Brace yourself: George Weasley may have grown up to be the King of Chocolate, Willy Wonka himself.
The idea of these two magical universes converging in some way is enough to make our young hearts swoon! Though I'm ultimately a Harry Potter fan, it was Roald Dahl's books, especially Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, that honed my love for magical, imaginative storylines. If you're a fan of both as well, it's hard not to notice similarities in the various stories. Of all the fan fiction and fan theories out there, this one is so lighthearted and gives an inkling of hope for George Weasley, whom we know suffered one of the greatest losses of them all when his twin brother Fred died at the Battle of Hogwarts.
Consider: George drops out of Hogwarts with Fred (then under the terrible control of Dolores Umbridge) to take their talents elsewhere. Along with jokes, cleverness, and pranks, the two have a knack for business. Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes sells magical variations of joke candies, prank products, and other objects. Some products, like the Puking Pastille, seem like something that could be found in Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory alongside Violet Beauregarde's bubble gum or Mike Teavee's chocolate television. Different, but also the same.
Furthermore, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is written through the eyes of little Charlie Bucket; with his rags-to-riches background, he reminds us of Harry. He is also the same age as Harry is in the first book: 11. Charlie is a Muggle, though, so naturally, someone as loony as Willy Wonka would come across as odd. But what are his oddities exactly?
For starters, Willy is a bit of a recluse, extremely secretive, and relentlessly offbeat in social deliveries. Perhaps these oddities were just the natural observations that a Muggle would have about a person who grew up in the wizarding world. After all, the differences between Muggles and magic folk would bring each party to believe that the other is peculiar. And though Willy Wonka seems to be somewhat of an exaggerated character, perhaps George felt he needed to play a part in some ways. (Also with characters like Xenophilius Lovegood or Mad-Eye Moody, who's to say who is weird in this potentially merged universe of magic?)
Playing the part of Willy Wonka could have been a relief to George. Plenty of actors and comedians have said that there is a great liberation in diving into the minds and lives of another person through acting — and that it can even help with grief. Perhaps George uses his new personality as a way to deal with the pain of tragically losing his brother. Or perhaps George simply became that kooky. J.K. Rowling even said that she believed George would never have fully been in the same after suffering a loss like Fred's.
Additionally, the Oompa Loompas have a backstory which could be a fabricated bit of folklore to hide the fact that they are actually house elves, who, as we know, love to be of service to their master. We can assume they would be granted a generous compensation (and not only by the way of chocolate) considering George's sister-in-law Hermione Granger grows up to work in the Ministry's office of law enforcement and was known at Hogwarts to advocate for the welfare of house elves.
Another thing to consider is the fact that George, as Willy, would be giving up his business to a Muggle, Charlie. Giving a Muggle a bit of the magic by making one the heir to the factory would be George's homage to his father, Arthur Weasley, who was always fascinated by Muggles and their creativity and inventions for getting through life without magic.
And let's not deny the other attributes the two share: red hair (via the original Gene Wilder version), silly clashing outfits including a top hat (which the giant figure of the Weasleys' faces outside of their store also wears), an undeniable talent for underhanded yet quipping insults, and even hearing loss. As we know, George loses an ear while trying to escape the Death Eaters in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and there is a scene where Gene Wilder mentions he's "a trifle deaf in this year" . . . hmmm, coincidence?
When all is said and done, there is no denying that the similarities are there. Perhaps we know more about Willy Wonka than we thought and this Wonka character is actually a Weasley!
— Additional reporting by Lauren Harano