James Marsden, Rami Malek, Christian Slater, Riz Ahmed and Mahershala Ali attend a private dinner hosted by GQ and Dior Homme in celebration of the 2016 GQ Men of The Year party at Chateau Marmont on December 8, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.
Of the four boys, James has been the hardest nut to crack. Compared to the other Marauders, even Peter, he is seen so minimally. Which is a shame, because he was such an extraordinary character.
There is this assumption that he was a care-free joker at Hogwarts, that he not only laughed in the face of responsibility, but ignored it all together. Which makes little sense to me. He was the sole heir to a wealthy pureblooded family. Even though they were not as focused on maintaining their better-than-you blood status in wizarding society, unlike the Blacks, James no doubt had to learn how to behave within certain circles.
It’s not difficult to imagine the pressure he had to be under, knowing that so much duty and obligation rested on his shoulders. If Sirius was expected to know how to write in perfect cursive, memorize pureblood lineage, and have perfect table manners, you can bet James was too. He may have been raised in a more loving and supportive environment, but the expectation was still there. And considering all that, it makes sense that when he finally gets to Hogwarts and is away from all that expectation and pressure that he lets loose. He goofs off with his friends, pulls outrageous pranks, and has a devil-may-care attitude. Because he finally can.