The Harry Potter universe features deep backstories for many of the main characters. Throughout the series, we learn a lot about Harry, Hermione, Ron, Dumbledore, Voldemort, and Snape to name a few. One pivotal character who is still kind of shrouded in mystery is Remus Lupin.
Lupin makes his first appearance in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. He is the new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor and we learn that he's a werewolf, as well as a childhood friend of Harry's father. Though there's a fair amount that we know, we've come up with ten things most fans don't know about him.
10 He Fought Hard For Werewolf Rights
In the wizarding world of Harry Potter, werewolves are highly discriminated against. It's part of why Remus stayed away from most of civilization before coming to Hogwarts and why parents wouldn't be happy knowing he was teaching their children.
Remus' own father was vocal about his feelings on werewolves. He considered them to be soulless, evil, and that they should die. His viewpoint changed when his son was turned, but that was how most people looked at them. Remus fought against the prejudices towards wolves whenever he could. And more often than not, he found success.
9 Why His Wolf Form Looked So Frail
When most people think of a werewolf, they picture a creature that is vicious and terrifying. That's certainly the vibe that Fenrir Greyback gives off whenever we see him. So why did Remus Lupin look so unintimidating when he turned in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban?
The idea was that Remus' werewolf form should mimic how he lived outside of it. His condition caused him to socially alienate himself from most of the world and he was noted to almost always look sickly. His wolf form was thin and mostly hairless. It also played into how he combated werewolf stereotypes.
8 The Condition On Which He Accepted His Teaching Job
Considering the way wizards and witches viewed werewolves, it makes sense that Remus would be wary of taking on a teaching job at Hogwarts. But there was another factor outside of potential backlash. Remus knew he had no control of his werewolf side and didn't want to hurt any students.
To get Remus to agree to come work for him, Albus Dumbledore promised him an endless supply of the wolfsbane potion. This potion didn't prevent Remus from turning, but it relieved some of the effects. It would be brewed consistently for him by master potions maker Severus Snape. That's why Remus always felt gratitude towards Severus, even if he didn't like him.
7 He Was Awarded The Order Of Merlin
For those who aren't completely immersed in the world of Harry Potter, the Order of Merlin is a very prestigious award. It is given to wizards and witches who have accomplished something great. They come in levels from First Class down to Third Class, but all are honors.
Throughout history, winners included Newt Scamander (Second Class), Albus Dumbledore and Minerva McGonagall (both First Class). Remus Lupin was awarded the Order of Merlin, First Class, for his efforts during the Battle of Hogwarts and his time with the Order of the Phoenix. He made history as the first werewolf to receive this honor.
6 How Dumbledore Recruited Him For Hogwarts
For most kids, getting the acceptance letter to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is a special day. But for Remus Lupin, it was something truly incredible. Due to his knowledge of Remus' lycanthropy condition, Albus Dumbledore visited him personally to invite him to Hogwarts.
Dumbledore did not agree with the discrimination that werewolves faced, so he did everything he could to accommodate Remus. That included the commissioning of the Shrieking Shack as a place for Remus to turn every full moon. Dumbledore also played up the rumors of the shack being haunted to keep visitors away.
5 His Parents Met Because Of A Boggart
The most memorable lesson we ever read about or see on screen that Remus Lupin teaches in Defense Against the Dark Arts is focused on boggarts. These little shapeshifting creatures take the form of whatever the person who encounters it fears the most. But boggarts actually play a major role in Remus' life.
Remus' father Lyall met his mother Hope because of a boggart. While walking through the woods, Hope came upon a boggart that shifted into a scary man. Lyall rescued her and dealt with the boggart. Being a muggle, Hope had no clue that a boggart was ultimately harmless. She fell for the man who saved her and Lyall eventually told her the truth.
4 The Meaning Of His Family's Names
If you know anything about Roman mythology, you may have guessed that Remus would be revealed as a werewolf. That's because Roman myths say the founders of Rome were Remus and Romulus, both raised by a wolf. Diving a little further, his father's name shared a similar background.
Lyall is a name derived from the word liulfr, which is the Old Norse word for wolf. While Lyall himself wasn't a wolf, it worked as another hint of what was to come. Even more, the name Lupin is a play on Lupus, which is the Latin word for wolf. Remus' name is filled with nods to wolf mythology.
3 JK Rowling Hated Killing Him Off
JK Rowling has been quite open about her feelings while writing the final book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. A lot of characters were killed off and she was emotional about most of them. However, she's admitted that Remus ranked near the top.
Rowling called Remus one of her most beloved characters of the entire series. His name usually comes up with Harry, Hermione, and Dumbledore among the favorites. Rowling also let it be known that it came down to killing either Remus or Arthur Weasley. Since Arthur lived, Remus had to go. It also made sense so Teddy's beginnings could mirror Harry's.
2 He Couldn't Stand His Patronus
In an interesting note, neither the books nor the movies ever reveal what Remus' Patronus is. That's particularly odd because it is Remus who teaches the spell to Harry and it's such a major spell throughout the series. Fans wondered for a long time what form his Patronus took.
JK Rowling disclosed the information that his Patronus was an ordinary wolf. It was something that made Remus very uncomfortable and that's why he never really showed it off unless he absolutely had to. Remus often decided against casting corporeal Patronus spells.
1 He Was Turned Into A Wolf Out Of Revenge
Early on, many believed Remus was born a werewolf. We soon found out that he was turned in an attack by Death Eater Fenrir Greyback. But what many still don't know is that this happened when he a small child and that it wasn't a random happening. Greyback chose Remus as a measure of revenge.
Lyall Lupin worked at the Ministry of Magic and his harsh words about werewolves deserving nothing more than death ruffled some feathers. He was upset when Greyback received lenient treatment while being questioned. Greyback took this personally and targeted Lyall's son. He climbed in through Remus' window and bit him, turning him when he was just four years old.