From Albus Dumbledor being an elderly time-travelling Ron Weasley to Harry Potter not being the chosen one (it’s apparently Neville Longbottom), the internet has unrelentingly produced thousands of Harry Potter fan theories.
One recent theory has gained as much traction as Mr Weasley's flying Ford Anglia. Why? Because, unlike many other fan theories, this one is actually plausible.
The Dursley family have, according to the theorists, a somewhat unfathomable hatred for their nephew/cousin. It’s never really explained why they treat Harry so horribly, except that perhaps they are just horrible people. However, fans have begun to speculate that it is something much deeper.
According to a Tumblr post by user Graphic Nerdity, the reason they are so cruel to Harry is because *brace yourselves* they’ve been living with a Horcrux this whole time. (That's an object or, in this case person, with a bit of Lord Voldemort's soul in it, you muggles).
“Horcrux exposure can have harmful effects that grow steadily worse over time,” reads the post. “That is, if the Horcrux doesn’t kill you first.
“It can begin to influence your thoughts and degrade your willpower after only a few weeks.
“Now imagine what kind of horrible, twisted, heartless monster a person could become after being exposed to a Horcrux, for, let’s say, 10 YEARS.”
Queue Dursleys entrance stage right.
So it was Harry's fault the whole time: he warped the minds of a nice family into the twisted beings we know as the Dursleys today. After all, they were kind enough to take an abandoned child in and raise it as their own, surely they weren’t always bad?
Well, fans have gone slightly crazy recently, arguing back-and-forth over whether the theory is true or not.
Those who believe in the theory point out that towards the end of the series, while Horcrux hunting, our heroes start to turn on each other, Ron being particularly effected and having visions of Harry running off with Hermione. Another Weasly, Ginny, was also badly effected by Tom Riddle’s diary, another Horcrux, during The Chamber of Secrets.
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Comparisons to the Lord of the Rings’ One Ring have also been made, with similarities between the way Gollum goes mad from holding the ring so long.
However, many fans have taken a stand against the theory, choosing to agree that the Dursleys are just nasty people.
One question on many’s lips is that, if being in Harry’s presence for an extended period caused you to become angry, why weren’t all those in his Hogwarts dorm also affected? Surely Ron and co. would have turned into monsters after years hanging out with the boy wonder?
Also, in the Philosopher’s Stone, it describes how Aunt Petunia hates her sister because she was treated like royalty in the family because she was a witch, therefore hating Harry for also being different.
Pinched and uptight aunt Petunia even wrote to Dumbledore when she was a girl to ask for acceptance to the school of witchcraft and wizardy. Did that early rejection prompt her to marry a Dursley and live her life twitching curtains in Privet Drive with pursed lips?
Only JK Rowling knows if all this speculation has any basis - and she's remaining as tight-lipped as Petunia.
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