Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows answered many of the lingering questions about the series, while also raising a few new ones. The fact that Deathly Hallows was the final book in the series led many fans to believe that their questions would never be answered – unless J. K. Rowling ever got around to writing her promised encyclopedia of the series. The Harry Potter series did not end as planned, though, as Pottermore revealed new information about the setting in an online space, while The Cursed Child and the new series of prequel movies (starting with Fantastic Beasts) offered fans glimpses into the past and future of the setting. J. K. Rowling has also become a prominent figure on Twitter, where she has answered questions about the Harry Potter setting to fans around the world.
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The new pieces of Harry Potter media have answered some of the lingering questions about the original books, but there are still a few things that fans don’t know about the world of magic and wizards. Harry Potter fans have had time to come up with their own explanations for what really happened during the events 0f the story.
Updated on June 20th, 2022 by George Chrysostomou: The Wizarding World continues to expand with the release of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore enriching the canon, and with it so too do the rumors and fan theories that try to fill out this complex fictional landscape. With so many to break down and more getting invented with each passing release, these confirmed and potential theories really explain some interesting details about Harry Potter’s universe.
Confirmed Harry Potter Fan Theories
Azkaban Was A Way Of Containing The Dementors
The witches and witches who are caught committing crimes in the United Kingdom will be sent to Azkaban, which was guarded for the longest time by the Dementors. The Dementors feed on the souls of the living and spread despair with their mere presence, which was why they were chosen to guard Azkaban. Dementors attacked Muggles in Order of the Phoenix, which led some fans to speculate that Azkaban may exist in order to keep the Dementors in one place and prevent them from running rampant in cities.
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Pottermore confirmed this theory with a page on Azkaban, which stated that the real reason Dementors were kept as the guards of Azkaban for so long was so that they could be confined, as they were being provided with souls. This means that Azkaban was as much a prison for the Dementors as it was for the inmates.
Voldemort Created More Horcruxes Than Initially Thought
One of the unanswered questions of the Harry Potter series involves the process behind creating a Horcrux. All that’s known so far is that it requires the loss of a human life and an object to contain a piece of the soul that had been sundered, but J. K. Rowling has made it clear that there is more involved when a Horcrux is made. The mystery behind the method of creating a Horcrux led many fans to speculate that Voldemort had created more Horcruxes than Dumbledore ever realized.
Pottermore finally proved that this theory was real when it revealed that Professor Quirrell was a temporary Horcrux and that Voldemort’s presence in his body was corrupting him from the inside out. It’s possible that Voldemort may have created many similar temporary Horcruxes during his exile adding to a much-talked-about Harry Potter theory.
Lycanthropy Is A Metaphor For HIV
Werewolves are a real thing in the Harry Potter universe and many witches and wizards are afraid of being bitten by one, lest they transform into a feral beast at the arrival of the full moon. A lot of Harry Potter fans noticed the parallels between lycanthropy and the treatment of those with HIV in the real world. Remus Lupin is denied many of the opportunities of his fellow wizards due to his condition and can’t even find a job, due to the persistent superstitions that surround his disease.
J. K. Rowling confirmed the connection between lycanthropy and HIV during the Lexicon Book court case, but it didn’t become widely known until it was mentioned in a series of e-books that gathered the information from Pottermore.
The Baby That Harry Saw In Limbo Was Voldemort’s Fate In The Afterlife
When Harry arrives in Limbo after being struck down by Voldemort in The Deathly Hallows, he witnesses a mutilated baby that is writhing in pain. It’s never explained in the story who the child was, but some fans suspected that it was related to Voldemort, as he was also unconscious during the period of time when Harry was in Limbo.
J. K. Rowling revealed on her old website that the baby was Voldemort, or rather, it was the last piece of his wounded soul that still existed. Voldemort had damaged his soul so much by creating all of the Horcruxes that a terrible fate awaited him in the afterlife. The movie version of The Deathly Hallows makes this connection a little more clear, as the baby has a strong resemblance to Voldemort.
