We’re talking, of course, about Harry Potter – or, to give him his official title, The Boy Who Lived.
Since the release of the first novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, on 26 June 1997, the books have found immense popularity, critical acclaim and commercial success worldwide. More importantly, though, they’ve become a cultural phenomenon, with fans like ourselves obsessing over every last little detail. Which is really better, Gryffindor or Hufflepuff? (No competition: it’s Hufflepuff, and we have the proof right here). Was Hermione the true hero of the series? And is the ‘t’ on Voldemort actually silent?
On top of all the incessant questions, fans have also come up with plenty of their own theories and backstories. And a number of them tweet them out to Rowling, just because.
And so last year, when one fan asked her for her favourite fan theory, the award-winning author was all too quick to reply, admitting that it is one she has always believed in herself.
In between all of the wand waving, complicated characters, fantastical storylines and time travel, it’s a possibility that in and among this huge fantasy universe a whole new plausible theory about Dumbledore lies.
That’s right, Rowling’s hand-picked fan theory is about everyone’s favourite headmaster, Dumbledore.
“What’s your favourite fan theory?,” one user asked on Twitter.
“Dumbledore as death. It’s a beautiful theory, and it fits,” the author responded.
The theory in question really does make sense and it’s one that fans have been exploring for years now.
As all HP fans know, within the books lies the story of the Tale of Three Brothers. In the tale, three brothers come upon a river that’s too dangerous to cross. By magic, they summon a bridge and crossover, but this causes the hooded figure of death to appear.
Death is annoyed that they tried to trick him, so it does the same back to them. It offers them each a prize. The first ask for the Elder Wand, the second asks for a resurrection stone and the third asks for the invisibility cloak.
Two of the brothers die, but the third lives and passes down the invisibility cloak to his son, before greeting “death as an old friend”.
So, of course, the fan theory suggests Voldemort is the first brother, Snape is the second and the third is Harry Potter. Therefore, Dumbledore is death. And it was Dumbledore who passed the invisibility cloak from James Potter to Harry.
And then in the Deathly Hallows Part Two, Harry is shot with a killing curse and as he meets Dumbledore in King’s Cross station, Dumbledore calls him an “old friend”.
We’re on board with it, too.
Some HP fans have also exposed some of the series’ biggest plot holes, too.
This article was originally published in August 2018.
Images: Warner Bros / Getty