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Remus John Lupin: Character Analysis



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  #1121  
Old January 27th, 2014, 12:36 pm
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Re: Remus John Lupin: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by ccollinsmith View Post
Glad I finally got that off my chest after all these years.
Heh, CoS is becoming all therapeutic in its last days.

I also loved that we got more on his background on Pottermore. I only recently got back into using Pottermore and I'm still catching up with all the new material. But this was one of the most touching extras. Their entire generation got the short end of the stick - clearly the result of war.


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  #1122  
Old January 27th, 2014, 7:27 pm
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Re: Remus John Lupin: Character Analysis

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Heh, CoS is becoming all therapeutic in its last days.


Just wanted to clear that up for all my Lupin-loving friends who must have been all like "Wha???" I think we've all had our moments of temporary insanity in debates on this forum. That was mine.

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I also loved that we got more on his background on Pottermore. I only recently got back into using Pottermore and I'm still catching up with all the new material. But this was one of the most touching extras. Their entire generation got the short end of the stick - clearly the result of war.
I cried reading Lupin's story on Pottermore. Really. I did.

We can infer a lot of his background from what JKR writes in the books, and we know he had a lonely childhood. But the bio really fleshed out his isolation and made it real. I can't imagine what it must have been like to be Remus before his arrival at Hogwarts. The biographical information on Pottermore is just bone-chilling, and for me it made complete sense of the depth of his bond with the Marauders.


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  #1123  
Old January 28th, 2014, 3:35 am
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Re: Remus John Lupin: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by ccollinsmith View Post
The biographical information on Pottermore is just bone-chilling, and for me it made complete sense of the depth of his bond with the Marauders.
For me as well. I think it explains his flaws a bit (the insecurity/not wanting to rock the boat with his friends).

I was really sad that his death and funeral didn't get page time. But I loved that, since he had to die, he appears as part of Harry's moral support during the Resurrection Stone scene.


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Old January 29th, 2014, 10:50 pm
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Re: Remus John Lupin: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by ccollinsmith View Post
Lupin also has the distinction of giving rise to my "most embarrassing moment" on CoS. It was during some ridiculous debate on LS in Spring 2010, and things were really getting heated. And in the cold, dry, perfectly rational tone that I typically use on LS, I said something negative about Dumbledore's hiring of Lupin. And then I defended the comment - coldly and rationally - in several subsequent posts.

The problem, of course, was that what I was saying was about 360% from what I actually believed...
I suspect you're like me in that you love analyzing and looking at things from all different angles. Based on owls I've received, some think I'm a Draco Malfoy fan Never have been, but I have tried to see things through his eyes.

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I also loved that we got more on his background on Pottermore. I only recently got back into using Pottermore and I'm still catching up with all the new material. But this was one of the most touching extras. Their entire generation got the short end of the stick - clearly the result of war.
I think the additional information on Lupin has been my favorite new information we've gotten on Pottermore, hands down. Next to Snape, he was my favorite teacher. Next to Dumbledore, he was my favorite Gryffindor. I never posted on the Lupin thread much because he makes total sense to me. I can see myself making the choices he made, and I can sympathize with him on most accounts. He was also, for me, the second most toughest death in the series. I really wanted him to survive. I thought he'd be an excellent father for Teddy and a good influence on Harry. I wanted a future novel were someone finally worked out a cure for werewolfism.

The only thing he did which i never really understood was not immediately turning over the Marauder's Map to Dumbledore in PoA. Anyone have any ideas?


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Last edited by MerryLore; January 30th, 2014 at 1:11 am. Reason: changed GoF to PoA
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  #1125  
Old February 11th, 2014, 9:05 am
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Re: Remus John Lupin: Character Analysis

From the Severus Snape thread

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On this point, we'll just have to disagree. I believe Snape's motivations were (1) payback and vengeance against one of the Marauders; and (2) the fact that someone he deemed unacceptable - werewolf bigotry - got the job he wanted. In fact, his behavior in the Shrieking Shack only underscores both points.
I think Snape was well within his right to reveal Remus and make him leave Hogwarts. I believe so because of two reasons.

One was I think the fact Lupin did not reveal Sirius's animagus form to Dumbledore, even after Sirius had gotten into Gryffindor Tower. While Sirius was a friend of the past so was James Potter who also accepted the wolf, and I think Lupin's silence on this was rather unforgivable, and Snape would have seen it that way too.

