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Fan Theories: Harry Potter

Updated on December 17, 2015
Medvekoma profile image

Medvekoma has been a fan of many movie and video game franchises ever since he first watched the Star Wars trilogy during his early years.

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Introduction

Most definitely one of the defining franchises of both modern literature and cinema, Harry Potter gathered worldwide fame over the decades of its existence. The world created by J.K. Rowling is both mesmerizing and interesting, trapping the reader in a journey that one wished would never end.

But the journey has some mysterious facades on the sides, unanswered questions or interesting details fans have noticed over the years. These small details led to the conception of all these fan theories, some crazy, some completely plausible and some that can change how you look at the story itself forever.

Draco Malfoy is a werewolf

As weird as this idea sounds, the antagonistic character changes a lot over the years portrayed in the books as well as in the movies, the most prominent being from year five to year six. Draco suddenly stops the childish pranks and becomes a tad bit disconnected from most others in Hogwards.

The readers and the audience to the movies thought this was because of his assignment of course, which involved setting up the gateway for the death eaters to enter Hogwards. But what if there was more behind this?

There's a website out there that is dedicated to dissecting this theory.

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Indeed, while in the movie Draco's dark mark is shown, it's never truly revealed in the books, only hinting at something on his arm that managed to convince Borgin of obedience in his own shop. In fact, in that very scene he threatens the shop's owner with Fenrir Greyback, a werewolf.

This one werewolf is said to punish people for their acts by biting their children, revealed when he talks about the child of Remus and Tonks. This is never ever mentioned again, but could be a hint that Voldemort actually punished Lucius Malfoy for his goofed-up reclamation of the prophecy in Order of the Phoenix by having his son turned into a werewolf.

This also gives the Malfoy family all the reasons they need to abandon the dark lord at the end of the great battle in the last book. Other hints are remarks from Voldemort pointed towards or around Draco, referring to him as a cub.

McGonagall is a death eater

A theory and essay published by user goldenmoonrose deals with the idea that professor McGonagall was Voldemort's pawn and servant, one of the most trusted of all.

The theory is based on the idea that McGonagall kind-of doesn't do much in the story, not until the very end. The spells she teaches to the trio are utterly useless, and she dispenses punishment on them without remorse, without ever standing up for them.

And then we presume that Minerva is a death eater and take a look at the scenes and events of the storyline with that perspective. There are hints that she was an unregistered animagi back in the days during the wizarding wars. The very first scene starts with Dumbledore greeting her as she's still in cat form, after which she transforms and questions him how he knew. Suspicious?

Another strange thing is the end of the first book, where the trio run up to her and tell her that the philosopher's stone is in danger. She reacts with nothing, not even notifying Dumbledore. in the second book, she replaces Dumbledore as headmistress, and Ginny is brought to the Chamber of Secrets under her watch.

The fourth book sees her not caring for Harry's well being at all during his participation in the tournament, and there are numerous moments when she helps Crouch Jr., giving Harry permissions to the restricted part of the library. And yes, she was the one patrolling the maze with professor Moody, Crouch Jr. in disguise. And when Dumbledore dies in the sixth book, Minerva has no problems with occupying his place and getting into his office.

"I have a faithful servant at Hogwarts”. He simply says “one, who remains my most faithful servant, and who has already reentered my service…He is at Hogwarts."

— Voldemort, US edition pp. 651-652

Maybe this wasn't a reference to Crouch Jr. but Minerva instead?

The cursed position of DADA teacher

Albus Dumbledore mentions in the sixth book that Hogwards has been unable to keep the same Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher for more than a year ever since he refused Lord Voldemort's application to the position.

According to this fan theory, Voldemort actually cursed the position so that it cannot be inhabited by the same teacher twice in a row. Yes, this is extremely plausible and with evidence hinted in the books, more than likely true.

The interesting part comes into play when we consider Snape's ambitions to become a DADA teacher. Dumbledore refused him the position, possibly with knowledge about the curse, in order to keep in the school and in a stable position. He does however put Snape into the position the year he eventually dies, and Snape suffers the fate of the curse, leaving the role and becoming headmaster the next year.

