September 26, 2022

The Wizarding World holds a terrible truth about magic. Max takes a detour through Diagon Alley to uncover the secrets of the Obscurus

The Wizarding World has a dreadful truth.

I love magic. Those were Harry Potter’s words when he entered a tent at the Quidditch World Cup and found it was bigger on the inside. J.K. Rowling did a very good job of showing us how warm and wonderful being a wizard was. Now fast forward. Harry Potter is over and they decide to pseudo-resurrect the franchise by going out on a limb and fleshing out a character that can’t even be called a tertiary Potterverse character! Newt Scamander, a magizoologist who catalogs all sorts of magical critters. He even wrote a book.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

That is also the title of the movie series that he stars in. And during the events of these movies, we learn a dark and sobering reality about magic. It is indeed a wonderful gift. BUT if you suppress or stunt its growth, it will transform you into a ticking time bomb. That’s right. If someone tries to push the magic back down it comes back out and makes you something called an Obscurus.  And chances are if you are an Obscurus you will not live past your 10th birthday.

What the heck? That’s horrible! Magic is supposed to be a wonderful force that only a select special few can have and should not have a way to have bad side effects. It’s not an anti-depressant Medicine! So now,  the real question is? How did Harry not become an Obscurus after his magic was “discouraged” by his awful aunt and uncle?


It’s probably easy to explain away that Harry’s life was protected from this due to his mother’s sacrifice. But most other children are not as lucky. It would make sense that there might be tons of Muggleborn Obscuri since non-magical families may not want a witch or wizard in the family. So they encourage their kids to be “normal” and the magic kills them. In Star Wars, the Force is much more merciful and many characters in both Legends and Canon closed themselves off from the Force; with little to no ill effects. The Force never leaves. But it understands if there is a circumstance where they don’t want to use it. Then like a loyal dog, it comes back if you want it to. Magic is quite selfish. It says- if you don’t embrace me, you die.


My whole view of the Potterverse has been ruined since I can’t imagine myself as a wizard without dreading what could happen if I reject it. I’m an adult and I don’t know if you can become an Obscurus as an adult. But I’m guessing it’s possible. I learned thanks to my colleague and friend Darcie Gray that there is a new Harry Potter series coming to HBO Max. Hopefully, the Obscurus is explored in more detail, and like the miracle of the Wolfsbane potion; I hope they can control the symptoms of Obscuri. As for me, I think I’ll keep my lightsaber and snap my wand in half.


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