Secondly I think that the fact Lupin forgot to take his potion was also unforgivable in Snape's eyes. he had seen in close quarters how frightening a werewolf could be and that Lupin transformed that night without the Potion, when he was near three students, would have made his negligence rather hard to let go.


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Old February 11th, 2014, 1:21 pm
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Re: Remus John Lupin: Character Analysis

I suppose that I never really bought into the idea of curing the werewolf. The wizards could have easily figured an area where they could roam safe when the full moon arrived and be a part of society. They are great magical beasts, like the Centaurs...

In Potterverse, the werewolves (like many other magical beasts), were relegated to second class citizens, which was somewhat disappointing because they either ended up hating life or evil. In the end, Lupin came to terms with his lot in life, but when you consider that he was one of the privileged ones, you realize what a sad lot in life werewolves had.


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Old February 13th, 2014, 1:39 am
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Re: Remus John Lupin: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
From the Severus Snape thread

I think Snape was well within his right to reveal Remus and make him leave Hogwarts. I believe so because of two reasons.

One was I think the fact Lupin did not reveal Sirius's animagus form to Dumbledore, even after Sirius had gotten into Gryffindor Tower. While Sirius was a friend of the past so was James Potter who also accepted the wolf, and I think Lupin's silence on this was rather unforgivable, and Snape would have seen it that way too.

Secondly I think that the fact Lupin forgot to take his potion was also unforgivable in Snape's eyes. he had seen in close quarters how frightening a werewolf could be and that Lupin transformed that night without the Potion, when he was near three students, would have made his negligence rather hard to let go.
I'd like to add, also, that when Snape went to Lupin's office to give him the Wolfsbane Potion, he saw the Marauder's Map. Here they were, trying to find dangerous Sirius Black, and Lupin had a map showing where everyone was. Granted, Snape initially thought this proved Lupin was working with Sirius (after all, he would have turned the map over to Dumbledore so they could catch Sirius otherwise) but after Snape found out the truth, I don't think he trusted Lupin's judgement for not handing over the map, and was willing to put the students at risk.

The one thing I never understood about Lupin was why he never gave Dumbledore that map.


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  #1128  
Old February 13th, 2014, 2:38 am
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Re: Remus John Lupin: Character Analysis

I think Lupin felt very attached to that map. When he finally relinquished it to Harry at the end of the book, it seemed to me that it was a wrench for him to let it go. Had it been anyone other than Harry, I don't think he would have.

That doesn't excuse him not clueing Dumbledore in, though Dumbledore didn't make a big deal about it when Fake Moody mentioned the map in his confession at the end of GoF. He remarked "Map? What map is this?" and when Crouch answered, Dumbledore let it go. I've always wondered if Dumbledore knew about the Marauder's Map, or if that was just a plot hole that Jo never explained.


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  #1129  
Old February 13th, 2014, 4:57 pm
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Re: Remus John Lupin: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by MerryLore View Post
I'd like to add, also, that when Snape went to Lupin's office to give him the Wolfsbane Potion, he saw the Marauder's Map. Here they were, trying to find dangerous Sirius Black, and Lupin had a map showing where everyone was. Granted, Snape initially thought this proved Lupin was working with Sirius (after all, he would have turned the map over to Dumbledore so they could catch Sirius otherwise) but after Snape found out the truth, I don't think he trusted Lupin's judgement for not handing over the map, and was willing to put the students at risk.

The one thing I never understood about Lupin was why he never gave Dumbledore that map.
Does the Map show the grounds as well? I've forgotten. If it did, could Lupin with the Map have seen Sirius on the grounds and still failed to report him? If it did, Snape would have connected the dots quickly, and that would have been a big thing against him as well.

What upsets me about Lupin, is that for 13 years he makes no contact with Harry and even in third year, he hardly mentions Harry's parents to him nor does he tell the starved for information orphan boy a few good things about his parents, not even when Harry tells him about what he hears when he is close to a dementor. This I found rather unforgivable.


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Old February 15th, 2014, 7:30 am
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Re: Remus John Lupin: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
Does the Map show the grounds as well? I've forgotten. If it did, could Lupin with the Map have seen Sirius on the grounds and still failed to report him? If it did, Snape would have connected the dots quickly, and that would have been a big thing against him as well.

