Note: This article is only considering the work relating to the original book series as canon. Prequel films and certain plays that will remain nameless and rightfully ignored will not be considered as their canon status is highly debatable. The original books series, companion books, the original films, and Pottermore articles will be used to measure what is and isn't canon for the sake of this article.
Since the last Harry Potter book was published, the fans have created millions of theories about what occurred during Harry’s journey during those seven books, as well as what came before and what is expected to come afterward. And though Rowling has been a gracious author and has allowed our imaginations to run amok, eventually she had to put her foot down. And though I support everyone’s right to create whatever off the fall theories that bring them joy, some of y’all went a bit too far and I am here to set the record straight with the non-direct help of Rowling herself.
Though there are far more confirmed and denied rumors and theories than included in this list, I have sorted through that hodge-podge of information and carefully selected twenty-five of my personal favorite theories that Rowling has both accepted and rejected. So put on your coziest house sweater, slip a disc into your DVD player, brew up a nice cup of hot cocoa, and get ready to confirm (or deny) some of my personal favorite fan theories that have been floating around the web over the past few years.
25 Real: Is Snape A Good Or A Bad Person?
Though I personally believe that Snape is trash and that none of his good qualities outweigh the fact that he mocked and mistreated actual children, Rowling disagrees. She has underlined the fact that he is a true grey character in terms of morality and that, while his noble actions do not cancel out his biggest misdemeanors, it is unfair to ignore them entirely. He is a complex figure that dedicated his life to saving the world and belittling children on the side.
A hero, of sorts. Controversial at best.
24 Rejected: Is Ron Really Dumbledore?
I have no idea how the physics for this theory would even work but no, Ron is not Dumbledore. He is Ron. He is important to the series because of what he brings to the table by being himself. Not because he may be the alternate version of a powerful wizard, but because he is Ronald Weasley. He is brave, he is impulsive, he is bold, he is straightforward and blunt with his thoughts and emotions, and he will go to war if it means protecting the ones that he loves.
23 Real: Are Harry And Voldemort Mirrors Of Each Other?
In the same vein that Draco and Harry are mirrors of each other, Harry and Tom were meant to represent the importance of our choices. They came from the same place and could have so easily headed down the exact same path without even noticing or trying. But Harry chose love and Tom was, unfortunately, unable to do the same. And that is the only difference between the two. Harry did not allow his tragic backstory to make him closed off or cold. He accepted love and warmth the moment it was offered and that is where their paths split.
22 Rejected: Did Voldemort Invade Harry's Mind?
Harry was not moody in his fifth year because Voldemort invaded his mind. He was moody because of the sheer amount of nonsense that he had been through in his fourth year coupled with the never-ending stream of ignorance coming at him in his fifth year. He saw his friend pass away and blamed himself. The world had turned on him and no one believed his warning of incoming danger. He worried that continued closeness with his friends would endanger them too so he isolated himself. Which made him feel worse. It’s not Voldemort, it’s just trauma.
21 Real: Is Voldemort Capable Of Love?
As confirmed time and time again by Rowling as well as the canon of the original books, Tom Riddle did everything that he did because he was created under the power of a love potion and was then, physically unable to feel/experience love in any form. He was unable to feel empathy or closeness of any kind and simply saw the people around him as inferior pawns to be used and manipulated in order to achieve a goal. The muggles have no magic, therefore their abilities must be below that of wizards. Therefore, they must be overruled.
20 Rejected: Did Harry's Horcrux Make The Dursleys Mean?
No, the fragment of Voldemort’s soul that resided within Harry was not the reason that the Dursleys were so averse to him. He did not have the same burdensome effects on his family that the locket had on Ron. Though it is a fascinating theory, it must be said that some people are just bad people. They have no tragic backstory, no secret heart of gold, no reason for treating the people around them poorly other than the fact that they are bad people. And that is an important thing for everyone to learn.
19 Real: Was Hagrid Supposed To Survive?
Very few people are granted plot immunity nowadays as so many authors use their ability to off any character as a bit of a selling point, but something inside of us (hope, maybe) declared that, for whatever reason, Hagrid would be granted plot immunity in order to make it through the second war. And Rowling confirmed that, for the sheer purpose of carrying Harry to the school after Voldemort thought he had bested him in order to reflect the way that he carried him from the wreckage of his childhood home.
