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Thread: The Marauders' Characterisation

  1. #11
    Elmindreda
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    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.

    ~El

    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:

    Quote Originally Posted by Akay
    Remus is one of the most ignorant and biased young person in the books.
    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).

    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:
    Quote Originally Posted by Lucia in MWPP
    If he would have to go and live at a castle away from everything he knew and stuffed full of students and teachers with a curfew that kept him locked up with other boys his year at night, even on the full moon.... The idea probably scared him stiff.
    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:
    Quote Originally Posted by Michelle in MWPP
    I believe that Remus was well loved by his parents shown beautifully by his kind and affable nature. Remus is patient and giving with his students and that is only acheived by a similar upbringing.
    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?

    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:
    Quote Originally Posted by Lucia in MWPP
    Because of his low self-esteem and tendency to keep to himself, I'm sure that being befriended by James {I still hold that it was James who befriended him first because he was always the more friendly of the two "leaders"} shocked him. He probably couldn't see anything in himself that someone would want to like and spend time with, but he wasn't about to complain about it.
    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.

    To finalize, I will again quote Lucia:
    Quote Originally Posted by Lucia in MWPP
    He feels lucky just to have them as friends and is probably desperate not to lose them because who knows when he'll find another group or even just one other person who will like him even knowing he's a werewolf and still want to be around him?

    Can you blame him for not stopping them? Would you be able to?
    *runs off, scared by the size of her own post*

  2. #12
    Fourth Year Hufflepuff
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    Agree absolutely with you, El, to the point of Remus being an eleven year old, unsure but well-loved.

    Originally Posted by Lucia in MWPP
    He feels lucky just to have them as friends and is probably desperate not to lose them because who knows when he'll find another group or even just one other person who will like him even knowing he's a werewolf and still want to be around him?

    Can you blame him for not stopping them? Would you be able to?
    This is the part that troubles me in my story. There's a Remus that says or not says things to his friends, and there is a Remus who just thinks. We know that the talking Remus never stopped his friends from doing what was wrong to others and to him (WW incident), but what does he really think?

    I read Lucia's quote and I ask myself: Would you be able to?

    Definitely not, I guess.

    Saying that, while I'm writing in my story the event of WW, is Remus just okay about the whole thing? How serious was he about the consequence that Sirius' joke might've had on him or Snape, if the Slytherin had been there a minute later?

    I want to justify Remus' silence with his gratitude of having great friends. But to make him more well-rounded, I consider the possibilty of him ever regreting that silence?

    You're grateful because a friend has done something incredible for you, but what if they plan a joke on someone else, not considering you, or the effect it can have on you.

    Hmm, am I exploring too much? Maybe he isnt as complicated as I'm thinking him to be.

    Yet, what is a character without "layers". Who agrees?


    Akay


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  3. #13
    Elmindreda
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    On Remus and WW...

    Quote Originally Posted by Akay
    ...was it a 'joke' how Remus actually interpreted the event? Or was he being sarcastic when he said that?
    His exact words are:
    Quote Originally Posted by Remus in PoA
    Sirius thought it would be - er - amusing, to tell Snape all he had to do was prod the knot on the tree-trunk with a long stick, and he'd be able to go in...
    Note the 'er'. Two letters that speak volumes. I personally think that Remus was mortified, and probably angry at Sirius for a long time, even if he didn't show it. And at the scene in the Shrieking Shack, I think he was so mild-spoken about the incident for two reasons:
    a) old instincts kicking in
    b) he sees Sirius after twelve years. Twelve years of him believing Sirius to be a murdering traitor. He's obviously shaken up, happy to have Sirius back, aghast at the Peter revelation, and hugely apologetic of Sirius - so this is hardly the time to dredge up the old incident.

    So, in the light of the above, my personal answer to this question:
    Quote Originally Posted by Akay
    is Remus just okay about the whole thing?
    is 'definitely not.'

    Quote Originally Posted by Akay
    But to make him more well-rounded, I consider the possibilty of him ever regreting that silence?
    I think he did regret it.
    In OotP, when Harry confronts Sirius about the SWM, Remus says to Sirius, in regards of him being spoken about as the most well-behaved Marauder:
    Quote Originally Posted by Remus
    Did I ever tell you to lay off Snape?' he said. 'Did I ever have the guts to tell you I thought you were out of order?
    I think this indicates that he does feel guilty about not having kept his friends in check.
    Yet, what is a character without "layers". Who agrees?
    I agree! Passionately so.