What upsets me about Lupin, is that for 13 years he makes no contact with Harry and even in third year, he hardly mentions Harry's parents to him nor does he tell the starved for information orphan boy a few good things about his parents, not even when Harry tells him about what he hears when he is close to a dementor. This I found rather unforgivable.
Yeah, I think in retrospect, JKR might have added more into the latter part of the series regarding what Lupin was thinking while Harry grew up and why he didn't check on him. That is another unresolved bit of the story.

I personally would have like much, much more wolf-Lupin. Just think what that might have added to his charcter. But it wasn't to be.


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Old February 15th, 2014, 8:18 am
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Re: Remus John Lupin: Character Analysis

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Yeah, I think in retrospect, JKR might have added more into the latter part of the series regarding what Lupin was thinking while Harry grew up and why he didn't check on him. That is another unresolved bit of the story.

I personally would have like much, much more wolf-Lupin. Just think what that might have added to his charcter. But it wasn't to be.
I would have liked to see more of the Wolf Lupin as well; how his people were treated by the WW, the laws for and against them in greater detail would be nice as well. It would have added greater understanding to his actions.

I'm not too sure that Lupin's absence from Harry's life was a loophole as such. It could very well be one of those things that JKR did not design to explain, but I did get an idea that Lupin's story regarding Harry was just what was given in the Books. Absence for 13 years, mild to indifferent inaction for one year, and then falling out of Harry's life again, especially after Sirius died, when Lupin's presence could have comforted Harry.

IIRC Harry wonders rather wistfully that Lupin could have written to him halfway through HBP. But Lupin never bothers. I guess he's got a reason, one probably to do with much insecurity and the fact that he thinks (probably) that Harry of all people would hardly want someone like to him to write to him, but there I feel Lupin erred for he is is blind, blind to the needs of a boy who would have loved to know just a little of his parents and Sirius from a friend of theirs.

Likewise he never bothers to visit Harry in the 10 years before Hogwarts and the two after Harry starts school. I would love to know if there was a reason for that absence, but I fear there wasn't any.


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  #1132  
Old February 15th, 2014, 8:11 pm
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Re: Remus John Lupin: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
I would have liked to see more of the Wolf Lupin as well; how his people were treated by the WW, the laws for and against them in greater detail would be nice as well. It would have added greater understanding to his actions.

I'm not too sure that Lupin's absence from Harry's life was a loophole as such. It could very well be one of those things that JKR did not design to explain, but I did get an idea that Lupin's story regarding Harry was just what was given in the Books. Absence for 13 years, mild to indifferent inaction for one year, and then falling out of Harry's life again, especially after Sirius died, when Lupin's presence could have comforted Harry.

IIRC Harry wonders rather wistfully that Lupin could have written to him halfway through HBP. But Lupin never bothers. I guess he's got a reason, one probably to do with much insecurity and the fact that he thinks (probably) that Harry of all people would hardly want someone like to him to write to him, but there I feel Lupin erred for he is is blind, blind to the needs of a boy who would have loved to know just a little of his parents and Sirius from a friend of theirs.

Likewise he never bothers to visit Harry in the 10 years before Hogwarts and the two after Harry starts school. I would love to know if there was a reason for that absence, but I fear there wasn't any.
This is speculation, but maybe he was worried about facing Harry with his condition? The book makes it seem as if Dumbledore had to drag him in to teach, and he nearly left his wife and unborn child because he thought they'd be better off without him. He could be afraid of hurting Harry, or afraid that Harry would find out he was a werewolf and think less of his parents for having a werewolf friend.


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  #1133  
Old February 15th, 2014, 11:07 pm
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Re: Remus John Lupin: Character Analysis

@TGW - I don't understand your "mild to indifferent inaction" comment, which I think referred to Lupin's year on staff. I think that Lupin was pretty involved with Harry during his year on staff at Hogwarts, to the point of personally instructing Harry in how to cast a Patronus.

