The Dursleys were awful because Harry’s a Horcrux, Dumbledore is Death, and J.K. Rowling is Rita Skeeter. The list of fan theories goes on and on but some mind-boggling Harry Potter theories still hold up even now.
Here are four especially mind-blowing theories about your favorite British dystopian wizarding world:
Theory: Severus Snape is Still Alive
What Is It About? Snape didn’t die at the end of Deathly Hallows because his corpse was never mentioned, he didn’t appear when Harry used the Resurrection Stone before facing Voldemort, and, as a Potions professor, he should’ve had access to anti-venom. Reddit user DER_GOTTKAISER theorizes that Nagini only temporarily paralyzed Snape, who then decided to live out his own adventures after having fulfilled his promises to both Dumbledore and Lily.
Has It Been Debunked? Mashable has a hysterical blog post refuting this theory. There’s no way Snape would have appeared when Harry summoned his loved ones via the Resurrection Stone. Sure, Harry names his kid after Severus, but that’s a decade or so after the end of the War. He had time to ruminate and forgive. And in regards to the anti-venom: Snape was a martyr.
Why It’s So Compelling: Within the entire fandom, Snape’s heroism is fiercely debated. Is he the wretched anti-hero, with an tragic and romantic backstory? Or is he ultimately a Bad Guy, abusing a child just because his One True Love decided to marry the school jock? It’s wishful thinking that Snape managed to outwit Voldemort, but it gives him a happy ending.
Theory: Draco Malfoy is a Werewolf
What Is It About? As punishment for Lucius Malfoy’s failure to retrieve the prophecy, Voldemort ordered Fenrir Greyback to bite Draco. Evidence points to Draco’s sickly look and distressed behavior in Half-Blood Prince. After all, Draco’s never treated as a Death Eater and there’s no evidence of him bearing a Dark Mark on his arm. And if he’s not a Death Eater, what else can he be? What, on his arm, frightened Borgin so much? Additionally, how can Voldemort punish the man who both compromised Tom Riddle’s diary and lost the prophecy? By utilizing Greyback. After all, Fenrir Greyback’s introduced as a character who specifically bites children to punish the parents. According to the writers of the theory, that’d be reason enough for both Lucius and Narcissa to turn their backs on Voldemort.
Has It Been Debunked? Depends on what you consider “debunked” to mean. In the Half-Blood Prince film, Draco shows Dumbledore his Dark Mark. Pottermore also explained that Draco had accepted membership into the Death Eaters.
Why It’s So Compelling: The casting of Tom Felton as Draco resulted in fans conflating the actor with the character. Draco’s portrayed less whiny and merciless in the movies and viewers of the films tend to consider Draco as nuanced and sympathetic. Therefore, Draco as a werewolf paints him as tragic and misunderstood. We know that JKR wrote about werewolf-ism as a specific allusion to the hysteria and panic that surrounded AIDS. What’s more compelling than turning the privileged son of a xenophobic government official into a half-breed?
Theory: The End of Sorcerer’s Stone Foreshadowed the Entire Series
What Is It About? According to blogger S.P. Sipal, in Chapter 16 of the Sorcerer’s Stone, the various challenges that the trio overcome for Harry to defeat Voldemort relates, “in order, to an upcoming book.” Hermione’s petrification of Neville foreshadows the petrified students in Chamber of Secrets. Devil’s Snare shrinking in the face of flame foreshadows the Dementors, who breed in the dark and damp and recede in the face of light. The flying keys that the trio discover foreshadow the Second Task of the Triwizard Tournament. The magicked chess game foreshadows the events in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries. Harry’s struggle to decipher the potions riddle foreshadows his inability to uncover the identity of the half-blood prince. And, finally, in the same way Lily protected Harry against Quirrell, Harry protects those he loves against Voldemort in Deathly Hallows.
Has It Been Debunked? No.
Why It’s So Compelling: JKR’s meticulous plotting of the entire Potter series is legendary. While I have some issues with each new detail she drops about the series, I still have mad respect for her storytelling skills. There are a few hiccups in this theory — at times, it seems like the writer stretches to draw parallels between the trio’s challenges and the action that happened in the rest of the books. However, I’m game to accept JKR’s genius any day.
Theory: Voldemort was a Cannibal
What Is It About? JKR never revealed the whole recipe required to create a Horcrux. Readers only know that it requires a murder and a spell. To Reddit user sirlionel13, the omission of that final element is odd, considering that the books are filled with references to mass murder, racism, child abuse, and torture. S/he theorizes, “in order to make a Horcrux, you must consume the flesh and blood of your victim. Cannibalism has, throughout history, been associated with gaining strength, power, or health from the dead.” Horcruxes are supposed to be the darkest, most unredeemable piece of magic and only the blackest of magicians would leverage necromancy. That would explain why Tom Riddle/Voldemort’s murders would rip his soul to pieces.
Has It Been Debunked? Not really; just lots of arguments on the original Reddit thread about specific elements of the theory. And JKR hasn’t debunked it herself either. So.
Why It’s So Compelling: JKR herself said that Voldemort did not perform the proper ritual to make Harry a Horcrux. Therefore, Harry is not a Horcrux. I had always wondered what could have nauseated Hermione regarding the creation of a Horcrux and why Slughorn was so disturbed at Tom’s desire to create seven. And I’m always a sucker for theories that draw on historical fact and occurrences.
What did you think of these theories? What are some of your favorite Potter theories?