Back before Pottermore, before Fantastic Beasts, and a Cursed Child, there were Seven Books. Seven amazing books about a boy wizard that left us with sometimes more mysteries than the boy and his friends managed to solve. Even now that the books have all been read and the universe is being expanded beyond The Boy Who Lived, there are some questions that we’ll never have the answers to. To explore some of those questions and the sometimes clever, sometimes out there, explanations fans have come up with, here are 25 Harry Potter Fan Theories That Will Make You Think.
This one’s pretty gross, but it also makes sense. There’s a theory that making a Horcrux involves cannibalism. We know from the books that in order to make a Horcrux, one must murder (not kill, but murder) someone, and this splits their soul. But lots of people murder other people in the books and don’t have bits of their soul littering the countryside, so what gives? Well, according to the books, “a horrible book, really awful, full of evil magic” (Hermione), and Rowling has stated during interviews that the process is “too horrible, actually, to go into detail about.” So we know that the vessel from the Horcrux must be prepared, and someone must die, but nothing about the dark magic that prepares said vessel, and *nothing* about the spell that must be performed after someone has been killed to move the fragment of the soul into the vessel. Killing the person just allows you to access the fragment to encase separately, and the actual spell to make a Horcrux is worse, so….? Possibly, probably, cannibalism. (And yes, the ritual from start to finish that made Harry a Horcrux was unexpected and weird, he was not a prepared vessel, no charm was performed, so he’s more of a case of the exception being the rule.)
Crookshanks & Regulus Black
The theory that Crookshanks – Hermione’s grumpy fluffy cat – is actually Sirius Black’s brother, Regulus Black. We already know that Sirius was an Animagi, and that Regulus turned on Voldemort at the end of his time as a Death Eater and started to seek out and attempt to destroy Voldy’s Horcruxes, and we also know of a wizard who hid in plain sight as an Animagus for years – Peter Pettigrew. Also, Sirius was named after a star in the Canis Major constellation and subsequently turns into a dog. Regulus is named after a star in the constellation Leo, so could he be a cat? And then there’s all those weird sightings of Regulus from time to time after his supposed death.
It’s possible that the Dursleys are so unpleasant towards Harry and so ill at ease around him because he’s a Horcrux. We already know how being in close proximity to a Horcrux makes Ron more than a little horrible (seriously, some of us haven’t forgiven you, Ron), but the Dursleys lived with Harry in close proximity for YEARS, without any sort of magical protections or buffers in place. While no one is arguing that the Dursleys would have otherwise been lovely people, having Voldemort bits living in your weird nephew’s head probably didn’t endear them towards him.
Long ago and far away, around the time Goblet of Fire came out if not earlier, a theory started circulating around the interwebs that Ron *is* Dumbledore; that Dumbledore traveled back in time, as Ron, to help Harry defeat Voldemort, and the reason the space time continuum didn’t collapse is because of the vast age differences in the two Ronbledores. They both love chocolate, they both have large hands, Rowling, at that point, had never stated the color of Ron’s eyes so we didn’t know if they were different from Dumbledore’s or not. You can google it if you’d like more explanation, but we can’t promise you won’t end up more confused.
Ginny's Love Potion
Ginny may have given Harry a love potion. There’s pretty hot debate among HP (book) fans over whether or not Harry should’ve ended up with Ginny as she’s basically the most Mary Sue character ever, and Harry has ZERO interest in her, until suddenly, one day, he looks at her and she’s amazing? ehh…We know that love potions are used, and that the Weasley Brothers sell a whole range of them, and that the Weasley’s already considered Harry a part of the family, so Ginny the formerly obsessed fan girl slipping Harry a love potion isn’t that far out of the realm of possibility.
Lists Going Viral Right Now
JK Rowling & Rita Skeeter
If one were to be exiled from the magical community due to “embellishing” the truth and writing nasty “tell all” books, what better way to get back at said magical community than becoming a rich and famous author telling all their secrets under the guise of “young adult fiction.” If Wizards are real, then JK Rowling is probably Rita Skeeter.
The Hufflepuff Secret
That Hufflepuffs are the stoners of the Wizarding world. I mean, they’re the friendliest house; they’re accepting of pretty much everyone; they aren’t overly worried with athletic or academic achievement; their common room is right next to the kitchen; and the head of Hufflepuff is the Herbology Professor. Hey, we’re not judging.
