5. Dumbledore is one of Tolkien's "Lost Wizards"

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This is a stupid idea. No one's going to actually come out and say that J.R.R. Tolkien created Albus Dumbledore and the world of Harry Potter. But it's a testament to the strength of fan theories that some beautiful bastard could come up with a convincing explanation that links Hogwarts and Middle-earth.

It all relies on the fact that there are five Istari -- better known as "wizards" to people who have seen the sun in the last two weeks -- in the realm of this fiction. You probably already know three of them: Gandalf the Grey, Saruman the White and Radagast "That Forest Hippie Who Refuses to Clean the Birdshit Out of His Beard" the Brown.

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The missing pieces of this magical grandpa pie are the two "Blue Wizards," which Tolkien glossed over briefly but never really followed up on. Last we heard, they were sent into Mordor to quell the threat of Sauron. They weren't seen again, but there's also no explicit mention of their deaths. The two blue wizards could be anyone, which is why it's entirely possible that they are in fact Albus Dumbledore and his nemesis/boytoy Gellen Grindelwald. All it would take is a temporal or multidimensional mishap, and they'd be in the modern world of muggles. 

How they got to Earth from Middle-earth isn't as important as the thematical connections. Dumbledore says that "It is important to fight, and fight again, and keep fighting, for only then can evil be kept at bay, though never quite eradicated." Meaning that he wasn't going to give up once Sauron was down for the count. Though Grindelwald fell to the "dark side" like Saruman before him, Dumbledore kept up the fight and was eventually upgraded from "Dumbledore the Blue" to "Dumbledore the White." It fits, especially because in Latin, "Albus" literally translates to "white."

It makes sense that Dumbledore took the job at Hogwarts, as that was the place he could best mount his defense of the world. Once there, he builds an army of wizards to do just that. And yet, he still remembers where he came from, which explains why there's a portrait of Gandalf the Grey hanging in Dumbledore's office. 

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We even get hints towards Dumbledore's true identity when he passes on. Here's a passage from the book; note the specific colors mentioned.

Bright, white lights had erupted next to Dumbledore's body and the table upon which it lay: Higher and higher they rose, obscuring the body. White smoke spiralled in the air and made strange shapes: Harry thought, for one heart-stopping moment, that he saw a phoenix fly joyfully in the blue, but in a second the fire had vanished.

Dumbledore had already assembled his wizard defense force, so he passed off into the undying lands in the most fantastical way possible. The entire theory sheds new light on Dumbledore's words: "Ah, music. A magic far beyond all we do here!" As it so happens, the world of Middle-earth was created via song by the Illuvatar.

Did J.K. Rowling write Dumbledore with Tolkien's lost wizards in mind? It's not impossible, but it's probably unlikely. It doesn't matter, because veracity isn't the point of this fan theory. The real strength of this tangled yarn is just how creative it is in weaving two disparate but similar fictions together. These two worlds don't exist anyway, so why can't they they exist in the same place?

 

4. There's a very good reason why the Hobbit movies were overblown CGI crapfests

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After the seminal Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, the Hobbit films were such a bummer. Why anyone thought a children's book could be blown out into three movies is anyone's guess. Well, okay, the producers could probably think of three billion reasons. Even if you can understand the business side of things, it's still a shame that the Hobbitses are chock-full of crappy, weightless CGI. Whereas the original trilogy used practical effects to a stunning degree, the prequels were just bland video games that floated across the screen without any consequence. Huh, where have I heard that before?

Naturally, fans have tried to make sense of all this nonsense, and have come up with a pretty good fan theory that at least gives meaning to their disappointment. The theory posits that the Hobbit movies were made to be exaggerated pieces of fluff on purpose, because that's how Bilbo would have written his tales in his book. The movies are a literal translation of Bilbo's writing, not a retelling of what actually happened.

It doesn't make Legolas prancing on falling rocks any better, but it's a start.

After all, Bilbo was kind of in a dark place when he wrote about his adventures. He'd just seen all of his belongings sold off, and his whole life had just evaporated. The best way to get some of his legacy back, Bilbo figured, was to juice up his manuscript a little bit. Maybe a made-up love triangle here, some random orc shenanigans there. The result was a lighter, fluffier tale with more than its share of inconsistencies -- exactly like the Hobbit movies. 

It really explains a lot about the new trilogy. Still, we have no one but Peter Jackson to blame for using GoPros in that barrel scene.