12:00 pm EST, March 10, 2016

Why Remus Lupin was the best father figure in the Wizarding World

It's a shame he didn't live long enough to raise his own son.

As we wish Remus Lupin a happy birthday, we take a look at what made him the best dad Harry had ever met.

Remus Lupin wasn’t just the best Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher during Harry’s years at Hogwarts, he was also the best father figure. Of course he had flaws, but what parent is perfect? As male authority figures go in the Harry Potter series, Lupin came the closest to, not only being the best dad for Harry, but also for anyone else. He had the patience, compassion, knowledge, and life experience needed to be a loving father.

Today, while we wish Remus Lupin a happy birthday, let’s also remember what made him such a great man.

He pushed you to meet your full potential

remus lupin neville longbottom

Like any great parental figure, Lupin could recognize someone’s potential and wouldn’t let them give up until they’d met it. With Harry, Lupin knew that despite his young age, Harry was capable of producing a Patronus, and agreed to teach him how to do it. No, ‘you’re too young’ nonsense. He saw that Harry was a strong wizard, even at 13, and gave him extra lessons until he got it.

Likewise, in his first Defense Against the Dark Arts class, Lupin didn’t treat Neville like he was incapable, despite Neville regularly performing poorly. There was no patronizing either. Lupin recognized Neville’s nervousness and embarrassment, and helped him overcome it with patience and persistence. This led to Neville facing his fears and defeating a boggart, giving him a confidence he didn’t previously have.

He could read minds without a crystal ball

remus lupin harry potter

Lupin had an intuitiveness and perception to rival a seer. He always seemed to know what people were thinking or feeling without them having to say anything. As a parent, that’s an invaluable skill. Oftentimes, your child (or just people in general) won’t say when something is wrong, opting to keep it to themselves. The ability to tell when your child feels weighed down by something is important. Not only does it show them you’re paying attention, it shows you care, and Lupin was the type of person who cared about practically everyone.

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Perhaps even more important than being able to tell when something is wrong, is what you then do about it. Being kind to someone and letting them speak is another trait of a great parent, which leads us to…

His kindness and empathy for everyone

remus lupin nymphadora tonks

Lupin’s werewolf condition was not only physically terrible and difficult to live with, but so was the ensuing treatment and prejudice he received from people because of it. If there was any positive to take from all of this, it’s that his mistreatment made him more sympathetic to others, especially underdogs like himself. Lupin treated Neville with a kindness and encouragement that he’s not used to, and was the only Marauder to not bully Snape.

It’s a great trait to have as a parent, especially with a child or young adult who typically experience feelings of exclusion and not belonging. Any troubles you have could be comfortably shared with him, knowing he’ll hear you speak and offer some good advice, possibly from personal experiences, to help you get through it.

Dad jokes of the highest caliber

remus lupin prisoner of azkaban

Not only was Lupin kind and clever, he also knew how to crack a joke. Lest we forget when Snape was looking at the Marauder’s Map, Mr Moony begged Snape to “keep his abnormally large nose out of other people’s business.” Even if Lupin was the ‘dad’ of the group, he still had a sense of humor.

His jokes may been embarrassing because he’s your dad, but wouldn’t you rather an embarrassing parent with a sense of humor, than one who can’t take a joke? Any lesson or lecture he gave you would be finished with a quick quip to lighten the mood and make you feel better.

He gave out chocolate like most people give out opinions

harry potter remus lupin happy

Do you know what else makes you feel better? Chocolate. Hungry? Here’s a chocolate. Sad? Here’s a chocolate. Excited? Here’s a chocolate.

Okay true, Lupin was probably just carrying around chocolate because Dementors were everywhere. The more fun theory though, is that Lupin is actually a chocoholic, and he only believes chocolate helps after a Dementor attack, in the same way I believe chocolate gets rid of hiccups. And every parent is a better parent when they give you chocolate.

Do you think Remus Lupin is the best father figure in the Harry Potter series?

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