The Harry Potter book and film series captivated the world and still has a legion of super-fans all over the globe. Author JK Rowling managed to enchant millions with her story about the boy who lived, and her complex characters and vivid, intricate storytelling ensured that Harry Potter will go down in history alongside book franchises like Lord of the Rings or A Song of Ice and Fire as some of the most beloved fictional works of all time.
But something that always made Harry Potter exceptionally thrilling page-turners were the absolutely bonkers twists and turns that Rowling managed to incorporate into the story. The stories always managed to defy expectations and thrill the audience, and the shocking revelations throughout the series will stick in the hearts and minds of readers and viewers forever. So here are all of the best twists and reveals in the Harry Potter series, ranked.
10 Narcissa Lies
This twist shouldn't have been nearly as surprising as it was, but it was a great last minute call back to the true heart and soul of the Harry Potter series. When Voldemort asks Narcissa Malfoy to confirm that Harry Potter is indeed dead, Narcissa makes the choice to lie and say that he's gone simply because she values the life of her son above all other things. It was a brilliant way to close out the journey of Harry Potter, since the entire reason Harry was singled out as the extraordinary boy who lived was not because of anything that Harry did, but because his mother cared more about him than anything else.
9 Professor Moody Is Barty Crouch Jr.
Yet again, JK Rowling manages to pull out a twist that shouldn't be all that shocking but still no one really saw coming somehow. The plot twist of one of the "good guy" professors actually being a villain in hiding is a twist that the Harry Potter series had pulled off before, but Rowling put another twist onto this twist to make it even more surprising. Professor Alastor Moody seems to take a keen interest in Harry as soon as he begins his job and he helps Harry survive the Triwizard Tournament, only for it to be revealed that it's not Alastor Moody at all, he's actually Barty Crouch Jr. in disguise as Moody has been herding Harry towards Voldemort all year.
8 Sirius Black Is The Good Guy
The book's introduction to Sirius Black certainly makes him out to be a formidable and frightening character. Sirius was childhood friends with James Potter, but he ultimately betrayed James and his entire family for Voldemort. And he even killed one of his other best friends, Peter Pettigrew. Sirius was imprisoned for that crime and sent to the inescapable Azkaban prison, only to become the first man to ever escape it. Oh yeah, but he was actually framed for a crime he didn't commit and the man that he supposedly murdered was the one who set him up to take the fall.
7 Tom Riddle Is Voldemort
In the world of Harry Potter things are rarely as they seem on the surface. Even though Harry as well as the audience learns this over and over throughout the series, there always manages to be a bait and switch that still shocks everyone. Such is the case with Tom Riddle in the Chamber of Secrets. In Harry's second year at Hogwarts the Chamber of Secrets has been reopened and students are being mysteriously attacked left and right. Ginny Weasley and later Harry himself become acquainted with a former Hogwarts student through his seemingly sentient diary, Tom Riddle. They believe him to be an ally, only to discover that Tom Riddle ultimately became Voldemort.
6 Snape Is The Half Blood Prince
You'd think that Harry might have learned his lesson about being influenced by former Hogwarts students via an old book, but there's a reason that our protagonist wasn't sorted into Ravenclaw. Harry initially just uses the potions book that he finds that is annotated with notes and spells from the so called "half blood Prince", but as the story continues the true nature of the half blood Prince becomes darker and darker, and seems to be leading Harry down a darker path as well. There are a few people that the golden trio suspect may be the half blood Prince, but they ultimately discover that it shockingly is Professor Snape.
5 Professor Quirrell Has Voldemort On The Back Of His Head
As far as surprise twists go, this one was a pretty wild one. In the opening book of the Harry Potter series the readers really had no idea what they were getting into, but JK Rowling set the standards pretty high with this completely unexpected turn of events. Professor Quirrell appears to all of the students and teachers at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry as a constantly fearful and utterly harmless teacher (especially in contrast to the intimidating and seemingly obvious villain Professor Snape). Except the constantly quivering Quirrell is actually hiding a dark secret under his ever-present turban, he literally has absorbed the previously vanished Voldemort onto the back of his head.
4 Ron's Pet Rat Is Peter Pettigrew
Most normal people would be incredibly creeped out to realize that some complete stranger has been watching them for years, but the completely insane revelation that Ron's pet rat Scabbers was in fact the presumed dead Peter Pettigrew in his animagus form took that creep factor to a whole other level. After faking his own death and framing Sirius Black for his murder, Peter Pettigrew had to disappear off the face of the earth. So he used his powers to do just that. In his school days he, along with the rest of the Marauders, learned how to transform into an animal, and he stayed in that form until Sirius and Remus Lupin forced him to reveal himself.
3 Snape Kills Dumbledore
Now here's a twist that absolutely no one could have seen coming. Albus Dumbledore has been the guiding light for Harry Potter throughout his entire journey against Voldemort, and it seemed as if Harry couldn't win that war without him. So it was truly the surprise to end all surprises that Dumbledore was killed at the end of the sixth book, before the final face off between Harry and Voldemort had even begun. What was even more surprising is that Severus Snape, a morally ambiguous character up to that point (and a supposed friend to Dumbldore), was the one to pull the metaphorical trigger.
2 Snape Wasn't The Villain
The mystery of Severus Snape and his allegiance to the side of good or evil was a mystery that had been drawn out until the end of the sixth Harry Potter book. Or at least that's how it seemed. At the end of Half Blood Prince Severus murders Albus Dumbledore, which would plant him pretty firmly on the side of Voldemort and the death eaters. However just as Severus is about to die he gives Harry one last memory, a memory that reveals that he had been in love with Lily Potter and her murder was the driving force behind his fight against Voldemort ever since.
1 Harry Is A Horcrux
This, arguably the biggest twist in the Harry Potter series overall, is a perfect example of why the series captured the hearts and minds of people all over the world. After facing off with Voldemort half a dozen times Harry finally learns that destroying Voldemort's horcruxes, pieces of his soul that he's hidden to keep himself alive even if he's killed, is the key to winning this battle for good. But then Harry discovers that when Voldemort murdered his parents he accidentally created another horcrux, and that a rogue piece of Voldemort's soul attached itself to baby Harry Potter. It explained the connection between Harry and Voldemort and forced Harry into the most heart wrenching choice of the series.