lupin-smiles

Episode 217: Lupin is James, and Other Such Fun Oldskool Theories

Break out the Time Turners, because Alohomora’s going back! Back to the days where canon was open and anything was possible! Where detailed fan theories remained as-yet unproven and not disproved. How do these old school theories hold up today, how did they inspire us Then, and where did it all net out? This episode is a special look back at the boundless ingenuity of inspired minds of Harry Potter fans.

On Episode 217 we discuss…

→ What could have been, and what still could be? The potency of theories that still remain plausible
→ The book that started it all, for some of us…
→ How Harry Potter’s mystery genre enables many different outcomes as possibility
→ Neville’s memory, Peter’s hand, and Harry’s Gryffindor ancestry
→ Snape, the Overgrown Bat-shaped Man
→ is James Potter trapped inside Remus Lupin’s body? (Yes, and here’s why)
→ Ron Weasley is Dumbledore, Mark Evans is relevant and Dumbledore IS. NOT. DEAD.
→ False book titles, dropped plot threads like that dreaded red-headed Weasley Cousin and other such things that might have been!

To listen to the show, simply click the player below or direct download the episode. You can also subscribe to us on iTunes. For more information about the podcast and to find out how to be on the show, check out our Be On The Show! page.

Skype users can send us a message to username AlohomoraMN. And as always, be sure to continue the discussion below!

Listen Now: | Download


RECAP: EPISODE 216

On this recap we discuss…

→ The inherent danger in all classes, not just Hagrid’s
→ Difficulty of Muggle Studies
→ Cultural influences on schools of magic worldwide
→ Medieval tactics
→ Teachers’ continued areas of study

Listen Now: | Download

  • Newt’s case of biscuits

    Currently listening to the new episode and just wanted to comment on what Eric said about parents not letting there kids read the 5th book. I’m 15 currently and my mom let me read the first 4 books through and then made me wait. A year later she let me read it and I had not been spoiled. That year definitely made a difference because I cared about what was happening now. Before that I was just trying to get through them but when I read the 5th book I understood what was happening and understood why these books are so popular. I love Potter and enjoyed reading them through without having to wait because i remembered all the details of the previous books, and I was still shocked about dumbledore in half blood prince. I find all these old theories that I didn’t necessarily experience so fascinating so thank you for doing this great episode.

    • Paige Crawley

      Hi! I’m also fifteen, but I had a very different experience. I read all the books when I was about seven years old. I immediately fell in love, even though I didn’t understand everything. My parents never made me wait, and sometimes I regret this, but most of the time I’m glad I was able to read them all in succession. First of all, I really enjoyed being able to see the development of the story without pauses. I never forgot the little bits before moving on to the next part, so I like to think I got more of the subtler clues. I also really like re-reading books, so having read them all quickly allowed me to get into that quickly. Every time I read a book for the second (or in some cases seventh) time, I find something I missed the first time. I’m the type of person who hammers books until I get everything I can out of them, then comes back when I realize there’s more.

      • Newt’s case of biscuits

        I totally agree! I love rereading and noticing all those little things… since Harry Potter has all those little secrets reading once I’m older and realizing how I have matured and what I noticed is greay!

        • Paige Crawley

          Definitely! I think the true genius of the series is how the way you read it changes as you grow up. When I was little, HP was just a cool story about magic, but as I got older it became about so much more. Every time I reread, i appreciate the series even more.

          • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            It’s the next generation of Potterheads! Bless!
            #I’mnotcryingyou’recrying

    • cristiline

      I’m curious as to what age most people would consider GOF and OOTP appropriate for. I read GOF when I was seven, and OOTP at ten. Only thing holding me back was waiting for the releases.

      • The Doormats’ Memories

        I think it depends on the child in question. I was in a similar position to you, six for GOF and nine for OOTP. There were parts of both books which went completely over my head as a child, but I loved them and it made rereads all the more enjoyable because I picked up so much of what I had missed each time. My brothers are all younger than me and we read Harry Potter as a family up until OOTP, so my younger brother was reading OOTP at seven and still loves it. However, my other brother, who heard the audiobook at seven/eight didn’t get it at all and has never revisited Harry Potter because of it.

        I made my sister wait until she was ten to read OOTP, I know that she hasn’t grasped the complexities of it, but she loves the magic story of it. Part of the magic of Harry Potter is that even the later books can still appeal to a younger audience on a more simplistic level.

      • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

        in the last five or six years I’ve had this discussion roughly three to four times a year in one of my other online communities: When is the right time to start Potter and should the kids have to wait between books? (and/or watch the movies) Many parents suggest to let the child read as far as they want and if they’re scared, they’ll stop. As a fan myself I don’t subscribe to this, because I believe the best way to introduce a child to Potter is to read the books to them. It will probably take longer than letting the child read on their own, but in my experience it is excellent family quality time. The best time to start is when a child is genuinely interested in the books AND can tell the difference between a story and reality, and this point will vary from child to child.
        Also, a child who has read a lot of other books will be able to handle the tough parts better than a child who has not read that much or starts out into the world of books with Potter.

