J.K. Rowling Just Debunked Two Harry Potter Fan Theories

Oct 02, 2015

Call them the theories that lived. The Harry Potter saga officially ended years ago, but fan theories about the magical world continue to thrive on the Internet—at least until J.K. Rowling shuts them down.

The author has no qualms about engaging with readers' many interpretations or offering new details that change fans' understanding of the books. In fact, she said the idea that Dumbledore is actually Death was "a beautiful theory [that] fits" the books in August. But she's also not afraid to tell you when you're flat-out wrong, as she did Friday with a few quick tweets. Sorry, guys—Ron is not Dumbledore, and Draco Malfoy is not a vampire, despite the evidence you amassed.

Harry Potter
Warner Bros.

"All Was Not Well" (aka Harry hallucinated everything)

Some conspiracy theorists have posited that Harry, who is deprived food by his aunt and uncle in the first book, hallucinated the entire story as he was starving in the cupboard under the stairs. This might seem like the Dementor of all theories — because it sucks all light and happiness out of the series — but J.K. Rowling addressed these ideas herself in a 2012 video that accompanied a box set of the movies. Steve Kloves, a screenwriter for the film series, said he invented a spider who Harry would talk to in the cupboard. “The point was that he seemed slightly mad…so when Hagrid appeared, you thought he was out of his imagination for a minute,” Kloves says on the video. “I think that’s a fabulous point and that speaks so perfectly to the books,” Rowling responds. “Because I’ve heard it suggested to me more than once, that Harry actually did go mad in the cupboard and that everything that happened subsequently was some sort of fantasy life he developed to save himself.”

She says suggested, at least, not acknowledging that it is, in fact, true.

Harry Potter Stars JK Rowling Birthday
Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley and Jessie Cave as Lavender Brown in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince released on July 16, 2005.Warner Bros.

Ron Is a Time Traveler (aka Ron is Dumbledore)

In 2004, while many were still rereading Order of the Phoenix and eagerly awaiting the Prisoner of Azkaban movie, someone on a Harry Potter forum was blogging about the fact that Ron was really a time-traveling version of Dumbledore, or vice versa. This can get confusing, so get your quills ready.

“If the chess game in [Sorcerer’s Stone] is a metaphor for the series as a whole, and the pieces the characters play a metaphor for their roles in the series, how do we reconcile the fact that Ron Weasley plays, not only the role of the Knight, but also that of the King — the same role played by Albus Dumbledore in the larger war? Pretty simple, really — Albus Dumbledore is Ron Weasley.” The theorist proceeds to explain that the characters also have an uncanny resemblance (Dumbledore’s long fingers, Ron’s large hands) and a love of sweets (“When we first meet Dumbledore he offers a lemon sherbet to Professor McGonagall. When we first meet Ron he introduces Harry to the wonderful world of wizarding candy”). The fan also thinks Latin meaning (a running theme in the book) of the word 'bin' is significant: “In OotP, Draco composes a lovely song — Weasley is Our King. If that isn't foreshadowing, I don't know what is. One line in particular is given significance by Draco. He is heard singing it loudly during the game by Harry, and Draco later quotes it in italics — born in a bin. While Draco likes to make fun of Ron's poverty, the phrase has a double meaning. 'Bin' is also a prefix meaning 'double' or 'two' — think 'binary.' Was Ron 'born' twice? Leading a double life? Is Draco trying to tell us something important?”

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Tom Felton, right, as Draco Malfoy in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2Warner Bros.

Draco Malfoy Is a Werewolf (And not a Death Eater)

There is actually a website dedicated to this theory. Dracamalfoyisawerewolf.com. So there’s that.

The evidence the theorists have stem from Malfoy’s character development in the later books. “Between the fifth and sixth books, directly after Lucius Malfoy has failed to retrieve the prophecy, Voldemort allows Fenrir Greyback to bite his son, Draco." They also point out that he's not a Death Eater, which we already knew. And “Voldemort says, "Maybe you can babysit the cubs," to Draco when the Death Eaters find out that Remus and Tonks are having a baby. This is a throwaway if he is not a werewolf,” write Brittany and Nick, who signed the website with a disclaimer that they “feel pretty strongly about this theory.”

