Pretty much as soon as the first Harry Potter book hit the shelves back in 1997, the franchise became a worldwide phenomenon. Everyone was enthralled by JK Rowling's tales of The Boy Who Lived, and the release of each new book became an international event. Fans speculated wildly about what might happen in each new installment – how would Harry overcome Lord Voldemort? Who would live, and who would perish? Would Ron and Hermione ever just get together already? Eventually, all of these questions – and more – were answered. Between the release of each book, though, the struggle of waiting for more information was real.
A lot of the time, Harry Potter fans were able to accurately predict what would happen in the next book. A lot of people saw Sirius Black's demise coming prior to the release of Order of the Phoenix, for example. The Internet was full of rumors regarding plot lines and plot twists. Some ideas became so widely accepted that they might as well have been facts. However, not all of the most popular rumors turned out the be true. There's always been a lot of Harry Potter misinformation out there, with fans falling for lots of false facts. At times, even the media began to report these lies as confirmed truths!
Here are just some of the Harry Potter false facts that we Potterheads have believed over the years. Some are pretty easy to fall for; others are totally ridiculous. But one thing that they all are is 100% false!
Werewolves are pretty prominent creatures in the Harry Potter franchise. Harry's third-year Defence Against The Dark Arts teacher, Remus Lupin, just happens to be one. He was bitten by Fenrir Greyback, another lycanthrope who's also a Death Eater. However, you might not know that another popular Potter character was also suspected to be a werewolf. Lots of readers were convinced that Draco Malfoy's emotional fragility in Half-Blood Prince was down to his recent transformation into a wolf-man! JK Rowling herself later denied this "fact."
Everyone knows that creating a Horcrux is a downright evil process. For starters, it involves eliminating someone! While Voldemort famously created a whole host of Horcruxes, no other prominent wizard in the Harry Potter series dabbled in this questionable process.
Or did they?
For a while, a false fact made the rounds that suggested Albus Dumbledore's pet phoenix, Fawkes, was actually his Horcrux! JK Rowling apparently found this rumor so upsetting that she took the time to vehemently deny it. Dumbledore would never do such a thing!
This Harry Potter false fact is unusual in the sense that JK Rowling was the one who put it out there! Throughout the Potter series, it becomes increasingly clear that Ron and Hermione have romantic feelings for each other. This fan-favorite couple finally got together properly in Deathly Hallows, much to the excitement of readers everywhere.
They were clearly made for each other, right?
WRONG! JK Rowling herself admits that she regrets pairing Ron and Hermione off. Hermione apparently should have ended up with Harry instead. Ron and Hermione's "true love" is nothing but a lie!
If you thought Draco Malfoy being a werewolf was a ridiculous false fact, wait until you hear what Harry Potter fans have been saying about Severus Snape. A huge section of the fandom seems to be convinced that the moody Potions professor is actually a vampire. The "evidence?" He's pale and he wears a long, black cloak. That doesn't mean Snape's a vampire, guys – it just means he's a little bit emo! JK Rowling has publically quashed this rumor, but that doesn't stop some fans from still believing it to be the truth.
How could such a brave, kind, and generally awesome witch as Minerva McGonagall be a secret member of Lord Voldemort's inner circle? Well, quite easily, according to some fans! Prior to the release of Deathly Hallows, a false fact went around that suggested McGonagall’s “true” allegiance would be revealed in the final book. Apparently, McGonagall doesn't actually do anything tangible to help in the fight against Voldemort. Therefore, she must secretly be working for the Dark Lord! Needless to say, this “factual” character development was disproved when it didn’t actually happen.
Alongside Ron and Hermione, Harry and Ginny are one of the Potter franchise's power couples. What started as an unrequited crush on Ginny's part blossomed into love in Half-Blood Prince. But was this sudden shift in Harry's feelings natural, or down to some dark magic? Some Potter fans believed that Harry only fell for Ginny because she spiked him with love potions for the whole time they were together! However, this was later disproved when Harry's feelings for Ginny persisted even when they were apart for most of Deathly Hallows. Love potions only last for 24 hours, not months and months!
Now, this Harry Potter false fact can mostly be blamed on the movie version of Deathly Hallows. Lots of fans genuinely believe that Neville and Luna end up together because Deathly Hallows: Part Two shows Neville confessing his feelings for his Ravenclaw friend. However, JK Rowling has confirmed that Neville and Luna actually end up with different people! Neville marries Hannah Abbott, while Luna falls in love with Newt Scamander's grandson, Rolf. This is why movie adaptations of books should stick to the source material! It avoids a lot of confusion.
