Harry Potter fan theories aren’t exactly a new thing. In fact, avid readers of J.K. Rowling’s acclaimed wizardry series have come up with some pretty insightful hunches about subliminal messages weaved between the lines of the books, with many gaining cult-status thanks to social media.
Most of the theories are harmless and often enhance the characters and story-lines laid down by the author herself. However, the latest musing gaining traction is somewhat less innocent than those that came before it, and has die-hard Harry Potter enthusiasts divided in opinion.
The new narrative centres around a Horcrux, which is related to the darkest kind of spell in the world of magic and beasts and wands: the killing curse, where a dark wizard places a piece of their evil soul into an object.
One Reddit user has taken this piece of Harry Potter iconography and shaped a new theory about how a Horcrux is made, and it’s seriously grizzly.
The post reads: ‘My theory is that in order to make a Horcrux, you must consume the flesh and blood of your victim.’
That’s right – cannibalism. Yikes.
For those of you who are keen Potter partisans, here’s the user’s theory in full:
‘Cannibalism has, throughout history, been associated with gaining strength, power, or health from the dead. Necromancy (the more fantastical version of it, at least) is the art of using the dead for power, and was one of the reason witches were so feared in the middle ages. That is essentially what a Horcrux is: killing to gain power. Why not take it a step further and include the actual body? It wouldn’t be much of a stretch to assume that a black magician would kill someone specifically to use their body for necromancy – and this sounds like one of the darkest possible arts to me.’
‘And this is why this really stands out to me: the creation of a Horcrux is meant to be done by murdering someone, and therefore splitting your soul. But Voldemort doesn’t always commit murders himself. Moaning Myrtle was killed by a basilisk, which isn’t really murder even if Riddle had ordered it to kill. He might have been to blame for the death, but then Harry would be to blame for a lot of people’s deaths without having a torn up soul. There shouldn’t be anything to really connect Voldemort’s soul to Myrtle – unless he took it upon himself to connect them physically. Plus, the only other way we’ve seen to remove a soul from a body is the killing curse, which is like aiming a tank shell directly at someone’s heart: not the way to cut off just a small portion of it and save it for later. But if a recently torn soul fragment is connected to a recently departed soul, the dead might be able to lift the soul fragment out when it goes – but the connection must be made, and sicking your guard dog on the first kid you see doesn’t make much of a connection. A necromantic spell on a piece of flesh you consume, however, that sounds like a way to connect souls.’
How we long for the days when Harry was innocent and was simply picking out his wand at Ollivanders. It was a simpler time.