These literary conspiracy theories have sparked some lively debate on forums across the internet, but how many of them do you believe? From Winnie the Pooh to Sherlock Holmes, here are our favourite theories about the classics. 

Winnie the Pooh's mental disorders

winnie the pooh
Image via Pop Inquirer

There's a theory out there that ascribes each character in Winnie the Pooh as having a mental health condition. Here they are…

Winnie: His excessive love at honey could point to an eating disorder, and his difficulty focusing on the matter at hand could be down to Attention Deficit Disorder.

Piglet: With his nervousness and stuttering, it seems that Piglet may suffer from anxiety.

Tigger: With his high energy and inability to stay still, could it be that Tigger has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?

Eeyore: With a bleak outlook, and lack of positive emotions, Eeyore seems to be suffering from depression.

Owl: Although he's incredibly smart it has been shown that he struggles reading. Could it be that Owl has dyslexia?

Kanga: This is one overprotective mother, never permitting her son to make his own decisions. Could it be her own social anxiety leading to overprotective tendencies?

Roo: His lack of awareness of danger and attachment to sitting in mother's pouch could be a result of mum's overbearing nature, or he could be because he is autistic.

Rabbit: Orderly, obsessive, it might be that Rabbit has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Christopher Robin: The most shocking part of this theory. Christopher Robin suffers from schizophrenia, the other characters are manifested depending on the boy's mood.

Too far fetched? The theory was put forward by the Canadian Medical Association Journal in 2000.


Harry Potter's asylum

harry potter's asylum
Feature image and above image via Hypable

There are so many fan theories surrounding the Harry Potter series, it's difficult to know which one is the most convincing. One has Ron and Dumbledore as the same person, only Dumbledore is a time traveller. Another claims that in killing Voldemort Harry became immortal, thus sacrificing his chance to ever see his family again.

But (keeping with the theme of mental illness), one (really detailed) theory explains how Hogwarts was all in Harry's head. That his real parents are the Dursleys, and the Potters are Harry's dream parents, helping him cope with trauma and reality.

After attacking Dudley Dursley, his real parents decide that they can't cope with Harry's continued delusions and mental instability and send him to an institution—that'd be Hogwarts then. 

There the author of the theory makes all kinds of associations with mental illness, from his love for Luna, whose name may seem whimsical and reminiscent of the moon, but let's not forget that the word 'lunatic' derives from the word 'luna', as mad behaviour was (and still is) often associated with the moon's cycles.



"Of course it is happening inside
your head, Harry, but why on earth
should that mean that it is not real? 



There is also the issue of Voldemort, are he and Harry one and the same? Is this an alternative future self that Harry must overcome?

The theory ends much where the story ends, walking through King's Cross station with Dumbledore:

"Tell me one last thing," said Harry. "Is this real? Or has this been happening inside my head?"

"Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?"

Too far fetched, there is one last very convincing element. J K Rowling founded a charity called Lumos, its mission statement says the following: "We want to end the systematic institutionalisation of children across Europe. We want to see children living in safe, caring environments."

If you want to go a little more in-depth with this theory, you can read the original Reddit post here.

Read more: 5 Reasons why we love Daniel Radcliffe



Where's Dorothy?

wizard of oz where's dorothy
Image via Wiki

Alright, this isn't taken from the book as the two have different endings. In the book, Dorothy returns home to Aunt Em's embrace who asks where she has been. In the popular 1939 version, Dorothy awakes in her bed and declares Oz to have been a wonderful dream. But can we accept this when we consider the number of spin-offs and sequels and prequels in both the film and literary world? 

If Oz is real, then we can assume that it is not of this world but is perhaps a parallel world where there are alternative versions of the people in Dorothy's life. Remember at the end of the film where Dorothy tells her family that they were in her dream "You were there, and you were there." And the viewers do see alternatives of most characters in Oz, only we never see an alternative Dorothy.

