On Peter Pettigrew:
I agree with the points made by CM, Lucia and Nikki, and would also like to add something. We often speak of Peter's character, but not so often of his character development.
The following is based off the discussion we had in the MWPP class this term.
When analyzing Peter, most people assume that there were two periods in his life – the Marauder era, and the Trio era, and that his personality may have been different between these periods, but was the same during each (hope that makes sense). Therefore, we assume that he transited from one static state of "MWPP Peter" to the second static state of "Trio Era Peter". This cannot be right, however, because personalities are never static, but always dynamic. So there was character development not only in the twelve years between these stages, but throughout each of them as well.
Peter’s "Marauder Era" time lasted a whole of ten years – which is a lot of time, over which one’s personality can change drastically even without sharp shocks (there were more of those later, but not during the school years yet).
Now, I may surprise someone with that, but… I think Peter was loyal – in his younger years. We need to view the Marauders as a whole to really understand the case. James and Sirius are, without doubt, the more energetic two, the one everyone’s attention is drawn to. Then there’s Remus and Peter, the more passive two. In terms of group dynamics, they are somewhat similar in that they are both happy to be friends with James and Sirius. In Remus’ case, he is happy to be with them because they saved him from his loneliness. In Peter’s case, he is happy to be with them because… let’s see.
At the age of eleven, what would attract Peter to James and Sirius? My first hunch is – who wouldn’t want to be friends with ‘cool’ people like those two? Especially what with all four being in the same year, and the two seeming to be friends ever since the train? For most people, it would be only natural to try to get friendly with them – simply because it’s better to be with someone than left out, and if the someone-s in question are such really ‘cool’ guys… So, Peter is happy to be their friend, and they are his heroes. He supports them unconditionally, he cheers them on whatever they do.
But they have seven years at Hogwarts. Around year five, we see James and Sirius treating Peter less than nicely - James calling him thick, and Sirius making that comment about ‘before Wormtail wets himself’. Yes, Peter is still hero-worshipping the two of the Marauders, and he is still painfully lacking self-confidence (remember the exam), and he may not be the brightest student in his year… but friends are not supposed to be friends with one for that one doing something or being something. I don’t think that James and Sirius did much to boost Peter’s self-confidence and self-image. Instead, they were happy to have him in the supporting role. I’m not saying they purposefully ascribed to him the lackey’s part – but they may have simply gone with the flow. Doing something for someone requires an effort. An effort not everyone is willing to make. I mean, the first thing that comes to mind when viewing that scene through the prism of Peter and the attitude of James and Sirius to him. James, being the brilliant Seeker that he was and seeing how excited Peter was at his tricks with the Snitch, could have offered the Snitch to Peter and said ‘now you try to catch it’. Yes, he’d probably fail a dozen times over – but imagine how happy he would’ve been when he finally succeeded! When you're good at something, you can do more than show off with it - you can help your friend with it, especially when he admires you so. I think that had James, for example, done what I described above, Peter's admiration for him would grow tenfold. However, James was busy showing off at the time, so the issue did not arise.
Being Peter, do you think you could forever worship someone who treats you with perpetual mild disdain?
This is NOT saying that James and Sirius deserved Peter’s betrayal. However, Peter’s character was significantly shaped by his relationships, as anyone’s character is – and the Marauders were his best friends, after all.
