Whenever a big fan reads something accusatory regarding their prized movie or book, they get defensive. Well, we’re fans of Harry Potter. We acknowledge that plot holes, if we’re using the truest definition of them, don’t really exist in the Harry Potter books or films. Whenever a potential plot hole was discovered, J.K. Rowling would patch it up in future books, online or in some other fashion. But we’re not here to deal with only the exact definition of plot holes. We want to discuss errors, mistakes, unanswered questions and logical leaps as well. These aren’t holes that make the entire stories nonsensical, but they are something worth discussing.
There are countless places online discussing potential plot holes in the Harry Potter universe. Dedicated fans have gone to great lengths to debunk almost all of the accusations, but there are some that have yet to be proven wrong. In the films, most of the mistakes can be explained by using information in the books. In the books, most mistakes are covered by a more thorough reading or by using some logic and reason to explain what’s going on. The issues on this list might be able to be explained with assumptions, “likelies” and “probablies,” but the vast majority have no documented or canonical explanations for them. Many have been addressed, but the explanations are unsatisfactory for the most part. If there are answers we’ve missed, we would be more than happy to hear them. All we want to do is make sure that the discussion about these mistakes is being had. Here are 15 Harry Potter Plot Holes Everyone Should be Talking About.
15. The Impact of Harry the Horcrux
Why Harry doesn’t negatively affect those around him since he’s a Horcrux of sorts, as the other horcruxes are said to do, is a question some of us have been asking for a while. We’ve seen the negative effect that the horcruxes have on people in their vicinity. Even though Harry is not quite a horcrux, he has shown himself to be vulnerable to the bit of Voldemort soul within him when he’s particularly moody. He’s felt the piece of Voldemort flicker from within him from time to time, so it obviously works its evil in similar ways as a horcrux. So why are others not affected by it? Ron and Hermione spend a lot of time with Harry, why do they not experience mood swings? Hagrid carried Harry on several occasions, why is he not affected. You can say that the same enchantment spells weren’t placed on Harry like the other horcruxes, but it’s not exactly clear that the enchantment spells are what’s causing the side-effects. Both the sorting hat and professor Trelawney sensed the soul of Voldemort in Harry, so it was palpable. Why could no one else sense it, even at a subconscious level?
14. Peter Pettigrew Map
The question of the Marauder’s Map is one of the most hotly debated in terms of “plot holes,” so we had to include the main talking points. The one argument is in regards to the twins not recognizing on the map or questioning why Ron would be seen sleeping with Peter Pettigrew, an animagus parading around as Ron’s rat Scabbers? Many people point to the fact that the twins claimed they memorized all the secret passages in Hogwarts early on and rarely look at it anymore. Fine, that’s a convenient out clause. But there are so many things the map could have detected. It could have seen that Tom Riddle was connected to Professor Quirrell. Lupin could have and maybe should have noticed that two Harry Potters and Two Hermiones were on the map beside each other as well, especially since we know that he was looking in on them. It’s all very interesting, but it’s also been discussed to death.
13. Hermione’s Obliviate Problem
Sometimes when you watch the movie versions too often, the books and the movies cross paths in your mind and separating them can be difficult. The movies created a problem for many fans in this way by confusing Hermione’s memory spells. We first see Hermione altering her parent’s memories. In the books, we don’t know exactly what spell she uses, but the movies clearly show her using an Obliviate spell. Later, when she’s asked to wipe the memories of two Death Eaters, Hermione states (in the books) that she’s never done an Obliviate spell before. Well, Rowling cleared up this controversy a bit by stating that Hermione didn’t use Obliviate on her parents, the movies just screwed it all up.
