Posted on Thursday, August 6th, 2015 by Peter Sciretta
I enjoy reading and considering fan theories, even when they are usually crazy and probably not the intention of the artist. Theories provide a different prospective in which to look at art which we have already considered. The latest fan theory I have come across is about the Harry Potter series. The theory suggests that Professor Dumbledore represents Death.
The theory comes from Tumblr user harryjxmespotter (via USA Today), who uses “The Tale of the Three Brothers,” a fable told in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and suggests that the story is an allegory to the main story within the books. This isn’t anything new, Harry Potter fans for years have believed the story of the three brothers who want to cheat Death somehow represents the characters in JK Rowling’s world of Harry Potter. But this is a new take on that idea.
In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, the scene where Hermione Granger reads this story in the book is replaced with an animated shadow-play sequence narrated by Hermione.
Okay so as the old fan theory goes:
Lord Voldemort represents the first brother who asks for a wand more powerful than any other. Of course, that power proves to be his downfall.
Severus Snape represents the second brother, who asks for a tool to resurrect loved ones, and gets a stone from Death.
Harry Potter represents the third brother, described in the fable as a humble man who only asks to live a long happy life without the fear of Death. In the fable, Death bestows an invisible cloak upon the third brother, which protects him (but not his brothers) from his end. So Harry Potter is the boy who cheated death, makes sense, right?
The Dumbledore Theory
Death searched for the third brother for years, and was only able to find him after the brother gave his cloak of invisibility to his son. When Death shows up, the third brother greets him as an old friend and went off with him gladly, “departing this life, as equals.”
So what harryjxmespotter adds to this old fan theory is the suggestion that Professor Albus Dumbledo represents Death in this fable.
Its a fun fan theory at very least. I don’t believe that Harry Potter author JK Rowling has ever talked about the possible allegories. She has said that The Tale of the Three Brothers is loosely based on Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Pardoner’s Tale, but it also feels partly inspired by Three Billy Goats Gruff.
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