It is 20 years since Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone was first released for public consumption.
Since that heady, momentous day, the series has gone on to dominate popular culture in hitherto unprecedented fashion. J.K. Rowling released seven truly astonishing books that managed to capture the imagination of children and adults alike, whipping them up into an effervescent, coruscating glow that still shows no signs of abating all these years later.
Rowling’s books have transcended the boundaries of genre and form to become almost universally adored, and though Harry’s story has come to an end, it is a glowing testament to the book’s enduring appeal that the wizarding world remains as fiercely discussed, dissected and coveted 20 years after its conception.
While Rowling covered an astonishing amount of ground in her seven Potter books, there are, inevitably, some stones that were left relatively unturned by the wordsmith. In that sense, she is a victim of her own success; so voracious is our appetite for extra nuggets of information, so vivid is the picture of our minds’ eye, that there can never be too much Potter for fans to digest.
This endless pursuit of new intricacies has culminated in a dizzying array of fan theories that attempt to explain or add colour to the Potter series, and while some are a little far-fetched, others are works of pure Potter genius. In no particular order, here are some of the very best.
1. Harry Potter and the reason Neville Longbottom struggled with magic
Neville Longbottom was a notoriously lumpen wizard in his younger and more vulnerable years, prone to hapless blunders and embarrassing acts of self implosion that rendered the cumbersome youth a consistent laughing stock in the storied corridors of Hogwarts. Much of his struggles were blamed by his teachers on his quivering personality and complete lack of self confidence, but what if there was another reason for Longbottom’s magical misfortune?
Any Potter fan worth their salt will know that the wand chooses the wizard, but Neville just so happened to choose his own wand himself, adopting his father, Frank Longbottom’s wand. The theory is given weight by the upward trajectory of Neville’s magical prowess following his procurement of a new wand after Dolohov broke his father’s during the battle at the Department of Mysteries. Neville continues to confound us all.
2. Harry Potter and the Horcrux that made the Dursleys hate him
A rather neat theory expounds that Harry’s own status as the Horcrux Voldemort never intended to make could explain the Dursley’s awful treatment of him as a child.
We know, of course, that being in possession of a Horcrux for any period of time profoundly effects the mood of those carrying it; see Ron’s frequent temper tantrums whilst carrying the locket as evidence for this. Could this be the reason for the Dursley’s frankly horrendous treatment of Harry, then? Placed in a never ending bad mood by Harry the Horcrux?
Of course, there is the less romantic notion that Petunia – and by osmosis, Vernon – fiercely resent magic and all of its trappings due to her intense jealousy of her sister, Lily, and her magical talents. That they passed such jaundice onto their son is explanation for Dudley’s many shortcomings.
3. Harry Potter and the Boy Who Lived Forever
In the wake of dreadful loss, destruction and pain, Harry emerges a family man, who is to all intents and purposes the recipient of a keenly deserved happy ending. That’s one reading of the denouement of the Potter series, anyway.
Another is an altogether more wretched affair, and it is based on the words of Sybil Trelawney’s famous prophecy, “Neither can live while the other survives”. While rationalised in the books as a mechanism by which Harry must kill, or be killed, by Lord Voldemort, another reading would suggest that Harry, in vanquishing the one he must die at the hands of, has achieved immortality.
While at face value this might not seem so regrettable an inference, when one considers the implications; that Harry would never be reunited with his parents in death, this is perhaps the most tragic denouement imaginable for the Boy Who Lived.
4. Harry Potter and the Half-Kneazle Cat
Crookshanks. The flat faced, ill-tempered feline companion of Hermione Granger, who delighted and disarmed (almost literally) all at Hogwarts.
The object of Ron’s loathing, largely due to his relentless pursuit of Scabbers, Crookshanks is much more than a common garden cat, one theory would have you believe. In fact, Crookshanks is theorised as being half Kneazle; a highly intelligent, magical breed of cat. Somewhat excitingly, this theory has been legitimised by Rowling herself, who confirmed that Crookshanks was indeed half Kneaze on her website. This must account for the cat’s sixth sense regarding Peter Pettigrew; rendered in obscuro as Scabbers. Good for you, Crookshanks.
5. Harry Potter and the Centaurs Who Knew the Ending
A fascinating theory, one Quora user pontificates that the Centaurs of the Forbidden Forest might have known Harry’s fate from the very beginning. During Potter’s first meeting with Firenze – who rescues him in the Forbidden Forest, following a death-defying encounter with Lord Voldemort in his rudimentary ghostly form – the Centaur is chastised by his fellow kind for interfering in Harry’s fate.
Of course, Harry eventually met his maker – albeit briefly – when Lord Voldemort cursed him in the Deathly Hallows book, so perhaps it was written in the stars that he would meet with deathly consequences. If so, it would appear that the Centaurs knew, right from the start.
The post 8 Harry Potter Fan Theories That Will Change Your Life Forever appeared first on Viral Thread.