Harry Potter fans are a creative lot and J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World is so rich that there are an abundance of fan theories out there. Some are pretty outlandish – George Weasley is actually Willy Wonka, anyone? – but a lot of them are actually very well thought out and you could easily make them part of your own personal head-canon. Even Rowling herself does this from time to time, in fact.
A few years ago, in a tweet that regularly circulates on social media, the author was asked which was her favorite HP fan theory. Rowling decided not to go for one of the fun ones but went for something more complex and poetic: that Dumbledore represents Death.
Dumbledore as death. It's a beautiful theory and it fits. https://t.co/QqTQm2QnI0
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) August 21, 2015
The theory Rowling talks about here is to do with “The Tale of the Three Brothers,” the Wizarding World fairy tale that’s an important part of the story in The Deathly Hallows. You may remember that it’s about the three Peverell brothers as they each make a different deal with Death. The tale’s used to introduce the concept of the three Hallows but fans have often assumed that it has a more symbolic meaning and each of the brothers represents a different character.
The first brother, who asks Death for the Elder Wand, the most powerful wand in existence, is widely agreed to represent Voldemort. The second’s gifted with the Resurrection Stone to bring back his dead lover – something that sounds a lot like Snape, who can’t let go of his love for the late Lily. Meanwhile, the youngest, wisest brother, who wishes for the Invisibility Cloak, has got to be Harry himself.
The part that Rowling really seems to respond to, though, is that Dumbledore represents Death in the story. After all, it was he who gave Harry his cloak and the stone and Voldemort took the Elder Wand from him. Plus, the last line of the tale goes that the final brother reunited with Death at the end of his life and they departed as equals. This mirrors Harry’s meeting with Dumbledore in a sort of limbo realm at the end of Deathly Hallows.
So that’s Rowling’s favorite Harry Potter theory. But what’s yours? Be sure to let us know in the comments section down below.