18 Rejected: Can Ron Predict Things?
Though Ron has the uncanny ability to seemingly be able to “predict” events that later occur in the series, it is important to note that these offhand comments are little more than that. They are not predictions.
He is not a seer. He is simply making jokes that are supposed to act as little moments of foreshadowing and nods to the second time readers as they go through the books. These nods are much appreciated, even though they are not the result of uncanny or supernatural abilities.
17 Real: Were They Really More Than Brothers?
Though many fans have expressed vocal and sincere disappointment that the prequel series of films that is currently in production, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, has (at this current point) decided to play it safe when it comes to the relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald, it is important to note that the relationship was confirmed within the original series. Though it was through the salacious words of Rita, there was a glimmer of truth beneath her words (as confirmed by Rowling) and even those who ignore the prequels entirely can enjoy their turbulent time together.
16 Rejected: Did Any Of Them Graduate?
While it is true that Ron and Harry both dropped out of Hogwarts before formally completing their education, it must be noted that Hermione returned to Hogwarts to complete her seventh year before moving on with her life. Though I would be willing to bet that the boys gave her a lot of guff for being the brightest witch of her age but also having to take an extra year to finish school, I applaud the fact that she returned to school to finish her education even though her role in the destruction of Voldemort, most likely, could have guaranteed her any role in the Ministry of Magic, regardless of degree.
15 Real: What's Up With Hufflepuff?
Sorting has caused a lot of debate in the fandom. And many people have claimed that Rowling purposefully gave Hufflepuff the shaft within the series. Very few important characters are from this house, they are rarely directly involved in the plot, Harry never visits the common room, and the other characters often remark that it is the worst house. But Rowling has taken to Twitter and made her love for this often ignored house well known. She has even gone as far as to claim that this controversial house is her favorite house.
14 Rejected: Are Harry And Friends Werewolves?
While it is true that some characters are werewolves and that there are vampires within the series, it is important to note that, unless explicitly stated, none of the main characters are secretly a secondary type of supernatural character. Sorry to disappoint you supernatural character lovers of the internet but no member of the golden trio are secretly vampires or mermaids. Though it is important to note that many characters are explicitly stated to be multiple types of supernaturals, like Fleur, Bill, and Remus.
13 Real: Would The Weasleys Have Made It?
After noticing that several elements from the first war were repeating themselves this time around, many people became nervous as they knew that another set of parents were due to bite the dust. Many people worried that the Weasleys would be rendered two parents short and according to Rowling, they very nearly were. In a way.
Apparently, Arthur was originally going to be jarringly cut from the novel but she decided to take the Lupin’s instead and left the Weasley patriarch alone.
12 Rejected: Is Luna A Malfoy?
If we ignore certain revelations made in recent films, there are no secret siblings within the series. No, Luna isn’t Malfoy’s secret twin sister.
Harry doesn’t have a long lost brother. Hermione was an only child. McGonagall and Albus are not siblings. There are no secret siblings in the series that were not revealed by the time that Deathly Hallows was released. Though I will admit that the idea of Luna being a Malfoy has created some amusing head-canons. I bet that Luna would be the one to tie those lovely ribbons into Lucius’s hair.
11 Real: Was Ron Insecure?
Many fans believed that Ron was struggling with a bit of an inferiority complex throughout the series. Harry is the chosen one, Hermione is brilliant, each and every one of his siblings has found their niche, and Ron is just there (according to some). He had to watch Harry save the world year after year while he was shoved to the side and everyone ignored his role in these continued valiant missions. This was confirmed when the locket came to life in the final book and his deepest insecurities were realized.
10 Real: Did We Attend Hogwarts?
Every single person that grew up on the wizarding world has sat waiting for their letters while some people believed that we had attended Hogwarts with Harry so there was no need for us to receive our own letters. Rowling took to Twitter and confirmed the latter sentiment by stating that we all did attend Hogwarts alongside Harry and that we were all lucky enough to grow up together in those hallowed halls.