        For GOF and OOTP specifically, most parents argue that a child should wait _before_ GOF (because of the gross resurrection process, the murders, the torture, the dementors actually kissing Little Crouch…) If a child can handle the protagonist being tied to a tombstone and bringing his murdered friend back after battleing the villain (again) – then a thousand pages of bad dreams, trauma and Umbridge might be fine, too.

        With my child, we waited between books 6 and 7, because while reading book 6 aloud to my daughter I noticed clearly that continuing at that point would potentially damage her entire experience. So we finished the series right before Fantastic Beasts came out in the theatres and had a great Potter birthday party when she turned 11.

      • travellinginabluebox

        I started with the Potter series at age 8 and due to my parents gifting me the books 6 months apart I was 10 by the time I finished GoF. Which meant I only had to wait for 2 years instead of 3 for OotP, making me 12 by then.
        OotP was also the first book of the series that I read within 20 hours of myself laying hands on it. Then laying it down to get some sleep, and after 2hours of restless sleep picking it up again and reading the last couple of chambers again.
        With OotP I also remember being so (!!) angry whilst reading it. Whereas with HBP I was just mostly happy and enjoying it. Also obviously crying when old Dumbles died.

        I am glad that I grew up with the books, so the reading process was regulated by publishing dates. I am not sure if I had enjoyed the series as much, if I had rushed through it. I mean, I would still have loved the story, but the whole process of waiting and theorizing was what made it all the better. Definitely, glad to be part of the Potter family, where we can have these discussions on MN :-)

  • Paige Crawley

    I just bought the Ultimate Unofficial Guide to the Mysteries of Harry Potter and I can’t wait to see if they make a more convincing argument for the “Lupin is James” theory than Eric did.

    • Minerva the Flufflepuff

      Haha, poor Eric… I think I’ll get myself a copy, too, it sounds really interesting.

      • cristiline

        I definitely recommend it! Listening to the episode made me want to leaf through them again, but they’re back at my parents’ house. :(

        And I’m not sure if Eric mentioned it in the show, but they also put out a second book after OOTP was released. New Clues to Harry Potter Book 5.

        • Paige Crawley

          Thanks for the info!

      • Rosmerta

        I’m another one who’s bought this on Eric’s recommendation!

        • Silverdoe25

          Me too! Downloaded the iBooks copy.

  • Minerva the Flufflepuff

    I love how Rowling played with those kinds of theories with her characters sometimes, especially in books 6 and 7:

    In The Halfblood Prince when Harry is absolutely convinced to the point of obsession that Draco is planning something and is behind the poison and curse attacks. He turns out to be right, but Ron, Hermione and McGonagall react to his theories like he’s going a bit mad.

    Then in the Deathly Hallows, the trio are theorising a lot about the meaning of Dumbledore’s heirlooms, the Grindelwald situation, whether Dumbledore is actually dead (sorry, Ron…), and what his big plan actually was.

    An aside on the name Evans: it’s incredibly common where I live in Wales. Wikipedia suggests that it’s the fifth most common name in Wales and the tenth most common in the UK. New theory: Was Lily Evans Welsh? If so, what does it matter? 😛

    That reminds me of another theory which I love: that the four Hogwarts founders and their houses are representative of the four nations of the United Kingdom. It really matches with their birthplaces according to the Sorting Hat, and also the national flowers:

    England: Gryffindor from wild moor, house colour red like the Tudor rose
    Scotland: Ravenclaw from glen, blue like the thistle
    Wales: Hufflepuff from valley broad, yellow like the daffodil
    (Northern) Ireland: Slytherin from fen, green like the shamrock

    • Paige Crawley

      I feel like I’ve actually seen Jo mention that somewhere, but that might just be me wishing it were true

      • Minerva the Flufflepuff

        I can’t remember where I read that theory, but I’m convinced it’s a deliberate parallel.

  • Paige Crawley

    Update on Ultimate Unofficial Guide: At first, I was a little disappointed but as I got further into the analysis of book 2, I realized the authors point out some really interesting things.
    1. They pick up on for frequent mentions of “staring eyes”, from Dobby, to Ginny, to Mrs. Norris. I have never noticed this before, but it is obviously a totally genius way to hint at the Basilisk (staring eyes). I don’t know if anyone would have been able to “solve the mystery’ with this, but it is till quite delightful.
    2. There are at least three mentions of roosters and/or roosters crowing. This is also a subtle hint; the cry of a rooster can kill the basilisk.
    3. Socks. Aren’t socks always involved? Dobby is eventually freed with a sock, which isn’t an incredibly important plot point, but it is still fun.
    Conclusion? JKR is even more brilliant than I thought!

  • whitehelm

    I checked, and Rowling said that the theory “Ron is a time-traveling Dumbledore” is false. Fortunately this is different from the theory talked about in the podcast, which was that Dumbledore is a time-traveling Ron. The wording is important; the former is saying that young Dumbledore traveled forward in time to live as “Ron” for a while, which is obviously false because time-turners send you back in time, not forward.

