Stanley "Stan" Shunpike (born between 15 September 1974 and 13 September 1975) was a British wizard and was the conductor and helper of the Knight Bus. On 14 September 1996, he was arrested and sent to Azkaban for being a Death Eater when he was overheard claiming to have inside information about the organisation, although in all likelihood, he was only fooling around. In 1997, he broke free from prison and joined the Death Eaters under the Imperius Curse. His fate after the war is unknown; he most likely awoke from the Curse following Lord Voldemort's ultimate defeat, like all the other Imperiused victims, and returned to his job.
Stanley was born between 15 September 1974 and 13 September 1975, and possibly grew up in inner London, as he had a strong Cockney accent. It is unknown if he ever attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, but if so, he would have attended from 1986 to 1993, making him in the same year as Marcus Flint.
Conductor of the Knight Bus
Stan was a skilled motorist, but not a man of high intelligence. As such, Stan failed to recognise Harry Potter who had just fled from 4 Privet Drive and instead believed his alias of Neville Longbottom.
When talking to Harry and others on the Knight Bus he showed his love of gossip and of having inside information. He was shocked when Harry nonchalantly spoke the name "Voldemort", and even when later meeting up with Cornelius Fudge, who confirmed Harry's true identity, Stan continued to refer Harry as "Neville" for the rest of that trip.
Stan attended the 1994 Quidditch World Cup, and after the match, Stan and several others were witnessed by Harry and Ron Weasley trying to chat up a group of Veela, with Stan making the outrageous and false comment of him being "about to be made the youngest Minister for Magic ever", in an effort to impress them.
Second Wizarding War
Transporting the Order of the Phoenix
Stan met Harry once again when he, along with Ron and his siblings were being transported by the Knight Bus back to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Stan, this time, realised who Harry was, though made the mistake of blurting out his name to his friend, the driver, Ernie Prang. Harry's primary bodyguard; the expertly-disguised Auror Nymphadora Tonks, threatened to "curse Stan into oblivion" if he did it again, as they were concerned for Harry's security.
Imprisonment in Azkaban
- "Stanley Shunpike, conductor of the popular Wizarding conveyance the Knight Bus, has been arrested on suspicion of Death Eater activity. Mr Shunpike, 21, was taken into custody late last night after a raid on his Clapham home...."
- —Excerpt from a Daily Prophet article about Stan Shunpike's arrest[src]
Escape and Battle of the Seven Potters
In 1997, Azkaban experienced a breakout at the hands of Death Eaters. Although Stan was no Death Eater, he was still freed from his cell (perhaps because he was close to the others, or the Death Eaters might have simply wanted to show the Ministry they had no power in Azkaban). Either way, Stan joined the Death Eaters' ranks, albeit under the Imperius Curse.
Stan took part in the Battle of the Seven Potters, during which he and nearly thirty other Death Eaters flew into battle against members of the Order of the Phoenix who were trying to transport Harry Potter to safety. Stan and several others, unknowingly, tracked down the real Harry (who had been given decoys to lure pursuers away). In combat, Harry fired a spell that knocked Stan's Death Eater mask off, exposing his "blank eyes" (a tell-tale sign of Imperius control), and, because a Stunning Spell while over a hundred feet in the air would result in Stan falling to his death, Harry elected to shoot a Disarming Charm, blowing Stan's wand out of his hand, though Stan's comrades recognised this as Harry's "signature move" and broke off their attack, instead summoning Voldemort himself into the fray.
It is unknown what he proceeded to do, but he did know a Snatcher named Scabior and likely his master, Fenrir Greyback. Shortly before the Skirmish at Malfoy Manor, Scabior mentioned that Shunpike "sent a lot of trouble [the Snatchers'] way". It is also unknown if Shunpike participated in the Battle of Hogwarts.
Following the Battle of Hogwarts, it was reported that hundreds of people under the control of the Imperius curse were freed. If Stan survived to this point, and if he was really under the Imperius Curse, he most likely returned to his job on the Knight Bus, though his fate is unknown.
He was described as being "eighteen or nineteen at most" in 1993, and as having "large, protruding ears and quite a few pimples". He wore a purple uniform as to go with the colour of the Knight Bus. He had a fairly slovenly appearance and was somewhat more unkempt appearance than most wizards (although not to the extent of the likes of Morfin Gaunt).
Personality and traits
In spite of being a friendly and well-meaning wizard, Stan Shunpike was not very bright, as he failed to recognize the child celebrity Harry Potter. But then again it might have simply been that he did not get time to properly examine Harry's scar, as Harry hid it immediately after Stan showed interest, which would have likely confirmed Harry's true identity. He loved gossip and having inside information, a trait that later landed him in Azkaban. Like most wizards, he was openly disturbed when wizards spoke the name "Voldemort".
Stan was very vain, a trait akin to Gilderoy Lockhart, although less pronounced. Lockhart easily made women and girls swoon over him, whereas Stan had often resorted to boasting when in the presence of attractive young women in order to try and impress them. His slovenly appearance suggested that he resorted to toughness to bolster his perceived credibility with girls. The two most infamous examples of his vanity is his trying to chat up veela that he would become Minister for Magic, and falsely boasting in a pub that he knew of the Death Eaters' secret plans.
He seems to disdain Muggles, as when Harry asks him whether the Muggles are able to see and hear the Knight Bus, Stan contemptuously remarks that Muggles don't listen and see properly, not to mention they never notice anything.
The name Stanley also belonged to one of J. K. Rowling's grandfathers, with the other one being named Ernie, which was the name given to the driver of the Knight Bus, Ernie Prang. The name Shunpike may refer to "shunning a pike", i.e. swerving onto to a highway exit in order to avoid a tollbooth on the turnpike.
Behind the scenes
- Stan Shunpike was played by Lee Ingleby in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. His character was cut from the remainder of the film adaptations in which he would have appeared. He was originally rumoured to be returning to the role in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, but that rumour didn't turn out to be true.
- Despite being described in the books as looking like he was in his late teens, with a pimply face, Stan was played by nearly 30 year old Ingleby in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
- Since Stan was omitted from the video game adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, his role when he talked to Harry about Sirius Black was replaced with Ron.
- During the events in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Ron Weasley pretended to be Stan Shunpike twice. The first time when he was caught by a couple of Snatchers and later to Werewolf, Fenrir Greyback. Greyback knew that Ron was not Stan.
- Stanley was named after Joanne K. Rowling's grandfather, Stanley Volant.
- In the 2004 LEGO Harry Potter set 4755 Knight Bus, Stan replaces Ernest Prang as the driver of the Knight Bus.
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (Possible appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (video game) (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Building the Magical World
- LEGO Harry Potter: Characters of the Magical World
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 11 (Hermione's Helping Hand), the Daily Prophet reports "Mr Shunpike, 21, was taken into custody late last night". This happens on 14 September as it is one week after Harry's and Dumbledore's first private lesson ("Now Harry came to think of it, he had not seen Dumbledore since their private lesson a week ago.") which we know was on Saturday after the first week of class. (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 10 (The House of Gaunt) - "Ah, good evening, Harry. Sit down,” said Dumbledore, smiling. “I hope you’ve had an enjoyable first week back at school?”"). As 1 September 1996 falls on a Sunday then the second Saturday of term would be the 14th, and Stan would have to be 21 years old by this date.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 36 (The Flaw in the Plan)