Wednesday, February 2, 2022

5 Officially Debunked Harry Potter Theories

If you spend enough time on Harry Potter meme pages and fan groups, you’ll see theories floating around. Some of them are inconsequential head-canons (like my house-elf theory) and some are game changing for how we view the Harry Potter franchise. And there are others that persist and periodically resurface, despite the fact that JK Rowling and Pottermore have debunked them.

The Dursleys hated Harry the horcrux

One of the ones that gets to me the most is a theory about the Dursleys. The idea is that the Dursleys hated Harry because he had a piece of Voldemort’s soul inside of him. Yes, wearing the Slytherin locket did up the angst for Ron and Harry. However, there’s one big flaw to why being around Harry the Horcrux would make the Dursleys hate him: it didn’t happen to anyone else. Put all that evidence aside, JK Rowling also officially debunked this theory.

Lockhart was hired for a laugh 

To be fair, Hagrid said Lockhart was the only one to apply for the job. But Dumbledore could have recruited someone else if he wanted to, like with Mad-Eye. Instead, Dumbledore chose bumbling, lying Gilderoy Lockhart to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts. Some people have theorized that it was to watch Lockhart flounder and get a laugh out of it. However, Gilderoy’s Pottermore profile states otherwise. In hiring him, Dumbledore knew that being in a teaching position would eventually reveal him as a fraud (and it did). But also, who’s to say Dumbledore hadn’t hoped to get a laugh out of it all in the process?

The zoo snake was Nagini

A few years back I saw this theory floating around Facebook. People claimed that the snake released in Sorcerer’s Stone was actually Nagini, Voldemort’s pet snake. On the contrary we know the zoo snake was bred in captivity, In contrast, Crimes of Grindewald showed us that Nagini used to be human (presumably not bred in captivity). And JK Rowling shot this one down too.

It was all a dream

Wizard of Oz-like “it was all a dream” endings are not unheard of. But how depressing would that be? What? Harry dies at Voldemort’s hand in Deathly Hallows and wakes up at Privet Drive? Again, JK Rowling tossed this one out. Plot twists like this cheapen the story (how mad would you have been if she ended the series this way?). The few times it works, like Wizard of Oz or Alice in Wonderland, I’d have to return the waking person to safety… not to an abusive home.

Snape genuinely cared about Harry

This one is more of a general belief than a theory. Ever since JK Rowling redeemed him through his flashbacks in Deathly Hallows, Snape has been viewed as a hero ever since (and rightly so) and his love for Lily has been romanticized. In reality, he was kind of an awful human. Yes, he loved Lily (which is kinda creepy by the end, holding her dead body), but that doesn’t mean he loved Harry. He was perfectly fine with whatever happened to James and Harry, if only Lily was alive. I maintain that Snape was a hero, but he isn’t a saint.

In addition to these, there are plenty of other theories that should never hit Facebook again. But alas, I’m sure I’ll continue to see them pop up on my feed until the day social media dies. In the meantime, I’m just going to keep scrolling past the garbage.

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