Yes, that would be a completely understandable move from Dumbledore if he knew exactly how events would unfold following his death, which he - naturally - did. And that's where his trust towards Severus Snape is shown in these tiny details.

The Dursleys were affected by a Horcrux

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This is one of the most controversial theories floating about, it deals with the idea that the Dursley family's opposition towards Harry and their strange behavior is the result of exposure to a Horcrux, Harry himself.

The problem arrives with remarks from both the narrator in the books and McGonagall herself about the Dursleys being terrible even before Harry was delivered. Yet it's still possible that this was worsened by their close proximity to Harry during the eleven years he spent in Privet Drive.

There's also the interesting explanation for the Dursleys adapting a better attitude towards Harry, giving him a more decent room after his first year, or allowing him to leave during the next few years.

Yet the problems once again. If the Dursleys were influenced, then why not Hermione or Ron? Maybe because they were wizards themselves with lessened effect, or maybe because they didn't spend too much time with Harry, or at least not as much as the Dursleys did. Or one could also prescribe the confrontations within the trio or within house Griffindor involving Harry to him being a Horcrux.

Another problem is Rowling herself refuting the idea that Harry was an actual, real Horcrux, stating that he wasn't intentionally made and therefore wasn't one during an interview.

Muggles have defeated the wizards before

This is one of the most far-fetched theories floating about, originating from reddit, of course. The author of this theory questions some strange aspects of the magical universe, especially one specific action.

When the dragons are brought to England during the tournament in book four, the prime minister of the United Kingdom has to be notified of dangerous creatures arriving. Why would such a law be in place, if the intentions of the ministry of magic is to completely hide the magical world from muggles?

From this comes the question of the ministry of magic. If that is the leading governmental body of the wizardring world, then why is it called a ministry? Why is the most influential person in the legal world of wizardring called a minister, and not a prime minister or a president?

There are numerous mentions in the book about wizards having experimented with magic over the course of history, and the feats of many powerful witches and wizards. Yet the books lack any of those except for maybe Dumbledore and Lord Voldemort, instead referring to regulations, regulations and even more regulations from the ministry's side. Also, there aren't any elections, it looks like the minister of magic is "appointed" and not "elected".

According to the theory, there was a war after the middle ages between the muggles and the wizards where the muggles emerged victorious, putting an end to open and free wizardry and creating the ministry of magic to regulate it. This also means that the magical world is in fact withering, and Lord Voldemort's opposition to it could have been more ideological than previously expected, him seeking to reverse the current situation and reclaim freedom for magic on Earth.

Regulus Black is Hermione's cat

Crookshanks, Hermione's pet cat is introduced in the third book, the same one in which Peter Pettigrew is revealed to have been hiding as Ron's rat for many years, and in which Sirius Black is introduced as an animagus capable of transforming into a dog at will.

Now let's see the naming first, as names are really important in the HP universe. House Black names their children after stars in constellations, and Sirius is a bright star in the Canis Major (greater dog) constellation. However, there's another family member, Regulus Black named after Regulus, the brightest star in the Leo (lion) constellation.

Regulus Black disappeared after trying to destroy one of Voldemort's Horcruxes. But what if his disappearance was staged much like Peter Pettigrew's, and he's still about? In the books and the movies as well, it's obvious that Crookshanks keeps chasing after Scabbers. Maybe he discovered the rat's true identity and decided to rid Ron of him?

Sirius also mentions that he can communicate with the cat. That'd be quite weird if the cat was merely a ... cat, that is. But it makes far more sense knowing that it's just another family member, another animagus. The last evidence is Hermione buying the cat from the pet shop, during this scene in the book the owner refers to the cat as having been there for a rather long time, same long time experienced in Scabbers' life.

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Dumbledore is death

This one fan theory was even marked by Rowling herself as her favourite one.

So the theory itself is based on the fable of death and the three brothers mentioned in the last book. The three are Lord Voldemort, Snape and Harry in this order. Voldemort wants power, a wand that defeats all. Snape wants a resurrection stone to bring back his loved ones, namely Lily Potter. Harry just wants to escape from death and thus asks for the cloak.