  • Phoenix

    JKR did say something nice about “Lupin is James”! In the FAQ section of her old website, she called it “an ingenious theory”! But she went on to say that James would not have left Lily and Harry to Voldemort while saving his own life – which is definitely true, not just because JKR said it, but it absolutely fits with everything we know about James.

    I highly recommend re-reading the FAQ and rumors section on the old website (thanks, Wayback machine!). There are some great and funny answers hidden in there. My favourite one:
    “The Sorting Hat is a Horcrux” – “No, it isn’t. Horcruxes do not draw attention to themselves by singing songs in front of large audiences.” 😀

    • Paige Crawley

      Lupin is James is ingenious, i will give it that. Also, wouldn’t the books have been so much more entertaining if horcruxes did perform in front of crowds?

      • Phoenix

        Absolutely – and the films even more so! :)

        • travellinginabluebox

          Especially in Voldy’s high-pitched voice 😀

      • Badger Pride

        Well, one performed pretty regularly on the quidditch pitch! 😀

    • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

      Also, if James were still alive (in the form of Lupin), it would diminish the significance of Harry being an orphan and the concepts tied to that, e.g. the Tom Riddle parallel and the importance of choices, the family he found in the Weasleys and Hermione. It would of course have altered the symbolism in the deaths of Lupin and Tonks — leaving the next generation of war orphans — although that likely would not play out the same way if Lupin were James. I haven’t read the theory in full yet, so maybe it addresses this problem somehow, but we know that Rowling felt strongly about portraying how children are affected by growing up without parents. Yes, Harry would still have effectively grown up without knowing his parents, but the impact of that would be overshadowed if there were a glorious reunion with James in the end.

  • Huffleclaw

    First, thanks for the A++++ from Michael and Eric. I try! :p
    The idea of Rowling directly debunking theories intrigues me and I wonder if she did another one very recently. In the Foreward to the new Fantastic Beasts edition Jo – through Newt Scamander – says that some claimed Newt went to America as a spy for Dumbledore. Newt later goes on to say this is bonkers. I never followed a lot of the pre-release gossip and discussion so I may be completely wrong – but this suggests that maybe these were fan rumors and speculations before the release of Fantastic Beasts? Maybe Rowling is using this as a way to say, “Don’t forget, nothing is that easy in Harry Potter world!”
    Just adding that thought to the pot. Certainly we still speculate as we wait for new material!

    • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

      I don’t know if it was a theory before the movie release, but I definitely heard it as a theory between the movie release and the new book release. So yes, Jo very well may have been responding to that theory. I hope she responds to more in the future :)

  • Badger Pride

    Thanks for having me on guys, it was a really great discussion! Looks like Amazon will be wondering where the spike in sales for a 15 year old book containing speculation about a series that has now ended has come from!

    • Rosmerta

      I bought a copy, didn’t realise it was such a heavity book! You were great on the prodcast!

      • Badger Pride

        Aww, thank you! I got the Kindle version after Eric first mentioned it to me. I was hoping to get some read before we recorded, but didn’t really get much chance. I’m looking forward to sitting down with it and having a proper read!

  • Objective Unicorn

    Hiya!Guys what are the websites with all the vintage theories? I’d love to read more ::)

  • DoraNympha

    I actually didn’t even notice that there’s no explicit explanation to the fact that the Marauders are James, Sirius, Lupin and Pettirew, I always thought it must have been obvious even to those who didn’t read the book before the film? I’m starting to think it’s just me being kind of unable to separate the movie plot from the book plot. And I am always so surprised that that “oohh yes I knew her” was enough for such a strong theory that Lupin loved Lily! I mean, this is the movie in which Cuarón downright told Thewlis that his Lupin is supposed to be gay. But seriously, isn’t it obvious from the animal names and the animagus/werewolf revelations who the Marauders were? I can’t unknow the book plot in order to see it as absent from the film! Weird. But I’m still not sure that a queer reading of Lupin is debunked even now. I had never heard he was James in disguise, though! I’m not convinced but that’s legit argumentation there. And thanks for taking me back to the good old days of the Ron is Dumbledore theory haha. I also remember there was a really strong theory that Ron would sacrifice himself for Harry in the end because he did that in the chess game but Jo changed her mind and Ron survived after all.

    • cristiline

      >But I’m still not sure that a queer reading of Lupin is debunked even now

      Unfortunately, JKR’s Pottermore biography for Lupin is quite clear that he has never fallen in love with anyone but Tonks. I guess it doesn’t eliminate the possibility of loveless flings, but…

      I’m definitely bitter about that bio.

      • DoraNympha

        Yeah well falling in love and being able to fall in love are not the same thing so I’m with you. At any rate, a queer reading is still quite supportable in Lupin’s case for many reasons (and then there’s of course the canon-purism that ignores Jo’s writings published on Pottermore).

    • ousley

      My wife has seen the movies countless times, but only recently started reading the books. Solely based on the movies, she had no idea that the map had anything to do with the characters. There have been a lot of “ohhhhhhh so that’s what was going on with that” moments, so far, but that’s been one of the biggest ones.

