Harry Potter: 20 Strangest Details About Remus Lupin’s Anatomy

Remus Lupin was Harry's favorite Hogwarts professor in the Harry Potter series. This is because he was not only one of the best teachers the school had ever seen, but also because he was one of the most caring. Unlike many Hogwarts professors, Lupin would address each of his students by their first name as opposed to their last. He also made an effort to get to know them on a human level, in order to connect with them. These are just some of the reasons why the Harry Potter fans have connected with him as well.

Every character in J.K. Rowling's masterful story isn't precisely what they seem. In the case of Lupin, his lovable front masks the werewolf curse that lays within. As Rowling stresses in the novels and their film adaptations, a person's illness or medical condition shouldn't dictate their entire being. The delicacy that Rowling used when crafting this character was reflected in the way Lupin himself behaved. Not only was he a great teacher, but he was also a fierce friend and a strong ally of Harry's and of the Order of the Phoenix.

Even though Remus Lupin is an iconic part of the lexicon of the Harry Potter franchise, many fans would be surprised by certain elements of his anatomy. They'd be taken back by some of the unique qualities he has both in his human and in his magical creature form.

Without further ado, here are the 20 Strangest Details About Remus Lupin’s Anatomy.

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20 He Became A Werewolf At 4

Remus Lupin's defining physical attribute is the fact that he was actually a werewolf, but the origin of his curse is even more tragic than one would expect. Lupin's father, Lyall, worked for the Ministry of Magic. During the trial of Fenrir Greyback, Lyall was the only one to realize that he was a werewolf. Having an anger for Greyback's crimes, as well as a bigoted opinion about werewolves, Lyall demanded that Greyback be put down.

This enraged Greyback, who decided to get revenge on Lyall by attacking Remus. Although Greyback wasn't able to take out Remus due to Lyall's spells, he was able to bite him. The result was Remus being cursed with lycanthropy for the rest of his life at age 4. It was a bitter wake-up call for Lyall, who was unable to cure his son.

19 Silver Won't Actually Hurt Him

Just like how vampires can't stand garlic, or how mummies are afraid of cats, in literature, a werewolf's greatest weakness is silver. The idea seems to date back to 18th century folklore called The Legend of the Beast of Gevaudan. However, some suggest that 19th Century authors went back and altered that telling. Regardless, silver being the thing that ends werewolves has become a staple of all literature.

This is not the case in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter franchise. At no point does Rowling state that silver can actually harm Lupin in any way. In fact, there's much reason to believe that the metal would do nothing to him. After all, he's often surrounded by various silver artifacts, including in his Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom.

18 He Was A Talented Duelist

It should come as no surprise that Remus Lupin was a skilled duelist. After all, he was a member of the Order of the Phoenix and the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. One of the reasons he was such a proficient teacher was the fact that he knew magic inside and out. This definitely included dueling.

In both the books and the movies, Lupin takes part in various duels. Especially in the book Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Lupin shows his skills in the Battle of the Astronomy Tower, where he comes out unscathed. Unfortunately, he does meet his end at the hands of a more skilled duelist in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. However, he was able to use his magic long enough to put up a good fight.

17 CGI And Prosthetics Were Used To Create His Transition

Remus Lupin Turns Into A Werewolf in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

As detailed in the behind-the-scenes video on the VFX process in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the filmmakers used both CGI and prosthetics to bring Lupin's transformation to life. Although the end result wasn't entirely perfect, the fact that the director Alfonso Cuaron and his team used both methods certainly made the scene stronger than it could have been.

They used various shots of actor David Thewlis in progressively heavier make-up, pieced them together, and then used CGI to blend them and enhance the more complex shots. This is the ideal technique as it also includes an actor's performance. After all, they get to physically be a part of the transformation process instead of leaving it all to the wonders of CGI.

16 His Patronus Was A Wolf

No witch or wizard has control over the animal that their Patronus takes the shape of. The same is true for a person's Animagus. Hard as a witch or wizard may try, their personality and magical make-up determine what animal will represent them. It's usually an animal that closely resembles them in some way, be it a physical attribute or an emotional one.

Unfortunately for Remus Lupin, his Patronus took the shape of a wolf. As a child, this really upset him as it constantly reminded him of his cursed werewolf status. It was basically something that haunted him in every corner of his life. Thematically, it makes sense for Rowling to have made this choice. It also further linked him to his best friend, Sirius Black, whose Animagus and Patronus were also a wolf.

15 His Personality Contrasted His Wolf-State

Remus Lupin and Sirius Black

Another interesting choice that Rowling made when designing the character of Remus Lupin was emphasizing the dichotomy between his werewolf state and his human nature. When Lupin had transformed into a werewolf, he was mostly uncontrollable, vicious, and a threat to everyone and anything around him. Unlike an Animagus, being a werewolf is anything but fun.

