When one book series is as unbelievably huge and successful as Harry Potter, it's only natural that certain fans might find themselves... inspired to look beyond the actual text. Fan theories on the Wizarding World abound. Some of them are mind-blowing, or mildly interesting, or even heart-warming. And some of them are just... really out there. So if you're looking for the most absurd Harry Potter theories, here you go.
Now, look, I'm not here to theory-shame anyone. If you want to go through life believing that Gilderoy Lockhart has Veela blood, or that Neville had the wrong wand, or that Sirius Black is Stubby Boardman, that's fine. That's not hurting anyone. But I think we can acknowledge that some fan theories sound like they were plucked straight from the pages of the Quibbler. Like, I can buy the whole theory about why Harry's class size is so small. But I'm not prepared to believe that Fawkes is Dumbledore's Horcrux, or that George Weasley went on to become Willy Wonka (guys, you know that those characters don't even exist in the same fictional universe, right? Guys?).
We can suspend our disbelief when it comes to witches and wizards living in modern day England. But there are some absurd (and kind of popular) fan theories that are just a little hard to buy:
1. Ron is Dumbledore
This one's been kicking around the internet for years. The theory goes that Ron Weasley is a young, time-traveling Albus Dumbledore. The evidence is that Dumbledore seems to know EVERYTHING about what Harry gets up to, that Ron and Dumbledore barely interact throughout the series, and that... they both like sweets, I guess? But unfortunately for Ronbledore truthers, J.K. already weighed in on this one.
2. Ginny tricked Harry into loving her
Poor Ginny. She went from awkward little sister to sexy, self-confident jock, but some people still insist that she bewitched Harry into falling for her by slipping him a love potion. Apparently, Harry's feelings towards her are purely brotherly before The Half Blood Prince, and then suddenly everyone's using potions on each other all the time, and Harry's crushing on Ginny. I think the only "magic" at work there was puberty, but if you say so...
Ok, OK, I know a lot of people are super into this theory. I don't think it's absurd to suggest that there are parallels between Dumbledore and Death from The Tale of Three Brothers. He gives Harry an invisibility cloak, just like Death. He had the stone and the wand, too. I just think it's a little absurd to suggest that Dumbledore is LITERALLY death incarnate (I mean.... he does die).
4. The Dursleys were victims of Horcrux hate
Now here's a theory that's pretty hard to swallow. The idea is that Horcruxes make people grumpy, right? Ron's a little snot after wearing that locket all the time, anyway. And Harry's a Horcrux. So he's the reason that the Durselys are garbage people. Except... Ron and Hermione spent every waking second with Harry, and they're not monsters. Even the fan who created the theory admitted that it was meant as a joke — they never meant to suggest that Harry was responsible for the Durselys being abusive guardians.
5. Crookshanks is somebody important
Once you breach the underworld of weird Harry Potter theories, there's a surprising amount of Crookshanks action. Some people think that Crookshanks is Regulus Black in animagus form. And he just... never becomes human again, even after Voldemort's defeated, I guess? He just likes being a cat now? Another theory is that Crookshanks used to belong to Lily and James, which holds a little more water (Lily mentions a cat in her letter, at least). But then there's the theory that Crookshanks is Lily Potter, which just... sorry, but no.
6. Draco Malfoy is a werewolf
On the one hand, there are some pretty solid coincidences to back up the idea that Draco Malfoy is a werewolf. But on the other hand... what? Yes, he's pale and sickly when he's all stressed about his assignment to kill Dumbledore, and yes, he knows Fenrir Greyback. But if he was actually a werewolf, I feel like that little detail would have made it into the book.
7. J.K. Rowling is Rita Skeeter
I love this theory, because it assumes that Hogwarts and Harry Potter are for real. Basically, Rita Skeeter gets fired for being an unregistered animagus, and decides to out the Wizarding World as revenge. But her books are treated as beloved fiction instead of fact, so she just decides to enjoy the wealth and fame under her pseudonym of J.K. Rowling. It's a little far-fetched, but that's just want Rita would want you to think.
8. Harry and Hermione are siblings
Some passionate Potterhead has gone into a lot of detail on why Harry and Hermione might be brother and sister. Most of the evidence seems to hinge on the fact that they're not romantically involved with each other (because we all know that your siblings are the only people you're not attracted to). And the theory suggests that Hermione knows she's Harry's secret older sister... so why wouldn't she just tell him?
9. Harry is immortal
This one's actually pretty creepy. The theory is that the prophecy, "either must die at the hand of the other," means that Voldemort is the only person who can kill Harry. So, now that Voldemort's dead, Harry is immortal. So Harry just gets to grow old while all his loved ones die... pretty bleak.
10. McGonagall is a Death Eater
Yeah... most of this theory is based on the fact that in the first book, when Dumbledore meets up with cat-McGonagall, she narrows her eyes at him. Hence, she's unhappy to meet him. Hence Death Eater. Why do we live in a world full of Snape apologists, and yet McGonagall stands accused of Death Eating??
11. Snape is Harry's real dad
NO. Just, no. The best part of this theory is how angry it makes most fans. I mean... people are freaking out about how Harry looks so much like James all the time? And Lily would never sleep with Snape?? A better theory would be that Snape is a greasy adult virgin, because he never got over his obsession with Lily.
12. Harry hallucinated everything
How's this for the most depressing fan theory ever? Little Harry went insane from being shut up in that cupboard all the time, and he invented a fantasy world where he was a wizard, and could be whisked away to a magical boarding school. Sad... but also pretty solidly absurd, since there isn't a shred of evidence anywhere to back it up. But hey, if you enjoy crying for fun, believe it all you want.
Images: Warner Bros, Giphy (13)