Tag Archives: Dumbledore

The Top Six Plot Twists in the Harry Potter Series

Plot twists represent a very important aspect in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Every book has an impacting twist that changes our outlook on certain characters, events, or settings. These twists make reading the Harry Potter series even more exciting to read a second (and third and fourth…) time through as we now see the clues and hints that point us to the bigger picture and it’s amazing. And today, I’ll be counting down the Harry Potter series’ best twists! These twists are ranked by their impact in the book and series’ storyline, their tentative balance between storyline clues and shock value, and the about-face perception they have on our viewpoints. Let’s dig in.

#6-Hermione’s Time Turner in Prisoner of Azkaban

Book 3 exposed a lot of twists, turns, and reveals in the iconic Shrieking Shack scene; so imagine our surprise when we get one last twist that comes straight out of science fiction land. Hermione’s Time Turner is one of the most talked about things in Book 3 and that’s because it was done SO WELL. Hermione’s strange behavior and even stranger skill in attending so many classes was revealed because of time travel. I love this twist so much as time travel was never talked about at all until this moment yet we aren’t cheated by the notion that wizards can time travel. It seems very natural in the Harry Potter universe. What’s more, the reveal leads to one of the most brain boggling scenes in the franchise with two Harrys and Hermiones at the same time. Many discussions of paradoxes and predestination were born from this reveal alone. Finally, Hermione’s Time Turner saved two lives and got us wondering what else there is in the Harry Potter world that we don’t know about yet.

#5 Tom Marvolo Riddle is Lord Voldemort from Chamber of Secrets

It’s hard to remember that at one point in time this twist was profound. Voldemort is barely mentioned at all in this book and BAM, he’s the main antagonist. In the back of all of our heads, we knew Voldemort would eventually return but we didn’t expect him to do so quickly and in the form of a diary as well. It’s certainly quite chilling when Riddle wrote his name in the air and with a simple flick revealed “I Am Lord Voldemort.”  AGH!  IT WAS RIGHT THERE!

This twist certainly gave us an early insight into Tom’s pre-Voldemort’s life and showed us what kind of man he was even at a young age (something that we saw more of in Book 6). But here, we learn that he was a charmer, a manipulator, and a scheming wizard already bent on building his own legacy. The reveal also works quite well as we are led to believe, but with little overemphasis, that Tom is a stand up guy who unfortunately accused the wrong person. Unlike other twists on this list, this twist’s reveal stuck around until the very end of the series, it’s that important.

#4 Mad-Eye Moody is Barty Crouch Jr. in Goblet of Fire

So the “Goblet of Fire” movie made it painfully obvious that something was up with Mad Eye Moody. Hey, he’s licking his lips creepily and is drinking from his flask constantly! What’s up with that? The book downplayed this quite a bit as Barty’s impression of Moody was almost spot on, even fooling the likes of Dumbledore.

This twist is just so mind blowing that I can’t help but admire it. Every weird little detail, like the missing Polyjuice Potion ingredients or Barty Crouch’s name on the Marauder’s Map, is so obvious that we slap ourselves on the forehead for missing it. And it’s not like the Time Turner twist where we didn’t know time travel existed, we have straight up seen the Polyjuice Potion used before in an important scene just two books ago. This twist further piles up as Hammer Space was introduced earlier during the Quidditch Cup so we know that large rooms could be contained in smaller enclosures. This plot twist is so good that you really can’t help but wonder why the characters don’t talk about it more in the proceeding books.

#3 Pettigrew was Scabbers (amongst a few other twists as well) in Prisoner of Azkaban

So again, the movie kind of forces too much emphasis on this twist but the book, thankfully, pulls this off wonderfully. Oh my gosh, there’s so many reasons why I like this twist. So like the Barty Crouch Jr. twist, we are given many hints at the true nature of this reveal such as the existence of Animagi (we first see this in Book 1 via Professor McGonagall), Scabbers/Pettigrew’s missing finger, and the Sneakoscope.

But what makes this twist very noteworthy is that it comes as a great, well-delivered gut punch! Okay, Sirius is revealed to be an Animagi. Oh crap! That’s crazy! That’s how he was able to do all his escape feats! And then we are revealed that Lupin is a werewolf. This is not as surprising because this is a bit more obvious given Snape’s lesson and Lupin’s health.