Another thing we never see is the Wicked Witch of the East's face. But we do know that Dorothy's house landed on her, killing her instantly. We also know that they are the same shoe size. If Cinderella is anything to go by, could it be that the alternative Dorothy was the Wicked Witch of the East? Was the death of the Witch an inevitable to avoid any alternate reality paradoxes? Did Dorothy literally step into the shoes of her parallel self?

That's the film, but the book too deals with the idea that Dorothy is a witch. This is from TVtropes:

“It is generally assumed that in L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Boq and the Good Witch of the North are mistaken when they initially assume that Dorothy Gale is a witch, but Dorothy summons the vortex that brought her to Oz in the first place, she gives life, or the semblance thereof, to a scarecrow and an empty suit of armor, she converses with and commands wild animals, and she takes control of the winged monkeys, before finally using the power of the silver slippers to transport herself back to Kansas.”


My dear Watson

My dear Watson
Image via Wiki

There is no doubt that there was a particular queerness to Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, he was indeed an eccentric character made all the more unusual due to the context of when the book was written. But were Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson lovers? There is indeed a theory that suspects so.

In the recent movie and television adaptations, there has indeed been a flirtation between the two main characters, but was this Doyle's intention? We all know that homosexuality was deemed a crime in the Victorian era. Oscar Wilde, a friend of Doyle, was arrested for sodomy—if the queerness of Holmes and Watson's lifestyle was intentional it would have to be subtle. 

The biggest clue is a reference Watson makes on first meeting Holmes, comparing him to Edgar Allan Poe's homosexual detective Auguste Dupin, indeed highlighting Holmes' eccentricities, but could it have been code?



Were Sherlock Holmes
and Dr Watson lovers?



60 stories down and three marriages on—in fact, the one thing that seems consistent during his failed relationships is Watson, with whom he spends most of his time—we see Holmes is deeply suspicious of women. He claims that "women are never to be entirely trusted", that they are "naturally selective", "inscrutable", and that they have "seldom been attracted to [him]". Compare this to the way he describes men: "full-blooded", "filled with spirits and energy"—rather physical by today's hetero-standards.

But it's the intimacy of the pair that makes us question the nature of the relationship most, the expressions of admiration and affection, the being in each other's rooms, the trust and compassion they show one another.

If you want to read into the full theory there's a detailed close-reading of the 60 works here


Who's your favourite Brontë?

The Brontë sisters as painted by their brother Branwell. Image via National Portrait Gallery

Did you decide based on your favourite book? Is your favourite book Wuthering Heights? If so I deduce that you answered Emily Brontë but perhaps you would have been better answering Branwell Brontë, the brother of the three famous sisters, because this theory has him as the true author of the classic.

The theory actually starts 20 years after the book was published. It first started when it was discovered that it was not penned by a man named Ellis Bell but by a woman. An anonymous article published in 1867 edition of The Halifax Guardian expressed disbelief that such a novel could be "conceived by a timid and retiring female".

Victorian Britain was agasp; surely this had to have been written by a man! And what other man than one that had shared a childhood, exchanged tales, and was himself as a decent poet? Branwell Brontë's friends claim to have been surprised when they read Wuthering Heights as they'd heard Branwell recite very similar passages from his own manuscript. He also wrote to another friend telling of his intention to write his own book: "A three volume Novel—one volume of which is completed..."  

Branwell himself was talented but was constantly rejected by publishers and never met the successes of his three sisters. In the end he gave up and envied their creativity.

Was it this envy that caused him to lie about Wuthering Heights? Or perhaps it was the theft of Wuthering Heights that caused him such torment and turned him to the alcohol and opiates which would aggravate the tuberculosis that killed him.

You can see Brontë fans argue the case for both sides in this rather lively forum.


Of course we couldn't post an article about literary theories without mentioning Shakspeare, with some overwhelming evidence that suggests he didn't pen his famous plays. Who was the real William Shakespeare? Click here to read the full Shakespeare conspiracy.

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