Brittany and Nick do provide other evidence, like that Malfoy and Snape are close because Malfoy is getting Wolfsbane potion from Snape and that, maybe, Rowling will reveal this on Pottermore.

Rowling has already touched on Malfoy on Pottermore, and it’d be surprising if this was true considering Lupin and Bill's identities were never hidden, but with her imagination, anything’s possible.

Author J.K. Rowling
Author J.K. Rowling ceremoniously lights the Empire State Building in Lumos√ï colors of purple, blue and white to mark the US launch of her non-profit organization at The Empire State Building on April 9, 2015 in New York City. Cindy Ord—Getty Images

J.K. Rowling Is Rita Skeeter (aka the author straightens her hair a lot)

Here's a series of leading questions about everyone's favorite unregistered Animagus:

What if Rita Skeeter fled the wizarding world after the Battle of Hogwarts? What if she was exiled for being such a horrible journalist? And what if she just decided to write under a pseudonym (like someone else we know)? What if her topic of choice was the very wizarding world that rejected her? And what if she wrote a seven-part series about a boy wizard that concludes with the very battle she left after? Some people very much believe this could be possible.

Crookshanks is Lily Potter (aka Hermione’s cat is Harry’s mom)

A lovely Tumblr post wrapped up a handful of speculation on this theory, which posits that Crookshanks is actually Lily Potter reincarnated. Evidenced by: “The red hair, the green eye’s i mean coincidence?” and that “Crookshanks was always trying to get Scabbers” (née Peter Pettigrew).

There’s even Crookshanks as Lily fan fiction called “The Mother Who Lived.”

Hermione Granger Time Turner Harry Potter
Warner Bros. Pictures

Harry and Hermione Are Siblings (aka that one Horcrux scene just got weirder)

In 2005, an intrepid reader hit up a Harry Potter forum to display a radical theory: Hermione is the hidden, secret daughter of James and Lily. Here's the evidence:

  1. “Hermione’s overall behavior with Harry…sometimes, they also finish each other’s sentences (not unlike Fred and George.)”
  2. “When she read Rita Skeeter’s article “Harry Potter’s Secret Heartache,” she was rather amused.”
  3. “Hermione really knew a bit too much about the wizarding world - and particularly about Harry Potter — when she first arrived at Hogwarts.”
Harry Potter Dumbledore Deathly Hallows
Warner Bros. Pictures

Dumbledore Is Actually Death (aka “Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”)

This theory caused an uproar recently, when a 2014 Tumblr post about The Tale of the Three Brothers made the rounds. The wizard fairy tale follows the Peverell Brothers as they receive rewards for cheating Death: the unbeatable Elder Wand; the Resurrection Stone that brings people back from the dead; and the Invisibility Cloak, which conceals its user. These three items are often referred to as The Deathly Hallows, hence the name of the final book.

The theory says that Voldemort is the oldest brother, murdered in his bed by someone who sought the Elder Wand. Snape is seen as the middle brother, who was driven to suicide after resurrecting the girl “he had once hoped to marry, before her untimely Death.” Harry would be the youngest brother, who escapes Death with the cloak until giving it to his son, greeting “Death as an old friend” and going with him gladly. The Tumblr user, though, posits that Dumbledore is Death. “He greeted Harry at King’s Cross and was the one behind Snape and Voldemort’s death….He’s the one who gave Harry the invisibility cloak too…And he had the stone and the wand too.”

harry potter dursleys
Warner Bros.

The Dursleys Are Angry Because Harry Is a Horcrux (aka Regardless, Still Okay He Blew Up Aunt Marge)

So, this one could potentially make a lot of sense. A Tumblr post that made its way to Reddit had a very specific theory about Harry's relatives:

"The Dursleys were just minding their own business when a horcrux was dumped on their doorstep. For the next decade it proceeded to warp their minds, turning them from your garden variety insufferable human beings into horrible, heartless monsters. The fact that they survived such prolonged horcrux exposure without delving into insanity or abandoning a helpless child only solidifies their place among the pantheon of noble and virtuous heroes in the Harry Potter universe."