Harry & Sirius Family Link
Harry and Sirius are perhaps blood family. Look, in a small community that values bloodlines, there’s going to be some overlap, some cousins marrying cousins, and eventually everyone is a cousin *coughcoughROYALTYcough*, and if we look at the Black Family Tree, we find that Dorea Black married Charlus Potter, and had an unnamed son. Harry’s Paternal Grandparent’s names are never stated in the series.
Gilderoy Lockhart's Employment
Dumbledore hired Gilderoy Lockhart simply because he thought it would be amusing. Though Rowling later claimed/explained that Dumbledore knew the man to be a fraud and wanted to put him in a place that would expose him for what he was, some of us still choose to believe that Dumbledore knew we’d all need a giggle. The man did have a sense of humor…
The True Nature of Severus Snape
Severus Snape is a vampire or at least partly vampire. First of all, Snape doesn’t assign the famous essay about werewolves until after Lupin assigns one about vampires, though the latter was just mentioned in passing. Jo is big into foreshadowing and plot points, often made through jokes, and Dean Thomas jokes about them eventually getting a vampires for the DADA professor, and eventually Snape becomes the DADA professor. His sallow skin, his “bat like” capes, his inability to have normal human relations with normal humans, he’s often seen in the Great Hall at mealtimes but never described as, you know, eating things. This is another one that JK Rowling has debunked; however, it’s another one where she clearly set things up to where there seems to be more to the story, and then she changed her mind.
Harry's Distant Relatives
This isn’t a theory as much as it is a “you may not have made the connections” but Harry and Tom Riddle have distant blood relations through the Peverell family, the three brothers who originally received the Deathly Hallows. There’s a much more detailed explination of this here.
Is Mary Poppins a Hogwarts Graduate? Maybe. Long before Harry and his friends were born, it’s possible that Ms. Poppins had a fascination with all things Muggle (like one Arthur Weasley) and chose to live in the Muggle world. Watching Mary Poppins, she doesn’t really break any of the Harry Potter world rules as far as how magic works, and she has a bag that holds, well, everything, much like Hermione.
Ministry of Magic
There’s the theory that the reason Wizards hide themselves from Muggles is because there was already a war between them, and Wizards lost. The “Ministry of Magic” seems like it should be part of a larger government, if this is just one branch of it, and yet it’s the entirety of the overbearing Wizard Government. Why do magic users have such a low, inefficient, muggle style government anyway? Add into that the Salem witch trials, and the fact that nearly all muggles deeply distrust magic…it’s possible.
Voldemort's Lack of Hair
Voldemort is bald on purpose to prevent anyone making a polyjuice potion from his hair. Still doesn’t explain the lack of a nose, though.
Malfoy a Werewolf?
Is Draco Malfoy a Werewolf? Maybe. There are a few things that could hint at this. Draco is very sickly in books 6 & 7; the Werewolf who bit Remus Lupin is hanging out around Malfoy Manor after the rebirth of the Dark Lord; Voldemort tells Malfoy he could “Babysit the cubs” when he finds out Tonks is pregnant; and Draco has “something on his arm” that turns out not to be dark mark, but we don’t know what it is. Even if JK never explicitly stated that Draco was a Werewolf, she CLEARLY set something up to be going on with him for more development of his character, and then just didn’t peruse it. And some of us are still quite salty about it.
Sirius & Remus
Sirius and Remus were lovers. This has been a thing in fan fiction since forever; it even has a name – called the puppy ship – and cannon doesn’t in any way deny it. Remus and Sirius were lovers when they were younger, and then Remus spends most of his adult life believing the love of his life killed their best friends, only to get said love back, and lose Him again. No one said the series isn’t dark.
Harry & Godric Gryffindor
There’s a theory that Harry Potter was a direct Heir of Godric Gryffindor. This is why he could use the sword of Gryffindor and that the final Harry/Voldemort battle would be the final “say” of friends turned enemies (like Hogwarts founders, Salazar Slytherin and Godric Gryffindor).
Harry & Time Travel
One theory states that Harry used a Time-Turner to go back and try to save his parents, but failed, and simply ended up witnessing their murder because what happened in the past can’t be undone. Unless it’s the execution of a rogue Hippogryph. Look, the laws of time travel were not quite as rigid as they could be, and basically the second half of book three is a paradox with no explanation or spell to hold the paradox in place (ie: Harry could cast a patronus because he’d seen himself do it in the past already. Um…) If a time turner could be used to save Buckbeak, why not the Potters? Ultimately, it isn’t part of the plot at all, and the messy handling of time travel made us glad it wasn’t revisited. For hardcore fans of sci-fi writing, the time travel was cringey, at best.
