ByKarly Rayner, writer at
Movie Pilot's celebrity savant
Karly Rayner

J.K. Rowling herself seems just as enchanted with the Potterverse as her loyal band of fans, and the sentimental author just can't bring herself to totally sever the ties she has with the characters that she created and shared her life with for so many years.

Rowling is actively involved in the Potterhead community and always eager to add some new snippets to the already extensive Hogwarts mythology, but sometimes it is the fans that lead the way.

Below are some theories that emerged in the fan community that Rowling herself has either confirmed or debunked, but which one is your favorite?


1. Dumbledore Is Gay

There were plenty of whispers in the Harry Potter community (especially among queer fans) that Albus Dumbledore could be gay and, true to form, J.K. Rowling confirmed the theory back in 2007.

While speaking out to a packed Carnegie Hall, Rowling was asked if Dumbledore ever found true love and she replied:

"Dumbledore is gay."

Before adding that she wished she'd told the world earlier. Rowling also added that the wise wizard was smitten with Gellert Grindelwald, who he beat in a battle years before, she explained:

"I would have told you earlier if I knew it would make you so happy. Falling in love can blind us to an extent."

2. James Potter's Parents Died Of Dragon Pox

Sharp-eyed Redditor Obversa figured out that James Potter's parents probably died of the highly contagious dragon pox, thanks to their proximity to Draco Malfoy's grandfather who also died of the disease.

Just a few days later, J.K. Rowling herself took to Pottermore to write in depth about the origins of the Potter family where she confirmed the theory above, she wrote:

Fleamont and Euphemia [James's parents] lived long enough to see James marry a Muggle-born girl called Lily Evans, but not to meet their grandson, Harry. Dragon pox carried them off within days of each other, due to their advanced age, and James Potter then inherited Ignotus Peverell’s Invisibility Cloak.

3. Thunderbird Tails

Reddit user Obversa also managed to make some pretty spot on predictions about the use of Thunderbird Feathers in wands. Thanks to learning about Native American lore for an RPG, Obversa wrote the theory below:

In the Americas, thunderbird feather would likely replace phoenix feather as a wand core.

It would also likely be more prone to being a temperamental wand, and its magic not suited to those "faint of heart". Much like the thunderbird itself, a thunderbird core wand would likely choose a witch or wizard who is "powerful" and "intelligent". It is likely best suited towards weather charms and related enchantments, as well as offensive magic, such as that used in duelling. At Hogwarts, select future Gryffindors would be the most likely chosen wielders by thunderbird core wands. Godric Gryffindor himself would have been highly likely to have been chosen by one.

According to Wikipedia, across many North American indigenous cultures, the thunderbird carries many magical characteristics. It is described as a large, jet-black bird , capable of creating storms and thundering while it flies. Clouds are pulled together by its wing beats, the sound of thunder made by its wings clapping, sheet lightning the light flashing from its eyes when it blinks, and individual lightning bolts made by the glowing snakes that it carries around with it. In masks, it is depicted as multi-colored, with two curling horns, and, often, teeth within its beak.

The Menomini of Northern Minnesota tell of a great mountain that floats in the western sky on which dwell the thunderbirds. They control the rain and hail and delight in fighting and deeds of greatness. They are the enemies of the great horned snakes - the Misikinubik ("the Great Serpent", described as an "underwater horned serpent", also known colloquially as 'uktena') - and have prevented these from overrunning the earth and devouring mankind. They are messengers of the Great Sun himself.

Depending on the people telling the story, the thunderbird is either a singular entity or a species. In both cases, it is intelligent, powerful, and wrathful. All agree one should go out of one's way to keep from getting thunderbirds angry. The singular thunderbird (as the Nuu-chah-nulth thought of it) was said to reside on the top of a mountain, and was the servant of the Great Spirit. It was also told that the thunderbird controlled rainfall, not unlike how the augurey, "the Irish phoenix", also predicts rainfall with its cries.

Augurey feathers also repel ink, making them useless as Quill feathers. It is unknown if they are also used as wand cores.

Various wands
Various wands

Then, J.K. Rowling released the following information on Pottermore a few months later, which totally confirms the use of Thunderbird feathers in the North American magical faction:

Shikoba Wolfe, who was of Chocktaw descent, was primarily famous for intricately carved wands containing Thunderbird tail feathers (the Thunderbird is a magical American bird closely related to the phoenix). Wolfe wands were generally held to be extremely powerful, though difficult to master. They were particularly prized by Transfigurers.

4. The Origin Of Voldemort's True Nature

While the Gaunt's (his mother's wizarding side of the family) are generally blamed for Voldemort's evil tendencies, a lot of Potterheads believe that Tom Riddle Sr. is also to blame for his son's unsavory personality.

After all, Riddle was a wealthy snob who reveled in making fun of people who were different to him (the Gaunt family), before he was bewitched with a love potion by Merope Gaunt.

Although the effects of the potion wore off, Tom Riddle Sr. would have remained an arrogant elitist and many Potter fans think a suitable portion of blame should be laid on his doorstep.

Later on, Rowling confirmed that Riddle Sr. is indeed largely responsible for his insidious nature, she wrote on Pottermore that:

[Merope Gaunt’s] dying wish that the baby should resemble his father was granted. She couldn’t have known that the second Tom Riddle would go on to inherit his father’s callousness, too. It might be argued that Voldemort grew up devoid of love because his mother died for want of it, and that his father’s love was stolen rather than earned. Perhaps if he’d had any understanding of the difference between genuine love and the kind that you compel, Voldemort might have had a better grasp of its power.

5. Dumbledore Is Death

When asked what her favorite Harry Potter fan theory was, J.K. Rowling confirmed that she was totally convinced by the well-rounded idea that Dumbledore is a representation of death.

Read more about the theory HERE.


6. Ron Weasley Is A Time-Traveling Professor Dumbledore

You might have seen the theory that Ron Wesley is in fact a time-traveling, elderly wizard in disguise, but not even magic can justify this one. J.K. Rowling tweeted that:

Read more about the theory HERE.

7. Draco Malfoy was a werewolf and Professor Snape a vampire

As if wizards weren't exciting enough!

Read more about this theory HERE.

Which Harry Potter fan theory drives you the most wild?


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