Hermione Smelled Ron’s Hair In Slughorn’s Potion
Horace Slughorn left a far better first impression when he took over the role of Potions Master from Severus Snape since he wasn’t a jerk who picked on his students. Slughorn showed his class a range of interesting potions to pique their interest in potion-making, one of which was a powerful love potion called Amortentia.
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Those who smell Amortentia will pick up their favorite scents, as Hermione demonstrated in Half-Blood Prince. Hermione stops herself from revealing the last of her favorite smells and seemed embarrassed by what she was about to say. When the Harry Potter series concluded, J. K. Rowling revealed that Hermione’s secret favorite scent was actually Ron’s hair, which would have spoiled her attraction to him a book early if she had accidentally said it out loud.
Dudley Became More Compassionate Due To His Encounter With The Dementor
Dudley Dursley tormented Harry throughout their childhood together, which was prompted by the abusive attitude of his parents. When Dudley shows up for the last time in The Deathly Hallows, he is a changed man. Dudley has suddenly become worried about the well-being of Harry and has developed a degree of compassion that he had never demonstrated before.
Dudley had previously encountered a Dementor in Order of the Phoenix and felt their dread firsthand. This led fans to speculate that meeting a Dementor had prompted the change in Dudley’s personality. J. K. Rowling confirmed that Dudley had indeed been changed by his encounter with the Dementor, as their power caused him to see himself for what he truly was – a heartless bully. It was this meeting that helped Dudley to become a better person within the Harry Potter theory.
The Chamber Of Secrets Was Protected By Other Descendants Of Salazar Slytherin
Salazar Slytherin constructed the Chamber of Secrets during his lifetime, which was meant to be a safe place for secrets to be passed down to his descendants. Tom Riddle was just one of the many people who discovered the secret of the chamber during their time at Hogwarts.
One question that perplexed fans was how the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets could involve the plumbing within Hogwarts, as Salazar Slytherin built it long before toilets and sinks were invented. This led some fans to suggest that the other descendants of Slytherin continued to add to the Chamber to protect its location. The entry about the Chamber of Secrets on Pottermore confirmed this theory by stating that Corvinus Gaunt (a student at Hogwarts) ensured that the Chamber could still be accessed when plumbing had been placed on top of it.
Harry Didn’t Name One Of His Kids Remus Because He Was Saving The Name For Teddy
Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley had three children together, who were named James Sirius Potter, Lily Luna Potter, and Albus Severus Potter. Harry and Ginny named their children after people who were important to them, but the fans noticed a significant name that was missing – Remus Lupin.
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One possible theory behind the absence of Remus’ name in the Potter family was that Harry was leaving it free for Teddy Lupin to use for his future children. This theory was confirmed by J. K. Rowling on Twitter. It’s easy to think that Harry and Ginny would try and squeeze out one more kid, just so they could name him Hagrid Remus Potter and complete the set.
Magic Is Genetic & Is Just Like Midi-Chlorians
J. K. Rowling was careful to avoid creating set boundaries on the effects of magic, so as to keep it mysterious and unpredictable. It seems like there is a lot more science going on behind the scenes in the Harry Potter universe than fans originally realized, as J. K. Rowling has confirmed that genetics play a part in determining whether someone is a wizard or not.
The idea of magic genes had been floating around since the days of Chamber of Secrets, as fans connected magical DNA to the existence of Squibs within the story. J. K. Rowling has confirmed that magical genes exist and that they can emerge in anyone, including the descendants of Squibs and Muggles. She had originally planned for Dudley Dursely’s kids to be witches and wizards but decided that Uncle Vernon’s genetics were too strong for magic to ever emerge in his bloodline.
Godric Gryffindor Needed A Sword For Fighting Muggles
Magical swords are a fixture of fantasy stories, which is partly why the Sword of Godric Gryffindor appears in the Harry Potter series. It’s never explained in the story why Gryffindor needed a sword in the first place, as a magic wand is far more useful than a mere blade, no matter how durable it is.