After thinking we have seen it all, the Scabbers’ twist comes out full force and we are shocked that this grown-man-turned-rat had been with Harry this entire time. Holy crap. I think this twist really hones in the fact that the Harry Potter series has layers of intertwining plot elements that are not contained within their individual books. Scabbers, this innocent, comic-relief character, is actually a back stabber and works for the Dark Lord. And of course, once this is revealed, Scabbers escapes and eventually finds Lord Voldemort and resurrects him. Not only does this twist has impact but it has consequences as it kicks off Harry’s war with Lord Voldemort. Damn I love Harry Potter.

#2 Quirrell is Two Faced in Sorcerer’s Stone

The first Harry Potter twist and one that would set the twist benchmark for the rest of the series. First off, people new to the series would hopefully find this twist surprising in that there was a twist to begin with. Readers perhaps knew Snape wasn’t the guilty party, there’s a lot of emphasis on him after all, but perhaps readers were surprised that it’s Quirrell who Harry faces in the end. Poor, stuttering, Professor Quirrell. Nonetheless, J.K. Rowling does not insult the reader with this twist. Quirrell was there in Diagon Alley when Gringotts was broken into, he had a lively conversation with Snape, and Hermione bumped into him during the Quidditch game (which broke his concentration on Harry). Well played, Rowling.

Perhaps the one fault I have with this twist is the lack of impact it had on the rest of the series. Yes, Quirrell was mentioned occasionally here and there but nothing too meaningful or insightful. Before the final books were released, many fans guessed that Quirrell would return similar to other recurring elements. But surprisingly, he didn’t. This lack of series impact is unlike our final twist that forever changed the books…

#1 Snape Kills Dumbledore in Half-Blood Prince

Rosebud, Luke’s Father, “he was dead the entire time;” some twists are so iconic that we know them despite not even seeing the material. Snape killing Dumbledore is so iconic that it has reached this level of spoilers. It’s that good.

Why does Snape killing Dumbledore have a huge impact on us? I think the foremost reason is how so unexpected it is. You see, we were pretty sure Dumbledore would die in one of the last two books but what we didn’t expect was the method of his death. Most people probably guessed that Voldemort would kill Dumbledore (or Malfoy as they read Book 6). Snape killing Dumbledore though comes almost out of nowhere leading us completely aghast. And mind you, by the time Book 6 came out, Harry Potter was a global phenomenon that had die-hard fans combing through the preceding books. Nothing in those five books even hinted at this.

The second reason why this spoiler is so iconic is how much it changed the name of the game. Dumbledore is dead, Snape is a traitor, Hogwarts is no longer safe, and the Order of the Phoenix is in trouble. Harry’s fallbacks are gone or tattered and he can only rely on a few people now. Dumbledore’s death drastically changed the standard series’ plot in Book 7 as Harry Potter no longer lives at Hogwarts taking magic lessons; he is on the run, on a quest to destroy Voldemort’s horcruxes.

And to top it off, as a sweet cherry on this amazing twist, the reveal is iconic because how succinct it is. Snape Kills Dumbledore. You only need three words to describe this twist. And because everyone is already so familiar with the characters we were in dire peril of being massively spoiled for it. I’ve heard and read stories of jackasses driving up to Book 6 releases and shouting, “Snape kills Dumbledore” and driving off. Those people are the worst.

It’s because of this twist that Book 7 was heavily, HEAVILY guarded from spoilers. The series’ book artist couldn’t divulge anything to her husband, book stores clamped down hard on distributing books, the list goes on. When Book 7 was released, I read it as fast as I could and stayed away from the internet until I was done. Everyone was so wary of spoilers because of this twist. And because of that, I can think of no other twist that deserves the number 1 spot more than this one.

What do you think? Do you think these twists deserve their spots? What twists do you think I left out that caught you by surprise? Let me know in the comments section!


Harry Potter and the Parallel Themes, An Analysis

The Harry Potter series is one of the best, most intertwined series I have ever read.  Items briefly seen and characters mentioned could play a key role in a later in the series.  We see Hagrid mention of Sirius in book 1, Voldemort’s horcruxes in book 5, and the Polyjuice Potion in book 2.  However, there’s something else that makes J. K. Rowling’s wonderful series all the more intertwined.  Something that I would like to refer as *cough* Harry Potter and the Parallel Themes!