However, in Lupin's human state, he was calm, collected and understanding. It's one of the reasons why he was such a great professor. His demeanor made him able to impart wisdom to his students, as well as keep control over the classroom without losing his temper. Could you imagine if he had to teach the class as a werewolf? That would be a whole different story entirely.

14 David Thewlis Based Lupin On His Old Teacher

In an interview, Remus Lupin actor David Thewlis explained that he based his performance on one of his old teachers. Although much of the character was mapped out for him in the script, as well as in J.K. Rowling's novels, he chooses to bring a little something of his own to him. Apparently, Thewlis could relate to the way Lupin reached out to his students as well as imparted wisdom to them. After all, he had experienced a similar circumstance with one of his own teachers.

Thewlis mentioned this when asked if he had put any preparations into being a werewolf. Rather than focusing on the mother, he found Lupin's role as a teacher far more interesting and important to the story.


Everyone knows that Bellatrix Lestrange was Lord Voldemort's favorite Death Eater. Not only that, but she was also one of his most powerful servants. Sometimes it's easy to forget that Remus Lupin was actually related to her by marriage.

This is because Lupin married Bellatrix's niece, Nymphadora Tonks. However, Bellatrix didn't see Tonks as her niece because she had disowned her sister, Tonks' mother Andromeda, for marrying a Muggle. This broke their pure-blood elite status as part of the Sacred Twenty Eight. Lupin's disdain for Bellatrix ran deep for many reasons. First and foremost, she represented everything he disliked. She also followed Voldemort, was bigoted against his wife, and took out his best friend, Sirius. Eventually, Bellatrix ended Tonks' life during the Battle of Hogwarts.


During the final years of Remus Lupin's life, he married his Order of the Phoenix colleague, Nymphadora Tonks. Soon after, the pair had a son named Edward "Teddy" Lupin. Luckily for Teddy, he didn't inherit his father's werewolf curse, but he did become a Metamorphmagus like his mother.

A Metamorphmagus is an extremely rare witch or wizard who has the ability to change their appearance without the use of Polyjuice Potion or any other form of difficult magic. Very little is known about Teddy Lupin, but we can only hope that this ability made him feel closer to his mother. We do know he changed his hair color multiple times throughout his young life since it was so easy for him.

11 Being A Werewolf Could Have Gotten Him Expelled And Fired

The fact that Lupin was a werewolf could have easily gotten him expelled from Hogwarts as a kid, as well as fired from his teaching post as an adult. This is because the wizarding community generally had a negative perspective on the creatures. It's one of the reasons why Voldemort targeted them for his army; they had a vendetta on the larger community for their bigotry.

If it wasn't for Albus Dumbledore, Lupin would have been gone in a heartbeat. When Lupin was a student, Dumbledore arranged for him to be kept in the Shrieking Shack during his transformations, in order to protect the other students. Later on, Dumbledore also made sure that his staff kept Lupin's status a secret, in order not to worry the parents who would have surely petitioned to remove Lupin from his position.

10 He Reacted Positively To Wolfsbane Potion

Dumbledore went beyond protocol when it came to making sure his Order of the Phoenix colleague was safe as a teacher at Hogwarts. He clearly believed that Lupin would benefit the students, as well as protect Harry from any dangers.

During Lupin's time as a teacher at Hogwarts, Dumbledore got Severus Snape to brew Wolfsbane Potion for Lupin. This allowed Lupin to retain his human mind during his transformations, giving him more control over his actions. However, in the moments where he couldn't take the potion before a transformation, he would revert back to his more animalistic state. Wolfsbane Potion is particularly tricky to make. At the time of Lupin's job, Snape was the only one who could make it. The potion couldn't rid him of his curse, but certainly, relieved some of the symptoms.


There were many moments of foreshadowing Lupin's secret life as a werewolf in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. One of the clues that Rowling gave was the distinctive injuries on Lupin's face. They were particularly noticeable after a transformation.

The exact cause of these facial scars was not given in the novels. However, Lupin does tell Bill Weasley (whom Greyback also attacked) that his scars were unlikely to heal. This is because werewolf-inflicted injuries are cursed. It's possible that Lupin received these scars from Greyback or from other werewolves during his transformation. Additionally, the scars could have been self-inflicted. After all, Lupin was deeply unhappy about his status. He could have harmed himself in his fits of anger.

8 His Transformations Ruined His Clothes

There are two main reasons for Lupin's shabby appearance in all of the Harry Potter books and movies. First and foremost, Lupin's monthly transformations caused him to go through clothes like crazy. They tended to rip, fray, or get utterly ruined when he became a werewolf.

Secondly, due to his status as a werewolf, it was particularly hard for Lupin to get or keep a job. Therefore, it's easy to determine that he didn't have all that much money to buy new clothing. Regardless of the precise reason for his poor wardrobe, Lupin was teased for it by Draco Malfoy during Prisoner of Azkaban. He could have also been pestered for it during his time as a student, but in all likelihood, the other Marauders came to his defense.

