It won’t be news to anyone that Harry Potter has its die-hard fans. This series of books and franchise of films might have more dedicated followers than any other series. When we say die-hard fans, we really should break that category down into those who have mastered the information and those who have not because, not everyone is on top of every detail. In Harry Potter, there is a lot going on. There’s that which we see and is made obvious and that which we learn in passing. There are subtle details in the books and films and there are details that were provided in supplemental materials, and those that JK Rowling delivered herself after publication. It’s quite a feat to know it all and there are some who have it down pat, but there are many, many more who have most but not all the information.
As most Potterheads can attest, there have been a lot of naysayers over the years. Fans of both the books and the films have been pointing out plot holes for a while now. Most of these negatives don’t exist. People are constantly highlighting flaws in Harry Potter that aren’t real flaws, criticizing mistakes that have perfectly good explanations. We won’t blame these naysayers for not having all the facts straight, but we will do our best to set the record straight.
While not every entry on this list will apply to every single one of you, we wanted to try and cover a range of the most commonly voiced and heard mistruths. This list is made up of things from the Harry Potter franchise that have been confusing people for a long while now. These are alleged facts that have been discussed in various circles, falsities that knowledgeable Potter defenders and fanatics have been trying to correct for years. Hopefully this clears the air on some of the points that pop up most frequently. Here are 15 False Facts About Harry Potter Even Die-Hard Fans Still Believe.
15. Luna and Neville
When you ask Potter fans what ever happened to Luna and Neville after the events of the films, you might hear them say that the two became a loving couple. Remember at the end how these two had that cute little scene together? It appeared as though they might be headed in the same direction, so we understand why people think this way, but that’s not how it worked out. JK Rowling herself chimed in and gave a quick rundown of their post-film lives. Neville, somewhat predictably, became a Herbology teacher at Hogwarts. He married Hannah Abbott. Luna, meanwhile, married the grandson of Newt Scamander, which fits in with her adventurous nature. They almost certainly stayed friends, but there was never any romance.
14. Voldemort Pronunciation
This one is a little unfair because the films have firmed up the mispronunciation of Voldemort’s name. It’s also been discussed quite a bit because of how interesting it is. Still, there are boatloads of fans who aren’t even aware what the intended pronunciation of the name Voldemort was. The “T” was meant to be silent, stemming from the French word “mort” meaning death. At least, this is how JK Rowling designed it to be pronounced. She has said that she is likely the only one who still says it this way, especially since the films picked up the T and ran with it. Prior to the films, though, Jim Dale, the man who did the audio books, pronounced it correctly. Now, even the audio books have all begun to annunciate that T erasing the silence from history.
13. The Seven Potters Were The Hardest Route
This is one of those alleged mistakes or unnecessary plot points that so many people criticize, but it’s really overblown. Some say that Harry should have just drank Polyjuice and walked out the front door. Others say that he should have just apparated, used Floo Powder or had Dobby take him wherever he needed to go. Well, none of those options would have worked. The Death-Eaters were watching the house. They weren’t letting anyone leave without a fight. The Seven Potters was a move to make the inevitable fight more difficult for the Death-Eaters. Elf-magic or any apparating is detectable by the Trace, which means the Ministry would know, which means Voldemort would know, which means Harry would be dead.
12. Luna Is Not Crazy
Yeah, she is. Case closed. The argument here is that Luna, the girl who believes in all sorts of fairy tale creatures should not be considered weird or crazy because they exist in a magical world. Why is it weird to believe in Nargles when there are Dementors and Hippogriffs flying about? Well, the answer is simple. Nargles don’t exist and those other things do. Just because the Harry Potter Universe has creatures different than our own doesn’t mean that those who believe in fantasy creatures are a little odd. For the same reason that people who believe in jackalopes in our world are nuts or misinformed, so too is Luna.
11. Harry Went Straight to School
This one is tough to explain with only a title. It’s also not necessarily a “false fact” as much as it is something that many fans overlook, if only because the films created a skewed perspective. When Hagrid first gets Harry from the island, it’s Harry’s birthday, July 31st. From there, they go to Diagon Alley, get the essentials for Harry’s school year, get some cash, and then they’re off to platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross Station. When does Harry start school? Why, September 1st of course. So, what the heck happened to August? Harry and Hagrid must have spent an entire month together, an entire month that is skipped over and not discussed at all.
