J.K. Rowling’s truth about Hagrid spawns sad ‘Harry Potter’ fan theory
“Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling often interacts with fans on Twitter to share previously unknown facts about the characters from the wizarding world of her books, but a recent confession about Hagrid has left some people sad.
When asked about what form Hagrid’s Patronus takes, Rowling replied that Hagrid actually can’t produce a Patronus because “it’s a very difficult spell.”
Fans will remember that Rubeus Hagrid, who was named the Care of Magical Creatures professor in “The Prisoner of Azkaban,” initially was the gamekeeper at Hogwarts who was tasked with reintroducing Harry to his wizarding roots.
It is revealed during the series that Hagrid attended Hogwarts while Tom Riddle was also a student at the school, and that Hagrid was expelled during his third year (because Riddle, in his pre-Lord Voldemort days, framed him for opening the Chamber of Secrets).
The expulsion led the Ministry of Magic to break Hagrid’s wand and forbid him from using magic. The fact that Hagrid is not a fully qualified wizard makes it very likely that the Patronus charm is beyond his magical skills.
While Harry was able to cast the Patronus charm successfully during his third year, the powerful defensive spell is famously difficult, and many witches and wizards are unable to cast the spell. It is absolutely believable that Hagrid simply does not have enough magical training necessary to cast the charm himself.
However, fans who saw Rowling’s tweet were heartbroken when they considered an alternate reason why Hagrid is unable to produce a Patronus.
In order to successfully cast a Patronus, a witch or wizard must draw upon their happiest memory. So other than a lack of magical skill, there is only one other reason a wizard would be unable to cast the charm successfully.
Because of this, some fans have theorized that Hagrid doesn’t have a happy enough memory to cast the charm (much like Harry, who had trouble selecting a strong enough happy memory when initially training to cast a Patronus).
Hagrid, in addition to being kicked out of Hogwarts, did not have the happiest of childhoods. The half-giant’s giant mother was not very maternal, leaving him to be raised by his (tiny) father, who died when he was young. Not to mention the wizarding world doesn’t seem to always be the most progressive when it comes to nonhuman magical creatures.
Since the “Harry Potter” series has never shied from darker, unhappy truths, the theory is not unreasonable.
Hopefully, Hagrid has since made enough happy memories that that is not the case.
In other news, Sept. 1 is the day students make their way (back) to Hogwarts. Who’s ready for the start-of-year feast with James Sirius Potter?
Inside the business of entertainment
The Wide Shot brings you news, analysis and insights on everything from streaming wars to production — and what it all means for the future.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.