The Best “Potter” Plot Twists

J.K. Rowling has given us some fantastic characters, settings, and storylines throughout the years, but what about plot twists? Rowling can be unpredictable, leaving both characters and fans in a state of shock. There have been some heartbreaking moments, such as unexpected character deaths, and instances of brilliant writing where a villain is hidden under a turban. We’re counting down the most surprising Potter plot twists that Rowling has sprung on us.




1. Snape was friends with Lily.

Rowling has stated that Snape is neither a hero nor a villain, which meant that every time he made an appearance, we never knew what was going to happen. Snape went off book many times, but one of the most shocking things we learn about his past is his relationship with Lily. Even though he spent six books bullying Harry, Snape cared deeply for Harry’s mother! Harry himself discovered this about Snape, which must have been one awkward experience.




2. The Marauders were Animagi.

After a confrontation with his godfather, Sirius Black, in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry learns that his father was an unregistered Animagus. Not only was James an Animagus, but his friends were as well! A group of teenagers illegally became part-time wild animals! As a reader, I was so focused on deciding whether or not to trust Sirius that I never saw the Animagi reveal coming!




3. Narcissa lied for Harry.

As readers, we pretty much accepted that the Malfoys were an evil family. When Narcissa came on the scene, she seemed loyal to Lucius, Draco, and Voldemort as well. One of the most surprising moments of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was when Narcissa lied to Voldemort. She essentially aided Harry’s cause! Yes, she didn’t change her allegiance and she only helped Harry for selfish reasons, but it was still unexpected. It takes a brave woman to betray the Dark Lord and Narcissa is certainly that!




4. Ginny opened the Chamber of Secrets.

In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Rowling did an impressive job associating the hidden chamber with Slytherin House. Then we were thrown off the scent when Tom Riddle revealed that Ginny opened the Chamber of Secrets. I never imagined that Ginny was under Riddle’s control, even though Rowling did leave hints that something was wrong with her. Ginny was the last person you’d expect to be helping Voldemort, so it made for one amazing plot twist.




5. Trelawney delivered the Harry and Voldemort prophecy.

When Harry started taking Divination in Prisoner of Azkaban, we learned not to expect much from Professor Trelawney. Although she tries, her predictions rarely come true. Yet it was Trelawney who delivered the prophecy of Harry’s and Voldemort’s fates. Dumbledore even acknowledged that Trelawney was hardly a Seer until he heard the prophecy. Of all the people to deliver such an important plot device, one would hardly suspect the nervous old professor!




6. Dumbledore and Grindelwald were friends.

We didn’t know much about the Dark wizard Grindelwald until Deathly Hallows. By all rights, Grindelwald and Dumbledore should have been enemies. Instead, the reader is hit with the bombshell that the two wizards were once friends! Dumbledore cared for Grindelwald romantically, but Grindelwald was too obsessed with his own evil plans. Their story was heartbreaking and unpredictable. Not only was I shocked that Dumbledore was friends with Grindelwald but also that we got to learn so much about his past!




7. Harry becomes master of the Elder Wand.

Search for the Deathly Hallows or defeat Voldemort? Harry is caught between these two choices in the final book. He decides to fight against Voldemort, but he doesn’t leave the Hallows behind him. He possesses the Invisibility Cloak, uses the Resurrection Stone, and wins the Elder Wand. It isn’t until Harry defeats Voldemort that he possesses the powerful wand. As I was reading Deathly Hallows the first time, I was so caught up in the final battle that I didn’t realize that Harry had won the Elder Wand! It was an added bonus to the scene, and one that we never saw coming.




What are other plot twists in the Harry Potter books that you’ve loved? Share them down in the comments!

Monet Polny

"Harry Potter" has been my ultimate inspiration as a writer. Everything from the characters to the plot dynamics has impacted my writing style and aided me in making the decision to major in creative writing. I wanted to become Newt Scamander's protegee and work with magical creatures, but becoming a writer is the next best career choice.