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Originally Posted by hermy_weasley2 View Post
This is speculation, but maybe he was worried about facing Harry with his condition? The book makes it seem as if Dumbledore had to drag him in to teach, and he nearly left his wife and unborn child because he thought they'd be better off without him. He could be afraid of hurting Harry, or afraid that Harry would find out he was a werewolf and think less of his parents for having a werewolf friend.
Here's my speculation for Lupin's absence during the 10 years before Harry came to Hogwarts... Harry was living with the Muggles, for his own protection no less. I don't think Dumbledore would have welcomed any Wizarding interference in Harry's life during those years, and I know for certain that the Dursleys would not. It's not really in Lupin's character to force himself in to situations where he's not wanted - particularly if his participation were not wanted by Dumbledore.

As for the first couple of years that Harry was at Hogwarts, I don't know why Lupin would have come to visit. He was not on the staff, and due to anti-werewolf bigotry, his own personal life seems to have been a shambles before Dumbledore brought him in to teach on staff. As a person in dire personal circumstances, his first point of focus I think would probably be on his own life circumstances, not on Harry's. And Harry was at Hogwarts, with Dumbledore as Headmaster, and Lupin trusted Dumbledore, so I'm not sure why Lupin would have thought his personal intervention would be required. And then, of course, there is the whole issue of Lupin's own personal insecurities and fears of the harm he can do people.

In my opinion, Lupin came into Harry's life at the right moment - at a moment when it was unforced and he actually was in a position to do some good.


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  #1134  
Old February 16th, 2014, 9:17 am
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Re: Remus John Lupin: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by hermy_weasley2 View Post
This is speculation, but maybe he was worried about facing Harry with his condition? The book makes it seem as if Dumbledore had to drag him in to teach, and he nearly left his wife and unborn child because he thought they'd be better off without him. He could be afraid of hurting Harry, or afraid that Harry would find out he was a werewolf and think less of his parents for having a werewolf friend.
I think over the years the prejudices against him so wore him out that later on Remus Lupin was a shell of self pity and wrong loyalties and priorities. He became a sad man, who struggled with himself and lost quite a few battles.

From the time he was a student, when he was glad to be one of the "wizards" rather than just a werewolf who was considered a dark creature, Remus I think was slowly crumbling with the mighty weight of that burden every time he transformed, which set him apart from the other witches and wizards in a most fearful manner, and by the time the Potters died he was almost crushed by that fact IMO.

Remus kept silent on Sirius's Animagus form, even after Sirius had broken into Gryffindor Tower. That act alone I think showed that Remus was lost somewhere within himself. He had I think by that time stopped thinking about others and was so steeped in self pity that all he could think was that if Dumbledore knew he would be disappointed in him, Remus, and so he kept silent. I presume that he had by that time so little that he could not bear to lose the rest - Dumbledore's disapproval would have done that.

But what Remus did not understand, what he did not have the courage to face was his own actions or the lack of it (especially with regards to Harry). He did not realise that there was something bigger happening out there; that there was a murderer out there targeting a small boy; that he had got into Gryffindor Tower once already with a knife in hand and by his silence Remus did not realise it, but he had already lost the war with himself IMO.

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Originally Posted by ccollinsmith View Post
@TGW - I don't understand your "mild to indifferent inaction" comment, which I think referred to Lupin's year on staff. I think that Lupin was pretty involved with Harry during his year on staff at Hogwarts, to the point of personally instructing Harry in how to cast a Patronus.
IIRC Harry and Remus started lessons in the new year of third year, and yes, while I agree they had special classes where Remus taught Harry the Patronus Charm, I think it was a rather callous moment, when Remus kept his silence, after Harry cried, the first time he heard James.

Lupin in the passage below to me, seems rather urgent in his mannerisms to stop Harry from talking about James. He couldn't stop wondering whether Harry heard James, but when Harry asks him whether he knew his father, Lupin says yes, but then he hurries through to Harry, diverting him from James by telling him to actually stop coming for the lessons. He seemed so uncomfortable to me.

I felt that while they did have lessons, where Lupin taught him the Patronus Charm, he never volunteered anything to Harry about his parents.


Lupin was tapping Harry hard on the face. This time it was a minute before Harry understood why he was lying on on a dusty classroom floor.

"I heard my dad,' Harry mumbled."That's the first time I've ever heard him - he tried to take on Voldemort himself, to give my mum time to run for it -"

harry suddenly realised that there was tears on his face mingling with the sweat. he bent his face low as possible, pretending to do up his shoelace, so that Lupin wouldn't see.

