Monday, July 11, 2011

The Marauders

The clearest four-ness about the Potterverse is the quartet of boys who set the story rolling way back before it was a story. I wrote a long and detailed version of James Potter's story once upon a time, so I thought a great deal about these four young men.


by Tina Linn at Deviant Art
James

I see James at the centerpiece of this foursome... not necessarily the 'most popular' (that may very well have been Sirius) but James was the one everyone wanted for a best friend. He was the people person Sirius could charm with his looks, which everyone wants to rub up against, but James was more trust-worthy, more leaderly.

This is not to say James doesn't have flaws—he does. Loads of them. I think when he's young he is a bit oblivious... He's not mean spirited, but he is more intent on fun and less intent paying attention to the repercussions.



Sirius

Source
I've said this a thousand times and argued it up and down with people who see it otherwise, but Sirius grew up in a messed up house, too short on love, too wealthy and too good looking. I think Sirius felt very strong affection for James—the only true relationship he ever had until Harry. I think he tolerated Remus because James liked him and he knew being friends with a werewolf would drive his parents bonkers, and he teased, poked and prodded at Peter until Peter betrayed his friends.

I think Sirius was popular with the girls and used them happily, but his heart was safely locked in a cold black box. The girls were about sex. So when James' obsession with Lily came about, Sirius didn't get it... certainly didn't endorse it, probably tried to sabotage it a number of times. I am sure they made peace eventually, but I think that had more to do with Sirius realizing he'd lose James if he didn't learn to make nice than anything else.

Sirius always fought the dark arts and for the good side, but I see this as rebellion against the family he hated. Look at how he thought of Regulus, when in reality, Regulus died trying to undermine Voldemort... how much better for both of them if they could have reached out to each other. But that is not the Black Family Way.


Source Leaky Lounge
Remus

Oh, I love Remus. In fact honestly, he is the ONLY marauder I really love. I mean I love the others as a story... but Remus is the only one I think is through and through a good person. I have always thought Lily had a deep crush on him, but because of his condition, he pushed her away. I think maybe Remus pushed her toward James... helped James win her... because he trusted James to love her and make her happy.

Were all of Remus' behaviors admirable? Not so much. I see him as SO GRATEFUL to just have friends, to be a part of things, that he stood by and allowed the bullying generally, and of Snape specifically.


Source
Peter

And this poor kid... I feel sorry for the young one... the Peter who Sirius says will wet himself if James doesn't stop playing with the snitch... the round lump of a boy, probably teased for eating all the time... for being a bit of a perv... (that is where I see this rat thing coming from... a guy who likes to sneak unnoticed into the girls' dormitories). I think James and Remus were nice to him but Sirius bullied him, though I recognize my biases in that... still, doesn't that feed into why he'd frame Sirius... how he'd end up feeding info to the Death Eaters?


So that's my assessment on that foursome... If you've like a more convincing version of this argument, I invite you to read Awakening, A James Potter Redemption Story.

24 comments:

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

This was fascinating, Hart! And really illuminating, too. I don't think I got a really full picture of these characters' backstories as I was reading them--loved this look you gave us. Thanks!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I don't know the stories well enough to think any differently.

Alison said...

I love Remus too! Almost as much as I love Snape. Oh, Snape.... if only you weren't in love with someone else, and you weren't fictional....

So, I'm taking my daughter July 30th. Neither of us can wait. When are you going to see it? Midnight showing?

Old Kitty said...

Wow!! You've really got into these characters and most NAKEDly too!! Yay!! take care
x

Smackenicious said...

I agree ... you describe them really well (and sincerely is not much to take of them from the book but what you can reach underlines)
... I dunno if Sirius will protest on your Facebook ... you know how stuborn (and stupid) he can be hahaha!

Nice time, love it!

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

i totes agree with your assessement of sirius, which is why i like him so much. The fact that he's walking right on that line between light an darkness. I always remember what snape said, that he was a man capable of murder as a boy.
Also, love those pics, but especially LURVE that watercolor pencil one!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I don't think I could argue otherwise!

Colene Murphy said...

Perfect. Just perfect! My true love of the four is Sirius. Remus is second, I can't help it! Something about Sirius I fell for as my fav from the beginning of his introduction! I even loved him as a "bad guy" before you knew otherwise.

Michael Offutt said...

