Was Harry Potter’s owl Hedwig collateral damage of a daring escape, or a necessary sacrifice to ensure the safety of Harry Potter? That’s the question one new theory addresses about the opening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Here’s a quick recap of what happened: in order to help Harry escape from the Death Eaters that are lying in ambush outside the spell-protected Privet Drive home, multiple characters imbibe Polyjuice Potion and in order make themselves look identical to Harry. The plan is to have each “Harry” leave with a different member of the Order of the Phoenix, forcing the Death Eaters and Voldemort to split up and chase numerous false leads.
The real Harry is with Hagrid, and during their flight, Harry’s trusted owl Hedwig is hit with a curse and killed. It’s one of the first devastating deaths in The Deathly Hallows, and certainly not the last. Now, though, a new theory says that it was no accident that Hedwig was hit; rather, it posits that Harry’s fine feathered friend was intentionally killed.
This new theory, posed by Jo Mary Walker on Tumblr, suggests that Hedwig was not the victim of a stray Death Eater killing curse, but rather the sacrificial lamb of someone trying to actually protect Harry. She suggests that Snape himself killed Hedwig because the owl’s presence was too much of a giveaway to which Harry was the real Harry Potter.
There is certainly a real logic to this idea. Snape would not hesitate to sacrifice a pawn in the cause of saving Lily’s son. If nothing else, it is a testament to the wonder of J.K. Rowling‘s books that, years later, there is still so much to dissect from this story.
What do you think of this theory? Tell us in the comments below.
Image: Warner Brothers
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