In Harry Potter and also the Half-Blood Prince chapter 28, Harry find a note telling the someone has derived the Dark Lord"s locket Horcrux native the cave prior to Professor Dumbledore and Harry acquired there. The note has actually no full name, only the initials “R.A.B.”. In Deathly Hallows chapter 10, we discover out the this human who stole the locket was Regulus Arcturus Black, Sirius"s younger brother. We had heard Sirius cite him soon in Order the the Phoenix chapter 6, though we don"t learn his middle name till Hallows.

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There were two years in between the publishing of Prince and Hallows throughout which the identification of the locket thef may have actually been uncertain. Walk the take care of Potter pan deduce R.A.B."s identity? execute we know this native statements the were certainly made before the publishing of Hallows? to be there any kind of interesting alternating theories? Or go the fans conveniently settle into a consensus that the locket thief to be Regulus?

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With a fanbase as huge as bother Potter"s is, there"s never a complete consensus on anything, of course - but pretty lot from the beginning "RAB = Regulus Black" was the frontrunner theory, v only tiny pockets of fans speculating anything else.

Take a look, for example, in ~ this Mugglenet write-up published only four days after ~ the release of the HBP, which pretty prescient both in the general and details details that RAB"s identity:

Now the I have actually laid the end the criteria I think our secret R. A. B. Has to follow, I will certainly state who I believe the person is: Regulus Black, Sirius’ younger brother...

I think Regulus probably had more courage 보다 Sirius gave him credit for. I have actually a feeling that Regulus discovered himself in a situation comparable to what Draco Malfoy acquired himself right into in HBP. Regulus most likely did gain scared, but unlike Draco, he refused to carry out what Voldemort was questioning him come do and actually tried to assist the future vanquisher damage Voldemort. The takes a the majority of guts come go against Voldemort, and also I have actually a feeling Regulus knew he could never hide indigenous Voldemort, and if he was going come die, he did not want to carry out it cowardly yet was going to try to do something that would certainly be disastrous to Voldemort.

I think that is likely that bother will come to figure out who the secret R. A. B. Is v either Sirius’ house or Kreacher; both of i m sorry he has conveniently inherited. I think that Harry will again find aid in a human that he was no expecting.

Or this 2006 beyond Hogwarts article, which guesses not only at RAB"s identification but nearly every information of just how the locket plot would ultimately go down:

So, whereby is the real locket now? Regulus" keep in mind says that intends to damage it as soon as that can, yet we don"t understand for sure that the did.

If it"s anywhere, you"d doubt it"s someplace in Grimauld Place, whereby we i think Regulus lived with his parents. In bother Potter and the order of the Phoenix, as soon as they are cleaning out the parlor in Grimauld Place, a locket is mentioned, but only briefly... It"s a good chance the locket Harry experienced in the room in Grimauld location was the locket. But, wherein is that now?

Some fans think Kreacher has actually it.

Even the civilization who argued against it go so mostly on the grounds that "it"s too obvious" or "it"ll be unsatisfying" fairly than having alternating theories to propose.

Take, because that example, this august 2005 article from a "RAB is no Regulus Black" supporter:

The idea the Regulus black is RAB is by much the most renowned conclusion and also there seems to be several things that pop up confirming the theory.

Hands up, i don’t have any sort that argument against Regulus black being RAB, except my gut emotion that that so evident that it can’t be true.

Or this early on 2006 forum post:

I never believed Regulus black color was RAB. That would certainly be would certainly be too much in your face approach, unRowlinglike. She puts something in your confront at an initial but always debunks that afterwards

(And shoutout to this person, who while arguing against "RAB = Regulus Black" regulated to randomly assumption: v a pretty huge plot point involving Kreacher):

No way is the Regalus. It just seems so... Stupid and also unlikley. Just since his initials fit... However i think KReacher was there and also was forced to drink the potion, and that"s why he is a little mad. It was too lot for a House-elf to take.

A couple of places opened up themselves as much as fun alternate theories (I think, "RAB is Dumbledore, time travel to the future" is mine favorite) but none acquired much traction amongst the broader fanbase.

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In the weeks and also days counting down to DH"s release, the theory went even an ext mainstream, getting here on many non-HP media sites. It"s safe to say the by DH"s release, the only people not expecting this twist were the ones who either didn"t follow speculation at every or had actually a niche alternate theory.