Featured in the October 2022 issue of The Rowling Library Magazine.

Is Molly Weasley still alive?

837 words.
By Leandro Bensussan Lemme.

The Wizarding World franchise is one of the most developed and immersive works by J. K. Rowling, with fans and readers around the world trying to decipher every little detail as much as they can. Jo understands this, as she acknowledges that fans love every single detail from the books. In 2007, when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows put an end to the book series, the author – whose love for the wizard boy is as big as her fans’ – did not want to stop there, as she little by little began to give away insights to some of her characters after the Battle of Hogwarts.

From that point, we already know the future (or shall I say ‘present’?) of many characters: Harry became an Auror; Hermione was elected Minister of Magic; Ron works with his brother George at Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes; and so on and so forth. But what is interesting about those declarations is what the author did not say about others. What is the fate of Lavender Brown after her encounter with Fenrir Greyback?; what happened to Fudge?; Hagrid was able to study magic again?

We certainly want to know everything from the Wizarding World, and so are fans. Over the years a plethora of theories of many kinds have been written to fulfil these gaps left by Rowling, and others just to entertain. From Dumbledore being Ron from the future, passing through Quirrell being a Horcrux, to Ariadna being an Obsurus. All these theories, some true and others hilarious, aimed to provide explanations and a second thought to the events from the books. We will not step behind, as we have come up with a small — although intriguing — theory: is Molly Weasley dead?

The mother of the seven Weasleys, and mother-in-law of Harry and Hermione, is undoubtedly one of the most beloved characters of the Harry Potter series. Her warm and charmly personality made us fall in love with her, so that it served as an inspiration for many potterheads to become like her and even to appreciate their mothers. Her legacy remains in the hearts and minds of everyone who knew her, making her a memorable character of pop culture. However, there are some things that we noticed.

Rowling is an extraordinary, accomplished writer whose works – inside and outside the Potter world – are developed comprehensively and exhaustively, with barely few inconsistencies in their story-telling. For that reason, it caught our attention that Molly did not appear in the epilogue from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows nor Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. All that we know from these instalments is that Arthur Weasley is alive.

“Don’t get too friendly with him, though, Rosie. Granddad Weasley would never forgive you if you married a pure-blood” Ron Weasley Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

In addition, there is another peculiarity to examine. In J.K.Rowling – A Year In The Life (2007) we were told by Rowling that Percy married a girl named Audrey and they had two children, Molly and Lucy. In the franchise we know that the sons and daughters of the main characters were named after late individuals. Almost all the names of Ginny and Harry’s children are the example, Teddy Lupin was named after Tonk’s late father Edward Tonks, and George named his first son Fred; so it seems sound that during that span of 19 years Molly has passed away.

Last but not least, there is another fact concerning mothers from the Wizarding World. We already know that Jo has no fear when it comes to killing important characters. In 2007, after the release of Deathly Hallows, Rowling mentioned in an interview at Carnegie Hall that she planned to kill Arthur, but at the end she changed her mind. Be that as it may, there is a chance that she did kill another Weasley (sorry, Fred).

In Harry Potter and the Cursed Child we know that many maternal figures died before or during the events of the play. Astoria Malfoy, Cedric’s mom, Pandora Lovegood, Bellatrix Lestrange, even Petunia passed away. If we consider that Molly was not mentioned during the last events of the story, most mothers died and Percy named his daughter after his mother, then there is a high chance that she is dead.

While it is true that these evidences would lead to a possible death of Molly Weasley at the time of Cursed Child (approximately twenty-something years after the end of Deathly Hallows), yet there is not a solid confirmation. Just as there are many theories that have never been confirmed by J.K. Rowling herself, this would be one of them. But that’s the fun of it: playing detective with the clues that the author herself has left us throughout her stories and imagining possible scenarios that fit those clues.

And what is more interesting than trying to guess the fate of a character, and whether or not he or she is alive at a certain point in time?