Presenting OTP Tuesday! Each Tuesday I will introduce you to a new One True Pairing! Tune in each week to find out which fictional couple you need to agonize/squee over next. After a regretful two week absence (during which your humble author had the flu), I return — triumphant — to bring you your newest OTP: Wolfstar.
Who Are Wolfstar?
Wolfstar is the ship name given to the pairing of Sirius Black and Remus Lupin from J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels and the associated films. The name is less straightforward than a lot of ships. “Wolf” comes from Remus; he is a werewolf and both his names are associated with wolves. Sirius is named after a star, as per Black family traditions, giving us the “star” part of the name.
We first meet Remus in Prisoner of Azkaban, where he is introduced as the new professor of Defense Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts. Remus quickly overshadows both of Harry’s prior DADA teachers. He is skilled in defense, but also in teaching. He forms connections with his students and gives them a good education, something they have been lacking.
Remus also becomes important to Harry as a person. We discover that Remus was close friends with Harry’s father, James when they attended Hogwarts together. Remus and James were one-half of the Marauders — a close-knit group of mischievous friends. The other Marauders were Peter Pettigrew and Sirius Black.
Over the rest of the series, Remus will fill a paternal role in Harry’s life. He initially takes a backseat to Sirius, who is Harry’s godfather. However, when Sirius dies, Harry turns to Remus for comfort and wisdom. This leads to an excellent role reversal when Harry must give Remus advice about dealing with family.
Sadly, Remus has a tragic end. Well, to be honest, he has a tragic life. See, Remus is a werewolf. He was infected as a young child and lived under that shadow his whole life. He found friends at Hogwarts who accepted him, but they died in the war or turned to the other side. Remus lost his job at Hogwarts when his lycanthropy was revealed.
After Sirius died, Remus could have withered away. Instead, he (albeit reluctantly) falls in love and marries Nymphadora Tonks, hands down one of my favorite characters. Remus and Tonks marry, and she eventually has a child, a son they name Teddy. But, true to the tragedy of his life, Remus doesn’t get to see Teddy grow up. He dies in the final battle of the war.
Competing against Remus for “saddest story in Harry Potter” is his best friend, Sirius. Raised in the Black family, a cruel and extremist group, he rebelled against his family and was sorted into Gryffindor, where he met the Marauders. They became his new family; Sirius even moved in with James when his own parents disowned him.
The Marauders graduated at the height of the Wizarding War and were thrust into a dark adulthood. James soon discovered that he and his family are marked for death because their son is destined to defeat Lord Voldemort. They go into hiding. Sadly, he is betrayed by Sirius, who turns the Potters over and later kills Pettigrew… or at least, that’s the story.
In truth, Pettigrew betrayed the Potters and framed Sirius. Sirius goes to prison, where he lives for years with regret and hatred. He escapes when he realizes that Pettigrew is near Harry at Hogwarts. In the end, the truth is revealed only to a select few. However, although he must remain in hiding, Sirius is vindicated to his friends and to Harry.
Sirius attempts to be the godfather he was supposed to be for Harry. He supports him, gives him advice, and always tries to help, even to his own detriment. He chafes at the restrictions of his exile and seeks out danger. In the end, Sirius’ impetuous nature gets the best of him. He is killed by his own cousin in a duel, in front of Harry and Remus. Both are scarred afterward.
Why is Wolfstar OTP?
To be honest, Wolfstar kind of snuck up on me. As I mentioned earlier, I love Tonks. She’s the reason I got into Harry Potter in the first place (I was late to the party). So the relationship between Tonks and Remus was *heart eyes* in my opinion.
But sometimes the fandom has other ideas — really persuasive ideas. Suddenly I found myself captivated by teenaged Marauders falling in love. There’s so much to mine there, and against all the odds, I found myself quickly entrenched in the Wolfstar camp.
Moon of My Life
Wolfstar works because we are given two broken, damaged people who, when brought together, become something almost resembling whole. They’re not entirely whole; it would be unrealistic to assume that only having a relationship would fix the wounds that these two men carry within their souls.
However, having that relationship gives each of them the strength they need to carry on, despite these wounds. Sirius grew up in a likely abusive household, surrounded by racist views, and was disowned by his own family. He later spent 12 years in a torturous prison, reliving his worst memories and feeling that he was, however inadvertently, to blame for the Potters’ deaths.
Remus was infected with lycanthropy because his father pissed off a werewolf. He grew up different, literally broken from the inside out with painful transformations and isolation. He was able to attend Hogwarts, and amazingly made friends, only for them to leave him in the end.
These two broken men live lives of terrible circumstances and, perhaps, poor choices. However, they are able to carry on together. Even after James’ death and Pettigrew’s betrayal, they were able to come back to each other. Sure, life wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows after that. But it was something much more clearly resembling life than what they had had separately.
My Sun and Stars
Yes, I’m going there with my headings. It’s symbolic. These two men are both the moon — dark, mysterious, and hurting — and the sun — bright, cheery, full of life. It all depends on how you look at the situation: canon, or fanon.
In canon, Sirius and Remus are, well, not old precisely, but not young. They are the older generation, peers of Harry’s parents. Thus, despite only being 20 years older than Harry, they’re removed from the central story. However, in fanon, the Marauders are students at Hogwarts, living the life.
Fanon Wolfstar gives me life. Part of this is exactly because fanon tends to consider the Marauders as younger. This eliminates any pesky Tonks issues; she’s just not around yet. So there’s less conflict of interest on my part. But young Wolfstar is great because it lets us see another side of these characters.
These are no longer the broken down men we see in Prisoner of Azkaban and onward. Instead, we get a glimpse of who they might have been, had they not grown up in a war. Yes, they are still damaged and burdened with poor circumstances. Sirius is still from a bad family, and Remus is still a werewolf. But at this point, they still had hope and a potential future. It’s a bright outlook on a tragic couple that swayed my opinion of Wolfstar.
What’s Next for Wolfstar?
Sadly, much like Harmony, the end is here for Wolfstar. In fact, the end has long since been here. Whereas Harry and Hermione at least appear in The Cursed Child, albeit not in my ship, Sirius and Remus are long gone. Sirius died in Order of the Phoenix, and Remus tragically dies in Deathly Hallows, so close to surviving.
Luckily, there is always fanfiction! Wolfstar has some great fics out there. Other people enjoy the concept of this couple finding some semblance of peace and happiness. There are some current era Wolfstar fics, but many of the best are Marauders-era, set when these two were young and hopeful.
Is Wolfstar Canon?
It’s not… not canon. Wolfstar is never explicitly stated to not be true. However, looking at the evidence, it’s pretty clear that Wolfstar is not intended to be taken as canon.
The biggest evidence for no is the Tonks/Remus relationship. It’s hard to argue that your OTP is canon when one of them is in a canon relationship with someone else. To be fair, this happens after Sirius’ death. So it’s possible that Remus and Sirius were together before his death… but not likely.
Same-sex pairings are not very big in Harry Potter canon. There’s actually a reasonable degree of controversy about this. Rowling famously announced that Dumbledore was gay… after the series ended. Fans are upset that, despite appearing in the new Fantastic Beasts movie, Dumbledore will not be explicitly gay. So it stands to reason that a homosexual pairing wouldn’t be canon.
But I’ve never let canon stand in the way of a good ship. Wolfstar may not be explicitly canon, but I still ship the heck out of it. Despite it not initially being something I was into, the fandom has convinced me that these two broken men could form a beautiful relationship if only given a chance.