A tweet which brought real human tears to my eyes.
9 Rejected: Did Ron And Hermione Stay Together?
No, Ron and Hermione do not get separated. Though J.K. Rowling has alluded to the fact that their opposite personalities do lead to some turbulence, what relationship is without such things? Honestly, if you have spent more years together than apart it is only natural to run into a few road bumps every now and again. But these soulmates are meant to be and aren’t breaking up anytime soon. Sorry Dramione shippers. I truly am. But Ron and Hermione are here to stay and there is nothing you can do about it.
8 Real: Was James Potter Just A Bully?
The fandom has had a difficult time deciding on how they feel about James Potter. I believe that this is because he never gets the chance to tell, or rather show, us who he is. We only learn about him through the words and memories of others and all of these things are skewed based on that individual's feelings towards him. Snape casts him as the villain because, to him, that is what he was. Meanwhile, his friends sing his praises. Rowling has explained that he was a git in his youth but grew into the man that Harry always thought he was.
7 Real: Was Harry Really The Chosen One?
Many people say that the chosen one could have been either Neville or Harry and while that is true, it is important to know that Harry Potter is technically considered the true chosen one for the simple fact that Voldemort decided he was.
He was, quite literally, the chosen one because Voldemort chose that role for him. Had he had chosen Neville, he would have been the chosen one. But he did not. So that role falls to Harry Potter.
6 Rejected: Is Fawkes A Horcrux?
No, Fawkes is not a Horcrux created by Dumbledore. Albus may exist in a bit of a moral grey area due to his tendency to do what he thinks is best without regard to the consequences that it may bring others but he would never create a Horcrux. That is truly dark magic and Albus may not deserve the infallibility the adults within the series have awarded him but he is not the kind of wizard who would resort to such measures to preserve oneself.
5 Real: Were Draco And Harry Mirrors?
Yes, it is true. Harry and Draco are supposed to be mirrors of each other. This is shown by their respective motherly figures uttering the lines, “he is just a boy” in reference to the increasing darkness that surrounds their boys. Draco was raised in a world of prejudice and told that he is better than those around him for the simple fact that he is who he is. Harry was told that he was nothing for the simple fact that who he is. Draco saw other people as tools. Harry saw other people as friends. Both boys had the chance to convert to the other side but neither took it.
4 Real: How Were They After The Series?
One post-publication addition that J.K.Rowling made that I truly appreciated was the times that she had remarked how difficult the post-battle moments were for the characters. How they had to grow, recover, and move past the intense and life-changing moments that impacted them during their formative years.
Nothing was simply taken in stride and easily moved past. Things took time but they were able to build wonderful lives for themselves despite that. And that is truly beautiful to me. We are not our hardest moments and they should not define our lives.
3 Rejected: Was Hogwarts Even Real?
No, Hogwarts is not a hallucination nor a coma dream that Harry slipped into after running headfirst into a brick wall at King's Cross Station. Hogwarts is a real place (within the canon of the series) and anyone saying otherwise is just trying to be edgy for the sake of it. Stop trying to turn fun, light, and magical children’s media into dark and gritty coma dreams. Magic is real. Accept it. Harry Potter went to Hogwarts and defeated the dark lord with the help of his friends. His magical adventures were real.
2 Real: Did They Remain Enemies?
Past the end of the series, in the space that exists between the final moments of the battle and Albus’s arrival at King's Cross, exists a moment between Harry and Draco. It did not occur in person but the boys put the mistakes of their past and the scars that they left behind them. Though their personal histories, allegiances, and experiences made it impossible to truly bury the hatchet, the boys were able to become amicable acquaintances who cast each other kind nods while standing side by side at the platform together.
1 Real: Was Peter Pettigrew Ever Good?
We need to stop writing Peter Pettigrew out of the headcanons and fanfictions. Look, I know that his betrayal hurt us, but Rowling has assured us many times that he was a beloved member of the Marauders. And his closeness to the rest of the gang is exceptionally important because his betrayal would not be as impactful if he was simply a fringe member of the group. He was a main member of that quartet and the fandom needs to remember that.