      • travellinginabluebox

        Good on you, for convincing a movie fan to read the books 😉

        • ousley

          Heck yeah! I think her parents were of the “you can’t read that blasphemy” attitude growing up and then once the movies were out and she was older she didn’t realize they were different enough to be required reading. I’ve finally convinced her otherwise and she’s about halfway through!

    • EndTheStatuteOfSecrecy

      Prisoner of Azkaban was the first movie I “watched” and I had not read any of the books. I did not know who made the map until I read the book, four years later.

  • IFoundTheDiadem

    Listening to this episode and really enjoying! Love revisiting this stuff and hearing things I had missed out on. Adding to the “Ron is a Seer”/Ron is Accidentally Right Sometimes, I submit page 288 in Order of the Phoenix:
    “It could be a frame-up!” Ron exclaimed excitedly. “No- listen!” he went on…”The Ministry suspects he’s one of Dumbledore’s lot so- I dunno- they *lured* him to the Ministry, and he wasn’t trying to get through the door at all! Maybe they’ve just made something up to get to him!”

    ….essentially, Ron predicts exactly what ends up happening to Harry: Voldemort luring him to the Ministry under false pretense.

    • Paige Crawley

      “Ron is Accidentally Right Sometimes” Ha.

    • Paige Crawley

      There’s also this moment in book one where Ron says he’s glad the sorting hat is just a hat, he was worried he would have to wrestle a troll…
      I’m fairly certain JKR puts stuff like this in her books mostly for her own amusement

      • IFoundTheDiadem

        Sorry, just saw this! So true!

  • ILoveLunaLoveGood

    The Lost Day ie the entire day it took Hagrid to get Harry to Privet Drive was my favourite, i think it also involved Fudge being a Death Eater etc 😀

    • Paige Crawley

      I think Hagrid had to stop for snacks.

  • Casey L.

    Fascinating episode! I haven’t read that book or heard of the Lupin is James theory, although I did read speculation once that James was Snape! I’d have to do some searching to find the reasoning behind it, but if I remember right, that theory wasn’t nearly as strongly-supported as this one.

    A few that have intrigued me over the years include: McGonagall was a Death Eater, Harry is now immortal, Crookshanks was originally the Potters’ cat and perhaps my favorite, just because of how much fun it is – Mary Poppins was a Hogwarts graduate who decided to work in the muggle world.

    One recent one that has come up and is getting some attention is that Snape may not actually be dead. I personally think he is, but here’s the argument for anyone interested: http://metro.co.uk/2017/04/04/a-new-harry-potter-fan-theory-has-claimed-that-professor-snape-didnt-die-after-all-6553627/

    • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

      The Mary Poppins one is my favorite too 😀

    • Paige Crawley

      Interesting… i don’t know where the grounding for half of these comes from, but interesting all the same. I’ve never heard Snape-is-James, and I’ve very rarely seen arguments for Snape being alive.

      • travellinginabluebox

        Well the Snape is alive theory is literally a couple of weeks old, so really brand new. But I agree with @Caseyl45:disqus that I don’t believe the reasoning of this theory.

      • Casey L.

        Here’s information on some of the theories I listed above. I do feel like I should say I don’t believe most of these personally. Like I said above, they’re just intriguing.
        McGonagall the Death Eater: http://hp-essays.livejournal.com/170010.html.
        Crookshanks belonging to the Potters: https://www.quora.com/What-are-some-of-the-most-bizarre-fan-theories-about-the-Harry-Potter-series-which-may-be-true/answer/Yedu-Krishnan-1
        Immortal Harry: http://www.hypable.com/alternate-harry-potter-ending-boy-who-lived-theory/
        And my personal favorite: http://hayley566.tumblr.com/post/132433114137/mary-poppinsharry-potter-theory

        Still have to find the “evidence” for the James is Snape one, but here’s a little bit of reading for a start.

      • Casey L.

        Okay, here we go – James is Snape.

        First of all, I am going to offer this disclaimer. The proponent of the idea even calls it silly, for multiple reasons, including that it would have been bad fiction from J.K. Rowling. That being said, the idea comes from a book called “The Unauthorized Harry Potter” by Adam-Troy Castro. My copy of the book says it was an exclusive sold at Borders book stores, and it was published in 2006, so before Deathly Hallows, at a time when we didn’t yet know for sure which side Snape was on.

        The theory goes like this: During the first war, Snape gets taken out of the game for some reason, and Dumbledore finds out. The author offers the fantastic possibility that maybe he is present when “Snape melts into a puddle, crying something like, ‘Aaaarrrrggghhhh! Flobberworms! My only weakness!’”

        From there, Dumbledore somehow surmises that Voldemort is not aware that Snape is no longer a player in the war and decides to use this information to infiltrate the Death Eaters. He needs someone brave with a reputation for taking great risks and getting away with them … like James Potter. So Potter assumes Snape’s identity under the condition that Lily and Harry are protected, and someone else assumes James’ identity. “Snape” passes on the partial prophecy to Voldemort, not realizing it pertains to his own son, Pettigrew betrays them, and Voldemort murders “James” and Lily and fails to kill Harry. With Death Eaters at large, James cannot reveal he is really alive, so he continues to live as “Snape,” teaching potions at Hogwarts, where he remains through Harry’s school years. When Harry arrives, the author speculates that there could be an enchantment where, whenever James wants to on his son with affection or love, the magic translates those feelings into looks of hatred.

