Why Dementors Affect Harry Potter More Than Any Other Character In The Series

There was no feeling quite as sharp as the secondhand embarrassment we all collectively felt for Harry Potter when he was the only one of his friends to pass out after the squad's first encounter with the dementors in the third book. But all these years later, Tumblr has figured out exactly why dementors affect Harry more than other people in the books — or at the very least, they have a pretty damn compelling theory. And we have a good excuse for it taking so long to figure out, because there is no way to fully understand the heart of Harry's weakness to them without knowing some ginormous plot details from the end of the seventh book.

Tumblr user swan2swan was the first to help shape the theory, by explaining why the dementors were so bizarrely fascinated by Harry in the first place — it wasn't because he was the one they were ordered to protect, but rather because they were thirsty for souls, and Harry happened to have more than one. When he was a baby he accidentally became one of Voldemort's horcruxes, which meant that every time a dementor blindly sought out a soul, it happened to see an extremely concentrated, almost impossible amount of soul in Harry. Hence, the incident on the train and the rather embarrassing hurtling-toward-imminent-death in the middle of a Quidditch match.


This, of course, inspired other users to explain Harry's unique interactions with the dementors. For instance, the way he not only was reminded of his worst memories or the feelings of them, but actually heard his mother's last moments over and over again. It was like everyone else was listening to a dementor podcast while Harry was reliving it live in HD. Tumblr user pieandhotdogs chimed in by pointing out that Harry isn't just reliving his worst memory — he is also reliving Voldemort's worst memory. Sure, they consider it their "worst" memory each for entirely different reasons, but it's the same memory nonetheless, now magnified two-fold in Harry's thirteen-year-old brain.


And then to further twist the knife, Tumblr user arctic-hands points out that it wasn't fully Harry's memory to begin with. He was a year old when it happened; he wouldn't have remembered the exact words James said when he told Lily to take Harry and run, or the last few words Lily said pleading for Voldemort to take her life over her son's. But because they are Voldemort's worst memory, the details of it become excruciatingly clear in his head in a way they never could have been if the dementors were targeting Harry's worst memory alone.

In summation, let's all go cry into a pillow for baby Harry, because NONE OF THIS WILL EVER BE OK.

Images: Warner Bros; Giphy