Many so-called Harry Potter fans worldwide know absolutely nothing about The Marauders. The name might not even ring a bell until it’s associated with the Marauders Map. These fans probably only know the Harry Potter world through the movie adaptations because if you are a book fan, then you absolutely know who I’m talking about.
‘’Prongs, Padfoot, Moony, and Wormtail are proud to present the Marauders Map.’’ Through these twelve words, the four Marauders were introduced into the Harry Potter world: four boys who met at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in 1971 and became instant friends and companions. They spent their school years looking out for each other—and sometimes tormenting others— and kept their friendship well into adulthood until horrible circumstances tore them apart.
The Marauders’ story is one of growth, loyalty, and betrayal. It’s one of the main wheels that moved Harry’s story and influenced his life. But to understand the role the Marauders played in Harry’s life, we must first get to know James, Serius, Remus, and Peter in their own right.
Who Are the Marauders?
The Marauders are four characters in the Harry Potter world: James Potter, Serius Black, Remus Lupin, and Peter Pettigrew. They were classmates at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from 1971 to 1978. They later continued to be friends after their graduation, fought together in the First Wizarding War against Lord Voldemort and died each in a different circumstance, years apart.
James Potter—also known as Prongs—was born on 27 March 1960 to a pure-bred wizarding family in England. He was the only son of Fleamont and Euphemia Potter and grandson to Henry Potter, whom he was named after. James joined Hogwarts in 1971 and was sorted in Gryffindor House.
He was a proud and arrogant boy in school but later grew into a brave and loyal young man. James fought in the First Wizarding World and was later killed by Lord Voldemort alongside his wife, Lily Potter, on 31 October 1981. They left behind their only son, Harry Potter.
Serius Black—also known as Padfoot—was born on 3 November 1959 to the pure-bred House of Black. His family is one of the oldest wizarding families and are firm believers in blood purity amongst wizards. He was the eldest son of Orion and Walburga Black and the oldest brother of Regulus Black.
Serius’s entire family are proud members of Slytherin House in Hogwarts, but when Serius joined Hogwarts in 1971, he defied his family’s tradition by being sorted in Gryffindor. He was a rebellious boy but a loyal friend and grew up to be a resilient young man. He died on 18 June 1996 at the hands of his cousin Bellatrix Lestrange.
Remus Lupin —also known as Moony— was born on 10 March 1960 to Lyall and Hope Lupin. As an act of revenge against his father, the werewolf Fenrir Greyback bit young Remus and affected him with lycanthropy for the rest of his life. Remus’s parents never planned to send him to Hogwarts, afraid he would be a danger to the other students, but after Albus Dumbledore became Headmaster and took some precautions, Remus was able to join Hogwarts and get sorted into Gryffindor in 1971. He was a quiet and reasonable boy and grew up as a dependable professor of Defense Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts. Remus died during the Battle of Hogwarts in 1998.
Peter Pettigrew —also known as Wormtail— was born in 1960. He started attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in 1971. While being sorted into a house, the Sorting Hat pondered for over five minutes where to place Peter, finally deciding to put him in Gryffindor.
He was a scared boy who always looked for someone stronger than him to protect him, and that trait followed him into adulthood. Peter was a member of the Order of the Phoneix during the First Wizarding War until he switched sides and joined Lord Voldemort. He died by his own hands in 1998 during the Second Wizarding War.
The Marauders at Hogwarts
James, Serius, Remus, and Peter joined Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the same year. James and Sirius met on the Hogwarts Express when they sat in the same compartment as Lily Evans and Severus Snape. They immediately bonded over making fun of Snape’s wishes to be sorted into Slytherin. They later met Remus and Peter at Hogwarts, and the four of them became inseparable for all their years in Hogwarts.
The Whoomping Willow, the Shrieking Shack, and the Animagi
By their second year at Hogwarts, James, Serius, and Peter finally figured out why Remus disappeared every month. They found out that he was a werewolf (Moony) and that Dumbledore built a house near the village of Hogsmeade to allow Remus to stay there over the course of his transformation to keep everyone in the school safe.
In order to get to the house —later dubbed as The Shrieking Shack—Dumbledore created a tunnel that led from Hogwarts to the shack and planted a Woomping Willow tree that protects the tunnel by attacking anyone who comes close.
The three friends wanted to make Remus’s transformation days less terrible, so they spent three years learning to transform into animals to keep him company. By their fifth year, James, Serius, and Peter all became unregistered Animagi. James could turn into a stag (Prongs), Serius into a black dog (Padfoot), and Peter into a rat (Wormtail). They would use their animal forms to sneak past the Whomping Willow and into the Shrieking Shack every month to stay with Remus.
The Creation of The Marauders Map
With their secret Animgi forms and Remus becoming better at controlling his transformation when around the boys, the four friends used to sneak out of the shack into the village of Hogsmeade and even roam around the grounds of Hogwarts. At that time, they gathered a lot of information about Hogwarts and the grounds around it, so they decided to create The Marauders Map.
The Marauders Map is a bewitched map that shows Hogwarts, the grounds, and everyone inside them in real-time. In order to use the map, the carrier must point at it with their wand and say ‘’I solemnly swear that I’m up to no good’’ and when they’re finished, they need to say ‘’Mischief Managed’’ and the map will automatically turn into a blank piece of paper.
