In the Potterwatch broadcast heard by Harry, Ron and Hermione in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, all of the contributors' codenames start with "R". Lee Jordan is River, Kingsley Shacklebolt is Royal, Lupin is Romulus and Fred is Rodent or Rapier.

I understand the meanings of each codename (e.g., River refers to both the River Lee and the Jordan River), but is there a canon-based reason for the R theme?

  • 1
    Lupin's name is a meaningful one. Commented Jan 3, 2017 at 15:35
  • 5
    My question is about the theme on the whole, not the individual meanings (which are pretty clear)
    – 2Janez
    Commented Jan 3, 2017 at 15:37
  • Just a side note, nothing more Commented Jan 3, 2017 at 15:55
  • 5
    ...because that's just the sort of thing that would drive Death Eaters batty trying to figure out the reaso.... Hey, wait a minute!
    – gowenfawr
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 4:56
  • 1
    it was because of the R in JKR
    – user13267
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 10:29

1 Answer 1


Theme naming is a thing, both in real life and popular culture. Maybe JKR was inspired by the US Secret Service: the code names they assign to the President and his family always start with the same letter. For example the Trump family got Mogul (Donald) Muse (Melanie) and Marvel (Ivanka). The Obamas (and the Reagans earlier on) got the "R" theme: Renegade (Barack), Renaissance (Michelle) Radiance (Malia) and Rosebud (Sasha).

In universe, it's completely in character for the twins, who love to play word games and puns even at deaths's door :

‘Saint-like,’ repeated George, opening his eyes and looking up at his brother. ‘You see … I’m holy. Holey, Fred, geddit?’ ~ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Fallen Warrior

and use alliterations (Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes).

Lupin is no different, what with he and his friends coming up with names like 'Marauder's Map'. As for the Potterwatch, Lupin again chose a (were)wolf themed nickname, no surprise here.

The twins or Lupin probably came up with the "R" themed cover names (perhaps they chose 'R' for Resistance?) and Kingsley probably indulged them, selecting a codeame based on his own surname (King - Royal).


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.