"You heard James?" asked Lupin in a strange voice.

"Yeah ...,"Face dry Harry looked up. "Why - you didn't know my dad, did you?"

"I - I did as a matter of fact," said Lupin. "We were friends at Hogwarts. Listen Harry - perhaps we should leave it here for tonight. This charm is ridiculously advanced ...I shouldn't have suggested putting you through this..."

"No," said Harry. He got up again. "I'll have one more go! I'm not thinking about happy enough things, that's what it is ...

POA - The Patronus


Quote:
Here's my speculation for Lupin's absence during the 10 years before Harry came to Hogwarts... Harry was living with the Muggles, for his own protection no less. I don't think Dumbledore would have welcomed any Wizarding interference in Harry's life during those years, and I know for certain that the Dursleys would not. It's not really in Lupin's character to force himself in to situations where he's not wanted - particularly if his participation were not wanted by Dumbledore.
This could be the way it was, I wish we had something in canon to this effect. While this explains the 10 years before Hogwarts, Lupin makes no effort to seek Harry out in his first two years and even in year three, there is not much interaction until the end, and it was because of Sirius, rather than Remus I felt.


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  #1135  
Old April 23rd, 2014, 2:16 am
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Re: Remus John Lupin: Character Analysis

I think it must be remembered that Voldemort, for all intents and purposes, destroyed the Marauders. Lupin's affliction aside two of his best friends were murdered, Peter missing and presumed dead, and his last best friend accused of it all. And nothing Lupin could have done would have prevented that. Werewolf or not. War does that to people. Makes them doubt themselves and their abilities. There is nothing in canon to suggest why he chose to hide from Harry but almost any scenario is possible. From his wolfism to guilt and regret to the thought that Harry couldn't be in any place safer than Hogwarts..name one or name them all none of them point to some character/moral flaw in Lupin. When Lupin remains mum about an intruder at Hogwarts there are varying explanations for but I have always felt that Lupin never really believed that Sirius was guilty of collusion with Voldemort in the first place. I don't think he really thought about it too much. Just acted on instinct. Again this isn't a moral/character flaw. This is a beaten down man just beginning to come out of his shell and feel again thanks to Harry and Dumbledore. Let's not forget that he returns to the Order and continues to fight Voldemort. Many men can't come back from the things that happened to Lupin during Voldemort's spree of evil. Plus he comes back by using his contacts as a werewolf. Being a werewolf was hard for Lupin. And for him to delve into the lycanthropic world is distressing for him. But he does it anyway for the good of those he loves. With Lupin I've always gone by the definition that bravery is what you do when you are scared, but do it anyway.


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Old April 23rd, 2014, 7:17 pm
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Re: Remus John Lupin: Character Analysis

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I think it must be remembered that Voldemort, for all intents and purposes, destroyed the Marauders. Lupin's affliction aside two of his best friends were murdered, Peter missing and presumed dead, and his last best friend accused of it all.
Add to that, Lupin's lycanthropy was in part due to Voldemort's rise, too. According to Pottermore information,
Spoiler: show
Lupin's father was helping to work against an unexplained rise in dark activity, when he encountered Greyback. This rise was, in hindsight, due to Voldemort. Even then, he already had his DEs recruiting dark creatures as allies.
Like all of Voldemort's supporters, having a powerful backer gave Greyback the opportunity to commit evil deeds on a scale he might not have dared otherwise. Note that though there is no mention of Greyback being imprisoned, there are also no students with lycanthropy attending Hogwarts during Harry's years there. Like the others, Greyback may have been more cautious about committing violence after Voldemort fell. Therefore, I feel that Lupin's condition is at least in part due to Voldemort's rise to power.

But yes, I agree that Lupin's life was devastated by the events of that Halloween.

Quote:
And nothing Lupin could have done would have prevented that. Werewolf or not. War does that to people. Makes them doubt themselves and their abilities.
I think it also makes people doubt others. It was hard to know who to trust. People were being murdered, people were disappearing. Nobody knew who was a Death Eater. I think this uncertainty meant that when told of what Sirius had supposedly done, Lupin believed it.