One suggestion put forward by the fans was that Gryffindor used the sword whenever he needed to fight Muggles in public, as he could use swordplay to cover the fact that he was using magic. Pottermore confirmed this theory with the revelation that wizards often carried conventional weapons in the period before the International Statute of Secrecy was put into effect, as using magic against a Muggle was considered to be unsporting.
Ariana Dumbledore Was An Obscurial
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows revealed that Albus Dumbledore had a younger sister named Ariana. The details of Ariana’s life are murky in the books – all that’s revealed is that she was mentally scarred following an incident with some Muggle children and that she wasn’t able to control her magical abilities.
The first Fantastic Beasts movie revealed the existence of Obscurials, which are witches and wizards that contain a parasitic magical force inside of them that is brought out when they are forced to repress their abilities thus adding to the Harry Potter theories surrounding her. the third Fantastic Beasts movie delves a little further into Ariana and her death, with Dumbledore revealing that she was, in fact, an Obscurial.
Harry Potter Fan Theories That Should Be Confirmed
The Mysterious Doorway Was A Means Of Executing Criminals
Harry Potter and his friends discover a mysterious doorway deep within the Ministry of Magic that seems to be an entrance to the afterlife. One of the strange things about the room in which the mysterious doorway is kept is that it reminds Harry of the courtroom within the Ministry of Magic, as it featured rows of benches that were facing toward the dais that carried the doorway.
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The resemblance between the two rooms has led many fans to believe that the doorway once acted as a means of execution, possibly in the days before the Avada Kedavra spell was discovered. It’s also possible that the execution of humans was outlawed at some point, as the Death Eaters were among the worst criminals in the wizarding world, yet they all received prison sentences.
Triwizard Tournament Participants Are Signed Up Using A Variation Of The Unbreakable Vow
One of the most frustrating unanswered questions in The Goblet of Fire is why Harry couldn’t just quit the Triwizard Tournament or just immediately concede each event as it happened. It’s stated that all participants in the Triwizard Tournament are under the effects of a “binding magical contract,” but it’s never explained what the consequences of breaking that contract are. However, it has to be worse than facing a dragon.
One possible explanation is that putting a name in the Goblet of Fire means taking part in a variation of the Unbreakable Vow spell, with the promise that they will take part in the tournament to the best of their ability or lose their life. The fact that fire is heavily involved with both the goblet and the vow is another hint that there may be a connection and it explains why Harry couldn’t just quit the Triwizard Tournament on the spot.
Dumbledore Fixed Hagrid’s Wand Using The Elder Wand
When Hagrid was expelled from Hogwarts in his third year, his wand was snapped. Hagrid would earn the right to use a wand again in the future, which was due to his role on the faculty of Hogwarts. It’s possible that Hagrid purchased a new wand at some point, but there was someone in Hogwarts with the power to fix it.
Harry used the power of the Elder Wand to fix his own wand that had been broken earlier in the story, which means that it’s possible that Albus Dumbledore fixed Hagrid’s wand using the Elder Wand in the past. Dumbledore wanted to keep his possession of the Elder Wand a secret, but he trusted Hagrid completely and Dumbledore often went out of his way to help him. Hagrid’s dodgy legal situation would also be a good excuse to ensure that Hagrid kept the deed a secret and Hagrid wasn’t learned enough to recognize the powers of the Elder Wand in the first place.
The Founders Of Hogwarts Each Reflect The Four Countries Of The United Kingdom
The four founders of Hogwarts each established the four houses of the school, all of which represented the qualities that they prized. It was the job of the Sorting Hat to put the brave in Gryffindor, the wise in Ravenclaw, the cunning in Slytherin, and those who didn’t pay their tuition fee upfront in Hufflepuff.
One prominent fan theory about the four founders of Hogwarts is that they also represent the four countries of the United Kingdom. It’s known for a fact that Godric Gryffindor was from England, Rowena Ravenclaw was from Scotland, and Helga Hufflepuff was from Wales. Their colors are also closely associated with the flags of each nation, with Hufflepuff’s yellow being related to the flag of Saint David. Salazar Slytherin’s country of origin has never been revealed, but it would make a lot of sense for him to have originated in Ireland.
