Listening to the last episode of Binge Mode: Harry Potter got me thinking. The question I have been mulling over: Who is your favorite character in the series (besides Harry, Ron, or Hermione)? There are plenty of interesting people to choose from, but there’s no question in my mind: Remus Lupin wins hands down.
SPOILER ALERT: This post includes details from throughout the Harry Potter series. If you haven’t read all the books or seen all the movies, be warned: spoilers ahead.
Picking a favorite is something I usually avoid. How can you pick a favorite character (or book or movie)? There are so many great ones to choose from and most of them can’t be compared. Frodo and Hamlet, The Golden Compass and The Hunger Games, Jurassic Park and The Incredibles? Apples and oranges.
But there’s no doubt in my mind when it comes to a favorite non-trio character in the Harry Potter series. I love Lupin. I saw Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban at least five times while it was in the theater. Before I knew Tonks was in his future, I even wrote a story about him getting a job where he met a witch who was also an outcast so he could fall in love with an equal and find a home.
Why do I love Lupin so much? He first got my attention by being kind to Harry, protecting him from Dementors and then giving him chocolate. (Gotta love a guy who carries bars of chocolate wherever he goes.) Then he stood up for Neville in front of Snape and taught Harry to produce a Patronus so he could protect himself. He is like a father to Harry, even moreso than Dumbledore, who was using the boy all along.
Lupin’s most impressive accomplishment is being a decent human being even though he suffers from a chronic condition: lycanthropy. While we can’t be sure how badly transforming into a wolf once a month affects him physically, it’s easy to imagine that it could have turned him into a bitter, hurtful man. Being cursed with an incurable disease and discriminated against at every turn could make anyone resentful or mean.
But he isn’t. He is gentle and kind, thoughtful and understanding. Of the four Marauders (James Potter, Sirius Black, Peter Pettigrew, and of course, Remus Lupin), Lupin is the one who is the most responsible, considerate, and compassionate.
He knows right from wrong, though as a teenager, he doesn’t always speak up. He fails to stop James and Sirius from bullying Snape, for example. But he gets stronger as he grows older. He joins the Order of the Phoenix, constantly risking his life, doing undercover work he doesn’t like to help defeat Voldemort, and ultimately giving his life to make a better world for his son.
The books are full of lovable non-trio characters from Dobby to Luna to Hagrid to Molly. But Lupin has my respect and therefore my vote.
Who is your favorite character in the series (besides Harry, Ron, or Hermione)?
6 thoughts on “In Praise of Remus Lupin”
I love Remus too, for many of the same reasons you described. It saddened me that he became so bitter later in the series.
Alistair Moody is also a favorite. I liked him so much in The Goblet of Fire, it was rather disheartening to find out it wasn’t really him.
I forgot that he gets a little cranky later! Because I’m a books 1-4 fan and tend to dismiss his later story (one of the down sides to taking time to write yourself fanfic, I guess… you like your storyline for the character better!) So I guess I should say: I love POA Lupin… 😉
Yeah, Remus was a great character.
I liked Fred and George Weasley, too. They brought so much comic relief to the storyline.
The twins are fantastic. They are so wild and crazy and fun. I particularly love their departure from Hogwarts in book 5, and that the teachers left a bit of their swamp in the hall as a memorial.
I love Remus too. Of the adult characters, he is probably my 3rd favorite, after Snape and Sirius.
It’s hard for me to choose between Lupin and Sirius, but if I think about how they treated Harry, then Lupin wins. Sirius loved him, but he was pretty reckless and not the best surrogate parent ever. And yet I was so pissed when JK killed off Sirius, taking (once again) his family from Harry.