Daniel Radcliffe Finally Solves One Of Harry Potter’s Biggest Mysteries


Harry Potter fans, you all know the big twist at the end of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone, right? It tuns out that the apparently meek Professor Quirrell is not only secretly a disciple of Lord Voldemort’s, but also shares his body with the dark wizard’s spirit, with Voldemort’s face taking up the back of his head. It’s a nightmare-inducing image when you’re a kid, but now that we’re all older, Potterheads have some questions about how this peculiar arrangement worked. For instance, here’s a big one: how did Quirrell sleep without crushing Voldy’s face?

Thankfully, we’ve now got a very logical, smart answer from a very reliable source: the Boy Who Lived himself. Daniel Radcliffe spoke with HuffPost to promote his new movie Escape from Pretoria, which also stars Quirrell actor Ian Hart. The outlet couldn’t resist putting this decades-old mystery to him and after wrapping his head around the question, which he joked came out of nowhere, Radcliffe devised a solid solution.

“I would say that the only practical thing to do there would be to sleep on your side, unless Voldemort doesn’t need air, which I’m not sure,” Radcliffe said. “As long as there’s breath coming into the body, he’s probably asleep on his front because it would still circulate around the whole thing. I’m guessing back-of-the-head Voldemort could survive off front-of-the-head Ian Hart’s air supply.”

Radcliffe’s supposition fits with the jokey explanation offered by the beloved fan production A Very Potter Musicalwhich also portrayed Quirrell as being forced to sleep on his side due to his second face. Thanks to Radcliffe echoing this with his comments, I think we can now safely make this our headcanon. At least, until J.K. Rowling comes up with some sort of official answer on Pottermore. Which doesn’t seem that far-fetched these days.

Of course, Rowling herself did have some fun with the Quirrell/Voldemort reveal in the original novel. In Chapter 12, it’s stated that Fred and George Weasley got in trouble for bewitching some snowballs to follow Quirrell around and bounce off the back of his turban. When you re-read the book in light of the big twist, this suddenly becomes a lot more hilarious.

You can see Daniel Radcliffe – who recently confirmed he was open to returning as Harry Potter one day – in Escape to Pretoria, screening in limited cinemas now.