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Harry Potter's Grossest Theory May Explain Voldemort's Body In Goblet Of Fire

There are a lot of fascinating — and dark — theories out there about the "Harry Potter" franchise, but this one is particularly disturbing.

In the fourth book and film, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," the legendary and terrifying Dark Lord Voldemort (played in this movie by Ralph Fiennes) finally regains his human form, thanks in large part to his loyal henchman Peter "Wormtail" Pettigrew (Timothy Spall). After tricking Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) into taking a targeted magical teleportation device known as a Portkey to the Little Hangleton graveyard, Pettigrew is seen carrying a strange infant-sized figure, which turns out to be Voldemort himself in a pathetic, tiny form. So why is he like this before he gets his human body back?

One Redditor, u/JMueller2012, presented a theory. "This is pretty dark but the tentative body that Voldemort had in Goblet of Fire (the infant-like one) was him possessing a dead child from the graveyard," they wrote. "There's a really dark theory that Bertha Jorkins was pregnant and that he possessed the fetus to use as a body after he murdered her and Womrtail extracted it." (As a reminder, Bertha Jorkins, who isn't seen in the films, is a Ministry of Magic employee that Voldemort used for information and then killed.)

So is the body Voldemort himself, or a deceased infant that he stole from a grave? We may never have the answer, but there's absolutely no argument that Voldemort went to great and horrifying lengths to return to full power.

Voldemort goes through an incredibly dark process to return to power

Let's backtrack for one moment and ask one question: how exactly does some sort of infant creature turn into one of the most dangerous wizards who's ever lived? When Harry arrives at the graveyard after ostensibly winning the Triwizard Tournament — he and his fellow Hogwarts champion Cedric Diggory (Robert Pattinson) agree to tie, grabbing the Triwizard Cup together before they're suddenly and unexpectedly transported to Little Hangleton — Peter Pettigrew cruelly and casually kills Cedric before immobilizing Harry against a grave marker. From there, he places the "baby Voldemort" (or whatever it is) into a cauldron and adds a bone purloined from the grave of Voldemort's father Tom Riddle, Pettigrew's own flesh (he severs his own arm, hand and all, for his master), and Harry's blood. In the chapter, Harry watches, horrified, as Pettigrew recites the following incantation in parts: "Bone of the father, unknowingly given, you will renew your son! Flesh of the servant, willingly sacrificed, you will revive your master. Blood of the enemy, forcibly taken, you will resurrect your foe."

Series author Joanne K. Rowling hasn't spoken extensively on this topic — and certainly hasn't confirmed whether or not the infant in question is Voldemort, a stolen child, or a child who belonged to Bertha Jorkins — but she did, at one point, discuss it with Pottercast while talking about some of the most disgusting things found in her franchise. After saying that there are two things two awful to discuss, the other being the creation of Horcruxes, Rowling revealed, "One of them is how Pettigrew brought Voldemort back into a rudimentary body [...] 'Cause I told my editor what I thought happened there and she looked as though she was gonna vomit."

Voldemort is seen in his disturbing infant form one more time before the series ends

Towards the end of "Harry Potter," Harry, naturally, defeats Voldemort, finally destroying all of the Dark Lord's Horcruxes and vanquishing him in battle ... but before that, he has to sacrifice himself at Voldemort's hands to kill the Horcrux that lives inside Harry. When Harry does this, he's transported to a sort of afterworld that looks quite a lot like London's King's Cross Station, and there, he encounters Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon), his deceased mentor. While the two talk about Harry's choices — specifically, whether he should "move on" or return to the world of the living and kill Voldemort for good — a bloodied, horrible-looking baby shares the space with them. Apparently, Joanne K. Rowling has spoken about this to — specifically, to Edmund Kern and Hogwarts Professor, who asked what exactly the baby is.

"I've been asked this a LOT," Rowling said. "It is the last piece of soul Voldemort possesses. When Voldemort attacks Harry, they both fall temporarily unconscious, and both their souls – Harry's undamaged and healthy, Voldemort's stunted and maimed – appear in the limbo where Harry meets Dumbledore." It's pretty interesting that, without Horcruxes, Voldemort takes the form of a scary infant once again, and it does seem to invalidate the dark fan theory about stolen dead children ... but that theory is still disturbingly fascinating.

The "Harry Potter" movies are available to stream on Max now.