First of all, I did not draw this, but I wish I had. Best fanart ever.
There will never be anything quite like Harry Potter within our lifetimes again. That's kind of a heavy thought to start out with, but what I mean is that we'll never see anything like the Harry Potter fandom again (sorry Twilight fans, you don't count).
The reason is simply because all the books are out there in the world for new fans to discover and read in order one after the other with no waiting. Let's not forget that it took so very long for each new book in the saga to be released. This was the first such book series to be released during the Web 2.0 revolution, and so fans were able to easily share their guesses as to what would happen next.
Some of the resultant fan-theories are pretty hilarious in hindsight, now that we know what actually happened in the story. And so, as you get pumped for the "Halfblood Prince" movie, here is my brief, humble tribute to my favorite such theories, in no particular order:
Lily Potter was an Animagus and Hedwig is her alternate form.
This one might just be my absolute favorite silly-in-hindsight fan theory. It is only matched by...
Ron Weasley is actually a time-traveling young Albus Dumbledore.
Curiously, this theory hinges not on the fact that Harry has such a close friendship with both characters - but because of the events surrounding the chess match in Philosopher's Stone. And because they both have (or had) red hair.
Neville is actually the Chosen One.
This hinged on Trelawney's -shall we say- less-than-reliability as a source of information. To be fair, the Prophesy could have been taken either way. Note that Neville's life sucks only marginally less than Harry's.
Neville is the Half-blood Prince.
Or, better yet...
Neville's pet toad Trevor is the Half-blood Prince.
Heheh, I still like this one.
Neville will be the one to defeat Bellatrix LeStrange. Poetic justice considering what she did to his family.
Yeah... about that...
Sirius Black is just hiding!
"And he's really Stubby Boardman! And the Veil really doesn't kill you for real; we don't even know what it was! And he can come back somehow! And Ponch from the Young Wizards series totally is really Sirius! And and and..."
Man, you'd think no beloved character ever died in a book before. (Where were these people to console me after I read Mostly Harmless?)
On a similar note:
Dumbledore will continue giving advice through his portrait.
Death, it turned out, really didn't stop Dumbledore from raining exposition on Harry -- though it didn't happen the way fans expected.
Speaking of the Portraits, we'll finally learn how the intellectual paintings actually work.
Whether they contain a bit of their subject's consciousness or if they're a direct line to the afterlife or something like that. We never really learned anything about how the paintings work and/or are produced. That's been kind of a disappointment for me.
Harry is a Horcrux and he dies in the last novel.
The second half of this theory isn't too out-there (and as we all know, Harry doesn't stay dead), but the first half is crazy enough for it to be genuinely surprising that it turned out to be true. Sort of. It was complicated.
Mrs. Weasley will go all Lt. Ripley on Bellatrix LeStrange.
Actually... I don't think any of us saw that one coming.
And for more fun, here's a repeat from an old MySpace blog post:
Things I hope do not happen in Deathly Hallows.* - Surprisingly, Norbert reappears and eats everyone.
* - A spell goes awry and everyone is transformed into different species of iguanas. The rumored spin-off series takes off from here.
* - Harry and Ron are riding their broomsticks around when out of nowhere, two a**holes in a passing truck shoot them both.
* - Kurt Russell meets everyone in an elevator in some mysterious building, where he calmly explains that they're all dead and dreaming the whole thing. (Yes, "Vanilla Sky" still has the most insulting cop-out ending ever.)
* - In a shocking twist, Draco flies down out of nowhere are skewers Ginny with a sword longer than she is tall.
* - Voldemort reveals the terrible truth of his tragic past and mysterious connection to Harry - immediately before he suddenly kills Harry. Harry finds himself in a strange world wracked by war and devoid of any magic whatsoever. Also, somehow Fritz Lang is involved.
* - My favorite character dies.
* - As the Universe is rebuilding itself after the destruction of Voldemort's evil, Harry promises Ginny that he will find her somehow even though they are seemingly being stranded in separate worlds (cause Harry is suddenly unable to jump a three foot gap).
* - Your favorite character dies.
* - We flash-forward to three years hence when Harry has a secret meeting with Ginny and he cries and cries at her "Why did we leave Hogwarts! It wasn't meant to happen! We have to go back, Ginny! WE HAVE TO GO BACK!!!"
* - Two words: "Sopranos" ending.
And, what the hell, an old LaGremlin list:
Rejected Titles for the last Harry Potter Novel
"Harry Potter and the Magic Mushrooms!" (I guess you can already tell what direction we're going in here. I apologize.)
"Harry Potter and the Fantabulous All-Powerful Nose-Hairs of Mythra Khan!!!"
"Harry Potter and the Skull-Cracking Hangover!"
"Harry Potter and the Altar of Blood!"
"Harry Potter and the Evil Within!"
"Harry Potter and the Miami Sound Machine!"
"Harry Potter and the Golden Pot Bowl!"
"Harry Potter and the Granny Broth!"
"Harry Potter and the Hot Goth Chicks!"
"Harry Potter and the Burning Wizz!"
"Harry Potter and the Hella-Boring Low-Paid Dead-End First Job!"
"Harry Potter and the Acidic Booger!"
"Harry Potter and the Long Stream of Drug References!"
"Harry Potter and the Poison Arrows From the Sky!"
"Harry Potter and the Restaurant at the End of the Universe!"
"Harry Potter and His New Roommate Saruman!"
"Harry Potter and the Caverns of Steel!"
"Harry Potter and the Mystery of the Fifth Beatle!"
"Harry Potter and the Nothing!"
"Harry Potter and the Estate of Roald Dahl's Lawyers!"
"Harry Potter and the God-Damned Riddle-Man!"
"Harry Potter Gets Schooled by the Elric Brothers!"
"Harry Potter and *S-O-O-O-O-O-O* Many Unresolved Plot Points." (It was funny for "Star Wars", it's funny here.)
Off-topic, so consider this an addendum to Monday's post. You know how I said that the reputation of an excellent work of fiction that is a semi-obscure cult hit (like "Avatar") can be all but destroyed by a sh**ty film adaptation? Yeah. Meet the teaser trailer for the long-in-development-limbo film of The Time-Traveler's Wife (FYI, the last science fiction novel that made me think), which appears to have been filmed in Glorious "What Do You Mean it Wasn't Written by Nicholas Sparks?" Vision.