Is Harry Potter Immortal?!

WARNING: Based on personal experience, the following topic has the tendency to create long and heated debates over the cafeteria table. Bring it up to friends at your own risk!

Since their inception, the Harry Potter novels have generated plenty of fan theories, many of which have some real merit. In my opinion, the best theory is one proposed by imgur user HPWombat. They suggest that Harry Potter could actually be immortal. No, Harry did not split his soul into seven, nor did he steal a bit of the Sorcerer’s Stone. The theory goes like this:



We all know the famous prophecy that Professor Trelawney gave to Dumbledore back in 1980, the one that essentially sealed Harry’s fate. If you did not spend your childhood memorizing all of the prophecies like I may or may not have most certainly done, let me refresh your memory: Professor Trelawney claims that “either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives” (OotP 191). In the novels, Harry and Dumbledore focus in on this idea. Both believe that the two powerful wizards cannot concurrently live in the same world. As a result, one must kill the other. Certainly, this is true since Voldemort needed to be the one to “kill” Harry so as to destroy the Horcrux within him, but what if this were the only way Harry could die?

The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches… Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies… and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not… and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives… The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies…” (OotP 191)

Crazy, I know. When I first heard it, I had to stop and think, but then I remembered that this is J.K. Rowling we’re dealing with here; she is the queen of riddles and misdirection. In fact, she has already proven once that the prophecy could have been interpreted differently and still have been correct. Both Neville Longbottom’s and Harry’s parents had defied He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named three times, and both boys were born at the end of July. The only difference was that Voldemort chose to go after Harry, marking him “as his equal” (OotP 191). The crux of the fan theory lies in the line “either must die at the hand of the other” (OotP 191), suggesting that it does not just mean that the other must be the one to administer the fatal blow, but that it is the only way either wizard can die.



In an ironic twist, HPWombat suggests that without Voldemort around, Harry must forfeit his chance to visit the King’s Cross in the sky again. At first, this idea sounds like nonsense, but if you think about it, it makes sense. Unlike You-Know-Who or even Dumbledore, Harry views death as a reasonable sacrifice to make, one he has already made once. In fact, we know that death is the only way for Harry to ever see his loved ones again, making his immortality the last and greatest sacrifice Harry makes during the war.



Furthermore, some commenters believe that because Harry has already turned down the option to “board a train” (DH 722), he may not receive another offer. Still, others claim that Harry could have turned Fawkes the phoenix into a Horcrux, yet neither option provides, in my opinion, as strong support as HPWombat’s. So what do you believe? Could Harry be the Boy Who Lived Forever?


Lindsay Docken

I first learned about the Boy Who Lived when I was six years old and became hooked. Despite being a proud Gryffindor, I think I most relate to Newt Scamander because I'm also introverted and work with animals. Unfortunately, though, I've yet to come across any Nifflers!