- "There were four heroes as it were in the previous generation and one of them betrayed the others, and then there were the three. So I wanted Harry to be surrounded by... James and Sirius and Lupin, all of whom had died in a way for him. You know Lupin had laid down his life in Harry's battle, he didn't have to come back, he didn't have to fight. James had died trying to protect the family; Sirius very obviously had died fighting along with Harry."
- —J. K. Rowling expands on the Marauders[src]
The Marauders were a group of four Gryffindors and classmates: Remus Lupin, Peter Pettigrew, Sirius Black and James Potter. The four attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from 1971-1978. They had a knack for rule-breaking and mischief making.
The Marauders would all go on to fight in the First Wizarding War and some in the second. They were also participants in the original Order of the Phoenix, an organisation lead by Albus Dumbledore in the struggle against the Dark Lord, Voldemort. All of the Marauders died whilst protecting Harry Potter from Voldemort or his Death Eaters, including Peter Pettigrew. Peter did not kill Harry because of a life debt he owed him. As a result, Harry was able to escape and was saved from further torture of him or his friends.
- "Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs
Purveyors of Aids to Magical Mischief Makers
Are proud to present
THE MARAUDER'S MAP"
- —The Marauder's Map[src]
The Marauders' strong friendship began in their first or possibly second year at Hogwarts. By their fifth year, all but Remus Lupin, who was a werewolf, had secretly become unregistered Animagi in order to assist Remus during his transformations. James Potter's Animagus form was a shining red stag (Prongs), Sirius Black's was a shaggy black dog (Padfoot), and Peter Pettigrew's was a fat grey rat (Wormtail).
As 'Padfoot' and 'Prongs,' Sirius and James were large enough to control Remus (Moony) during his monthly transformations into a werewolf. 'Wormtail' (Peter) was small and nimble enough to get past the Whomping Willow's defences, so the group could get to the Shrieking Shack. The Marauders were frequently out of their beds at night, and explored Hogwarts' grounds and the village of Hogsmeade during their transformations.
In the period between their fifth and seventh years at Hogwarts, James, Sirius, Remus and Peter created the Marauder's Map, a small, bewitched roll of parchment that displayed the castle grounds and inhabitants of Hogwarts - including all staff, ghosts and students - in great detail. At an unspecified point, Hogwarts caretaker Argus Filch confiscates the map and keeps it in a drawer in his office labelled 'Classified and Highly Dangerous'. Fred and George Weasley stole the map in their first year, and later passed it on to Harry Potter in 1993. Harry has been the sole owner of the map since then.The Marauders were all members of Gryffindor House, and greatly despised their Slytherin enemy, Severus Snape. It was discovered in Harry Potter's fifth year at Hogwarts that James and Sirius often bullied Snape, (calling him 'Snivellus' and using humiliating spells on him), while Peter cheered them on. Although he greatly disapproved of their bullying, Remus did not try to stop them, something he feels deeply regretful of later on.
First Wizarding War
The Marauders would all go on to become participants in the original Order of the Phoenix against the Dark Lord, Voldemort, as adults. Peter Pettigrew, though belonging to the Order of the Phoenix, later turned on his friends in favour of the Voldemort's protection. Recently forced into hiding, James and Lily Potter made Pettigrew the Secret Keeper of their location, at Sirius's suggestion. The theory of this was that it was least expected option of choice, further protecting the secret.
However, in a selfish act to save himself, Peter revealed the location of the Potter's cottage to Voldemort and betrayed his friends. Consequently, James and Lily Potter were murdered at the hands of the Dark Lord in an attempt to protect their infant son, Harry, from being hurt.
An incensed Sirius Black confronted Peter Pettigrew about his traitorous actions in a Muggle street, but Peter narrowly escaped by unleashing a curse all around him — killing a dozen Muggles in the process — and cut off his own finger. He then transformed into his Animagus form and fled into the sewers, framing Sirius as the traitor to the Potters and a killer. Sirius was taken to Azkaban with no trial, where he faced twelve dismal years of imprisonment before his escape in 1993.
Peter had successfully faked his own death and remained the victim to Sirius's falsely alleged crimes. In his rat Animagus form and under the name 'Scabbers,' he came into the possession of Percy Weasley and later on, Percy's younger sibling, Ron Weasley.
