Are We Overanalyzing?
An original editorial by Rob P.
It seems to me that there are several aspects of the wonderful Harry Potter series
that people have been overanalyzing. We love the stories so much that we see clues
where no clues exist. A coincidence becomes a potential plot point, and we want to
be the ones who pointed it out first. It is often amusing, but to some degree it
borders on annoyance to see just how many people buy into it.
I will start off by saying that Rowling has stumped me in every book so far. I was
a skeptic of the Harry Potter books when they were first recommended to me, as Im
sure many other avid readers were. To be honest, I put down the first book after
reading the first chapter, dismissing it as a story for children. A few weeks
later, in a fit of boredom, I decided to try again. I finished it in a few hours,
and was amazed that I had not predicted the outcome.
Chamber of Secrets stumped me yet again and as I finished it, I recalled all of the
clues she had included that I had completely missed. How could I as an adult miss
out on such obvious clues in what I considered a childrens book? Hungry for more,
I picked up Prisoner of Azkaban, and I was hooked to the series. Clueless for round
three, how was she able to do it?
Goblet of Fire caught me off guard, but I had nagging suspicions about Moody
throughout the story. That mystery did not surprise me as greatly as the endings of
the first three books; however, the overall outcome of the story was something I did
not expect. Order of the Phoenix, I felt, was the least mysterious of the five books
(which I find slightly ironic since a large portion of it deals with the Department
of Mysteries). There was no puzzle to figure out, no evil doer to unmask. What
kept me reading day and night was just a simple question. What will happen next?
Now to my original point, the veritable art form we have created of overanalyzing.
I enjoy reading many of the editorials, articles and posts here on Mugglenet, and
many of them include theories and conjecture of what is to come. Some of these
theories could be considered likely, others pure speculation and some just downright
absurd. What I think we should consider foremost is that Rowling has continuously
surprised nearly every one of her readers. Her clues are not glaring, they are
The first theory I would like to address is that of Mark Evans. So many people gave
predictions about Mark Evans that it grew a little silly. "Hes Harrys
cousin, hes Harrys brother, maybe Lily had a child with another man," etc. Mark Evans
turned out to be nothing more than a coincidence. Evans is not an uncommon name.
There were four unrelated people with the last name of Evans in my High School class of 120.
Harrys green eyes also seem to be another spot of interest that people overanalyze.
There are theories that its a tie-in to Slytherin. There are theories that Lily
was a Death Eater based off her green eyes. Could it not just be that Harry has
green eyes, something that is fairly unique and a trait that he inherited from his
mother? Does there need to be a deeper riddle behind his eyes? Some glorifying or
I personally have come to respect Rowlings ability to stump her readers even when
clues are staring us in the face. I dont believe she would be as obvious as Mark
Evans or Green = Slytherin! She is an expert at misleading an audience and I
think its time we give her credit for it.