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There is nothing in canon to suggest why he chose to hide from Harry but almost any scenario is possible. From his wolfism to guilt and regret to the thought that Harry couldn't be in any place safer than Hogwarts..name one or name them all none of them point to some character/moral flaw in Lupin.
There is also the possibility that it was partially because Dumbledore wanted Harry to grow up apart from the wizarding world. Lupin could have visited without telling Harry anything about magic, but there are a couple of problems with that. a) I can't see Petunia and Vernon allowing it. b)The point would surely come when Harry would ask why he couldn't live with Remus instead - probably when he was still very young. c) Lupin might not be willing to directly disobey Dumbledore on this.

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This is a beaten down man just beginning to come out of his shell and feel again thanks to Harry and Dumbledore. Let's not forget that he returns to the Order and continues to fight Voldemort. Many men can't come back from the things that happened to Lupin during Voldemort's spree of evil.
I agree. I think Lupin was in a bad place, emotionally, after losing his four closest friends. I think he turned inward on himself, just as he had been isolated as a child, when he believed he would never be able to go to Hogwarts.


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Being a werewolf was hard for Lupin. And for him to delve into the lycanthropic world is distressing for him. But he does it anyway for the good of those he loves. With Lupin I've always gone by the definition that bravery is what you do when you are scared, but do it anyway.
I agree, it was surely distressing for Lupin, especially considering this group may have included Greyback.

I fully agree with your definition of bravery, by the way. (As Ned Stark said, that is the only time a man can be brave.)


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Last edited by FurryDice; April 23rd, 2014 at 7:21 pm. Reason: Clarification
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Old December 20th, 2014, 4:11 pm
jordmundt6  Undisclosed.gif jordmundt6 is offline
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Re: Remus John Lupin: Character Analysis

Hmm, hard to believe I've never ventured here before as Lupin was one of my favorite characters.

Referring to the initial questions of this thread

1. Lupin is a good friend and gifted instructor who might have had the chance to be an excellent father and family man. His fear of abandonment and cherishing of the few friendships and connections he had explain his reluctance to come forward about his condition in PoA and why he generally went along to get along as a Hogwarts student. He was a laissez-faire Prefect because he believed in adherence to the rules for the right reasons, but he didn't check the rest of the Marauders because he relied on them too much for friendship and companionship to seriously take a stand against them. In this way, Neville shows more true courage in his first year at Hogwarts than Remus generally showed as a student. However, I'm inclined to forgive him for that because of the circumstances in which he found himself. That might have been a warning sign that he might bolt his family "for their own protection" but I would think that his experiences both at school and as an adult would and should tend to encourage him to embrace his wife and child more firmly. I don't think he made the wrong decision in the Battle of Hogwarts any more than I think James and Lily made the wrong decision standing up to Voldemort on that Halloween Night. Remus' contemplation of a disappearing act is disappointing and disquieting, though.

2. Both of those decisions were the right decisions. As I state above and below, his temptation to abandon his new family for the war was a "running away with the circus" moment that didn't sit well with me. Someone with Remus' past experience would have to know how damaging something like that would be, and yet it took Harry really laying into him to keep him from doing it.

3. After the first war, Remus was shunned, penniless, without a visible means of employment--and thus without a way to reliably control his condition. I'm sure he had been informed by Dumbledore that Harry was on Privet Drive, but contacting Harry there was an exceptionally dicey proposition. I think Remus made contact at the first opportunity once his life stabilized.

4. I'm not sure Remus was allowed to have much of a role in the first war because he hated the weres who had sided with Voldemort (specifically Greyback), but magical society at large shunned him, and it was too dangerous for him to live in the Muggle world without some sort of safety measures. We know he was part of the Order, we know that when given the chance, he fought bravely. I do NOT think he was Dumbledore's were emissary. I'm not sure Dumbledore ever had contacts with that community.

5. Both Remus and 'Dora made the right decision in fighting at Hogwarts. I actually think this represented him following his two drives simultaneously, sharing himself completely with Tonks, allowing himself to truly become a family man AND fighting a necessary fight. As sad as it was, and as costly as it was, it was a redemptive moment after Harry forcefully talked him out of abandoning the relationship with Tonks to pursue the war in a "running away to join the circus" move. Which, by the way, shocked and disappointed me. I'd never have thought that possible from him.


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