The Master of Death
Harry came back from the dead because he was the Master of Death, having possessed all three Deathly Hallows. This actually makes perfect sense, and we’re not sure if it’s a “theory” as it’s a “so obvious Jo didn’t think she needed to clarify further” situation.
Dumbledore & Grindelwald
Not really a theory but a fact that oft gets forgotten – we all know that Dumbledore was gay, but for some reason a lot of people forget the second part of that revelation Jo gave us – Gellert Grindelwald, the evil Dark Wizard Dumbledore defeated and imprisoned, was also the guy Dumbledore was in love with. Though Jo later clarified that the feelings were never reciprocated, so maybe that made it easier?
Harry, Hermione, and Ron are only in Gryffindor because they asked. We know the hat wanted to put Harry in Slytherin, but Harry was BRAVE enough to ask to not be put in Slytherin (or judgmental enough, either way). Hermione was clearly capable of handling Ravenclaw (brightest witch in her year), and Ron could be a Hufflepuff for many reasons, not the least of which being that he’s obsessed with food and Hufflepuff House common room is next to the kitchens.
Hagrid's Lack of a Patronus
Hagrid can’t produce a Patronus charm, not because he’s too inept magically, but because he doesn’t have enough happy memories to do so. Producing a full true Patronus takes a lot of magical power – yet Harry was successfully able to teach Dumbledore’s Army to do so during a few secret meetings in book five. JK Rowling has confirmed that Hagrid – who was expelled because Tom Riddle is a jerk – didn’t complete enough magical training to produce one, but what if he couldn’t produce a Patronus because they require a powerful happy memory, and Hargid doesn’t really have any? His mum left, his dad died, he was expelled from Hogwarts, and while he stays on as gamekeeper, he’s the source of many jokes. Harry, also an orphan, had similar issues when learning to cast the charm.
Voldemort, Harry, Snape and the Three Deathly Hallows
Voldemort, Harry, and Snape represent the three brothers that coordinate with the three deathly hallows. One – Voldemort – died for power. One – Snape – died for love. And one – Harry – Greeted death like an old friend, when he willingly died to protect those he loved. *sniff*
Harry Potter is an immortal now. This kind of goes into the finer points of prophecy interpretation, but the gist of it is that the prophecy of the Chosen One and Voldemort clearly states that “Either must die at the hand of the other.” So if Harry killed Voldemort, and either MUST die at the hand of the other…who’s going to allow Harry to die? Sure, it could mean that one of them had to die at the hand of the other, but it also kind of says that there’s no other way either of them can die. It was pretty heavily explained that Harry HAD to be the one to end Voldemort, so by the same rules…there’s no one to end Harry. The flip side of this, though, is the argument that Harry already died at the hand of Voldemort and came back, so he can just die of old age in 200 years or so.
Harry & Hermione
Harry & Hermione should have ended up together. If it seems awkward that Hermione married Ron and Harry conveniently fell for Ron’s sister, you aren’t the only one. Reading the books, Harry and Hermione seemed a much better and more realistic fit. Furthermore, you could literally replace Ron with a cat that’s good at chess and had basically the same result in the movies. If you think we write blasphemy, well, just remember that Rowling herself admitted that Harry and Hermionie were a better match and that Ron and Hermione had “very little to do with literature” and “far more to do with me clinging to the plot as I first imagined it.”
Photos: 25. Rob Clarke via Flickr, 24. via Reddit (fair use), 23. harrypotter.wikia.com (fair use) , 22. Joella Marano via Flickr, 21. Karen Roe via Flickr, 20. Daniel Ogren via Flickr, 19. Bill Smith via Flickr, 18. harrypotter.wikia.com (fair use), 17. Josh Hallett via Flickr, 16. Snape’s True Love via Flickr, 15. Indri Rizal via Flickr, 13. Gary Bembridge via Flickr, 12. tinyfroglet via Flickr, 11. Joella Marano via Flickr, 10. Scheiss Weekly/Jane Goodwin via janegoodwin.net, 9. Mariowq via wikimedia commons, 8. Melanie Tata via Flickr, 7. Benjamin D. Esham via wikimedia commons, 6. Husamu-d-din alp via wikimedia commons, 5. David Sanabria via Flickr, 4. en.wikipedia.org (fair use), 3. harrypotter.wikia.com (fair use), 2. anansekrom.org (fair use), 1. ursulakm via Flickr