Okay, imagine the seven books in the series.  Smack dab in the middle is book 4.  Ah yes, the Goblet of Fire, a very important addition in the series.  It stands at a doorway between children goodiness and young adult realism.  Books 1-3 were not as dark or as foreboding as books 5-7 and had more uplifting endings.  Indeed, you can feel this transformation come forth as you read GoF; terror at the World Cup, former Deatheaters make their appearance, the first emotional death, and the rebirth of Voldemort.  It’s no wonder many people, including my sister, like this book the most.

Now imagine this.

Imagine that book 4 is the focal point of the series.  As you step farther and farther away from this mirror, certain themes, plot points, and characters that you were once introduced to now become reintroduced with a stronger focus.

Take for example, books 3 and 5.  These two books share many things in common with each other.  The prominent role of Sirius Black, the return of the Dementors and Lupin, prisoners escaping Azkaban, and Harry’s dad’s past.  Harry’s dad seems especially important in these two books as Harry now learns so much more about him and subsequently realized that he wasn’t that great of a guy.   Harry’s relationship with Cho also plays a role.  He was introduced to her in book 3 and their tumultuous relationship ended in book 5.

Now, let’s take a step further, book 2 and 6.  This is where I began to notice the parallel events in the series.  Indeed, it’s pretty noticeable, most prominently of which were horcruxes.  In book 2, we saw our first horcrux, the diary.  And though its origins were hinted at, we were finally revealed in book 6 what it truly was, a part of Voldemort’s soul.  This was a part of a more important concept mainly Tom Riddle’s past, something that book 2 grazed over.  Of course, there are other smaller things.  Ginny’s infatuation with Harry in book 2 finally blossomed into an actual relationship in book 6 and Aragog’s old age finally bested him at the same time.  I was actually hoping throughout most of the book that we would see the Ford Anglia, but alas, that wasn’t the case.  Finally, Fawkes the phoenix was introduced in book 2 and we last saw him in book 6.


Also, this was one of the best scenes in the book AND the movie, no doubt

But what about book 1 and 7?  Going into it, I thought we would surely see the Mirror of Erised which played a strong and melancholic role in the first book.  It would only be fitting that we would see this magical device again.

Alas, again, this was unfortunately not true and I was sad because of it.  But we got something that I didn’t expect.  Dumbledore’s past.  Indeed, our only window into Dumbledore’s past was through the Chocolate Frog Cards which gave a light description of Dumbledore and his battle with Grindelwald.  Now, in book 7, we see the dark, sad, and lonely past of Albus.  It was almost too much to bear.  Gringotts made its return as well along with Griphook the goblin.  The Gringotts’ boast of being the most secure place in the Wizarding World (second only to Hogwarts) in book 1 was finally tested in book 7 and was subsequently foiled by three teenagers and a blind dragon.  This was very fascinating to me as when we first saw Gringotts, it was a magically mysterious place that seemed more strange than dangerous.  But in book 7, we see its true colors of paranoia, greed, and hate.

But most important out of all of this are the Deathly Hallows (the magical items, not the book).  True, many themes from all the other books come back to book 7 but the Deathly Hallows have their special roots in book 1.   The Invisibility Cloak’s, which was given to Harry during his first year from Dumbledore, origins were finally revealed (and why Harry’s dad had it).  The Resurrection Stone, though first seen in book 6, was hidden in Harry’s very first golden snitch.  Of which, its puzzling lock frustrated Harry through most of book 7 as he tried desperately to open it. It is a relief when he finally figures out how to open it.

I’m still impacted by that passage “I open at the close.”

Deathly Hallows

And finally, rounding it off, the Elder Wand, passed along from powerful wizard to powerful wizard, finally ending with Dumbledore.   And it’s not just the Elder Wand, the connection between a wizard and his wand was never elaborated on, save briefly in book 4, until book 7.  It is because of this importance that we see why the climatic events at Malfoy Manor in book 7 were so important.  Harry had sealed his fate, and Voldemort’s as well, when he disarmed Draco Malfoy and became the rightful ruler of the Elder Wand.

These parallel events really go to show how great of a writer J.K.R. is.  Even before she knew she had a big hit on her hands, she had been dropping themes, ideas, and characters long before their importance was established.  What’s more, she took it a step forward and made a clever series of parallel events that really helps tie the book series together.  It’s very likely that I’m not the first person to notice this, as such, what other parallel events and such have you noticed in the series?

Finally, I just wished that I could have seen the Ford Angila one more time!