Hmmm...too good looking... do you think that people can be born too good looking and that it ruins them in life? I've often thought that. Simply because too much attention seems to alter a personality. I dunno...what do you think?

Love the pictures btw.

Matthew MacNish said...

Remus is by far my favorite Professor/Teacher/Father Figure for Harry in the entire series. The conversations they have in Prisoner make me cry every time. He turns into a bit of a douche near the end, but there is so much pain and suffering in the world, it's hard to blame him.

Hart Johnson said...

Elizabeth-this stemmed out of years of theorizing!

Diane-you SHOULD!

Alison--OH, Snape... Snape Snape Snape Snape Snape. I love him as a character, and I feel SORRY for him as a KID, but like? Oh, I don't think that's the word I'd use...

Jenny, thank you!

Ana-you tell Sirius I have a corset with his name on it!

Sarah-I love how realistic he is, and there is an appeal to that complexity.

Alex-so agreeable!

Colene-see, I MARRIED Sirius, so I've been adequately disillusioned...

Michael-I think extreme good looks throw up a huge challenge to decency because it makes it so peers no longer correct bad behavior. It isn't insurmountable, but it is an obstacle nonetheless--all the more so when backed with money. And Sirius had none of the counterpoints--loving parents willing to guide him in a more moral approach--friends willing to really stand up to him... And I am with you on the too much attention. I see Sirius as a womanizer because he could be. Were he worse looking, he COULDN'T.

Hart Johnson said...

Matt-you snuck in there! And i will agree that Remus had some moments of Asshattery there regarding Tonks and the baby, but I think they are realistic, given both his condition AND the war. I think it was bad thinking that rose out of the right place.

Arlee Bird said...

You seem really HP obsessive. I have no idea what this is all about so I'll take your word for it and say your assessment is exactly right. Maybe you can teach a college course on it--I'm sure they'll have them if they don't already.


Lee
Tossing It Out

Carolyn Abiad said...

Never actually thought about this before, but I do feel most sympathetic to Remus.

vbtremper said...

Yeah, Remus is the true friend of the group. Thanks for whetting my appetite for the new movie!

-Vicki

Hart Johnson said...

Lee-obsessive? Who me? teehee--Oh, I know it. I'm a total Potterhead. I think anyone would be who read the books... say a third time. Most like once, but not all catch the brilliance that fast. A couple reads though, and they become a brilliantly orchestrated epic. Genius...

Carolyn-yeah, it may take that obsession to think that clearly on it. It is Book 5 that settled my opinion on the Marauders.

Vicki-happy to do it. I'm working myself into a frenzy because that's how I roll.

Ciara said...

Great argument. Being a Potter fan, I'll have to check out the story.

Johanna Garth said...

I loved that analysis of the foursome and I think you are spot-on about Sirius. What I wonder is if J.K herself has given that much thought to the backstories of these four? If I had to guess I'd say their backstories evolved over the course of writing all seven books...or do you think she had it all thought out in advance the same way she plotted the books?

Teresa aka Journaling Woman said...

Hart, Amazing assessment. Awesome!

Helena said...

I am so impressed with your Potter expertise! I can see J.K. creating a back story awfully similar to this one.

Hart Johnson said...

Thank you, Ciara!

Johanna-I think parts of it were thought of ahead of time. I think the marauders as they relate to Snape are pretty central, and obviously Peter as betrayer is too. And by Prisoner of Azkaban the layer that James SAVED Snape when Snape is of the opinion it is only because it was his best friend's neck on the line... I think that had to be worked out by then. Then again, PoA is a logical place for that backstory to have started filling her head... spending time with the Marauders there when it isn't yet going on the page. I can totally see how the characters taking over... Sirius obviously HAS a dark side there--slashing the painting, standing over Ron with the knife, biting Ron and dragging him to the shrieking shack... As Dumbledore says ' those are not the behaviors of an innocent man'. Where Remus is quiet and contemplative. I could totally picture Jo changing her mind here about how things went.

Teresa-thank you!

Helena- teehee I tried to stick to canon--I know I have an error or two, but in 300,000 words or whatever that ended up, i think I did okay.

Jemi Fraser said...

That was very well done! It's amazing how very real these characters have become to so many of us.

Melissa Bradley said...

I love this insight into these guys. I had never really though much about them, being more caught up with Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny. However, I enjoyed reading your take on them very much.

Lisa said...

I'm finally catching up on your posts! I love this. Your description of each is just right for my imagination.