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Harry Potter: The Tragic Life Of Remus Lupin

Kym Du Toit



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.

More from our Harry Potter articles HERE.

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Comics & Literature

5 Things You Missed In Bridgerton

Kym Du Toit



Bridgerton image

Since its Christmas release Bridgerton has become a jewel in the Netflix crown. The series adaptation skyrocketed through the charts topping number one within weeks. It recently established itself as the biggest series launch in Netflix history. But there’s plenty that you might’ve missed in Bridgerton.

There is a lot to take in throughout the show’s first season. From a gossip columnist ruling the high society’s movements to inter-class relationships. This series is one that encapsulates regency culture. But there are quite a few visual easter eggs dotted between the abundance of corsets and jewels.

Let’s take a look at some things you may have missed throughout the first season.

SPOILERS: If you’re reading this then you’ve probably seen the show, but if not there are spoilers ahead.

1. The bee that won’t buzz off

.Often between scenes, the screen will focus on an insect flying around an open window. This is particularly obvious during the closing scene after Daphne gives birth. The bee flies away and the end credits roll. Benedict also has a bee embroidered on his shirt collar. But what does the bee signify?

There are two possibilities for this, and the clues lie in Julia Quinn’s sequel, “The Viscount Who Loved Me.” In the second book and a possible route the producers will follow for the second season, the bee is big news. It’s clear that the Bridgerton patriarch is missing, but we don’t find out why. According to the sequel, Sir Edmund Bridgerton dies from a bee sting. Could the beloved father and husband have reincarnated into a bee? Or does the bee simple signify his presence?

Another possibility points to the heir to the Bridgerton estate. Viscount Anthony Bridgeton played a vital role in the first season. And if the second book of the series is anything to go by, he could play an even bigger part in the next. Quinn’s “The Viscount Who Loved Me” explores Anthony’s struggles with his father’s death.

Anthony is well known to be one of the most notorious rakes in the ton. But it’s his father’s death that hangs over his potential for marriage. The Viscount knows love exists after watching his parents’ happy marriage. Yet, he has no intentions of falling in love himself. He is convinced that he will die young like his father. That is until a bee forces his hand in marriage to Kate Sheffield, who turns out to be his soul mate.

2. Wait, was that an Ed Sheeran song?

That’s right. Classical covers of modern-day pop songs play throughout and can easily be missed in Bridgerton.

The harmonious notes of string quartets and soft harps are common in regency films. But Bridgerton takes it one step further. Staking their claim that the series is a modern take on regency life.

Ariana Grande’s “Thank U, Next” plays out during the first ball of the season. Simon and Daphne’s rain scene is accompanied by a rendition of ‘Wildest Dreams.’

Maroon 5, Shawn Mendes and Celeste are also some of the artists used by composer Kris Bowers.

3. The family colours

Fabrics of silk, satin and soft Chinese cloth adorned highly ranked families of the 1800s. Each family of Bridgerton displays their house colours which are always adhered to.

The Bridgerton’s colours seem to be more subdued than other families. Their colours typically include soft blues and pinks. As the prominent family of the social season their colours represent old money. Whereas the Featherington’s wish for nothing more than to show off their new fortune. Their colours and patterns are far more extravagant.

Once Daphne and Simon are engaged, both sides of the family begin wearing purple. A show of both houses coming together.

4. White roses

Flowers are another thematic sign you might’ve missed in Bridgerton. In particular, white roses. Usually, all white roses appear when Daphne is on screen. For example, Simon plucks a white rose for the debutante during their promenade. The two also canoodle in front of a rose bush during Lady Trowbridge’s ball.

White roses symbolise purity, innocence and youthfulness. They are also associated with young love and eternal loyalty. Both meanings link to the Duke and Daphne. Although, the irony that Simon takes away her “innocence” before an engagement is not lost on us.

5. Lady Whistledown’s identity

We don’t find out that the infamous Lady Whistledown is Penelope until the end of the season. But there are many clues hidden along the way. Some that were no doubt missed while marathoning the show.

Penelope placed herself in all the situations she needed to be to write her columns. For example, if you look closely at Simon and Daphne’s first meet, the gossip can be seen watching.

Penelope was also part of the Featherington household, where Marina Thompson resided. Marina’s pregnancy occurred much earlier in the season than when Lady Whistledown divulged. The news only broke when Penelope and Marina’s friendship was on the rocks.

Netflix have recently announced that they will be running a second series. The date is yet to be set due to the pandemic. But no doubt fans will be waiting with bated breath to catch another glimpse of the town’s most famous rakes.

Have you spotted any more easter eggs in the series so far or things people might’ve missed in Bridgerton? What are your thoughts on the upcoming second season? Let us know in the comments below.

Read more of our literature articles HERE.

Read IMDB information about Bridgerton HERE.

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