  4. #14
    Rhi for HP
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    Just popping back into my own thread to thank all the great posters out there! Especially--whew--El! Those are obscenely long posts--and when I say "obscene", I mean "wow, impressive, and I wish I had your same mad 'skillz' at character analisation"! Many valid points from all and I really appreciate it, guys! (Note: I'm not closing this thread; I just wanted to thank everyone for putting in the time.)

  5. #15
    Amber0_o
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    Note the 'er'. Two letters that speak volumes. I personally think that Remus was mortified, and probably angry at Sirius for a long time, even if he didn't show it.

    Well, we know that something had to happen between Remus and the other Marauders. Remus was not even considered as an option for the Secret Keeper, and I believe that Remus mentions that, when they knew their was a spy giving information up on James and Lily, Remus thought is was Sirius and Sirius thought it was Remus.

    What else could have divided them so strongly other than the Werewolf prank? Remus would look at Sirius in a how new light-- there was a large chance that Severus could have died-- and Remus would realize that Sirius could do something harmful to a friend. (At the very least Remus would have been expelled from Hogwarts)

    I think that James, being torn between the two, picked Sirius. Because, despite it all, I see Remus and Peter as the two 'extra' friends. That isn't to say that their friendship was faked or just a show, but that Sirius and James were closer than the others. How many groups of friends do you know of where everyone is on an 'equal footing'? There is always going to be the 'best friends' of a group-- and James and Sirius were that 'best friends' of this group.

    I want to justify Remus' silence with his gratitude of having great friends. But to make him more well-rounded, I consider the possibilty of him ever regreting that silence?


    I definetly think he would. Especially after the werewolf 'prank'. Whether it is true or not, to Remus, it would look as if Sirius was only friends with him for the fun times they had during full moons. (Being used as a 'prop' in a prank, and then when Sirius refuses to help Remus study because Sirius already knows the information.) Remus might have felt that he had been used-- and it may push him to regret his actions even more.

    But remember that even as an adult Remus can't stand up for himself. During PoA, when Sirius Black is still thought of as a mass murderer, Remus takes the Marauder's Map from Harry but does not turn it into Albus, who could have used it to prevent Sirius from making repeat trips into Hogwarts. Nor does Remus tell Albus of the extra secret entrances into Hogwarts. He had plenty of information to give to Albus, yet he refused. Most likely because he didn't want Albus to know about what they did as students. He put Harry at risk to save his own good standing with Albus.

  6. #16
    cmwinters
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amber0_o
    Note the 'er'. Two letters that speak volumes. I personally think that Remus was mortified, and probably angry at Sirius for a long time, even if he didn't show it.

    Well, we know that something had to happen between Remus and the other Marauders. Remus was not even considered as an option for the Secret Keeper, and I believe that Remus mentions that, when they knew their was a spy giving information up on James and Lily, Remus thought is was Sirius and Sirius thought it was Remus.

    What else could have divided them so strongly other than the Werewolf prank? Remus would look at Sirius in a how new light-- there was a large chance that Severus could have died-- and Remus would realize that Sirius could do something harmful to a friend. (At the very least Remus would have been expelled from Hogwarts)
    I think it went a *little* bit deeper than that, but werewolves are considered "dark creatures" by the Ministry, and Sirius' entire family were Death Eater supporters save himself, Andromeda and a disowned crazy uncle. So there was mistrust between the two of them, as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amber0_o
    But remember that even as an adult Remus can't stand up for himself. During PoA, when Sirius Black is still thought of as a mass murderer, Remus takes the Marauder's Map from Harry but does not turn it into Albus, who could have used it to prevent Sirius from making repeat trips into Hogwarts. Nor does Remus tell Albus of the extra secret entrances into Hogwarts. He had plenty of information to give to Albus, yet he refused. Most likely because he didn't want Albus to know about what they did as students. He put Harry at risk to save his own good standing with Albus.
    He also didn't tell Dumbledore Black was an Animagus.

  7. #17
    Hufflepuff at Heart
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    Hey, I've been wondering about this for quite a while, and I hope this is the right thread to ask this in! If I should be posting this somewhere else, feel free to let me know!

    Anyway, here goes...

    I'm currently writing a Marauder era story, and I'm wondering which members of the Marauders do you think would be in the Slug Club?

    Would James and Sirius be in it, as they both did very well in school, or would their reputation as troublemakers have kept them out?
    I wouldn't imagine Remus there, as I imagine Slughorn would not see much potential in him, and the same for Peter.

    Oh, and also do you think Lily or James would have been considered the better duelist (I think that's the word!) at school?