7 He Was Skilled At Wandless and Non-Verbal Magic

One of the truest signs of a powerful witch or wizard is their ability to use non-verbal and wandless magic. This means that they don't need the powers of a wand to harness or bring forth their own genetic abilities. Remus Lupin was one such wizard.

Numerous times during J.K. Rowling's masterful series, Lupin used his skills without so much as drawing his unicorn-hair core wand. He could easily open locks or relight candles just with the wave of his hand. This was very similar to Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald, who were known to be some of the most powerful wizards in history, though Remus didn't use it at the same level.

6 His Transformation Screams Were Mistaken For Ghosts

Remus Lupin

During Lupin's time as a student at Hogwarts, Albus Dumbledore always had his back. After all, he was the one to arrange for Lupin to be taken to the Shrieking Shack during his monthly transformations. This prevented Lupin from accidentally harming other students or teachers when he lost control.

As most Harry Potter fans know, The Shrieking Shack is not far outside of Hogsmeade village. It was known as one of the most haunted buildings in all of Britain. This is because the citizens of Hogsmeade constantly heard shrieking coming from the old home. Even the Hogwarts ghosts were afraid of going inside. However, the shrieks coming from within weren't from spirits; they were actually from Lupin's horrible transformations. Like everything in Rowling's series, the Shack wasn't as it first appeared.


One of the most lovable aspects of Lupin was that he always had a piece of chocolate on hand. He believed that chocolate was one of the best medicines for any ailment, be it physical or emotional. It's highly likely that Lupin was allergic to the very thing he loved to give to children and eat himself, because he was a werewolf.

In literature, including Rowling's series, werewolves have similar chemical make-ups to real canines. As all dog owners know, chocolate is one of the most awful things to feed a canine, because it contains a significant amount of theobromine as well as caffeine, both of which can be lethal if a dog consumes enough of it. Perhaps Lupin only ate a little bit of chocolate as he knew he would be harmful to him. Either way, it was just another aspect of his terrible curse.

4 His Charms Skills Helped Create The Marauder's Map

Marauders Map

Charms were one of the magical skills that Remus Lupin showed proficiency for at a young age. It was a trait that he and his fellow Marauders (Sirius, James, and Peter) all had in common. It's what gave them the ability to create such a unique and detailed magical object as the Marauder's Map.

For those who can't remember, the Marauder's Map was an enchanted parchment that portrayed the castle and grounds of Hogwarts in full-detailed. It also showed the whereabouts of every student, teacher, and staff member that occupied the school. For the Marauders, it was an essential tool that helped them sneak around undetected. Additionally, Lupin was able to cast a corporeal Patronus, which was concerned to be a very advanced form of Charm magic.

3 Much Of Lupin Was Cut From The Movies

One of the most unfortunate parts of the movie adaptations of the Harry Potter series was the fact that so much had to be cut out. Among the story cuts were many scenes that included Remus Lupin. For instance, Lupin was far more important in The Order of the Phoenix and The Half-Blood Prince, but so many scenes from that story didn't end up in the film.

Lupin also had an important scene that didn't end up in Deathly Hallows Part 1. This was when he visited Harry at Grimmauld Place to attempt to escort him on his Horcrux quest. In the book, the argument between the two was hugely important to their relationship and Lupin's arc. Too bad it was cut from the film.

2 Dolohov Ended Him

Lupin was easily one of the most beloved characters in the Harry Potter series. Therefore, it makes sense that J.K. Rowling decided to end his life in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. After all, she had a habit of taking away some of Harry's strongest allies. It's one of the reasons the books felt like they had real consequences.

During the Battle of Hogwarts, Lupin was taken out off-screen by one of Voldemort's Death Eaters. Although Lupin was a talented duelist, Antonin Dolohov was seen as one of the best. In the end, Dolohov was taken out by Filius Flitwick, who was more powerful than both of them. Chances are, Lupin was able to put up a good fight before meeting his end, but in both the book and movie, we never actually saw his final moments.

1 He Was Supposed To Survive

It's often the case that a writer reveals story decisions far after a series has concluded. This is because fans are so curious about every single detail that they hound a writer until they unload some of their secrets. This was certainly the case with J.K. Rowling when she was asked why she ended Remus Lupin by the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Rowling revealed that Lupin wasn't actually supposed to pass away at the end of the series. In fact, she was arguing with herself if she was going to eliminate him or Arthur Weasley. For some reason, it was between the two of them, probably because both acted as father-figures to Harry, and therefore would have hit home for both him and the audience. Unfortunately, Rowling ended up picking Lupin as the casualty and the rest is history.


What do you think is the strangest thing about Lupin's anatomy in Harry Potter? Let us know in the comments below!

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