When JK Rowling first revealed back in 2013 that she was working on a Harry Potter stage play, rumors began to spread regarding the new work's subject matter. A report that stated it would be a prequel to the main book series was basically accepted as fact by a lot of Potterheads. This belief persisted even after JK Rowling stated multiple times on Twitter that the play would not, in fact, be a prequel. The poor woman was still having to deny the validity of this "false fact" years after she first challenged it.
This false fact is a particularly strange one. Apparently, Ron Weasley is secretly a time-traveling Albus Dumbledore. Yep, you read that right.
Ron and Dumbledore are allegedly the same person!
I mean, they're not, but try telling some Harry Potter fans that! Evidence to support this "fact" ranges from the fact that they're both ginger to their shared love of sweets. There's also the fact that Ron and Dumbledore are rarely seen together throughout the Harry Potter series. Yeah... We're still not buying it, guys.
Back in 2015, an article began to make the rounds online that allegedly revealed the true financial cost of studying at Hogwarts. Apparently, it added up to around $43,000 – including over $40,000 in tuition fees. Large swathes of Potter fans immediately accepted this figure as fact and were a bit shocked that Hogwarts could be such a financially steep institution to attend. However, JK Rowling soon cleared matters up. She confirmed that Hogwarts is, in fact, free to attend. You don't have to take out sky-high loans to study there!
It's time for a movie-exclusive Harry Potter false fact! At the end of Deathly Hallows: Part Two, Harry also has a heart-to-heart with his son Albus Severus, who's a bit worried about being sorted into Slytherin. After this movie was released, a false fact began to spread online regarding Albus Severus' actor. It was rumored that the same boy who played Harry's son had actually portrayed Harry as a baby in Philosopher's Stone! However, this simply isn't true. Baby Harry was played by the Saunders triplets, while Albus Severus' actor is Arthur Bowen.
Let's be real here: the way that the Dursley family treat Harry Potter is horrible. But are they just awful people, or are their terrible actions down to something else? Some Potterheads have spread a false fact that the Dursleys were only mean to Harry because he's a Horcrux.
We know that Horcruxes can make people act up.
Just look at Ron with the locket! However, JK Rowling has now stated that the Dursleys' dislike of Harry was actually down to prejudice against his father. The Horcrux has nothing to do with it.
For years, a whole host of Harry Potter fans believed that Harry's Aunt Petunia was actually a witch. Her powers were allegedly going to reveal themselves in the series' final book.
To be fair, JK Rowling added fuel to the fire of this false fact!
She claimed that a character in the franchise was going to start practicing magic late in their life, and lots of fans assumed it would be Petunia. However, as we all now know, Aunt Petunia remained a Muggle for the entirety of the Harry Potter series. She couldn't do magic after all!
Back in 2015, JK Rowling finally challenged a Harry Potter false fact that had been floating around for a while. Lots of fans had speculated that Rubeus Hagrid's Patronus would be a boarhound – the breed of his beloved dog, Fang. However, according to Rowling, Hagrid can't actually conjure a Patronus at all. It's a pretty complex spell, and since Hagrid was expelled from Hogwarts in his third year, he never learned how to do it. He didn't get that far in his magical education.
In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Hermione reveals that she's altered the memories of her parents in an attempt to protect them from Lord Voldemort and his followers. The Grangers head off to Australia, hopefully far enough away from the events of the Wizarding War to escape harm. Question is, after the war ended, did Hermione ever restore their memories of her? A false fact floated around for a while that suggested she didn't, which would be truly heartbreaking. However, JK Rowling later confirmed that the Grangers did get their memories of their daughter back. Yay!
Yeah... This particular false fact has been well and truly disproved. Back in the day, lots of Harry Potter fans believed that Professors Dumbledore and McGonagall were secretly in love. Some Potterheads thought that their relationship might be revealed in the final book. However, no such romance appeared, and JK Rowling later confirmed that Dumbledore is gay. What's more, he was once in love with one of his greatest enemies, Gellert Grindelwald. Drama alert! McGonagall, on the other hand, remained single after turning down a proposal from a Muggle man in her youth.