    ~Sarah

  8. #18
    Third Year Hufflepuff
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    which members of the Marauders do you think would be in the Slug Club?
    Sirus came from a prominent pureblood family, and James' family was quite wealthy, so despite their capicity for trouble making I think that they would have been in the Slug Club. He accepts Ginny into it despite her showing a tendancy to hex people who annoy her.

    None of the teachers seemed to think much of Peter so I don't think that he would have been in the Slug Club, and a werewolf would not go far in life so that would rule out Remus.

  9. #19
    Fourth Year Hufflepuff
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hufflepuff at Heart
    Which members of the Marauders do you think would be in the Slug Club?
    I agree with Elf about Sirius' lineage being an important factor in Slughorn's mind to make him a part of the Slug Club.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elf
    He accepts Ginny into it despite her showing a tendancy to hex people who annoy her.
    I think he accepted Ginny because he was impressed by her timely spell and for her bat-bogey being a very good piece of magic. If this is true for Slughorn's general recruitment criteria, then it is possible that Slughorn be impressed by good wand-work in the numerous pranks the Marauders' played at Hogwarts.

    Equally likely is for Slughorn to resent them sometimes. This might be because James hated the dark arts, and many members of the Slytherin house whom we are told about in the books were known death eaters, including Snape, being James' sworn enemy, I think that members of the Slytherin house were occasional victims to the Marauders' (James and Sirius mainly) wands. Slughorn may not have been very happy about it, even more if this became a sort of custom.

    Now that I think about it, regarding Sirius first, Slughorn expressed his desire (HBP) to have Sirius along with Regulus in Slytherin. He wanted the whole set to be there. There was certain bit of disappointment in his tone when he says this.

    If Sirius was in Slug Club, I imagine Slughorn to have enough of this Marauder merely in the class of double potions, where Slughorn would have usually seen him. Slughorn is not the kind of professor Sirius would listen to attentively and neither do I think there were ever any attempts from Sirius to impress the Potions professor in anyway. He probably gave the old man a headache everytime.

    This I think rules the idea of Sirius joining the Slug Club may be later in the year (not the train, that is).

    Sirius was probably sent a letter at the train, but then considering that he became a rare Black to be sorted into Gryffindor, Slughorn's idea of him may have been subject to reconsideration.

    Look at Sirius' POV too. Would he want to be a part of a group of well-recognised students. No way! Especially when one of them was Severus Snape and clans of Blacks and Notts etc...

    Slughorn gives equal attention to a talented Muggle-born as he does to a descendent of a celebrated witch or wizard.

    His weakness are skill and somewhat his pride in his own house.

    Taking Sirius' lack of passion for the subject as well as hexing-Slytherin habit against his lineage, I'd say, Sirius was not in the Slug Club.

    Something like that goes for James too. They were too much into other stuff to attend his parties. Harry avoided them enough, didnt he? Maybe he had inherited that trait. Who knows...


    Quote Originally Posted by Hufflepuff at Heart
    do you think Lily or James would have been considered the better duelist
    Flitwick was considered one of the best duelist of his time. And he was a Charms professor. Lily's wand was good for Charms, Ollivander had said. So we can say that she probably had more command over the standard or professional dueling.

    But James and Sirius did receive detention on an occasion for casting an illegal hex on a fellow student. Where did they get it?

    This sheds a brief light on the fact that James probably knew about charms and hexes that Lily didnt.

    In a fair fight, I'd say James wouldnt hesitate to use it against her. Obviously, given that they wouldnt hurt her.


    Hope I helped,

    - Akay


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  10. #20
    Fifth Year Hufflepuff
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    I agree that Slughorn would probably invite both James and Sirius into the club. Like Slughorn said in HBP, Regulus was in his house and "[he'd] have liked to have had the set." So I think Slughorn would jump on the chance of getting him somehow.

    And like Akay said, he accepted Ginny for the sole reason that he witnessed her hex. he even made a joke about not getting on the wrong end of her or something like that, I believe. And we know the Marauders were highly intelligent for wizards their age, which I think may or may not have translated into their schoolwork. In case case, its possible he could have seen them perform a spell like Ginny's that impressed him. Therefore, if the blood and the wealth didn't convince him, it's likely something like that could have. I don't doubt that Slughorn tried to recruit at least James and Sirius.

    However, I don't think it really very possible that Sirius was ever actually in the club. Even if Slughorn invited him, it wasn't something he or the rest of them would really be interested in. They cared about glory, sure, but I don't think it would have been enough to get them to prance around at his parties and whatnot. Like Akay said, they really had much better things to do. I think it a lot more likely that Sirius and James, at least, would think it more a bit of a running joke, and they would poke fun at it and anyone who joined it.

    There's my two bits.

    xox
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