A bizarre Harry Potter fan theory suggests that Albus Dumbledore was actually Ron Weasley who time-traveled to the primary timeline featured in the series. The theory has been around since the novels were still being published but it continuously gains traction due to newly discovered coincidental details. Here's an explanation of the crazy theory and how it had been disproven in recent years.
On the surface, Dumbledore and Ron didn't share too many similarities. One was the headmaster of Hogwarts and renowned as one of the greatest wizards to ever live and the other was a young wizard trying to escape his siblings' shadows while staying out of trouble. As the series by author J.K. Rowling expanded, a few similarities between Dumbledore and Ron arose which caught the eye of many viewers. With the release of the movie franchise, more and more Harry Potter fan theories cropped up. Even if some of the theories have been debunked, it's fun to think what could have been had Rowling went in a different direction with her narrative.
The “Dumbledore Is Time-Traveling Ron” theory came to light in the early 2000s when readers believed that the headmaster was a version of the young Weasley boy. The logistics of the theory are a little murky but it suggests that Ron lived out his life and then traveled back in time as Dumbledore, which was when he served as a mentor to Harry in his new life. Some thought that Ron could have used a Time-Turner but went back too far, leading him to become Dumbledore. Others shared the belief that it could have been the opposite, saying that Dumbledore used his memories and brought them to life through Ron in the way that Tom Riddle's diary was used.
Surprisingly, there was ample evidence that Dumbledore and Ron were the same person. They both shared physical characters such as their descriptions of being tall and thin with long noses. Ron notably had red hair and it was later revealed that Dumbledore had a similar shade of hair in his early days. Dumbledore was said to have a scar on his left leg and Ron memorably broke one of his legs at the end of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. There was also the fact that Dumbledore and Ron both love sweets. The great wizard claimed to have loved Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans since his youth except that Bertie wasn't born until 1935 when Dumbledore was in his mid-50s.
Of course, there was also the fact that Dumbledore seemed to know everything that Harry and his friends were doing before they even carried out their mischievous plans. It was suggested that Dumbledore knew everything because he lived through it already. The theory seemed extremely plausible but it was ultimately disproved by the end of the Harry Potter series. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Dumbledore was given more of a backstory and his family history was revealed following his death. The character also had a prominent role in the prequel series Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, disproving the theory even further.
Rowling officially disproved the time-traveling theory through a tweet in 2015. It's likely that many of the similarities between Dumbledore and Ron were merely coincidental. After the theory started to make the rounds, readers likely examined details that were overlooked by the Harry Potter author.
- Fantastic Beasts 3 (2021) release date: Nov 12, 2021