Remus Lupin

From Academic Kids

Template:HP character Remus John Lupin (born March 10, 1959) is a fictional character in the Harry Potter novels, portrayed by David Thewlis in the films.

Lupin was introduced in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, during which he taught as the Defence Against the Dark Arts professor. He resigned at the end of the year when Severus Snape let it slip to students that he was a werewolf. He taught the class about dark creatures and gave Harry private anti-Dementor lessons. Among both fans and the characters, Lupin is generally considered to be the best Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher yet seen in the series. Lupin reappeared in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, but his role was smaller than in Prisoner of Azkaban.

At a young age, Lupin was bitten by a werewolf, thus becoming one himself. Though he and his parents were (not unreasonably) afraid he would not be able to attend school, Albus Dumbledore allowed him into Hogwarts. To secure the safety of him and his peers, a house was built in Hogsmeade with a secret passage leading to it from under the Whomping Willow. Lupin was smuggled into this house for his monthly transformations. Transformation is difficult and painful, and when isolated from humans or the company of other animals, the wolf would attack itself with its teeth and claws out of frustration. The villagers mistook his screaming as that of extremely violent ghosts. The house was dubbed "the Shrieking Shack" and became known as the most haunted building in Britain (needless to say, the house is not really haunted at all, although Dumbledore encouraged this rumour to discourage curious villagers from ever exploring.)

Missing image
Thewlis, as Lupin, stands anxiously in the Shrieking Shack in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Remus kept his transformations a secret, but his friends (James Potter, Sirius Black, and Peter Pettigrew) worked out the truth in their second year, and by their fifth year had learned to become Animagi to keep him company during his transformations (a werewolf is only a danger to humans.) He was given the nickname "Moony" by his friends because of his transformations. In their sixth year, Sirius Black played a prank by telling Severus Snape (whom all four of them loathed) where Remus went every month, knowing full well it would lead to his death. James stopped Snape, saving his life, but Snape still found out Remus was a werewolf and was sworn to secrecy by Dumbledore.

Remus was a prefect, though he had trouble exercising discipline over his friends. In an interview, J. K. Rowling linked this to Remus's desire to be liked by his friends, "because he's been disliked so often." Sirius said Remus was the "good boy" in Order of the Phoenix, and Rowling said he was the "mature" one. He did not participate in James and Sirius' bullying (as far as the readers know).

In Prisoner of Azkaban, he is described as having "light brown hair" that is greying, and a pale face with premature lines in Order of the Phoenix. He has shabby, patched clothing because, as a werewolf, he suffers from poverty. Few in the magical world want to employ a werewolf and almost all are prejudiced against them. With the recent addition of new anti-werewolf laws passed by the Ministry of Magic, finding employment became practically impossible (essentially, almost illegal). With Wolfsbane Potion (provided by Snape during his time as a teacher), he can retain his human mind during transformations. Since he is a werewolf, Lupin's boggart takes the form of the full moon.

There is evidence to suggest that Lupin is a more powerful wizard than he lets on. While on the train during Prisoner of Azkaban, he summons fire without a wand (wandless magic being difficult to perform) and holds it in the palm of his bare hand. Later, in Order of the Phoenix, he is the only fighter besides Dumbledore who was not wounded, killed or knocked unconscious in the battle at the Department of Mysteries.

Name etymology

Lupin's first name, "Remus", comes from the legend of Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, who were cared for by wolves. Due to this, some fans speculated that Remus had a brother, but this was disproved by Rowling. His last name, "Lupin", is derived from "lupus(a)", Latin for "wolf".

It has also been speculated that his name comes from two Monty Python's Flying Circus skits: a repeated one involving "Professor R.J. Gumby", and one involving "Dennis Moore, the Lupin Thief".


Rowling has stated that Professor Lupin is the kind of teacher she wishes she had had. He is good-natured, kind, and able to extract the best in everyone (e.g., spotting Neville Longbottom's lack of confidence and helping him to overcome it by teaching him how to defeat the boggart). The fact that he's a werewolf and needs to take a potion to avoid hurting people for the rest of his life makes him a symbol of the consequences of prejudice and segregation, as well as society's often negative reaction to the ill and the Lupin pl:Remus Lupin pt:Remo Lupin


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