Then . . . . . . and now
The most-liked werewolf ever (as far as I know)
For some reason beyond my comprehension, Remus (known more commonly by his last name, so that's how I'll call him from now on) is one of the most popular characters in the series, up among the ranks of Sirius and the Weasley twins. And I have to admit I am one of his fans (not to the extent that some people are his fans, though), even though I don't understand the phenomenon myself. (Maybe it has something to do with the chocolate?) So this page is not completely unbiased.
We know J.K. Rowling
likes referring back to mythology in these books. (This
is a literary technique known as "allusion," so those of you
unfamiliar with this word will know what I'm talking about when I use it,
because I use it a lot) Lupin does not escape this,
he shares his first name with one of the mythical founders of Rome. They
were a pair of orphaned twin boys names Romulus and Remus, and were raised by
wolves. Clever, eh? Well, this isn't all good. You see, if she
carries on the allusion any further, there could be some trouble ahead for our
chocolate-giving friend. The twins went on to found the city of Rome, but
got into an argument over who the city would be named after. Being
unaccustomed to civilization (or perhaps foreshadowing it . . . hmm . . .), they
got into a genuine fight over it, and Romulus killed Remus. While this
means the city has a much more romantic-sounding name ("Yes, I spent two
weeks in Reme" doesn't sound quite as good), Lupin gets the short end of
the stick, being named after the one who dies. Maybe this is
foreshadowing. Or maybe J.K. Rowling simply preferred the name Remus over
Romulus and this will all amount to nothing.
Incidentally, the genial old slave who tells the stories of Brer Rabbit is named Uncle Remus. No connection, I believe.
The name "Lupin" isn't without meaning, either. In Latin, it's the root of all words having to do with wolves. "Wolf" is lupus, wolf-like is lupine, etc. It's also the name of a rather pretty flowering plant which produces a cone-shaped stalk of flowers in early summer. The flowers smell like black pepper, but that really has nothing to do with anything. However it calls to mind a joke my sister came up with. [That is a warning to run while you still can!] It's a parody of the grasshopper joke – A grasshopper walks into a bar, and the bartender says hey, we've got a drink named after you, and the grasshopper says really, why would anyone name a drink Bob? Well, my sisters joke goes: So a tired guy walks into a field. And another guy says "Hey, we've got a flower named after you!"
I told you to run while you still had the chance.
In my apostolic allusion theory (which is better explained on James's page), Lupin fills the role of Matthew. Matthew was a tax collector, and therefore greatly mistrusted and generally despised by his community. Sound familiar?
In the generational parallel theory, which holds that Harry and his friends are a reflection of James and his friends, Lupin is represented in the present generation by Hermione. They're both intelligent, and both misfits, as Lupin is a werewolf and Hermione is Muggle-born.
If you're wondering where the Bonus Text from the British third Book went, it's now on the miscellaneous page.
I don't have any Lupin song parodies, like I do for Sirius. But I can say that I think Erik Satie's "Gnossienne No. 1" has Lupin's personality.
Well, that's all for Lupin's page. I hope you enjoyed it. If you want to see some more pictures of him, be my guest. If you'd rather go back to the main Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs page, you can do that, too. To see the other members of this little gang, click on their names below.
~ James Potter | Sirius Black | Remus Lupin | Peter Pettigrew ~