Sirius's years in Azkaban were spent with the knowledge that he was innocent, and that the true traitor and killer was Peter Pettigrew. So strong was the belief that Sirius was guilty that the fourth Marauder, Remus Lupin, thought one of his oldest friends was a killer and the reason that the Potters' location had been revealed to Voldemort.
- "On a happier note, I am pleased to welcome two new teachers to our ranks this year. Firstly, Professor Lupin who had kindly consented to fill the post of Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher."
- —Albus Dumbledore introduces Remus as the new DADA professor[src]
in 1993, Sirius Black was able to escape Azkaban in his Animagus form, (Padfoot being undernourished enough to slip through the Azkaban bars, and thwart the Dementors). Sirius's goal was to seek revenge on his former friend Peter Pettigrew, whom he had discovered was still alive and currently hiding as Ron Weasley's pet rat, Scabbers, at Hogwarts. At this time, Remus Lupin had been the newly appointed Defence Against the Dark Arts professor. He met Harry Potter at this time, and discovered that Peter was alive from the Marauder's Map, further concluding that Sirius was innocent. Lupin kept his lycanthropy a secret from the students and staff.
Sirius Black and Remus Lupin reunited to reveal Scabbers as Peter Pettigrew. The old friends were about to finish Peter once and for all, but Harry Potter stopped them, telling them that Peter should be taken to Azkaban to clear Sirius's criminal record.
However, the plan backfired, and whilst the others were distracted with Remus's sudden transformation into a werewolf, Peter once again escaped to rejoin his old master, Lord Voldemort. With his servant's help in 1995, Voldemort was able to regain his full body and regain magic ability using a Rudimentary Body Potion. Peter lost his hand in the process - to which his master replaced it with a silver one.
Second Wizarding War
When Voldemort returned to power for the second time, kick-starting the Second Wizarding War, a new Order of the Phoenix was established whose members included both Remus and Sirius.
Sirius was murdered in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries by his Death Eater cousin, Bellatrix Lestrange. After his death, Sirius' name was cleared of all charges when Voldemort and his supporters came back in the open. This caused the Minister for Magic at the time (Cornelius Fudge) to finally acknowledge Voldemort's returned presence in the wizarding world.
In April 1998 Tonks, (Remus's wife) became pregnant with a boy, whom they asked Harry to be the godfather of. Shortly before Teddy's birth, Peter Pettigrew met his end in 1998. He was strangled by his own silver hand when he hesitated to murder Harry Potter in the dungeon of Malfoy Manor because of the debt he owed Harry for saving his life. Remus Lupin was murdered soon after in the Battle of Hogwarts in a duel with Antonin Dolohov. Lupin's death marked the end of the Marauders tragedy-ridden lives.
After Remus and Tonks deaths, Teddy was raised by his maternal grandmother Andromeda Tonks, with help from his godfather. Harry named his first son in honour of his deceased father and Sirius, James Sirius Potter.
Behind the scenes
- The Marauders never actually refer to themselves as "the Marauders" in the books, but the term quickly developed among fans as a reference to the Marauder's Map. They were also referred to as "the Marauders" by Hermione Granger in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. J. K. Rowling later confirmed on her website however that 'James, Sirius, Remus, and Peter dubbed themselves "marauders", hence the way they titled the map.'
- By the end of the seventh book, all four of the Marauders had died. James protecting Lily and Harry, Sirius dies in the Department of Mysteries, Remus was killed in the Battle Of Hogwarts, and Peter was strangled by his new hand Lord Voldemort gave him in a moment of unloyal deliberation.
- Interestingly, the Marauders die in the opposite order from which they are introduced by their nicknames: Prongs, Padfoot, Wormtail, and Moony. James is the first to die, his death taking place immediately before the first book. Sirius is then killed at the Department of Mysteries. Peter is killed in Malfoy Manor and Remus is lastly killed in the Battle of Hogwarts.
- They may have named themselves after the English word Marauders-which meant "raider". This could be a reference to all the people they bullied and "raided" in their time at Hogwarts. They could also have taken the name from the French Maraudeurs, which seems to fit their activities better, as a marauder is someone who roams a place, often to cause trouble or at least mischief.
