Dave: I have good news!
Really, now? What is it, he asked in a vain attempt disguise the fact he was acutely aware of what it was and how much is was going to hurt.
Dave: I’ve got a new theory about Harry Potter for you!
What a shock. Let me guess. Hagrid was a figment of Harry’s imagination? Voldemort is a Time Lord? Snape is secretely Harry’s father?
Dave: Hey, that last one is pretty good! Can I use that?
No, you can’t! Just tell me the damn theory!
Dave: Fine. Here it it. Harry, Snape and Voldemort all correspond to the brothers in “The Tale of the Three Brothers”, and Dumbledore is Death!
Hm. Interesting. Care to elaborate?
Dave: Well, Voldemort is power hungry, and his obsession with the Elder Wand is what is ultimately his undoing. which corresponds with the first brother. Snape fits the second brother, because both lost their loved ones, and died for their memories.
And Harry fits the third brother, accepting death. And when he sacrifices his life, who does he meet? Dumbledore, his “Old friend”, who owned all three deathly hallows, and manipulated the characters to where they had to be.
Is that all?
Dave: I think so.
Right. I’ll give it this. It is an interesting theory. I’d even go so far as to say it’s one of the most reasonable and well-arranged theories I’ve seen….
… which, considering the track record for fan theories, is saying practically nothing. Fundamentally, it still doesn’t add up.
Dave: Why not?
Several reasons. See, for the theory to work, all four characters must fit their corresponding character in the fairy tale. After all, you can’t have only one or two of them fit.
Dave: And all of them fit!
No, they don’t. I would be willing to concede that Voldemort would fit, with a bit of generalizing. The argument for Harry is flimsy, seeing as the third brother didn’t “face death” so much as spend his entire life HIDING from death, and while Harry did face death, there is the nagging issue of him not dying, which I would say was kind of necessary, seeing as the fairytale ended with the third brother “departing this life”, whereas Harry had the choice to, but didn’t…
This, of course, is all debatable. However as soon as you include Snape in the theory, it just falls apart.
Dave: What? Why!?
First of all, Snape is supposed to be the second brother. The brother with the resurrection stone.
Wouldn’t that kind of require Snape to, you know, use or at the very least possess the resurrection stone at ANY TIME IN THE STORY!?
At no point in the story does Snape own or use the stone or any of the other Deathly Hallows.
Dave: But he still fits the MO of the second brother!
Does he? Correct me if I’m wrong, but in the tale of the Three Brothers, the second brother was described as arrogant, wanting to humiliate Death by bringing back people from the dead, and ultimately hanged himself when his arrogance backfired.
Snape, meanwhile, lost the love of his life TWICE, once to the man he hated and once to Voldemort Avada Kedavra’ing the shit out of her.
But instead of doing the string jig, he suffered through the pain, and dedicated his life to protect her memory and her child, simultaneously a constant reminder of what he had lost and the one thing he had left of Lily Evans.
I’d say, all things considered, Snape is a stronger and overall better person than the second brother in the fairy tale, and to equate them is a terrible insult to a great tragic character.
Then there’s the idea of Dumbledore as Death.
Dave: Come on! That fits!
Perhaps at first glance, but let’s compare the two characters properly.
Dumbledore is manipulative, and possessed all three deathly hallows at some point, much like Death in the fairy tale.
But UNLIKE Death, he is also kind and caring, and is motivated by a desire to save the world from a cruel and terrible monster, devoid of compassion and love.
He is really nothing like Death, who was petty and stupid, motivated by “I wanted these three people to die and will manipulate matters to accomplish that” in what’s essentially a shorter, more wizard-y Final Destination story.
Dave: But he was the one behind Snapes and Voldemorts deaths!
You say that… First of all, Snape dying was not part of the plan. That was an unfortunate, and hopefully unforeseen side effect. After all, Dumbledore had no reason for wanting Snape dead. And as for Voldemort, his death was due to Harry becoming the master of the Elder Wand. This made Voldemorts killing curse rebound, refusing to kill its master, and instead killed Voldemort.
Dave: I guess….
The problem is, THAT was not part of the plan Dumbledore had! His plan for the Elder Wand was for its power to die with him! However, that plan went completely tits up the moment Draco Malfoy disarmed him, and there is no way in hell you can convince me that Dumbledore knew Harry would disarm Draco somewhere down the line!
So you see, Dumbledore as Death doesn’t really work, and Snape as the Second brother (thankfully) doesn’t work either.
Dave: Oh, but I have one more argument in favour for this theory? See, you’re not the only one who can play a trump card!
Oh? And what might that trump card be?
Dave: J.K Rowling herself endorsed this fan theory! Ha!
I see. And that is supposed to prove… what, exactly?
Dave: Well… that makes this theory perfectly valid.
No, it doesn’t. Christopher Paolini liked the Eragon movie. That doesn’t make that a good movie.
J.K Rowling can endorse the theory as much as she wants. That doesn’t mean it makes sense. The arguments I have pointed out against the theory don’t automatically vanish just because she says she likes the theory.
If she rewrites the story to accommodate those arguments, and to where the parallels are more accurate, then I would take that as a valid standpoint.
However, until she does so, I will maintain that this theory does not add up.
So, unless Dave has anything further to add, I think it’s time we wrapped this up…
Dave: Now that you mention it, I have one more theory!
And it is times like these I really wish I would keep my mouth shut… Fine. Let’s make this quick. What is the theory?
Dave: Here it is.
Dave… What the actual fuck!?
Dave: See, the theory is-
I don’t care!
Dave: But I-
No! We are NOT fucking doing this. I am not even going to let you explain this, because that would make me an accomplice in making the world dumber.
We’re ending this right now, and if you ever suggest this theory to me again, I swear to God I’ll drown you in a deep fryer.