The wizarding world of Harry Potter – a mega-successful series of novels-turned-blockbuster films written by J.K. Rowling – is undoubtedly rich in its genre of fantasy, bursting with an abundance of mystical exploits and mysteries played out by A-listers who will forever be most popularly known by their legendary Hogwarts counterparts.
Everyone who has grown up with Rowling’s legacy, or who has at least heard of her stories one way or another, are familiar with magical trio – Harry, Ron, and Hermione – and their yearly supernatural hijinks involving occult beasts of colossal sizes, demented professors, and blonde bullies with an overblown sense of self-entitlement.
The lore is so stock-full of interesting details and trivia about Hogwarts, its students, and the world that surrounds them, that it’s no wonder the series’ fans have never run out of things to discuss and debate to this very day.
However, false rumours and assumptions that have spread around the community have made for a few misunderstandings here and there about the Harry Potter and its characters – most of which have, thankfully, been busted by Ms. Rowling herself.
From erroneous romantic pairings to misconceptions about characters’ race and sexuality – here are the 15 False Facts About Harry Potter That Fooled Us All.
15. Wizards Are Stronger Than Muggles
Given that wizards have supernatural abilities – from making one’s teeth grow at an unnaturally rapid rate to causing severe lacerations on their victims – surely they would be able to easily defeat the Muggle population in the case of an all-out war?
While spells and curses truly make for epic (and sometimes, terrifyingly lethal) paranormal hijinks, Muggles may ultimately win the bet on this one. They’re not only larger in numbers, but have a growing amount of advanced technology that has only progressed with time.
While wizards may be able to slip about in magical cloaks and blast deadly spells on their ordinary human opponents, their magic still wouldn’t compare to, say, a muggle army with a wide range of nuclear weapons.
It’d also be an unfortunate scene if a wizard would happen to lose their wand in battle, rendering them totally helpless against their weaponized enemies.
14. Baby Harry Is Albus Severus
Don’t believe every meme you see. After this fan-made image went viral in 2012, many fans were lead to believe that the adorable baby who played an infant Harry in Sorceror’s Stone was the same child who portrayed Albus Severus in Deathly Hallows, Harry’s second son.
This, however, turned out to be completely untrue. People took to the internet to bust this (currently ongoing) myth, correcting fooled fans by pointing out that baby Harry from the first movie was actually played by three different actors. They were known as the “Saunders triplets” — and are credited in IMDb under this collective title.
In the second Deathly Hallows film, the triplets were replaced by another baby actor named Toby Papworth. It was during this movie that Albus Serverus made an appearance, who – despite popular belief – was played by British child actor, Arthur Bowen.
13. Neville And Luna Are Meant To Be
After sharing what seemed like a moment of potential romance in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood had fans squealing over the possibility of a beautiful new love-team.
Sadly, while the two had a number of die-hard, aggressive shippers rooting them on (and writing up an impressive collection of fluffy fanfiction), “Nuna” was couple never meant to be.
J.K. Rowling herself had unfortunately shut down the passionate theories, stating that the two had gone off completely separate paths post-Hogwarts’ adventures – with Neville becoming a Herbology teacher at the school and Luna marrying the ever-adventurous Rolf Scamander, grandson of Fantastic Beasts‘ Newt.
Even Luna’s actress, Evanna Lynch, had stated that the pairing wouldn’t have been lasted. While Neville has the personality of a “stay-at-home dad,” as Lynch describes, Luna has a much more venturesome spirit, and may not provide the kind of stability that Neville may desire.
Luckily, Longbottom was able to find the romantic ending he deserved – marrying Hannah Abbot, the new landlady of The Leaky Cauldron.
12. Slytherin Is Evil
It was popularly accepted among audiences (and readers) to quickly peg Slytherin as “evil.” With characters like Lucius Malfoy and Tom Riddle sorted into the house, the group didn’t exactly maintain the most pristine reputation. The fact that the author released a snarky tweet back in 2015 that essentially equated all racists to members of Slytherin didn’t help the house’s image either.
However, this perception’s a bit of a sweeping generalization. In a recent interview with John Granger – the apparent “Dean of Harry Potter Studies” according to TIME magazine – MTV dug a little deeper to uncover the true nature of the “misunderstood house,” setting aside the mainstream perceptions.
Granger addresses that, while the house does have its handful of bad eggs, they tend to overshadow the rest of the members, who do share advantageous traits that aren’t necessarily evil. In fact, some even make up good character. These include resourcefulness, ambition, self-preservation, and determination — characteristics sadly often twisted by a few dominant figures of the house.
By also taking Severus Snape and Horace Slughorn into consideration, these factors go to show that being sorted into Slytherin doesn’t automatically make you the devil.
11. Draco Malfoy Is A Werewolf
Fans conspired that the nefarious Draco Malfoy had quite the paranormal trick up his sleeve – the ability to turn in to a werewolf. While his personality itself would be enough to suit the beast, the actual details are interesting.
In The Half-Blood Prince, when Harry attempts to spy on Malfoy at Borgin and Burks (the antique shop on Knockturn Alley), he oversees him threatening Borgin by showing him something on his arm – which many fans originally believed was the mark of a werewolf bite.