12. Time Turner
Ahh the dreaded Time Turner paradox. We won’t get into this one too much because it’s been used and abused and even Rowling has expressed her regret at using it too freely. So many questions get raised whenever one can go back in time and change future events. We will, however, ask one simple question that some fans point to: why doesn’t Hermione use the Time Turner to get a little more sleep? Sure, some possible answers suggest that no more than two copies of Hermione can exist at once, or there’s a time-limit on the turner or that Hermione wouldn’t break the rules that said to use it only for studies. However, it seems like it could easily be argued that sleep is necessary for studies. Also, a small nap would be sufficient, and, instead of taking two classes at once during every class, have a nap during one class to avoid the two is maximum clause. Just some things to think about.
11. The Dentist and the Weasley Clock
In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, we catch a glimpse of the amazing clock in the Weasley’s house that monitors where each of the members of the family are at any given time. Rather than hours, like a normal clock, each section on the clock face has a location or status, such as home, quidditch, prison, lost and, curiously, dentist. The reason this is so curious is because later on, in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, all of the wizards seem quite interested in the fact that Hermione’s parents are dentists. Their faces and Slughorn’s question, “is that considered a dangerous profession?” indicate that no one has heard of a dentist before. While some claim that this might be due to Arthur Weasley’s fascination with Muggles, considering that no wizards need dentists, it seems like an awful waste of space.
10. No One’s Home
This is another little gaff that has to do with the clock at the Weasley’s house again. No, this isn’t a plot hole, but it does bring into question the accuracy of that damn clock. When Harry looks at the clock, it shows a few of the names accurately. Some keen-eyes have spotted that Mrs. Weasley is shown to be in the garden, which works to explain where her name is, but what about Ginny? Right after this shot, Ginny is shown running down the stairs from upstairs. Why wasn’t she shown at home? Also, where would Fred’s hand go on the clock face in the end? Lost? Home? Travelling? Remove the hand altogether?
9. Arthur Weasley’s Career Choice
Arthur Weasley is one of the sweetest characters in all of the Harry Potter universe, but his career has brought up a few interesting questions. Even though Arthur has a great interest in everything muggle, it seems rather strange that he would be named head of the Misuse of Muggle artifacts department instead of a muggle-born wizard. Arthur clearly is about as learned in muggle artifacts as a small muggle child, so it’s not like he’s particularly well-qualified. Hermione, for instance, knows infinitely more about muggle artifacts by the age of 12 than Arthur. It would seem that an adult muggle-born wizard would be able to fill this role more than satisfactorily.
8. The Question of Wand Ownership
Whenever a wizard is disarmed by another, the wand can switch ownership. This has proven to be a fairly convenient plot device in some cases when it’s needed. The big question about this is in regards to the dueling club. How do no wands switch ownership in this club? Here’s what JK Rowling said: “Well I think it’s clear there that in practice, where there’s no real weight attached to the transference of a wand, where it’s almost all for fun or purely for competition, there’s no enormous significance attached in either wizard’s mind to a wand flying out of someone’s hand. But there are situations in which the emotional state of wizards where a lot hangs on a duel, that’s something different. That’s about real power and that’s about transference that will have far-reaching effects in some cases. So, I think the wand would behave differently then.” This is all perfectly reasonable if you’ve never competed before. Practice or not, people genuinely want to best each other in competition. Draco and Potter would have wanted to dominate each other. Snape was very obviously trying to show up Lockhart as well. It seems strange that not one wand ever reacted or made a mistake in this setting.
7. What if Harry Doesn’t Compete?
Outside of the fact that if Harry didn’t compete in the Triwizard Tournament in the Goblet of Fire there wouldn’t have been a movie, we have to wonder what would have happened if Harry didn’t compete. Some say, the magical bond being broken would have consequences, but clearly Voldemort needed Harry to see the competition through to the end. Well, what if he didn’t? If the magical bond killed him or imprisoned him, that wouldn’t have worked for Voldemort. What if Harry just gave up, like some of his competitors did? Shoot up some flares into the sky and don’t go through with the challenge. Clearly someone wants you to win, maybe try not winning. Or is Harry such a gamer that he is forced to win everything?
