A little over a couple weeks ago, a new fan theory about one of the major characters in the Harry Potter series was taking the internet by storm. And it finally made its way to the character’s creator, author J.K. Rowling.
More often than not, Rowling has to debunk wild theories or answer endless questions about whether or not she’ll write an eighth Harry Potter book, but this time she’s fully on board with the fan proposal that posits a Dumbledore as death theory, or at least as a representation of the figure as tied to the story of The Three Brothers.
If you’re playing catch-up on the theory, first refresh your memory by watching the story of The Three Brothers as told in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 with cool shadow animation:
There’s an old fan theory that has proposed that in this story, Lord Voldemort represents the first brother who asks for a wand more powerful than any other, which ends up being his downfall. Severus Snape represents the second brother, who asks for a tool to resurrect loved ones, his memories still clung to Lily Potter.
Finally, here’s the key part of the old theory: Harry Potter represents the third brother, described in the fable as a humble man who only asks to live a long happy life without the fear of Death. In the fable, Death bestows an invisible cloak upon the third brother, which protects him (but not his brothers) from his end. Harry Potter is the Boy Who Lived by cheating death. It makes perfect sense and fans have loved this theory.
Inspired by this theory, Tumblr user and Harry Potter fan harryjxmespotter believes that if we accept this association between the characters and the story of The Three Brothers, then that means Albus Dumbledore represents death. After all, in the story we hear Death searched for the third brother for years, and was only able to find him after the brother gave his cloak of invisibility to his son. When Death shows up, the third brother greets him as an old friend and went off with him gladly, departing this life, as equals.
In the movie, when Harry Potter has the killing curse shot at him, he enters the heavenly version of King’s Cross Station, and greets Dumbledore as an old friend. But instead of them both departing this life, Harry shakes the legend up by going back and living his life, cheating death one last time.
It’s a sound theory that fans have been going crazy over online, and now J.K. Rowling herself has given a seal of approval through her own Twitter profile:
Dumbledore as death. It's a beautiful theory and it fits. https://t.co/QqTQm2QnI0
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) August 21, 2015
This likely won’t be the last fan theory that surfaces online, but it’s definitely one of the better ones that we’ve heard. It must be nice to have it recognized by J.K. Rowling herself. Now if we could just get her to get cracking on an Order of the Phoenix prequel series, that would be great too.
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