        From there, the author does delve into the canon, pointing out (of course) all the times “Snape” protected Harry. He also mentions the unusual anger “Snape” shows in PoA, speculating it could be because he thought Sirius had betrayed his family. At the end of GoF, he says James, if he were alive, might feel Sirius let the family down, subjecting both him and Harry to years of grief, explaining his continued grudge. Also, in this crazy universe, he also says the “James” in the graveyard could have easily been the imposter. In HBP, the author points out how “Snape” is teaching Harry, even after he has killed Dumbledore and is leaving the Hogwarts grounds.

        So, there you go – a theory even its author called silly – but it’s so wild (and has that brilliant line about flobberworms), I didn’t think I could let this episode pass without sharing it.

    • Phoenix

      Mary Poppins?! I had never heard of that before, but I love it! That’s definitely true!

    • hpandcarbs

      I almost forgot about Harry being immortal! Technically hasn’t been discredited still (he couldddd still be the Boy Who Lived and Never Died)

  • the head girl

    So Mark Evans isn’t related to Lily, but clearly, part of the Evans family left the Manchester area and immigrated to America, specifically Albuquerque, resulting in Sharpay and Ryan Evans from High School Musical. This also explains how Sharpay’s hair is always perfect and Ryan’s hats coordinate with his outfits – magic. 😉

    • Alison

      Oh my gosh, I’m choking laughing. I just watched those for the first time (a challenge from a friend and Netflix and a free weekend…) and it’s true, Ryan’s fashion can only be explained by magic. Oh gosh, crying laughing emoji right here.

  • ousley

    I enjoyed the brief mention of the “kids these days and the damn internet” and how for a lot of us it was sitting around being nerdy and actually learning stuff through our love of these books. I remember the COS Forums and probably more where I posted endlessly about HP, and around the time that we were speculating for OOTP and HBP, I was on the (Star Wars) Jedi Council forums talking endlessly about Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith theories.

    And, interestingly enough, in one of the general discussion areas of the Jedi Council forums, there was a “House Cup” game every few months, where you had house teams with tasks like writing fanfic, inventing new spells (and explaining what language root you borrowed for the incantation), and other activities that required actually researching the history of things in and out of the books to complete – a great learning process while having fun.

    And that led to more learning about all kinds of subjects and discovery of more books, movies, and more overall interests that I otherwise wouldn’t have had.

    And here we are, 15 years later, still doing it!

    • travellinginabluebox

      And never stopping… ALWAYS 😉

  • ousley

    I remember some discussion after “The Other Minister” that there would be quite a bit more Muggle-government involvement in the last book – possibly even something to do with connections between wizards and the governments and royal families of Europe. (Is Elizabeth II a witch?) Of course, the timeline of Fantastic Beasts certainly lends to a new generation of these theories.

    And then I saw this reposted a few times post- DH:

    “All the Weasley names except for Ron are either the names of a British king or queen or an Arthurian name (and Ron brings Harry into the family, and there have been 8 Harry’s [sic] on the throne; nine if you are a die-hard Jacobite). King George III was deaf in one ear – and he became king because of the untimely death of Prince Frederick.”

    It isn’t really a theory about anything to come, but fits in with some of the “readers are way too smart sometimes” commentary.

    • Minerva the Flufflepuff

      I didn’t know the King George & Prince Frederick trivia! That’s almost too good to be a coincidence…

    • Paige Crawley

      “If you are a die-hard Jacobite”. I mean, who isn’t?

  • ousley

    One of my favorite absolutely absurd ones I remember seeing: Lockhart was a transgender Veela who took potion to have the “Veela effect” on women, and that’s why none of them who adored him saw through the crap.

    • travellinginabluebox

      That’s a first to me and would possibly make sense. But isn’t it a fact that McGonagall isn’t fooled by him. So she seems to be resistable to his charms.

      • ousley

        I think there’s definitely different levels of susceptibility. For example, Harry was fine around Fleur, but Ron was a blabbering idiot, haha

        • travellinginabluebox

          True! But I had the imagination that especially older wizards were better around Veela’s, so that could possibly apply here as well. Only Mrs Weasley is making this theory hard to proof …

  • ousley

    When the initials R.A.B. broke the internet, I remember seeing some posts speculating that Cookshanks was Regulus Black – it explained why Sirius got along with him so well, why Sirius said the cat was very smart, and why it had an immediate hatred of Scabbers (beyond the whole cat chasing mouse thing).

    • cristiline

      Ohhh I’d forgotten about that one! That was good.

  • ousley

    Incredibly long-winded, in-depth one circa 2005: Hermione and Harry are siblings:

    http://www.cosforums.com/showpost.php?p=2111289

    • Paige Crawley

      whhaaaaaaat?

