Lately, I have been rereading the Harry Potter books, as any good Potterhead does at least once a year. This time, however, I started to notice some things that just didn’t add up. No, that’s not true, some things I did notice before but I didn’t have a blog then so there you go.
1. Professor Binns:
When, in the Chamber of Secrets, Hermoine asked professor Binns about the Chamber of Secrets, he said it was purely a myth (not to be confused with meth, which I just typed) and dismissed it’s entire existence because of the lack of facts and evidence. “Hold on a minute,” said that little voice inside my head, “Isn’t prof. Binns the only ghost professor in all of Hogwarts? It has been clearly stated that he died in front of the fire in the teachers lounge but got up to teach all the same the next day. If the dear professor was old enough to die of old age and if you assume that he has been teaching as a ghost for quite a while, it suggests that he has been a teacher at Hogwarts for a very long time. Shouldn’t he have been a teacher when Tom Riddle opened the Chamber of Secrets the first time?”
Of course, it could be argued that professor Binns only pretended not to know about the Chamber in order to protect the students but I get a feeling that’s not the case. Plot hole?
2. philosophers stone ‘obstacles’
This ‘plot hole’ is probably the one that is the easiest to explain. In the later books, especially book 6 and 7, we have been witness to some extraordinary magic and protective measures. If these spells and what not exist, then why does Dumbledore resort to a kind of magical obstacle course which 3 inexperienced first years can overcome without much difficulty? There can be some in depth discussion about this subject, I imagine, where people argue that JK made it possible for Harry & co. to overcome the obstacles because of their innocence but, I don’t think it’s that complicated. I think that when JK wrote the very first book, she didn’t quite know how complicated and advanced her story would become. Also, it wouldn’t make for very good reading if it went like: “Quirell couldn’t penetrate the many strong protective spells Dumbledore and the other teachers had put up around the stone. Harry, Ron & Hermoine only had to wait around the corner to make sure he didn’t leave and wait until Dumbledore came to sort it all out.” Yea.. wouldn’t have made a very interesting story, would it?
3. Percy deducting points
This isn’t necessarily a plot hole as it is more of a mistake. In the Chamber of Secrets Percy deducts 5 points from Gryffindor because Ron did something. Can’t remember what exactly but the point is that in book 6 is it clearly stated that prefects can’t deduct points. Malfoy could deduct points because he was in Umbridge’s inquisitorial squad, not because he was a prefect. Oopsy.
4. Lily disapperating with Harry
Okay so, this has actually bothered me quite a bit. Why, for the love of all that is Harry Potter, did Lily not grab her baby and disapperated the F out of there? She had fair warning from James which we know as she had time to grab Harry and run upstairs. Even if she did not have her wand on her, she – probably- would have had enough time to get it and disapperate. Whyy? The woman could obviously not keep a clear head in the face of danger.
5. Fred & George noticing Pettigrew
When Fred & George gave Harry the Marauder’s Map, He and Ron had been at Hogwarts for at least 2 years and a few months. Have they seriously never noticed that their youngest brother spend every night sharing a bed with someone called Peter Pettigrew? Really? How did they manage that? Or were they just extremely open minded?
6. Dragon, astronomy tower
This is also not really a plot hole but it’s something that I have been screaming at the book ever since the first time I read it. They were caught coming down from the astronomy tower, after sending off Norbert, without a good explanation for why there where there and where punished because of it. Why didn’t they say they were doing.. oh I don’t know.. ASTRONOMY HOMEWORK?! Jeezz people. It’s not that much of a stretch is it?! Granted, they still would have been in trouble for being out of their common rooms at night but they probably would have been punished less severely.
7. Shell cottage secret keeper
When Dobby (oh Dobby.. *cry*) took them from Malfoy Manner to Shell Cottage, Harry could see the house as soon as they arrived there. Later it’s said that Bill is secret keeper so then how could Harry see the house without having been let into the secret? With Grimmauld place it was a pretty big deal that Harry had to read a note written by Dumbledore himself in order to be let into the secret. Because of this the argument that Dobby let them into the secret is invalid because Dumbledore himself had to inform Harry of the secret even though all the others were standing right there. Only if Bill had died would Dobby have become a secret keeper, too.
On this subject there is also a discussion to be had on whether Bill can be secret keeper to his own house and, if so, why couldn’t James be his own secret keeper?
8. Sirius’ mirror
In The Order of the Phoenix Sirius gives Harry a mirror and explains that he and James used to use it to talk to each other during detentions and that Harry should use it to contact him if and when Snape gave him a hard time. Why oh why didn’t Harry use that in stead of the fire in Umbridge’s office to see if Sirius was okay? Wouldn’t it be infinitely safer and wiser? Stupid Harry.
9. Horcruxes difficulty
It seems to me that Harry & co. have been extremely lucky to have to find the Horcruxes that were left. They were the easiest horcruxes by far, don’t you think? The locket and the ring were both protected in such a manner that the intruder would have definitely died, whether sooner or later, after taking the horcrux. However, the horcruxes that Harry & co. had to find weren’t nearly as heavily protected. No ‘blood sacrifices’ had to be given and no dark, unexpected curses had to be broken. Is this fair?
Obviously, each of the things I have pointed out could be disregarded with the simple notion of ‘yea, but without that the story wouldn’t have worked, would it?’ and that would be true. Still, I don’t want to think about it from a writer’s point of view, if you know what I mean. I want to look at these books as though they were real and that real people made the decisions that have been described in these books.
I’m sure there are many many more examples like the ones I have mentioned. If you think of any, please let me know in the comments and if you agree or disagree with the things I have said, please comment on that, too!
It’s always nice to know that there are actually people reading the things I write 🙂
See you soon, world.