – 2022

Written by Soman Chianani, The School for Good and Evil is a middle-grade standout. It takes place at twin schools that kidnap two children every year. Alongside the children of famous fairy-tale heroes and villains, these children are then trained at either the School for Good or the School for Evil. Eventually becoming the next generation of fairy tales. This film has big names in the cast, such as Charlize Theron, Laurence Fishburne, and Kerry Washington. The main characters Sophie and Agatha will be played by Sophia Ann Caruso and Holly Sturton. Shadow and Bone mainstay Kit Young will also be in this adaptation. It has wrapped filming and will come out sometime in 2022.

5. All Quiet on the Western Front – 2022

Who else remembers reading this in school? The classic was written by Erich Maria Remarque and chronicles the horrors of World War One. The book is being adapted as a film by Netflix. It’s going to be directed by Edward Berger and will star Daniel Bruhl. This is actually the third time the book has been adapted for the screen and will premier in 2022.

6. House of the Dragon/ Fire and Blood – 2022

Rejoice Game of Thrones fans, there’s more coming your way. Based on the book Fire and Blood by George R. R. Martin, this Game of Thrones spin-off follows the Targaryens 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones. It’s being produced by HBO and will be a ten-part limited series. It’s set to premiere in 2022.

7. Bridgerton (Season 2) – 2022

The pandemic hit Bridgerton has also been renewed for season two. The second season will cover The Viscount Who Loved Me, by Julia Quinn. This love story will centre around Anthony Bridgerton. There’s no official release date, but speculation puts it at 2022.

8. A Discovery of Witches (Season 3) – 2022

AMC +’s Discovery of Witches has been renewed for season three. The show is based on Deborah Harkness’All Souls Trilogy. It centres around actors Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer as a vampire and witch who fall in love. It’s set to premiere sometime in 2022.

9. Shadow and Bone (Season 2) – 2022/2023

Netflix’s Shadow and Bone has been confirmed for a second season. It will cover the events of the second book, Siege and Storm. It’s also unclear if it will dip into the Six of Crows duology. You can read more of our coverage of season two of Shadow and Bone here.

10. Ninth House – TBD

Written by the same author of Shadow and Bone, Ninth House is Leigh Bardugo’s adult fiction series. It follows Yale freshman Alex Stern, who has the ability to see ghosts. She is hired to oversee the dark magical dealings of Yale’s secret societies and gets caught up in forces beyond her imagination. Picked up less than two days after its release in 2019, Ninth House is in the works for an Amazon series adaptation. The show does not have a release date yet and is still in pre-production. Leigh Bardugo is currently writing both the sequel and the show, according to her Instagram.

11. They Both Die at the End – TBD

When Mateo and Rufus are told that they will die, they befriend each other to enjoy their last day. After the project fizzled out at HBO, They Both Die at the End has now been picked up for a tv show by Entertainment One. The show will also be written by the author of the book, Adam Silvera. There is no release date yet.

12. The Selection – TBD

A staple of 2010s dystopian fiction, The Selection by Kiera Kass is right up there with Divergent and the Maze Runner. The Selection follows America Singer, who is selected to compete in a Bachelor-like competition to select the next Queen. What feels frivolous quickly becomes a high-stakes competition for the fate of the country. The Selection is set to premiere on Netflix as a movie. Haifaa Al-Mansour is attached to direct. You can expect to be able to watch The Selection in mid-2021.

13. The Red Queen – TBD

Another mainstay of mid-2010’s dystopia is the Red Queen series, by Victoria Aveyard. The Red Queen is set in a world divided by blood colour. The silver-blooded have superpowers and rule over the kingdom. The red-blooded are powerless; living in poverty and serving as cannon fodder to the war. But when red-blooded Mare Barrow reveals the power to manipulate lightning, everything changes. Elizabeth Banks is executive producing and directing The Red Queen for a TV series at Peacock. She will also play a key role. We’re still waiting on a release date, but Aveyard has co-written the pilot.

14. Blackout – TBD

Blackout is a collection of short stories following black teenagers who stumble upon love in the middle of a blackout in New York City. Authors include Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Nicola Yoon, and Ashley Woodfolk. The collection is going to be adapted into a six-part anthology on Netflix. The Obamas are actually producing Blackout under their flagship Higher Ground banner and Temple Hill. There is no release date yet.

15. Long Way Down – TBD

Written by Jason Reynolds, Long Way Down takes place in the sixty seconds the main character decides whether or not to murder the man who killed his brother. It’s being adapted into a feature film by Universal and is produced by John Legend and Michael De Luca. There is no release date yet.


That’s our list of 15 book to movie adaptations coming out soon. Which one are you most looking forward to seeing? Let us know in the comments below.


Check out the five things you missed in Bridgeton Season One HERE.

Read iMDB information on The House of Gucci HERE.

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