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Remus John Lupin: Character Analysis



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  #921  
Old September 9th, 2009, 5:13 pm
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Re: Remus John Lupin: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by jennymac View Post
hm. you make interesting points, i have to agree on that at least. however, i do interpret it differently.
And really, that's all there is to it. We are posters who come having different views and this is the place to share them all.

I understand your view point as well; but disagree with a few of them.

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Originally Posted by Annielogic View Post
I think there are two very distinct and valid approaches to this issue that are unfortunately clashing quite a bit: the Watsonian and Doyalist analysis. I think TGW is studying the text from a Watsonian view point, which means the author having not worked out a plot point yet doesn't enter within the context of the story. It's soley about the characters point of view, their feelings, motivations and consequential actions - how it is presented in the resultant text. It's like us here on Earth and unable to interview The Creator why certain things happen. We can only see what we are presented with.

From the Doyalist point of view Pearl's reason for Remus keeping quiet for twelve years of Harry's life (why he kept silent, if he had known where he was, had known about his neglect, etc) do seem perfectly reasonable if Remus was not invented until PoA or the particular plot point hadn't been fully realised yet.

But, during PoA JKR wrote Remus as having kept silent for a whole year about his relationship/friendship with James to Harry. I think she was aware of that silence and writing Remus's hesitation might be a sign of that avoidance, but it's down to the reader to interpret its meaning, why he held back and what he was feeling. We're not being spoon feed and we have to think about for ourselves, which I love doing.
What an excellent post! You said everything I wanted to, but could have never expressed it so well, not in a million years. Thank you.

I see from the point of view you expressed as Watsonian.


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  #922  
Old September 9th, 2009, 5:25 pm
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Re: Remus John Lupin: Character Analysis

Right, so it's like I'm Arthur Conan Dole, the author of Sherlock Holmes, and TGW is Watson, sidekick to Sherlock Holmes.

If I have understood this correctly: a Doyalist view takes the authorial, omnipotent view of the author's creation and stands outside the text, as the author does, whilst the Watsonian view analyses the text from the character's POV (because Watson is obviously a character in the story and already participating in it.)

Have I got that right, Annie?

Anyway, thank you for that. Very reasonable post, and a timely reminder that we all approach these characters from different viewpoints. (Indeed, I am sure I take a Watsonian view of some things and a Doyalist view of others.)

So there are different ways to interpret Remus.


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  #923  
Old September 9th, 2009, 5:39 pm
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Re: Remus John Lupin: Character Analysis

Of the two interpretation methods Annielogic provided, I generally tend to ascribe to the Doyalist method because I feel that the process of creating a story is fluidic: as one is writing, things change, new things are invented, etc, such that the finished story is not quite the same as the outline the author might have originally had (and I think this is especially true for a long story). As it relates to the question of Remus' absence, I agree that one can validly look at the issue from both sides. Based on a Watsonian approach, Moriath's post describes well my personal opinion:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moriath View Post
And if there was a reason beside it being a plot device or Dumbledore asking Remus to stay away for security reasons, I think that Remus didn't go and visit Harry because it would have been too painful. Sirius was guilt-ridden and borderline-insane in Azkaban but in my view it was Remus who really lost everything in 1981. He lost all of his friends on one day. Contrary to Sirius, he had to face everyday life, which in his case meant discrimination, poverty and the effects of the war. Remus was reminded of his losses every single day and he had to cope with this alone because Sirius, Peter and James had been his only friends. And what would Harry have done if Remus had come for a visit? He would have asked about his parents and the day they died and what they had been like. I don't think he was able to face Harry.
Additionally, I think it might have been painful and extremely disappointing for Harry if Remus had gone to visit him because Harry would wonder why he had to live with the Dursleys and why he couldn't live with Remus instead (which would not have been possible due to Lily's protection). I think he might have become bitter and angry that there was someone who cared about him, but yet, could not remove him from his abusive home. The situation would have been complicated, as I'm sure Remus probably wouldn't have been able to explain Lily's sacrifice, and all about Voldemort, without Dumbledore's approval (which I have a feeling he would not give). Thus, I think it very likely that, under a Watsonian viewpoint, Remus' reasons for not going to see Harry must have been manifold.

Aside from this subject, I've often wondered what Remus would have been doing if he hadn't died. Would he have taken up the DADA position now that the curse has been lifted? Or would he work to further werewolf rights and the rights of other underprivileged beings?