But let's not go calling the Dursleys heroes, please. After all, Rowling did say that Harry wasn't actually a Horcrux:

"Voldemort never went through the grotesque process that I imagine creates a Horcrux with Harry. I suppose it's very close to being a Horcrux, but Harry did not become an evil object. He didn't have curses upon him that the other Horcruxes had. He himself was not contaminated by carrying this bit of parasitic soul."

11 Real-Life Harry Potter Destinations You Can Visit

Salem Witch Museum in Salem, Mass. 'Potter' fans may not be able to pay a visit to Olivander's Wand Shop in real life, but Wynott's Wands will get them pretty close. Visitors say that the teeny shop feels just like something out of J.K. Rowling's imagination, and is located in the magical capital of America: Salem, Mass.
Salem Witch Museum in Salem, Mass. 'Potter' fans may not be able to pay a visit to Olivander's Wand Shop in real life, but Wynott's Wands will get them pretty close. Visitors say that the teeny shop feels just like something out of J.K. Rowling's imagination, and is located in the magical capital of America: Salem, Mass.Getty Images
Salem Witch Museum in Salem, Mass. 'Potter' fans may not be able to pay a visit to Olivander's Wand Shop in real life, but Wynott's Wands will get them pretty close. Visitors say that the teeny shop feels just like something out of J.K. Rowling's imagination, and is located in the magical capital of America: Salem, Mass.
A game during the Quidditch World Cup in Myrtle Beach, S.C. on April 5, 2014. It may have originated as a magical sport, but Quidditch has made its way to the muggle world. And thanks to a number of seriously devoted Potter fans, you can attend the Quidditch World Cup, just like Ron, Harry, and Hermione did in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The good news is that unlike in the book, the real-life Quidditch World Cup is held annually, in April – this year in South Carolina.
The Millennium Bridge in London. If you're traveling to London, a stop by the Millennium Bridge is necessary for all visitors – but especially Potter fans. In 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,' readers learn that the bridge was destroyed by Death Eaters sent by Voldemort. In reality, the bridge still stands today, and is the perfect path from St. Paul's Cathedral to the Tate Modern.
The London Zoo in London. The London Zoo doesn't appear on screen in 'Harry Potter' for long – but the scene it does appear in is significant. Harry communicates with a snake, later revealed to be due to his ability to speak parseltongue, which becomes a fairly significant plot throughout the series. Visit the reptile enclave at the London Zoo to see where it all began.
The Hogwarts Express
The Jacobite running by Glenfinnan Viaduct in Lochaber, Scotland. Looking for an attraction that will scratch your 'Harry Potter' sight-seeing itch and satisfy your travel companions? Try the Jacobite, a steam train that runs along the western coast of Scotland, giving travelers a gorgeous view of the Scottish countryside – and make you feel like you're riding the Hogwarts Express in real life. 'Potter' fans should keep their eyes peeled for the Glenfinnan viaduct, the 21-arched overpass that is seen in the film.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Osaka, Japan. If you don't want to cross the Atlantic but have a hankering for a day (or two!) full of 'Harry Potter,' best to head down to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, a theme park in Orlando, Fla. Parkgoers can explore Hogwarts, Hogsmeade, the Hogwarts Express and Diagon Alley, all with a butterbeer in hand.
The Grand Hall, Christ Church, Oxford University in Oxford, U.K. When it comes to 'Harry Potter,' few sights are as iconic as Hogwarts's Great Hall. In the film, young witches and wizards from each house gather around long tables for meals and ceremonial events – much like the students at Christ Church, a college at Oxford University. Visitors can get a peek at the real thing during a visit to the college – if there isn't an educational event going on, of course.
Durham Cathedral in Durham, England. Remember that snowy courtyard Harry walked through with his pet owl, Hedwig, in 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone'? You can take your own stroll through the same spot during a visit to the Durham Cathedral.
Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, England. This Medieval castle was used as a set for the fictional Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry in the first two Harry Potter films. You'll see Alnwick in familiar scenes like Harry's first broomstick flying lesson in 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone' or Ron's flying car crash in 'Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.'
The Black Park in Iver, England. Thrill seekers can find Harry Potter's Forbidden Forest come to life at the Black Park in Iver, England. The spiders, however, won't come in larger-than-life form – we hope.
Salem Witch Museum in Salem, Mass. 'Potter' fans may not be able to pay a visit to Olivander's Wand Shop in real life, b
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