Remus Lupin

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Character
Name: Remus John Lupin
Occupation: Order member, ex-Hogwarts professor
Title/Rank: Gryffindor House
Location: Hogwarts (Britain)
number twelve, Grimmauld Place (London, Britain)
Status: half-blood, werewolf; deceased
Relationships: Nymphadora Tonks (wife)
Teddy Lupin (son)
Marauders (friends)
Fandom: Harry Potter
Other: born 10 March 1960[1], died 2 May 1998
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Remus Lupin is a character in the Harry Potter series. He was Harry Potter's professor for a year and was one of the Marauders during his school years. He is a werewolf.

Canon

Lupin is introduced in Prisoner of Azkaban as the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor for the year. It is later revealed that he had been best friends with James Potter, Sirius Black, and Peter Pettigrew when they had attended Hogwarts together, and that he is a werewolf.

In Deathly Hallows, Remus marries Nymphadora Tonks and the two have a son, Teddy Lupin. Remus and Tonks both die in the Battle of Hogwarts.

Movie Canon

In the movie, Remus Lupin was played by David Thewlis, though before he had been cast, many hoped that Ralph Fiennes would be cast for the part. (Fiennes was later cast as Lord Voldemort.)

Thewlis added a few things to Fanon: a love for Jazz music and a mustache. He was also much taller than both Alan Rickman and Gary Oldman, and so many writers write him as being taller than both.

In Fanfiction

Remus Lupin fanfic tends to focus on his issues as a werewolf.

Favored time periods include his Hogwarts years, First War, the period of time between James and Lily's deaths, his year as a professor at Hogwarts, Second War, and Post-war (which can sometimes mean afterlife stories).

Many fic tend to focus on him removing himself from the Wizarding World in hopes of making a better living that way, or trying to find a way to afford Wolfsbane Potion.

Fanon & tropes

Some fans have used the idea that Remus inherited a small cottage from his folks, and still lives there on occasion, though it is often small and/or rundown. Usually this is the home he grew up in, and many fans have placed it somewhere in or near Wales.

Chocolate is another focus of fans. Some suggest that he always carries around a bar of chocolate with him, not for help with Dementors, but because he loves it.

Theories & Speculation

Remus as Harry's Father

A popular theory was that Remus may have been Harry's father. Before the revelation that his middle name was John, some guessed the J might stand for James, and believed that somehow he was Harry's father, or that James Potter and the true Remus had switched places the night of the attack, and he was now stuck in Remus's body.

The theory that the "Remus" who appeared in Prisoner of Azkaban was in fact James Potter was popularized by the book Ultimate Unofficial Guide to the Mysteries of Harry Potter, published in early 2003,[2] and was much discussed and debated in fandom.[3] The theory became so widespread that it was debunked by J. K. Rowling in the FAQs of her official website in late 2004. Rowling called it an "ingenious theory", but wrong: "James would never have saved himself and left his wife and son to die."[4]

A related theory was that Remus himself was Harry's true father all along, unbeknownst to James. (This took Severitus-type explanations as to why Harry would look so much like James if he were not his biological son.)

Sexuality

Some fans expected or hoped that Remus would be canonically gay.

In addition to some fans' interpretation of an implied closeness between Remus and Sirius, one reason that fans interpreted Remus as "queer-coded" is because the stigma Remus faces in the books for being a werewolf is a deliberate metaphor for the stigma attached to HIV/AIDS. J.K. Rowling discussed this at the Harry Potter Lexicon Trial in 2008:

I know that I've said publicly that Remus Lupin['s lycanthropy was an] H.I.V. metaphor. It was someone who had been infected young, who suffered stigma, who had a fear of infecting others, who was terrified he would pass on his condition to his son. And it was a way of examining prejudice, unwarranted prejudice towards a group of people. And also, examining why people might become embittered when they're treated that unfairly.[5]