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  #924  
Old September 9th, 2009, 6:18 pm
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Re: Remus John Lupin: Character Analysis

I also think that Remus didn't become involved in Harry's life before he went to Hogwarts because Dumbledore told him not to. I think that RemusLupinFan's idea that it may have caused more problems than it solved is plausible. This also extends to the time that Harry starts attending Hogwarts, Dumbledore was reluctant to tell Harry anything about his parents until the end of Harry's fifth year. It was a mistake, and he admits it to be so but it may explain why Remus was not more forthcoming with information. Having said that, I think it is also worth pointing out that Harry doesn't often ask about his parents. This seems odd to me, but that's how it is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RemusLupinFan View Post
Aside from this subject, I've often wondered what Remus would have been doing if he hadn't died. Would he have taken up the DADA position now that the curse has been lifted? Or would he work to further werewolf rights and the rights of other underprivileged beings?
I'm not sure that he would have been able to return to teaching. Voldemort may be gone, but I doubt the prejudice against werewolves has and there would still be many parents who would be opposed to having their children taught by one. Also, I imagine Remus would still feel that he was a risk. It is true that Snape let his secret out, but I think Remus genuinely felt that he couldn't guarantee the safety of the children. I can see him working towards improving the situation of werewolves, though he has a tough job ahead of him.


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  #925  
Old September 9th, 2009, 6:24 pm
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Re: Remus John Lupin: Character Analysis

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Yeah, when one sits down and thinks about it hard, it is really peculiar that Remus never comes to check up on little Harry at Privet Drive. However, to me this belongs in the same realm as the reasons why Dumbledore left Harry to suffer for years at the hands of the Dursleys without ever checking up on the boy. It's a plot device.
Well you're right, there is absolutely no canon proof the Lupin ever attempted to visit Harry; however, assuming he had, do you really think the Dursleys would have let him in? His appearance, his character, his "furry little problem", everything would have counted against him. Remember, this was at a time when Harry knew nothing about the Wizarding World and the Dursleys were still trying desperately to keep him from finding out about it. Besides that, it was all part of Dumbledore's plan to keep Harry away from The Wizarding World and Wizards in general, for more than one reason, and Lupin would have had to explain some things to Harry if he ever came round visiting. And of course, as you said, it could just be another plot device.


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  #926  
Old September 9th, 2009, 6:32 pm
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Re: Remus John Lupin: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post

What an excellent post! You said everything I wanted to, but could have never expressed it so well, not in a million years. Thank you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
Anyway, thank you for that. Very reasonable post, and a timely reminder that we all approach these characters from different viewpoints.
Thanks!

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Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
If I have understood this correctly: a Doyalist view takes the authorial, omnipotent view of the author's creation and stands outside the text, as the author does, whilst the Watsonian view analyses the text from the character's POV (because Watson is obviously a character in the story and already participating in it.)

Have I got that right, Annie?
Yes. As I understand it, a Doylist perspective stands outside the text, as you say. The story was written as it stands because of the decisions made by and intent of the author; inconsistencies are probably authorial error or due to character invention or development of ideas and perspectives over time, particulary like in a long story (collection of stories/plots within a series).

A Watsonian perspective tries to interpret the text from the standpoint of the text itself, beside the characters. Therefore inconsistances can be due to a character's shift in motivations, emotions, or mishearing something, rather than the author writing a slight inconsistancy.

Hope this helps.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RemusLupinFan View Post
Based on a Watsonian approach, Moriath's post describes well my personal opinion:Additionally, I think it might have been painful and extremely disappointing for Harry if Remus had gone to visit him because Harry would wonder why he had to live with the Dursleys and why he couldn't live with Remus instead (which would not have been possible due to Lily's protection). I think he might have become bitter and angry that there was someone who cared about him, but yet, could not remove him from his abusive home. The situation would have been complicated, as I'm sure Remus probably wouldn't have been able to explain Lily's sacrifice, and all about Voldemort, without Dumbledore's approval (which I have a feeling he would not give). Thus, I think it very likely that, under a Watsonian viewpoint, Remus' reasons for not going to see Harry must have been manifold.
This is a very reasonable and likely point. Manifold reasons and emotions arising from the situation from Remus' point of view. Indeed, we do see Harry's sadness and frustration when he was unable to live with Sirius and he felt effectively cut off from him at the Dursleys. It's likely Dumbledore gave some explanation to Sirius, otherwise I'd probably have difficulty in imagining him not insisting on taking Harry in.