The fable also includes the idea that death will catch up to each and every one, but instead of taking the third brother, he greets him as an old friend. Lord Voldemort dies, as does Snape as well, both meeting their end, but when Harry is struck by the killing curse, he meets Dumbledore in the limbo (plain white King's Cross) and they do meet as old friends.

And in a sense, all three artifacts are handed to Harry through Dumbledore. He is gifted the cloak by him, he receives the stone from the snitch sent by him and he inherits the wand through Malfoy from Dumbledore. It all makes sense, right?

J.K. Rowling is actually the journalist Rita Skeeter

There's this fun theory about Rita Skeeter, the terribly annoying journalist. According to the theory, Rita is eventually banished from the wizardry world for the lies she's publishing, cast off to live as a petty muggle. As a revenge on the ministry of magic, she decides to unveil everything she knows, including what she learned about Dumbledore's army.

She ends up publishing the story of Dumbledore's army in seven books, but instead of taking them as a revelation, the muggles enjoy them as the Harry Potter series, bringing Rita a vast wealth and she enjoy the rest of her life in a fine retreat, without anyone bugging her. So yes, some fans theorize that J.K. Rowling is actually the banished Rita Skeeter from the Harry Potter universe.

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The creation of Horcruxes

The actual process of how to create a Horcrux is a well-kept secret by J.K. Rowling. We only know the reaction of the two people who learned about it, Horace Slughorn and Hermione, both completely disturbed and stupefied when they found out what the missing part was.

Yes, we know that the creation involves a murder, a spell and an "atrocious act". Considering that the murder wasn't always done by Lord Voldemort himself (as in the case of Moaning Myrtle), the real connection must be established through either the spell or the atrocious act.

Now there's the question of what this atrocious act is, and some speculations say that it's revolved around drinking the blood of the victim, like in a good old vampire story. This makes sense when it comes to the intact corpses as well as Voldemort's fascination with blood (letting one's own blood to pass through when seeking one of the Horcruxes, living off Unicorn blood, etc). Blood was also involved in his temporary resurrection, giving another hint.

This theory is also supported by the sources J.K. Rowling used for her books, which are ancient magical practices where blood was sacred and quiet overused as well.

Yes, he didn't drink Harry's blood, but Rowling herself mentioned in an interview that Harry wasn't a true Horcrux himself. Maybe the real connection between the two, and the actual Harry-Horcrux was created when Voldemort was reborn with Harry's blood involved in the mixture.

The trio should not have been in Griffindor

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This is a pretty evident theory, considering the traits preferred by the three houses. House Gryffindor respects bravery, something that isn't quite present in any of the trio.

Ron displays the morals, kindness and openness of Hufflepuff, Hermione could make for a perfect Ravenclaw member with her knowledge and academic achievements, and Harry was - of course - destined to be a slytherin with his cunning, fraternal thinking, pure blood and instincts of self-preservation. Another argument for the Ron-Hufflepuff pairing is that house Hufflepuff is the one that accepts students that don't fit into other houses.

So why did they end up in Griffindor, all three of them? There's a fan theory suggesting that the Sorting Hat does not possess a will of its own, but instead projects the thoughts of the one wearing it. And thus, it doesn't technically "sort" people into houses, but instead helps them give a definite answer to where they would go, essentially making the sorting ceremony a choice.

And with that in mind, Ron wanted to be with his family in Gryffindor, Harry didn't want to get into Slytherin and therefore was sorted into the rival house, and Hermione was put there ... beacuse of ... not sure.

And that's the problem. Hermione is such a typical Ravenclaw student without any reason to join Gryffindor, apart from the theory that the Sorting Hat may have foreseen the future, along with Dumbledore maybe, and decided to put Hermione besides Ron and Harry to form the trio and give them better chances against future challenges.

Harry Potter is immortal

This fan theory may sound a bit strange at first, and would change the ending of the story completely, but is actually based on certain lines in the prophecy:

Either must die at the hand of the other, for neither can live while the other survives.

Either must die at the hand of the other, meaning that Harry has no one to kill him right now, rendering him possibly immortal. He achieved what Voldemort wanted to achieve, ironically through his very acts of dark magic.