As we all know, each Hogwarts house has its own unique reputation. Gryffindors are brave; Hufflepuffs are loyal; Ravenclaws are smart; and Slytherins... Well, they're pretty evil. To quote Hagrid, "there's not a single witch or wizard who went bad who wasn't in Slytherin."
But is every Slytherin really that bad?
Sure, some mean characters like Tom Riddle and Draco Malfoy were sorted into that house, but it’s not fair to say that all Slytherins are automatically awful! Just look at Professors Snape and Slughorn. Sure, these characters aren’t perfect, but they're not pure evil.
We've already addressed all of the Cursed Child prequel rumors, but there's another pretty major false fact that circulated regarding this Harry Potter play. Back in 2017, a Tweet appeared that suggested Cursed Child was going to be turned into a movie. Lots of Potter fans excitedly believed and shared the message without really checking its validity.
Unfortunately, the whole thing turned out to be a hoax.
If you clicked the link to the "news report" featured in the Tweet, you were actually just Rickrolled. Well played, Internet trolls. Well played.
Have you ever noticed just how prominent snakes are in the Potterverse? Harry knows how to talk to them. Slytherin house has one as a mascot. Voldemort makes one into a Horcrux. Speaking of Nagini, a pretty major false fact exists about the Dark Lord's beloved pet serpent. Lots of fans believed that the snake that Harry spoke to – and eventually released – in the zoo in Philosopher's Stone wasn't any boa constrictor. It was Nagini! Except... It kinda wasn't. Nagini is a viper, not a boa constrictor. They're not the same snake, guys.
Remember when it turned out we'd all been pronouncing Voldemort's name wrong? Yeah... The T is supposed to be silent, in a French-style pronunciation! JK Rowling dropped this bombshell on Twitter in 2015, after years of listening to everyone say her character's name incorrectly. She could have told us all sooner! Even the movies use the popular yet totally-wrong hard-T pronunciation. To be honest, most Potter fans are probably too set in their ways at this point to switch to the "right" way of saying it. He’s going to have to be Voldemor-T forever.
As anyone who's read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows knows, Harry, Ron, and Hermione don't go back to Hogwarts with the rest of their seventh-year classmates. Instead, they skip school and go on the hunt for Horcruxes. This begs a very important question: did Hermione, the most studious member of the trio, ever get her N.E.W.T.s?
For a while, a rumor went around that she didn't!
However, JK Rowling later debunked this theory. Of course, Hermione went on to finish her education! As for Ron and Harry, though... Well, let's just say they went straight into the workforce.
Here's a question that divides a lot of Potterheads: is Draco Malfoy really a bad guy? Lots of fans would say no. For some reason, a whole section of the fandom still tries to defend Draco and his actions, despite the fact he's genuinely horrible for most of the Harry Potter series. They seem to really believe that he's actually a nice guy. However, JK Rowling has challenged this false fact multiple times! In fact, she's said it creeps her out a bit that people try to find the good in Draco. He really is a piece of work.
What if I told you that Rita Skeeter was a real person? Maybe the Harry Potter universe isn't so fictional after all? Some Potterheads have come up with a theory that blends the Potter world with our own.
They claim that Rita Skeeter is, in fact, JK Rowling.
Rowling's Harry Potter books are just a massive exposé, written by Skeeter as revenge for being kicked out of the wizarding community. Yeah... It's a nice story, but unfortunately, it's probably not a factual one.
Thestrals are creatures that can only be seen by people who've witnessed demise. After Harry watches Cedric Diggory getting eliminated, he spots these beasts for the first time. But hadn't he witnessed demise way before Cedric's passing, when Voldemort ended his parents? He should have been able to see the Thestrals from his very first day at Hogwarts, right? Not according to JK Rowling! Since Harry was only a baby when he saw his parents' passing and can't remember the event, this instance of "seeing demise" didn't count. Thus, the Thestrals remained invisible to Harry until after Goblet of Fire.
At the end of the movie version of Deathly Hallows, Voldemort passes away in quite a dramatic fashion. He basically disintegrates! If you thought that this was the "correct" depiction of the Dark Lord's demise, you'd be wrong. In the books, Voldemort doesn't melt away as he perishes: he simply falls to the ground as any human would. This was an intentional move by JK Rowling, who wanted to emphasize that Voldemort was really just another human, and nowhere near as special as he made himself out to be. However, the movie decided to ignore this poignant choice.