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5 of the Best Harry Potter Fan Theories

You know you’ve made it as an author when your stories grow legs and run away from you. In 1967, Roland Barthes penned an insightful but tiresome essay named “The Death of the Author”, which argued that anybody’s interpretation of a text is every bit as valid as the author’s. With the amount of fan theories floating around on Reddit, J. K. Rowling apparently has very little grasp on the past and future of the world she has created.

While there are innumerable ideas out there, these five in particular strike the right chords. Have you heard them before? And do you agree with them?

The Dursleys were manipulated by a horcrux

For a long time, it was generally accepted that the Dursleys – Harry’s erstwhile guardians – were simply an insufferable bunch of bastards. But what if they were only insufferable because of prolonged exposure to a horcrux?

This ingenious theory points out that several of the Weasley clan became fairly obnoxious after only a short time in the presence of a horcrux. Since Harry is a horcrux himself, and the Dursleys had to put up with him for over a decade, it’s a wonder they haven’t been sent to an insane asylum or ended up on death row.

The main characters are only Gryffindor because they asked nicely

Everyone wants to be in Gryffindor, right? You only have to look at brown-and-yellow scarf sales (compared to those of other colour combinations) to realise that being a lion is so hot right now. Well, the same is true in the Potter world.

This analysis of the Sorting Hat posits that neither Harry nor Ron nor Hermione were destined to be Gryffindors from the outset. Harry, because of his ambition, was born a Slytherin, while smarty-pants Hermione should have been a Ravenclaw and Ron-nice-but-dim was originally a Hufflepuff… until they asked to be in Gryffindor. Since asking for what you want requires one good set of big balls, they were all switched to the house of bravery.

Fortunately, this is one theory you can test the validity of yourself by visiting the Harry Potter Tour, donning the fickle hat and asking for your preferred house. If it works, hey presto! The theory’s legit.

The Deathly Hallows is a microcosm of the series

One Tumblr user noticed a remarkable correlation between the final book in the series – and the entire series altogether. Near the climax of the story, Harry, Ron and Hermione are charging about like headless chickens… and reliving each of the unique challenges of the previous six books.

First, they’re chased by an ugly monster and hide (like in The Philosopher’s Stone), then a bunch of eight-legged freaks turn up (like The Chamber of Secrets), then a werewolf pops up (like in The Prisoner of Azkaban), then dementors descend upon them (like The Goblet of Fire), then their pals come to the rescue (like in The Order of the Phoenix), then they come across Snape (like in The Half-Blood Prince). Get all that? Phew!

Rita Skeeter is J.K. Rowling

At the end of the saga, journalistic hack Rita Skeeter is banished from the wizarding world for repeatedly fabricating her stories. Logic dictates that she would emigrate to the kingdom of Muggles and continue earning her crust the only way she knows how – through writing tall tales!

A sharp-eyed Reddit user claimed that Skeeter is in fact J.K. Rowling, and that the whole Harry Potter saga is 100% true. Indeed, the only reason she hasn’t been incarcerated by the Ministry of Magic is that her tales are so fantastical, no one believes her. Rita = Rowling = Cassandra.

Ron is Dumbledore. Dumbledore is Ron!

An oldie, but a goodie. This theory from 2004 highlights the physical resemblance between Ron and Dumbledore, their shared love of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans, their similar tactics when playing chess and a whole host of other hidden symbols and Easter eggs, all of which suggest that Dumbledore got hold of a time machine and came back to befriend Harry as a young whipper-snapper. Preposterous? Yes. Impossible? Nope.

What do you reckon?


Jonny Sweet

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