Last edited by Annielogic; September 9th, 2009 at 10:48 pm. Reason: To clarify
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  #927  
Old September 10th, 2009, 9:06 am
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Re: Remus John Lupin: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by Annielogic View Post
I think there are two very distinct and valid approaches to this issue that are unfortunately clashing quite a bit: the Watsonian and Doyalist analysis. I think TGW is studying the text from a Watsonian view point, which means the author having not worked out a plot point yet doesn't enter within the context of the story. It's soley about the characters point of view, their feelings, motivations and consequential actions - how it is presented in the resultant text. It's like us here on Earth and unable to interview The Creator why certain things happen. We can only see what we are presented with. Sometimes the reader sees the text point them toward a favorable conclusion, and sometimes not.

From the Doyalist point of view Pearl's reason for Remus keeping quiet for twelve years of Harry's life (why he kept silent, if he had known where he was, had known about his neglect, etc) do seem perfectly reasonable if Remus was not invented until PoA or the particular plot point hadn't been fully realised yet.

Both are forms of analysis and involve a reader's interpretation and are equally valid. IMO.

During PoA JKR wrote Remus as having kept silent for a whole year about his relationship/friendship with James to Harry. I think she was aware of that silence and writing Remus's hesitation might be a sign of that avoidance, but it's down to the reader to interpret its meaning, why he held back and what he was feeling. We're not being spoon feed and we have to think about it for ourselves, which I love doing.
I don't mean to go off topic, but the Doyalist and Watsonian analysis are awesome! I think one needs a balance of both in order to have a well balanced critique of a text. But, consider me a Doyalist. This is a fictional story from someone else's head afterall.


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  #928  
Old September 10th, 2009, 10:33 am
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Re: Remus John Lupin: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by eliza101 View Post
TGW's it's canon that Remus, James and Sirius were good guys.
IMO it's canon, James and Sirius and Remus are not Death Eaters. They are guys who never took the mark. They are guys who were supposedly popular while in School.

I feel they were people with enormous flaws, that at times covered their other good qualities like not becoming a DE, like joining the Order and fighting Voldemort.

Quote:
Yes they had faults, but they were not ravenning monsters out to kill Harry.
Remus' silence on Sirius' animagus form would have killed Harry had Sirius been a DE (when he broke into Gryffindor Tower). That made Remus responsible IMO.

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That would be Lord Voldemort. You remember him, the main villain? There goes my chill pill.
Yes; I remember him. He was a Dark Lord. I don't think I said the Marauders or Remus was one. I don't think they were Dark Lords.

Quote:
IMO Remus had very good reasons for what he did. As far as I am concerned he did not visit Harry when he was a child because of DD orders.
As far as I am concerned, that lapse from Remus makes me want to think why and I came up with a different set of reasons, which to me are just as possible as your reasons may be to you.

Quote:
He did not speak to Harry about his friendship with his parents because as his teacher it would have been innappropriate.
I disagree. Remus would not have stepped over the mark, if he told Harry that James was one of his closest friends. If Remus told Harry that James was kind, gentle, merciful, dynamic and brave. I don't think that would hurt Harry or Remus, and I really don't think it would be unethical.

In canon Remus does not say those words about James to Harry IMO.

Quote:
In his mind he had very good reasons for leaving Tonks when he did.
I agree with this. I think Remus was at his most courageous when he left Tonks.

At other times he came off as rather cowardly and very selfish; though I suppose his curse made him think of himself every time.

Quote:
He had confidence in his friendship with James and Sirius.
I disagree. If Remus had that confidence, he would have told Harry about James and his positive traits long back IMO.


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  #929  
Old September 10th, 2009, 12:05 pm
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Re: Remus John Lupin: Character Analysis

When he left Tonks, he thought he was doing the right thing. He felt immensly guilty for "ruining" thier lives. He thought he was helping them. It would have taken a lot of courage on his part but then Harry told him what he thought . Remus went back and realised Harry was right.
He was a true Marauder and a Gryffindor. His "furry little problem" made life difficult for him but he did the best he could.
Rock on Remus!!


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  #930  
Old September 10th, 2009, 12:12 pm
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Re: Remus John Lupin: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by padfootmarauder View Post
When he left Tonks, he thought he was doing the right thing. He felt immensly guilty for "ruining" thier lives. He thought he was helping them. It would have taken a lot of courage on his part but then Harry told him what he thought . Remus went back and realised Harry was right.
He was a true Marauder and a Gryffindor. His "furry little problem" made life difficult for him but he did the best he could.
Rock on Remus!!
Rather true, the decision to leave them can be considered as both brave and folish. BRAVE: I'm sure he loved Tonks very much and would have liked to stay with her out of well, love. COWARD: He abandoned them in a time of need simply because he could not deal with his issue and accept the truth.


