Harry Potter Hilarious Theory Makes It Clear Why Weasleys Are Constantly Broke
Here is a treat for those Harry Potter fans. If you're reading this, then you're one of them and love this show as much as we do. Formerly a book collection, Harry Potter's movie adaptations gathered a huge fan base throughout the world, and we all fell in love with these characters on the big screen. We've watched them grow as the sequels continued and now comes the time to answer a few questions that have been riddling us for many years.
Fan theories are as important as the movies, and there is always a vast amount of them floating around. One example is the theory about the souls and the Resurrection Stone, or Severus Snape's Boggart. You may have read all these theories already. This theory, however, is somewhat new, and as reasonable as the question may seem, the argument is indeed bizarre.
So, let us have a look at the theory of why on earth the Weasleys were so poor, and why they wore dirty, secondhand robes.
Mr. Weasley's job at the Ministry of Magic could barely provide him enough money to take care of his family. They had seven children, and he didn't have enough resources to support all of them. That is not unreasonable, as we know how costly family expenses can be, even in the realm of Harry Potter.
Could there, however, be another reason why the Weasley's are so broke? Yes, there is! Parchment paper... One Redditor share this theory:
"Time and time again, we are reminded that parchment is the basic everyday writing surface used at Hogwarts."..."The students write their homework on parchment, everyone writes their notes on parchment, staff announcements are read off of parchment, even the Marauder's Map was written on parchment."
There is a process in making this parchment paper, and the requirements are incredibly tricky.
"Parchment is a type of writing surface made from specially prepared animal skins (any animal will do, but cow and sheepskins were most frequently used)."..."To make it, you would subject an animal skin to a multi-step process involving unhairing, flaying, soaking in chemicals, and stretching."
All that for parchment and writing materials. The theory also includes a lesson in making parchment paper, as they would have to be taught in every aspect. This is a multi-step process, where it would have made parchment paper ridiculously expensive for the average person. By average, we mean the Weasleys.
These did not come cheap, as the ingredient required a lengthy process of extraction before preparing the parchment. So, not only was it expensive, but it was also time consuming and technical.
"In fact, it was so expensive that people would go to extraordinary lengths to avoid wasting it."..."Old books would sometimes be 're-cycled' — a scribe would scrape off old ink and use the parchment to copy a different work."
If you look at it that way, it makes sense. If you relate this to the use of parchment at Hogwarts, perhaps the thought of food and dorm expenses have already come to mind. So if those had previously been an enormous cost, what difference would a few rolls of parchment make for the Weasleys?
"Snape's 'two rolls of parchment on werewolves' is considered a long essay in The Prisoner of Azkaban, so let's assume the average length is one roll of parchment."
"If we assume one essay assignment a day, this translates to five a week, and roughly 200 in a school year."..."The students also make notes on parchment. That's a bit harder to quantify, but even assuming they're all very economical, this probably adds up to at least another 100 rolls."
If that amount of assignments are being handed out by the professors at Hogwarts, the total of parchment required would be 300 rolls per student, per year. That is a lost of parchment and a lot of assignments!
"And that's just blank parchment, they also need quills, ink, books."
The interesting fact is that Hogwarts doesn't appear to supply their students with parchment.
"Or at least it doesn't supply enough,"..."In The Prisoner of Azkaban, Hermione goes to get it herself in Diagon Alley."
So, school supplies and stationery may be affordable for most families, but for a family of seven, the costs add up dramatically.
"The Weasleys, for example, would have to buy 5x300=1500 sheets of parchment every year, plus the textbooks, plus all other equipment."
Wow, this is a shocking amount for parchment, and how is Hogwarts still using parchment?
While J.K. Rowling set the scene and atmosphere for Harry Potter to portray an old-timey and magical realm, that does not fit with European standards. Paper had replaced parchment in the 15th century. So what century were these characters in?
"Even if we assume paper was a Muggle invention, this means that the wizarding world literally had HUNDREDS of years to adopt it."
If headmaster Dumbledore was so wise, why did he not upgrade the school, and why did he not replace parchment with paper? Perhaps he was too distracted by a Dark Lord while his poor Weasley students struggled to pay their necessary school supplies.
"No wonder the Weasleys were broke, the Hogwarts students pretty much had to pay to hand in their homework."
Just imagine if a school was this demanding and costly. If you had to pay to hand in your homework, why do it in the first place? By now, you may be thinking; perhaps they are using magic to duplicate the parchment at Hogwarts? This would reduce the costs and make sense in their circumstances.
"Even if this could be done, it looks like they're not doing it. If they were, why would the books mention the kids buying parchment several times, and not just as first-years?"
Ok, perhaps you're wondering whether the students recycle parchment, like their books? Scribe was known to do this throughout history, and it would save on labor and cost.
"I don't think they can erase their parchment more often than once a year — otherwise, how would they review for their final exams? So, even if they erase the parchment every year, they would still have to invest quite a lot in their stationery. Also, having no permanent notes would suck."
Finally, parchment in the Muggle world is not the same. It requires intense labor, as we've previously concluded, but why would the poor Muggles have to suffer to get an education?
"I mean... I guess? But... Why? Why would J.K. Rowling consistently use a word to mean something completely different? "
This, concluding our latest theory, is why the Weasleys are so broke. It is merely due to parchment paper. Did you see this coming? Did you have any opinion of your own? Understandably, it makes sense when you put it into perspective and the large family the Weasleys have, is enough to empty that piggy-bank.
So thank your lucky stars you're not a Muggle in the Harry Potter realm. Remember to share this with your friends and family, and if you're a fan, keep up-to-date for more unusual, mindblowing theories that make you say "AH!", and more magical mysteries unraveled.