But an interesting notion is the consequence of Harry's immortality. He technically sacrificed his death, which means he'll never be re-united with Sirius, his parents, or anybody else he loved. He'll be the "Boy who lived" forever, watching his friends die. Maybe he'll become a Hogwarts headmaster one day and grow a fancy beard as well? Who knows.

Neville was using the wrong wand

Wizards don't just choose or buy a wand, there's a special connection between the two, we were taught this in the first book. But in Order of the Phoenix, Neville's wand breaks and he's forced to buy a new one. It's that moment when he actually reveals that his previous wand belonged to his father.

After that event, he buys a new wand and we see the changes Neville goes through, he becomes the awesome guy who cuts off Nagini's head with a long sword. So what if Neville's lack of skills when it comes to magic resulted from him possessing his father's wand, a wand that didn't comply and didn't choose him?

Yes, there are flaws as Neville wasn't only clumsy with spells and a wand, but also with a broom. Which leaves the question, maybe the broom was his father's as well? Who knows, who knows.

Never the less, Neville's character is overshadowed by his father, to which using his father's wand is a strong symbol. He has to break it, has to step out of his shadow in order to become someone to respect. And he does just that over the course of the seven books.

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Neville Longbottom as the chosen one

Yes, there's a theory floating around that Neville did in fact fulfill most requirements to be the prophecy's chosen one. Let's dissect this mentioned prophecy first, and take a look at Neville's life and how he fits in:

The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches... Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies... and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not... and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives... the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies...

— Order of the Phoenix, US edition

Neville's parents defied Voldemort three times as well, and have been tortured for doing so. He was born a day before Harry, which fulfills the birth part. The chosen one also possesses a power the Dark Lord doesn't, which is so vague it could be applied to almost any of Neville's positive qualities, including Harry's power of love, his talent in herbology or even his courage to confront his own friends when needed. Voldemort marks him an equal, that isn't quite clear how it applies to Harry either. But when it comes to strained relationships to parents, all thee of them had those.

This fan theory was talked about by Rowling herself as well, and is even mentioned by Dumbledore:

The odd thing is, Harry," he said softly, "that it may not have meant you at all. Sibyll's prophecy could have applied to two wizard boys, both born at the end of July that year, both of whom had parents in the Order of the Phoenix, both sets of parents having narrowly escaped Voldemort three times. One, of course, was you. The other was Neville Longbottom.

— Order of the Phoenix, US edition

J.K. Rowling actually commented on this fan theory, stating that "In choosing which child to kill (Neville or Harry) Voldemort was "choosing which boy to anoint as the Chosen One."

This means that both of them could have been chosen ones, it was just a matter of chance of which gets attacked first by the Dark Lord. How things would have turned out differently? Now that's an interesting question, possibly answered by a completely different universe and timeline.

Time traveling Dumbledore is actually Ron

This theory ... is exactly what the title is. And yes, it was so ridiculous that J.K. Rowling actually took the time to refute it.

© 2015 Medvekoma

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    • RachaelLefler profile image

      Rachael Lefler 3 weeks ago from Illinois

      If Minerva were a Death Eater, it would make sense, she would be like the inverse of Snape - a Gryffindor in appearance to be fighting for good but secretly evil, to Snape's being a Slytherin who appears evil but is secretly on the side of good. Thus completing an Aesop about not trusting appearances.

    • GalaxyRat profile image

      GalaxyRat 2 months ago from The Crazy Rat Lady's House

      Love it... great theories.

    • Medvekoma profile image
      Author

      Medvekoma 20 months ago from Durham, United Kingdom

      I've always loved fan theories like that. It has some merit and bases, but it's just too far-fetched to be true.

      I think it's something like Jar Jar Binks being a Sith Lord in The Phantom Menace, first episode of Star Wars. Or Dumbledore being one of the two blue mages mentioned in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings.

      Didn't think it'd deserve a fully written-up entry, but still. A theory to listen to and judge. I may as well end up editing and adding it.

    • Cee-Jay Aurinko profile image

      Cee-Jay Aurinko 20 months ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      This is a wonderful post Medvekoma. It's full of insight about the HP universe I never had before now. And lol, Ron as Dumbledore?