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  #931  
Old September 10th, 2009, 1:23 pm
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Re: Remus John Lupin: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by luvlunalovegood View Post
Rather true, the decision to leave them can be considered as both brave and folish. BRAVE: I'm sure he loved Tonks very much and would have liked to stay with her out of well, love. COWARD: He abandoned them in a time of need simply because he could not deal with his issue and accept the truth.
Brave and foolish definitely but I don't understand what you mean by he couldn't accept the truth? I think it's more of an example of chivalry (that unaired Gryffindor trait ) Remus runs off to sacrafice his love so his family aren't at risk because of him and don't have to live in shame. It just shows how outdated 'chivalry' is, Tonks loved him unconditionally so his bravery just came across as cowardice.


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  #932  
Old September 10th, 2009, 2:17 pm
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Re: Remus John Lupin: Character Analysis

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Brave and foolish definitely but I don't understand what you mean by he couldn't accept the truth? I think it's more of an example of chivalry (that unaired Gryffindor trait ) Remus runs off to sacrafice his love so his family aren't at risk because of him and don't have to live in shame. It just shows how outdated 'chivalry' is, Tonks loved him unconditionally so his bravery just came across as cowardice.
Hmm, well, I'm not sure I would take that view if I were a wife whose husband said to me, "Darling, I'm so concerned that I've put you and our unborn child in jeopardy that I'm going to ...

walk out on you both."



Au contraire: I would be extremely ticked off with him.

It is unfortunate that we don't know what Tonks's reaction might have been, but personally I hope that she wasn't all meek and accepting of this dubious decision but yelled sense back into Remus. Bit late now to change your mind about marrying me, matey!


I feel for Remus. I don't think he's, like, the worst character ever for doing this to Tonks. In terms of characterisation, it's actually very believable.


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  #933  
Old September 10th, 2009, 3:02 pm
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Re: Remus John Lupin: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by FlashMemory View Post
Remus runs off to sacrafice his love so his family aren't at risk because of him and don't have to live in shame.
But isn't he convinced that the baby will be 'just like him' ie a werewolf! In that context I just can't see how that is that protecting his family at all.


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  #934  
Old September 11th, 2009, 3:21 am
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Re: Remus John Lupin: Character Analysis

What I saw JKR as doing in the scene at #12, and actually in many scenes with Remus, was giving us her version of a werewolf in HP society that was undergoing a lot of "firsts".

There were not werewolves attending schools like Hogwarts or attempting to live and work in society - or establish friendly relations with wizards on a social level. So JKR gave us glimpses into Remus' ground breaking ventures in that light. They didn't go well, as I would expect they wouldn't because of the prejudice and disfavor surrounding werewolves. But it wasn't a complete failure; he did graduate from Hogwarts, get jobs and was fired from them and he was able to establish relationships with other wizards.

On a personal level, he found roadblocks in terms of the normal social interactions most wizards took for granted. He was overly careful not to step on toes at times and gave those who accepted him a broad leash. But I have to remember that what we didn't see as often was the backlash and disdain that he had to face, from the majority of people who didn't accept him. Having your hands repeatedly slapped when offered, would lend to you not putting your hands out as much I'd think. Other social norms like family and marriage were out of the question - but he found himself again breaking new ground and foraging his way into that aspect of human wizard life as well.

I felt JKR allowed us to travel with Remus on his journey to some extent - and characterized him - responses and reactions - always with an eye to how a ground breaking werewolf might behave - not like a wizard male or a werewolf who was walking on a traveled road might respond - but a sentient on a completely new track, but always tied to his half-breed heritage with the coming of each new moon - the pain, agony and angst of those days a continual reminder that no matter how much new ground he broke, he would never be able to be like a wizard human.

For Remus, the hardest choice was not whether or not he'd go back to Tonks or help raise Teddy - nor whether he'd continue with his mates in the Order in their fight against Voldemort. Those are important and hard choices sure, but even more difficult was the decision that he had to face every single day to remain on the ground breaking road he'd set upon when young, rather than taking the easier and much traveled route that werewolves in HP Universe were all walking upon, living underground and surviving in a more cutthroat and less social environment (in terms of human wizard society), imo.

I thought JKR did a great job with Remus, showing his halting progress along the new trail he was blazing. Remus had no example to follow; he would be the example to other werewolves if they chose to try to live in society. He would be the one leaving footsteps to be evaluated and copy - and missteps to be avoided by any werewolves that followed in his wake.