At some point, Hogwarts caretaker Argus Finch found the map and confiscated it until years after, when Fred and George Wealsy stole it from his office and passed it on to Harry.
The Marauders and Severus Snape
Unfortunately, the Marauders’ years at Hogwarts were not all harmless fun and occasional mischief. James and Serius found particular enjoyment in tormenting one of their classmates, Severus Snape. They used to bully Snape, use humiliating spells on him and call him ‘’Snivellus’’.
Snape was friends with Lily Evans, whom James had a crush on, but because of how James treated Snape, Lily didn’t like him. On one occasion, James and Serius were tormenting Snape when Lily tried to stop them and defend him. Snape snapped at her, calling her a ‘’mud-blood,’’ and when James told him to apologise, he refused. This incident severed the friendship between Snape and Lily.
Even though Remus and Peter never took part in bullying Snape, they also didn’t stop James and Serius, a fact that Remus would later come to regret.
The First Wizarding War
After graduating from Hogwarts, all four Marauders —and Lily, who was married to James— joined the Order of the Phoneix, a group started by Albus Dumbledor to fight against Lord Voldemort during the First Wizarding War. When the prophecy surrounding James and Lily’s son Harry emerged, James, Lily, and Harry went into hiding. James wanted Serius —Harry’s godfather and his best friend— to be their Secret Keeper, the only one who knew where they were hiding.
But under Serius’s suggestion, they decided to make Peter the Secret Keeper as he would be less likely to get discovered. This arrangement was done without the knowledge of anyone in the Order, even Remus and Dumbledore.
Peter betrayed his friends and told Voldemort where to find the Potters. Voldemort went to their house and killed James and Lily but failed to kill Harry. Later, when Serius went to the Potter’s house and found them dead, he knew that Peter must have been the one who shared their secret location.
Serius followed Peter into a crowded muggle street and confronted him. Peter panicked, cut his finger, used a spell so powerful he killed 12 muggles, and then turned into his Animagi form and disappeared. With Serius present at the scene of the crime and everyone thinking he was the Potter’s Secret Keeper, Serius was framed for the crime and was sent to Azkaban, where he spent twelve years until he broke out.
By the end of the First Wizarding War, James was dead, Peter was considered dead, Serius was in Azkaban for a crime he did not commit, and Remus was left alone with a broken heart.
Between the Wars
Twelve years after the events of the First Wizarding War that left the Marauders broken, they met again.
During Harry’s third year at Hogwarts, Remus joined the school as the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, and news of Sirius Black’s escape from Azkaban came out. Mistakenly, everyone thought that Sirius escaped Azakabn to come after Harry and finish the job Voldemort failed at twelve years ago. But the truth is that Sirius escaped from Azkaban to seek revenge against Peter as he was the only one who knew he was alive.
After escaping from the scene of the muggles-murder twelve years ago, Peter remained in his Animagi’s form and came into the possession of Percy Weasley and later Ron Weasley. After knowing this, Serius followed Peter to Hogwarts, found Remus, and used the Marauders Map to convince him of the truth of what happened twelve years ago by showing him Peter’s name on the map. Sirius and Remus confronted Peter at the Shrieking Shack, but he managed to escape.
Still a convicted felon, Harry and Remus helped Sirius escape from Hogwarts until they could clear his name.
The Second Wizarding War
In 1995, with Peter’s help, Voldemort returned to full power, causing the start of the Second Wizarding War.
In 1996, Sirius, Remus, Dumbledore, Harry, and others faced a group of Death Eaters at the Ministry of Magic. While fighting, Sirius caught a stray spell from his Death Eater cousin, Bellatrix Lestrange, causing him to fall into the Veil and die protecting Harry. He was later cleared of all charges when the Ministry discovered that Peter was still alive and he was the Secret Keeper who betrayed the Potters.
In 1998, during the Second Wizarding War, Peter hesitated to kill Harry, which caused his silver hand —gifted to him by Voldemort— to strangle him to death. As for Remus, he fought alongside Harry in the Battle of Hogwarts and died in a duel with Death Eater, Antonin Dolohov. Remus and his wife, Tonks, died during the Battle of Hogwarts, leaving behind their son, Teddy Lupin, whom Harry was made godfather of.
In some way or other, all of the Marauders die protecting Harry.
The Marauders in Books vs. Movies
The Harry Potter books go into great detail with the Maruaders’ story. The reader learns about their days in Hogwarts as well as their days in the Order of the Phoenix and beyond. However, in the Harry Potter movies, much of their story was omitted in favour of more Harry-centric plot lines.
This is, of course, understandable, but it caused the fans to always ask for an adaptation of the Marauders’ story, whether as a TV show or a movie. With the recent HBO Harry Potter reboot announcement, fans have once again started asking for the Marauders adaptation as it is a story yet to be told.
This is the story of James, Serius, Lupin, and Peter and their troublesome life and death. The Marauders are a huge part of the Harry Potter world and have affected it significantly. We hope that one day, we get to explore their stories in more detail and even see them on screen.