6. How Did the Dursleys Get Off the Island?
This little error can come in two forms. One question that is sometimes asked is, how did Hagrid get to the island to save Harry? We assume that he flew in as he claims in the book. But wait? If he flew in on his magical motorbike, where is it? Why did they leave it there? If he flew in on a broom, why does he later claim that brooms can’t take his weight? Seems fishy. Also, if Hagrid and Harry leave on the boat that the Dursleys took to get to the island, as they state in the book, how did the Dursleys get off the island?
5. Watching the Triwizard Tournament
As the Triwizard Tournament neared, the students of Hogwarts got amped up. This was going to be super exciting for them. The most talented wizards from all over were going to showcase their skills, and Hogwarts was the setting. How lucky! The first event comes and it’s incredible. Dragons, stunning feats of cunning and bravery. The next event has got to be unbelievable to top this. What? It’s completely underwater? You mean we can’t see a damn thing until someone comes out of the water at the end? Wait, the final event is in a maze and we can’t see inside of it or over it? We’re wizards, can we hover over top? Why the hell not? Worst tournament ever.
4. Harry using Lumos Maximo
Whenever underage wizards use spells at home, they get the Trace. Granted, this only really works for wizards in non-magical homes because random and legal house magic would obscure the Trace. Well, that doesn’t explain why Hermione has already mastered spells before she’s ever been to Hogwarts. Her house is a muggle house. You might say she learned the spells on the train or she wasn’t of school age yet, so no one cared, but that’s bull roar. What about Harry using Lumos Maximo at home to get in some late-night reading? You’d think that magic might set off some alarm bells but it doesn’t. This is a change they put in the movies, which was a little silly, so we won’t get too bent out of shape about it.
3. Harry’s Major Weakness
We all know Harry is a bad bad man. He’s got skills he doesn’t even know he has and the luck of the Irish. But he is cursed with bad eyesight, which is clearly a bane to wizards. They can create almost anything from nothing and cure every disease and ailment imaginable, but near-sightedness is the devil. So, let’s ignore the fact that Harry should have got Lasik eye surgery a long time ago. He didn’t; we’re over it. But why doesn’t Voldemort just Accio those glasses? Without them, Harry is more likely to Expelliarmus his friends than Voldemort. It just seems like Harry’s one weakness was never exploited and we’re sad about it.
2. Ron Speaks Parseltongue
This one might just be the biggest of all errors in the Harry Potter franchise. When Ron and Hermione need to get into the Chamber of Secrets in The Deathly Hallows, Ron simply mimics the Parseltongue command and it works. Fans will say, well he doesn’t understand what he’s saying, so it’s not like he all of a sudden speaks the language. But that doesn’t matter. If a parrot says hello to you when you enter a room, it’s saying hello the same way a human would, whether the bird understands the meaning behind the word or not is irrelevant. The fact that Ron is able to mimic Parseltongue just by listening to it makes no sense, especially when you consider that Dumbledore can understand the language but can’t speak it. Well, yeah, he can. All he has to do is make the sounds apparently. This also flies in the face of the claim that speaking Parseltongue has some magic to it, some sort of hereditary ability. Just who is Ron really?
1. Celebrating Christmas
Each year, Hogwarts goes on Christmas holidays and all of the wizards presumably observe it because they’re still British. But it does bring up an interesting question. Was Jesus a wizard? He surely seems like it. Turning water into wine, feeding a village with one fish, walking on water. While the Christmas holiday might be observed because it’s awesome, there are other indications they take it more seriously, like the fact that Sirius Black is Harry’s Godfather, which means Harry was baptized. Even more strange is the fact that they’re glorifying a man/wizard who broke several of Gamp’s Laws, like bringing people back from the dead, including himself on Easter, which they also celebrate. They celebrate a law being broken. Hypocrites much?
Sources: Wikipedia; Harry Potter Wiki; Pottermore; Reddit; Youtube