Hey! Hallie here!
Wolfstar, or the name fans give the couple of Remus Lupin and Sirius Black, seems to be a pretty normal example of fans shipping characters who are not together within the original content. Sometimes characters just have chemistry. Sirius Black and Remus Lupin were childhood friends who were part of a group that is often described as being almost as close as family. When Sirius discovered Remus was a werewolf, he and his friends took it upon themselves to become animagi in order to support him. When Sirius was sent to Azkaban, Remus fell into a deep depression and, upon his return, never left Sirius’s side. In the movies Snape even compares the two to an old married couple. It’s no wonder that fans have decided to explore this couple in fan art and writings. But Wolfstar is significantly more important to consider, even if “shipping” isn’t your thing. And most of it is due to the negligence of the author of the Harry Potter series (Who I will be referring to as She-who-must-not-be-named).
The Harry Potter series is notably devoid of any LGBTQ+ characters. This isn’t necessarily surprising considering the fact that we are still struggling to get more representation in the fantasy genre. However, Harry Potter needs to be criticized for this lack of representation because of She-who-must-not-be-named’s horrible attempts at “representation”. The most notable of her flubs is revealing in interviews that Albus Dumbledore is gay without actually putting that information in any of her books or content. It was clear she wanted to be praised without actually putting in the work. On top of that, she once noted that Remus Lupin’s werewolf condition was supposed to reflect those who suffered from the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and specifically the mistreatment of the LGBTQ+ individuals who have and had the disease. This is extremely problematic for two reasons. One is the comparison of a horrible disease that affected large portions of gay and bisexual men, as well as trans-women, to literally turning into a monster. The lore tied to werewolves in Harry Potter, namely the fact that they lose all their humanity when they turn, makes this comparison particularly insulting. Not to mention that all werewolves in the books aside from Remus are villainous characters who spread the disease on purpose. The other is the fact that Remus Lupin is a straight man. He’s supposed to reflect LGBTQ+ individuals but is not actually part of that community. If Remus had been in a relationship with Sirius, this would at least justify some of the flubbed writing here. He would much more accurately show the mistreatment gay men face and faced due to the disease because he would have been a gay man. The couple would have also given the series the representation its awful author seemed so desperate to convince fans was already present.
The Tonks Relationship:
I love Tonks. I love Remus. This couple was a complete disaster. In the movies they had no development whatsoever. Tonks was just suddenly pregnant and Remus spent far more screen time making eyes at Sirius than his actual wife. In the books there’s a similar quickness to their relationship, though there are more hints that Tonks has a crush on Remus. They start dating and even get married, but immediately afterwards Tonks keeps coming to stay with Molly so she can openly cry. Remus keeps saying he wants to leave her because he’s afraid that any future child they may have will have his disease or that he may harm her. So Tonks, who doesn’t actually confront Remus about how horrible this is despite the way she easily stands up for herself before this point, openly weeps for a good long while before Harry manages to corner Remus and yell at him for leaving Tonks. This entire relationship is toxic. The 13 year age gap is uncomfortable at points on its own, but this relationship is clearly unhealthy. Remus is obviously not ready for a relationship of this type at this point in the story, and at times it feels as though Tonks uses peer pressure to convince him to date her. You can see this when Remus and Tonks are arguing about starting a relationship in front of various Hogwarts professors at the end of the sixth book. Sirius’s animal form makes Remus’s “furry little problem” a non-issue for their relationship and Remus trusts him with the issue much more. In the very least, Tonks needs someone who wants a relationship just as much as she does.
They Need Each Other:
Sirius and Remus have shared trauma. They both were the only surviving Marauders for a long while. James died before the Harry Potter series even started and Peter returned from being “dead” to reveal himself to be a slimy traitor. For most of the Harry Potter series all they have is each other. The only person who really knows what Remus is going through with his lycanthropy is Sirius. Similarly, Remus is one of the only people who can calm Sirius down when he loses his temper due to the years he’s been locked up in Azkaban, and afterwards, his childhood home. Though the apparent goal was to slowly get rid of the Marauders throughout the series, Sirius and Remus are the only two who actually spend any time together and demonstrate their closeness in the series. And it’s because they need to lean on each other for emotional support. This character connection is clear, but it ultimately doesn’t go anywhere. Remus doesn’t even get to mourn Sirius’s death. At least a romantic relationship would actually do something with the clear closeness of these characters.
I was one of those people who was skeptical of this relationship when I first heard about it. I’m not one to be passionate about relationships that have no buildup within the movies or books the characters are from. But the more you look at this relationship, the more it makes sense. Remus is even a gay coded character! The series might have actually been better at parts if She-who-must-not-be-named had gone for making Wolfstar cannon instead of putting her energy into telling everyone who listened that Dumbledore was gay.
Don’t do anything fun until I get back!