Remus: "...he thought I was the spy, Peter. I assume that's why you didn't tell me, Sirius?"

Sirius: "Forgive me, Remus."

— Remus and Sirius reflecting on the first wizarding war while confronting Pettigrew.

In the first wizarding war James and Sirius had come to distrust Remus and also James and Lily Potter wanted to use Sirius as their Secret-Keeper, but Sirius thought that would be too obvious, and thus suggested Peter Pettigrew instead.

Why did they distrust Lupin and trust Pettigrew?

  • 5
    "I thought it was the perfect plan . . . a bluff. . . . Voldemort would be sure to come after me, would never dream they’d use a weak, talentless thing like you..." Sirius said in Prisoner of Azkaban, referring to Peter. I've always thought that's why Peter was chosen, not Remus.
    – Sumit
    Commented Jul 18, 2014 at 8:04
  • Years ago, I used to believe Sirius simply lied here, as an act, to cut the discussion with Peter shorter. I no longer think so.
    – b_jonas
    Commented Jul 18, 2014 at 9:46
  • Given V's penchant for attracting less than savory types and given the stereotype of werewolves that could have been a factor? Probably not among the marauders...
    – Liath
    Commented Jul 18, 2014 at 10:15
  • @Sumit You should post that as an answer.
    – Xantec
    Commented Jul 18, 2014 at 13:35
  • 2
    Because they’re schmucks?
    – Obsidia
    Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 0:23

2 Answers 2


It might be because Remus was closer to the Potters than Peter Pettigrew. Thus, Remus would have been the next target if Voldemort had found out that Sirius was not the secret-keeper. It also makes more sense than appointing someone weak and cowardly as a secret-keeper, which Voldemort would not expect.

  • 5
    This explains why they wouldn't have wanted Remus to be Secret Keeper, even if they trusted him, but as Sirius confirms, they actually thought he was a spy- and this doesn't really explain why they would have thought so.
    – Shisa
    Commented Aug 12, 2014 at 4:39

Another option is since they knew there was a traitor in their midst Remus Lupin actually was a good choice for a traitor. Since he was a werewolf he was despised by normal society, had trouble finding and keeping a job, and was not even trusted by the "good" people. Voldemort was actively using werewolves such as Fenrir Greyback, thus Remus would have probably been accepted to join Voldemort's ranks as well. Also, if Voldemort won the war Remus would no longer be an outcast.

  • 1
    This was my original thought however given Remus was a good friend (and had been for years) and was the prefect at school I didn't think there was anything to support it. Compared with Sirius who comes from a very aristocratic family and has a (admittedly reformed) Death Eater for a brother.
    – Liath
    Commented Jul 18, 2014 at 13:10
  • I don't understand that. They didn't know there was a traitor in advance, until the Dark Lord has killed James and Lily, at which point both Sirius and James would know who the traitor is, because they know who the Secret-Keeper was.
    – b_jonas
    Commented Aug 16, 2017 at 19:54
  • 1
    @b_jonas from my understanding they already knew someone in the order was a traitor
    – Himarm
    Commented Aug 16, 2017 at 20:09

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