J.K. Rowling Reveals Why She Killed Lupin in ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’

By May 2, 2016

J.K. Rowling didn’t pull many punches when it came to killing off characters in the Harry Potter franchise. Whether it be the heartbreaking swan song of Dobby, giving his life to save Harry and the trio (which I still remember reading for the first time, and bawling my eyes out), or the thematically resonant and equally heartbreaking death of Severus Snape, in a final act of sacrifice in his underappreciated crusade.

However, none of the deaths were quite as poetically tragic or thematically symbolic as the deaths of Lupin and Tonks during the Battle of Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Dearthly Hallows, who much like Harry himself, left a young orphan in their wake in their son, Teddy.

In memoriam of the Battle of Hogwarts as well, Rowling recently took to Twitter to give some more inside details as to why she specifically chose to kill Lupin in the final novel, and who’s life might have saved his. Though some more attentive Potter fans out there might already know.

I believe that at this point, it is common knowledge that Lupin was not originally meant to die, but Arthur was. However, Rowling revealing how late in the process the decision to kill one of Harry’s most impactful professors was, is interesting to think on for fans, and what’s even more interesting, is thinking about the familiar situation that Teddy was left in during the time after the events of the seven novels. Though from the Epilogue alone, it seems clear that he’s developed a playful and familial bond with Harry and his kids.

I think that Lupin and Tonks were both some of the most heartbreaking and shocking deaths of the series if I’m being honest, looking back and remembering the day when Deathly Hallows first came out in 2007, and quickly trying to bring myself to terms with each death in the novel. Right up there with Fred Weasley, it’s one of the casualties that still hurts a little bit for any Potter fan when you remember it, and as such, continues to prove just how important and fully-realized these characters actually felt by the time the seventh installment had arrived.

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Alex Welch

Alex Welch

Alex dreams of meeting a girl with a yellow umbrella, and spends too much time* staring at a movie screen. His vocabulary consists mostly of movie quotes and 80s song lyrics. *Debatable