Many fans were disappointed by Remus's relationship with Tonks in Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows, and felt that the relationship felt forced and heteronormative. Some were further disappointed by Rowling's declaration on Pottermore that Remus "had never fallen in love before [Tonks]," which in some fans' eyes precluded the possibility of prior same-sex ships like Remus/Sirius.[6] For example Aja wrote in 2015 that she was "still angry about remus lupin’s entire character arc being written and structured as a very obvious, very important metaphor for the AIDS epidemic and a lesson against homophobia[,] only for JKR to retroactively de-gay him at her convenience by emphasizing his lifelong heterosexuality".[7] In a response to Aja's post, mutantwanda added that even though she shipped Remus/Tonks, she was still disappointed by canon because "the romance was developed in a way that actively pushed back against queer interpretations of either character."[8]

However, others do not see the Remus/Tonks relationship as a refutation of a queer interpretation of either character, and believe that a queer reading of Remus's character is still strongly supported by canon. For example, Tumblr user rereadingharry writes:

Even though any person, regardless of orientation, can contract HIV/AIDS, it has been inextricably associated with gay men, and, as an author, if you were writing about lycanthropy as an HIV metaphor, you might write a relationship between the werewolf and another man [read:Sirius] in a way that is ambiguous, but possibly romantic, in order to guide the sensitive reader to that interpretation and then, later, if you wanted to explore the struggles of paternity, have him begin a relationship with a character who presents in a very queer way (and has the magical ability to transform her body at will yet never uses this magical ability in a way that is important to the story) so as not to erase his queerness. At least, that’s how I make sense of it all.[9]

David Thewlis, who portrayed Remus in the films, has stated that he and Prisoner of Azkaban director Alfonso Cuarón thought that his character was gay. In 2007, CityNews posted an article and video of David Thewlis stating that Alfonso Cuarón "had the idea that Lupin was gay and he described my character like a 'gay junkie'."[10] In 2011, Thewlis also stated that Cuarón "without J.K. Rowling's knowledge, told me that I [Lupin] was in fact gay", and that he therefore played Lupin "rather gayly, for quite a long time."[11]

Wormtail's Silver Hand

Modern werewolf fiction usually depicts werewolves as being vulnerable to silver, especially silver bullets, which is sometimes described as the only way to kill a werewolf. It was thus prevalent fanon that silver would burn or otherwise negatively affect Remus.

When Peter Pettigrew, a.k.a. Wormtail, receives a magical silver hand from Lord Voldemort in exchange for the one he chopped off, many fans theorized that the silver hand itself would kill Remus, that it was designed by Voldemort specifically to be fatal to Remus, or that it was symbolic of the fact that Wormtail would be the cause of Remus's death in another way.[12] This theory was especially popular after Sirius Black's death in Order of the Phoenix, when many fans (correctly) predicted that none of the Marauders would survive the series.

When asked in a 2005 interview, Rowling confirmed that Wormtail would not kill Lupin, although it showed "good knowledge and a good imagination to think of that".[13] Deathly Hallows came to show that Wormtail's silver hand was relevant only to Wormtail's own demise,[14] and on Pottermore, Rowling wrote that silver bullets do not kill werewolves in the Harry Potter universe.[15]

Shipping

Slash Pairings

Remus is most frequently paired with Sirius Black, both during their Hogwarts years and after his return from Azkaban (Lie Low at Lupin's). See Remus/Sirius. Sometimes called Puppies or Wolfstar by fans of the pair.

His other most common Slash pairing is with Severus Snape, focusing both on their school years as well as after his return to Hogwarts to teach there. The pairing is commonly called Snupin.

Other sometimes common pairings include Remus/Harry, Remus/James, Remus/Lucius, Remus/Draco, Remus/Fenrir, Remus/Bill, and Remus/Charlie.

Het Pairings

In Het stories, he is often paired with Nymphadora Tonks, which gained reasonable popularity even before the ship became canon. See Remus/Tonks.

He is also commonly paired with Hermione Granger, sometimes as a schooltime crush, sometimes post-Hogwarts, though these stories have become far less common since the final book. See Remus/Hermione.

Remus/Lily is also common, usually taking place before Lily Evans got involved with James Potter, though not always. It is also common for Remus to harbour unrequited feelings for Lily, or feelings he never acted on due to James.

