What happens When...? - Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
What would happen to the series, if we took a scene from Harry Potter and changed it? Would it change the overall story, and in what way would it change? For this blog post, I will be focusing on the third book in the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, because this is arguably the book that sets everything into motion for the rest of the storyline.
In the Prisoner of Azkaban, Wormtail escapes the clutches of Sirius Black and would then go on to return Voldemort to power after the Triwizard Tournament in the fourth book. In the previous books, Lord Voldemort's two attempts at regaining his power were thwarted by Harry: first with the sorcerer's stone and then by destroying Voldemort's horcrux in the second book. But what would happen if Wormtail was captured or killed before he could make his escape and return to his master?
Would Voldemort still return to power? Well, it'd certainly take him a lot longer... but the question is how much longer? You have to look at the background characters and what's going on behind the scenes that Harry, Ron and Hermione weren't aware of. While this wasn't mentioned yet in the story, Dumbledore had already figured out (or at least had suspicions) that Voldemort was using horcruxes. So, in the end, it would've come down to what would happen first. Could Dumbledore not only discover how many Horcruxes Voldemort created (we found this out in the sixth book from a memory given by Horace Slughorn) but also destroy them? Also, could he do it before Voldemort was able to regain full power?
Remember that Harry Potter was also one of Voldemort's horcruxes, and if things progressed in the manner mentioned above, he would still most likely kill Harry Potter himself. This was a key aspect of Dumbledore's plan. Voldemort was obsessed with the idea of murdering Harry; he wanted to show the world that a wizard with ordinary talent could never hope to overcome him (let alone a baby who carries the mark of his curse).
Taking everything into consideration, I'd say that if Wormtail was never to escape Sirius that night in the third book, Voldemort would still have risen to full power - just much later. Probably after Harry already finished his seventh year. It's an interesting thing to consider: if J.K. Rowling had intended to write the books for an older audience, she could've used this plot twist to set a wiser and more mature Harry Potter against Lord Voldemort.
Speaking of that: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child gives us a tiny glimpse into what that would look like (just a tiny one)!
I wanted to end this blog post with something that I don't think many people are aware of. The Harry Potter books are actually included with a Kindle Unlimited subscription (and this also gives you access to thousands of other books as well). If you wanted to buy them, you can find the Harry Potter series for purchase on Amazon: Harry Potter Paperback Box Set (Books 1-7): J. K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré: 9780545162074: Amazon.com: Books
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