It seems weird to think about it now, but there was a time when the mysteries in Harry Potter were actually mysteries, and those of us reading (and then watching) along had to actually guess what was what and who was who.
Needless to say, in the end most of us were wrong.
But thanks to hindsight and the fact that J.K. Rowling is pretty available for questions (and sometimes answers) on Twitter, we know that these 5 people’s mystery-solving games were totally on point.
5. Magic is genetic. Usually.
Let’s take a little historical tour of J.K. Rowling’s comments on how one might or might not come to expect a Hogwarts letter on their 11th birthday, shall we?
In 1999, she said that “Nobody knows where magic comes from. It is like any other talent. Sometimes it seems to be inherited, but others are the only ones in their family who have the ability.”
Fans, however, picked up on the obsession some wizards had with “pure blood families,” leaving them to speculate that there had to be some genetic component to the talent.
Then, in 2012, Rowling addressed the issue of Squibs (non-magical people born to magical parents), stating that they’re rare in her world because “magic is a dominant and resilient gene.”
One biology major wrote a six-page paper on how magical ability could be attributed to “a single autosomal dominant gene if it is caused by an expansion of trinucleotide repeats with non-Mendelian ratios of inheritance,” and she’s joined by Duke University professor Eric Spana, who explained Muggle-borns like Lily and Hermione by way of de novo mutations (a genetic lottery).
4. There was more to Harry’s Invisibility Cloak that he knew at first.
Harry loved his invisibility cloak from the start, given that it was a hand-me-down from his deceased father, but at first he – and fans – had no reason to suspect that “exceedingly rare” meant “one-of-a-kind.”
But fans began suspecting there was more to the mysterious garment long before Ron recognized it as a Ignotus Peverell’s Cloak of Invisibility – and one of the Deathly Hallows – in the final book.
3. Harry and Ginny had a good reason for not naming their children after Remus Lupin.
Harry and Ginny’s children’s names honored a number of late and living loved ones, but fans immediately noticed that Remus Lupin was missing. Most were upset, but a few deep thinkers believed that perhaps they were saving Lupin’s name for someone else.
A fact Rowling affirmed, saying on Twitter that “Harry left Remus’s name for Teddy to use for his own son.”
2. The romantic relationship between Grindelwald and Dumbledore.
While most fans’ “ships” (relationships) don’t ever come to fruition on the page or on screen, the teen romance between Grindelwald and Dumbledore didn’t disappoint.
In 2007, Rowling revealed that Dumbledore was both gay and “in love with Grindelwald,” a plot point that has made an appearance-ish in the latest Fantastic Beasts movie.
Oh happy day!
1. That Harry would both die AND live.
One of the most enduring questions of the series became this: would Harry earn the title of The Boy Who Lived a second time, or would he die in order to save the world from Voldemort’s rebirth? The prophecy that stated “either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives” certainly made sacrifice seem unavoidable, but some fans guessed early on that there might be a third option.
Harry does die and cross into the afterlife, but he also returns. The best of both worlds? Maybe!
We nailed it guys, good work all around.