It didn’t help that Malfoy also mentioned that Fenrir Greyback, an actual werewolf (and Death Eater), was a “close, personal friend” of his, one who Borgin may just encounter if he doesn’t do Malfoy’s bidding.
As to why Greyback would attack a fellow Death Eater, many explained that his ultimate goal is to turn as many people as he can into werewolves – with Voldemort giving him access to his desired victims – rather than purely being a faithful follower of The Dark Lord’s plans.
While it’s one of the more intriguing Harry Potter theories out there (with some well-supported evidence), J.K. Rowling has explicitly stated this one to be false.
10. Ron Weasley Is Dumbledore
While more of a widely accepted “theory” among fans rather than an actual, hard fact, the thought that Harry’s best friend, Ron Weasley, could also be his wise wizarding mentor, Dumbledore, is admittedly quite fascinating.
Fondly given the name of “Ronbledore,” many Potterheads have suggested that Ron was a younger version of Dumbledore who had travelled back in time using a Time Turner to guide Potter and the rest of his Hogwarts crew.
There were many pieces of “evidence” that fans eagerly pointed to – including the fact that Ron and Dumbledore had “never been alone together” (as stated in the book), had shared an incredibly uncanny resemblance towards one another in their younger years, and that Dumbledore always seemed to know the details of a situation, despite not being there to witness them.
Of course, the theory does have its flaws – such as the grave mystery of why he was still unable save Fred, and the fact that a Time Turner does not reverse one’s age.
While an interesting and creative case, the rumor of “Ronbledore” was quickly dispelled by J.K. Rowling, who simply took to her Twitter and stated, “False theory.”
9. An Eighth Book Is In The Works
This one isn’t completely untrue – there is an eight expansion to the tale of Harry Potter and friends, titled Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Back in early 2016, J.K. Rowling announced that this newest chapter would be released in bookstores later on in the year, much to the glee of a million squealing fans. However, many seemed to have been misguided about the details of this “new book.”
Fans of the series were quick to celebrate the news, calling Cursed Child the latest novel installment in the Potter universe, while others were referring to it as a prequel. They were soon proven wrong with Rowling’s clarification on Twitter later on in the week
It turned out that the eighth book was no new novel or prequel in any way, but a script of a stage play, simply being released in book form.
Still, with a new story dedicated to all their favorite characters, this was hardly a reason to complain. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child‘s script went on to sell millions of copies and garnered extremely positive reception from critics, settling in as the final chapter to Rowling’s fantastical legacy.
8. The Thestrals Should’ve Been Visible To Harry
Fans were confused as to why Harry wasn’t able to see the Thestrals – magical winged horses who are only visible to those who have seen death – until The Order of the Phoenix. After all, didn’t he witness his parents die, right before his infant eyes? By that logic, he would have obtained the capability to perceive the creatures right from the first book.
However, as a baby, he was incapable of truly digesting the impact of death and the suffering that it bears – not until many years later.
However, what about when Professor Quirrell died? Seems like that event didn’t count either, as Harry was unconscious during his death. He did, however, witness the death of Cedric Diggory, so why wasn’t he able to see them by the end of The Goblet of Fire?
J.K. Rowling cleared this up by explaining that Harry still needed to time to get over the initial shock of death before the incident ultimately sank in, allowing him to truly grasp its concept. By the following book, when he had finally gained full acceptance of Cedric’s passing, it was only then that he was able to see the Thestrals.
7. Hogwart’s Plants Only Exist In The Potter Universe
While you won’t be getting your eye gouged out by a Whomping Willow anytime soon, much of the other plants in the wizarding world are actually derived from real plants – even the screeching Mandrakes from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Okay well, the real things don’t exactly scream – but a 17th century belief that surrounded the actual plant (Mandragora) verified this terrifying characteristic, and wasn’t too far off from how the plants were perceived in the Potter universe.
In fact, people were so deathly afraid of the Mandragora’s supposed “scream,”that they were harvested by tying mad dogs to their stumps, and were watched from far away as they were eventually yanked from their roots.
Other Hogwarts plants inspired by actual herbs were fleawort, Gout-wort, grommel, knotgrass, and toadflax, among many others – and share the actual names of their real-life conterparts.
J.K. Rowling admitted to looking up “witchy” plant names that she could use, and found many in a 17th century book dedicated to botany, titled Culpeper’s Complete Herbal.
6. They Used Ordinary Brooms As Props
It’s easy to think that the Harry Potter brooms used on-set were just regular brooms being carried about as ordinary props, but in actuality, they were specially designed by modeler Pierre Bohanna, who integrated aircraft-grade titanium into their structure.
To film the Quidditch sequences, actors had to actually sit on their broomsticks, which (according to Global Entertainment Services’ chief creative officer, Eddie Newquist) had to be mounted on to motion-control bases in front of a green-screen during production.
Since the magical sweepers were quite thin, producers had to ensure that they designed broomsticks durable enough to withstand the actors’ weight.