- It is also relevant to note that all of them die whilst protecting Harry Potter from Voldemort or his Death Eaters. James is murdered by Voldemort trying to buy some time for his wife and son to escape from their house, Sirius dies when Bellatrix knocks him into the veil (he was fighting her to give Harry and his friends time to escape), Pettigrew dies letting Harry and the others escape from the cellar (contemplating his life debt) and Lupin dies whilst fighting Antonin Dolohov, in an attempt to give Harry time to find a Horcrux.
- The Marauders' back story was cut out of the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and their connection to the Marauder's Map was never explained. J.K. Rowling has been asked how she felt about this change and said she was fine with it and understands that things have to be cut from movies sometimes.
- Their nicknames all have something to do with their transformed states. Lupin turns into a werewolf at the full moon (Moony), Pettigrew transforms into a rat, which has a tail that resembles a worm (Wormtail), Sirius transforms into a dog, which have padded feet (Padfoot), and James turns into a stag, whose antlers are prongs (Prongs). This is explained to Harry by Lupin at the end of his third year.
- Only two of the Marauders went on to have families of their own. James Potter, who married Lily Evans and fathered Harry Potter, and Remus Lupin, who married Nymphadora Tonks and had a son named Teddy. Neither family lasted for very long, as both parents would eventually be killed, orphaning their children, and leaving godfathers to guard their sons (Sirius in the case of the Potters, and Harry in the case of the Lupins). However, the two sons' childhoods differ drastically. While Harry is raised by his cruel aunt and uncle and separated from his godfather, Teddy is raised by his loving grandmother with help from his godfather.
- In dressing the Marauders for the flashback scene in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, director Alfonso Cuarón drew inspiration from The Beatles. "James was like Paul—good looking and sure of himself—and Sirius was like John, as he was a bit of an anarchic troublemaker. We gave them sideburns, little glasses and longer shirts." Ultimately, the scene was cut from the final film.
- In 2013, J. K. Rowling stated that she has no intention of ever writing a prequel book for the Harry Potter series featuring the Marauders, stating simply that she "doesn't like prequels."
- Remus - "Moony": Wolves, similarly to dogs, signify valour and guardianship, as well as a strong sense of family and loyalty. In the study of dreams, werewolves often represent an inner struggle or battle. This is certainly the case with Lupin, considering his desire to be accepted by his trouble-making friends and his desire to repay Dumbledore's chance to attend Hogwarts often collide. Furthermore, the Roman mythology tells the story about a boy named Remus, who was abandoned in the woods by his mother and was raised by wolves. His brother was Romulus — a nickname Remus Lupin uses as coverage on the radio, in the last book.
- Peter - "Wormtail": The rat is the emblem of uncleanliness and impurity. Since the times of the plague in the 14th century, their quiet nature often has connotations of sneakiness. Note that Pettigrew does not become a snake, who have largely the same symbolism as rats. This is good evidence that he was not a Slytherin at school. Also, rat is slang for snitch or informant, and, in his later life, Pettigrew did indeed inform Voldemort where the Potters were hiding.
- Sirius - "Padfoot": The dog is the emblem of faithfulness, loyalty, courage, vigilance, and guardianship. Dogs are considered man's best friend and this definitely proves true in the case of Sirius and James. The name Sirius derives from the star, which is traditionally known as the dog star. The dog star is often used by sailors and navigators to follow as a safe and trustworthy passage, similar to the way Harry, Ron, and Hermione, along with Ginny, Neville, and Luna, trust Sirius so much they follow him deep into the Ministry even though the trial was a red herring. The surname, Black, is not only the colour of his animagus, but also a reference to the expression "the black sheep", which describes his role in relation to his family. Sirius could be considered the deputy of the Marauders as James and Sirius were the closest to each other.
- James - "Prongs": The stag is symbolic of pride, masculinity, nobility, and power. The image of a stag was used quite often by old English kings and many other kinds of rulers. The stag is fitting for James, as within the Marauders he upholds a sort of leadership and power.
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Appears in flashback(s))
- Harry Potter: The Character Vault
Notes and references
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- ↑ Pettigrew, during the First Wizarding War, defected from both the Marauders and the Order to join the Death Eaters, and informed Voldemort of James and Lily's whereabouts, which the other three Marauders were unaware of until 1981.
- ↑ JK Rowling official site - FAQ
- ↑ Harry Potter Page to Screen: The Complete Filmmaking Journey, Page 288
- ↑ Zap2It - J.K. Rowling denies plans for 'Harry Potter' Marauders prequel, talks Dumbledore's 'coming out'