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"Harry Potter" Fan Theories: Voldemort, Dumbledore or Harry - Who Is The True Master of Death?

by The Nerd Habit 6 months ago in literature

Who truly owned The Elder Wand, the Resurrection Stone, and the Invisibility Cloak at the same time?

By Jerah Rose

Our final Harry Potter fan theory in this three-article series will dissect who is considered the true Master of Death. Voldemort? Dumbledore? Harry? Has anyone in the Harry Potter universe truly earned the title?

In the seventh and final installment of the Harry Potter series, The Deathly Hallows, each of the three core heroes receive a gift from Dumbledore's will. Dumbledore had set Harry and company on the road to locating and destroying each of Voldemort's Horcruxes just before his death. In my last arti cle, I covered how Harry could not kill Voldemort without first eliminating all of his Horcruxes and how they worked.

When Dumbledore falls, Harry, Ron, and Hermione receive gifts bequeathed to them by their former headmaster. The offerings seem odd and random but are meant to appear that way to the untrained eye. Hermione's gift arrives in the form of a book of children's stories called Tales of Beedle the Bard.

Dumbledore marked the page that begins the Tale of the Three Brothers with the symbol of the Deathly Hallows. The intentional marking led the trio to discover what they meant and why they needed to find them.

The Tale of the Three Brothers

The Tale of the Three Brothers is about...well...three brothers. The Peverell brothers cheat Death together, and each is given an item by Death that they believe will help them avoid him forever.

The first brother chooses an all-powerful wand. The second brother picks a stone that can bring someone back from the dead. The third brother asks for a cloak that can make him invisible to Death.

According to Dumbledore in the Deathly Hallows, it is more likely the Peverell brothers were skilled wizards who simply created the hallows themselves.

In chapter 35 of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Dumbledore believes that the "story of them being Death's own Hallows seems to me the sort of legend that might have sprung up around such creations."

Whoever can unite all three Hallows would be the Master of Death.

So who was the true Master of Death?

This Harry Potter fan theory has several branches. The most widespread fan theory, based on surface-level information, points to Dumbledore being the Master of Death.

The Elder Wand

Grindelwald demonstrates how NOT to hold the Elder Wand.

Dumbledore is in possession of the Elder Wand from the Peverell brothers' story from the first time we meet him in book one until he died in book six. He initially won the Elder Wand from Grindelwald in their 1945 duel.

Grindelwald had stolen the wand from the wand-maker Gregorovitch. After stealing the wand, Grindelwald rose to power in the dark arts, and Dumbledore felt a responsibility to win the wand from his friend to keep the world safe from its power.

The wand chooses its allegiance by having been won fairly, as it is to be an unbeatable and all-powerful wand. It is not enough to physically take the Elder Wand. The one who would take it must have defeated the Elder Wand's previous owner in some way.

In book six, Draco Malfoy becomes the official owner of the Elder Wand's allegiance after disarming Dumbledore before his death. Harry becomes master of the wand after disarming Malfoy at Malfoy Manor in book seven.

Dumbledore and Harry Potter were both masters to the Elder Wand.

The Resurrection Stone

The Golden Snitch defied its name by keeping this kind of secret.

According to the Tale of the Three Brothers, the resurrection stone is a rock that Death picked up out of the river that meant to kill the brothers and transformed it into a relic that had the power to bring people back from the dead.

The trick in the trade is that when they are forced back into the land of the living, the souls are unhappy when they are asked to stay as those who have passed on know they don't belong here.

The stone was passed down through the Peverell family and ultimately ended up in a ring believed to be adorned with the Peverell coat of arms by Marvolo Gaunt, Voldemort's grandfather. Voldemort later turned the ring with the stone into a Horcrux.

Dumbledore found the ring and, meaning to destroy it, attempted to use the stone, tempted by the ability to see his family again. Dumbledore used Gryffindor's sword to destroy the Horcrux within the stone, but his attempt to use the stone first activated a curse meant to protect the Horcrux inside, which nearly cost him his life.

The Resurrection Stone found its way to Harry inside of the Golden Snitch that Dumbledore gave to Harry Potter in his will. In this way, both Harry and Dumbledore also owned the Resurrection Stone. There are two critical differences in their experiences with the stone regarding this fan theory, however.

First, Dumbledore and Harry both owned the Resurrection Stone at the same time that they owned the Elder Wand. Harry had already won the wand's allegiance when he opened the Snitch to find and use the stone, both after Dumbledore's death.

But Dumbledore attempted to use the stone out of selfishly missing his sister and parents. Harry Potter used the stone to comfort himself with his passed family members on the way to "greet Death as an old friend." Harry had accepted that he must die and used the stone to temporarily bolster his will rather than to force his family back from the grave out of vanity.

The second significant difference is the one that divides the fan theory.

Dumbledore did not actually have possession of all three Hallows at once.

The Invisibility Cloak

"Thanks for the old dirty blanket, Dumble-bore...I mean Dumbledore."

For this fan theory and according to the Tale of the Three Brothers, the Invisibility Cloak is the third and final Hallow, gifted to Ignotus Peverell. Xenophilius Lovegood explains the difference between the Hallow Invisibility Cloak and cloaks capable of similar things.

"I mean to say, it is not a travelling cloak imbued with a Disillusionment Charm, or carrying a Bedazzling Hex, or else woven from Demiguise hair, which will hide one initially but fade with the years until it turns opaque. We are talking about a cloak that really and truly renders the wearer completely invisible, and endures eternally, giving constant and impenetrable concealment, no matter what spells are cast at it."

-Xenophilius Lovegood, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

As descendants of Ignotus Peverell, the Potter family had been the true owners of the Invisibility Cloak until Dumbledore caught James Potter causing trouble with it during his time at Hogwarts. Dumbledore confiscated the cloak as a disciplinary measure and also in the attempt to unite all three Hallows.

But this is where I believe the fan theory that Dumbledore was Master of Death at any point is definitively disproved.

Dumbledore never owned the Invisibility Cloak at all. Some fans prefer to base their fan theory on the technicality that Dumbledore had possession of all three Hallows. However, even working with technicalities, Dumbledore never had physical possession of the Elder Wand, the Invisibility Cloak, and the Resurrection Stone at the SAME time.

Dumbledore owned the Elder Wand and had custody of the Invisibility Cloak until Harry Potter arrived at Hogwarts. When Harry arrived, he returned the cloak to the rightful owner. When Dumbledore takes possession of the Resurrection Stone, he has already returned the Invisibility Cloak to Harry.

Harry, however, at the time of what he believes will be his final march into the Forbidden Forest, has the Elder Wand's allegiance and walks under the Invisibility Cloak while utilizing the Resurrection Stone. Harry Potter is the only one to have united all three of the Hallows.

Harry Potter is the one true Master of Death.

Thank you so much for following this short Harry Potter fan theory series! I have loved diving more deeply into three of the most popular fan theories!

What did you think? Do you have any more theories you want to know more about! Reach out to us and let us know!

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Read the other two Harry Potter theory articles from The Nerd Habit:

"Harry Potter" Fan Theories: The Dursleys - Horrible People? Or Innocent Victims of the Power of the Horcrux?

"Harry Potter" Fan Theories: The Boy Who Lived or The Boy The World Forgot? Was Harry or Neville the Chosen One?

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