At some point, we've all seen the finale of a TV show or movie and thought, "I could have written a better ending than that." (We're still bitter about 24 not ending with Jack Bauer exploding from all the accumulated urine in his body, like our write-in campaign suggested.) That's why there is a thriving culture of fan theories that flood the Internet in anticipation of every show, movie or book.
Though these theories turn out to be wrong approximately 100% of the time, we like to point out the ones that really do seem to improve on what the actual writers came up with. Tell us the below movies or series wouldn't be improved if it turned out...
(To watch Cracked improve Star Wars, click here.)
5Harry Potter Isn't the Chosen One; His Inept Classmate Is
In the world of Harry Potter, Neville Longbottom is the resident doofus. He's not really good at magic, he constantly forgets stuff -- even Rowling hates him, as evidenced by the fact that she included a synonym for "ass" in his name. Neville only seems to be there so that readers who aren't smart, capable or attractive will have someone to identify with.
Also to make Harry Potter look like less of a dork in comparison.
However, just like that shy kid from your school who went on to become a porn actor, later books seem to hint that there might be something more to Neville than meets the eye ...
The Awesome Fan Theory:
Basically, that Harry Potter dude was just a distraction. The "chosen one" was Neville all along.
See, the plot of all seven books revolves around the idea that Harry's life fulfills this prophecy:
"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord [Voldemort] approaches ... born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies ... and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not ... ".
"Also, he'll have a goddamn sword."
The thing is, all that stuff applies to Neville, too. His parents had thrice defied Voldemort, and he was born on July 30, one day before Harry. So what power does Neville know that Voldemort doesn't? According to the theory, that could be either "the power of love" (as in Harry's case) or "herbology."
Or both, considering the way he looks at those plants.
The "Voldemort will mark him as his equal" part was a little trickier, but then again it wasn't clear how it related to Harry, either. Neville had a messed up relationship with his parents, mainly due to the fact that Voldemort had them tortured into insanity. Voldemort had some serious mommy issues, too, so in that sense Voldemort made him his equal.
But the best part of the theory, the part that makes it all come together, is the idea that Dumbledore, the principal of Wizard High, was intentionally allowing Voldemort to think Harry was the chosen one just to protect Neville. While we're not saying they should have just ditched Harry in the last book and turned the other kid into the protagonist, it would have been pretty cool to have Harry find out he wasn't the center of the universe after all, if only because it would have made the character slightly less insufferable.
"Now that I know I'm not the chosen one, I can finally get my dick tattooed."
The later books do flirt with the idea, however briefly. And it would have fit right in with Rowling's habit of pillaging the first three books to turn all the one-off magic items and half-serious gags into game-changing MacGuffins.
What We Got Instead:
Potter fans of the world were treated to a stunning twist ending in which (spoiler!) Harry kills Voldemort, and then a bunch of random stuff happens because ... you know ... wizards. But even before the last book came out, Rowling actually went on the record specifically shooting the fan theory down, perhaps realizing the ending she had already written wasn't as awesome as the one fans imagined and trying to keep them from getting their hopes up.