Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter/Characters/Stan Shunpike
|Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter - Character|
Stan Shunpike is the conductor of the Knight Bus. He seems to be only a few years older than Harry, possibly 18 when Harry is 13. He is a tall, thin wizard with a regional accent of some sort. He is also talkative, and a bit of a braggart.
Role in the Books
During the confusion caused by the rioting Death Eaters at the Quidditch World Cup, Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger run into a wooded area. In a clearing in the woods, they find a number of Veela, surrounded by young men who are apparently trying to attract their attention by making boastful claims of one sort or another. One of these young men is Stan Shunpike. Ron also becomes entranced by the Veela and starts making some boastful claims of his own, before Hermione restores him to his senses.
Nymphadora Tonks summons the Knight Bus to take Harry, Ron, Ginny, Hermione, and the twins back to Hogwarts at Christmas. Stan is the conductor; he seems rather put out at Tonks, who he describes as "that bossy woman".
Stan Shunpike is arrested by Aurors for making boastful claims about how close he is to the Dark Lord. He has not been freed by the time the book closes.
Stan Shunpike evidently escaped from Azkaban, and was one of the Death Eaters who pursued Harry during his escape from Privet Drive. Harry, recognizing that he was under the Imperius curse, tried to disarm him, which led the other Death Eater still pursuing to recognize him as the real Harry Potter.
When Ron is first captured by Snatchers, after leaving Harry and Hermione, he claims to be Stan Shunpike. This results in confusion, with half of the Snatchers believing him, and half not believing him. With their attention centered on this dispute, Ron is able to break away, stealing a wand in the process.
Ron claims again to be Stan Shunpike when Snatchers catch the group a while later, but this time his ruse is exposed immediately as the head of the group, Fenrir Greyback, has had dealings with the real Stan Shunpike.
Stan is a good talker, and proves - although he is merely gossiping - invaluable to Harry (and the reader) as a source of information during his trip on the Knight Bus.
He is also shown to be able to fly a broom while working for the Death Eaters. As he is under the Imperius Curse at this point, this may not be part of his natural abilities. It is likely he is more used to travelling via Knight Bus.
Stan likes to boast and exaggerate his importance to impress others. This leads to his being mistaken for a supporter of Voldemort and arrested.
Relationships with Other Characters
One wonders if there is any purpose to Stan's character, we see so little of him. However, what we do see of him is remarkably consistent; brash, boastful, self-aggrandizing, he is the sort of person who would claim knowledge that he didn't have, heedless of the trouble it could cause him. Given this characteristic, Stan seems the logical choice to be incarcerated as a means of showing the Ministry's new, hard-line stance. Our understanding of Stan's character makes it clear to us, also, that his continuing incarceration can only be because of the Ministry's fear of appearing ineffectual.
Stan is worthy of study because of how rapidly we apprehend his character. We see him briefly in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, we hear one sentence from him in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and from those two instances alone we learn enough to be aware that he cannot be a Death Eater, why he was taken for one, and that his continuing imprisonment is certainly unjust.
On the Characters page, Stan Shunpike is listed as a Death Eater. The decision was made to list him there because he acted in that capacity, even though it was not of his own desire as far as we know. About the Darkest thing he did of his own free will, as far as we are aware, is boast in a pub about having secret knowledge of Death Eater affairs; it is safe to assume that it was an attempt to impress drinking partners that triggered this boast.
- Was Stan Shunpike more likely pure blood, half-blood, or muggle born? Justify your answer.