Barty Crouch Jr, Bill Weasley, & Percy Weasley Used Time-Turners During Their Time At Hogwarts
It was stated in Prisoner of Azkaban that it was impossible to take all twelve O.W.L. classes, due to how the timetables worked. It was only due to the fact that Hermione was an amazing student that she was able to use a Time-Turner to try and take them all.
It has been stated that Barty Crouch Jr, Bill Weasley, and Percy Weasley acquired twelve O.W.L.s during their time at Hogwarts. This had led fans to believe that it was more common for exemplary students to receive Time-Turners than fans were led to believe. It’s likely that there is an official process for granting a Time-Turner to a student, but the teachers only ever discuss it with the rare students who can handle the workload. It makes sense that they don’t want it to become common knowledge that amazing students can be given free time machines, in order to prevent any potential abuse of the power.
Voldemort’s Rudimentary Body Was Created From Bertha Jorkin’s Unborn Child
Voldemort’s body was destroyed when his own spell bounced back on him, causing him to be reduced to a state that was worse than being a ghost. J. K. Rowling said that she told her editor how Voldemort created the rudimentary body that he had at the start of Goblet of Fire, which was so bad that it made the editor sick.
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One possible way that Voldemort was able to take on his rudimentary body was by possessing Bertha Jorkin’s unborn child. This dark fan theory suggests that Bertha Jorkins was pregnant when she was captured in Albania and that Voldemort possessed her unborn child in the same manner that he did with Quirrell, only he was able to take over the entire body due to a lack of resistance. The main reason why people believe this theory is due to the fact that Voldemort’s rudimentary body resembles a baby when Harry first sees it.
Voldemort Ruled From The Shadows Because He Was Scared Of Other Wizard Governments
One of the biggest questions that Harry Potter fans have about the final book is why the other wizarding communities in other countries never stepped in when Voldemort took power. One possible answer is that Voldemort was actually wary of international interference, which is why he had his agents running the Ministry of Magic instead of outright declaring himself the king of the wizards.
It’s possible that there is a wizard version of the Prime Directive in place, which states that any military action could only be prompted if the International Statute of Secrecy had been broken. This is why the Death Eaters portrayed their takeover as a change in regime rather than a coup. Voldemort knew that he still had enemies within Great Britain, so he may have wanted to clean house before turning his attention to the world beyond his homeland in the Harry Potter theory.
The Reason Quidditch Makes No Sense Is Due To Advances In Broom Technology
The rules of Quidditch are a constant source of contention among Harry Potter fans. Catching the Golden Snitch marks the end of a game of Quidditch and grants 150 points. This seems like a staggering amount of points compared to the 10 points someone can get when scoring using a Quaffle.
One possible answer for why Quidditch doesn’t make sense involves the changes in broom-making technology. It’s known that there are differences in the quality of brooms in the Harry Potter world, with the more expensive ones being faster. It’s possible that brooms weren’t as fast in the olden days, which meant that it took a lot longer for Seekers to catch up with the Golden Snitch. The wizarding world is just too slow at adapting to developments in the game to change the rules.
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Scott has been writing for Screen Rant since 2016 and regularly contributes to The Gamer. He has previously written articles and video scripts for websites like Cracked, Dorkly, Topless Robot, and TopTenz.
A graduate of Edge Hill University in the UK, Scott started out as a film student before moving into journalism. It turned out that wasting a childhood playing video games, reading comic books, and watching movies could be used for finding employment, regardless of what any career advisor might tell you. Scott specializes in gaming and has loved the medium since the early ‘90s when his first console was a ZX Spectrum that used to take 40 minutes to load a game from a tape cassette player to a black and white TV set. Scott now writes game reviews for Screen Rant and The Gamer, as well as news reports, opinion pieces, and game guides. He can be contacted on LinkedIn.
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