      • ousley

        The author sure put a lot of effort into streeeeeeetching things to fit haha

    • Paige Crawley

      The funny thing here, though, is that in the very first draft of PS, Hermione’s parents found Harry and raised him alongside her.

      • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

        Really? I’ve never heard that. What a difference that would have made!

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      This is nuts. lol

  • ousley

    The “Harry is a Horcrux” theory (that of course proved *partially correct* or whatever) also led down a path to speculation Harry would have to let himself be taken by dementors to destroy Voldemort’s soul as a final act of sacrifice.

  • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

    I’m quite glad Lupin is James was nothing more than a theory; I’d have hated to find out my favorite character wasn’t actually my favorite character- kind of like how Professor Moody seemed so awesome, only to find out he was Crouch Jr and we never really got to know Moody after all.

  • Phoenix

    By the way, all of the hosts/guests of this episode might as well become permanent hosts as far as I’m concerned. :)

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      I seem to remember a number of fans wanting David back last time he was on, so that’s cool.

  • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

    So confession time… even though I was on board with the series from the very beginning, I spent a solid 8-9 years actively rejecting fandom and all its trappings. I refused to watch the movies and didn’t care for all the related news ( in whiny preteen me voice “because they won’t be as gooooood!”), I thought people dressing up for book releases were nutjobs (eyeroll at myself) and I remember the first time I walked into a store to see a TON of HP merchandise and being appalled (How dare you capitalist materialism, taking advantage of my beloved book to sell me your crap!). As far as the online activity, I didn’t really enjoy being online much anyway, and I really liked making discoveries and theories myself so I didn’t want any revelations spoiled for me by someone on the internet figuring it out first. So really all the theories and fandom stuff only existed in my peripheries. If I could use a time-turner, I’d go back and kick myself in the shins for being a pretentious stick in the mud. While I am the complete opposite now, I totally missed the online Potter heyday. Thanks Alohomora, for giving me a taste of it, so entertaining.

    • Badger Pride

      I was exactly the same with the films! I had such a clear image in my head of what the characters and places looked like I didn’t want to risk damaging them by seeing them on screen. Then a friend from school lent me the first two on video (video!) and I realised that the characters are either so far from what I have in my head it’s not a problem (the trio) or so spot on they were basically what I was imagining anyway (almost any of the adults).

      I do wonder what reading Deathly Hallows would have been like if I’d never discovered Pottercast and Mugglecast though. By the time it came out the other books had been so thoroughly dissected that nothing was really a surprise – we were pretty sure Snape was good and working on Dumbledore’s orders, and that Harry was effectively a horcrux, and even that he’d have to go through some sort of death/rebirth. It was still satisfying reading it, but in an “aha! We were right!” kind of way, rather than “oh wow, I didn’t see that coming” way!

      • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

        VHS, wow. lol. Yeah, I didn’t see any of the movies until sometime before DH 1 came out. I was babysitting and the parents had rented PoA for the kids to watch since they’d just finished the book. It’s funny because I had to actually stop the movie about two thirds of the way through because the kids were getting sooo mad about it not being like the book. We had a quick mini discussion about why movies are different and that you kinda just have to enjoy it as its own thing and judge it on different terms. Going through that with them actually helped me appreciate it more, and I was so blown away by the casting and visuals in that film that it totally won me over. I made a point of seeing DH in theatres after that. Like you said, everything that I was worried about really ended up being pointless. Occasionally I get the films mixed up with canon, which is annoying but overall, not a big deal.

        I was only vaguely aware of fan theories by the time DH was published so I sort of know what it was like going into it “unspoiled”, so to speak. However, while I’m not generally one who likes to figure out the mysteries beforehand in books and movies, when you spend so many years reading and re-reading, over and over, you end up putting things together naturally anyway. So even though I didn’t have a strong idea of the theories the fandom was pushing, I think I’d arrived at a lot of the same conclusions anyway. I just had more of a solitary experience of those “aha!” moments rather than getting to revel in it with everyone else as a community. I think I’m making up for lost time now though haha.

        • Badger Pride

          At least you got to have those ‘aha!’ moments yourself though! That’s got to be far more satisfying than hearing someone else come up with something and thinking “yeah, that fits all the evidence, I hadn’t thought of it but I bet it’s right”!

          You’re right about some of the theories though – I genuinely don’t know how people even think them up in the first place! I guess that’s what happens when you make a huge, passionate fan base wait three years!

          As an aside – those kids were totally justified in getting mad at PoA! Yes, it’s gorgeous and films are a very different medium to books, but come on Cuaron –
          “As I’m no longer your teacher I have no problem giving you this map back”
          “Wait, how did you know it was a map?”
          “I helped make it. I’m Moony. I was friends with your Dad, Sirius and Peter – Prongs, Padfoot and Wormtail”
          It’s not hard!!

          *Ahem*. I’m OK now.

