Gwendolyn Purdom
November 21, 2017 10:55 am

Anyone with even the faintest knowledge of the Harry Potter universe who says they haven’t given serious thought to which Hogwarts house they’d be sorted into is probably lying. But while we were all busy convincing ourselves we’re totally Gryffindors, somehow we never realized the only people who aren’t constantly gabbing about the Sorting Hat and its all-knowing powers are Harry and his friends (well, before they start their first year anyway). But, the observant dudes over on the SuperCarlinBrothers YouTube channel have a theory on this Harry Potter mystery.

It’s a little complicated, but thankfully they posted a detailed video to help us, well, sort it all out.

Ever notice how the details of the Sorting Hat ceremony seem to be a total surprise to the first years? Honestly, us neither. Ben Carlin picked up on this little detail and makes a solid point in the video that while Harry may not know anything about the Sorting Hat (or anything else magic-related) at the beginning of the series, it’s super weird that Hogwarts legacy Ron and Hogwarts trivia buff Hermione wouldn’t know what was coming with the ceremony. Like, wouldn’t someone at the Weasley house have mentioned the deal with the Sorting Hat over dinner at some point?

Carlin’s theory is that the Hogwarts newbies aren’t in on the whole hat thing because there’s a Fidelius Charm at work.

Like most things Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling has elaborated on the charm on Pottermore, but a quick refresher: A Fidelius Charm essentially is a secret-keeping charm in which the chosen Secret Keeper is the only person who can share that particular information. That is, of course, unless that person dies. Then, whoever that person told the secret to is the new Secret Keeper, even if they told a ton of people. The charm was most famously used to keep Harry’s parents James and Lily Potter safe from Voldemort, until, you know big mouth Peter Pettigrew spilled the proverbial magic beans. He was a real rat. No, like actually.

As Carlin explains, the logic behind the spell gets a little fuzzy, but if it is a Fidelius Charm that’s kept the Sorting Hat secret, the hat itself just may be the Secret Keeper. In that case, it would make sense that only those who’ve already been sorted would be able to talk about the Sorting Hat ceremony: They’d been told about it by the Secret Keeper.

Okay, so then how would Harry be able to tell his son Albus about the hat in the series epilogue? We were wondering the same thing and Carlin was, yet again, on top of it. Voldemort tried to destroy the hat in The Deathly Hallows and maybe broke its charm, Carlin argues, meaning all Sorting Hat-related secrets are off.

Check out the video for Carlin’s full, in-depth theory. We’ll be over here trying to wrap our heads (and hats) around all this.

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