With young child actors weighing about 80-90 pounds at the beginning of the film series, this didn’t pose too much of a serious problem. However, as the years went on and the eventually adult cast began weighing up to and over 120-130 pounds, it was imperative to have brooms of a sturdy enough framework, lest they have broomsticks snapping in half with every take.
5. A Teenager Played Moaning Myrtle
A lonely spectre wandering the Hogwarts’ bathrooms, Moaning Myrtle has become a known (and to some, terrifying) name among students as the teenage girl who was mysteriously found dead on the in the first-floor girls’ lavatory.
Making her first appearance in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Myrtle’s actress looked exactly as legend had described the weeping ghost – a 14-year old student with “lank” hair and thick, round glasses. With such a young and innocent face and a height of only five feet, she looked just like any other ordinary young actor playing a Hogwarts student on-set.
In actuality, however, Shirley Henderson, the actress who played her, wasn’t the same age as her teen and pre-teen colleagues at all. In fact, she was over two decades older than most – being 37 years old when Chamber of Secrets was filmed. By Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – Myrtle’s final film appearance – Henderson was 40 years old.
She was the thus the oldest actress to every portray a Hogwarts student in the film franchise.
4. Hermione And Ron Are A Perfect Pair
While a lot of fans may wholeheartedly believe that Ron and Hermione are perfect together, J.K. Rowling herself has stated that she had her qualms about the wizarding couple.
Though she acknowledged in a 2014 Wonderland magazine interview that the physical attraction/ chemistry between the two was “plausible,” a lasting relationship into adulthood may likely run into problems.
That’s not to say that the romance was a guaranteed crash-and-burn in Rowling’s eyes, but she did point out that Ron would have to work on his “self-esteem issues” and Hermione on being “less critical.”
Additionally, Rowling admitted that the pairing was written as a form of “wish fulfillment” rather than for literature reasons, as a product of her clinging to her initial imagining of the story – of Hermione ending up with Ron.
She also added that she did see Harry and Hermione better romantically suited in some ways, recalling a scene in The Deathly Hallows in which the two shared a moment in a tent, during which she felt this most strongly about. Funny enough, even the screenwriter, Steve Kloves, admitted to feeling the exact same thing.
3. There’s A Harry Potter Go Game?
Fans were absolutely hyped when a rumour went around stating that Harry Potter was ready to board the Pokémon Go craze with an addictive spin-off game of their own: the ever-inventively named, “Harry Potter Go.”
Sadly, while it would make for an interesting take on the original, the rumours were ultimately false. Fooling Potter fans everywhere, the fake hype began on Twitter, when “news” broke out that an unnamed Niantic “developer” had gotten the greenlight from J.K. Rowling to push through with the game.
There were a number of factors that pointed to this story being a sham – one being that that the source of information, JTHX News, wasn’t a real media company. Its website was actually reported to contain a ton of other fake, click-baiting news reports.
Secondly, given that this false news was disclosed in only less than month of Pokémon Go‘s release, it was hard for some to grasp the fact that the company would already be working on a sequel. Plus, with Rowling being quite protective of her beloved series, it was also quite improbable that she’d give up the rights that quickly.
2. Pronunciation Of Voldemort’s Name
Guess our entire childhood was a lie. It turns out that most fans (including those involved in the Harry Potter film series themselves) had been pronouncing Voldemort’s name wrong the entire time, as J.K. Rowling came out on Twitter in 2015 to affirm that the “T” in his name is, in fact, silent.
The origins of his name were reportedly derived from the French word for “death” — “mort.” Rowling had stated that she may be only one who still pronounces it this way, though it’s strange that even the filmmakers weren’t made aware of its French phonetics.
However, the man who narrated the audio books prior to the blockbuster series had actually used the correct pronunciation – though this may be the last piece of evidence in the franchise of Volde-MORE’s true name.
Of course, the fans weren’t without their share of wisecracks after this interesting revelation, with one tweeting that the “…’r’ is also silent in ‘Harry’ and ‘Potter’. That’s why we call him Hay Pot.”
1. Dumbledore Is Straight And Hermione Is White
These revelations were met with both delighted and enraged responses from fans – both of which were announced by J.K. Rowling herself.
When asked by a fan in 2007 if Dumbledore had ever been in love, Rowling threw audiences in for a loop by revealing that the headmaster was, in fact, gay. She even added that the wizard had fallen in love with the Dark Wizard and his dear friend, Gellert Grindelwald, before – of course – Grindelwald’s true colors were eventually revealed.
Because of this, she had to omit a particular detail that screenwriter Steve Kloves had added in the Half-Blood Prince script – a line where Dumbledore reminisced of a woman in his younger years.
Of course, Rowling received the same divided reaction for accepting “black Hermione” as canon, after actress Noma Dimezweni was cast as the ever-perfect Granger for the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child stage play.
Fans began a heated debate over the credibility of this decision, hurling book excerpts back and forth that both supported and challenged the idea of Hermione as a black woman. Nevertheless, Rowling was a extremely enthusiastic over Dimezweni’s casting, and has continuously offered her support throughout play’s production.
What were some other false Harry Potter facts that you thought were true? Let us know in the comments!
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