You might remember this week that J.K. Rowling revealed to us, via Twitter, her favorite Harry Potter fan theory.
If you don't know what she's talking about, in short, Voldemort, Snape, and Harry parallel the Peverell brothers who owned the Deathly Hallows, and Professor Dumbledore acts as Death throughout the series.
It's a pretty interesting one and, as Rowling states, it fits into the storyline fairly seamlessly. But given seven books and an astoundingly dedicated army of Potterheads, there are tons of other fantastic fan theories out there.
Here are three of the most popular Harry Potter fan theories (summarized versions, at least) that I also think deserve to be recognized:
Arthur Weasley was under the Imperius Curse during the first Wizarding War
It has always been believed that, while many people not under the Imperius curse during Voldemort's rise to power lied about it after his downfall, there were still a few people who had genuinely been affected by the spell. This theory states that Arthur Weasley may have been one of these people.
We already know that the first time Voldemort became more powerful he was able to infiltrate the ministry. When he was just a young Ministry worker, Arthur would have made an easy target for the Death Eaters. The author(s) behind this theory states:
Voldemort's organization sought to make use of the ministry's younger and more vulnerable workers, people who had access to documentation but were not likely to be under very close supervision. We see evidence of that in Ludo Bagman's trial, also in the Pensieve chapter.
It seems quite likely to me that they would have achieved this end not only by deceiving the gullible (as with Bagman), but also through judicious use of the Imperius Curse. In fact, Crouch/Moody implies as much in Chapter 14 of GoF, when he says: "Gave the Ministry a lot of trouble at one time, the Imperius Curse."
In Alastor Moody's Defense Against the Dark Arts class where he taught his students about unforgivable curses, when he asks who knows one Ron's hand goes up first to identify the Imperius curse:
'Ah, yes,' said Moody appreciatively. 'Your father would know that one. Gave the Ministry a lot of trouble at one time, the Imperius Curse.'
Furthermore, we are also made aware that the Weasley family is particularly predisposed to being vulnerable to the Imperius curse. After "Professor Moody" performed the curse on Ron in DADA, he suffered from lingering effects, more so than any of his classmates.
Also, Ginny is pretty susceptible to the effects of Tom Riddle's diary. Granted, it was a Horcrux, but none of the Weasley children are weak-willed enough to be more affected than any other children.
This theory is further proved by Arthur Weasley's ardent dislike of Lucius Malfoy. Not only does Malfoy take for pretty much the exact opposite stance towards Muggles as Arthur, he also gained acquittal after the first Wizarding War after claiming to have been turned to the dark side by the Imperius curse.
If Arthur had really been a true victim of this Unforgivable Curse, I imagine he might not have taken kindly to someone using this excuse.
This is an especially thorough fan theory and there's plenty more evidence worth looking at if you care to read about it!
To read more evidence behind this theory visit Skelkins.com.
Neville was simply using the wrong wand the whole time
For the first few books in the series, Neville Longbottom was a smart young wizard with the will to do well, but little of the skills necessary to reach his potential. In Order of the Phoenix, readers learned that the wand Neville had been using at Hogwarts thus far actually belonged to his father, Frank Longbottom. As any fan of the series knows, the wand chooses the wizard.
Imagine the first couple of wands Harry tested out at Ollivanders, that ended in somewhat disastrous results. Furthermore, when Harry was using the Snatcher's blackthorn wand after his had broken, the spells he was casting weren't sticking as well as they usually would:
Harry looked down at the blackthorn wand. Every minor spell he had cast with it so far that day had seemed less powerful than those he had produced with his phoenix wand. The new one felt intrusively unfamiliar, like having somebody else's hand sewn to the end of his arm.
It stands to reason that if the wand a wizard is using isn't one that "chose" them specifically, it won't work as well as it could. One could argue that it worked sufficiently enough - similar to Ron using Charlie's old wand - maybe because he was Frank's son.
Still, when Neville Longbottom's wand was broken at the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, he had to get a new one from Ollivander's. Presumably, a wand that chose him and perfectly met his needs.
From that point forward, we saw a substantial increase in Neville's magic and he was finally living up to his potential, even going so far as to battle some of the most powerful dark wizards of the time. I'm sure that Neville's age and education also helped him become a better wizard, but perhaps having a wand of his own gave him just the kickstart he needed.
To read more evidence behind this theory visit Harrypottertheory.blogspot.
Harry is immortal
This theory by HPWombat is a little thinner and takes a bit of imagination, but it's a pretty interesting one. I'm not saying it's true, but it's definitely a well thought out concept. Since I can't put it into better words than have already been done by the theorist, I'm just going to leave their work here:
This theory would also give another reason as to why Voldemort so deeply obsessed with killing Harry.
Not only could Harry have been his downfall, but had he succeeded in killing him he would be immortal.
Whether or not you think any of these are believable is entirely subjective. Regardless, we should commend all of the smart and perceptive people that were able to take these tiny bits of information and weave them into such intricate theories.
Plus, without their hard work we wouldn't be able to have such a lively debate about it!
If you don't agree about how much they make sense, at least we can appreciate how much effort went into thinking them up! And dammit if Harry Potter isn't about inspiring us to use our imaginations, right?