From the standpoint of Remus' human side; JKR explored that to some degree as well - his social interaction and such. He could be prone to anger, fear, helplessness, triumph, happiness, bewilderment, etc., like other human males and experience flaws and strengths and such. But rarely did JKR explore this side without keeping a sense of the werewolf about him and the tough decision that he had made and continued to make every day in cutting a new trail in terms of those of his kind. I didn't get the impression that "in story" Remus so much saw it as cutting a new trail; from his point of view, it seemed as though he was merely attempting to live in a manner he most wished to live in, but feared he could not. But despite his own vision, in the end, he did blaze a new trail and his ultimate successes and failures in all of the various aspects that were explored would be a trail other werewolves could use as a reference.


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  #935  
Old September 11th, 2009, 10:38 am
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Re: Remus John Lupin: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by RemusLupinFan View Post
Would he have taken up the DADA position now that the curse has been lifted? Or would he work to further werewolf rights and the rights of other underprivileged beings?
I don't know about the DADA teacher. I think he would work with the werewolves, and try to bring them into mainstream society, try to get them rights, with Harry's help; and maybe with the help of the Weasley family (because of Bill). THis is something I can't see Lupin doing alone.


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  #936  
Old September 11th, 2009, 11:06 am
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Re: Remus John Lupin: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by kittling View Post
But isn't he convinced that the baby will be 'just like him' ie a werewolf! In that context I just can't see how that is that protecting his family at all.
I didn't understand this at all. Aren't werewolves made, not born?


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  #937  
Old September 11th, 2009, 11:15 am
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Re: Remus John Lupin: Character Analysis

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I didn't understand this at all. Aren't werewolves made, not born?
Lupin says that his kind don't breed (in DH). So, I think he fears that his curse could be passed on to his child.


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  #938  
Old September 11th, 2009, 11:52 am
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Re: Remus John Lupin: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by snapes_witch View Post
I didn't understand this at all. Aren't werewolves made, not born?
Precisely, this was one of the firsts I was talking about. There were no references for Remus because werewolves didn't breed. So he doesn't know what this child could turn out to be, werewolf, human, something inbetween? All he could do was guess and the speculation that it would be a werewolf, that he'd pass all the pain and anguish he had to go through to an innocent being, wasn't on his list of top things to do today and scared him witless, imo. Kind of like when Angel found out Darla was pregnant - vampires didn't breed, so he flipped as well thinking it would be an evil being and cursed - and thereafter had no compunction trying to kill a pregnant Darla until he too found out the baby had a soul and later that it was a human. Remus didn't go that far of course, lol, but he had the same reaction to the impossible.


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Last edited by wickedwickedboy; September 11th, 2009 at 11:55 am.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 12:42 pm
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Re: Remus John Lupin: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
Hmm, well, I'm not sure I would take that view if I were a wife whose husband said to me, "Darling, I'm so concerned that I've put you and our unborn child in jeopardy that I'm going to ...

walk out on you both."



Au contraire: I would be extremely ticked off with him.

It is unfortunate that we don't know what Tonks's reaction might have been, but personally I hope that she wasn't all meek and accepting of this dubious decision but yelled sense back into Remus. Bit late now to change your mind about marrying me, matey!


I feel for Remus. I don't think he's, like, the worst character ever for doing this to Tonks. In terms of characterisation, it's actually very believable.
Exactly, that's why he's an idiot, but a Gryffindor idiot . So convinced that he's doing the right thing he sort of forgets about reality. I quite like that as a trait, just as Hermione accuses Harry of having the whole 'saving people thing'.

And I think he was worried about the shame he might bring on his famly not the fact his son might be a werewolf. We know that Tonks was more at risk because of her connection with him.


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Old September 11th, 2009, 12:52 pm
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Re: Remus John Lupin: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by FlashMemory View Post
Exactly, that's why he's an idiot, but a Gryffindor idiot .


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And I think he was worried about the shame he might bring on his famly not the fact his son might be a werewolf. We know that Tonks was more at risk because of her connection with him.
I'm not condemning Remus for all time here but that is something he should have thought about before marrying her.

And Tonks is not stupid: she knew what she was doing, in marrying a werewolf. She knew the risks they were both taking.

Remus flips, and panics, after his marriage, and his emotional meltdown is very, very believable. And understandable.

But leaving Tonks was not solely his call to make.

Just my feminist two cents.


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