Threesomes & Moresomes

Example Fan Art

Remus-centric Communities

Fansites & Archives:

Journal Communities:

Other Groups & Communities:

Other Resources

Fanworks:

Recs:

Meta:

Canon Resources:

References

  1. J.K.Rowling Official Site. 10 March 2004. Archived at the Harry Potter Lexicon: Guide to jkrowling.com - Brithdays. (Accessed 23 February 2011.)
  2. Wizarding World Press, Ultimate Unofficial Guide to the Mysteries of Harry Potter by Galadriel Waters and Astre Mithrandir, 2003.
  3. See this July 2003 discussion (archived by the Wayback Machine 31 July 2003) and this September 2003 discussion at the Harry Potter Lexicon forums, this 2004 discussion at FictionAlley Park, and the November 2003 MuggleNet article "The North Tower #10: Lupin = James Potter = True?" by Maline (archived original link). In March 2014, the theory gained visibility once again when it was posted to the Harry Potter Fan Theories Tumblr and then appeared in an July 2014 Hypable.com article and December 2015 Bustle.com article. The theory was also discussed on Tumblr by user calismarveltrash in December 2015.
  4. J.K.Rowling Official Site. Section: F.A.Q.. "[Q:] Did James and Lupin switch bodies before James was killed? [A:] An ingenious theory, but no; James would never have saved himself and left his wife and son to die." (Archived 11 October 2004 by the Wayback Machine.)
  5. According to the official trial transcript, the first sentence is "I know that I've said publicly that Remus Lupin was supposed to be on the H.I.V. metaphor."; Melissa Anelli transcribes the quote as "the lycanthropy is an HIV metaphor" (First Day of JKR/WB vs RDR Books Trial, posted 15 April 2008 at The Leaky Cauldron). Although Rowling says she had already talked publicly about the HIV metaphor, it is unclear whether she really did so explicitly. She did say in a quote published in Conversations With J.K. Rowling in 2001 that "[Lupin's] being a werewolf is really a metaphor for people's reactions to illness and disability." (An excerpt is available here.) Rowling later wrote on Pottermore (see Remus Lupin By J.K. Rowling, originally released on July 2013):
    "Lupin’s condition of lycanthropy (being a werewolf) was a metaphor for those illnesses that carry a stigma, like HIV and AIDS. All kinds of superstitions seem to surround blood-borne conditions, probably due to taboos surrounding blood itself. The wizarding community is as prone to hysteria and prejudice as the Muggle one, and the character of Lupin gave me a chance to examine those attitudes"
  6. Remus Lupin at Pottermore (first released in July 2013; accessed 07 March 2016). For one fan discussion about whether the Pottermore content jossed the possibility of Remus/Sirius, see this October 2015 thread at fail-fandomanon.
  7. Aja (bookshop) on Tumblr. still angry about remus lupin’s entire character..., September 24 and September 28, 2015. (Accessed 05 March 2016.)
  8. mutantwanda (now jedicamie) on Tumblr. to elaborate on bookshop’s thoughts, the reason..., 28 September 2015. (Accessed 05 March 2016.)
  9. rereadingharry/LumosKnight186, I’d been seeing this quotation everywhere, but.... 09 July 2011. Brackets in original
  10. CityNews, 24 October 2007, David Thewlis On Potter's Lupin: I Always Thought He Was The Gay Character (archived by the Wayback Machine 25 October 2007; now available here without the video).
  11. David Thewlis discusses Lupin @ Apple Store in SoHo (c. 0:25-0:53):
    "In fact, in 'The Prisoner of Azkaban', Alfonso Cuarón, in the rehearsals, without J.K. Rowling's knowledge, told me that I [Lupin] was in fact gay. And so I'd been playing the part, um, like—rather gayly, for quite a long time. And so... then it turned out that I then indeed got married, to Tonks, and I then changed my whole performance after that—I saw it as a phase he went through."
  12. For example, see The Silver Hand aka Will Pettigrew kill Lupin? at MuggleNet's Chamber of Secrets Forums (2003-2005), my lupin/pettigrew/dumbledore theory by ___sexhair (2004), Hand of Argentum, Heart of Iron Pyrite by Peter at MuggleNet (2004).
  13. Jones, Owen. One-on-one interview with J.K. Rowling, ITV Network July 17, 2005 via Accio Quote!.
  14. See Peter Pettigrew's silver hand at the Harry Potter Wiki.
  15. See Writing by J.K. Rowling: Werewolves at Pottermore, originally released in July 2013.