P.S. While I was posting, there was also a post regarding Remus. I have a few words to say on the matter as well. (*hears groans from everyone* )
* * *On Remus Lupin:
I can't say I agree with that. I think he is simply deeply insecure and values his friends too much. Consider this (again, it's from the MWPP class).Originally Posted by Akay
Let me try to have a look at Remus’ life. I think that his parents loved him, and let him know that in every way they could. So his childhood was probably quite happy up until Greyback’s attack. After that, however, his life was shattered. I am quite convinced that Greyback quite purposefully only infected Remus instead of killing him – if he could control himself at all in the wolf form, that is – because the death of the child could, however horrid it may sound, be easier on the parents than the knowledge that he will be living a cursed life forever since. And ever since the bite, Remus’ life has been cursed indeed. Despite the loving care of his parents, who did not abandon him and probably took all possible measures to ease his suffering, not least by ensuring he did not start feeling unloved. Depending on how early Remus was bitten, it is possible that at the time, he did not understand what happened to him. Maybe his parents simply told him that he was ill, and because of that had to stay inside on certain days. But however much they tried to help him, one thing remained: when the transformation started, when he was scared and in pain, they could not be together with him. He had to endure that alone, behind a locked door. No matter what they did, he was ultimately alone in his worst moments, and that sort of feeling does not go away easily… or at all, especially since nothing really changed for him over the years. He would grow, learn to understand the true nature of his ‘illness’… but that would only change things for the worse for him. Before, if he didn’t understand why his mother or father couldn’t be with him when he was hurting, he could try to find excuses or even feel resentful, like children can – but now, he knew that it was because of what he was that they couldn’t be with him. Maybe I’m straying into maximalism here, but a child can be very maximalistic indeed…
And what I described above could, and most likely did, had a terrible impact on Remus’ character. People often draw some parallels between Remus and Severus surfaces (mine own is in terms of loneliness, but different kinds of it). Let me compare. In the case of Severus, he would believe (know) that his parents didn’t love him and therefore, didn’t care to be with him when he needed them. In the case of Remus, he would believe that his parents loved him… but however much they wanted, they could not be with him, when he needed them most. Not because of not loving him enough – but because of what he was. I believe that left a terrible mark on him – because Remus would realize that if his illness separated him, albeit partially, even from his parents, people who loved him unconditionally and were closest to him (and I do believe he was very close with his parents), then the rest of the world would always shun him.
Lucia made a point that the idea of going to Hogwarts was probably very frightening to Remus. I agree with it wholleheartedly. However lonely he felt inside, his parents most likely did everything in their power to make his life easier – they were there for him. Not at full moon, granted – but on all other days, he could rely on their support. Lucia summed it up nicely:
I believe that it probably went like this. Remus probably heard of Hogwarts before, but I wouldn’t be surprised if his parents were prepared to homeschool him (yes, I seem to paint a picture of the Lupins as the perfect parents… but people who did not deem their child a monster or abandon him, but loved him and took the best care of him they could are possibly quite the perfect parents I described…) Michelle made the following point I agree wholeheartedly with:Originally Posted by Lucia in MWPP
Then he received the Hogwarts letter and was probably surprised (*watches a plot bunny hop around*) to the point of shock, excited the next moment… and probably disappointed to the point of tears the next. Because he could hardly imagine himself at Hogwarts, or in any other place away from home, for that matter. Who would allow a werewolf in their midst? But I imagine soon thereafter, Dumbledore himself came over or invited the Lupins to the school to talk and explained how Remus’ enrollment would be possible, and what precautions would be taken. Because there is also the opinion of Remus’ parents to be taken into account, remember? Were I Remus’ mother, I would probably be against his enrollment at first, because of the dangers associated with it. What if the matters somehow got out of hand, and he hurt someone? At home, they could make sure he was always safely locked up at full moon – but would the safety be preserved at school?Originally Posted by Michelle in MWPP
Dumbledore was successful in his persuasions, though, and so the agreement involving the Shrieking Shack, the Whomping Willow and Madame Pomfrey was made, and Remus came to Hogwarts.
Then he befriended the other Marauders. Lucia's version of the events appeals to me:
So, based on that, I believe that James, Sirius and Peter were his first real friends. But then came the issue of them becoming suspicious. I can but imagine what thoughts went through Remus’ mind at the time. He only just made friends, someone to spend the time with, someone who liked them, for the first time in his life, and now he would have to tell them the truth and lose them forever – for he did not doubt for a moment that they would turn away from him instantly. Then along came the moment of truth – and they did not turn away! Moreover, they tried to figure out a way to help him – and did. Again, for the first time ever, someone was him during his transformations. His three friends did for him something even his loving parents could not do. They saved him from the loneliness.Originally Posted by Lucia in MWPP
To finalize, I will again quote Lucia:
*runs off, scared by the size of her own post*Originally Posted by Lucia in MWPP