    • Lisa

      It’s always interesting to think about how our perception of the books was changed by getting involved in the fandom. I wasn’t part of the online community from the beginning either, more like halfway through the series. Some ideas I have now about the books or plot or characters did not come from me originally, I hadn’t thought of them while reading the books. Before becoming an “online” fan I never realized Snape was such a big deal and that shipping was a thing (which could start nuclear warfare). It’s hard to imagine what my opinions about the books would be now if I hadn’t spent many years discussing them and hearing everyone else’s theories and interpretations. My thoughts would probably be completely different.
      I know some people who say that the fandom ruined the series for them, and yes, sometimes there’s so much negativity that you’re better off reading on your own. It’s tough liking a character/pairing/plot device only to go online and see people trashing it. But in the end, to me the good far outweighs the bad and it’s totally worth some of the frustration I’ve felt along the way.

      • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

        Those are great points. There’s something of a lightbulb moment when one starts actively participating in the fandom online like “OMG, all these things I’ve been thinking about, that my friends are tired of hearing, are things other people are actually wanting to talk about too! I’m not alone in my obsession!” You’re totally right that joining the community in that sense affects how we then read and interpret the series, and I think it’s ultimately a good thing that we collectively gain new perspectives and ideas through those discussions. Just through Alohomora alone, I’ve gained soo much more insight that I wouldn’t have achieved on my own.

        As for experiences within the fandom having negative impact, unfortunately you’re right about that too, as is true with any fandom. It’s all about just taking the time to find a particular niche that suits each of us within the online community. Like for the non-canon shippers, they are probably going to find more support among the fan-fiction crowd than other places. Facebook fan page comments sections aren’t worthwhile forums for discussion in my opinion, because they are so riddled with in-fighting and just general nastiness over differences of opinion. That’s part of why I spend the majority of my Pottering around time here, because it’s all about picking apart the canon, which is where my particular interests lie, and because the interactions are overwhelmingly positive. Even when we disagree, I find this particular sub-community to be respectful and reflective in ways that can be hard to find online sometimes (largely in part, I think, due to the fine example set by the hosts). Plus everybody brings a spectacular body of knowledge to the table, not only in terms of the Potterverse, but of all kinds of topics as well. We just have to be discerning and pick and choose which parts of the fandom we choose to participate in, because like you said, it’s totally worth it.

  • Silverdoe25

    Digging up the old theories was so much fun! Let me just add another argument in support of “Lupin is James”: makes sense that if Lupin is really James that he would have made that attempt to go along on the Horcrux quest in DH! And since Lupin/James and Tonks have Teddy, then Harry ends up practically raising his “magical” half brother.

    One theory I really liked reading was either on MuggleNet’s or Leaky’s forums. I haven’t had any luck finding it in COS forums, and the Leaky Lounge is long gone. I swear I recall the thread being called “The Riddle in Harry”. It was a long essay about the connection between Voldemort and Harry via the scar. I remember the author theorizing that part of Riddle was in Harry. The amazing thing about this theory is that the author wrote the post after Chamber of Secrets! And it’s about the most accurate guess to the conclusion of the series I’ve ever seen.

  • Paige Crawley

    I finished The Ultimate Unofficial Guide, and I have found a new favourite old-timey theory: Celestina Warbeck is evil!!!
    The authors of this book are somehow comfortable with declaring this with a good deal of certainty, even though she is mentioned approximately six times. They are also fairly convinced that Arabella Figg and Perkins (the warlock Arthur works with) might be the same person. I don’t even know where the evidence for that one is.
    My second favourite thing in the book is when they discuss a JKR hint that a room with magical properties would be heavily feature in book 5, and that it had already be mentioned. As the authors list possible options ranging from the astronomy tower to the kitchens, they include a mention that they are discounting “Dumbledore’s joke” about a “disappearing room”, which is funny because we now know he actually was referring to the Room of Requirement. Sometimes people overthink things.

  • Badger Pride

    I always used to be in the “why can’t we have a six hour film that takes the dialogue verbatim?” camp, but as I got more involved with film-making and critical analysis I started to appreciate the differences and strengths of different media. When adaptation is done well it can be really elegant. I think I’m unusual in that my favourite of the films is OotP, mostly because I think it does an incredible job turning the longest (and in my opinion, weakest) book into one of the shortest, tightest films. Things like having Cho be the one to rat out the DA, albeit unintentionally, serves to disband the DA and break her and Harry up in one neat move, without having to introduce yet another character, and then in my favourite moment of the film, they manage to condense pages of Sirius’ arrested development and interactions with Harry, seeing him as his friend reincarnated rather than a son, into one line – “Nice one James!” So simple, but really effective!

    The Song of Ice and Fire is probably the best modern example I can think of (‘modern’, even though it predates Potter!) You’re right though, I think it can go a bit *too* far. I’ve only been reading since Dance With Dragons came out, and I’m already getting a bit sick of the wait! Certainly when it comes to theories though it seems to inspire similar levels of analysis and discussion, to the point most fans had figured out who Jon’s parents were before the reveal on the show. I think there are a lot of people who see the show as the primary version of the story now though, especially since it overtook the books. It would be interesting to find out if there are many people who consider the Potter films in the same way. I had a friend at uni who loved the films but hadn’t read a single page of any of the books, I didn’t think people like her existed!

