Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows might have a hidden reference to the Peverell brothers from “The Tale of the Three Brothers”, with Voldemort, Severus Snape, and Harry Potter representing each one of the brothers, and Albus Dumbledore playing the role of Death. The Harry Potter book series began in 1997 with Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and came to an end ten years later with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. However, fans still got their dose of adventure from the Wizarding World thanks to the Harry Potter film series.
It’s been over a decade since the final book of the series was published and eight since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 was released, but fans are still finding little details in both the books and the films that expand this universe in interesting ways. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows introduced readers to “The Tale of the Three Brothers”, which refers to the three magical artifacts known as “deathly hallows”. The brothers were believed to have been modeled after three actual wizard brothers: Antioch, Cadmus, and Ignotus Peverell.
Each Peverell brother is believed to have crafted one of the deathly hallows for different reasons – and those motivations are what have made some fans believe that three characters from the Harry Potter series are a modern representation of the brothers, and Dumbledore was their version of Death.
Voldemort, Snape, and Harry Are The Three Brothers – And Dumbledore Is Death
A popular fan theory explains that these characters are modern allegories to the Peverell brothers based on their motivations and goals. Voldemort represents the older brother, aka Antioch Peverell, said to have crafted the Elder Wand. In the tale, the older brother sought power and to conquer death, and was killed by another wizard while he slept. Voldemort also sought to conquer death, thus why he created various horcruxes. Snape is the second brother, Cadmus Peverell, who crafted the Resurrection Stone. The tale says the second brother asked for the power to recall the deceased from the grave – but he couldn’t cope with having the woman he loved back only as a ghost and killed himself. Snape spent years clinging to the memory of Lily Potter, the only woman he ever loved.
Harry would then represent the third brother, Ignotus (funny enough, Harry is a descendant of Ignotus Peverell), who was in possession of the Cloak of Invisibility. The third brother was said to be the most humble and wise, and asked for something that would enable him to go forth without Death following him, and so he was given the cloak. Death couldn’t find him until many years later, when he took off the cloak to give it to his son. The tale says that, greeting Death as an old friend, they departed as equals. Death sought Harry for years, and only got to him when he willingly approached it, like an “old friend”.
The theory has been expanded with the addition of Dumbledore as Death, as he possessed each of the Death Hallows at some point and was the one who greeted Harry after he was killed by Voldemort in the Forbidden Forest, precisely like an “old friend”. This part of the theory has been acknowledged by J.K. Rowling herself, who actually liked the idea, so you might want to keep it in mind next time you revisit the Harry Potter films or the book series.