The Harry Potter Theory You Need to Read Before Your Halloween Binge Watch Session
As J.K. Rowling taught the world this week with the announcement that Fantastic Beasts will be turned into a five-part series, Harry Potter is never really over.
Sure, the books wrapped up in July of 2007 and the last film hit theaters over five years ago. But the story keeps on building, whether it’s through new revelations from the author or deleted scenes from the film or a coordinated attempt from movie studios to squeeze out every last drop of revenue that they can.
But the legend of Harry Potter also continues on account of the fans—they’re constantly re-reading the novels and discovering new secrets and moments and, most importantly, developing their own theories about all the intricacies of the tale.
Today Harry Potter devotees have another chance to relive the magic, thanks to a very astute Reddit user. That user was recently poring over Prisoner of Azkaban and came up with a theory that you need to hear before you launch into your inevitable 2016 edition of the annual Harry Potter movie Halloween season binge. (It’s a tradition as old as candy itself, right? At least it’s just as important).
So you’ll all recall how, at the beginning of the book, Harry is on the train back to Hogwarts when it is overtaken by dementors searching for the recently-escaped Sirius Black. They get to Harry and he passes out, having a vision of a woman screaming that is later revealed to be his mother.
That’s right: The dementors forced him to relive his worst memory: The last moments of his mother’s life. Or was it his memory?
As fans have often pointed out, it’s a little odd that Harry was the only one in the train to pass out (although that could just be due to his own personal reactions to dementors; just look at how differently people react to needles), and it’s also strangely impressive for a barely-year-old infant to have a full recollection of anything at all, even if it was the death of his mother.
Enter this theory.
According to the Reddit user, the memory that Harry views during the dementor was actually Voldemort’s worst recollection. Since they are able to see into each other’s minds, it’s possible for them to view each other’s memories in a flash, as well. While it may seem too humanizing to say that He Who Must Not Be Named would have ill feelings a murder he committed, but it’s the point at which he was closest to death.
Even more, having the dementor-caused memory of Lily’s sacrifice for her son gives Voldemort immense amounts of pain. He’s super evil, after all, and being exposed to a selfless act of love like that is going to have a very adverse effect. That’s exactly why Harry blacked out—it was the Voldemort part of him doing so.
It’s a little out there, but it certainly has merit. Plus, anytime a theory proves that Dumbledore was right all along is good enough in our book.