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At the end of Spider-Man 2, Harry Osborne discovers his father's Green Goblin lair. When I saw the movie, I understood that scene to be the moment when Harry first learns that his father was the Green Goblin.

However, in Spider-man: No Way Home, Octavius sees the Green Goblin and immediately recognizes him as Norman Osborne, which suggests that the Green Goblin's identity was widely known previous to Harry discovering the lair.

Is Harry supposed to have known about his father's villain identity throughout Spider-Man 2?

Note 1: I'm specifically looking to know what the creators of Spider-Man 2 intended when they made it (as opposed to the creators of No Way Home, who may have interpreted the movie differently than it was originally intended).

Note 2: In my headcanon, Doc Ock in No Way Home is actually not the same Doc Ock as the one from Spider-Man 2, but is instead a Doc Ock from a universe that is almost the same as that of Spider-Man 2. This explains the fact that his haircut is different, and lets me think that in the Spider-Man 2 universe Harry didn't know who the Green Goblin was, while in the universe that No Way Home's Doc Ock is from, the Green Goblin's identity is widely known. However, I don't think my headcanon matches MCU canon, hence my question.

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Is Harry supposed to have known about his father's villain identity throughout Spider-Man 2?

Note 1: I'm specifically looking to know what the creators of Spider-Man 2 intended when they made it (as opposed to the creators of No Way Home, who may have interpreted the movie differently than it was originally intended).

Spider-Man 2 was released in 2004. Four years before Iron Man was released and the start of the MCU. The writers of Spider-Man 2 could not have predicted that their characters would be introduced in an expanded universe, much less an expanded multi-verse.

So Harry Osborne did not know the identity of his father throughout Spider-Man 2. In fact, at the end of Spider-Man 1, Norman's final wish to Peter was to not tell Harry (literally. His last words were "Don't tell Harry"). There was no indication that anybody really knew the true identity of the Green Goblin in Spider-Man 2. The final revealing scene in Spider-Man 2 where Harry discovers his father's dark secret was only meant to set up the plot of Spider-Man 3 where he becomes the Hobgoblin to get revenge on Peter.

However, just because the true identity of the Green Goblin was never publicly revealed doesn't mean people can't deduce who it was. The Green Goblin's first attack was on Oscorp's celebration parade just before Norman was to be publicly ousted by the board of directors. Dr. Octavius was a head scientist at Oscorp and very well respected. He may have heard rumors of Norman's ousting. He may have known about the glider, super-soldier, and weapons projects at Oscorp where Norman was very active in. He's a very brilliant man and could have deduced it on his own.

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  • Thank you! I had forgotten the "Don't tell Harry" line, which I think makes it pretty clear
    – T Hummus
    May 17 at 17:41

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