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      Oh, Order is one of my favorites of the books (though I see the weaknesses in it) but I’ve never really considered how good the film is as an adaptation, so those are great points! Something to think about next time I watch it for sure. And you’re totally right about a good adaptation being more than just strict adherance to the source material. One of my all-time favorite book to film adaptations is Howl’s Moving Castle; it does such a good job that you don’t really even notice the changes. Plus the beauty of Miyazaki’s animation is so fitting for that particular magical world. If you haven’t read any of Dianna Wynn Jones books, or seen the movie, I highly recommend both! Though some of the books can be hard to find if you try to read all the series in order; many are sadly, out of print.

      With Game of Thrones, it’s set precedence for another weird canon situation I think. And I’ve definitely seen those arguements that now since the show has overtaken the books, that they should be considered more canonical. It’s crazy. Plus the fact that so many fans are fans of the show but have never read the books at all. I think there are plenty of people in the Potter fandom who have only seen the movies like your uni friend, but I’ve rarely seen anyone try to argue that what’s in the films is more canonical than the books. That was something I was afraid of when they anounced the films were going to be made- that people would only watch the films and stop reading or never pick up the books at all, but thankfully there are still plenty of people reading, even if they come to Potter through the films first. There are plenty of legitimate reasons for people not to have read the books, other than “I hate reading”, so I’m glad the films provide another avenue into the story. I think for the most part those people realize the films don’t tell the whole story. I still can’t wrap my head around those who love Potter and are perfectly capable of reading the books but are just like “meh, reading..no thanks. Movies are good enough” because so much of the Potter story as told by the films makes NO SENSE!

      • Badger Pride

        Deathly Hallows Part 1 has a great moment as well, probably one of my favourites in the series and it’s not even from the books – the dance with Harry and Hermione. I know some people find it cheesy and cringey, but that’s kind of the point. It also manages to visually get across an idea that I’d picked up on reading the book (and Jo has since confirmed), that something could have actually happened between Harry and Hermione during that period where Ron had left. Not because there was any romantic feeling between them, but because they were scared, and alone and only had each other. There’s that moment at the end of the dance where it looks like they *might* be about to kiss, but then break away. The fact it’s all happening with Nick Cave in the background is an added bonus!

        I read a few Dianna Wynn Jones a few years ago (at the grand old age of 25! Who says they’re for kids?!), although not Howel’s Moving Castle. I really enjoyed them, so I should hunt that one out!

        I bet if you looked at the proportion of people who have both read and seen the Potter films/books and compared it with the figure for GoT they’d be a lot different! Even for an avid reader they’re a big undertaking, so I imagine that would put a lot of people off. There’s also the unusual situation of the show purposely diverging from the books in many ways, and almost becoming an alternative canon. They’re both hit the same beats, but by this point are definitely their own things. You could certainly watch GoT and pick up pretty much everything you need to understand the story, whereas I’m still not sure how my uni friend managed to fully keep up with Potter going just the film route!

  • Lupin’s Furry Little Problem

    Hey guys! First post! Been following this podcast since the beginning, but because of school I always ended up falling behind…first time I’ve ever been caught up!

    I’ll echo the sentiment of others that I’m VERY glad that Lupin isn’t James, because Lupin is Lupin and I can’t stand the thought of it being any other way. I do remember reading those books and feeling hurt/betrayed at the possibility, because all the books weren’t out yet so it could very likely happen!

    I was struck by the discussion about Ron being a Seer, because it seems this is never ‘discounted’ – i.e., he could very well have strains of Seer-ness and it’s just never discovered. This brings to mind similar discussion happening in the Song of Ice and Fire fandom right now – a popular theory has sprouted up that Oberyn Martell poisoned Tywin before Tyrion killed him. There are several clues that point to it, but of course neither poisoner or poisonee are now alive to confirm or deny this. So does this make the theory canon? It’s such a wonderful gray area – and in my mind, what can make books so great, because it truly allows every reader to make his or her own conclusions about what’s ‘true’ or not!

    Thanks for keeping up such a great show, guys! As the tenth Doctor would say, “You look like giants to me.”

  • FlightOfTheThunderbird

    Such an awesome throwback. Thank you so much for leading this, Eric!

  • Mollywobbles

    I never knew that about the Priori Incantatem scene in GOF! I always wondered why James was before Lily, it bothered me so much!

  • hpandcarbs

    Disappointed because you left out one of my favorite old theories – Hermione as Harry’s ~secret sister~. I don’t remember the exact details but I know with her September birthday and Harry’s July one it would be possible. I think the theory was that she knew about him too and that’s why she wanted his friendship in Philosopher’s Stone / why she looked out for him so much.

  • Responding to the recap segment on Hagrid’s teaching qualifications: There might not be any formal teacher training programs for Hogwarts graduates, but Muggle/magical student psychology not being very different, half-bloods/Muggleborn/non-prejudiced pure-bloods could read books written for Muggle teachers on classroom management and related topics.