One of the biggest oddities in the Harry Potter series of movies and books is just how small the class that attends Hogwarts alongside the titular character is, especially when taking into consideration how big the student body is supposed to be overall.
When J.K. Rowlings’ books were first starting to get big, Harry Potter fans asked her just how many new wizarding students would go to the school every year. Rowling wasn’t able to say just how many kids were in Harry Potter’s class, but she did say about 1,000 students attended Hogwarts during the same period as the “child who lived.”
With that bit of information about the world of Harry Potter at their disposal, fans realized that something wasn’t adding up. During numerous scenes in all of the Harry Potter movies, people began noticing Harry had a very small class. Potter appeared to be going to school with no more than 18 people in his class. Obviously, if there had been 18 people per class, there wouldn’t be anywhere near 1,000 students attending Hogwarts.
While there were plenty of people who agreed on the math not adding up, Rowling hasn’t ever said exactly why this discrepancy exists in the Harry Potter universe. Now, one fan theory has started making the rounds on the internet, and it appears to be a decent enough theory that people think it might just be the truth. If it’s not what Rowling wanted to have come from her stories, it’s at least a theory that would fit into the universe and still make good sense.
Time points out one Tumblr user posted the theory on their page, and it’s recieved a ton of attention since it went live. Marauders4evr believes the issue is one that we often see in the real world, though this was taken to an extreme considering what was going on in the stories. This theory has posited that the class Harry Potter and his friends were a part of, were conceived during the years in which Voldemort was at the height of his powers.
Because there was an atmosphere of such severe terror, people just weren’t having sex at the same rates as they were in other years. There was also the fact that people were being killed or being “disappeared.” All of those factors meant that babies weren’t being made or born, and so the class Harry Potter was a part of was much smaller than the others. This theory also explains why it appears there is only one class that was smaller than the norm.
When Voldemort went to attack the Potters, his discharge of power against Harry ended up killing him (at least a version of him) and the reign of terror ended. As is the case when wars end, not only does the rate of people breeding go back to normal, but it also gets bigger than what we’re used to seeing. People want to celebrate the fact they aren’t scared anymore.
The idea is quite brilliant, especially because it’s a theory the author didn’t aid in formulating. Rowling has never addressed directly why the one class is so much smaller than what is to be expected. It’s only a matter of time before the internet goes to Rowling and specifically asks her if this is why the reason Harry Potter and his friends are in such a massively smaller class than the ones before and after his.
Even if J.K. Rowling never actually confirms the theory, it seems like this is one theory that Harry Potter fans will be able to get behind. This adds yet another level to both the Harry Potter books and Harry Potter movies that lend it just a bit of realism in an otherwise magical world.
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