At the end of the first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Hagrid gave Harry a scrapbook full of pictures of his parents. He said he called all of Lilly and James' old school friends and collected pictures for Harry. I find it almost impossible that Lupin was not in any of those pictures.

So why didn't Harry recognize him when they met on the train in the Prisoner of Azkaban?

I know he didn't recognize Sirius Black either. This was because Sirius has been in Azkaban for 12 years, which greatly changed his appearance. Lupin's appearance, however, had not changed much besides getting more grey hair and lines on his face. Even when Harry later looks back at the book in prisoner of Azkaban, he spots Sirius in a picture at his parents wedding. Yet he never mentioned seeing Lupin.

Since Lupin was one of the 3 best friends James had; I highly doubt he's not in the scrapbook. I also doubt that Lupin himself didn't give Hagrid a few personal pictures for Harry.

Can anyone explain why Harry didn't know exactly who Lupin was when they first met? Or at least know Lupin was a friend of his father? Especially when he glanced back at the book upon finding out Sirius was a friend of his father. Wouldn't he be looking very closely at those photos?

  • What was Lupin doing before the third book? Is it possible that Hagrid couldn't reach him?
    – Taladris
    Feb 23, 2020 at 13:46
  • 2
    Maybe werewolves are like vampires, in that they don't appear in photographs? Feb 24, 2020 at 18:25
  • @DarrelHoffman Lupin is in the photograph that Moody shows Harry of the original Order in Order of the Phoenix, so that's not the case. Feb 24, 2020 at 21:25
  • @Taladris Didn't Hagrid say he made the scrapbook a long time ago? Or at least, made it from photos he had had for a long time?
    – TylerH
    Feb 25, 2020 at 15:13
  • 1
    @TylerH Dumbledore had given him a day off to finish it after Harry was in the hospital wing (after saving the Stone from Quirrell/Voldemort), and he said that he'd sent owls out to Lily and James's friends to ask for photographs. I'd say he'd likely only been working on it since Harry's eleventh birthday at most, after he'd found out just how little Harry knew about his family and his past, and how much the Dursleys had hidden/refused to share. Possibly much less than that though. Feb 26, 2020 at 14:43

1 Answer 1


He didn't pay much attention to the other people in the photographs

The entire point of the photo album was so that Harry would have photos of his parents. While some of those photographs would include other people, including James's three best friends, it's unlikely that Harry would pay much attention to those people. They simply wouldn't be of interest to an eleven to thirteen year old orphan who, up until his first year at Hogwarts, appeared to have no idea what his parents even looked like. He's not going to be studying the faces of the other people in the photographs.

This is explicitly stated to have been the case with Sirius Black (emphasis mine):

He stopped on a picture of his parents' wedding day. There was his father waving up at him, beaming, the untidy black hair Harry had inherited standing up in all directions. There was his mother, alight with happiness, arm in arm with his dad. And there... that must be him. Their best man... Harry had never given him a thought before.*
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter Eleven - The Firebolt

Harry only pays attention to Black in this photograph once he's found out that Sirius was James's best man, and when he thinks that Sirius had betrayed them to Voldemort and caused their deaths. In all other cases, he appears to have no real curiosity about the other people in his parents' lives that are included in the photo album.

  • 27
    Harry is as observant as a brick garden wall. It is known reddit.com/r/harrypotter/comments/70r159/…
    – jo1storm
    Feb 24, 2020 at 12:50
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    Is there a named trope for Plot Goggles (where characters notice only what the plot requires them to notice)?
    – EvilSnack
    Feb 24, 2020 at 14:07
  • 2
    @marcellothearcane, have you read HP:MoR? (If not, you should!) The uncuriosity of typical wizards is practically a Major Plot Point in that book. ("Books" is actually more accurate...)
    – Matthew
    Feb 24, 2020 at 17:12
  • @EvilSnack probably a subtrope of Chekov's gun Feb 24, 2020 at 17:26
  • 1
    @EvilSnack, if there is not, I definitely give my +1 to naming it "Plot Goggles".
    – willman
    Feb 25, 2020 at 17:25

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