Ever since the Harry Potter books and movies ended, fans have been raking through the canon and coming up with some of the most amazing theories—including this new one from Reddit user WippitGuud. In a post first spotted by Movie Pilot, WippitGuud shared some interesting ideas with the /r/FanTheories subreddit about Harry’s experience in that other-worldly King’s Cross Station.
“Everyone goes by the explanation in Deathly Hallows given by Dumbledore as to why Harry didn’t die at the end of the book. He says: because Voldemort took Harry’s blood to recreate his body, Lily’s protection kept Harry from dying,” the author writes—but they suspect that isn’t true.
Instead, WippitGuud posits that Harry actually did die before being resurrected.
To prove it, they start off by debunking Dumbledore’s reasoning based on three pretty simple conditions. For the first two, you have to look to the past.
If Lily’s love have protected Harry in the forest, you’d expect it to function in the same way it did back on October 31st, 1981: The curse would have to rebound (in the way it shattered Voldemort’s body back in Godric’s Hollow) and the curse would leave a physical mark (in the way it left Harry with his signature lightning bolt scar). When Harry sacrifices himself, neither of these things happen.
The third, most damning, point? “To destroy a Horcrux, the container must be destroyed.”
That is to say that if Harry hadn’t died, the Horcrux wouldn’t have been destroyed. And if the Horcrux wasn’t destroyed, Harry wouldn’t have been able to defeat Voldemort once and for all in the final battle.
But if Harry full-on, actually died…how does he come back?
Simple: Harry had united the three deathly hallows. “He had the stone and the cloak, and the curse was cast from the Elder Wand, which he was currently master of,” explains WippitGuud.
As the master of the deathly hallows, Harry was the master of death, and therefore able to come back to life after Voldemort killed him.
The final proof? The fact that Harry’s sacrifice protects everyone at Hogwarts the same way that Lily’s sacrifice protected him. “I’ve done what my mother did. Haven’t you noticed how none of the spells you put on them are binding?” Harry explains. “You can’t torture them. You can’t touch them.”
But WippitGuud takes the theory still one step further, insisting not that Dumbledore was just mistaken, but that he actively lied to Harry (and as we know, that’s not exactly out of character for the secretive headmaster).
“[It was] probably to protect him,” explains the author. “Knowing you’re the master of the Hallows could make anyone power hungry.”
It’s kind of a crazy theory…but it actually makes so much sense. Harry had to have died to defeat Voldemort—and Dumbledore lied to spare Harry the reality. We swear, these books just get deeper and deeper on every read through.