Spoilers for The Prisoner of Azkaban, and Harry Potter lore, in general.
From left: Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, Severus Snape, Harry Potter
Much time has passed since the last time audiences took a stroll through the halls of Hogwarts proper, setting their eyes on the living portraits that lined the walls, and cautiously navigating the shifting staircases.
In celebration of what is regarded as the bestselling fantasy series of all time, we decided to return once more to the magical Wizarding World to explore what we believe is the greatest plot twist ever written by J.K. Rowling in the Harry Potter series.
We know what you are thinking, obviously, we intend to discuss the reveal of one Sirius Black, the infamous Azkaban fugitive, who gained notoriety for breaking out of said prison, and who also happens to be Harry’s godfather.
Or perhaps the twist regarding Remus Lupin, the somewhat reserved Defense Against The Dark Arts professor, that turned out to be a werewolf.
But you would be wrong to conclude any of the above, for those would be discussions much too obvious for anyone’s sake.
Instead, we would like to dissect what we believe to arguably be the best plot twist in any Harry Potter novel to date: the reveal of Peter Pettigrew.
The reason Pettigrew’s reveal is so memorable to many fans of the Potterverse is due to the subtlety of said revelation. Throughout the course of the novel, Rowling crafts a narrative that places great focus on the mystery surrounding Sirius Black and that of dear old professor Lupin. It is only roughly midway through the novel that we hear any mention of the name Peter Pettigrew, and it is through an eavesdropped conversation where we learn that he has been murdered, ostensibly by Sirius Black.
Of course, by this point, fans who are familiar with the prior two novels in the series would be suspicious of such a name being mentioned in the book, but that speculation is soon snuffed out as Pettigrew is only spoken off as that of a background character from the second half onwards.
It is only during the convergence of the various plot threads during the final confrontation with Sirius Black that we are hit with the revelation that Ron Weasley’s pet rat, Scabbers, and Peter Pettigrew are one and the same.
What made the reveal extra special is that there was never a necessity for a convoluted, winding plot thread to unravel the mystery itself, the same of which cannot be said for the many twists written in later books, just a simple one that made sense: Ron’s pet rat had strangely lived past the natural age of any regular rodent.
And that is why it remains the greatest twist of the Wizarding World.
Want more Harry Potter content? Check out our other related articles or browse through our extensive Wizarding World catalog to pick up one of our expertly crafted pewter collectibles now.