10. Harry Should See The Thestrals
One of the biggest gripes people have with Harry Potter is that Harry, in The Order of the Phoenix, is incapable of seeing Thestrals, those mysterious creatures that are only visible to those who have witnessed and processed death. Some point to his parents’ death, but Harry never witnessed that. He was young, in his cot and only saw a flash of green light. There was Quirrell, too, but Harry was passed out when the professor died. But what about Cedric? That one is, admittedly, harder to explain.
Here’s what JK Rowling said about that: “I decided, therefore, that until Harry is over the first shock, and really feels what death means (ie, when he fully appreciates that Cedric is gone forever and that he can never come back, which takes time, whatever age you are) he would not be able to see the Thestrals. After two months away from school during which he has dwelled endlessly on his memories of the murder and had nightmares about it, the Thestrals have taken shape and form and he can see them quite clearly.”
There’s also another point that could be used to help explain the length of time it took Harry to digest Cedric’s death. Harry never saw the death directly. Perhaps this made it more challenging to process. This is how the text read: “A blast of green light blazed through Harry’s eyelids, and he heard something heavy fall to the ground beside him; the pain in his scar reached such a pitch that he retched, and then it diminished; terrified of what he was about to see, he opened his stinging eyes.”
9. Gryffindor The Best and Slytherin The Worst
There is a constant oversimplification of the Hogwarts’ houses, both by characters in the books and by fans, but it does not make it any truer. Everyone believes that the people assigned to Gryffindor are automatically and forever destined to be angelic creatures of the planet. Meanwhile, the kids in Slytherin are born to be evil and destructive. Hell, everyone evil was from Slytherin, so therefore, everyone from Slytherin is evil. But neither of those statements are true. The people assigned to Slytherin are cunning and tricksy, not murderous. Stop the wizard prejudice.
8. Moody Knows What A Boggart Looks Like
They say that no wizard alive knows what a Boggart truly looks like. Since everyone only sees their greatest fear in a Boggart, the creature’s natural form is a mystery. But many fans point to a moment when Mad-Eye Moody uses his magical eye to look into a closed closet to see if a Boggart is in it. He looks and doesn’t react, but he does confirm that a Boggart is in the closet. So people use this to suggest that Moody knows their natural form. But wait. Keep in mind that Moody is a true thug. He very well could have looked at a Boggart displaying his greatest fear, but he doesn’t react because he doesn’t give a damn. Nothing rattles Mad-Eye.
7. Harry’s Shouldn’t Need Glasses
We always hear this one. If magic can do this and it can do that, why can it not cure Harry’s poor eyesight? Well, there is something to be said about biological traits. For the same reason that there are obese wizards; for the same reason that not every wizard is beautiful and why the Weasleys are still gingers, you just can’t magic away heritable traits. Harry could probably go off and get Lasik eye surgery if he wanted, but he doesn’t seem too concerned. His hair seems to follow a similar principle as his eyesight. Cut it and style it all you like, but it’s always going to be horrible. Ain’t no magic gonna make his eyesight better permanently either.
6. The Goblet of Fire Was Unnecessary
Many fans say that, as much as they loved The Goblet of Fire, the plot was much more complex than necessary. It’s true that, in the end, Harry needed only to touch a portkey. That was the goal. So, people ask, why not just make a portkey and give it to Harry? Why go through all the trouble of entering him in the tournament and ensuring he wins and blah blah? Well, this one is not necessarily canon, but it makes sense. The Triwizard Cup was always a portkey. When touched, it would transport the winner out of the maze. Perhaps it was easier to alter an existing portkey than it was to make a new one and bring it into Hogwarts. Maybe the school’s defenses were too strong for that.
5. The Harry Horcrux Should Have Died Earlier
Remember how the basilisk fang destroyed Tom Riddle’s journal? This fact, some fans say, creates a problem later on. When Harry is bit by the basilisk, the Horcrux in him should have been destroyed like the journal, right? But that’s not how Horcrux’s work. The shell of the Horcrux must be destroyed beyond repair. That didn’t happen to Harry, did it? Harry was repaired. He was healed and he recovered. If he had died, the Horcrux would have been destroyed.
4. Wizards are Tougher than Muggles
Because we watch the Death-Eaters wreak havoc on the streets and because we watch wizards do all sorts of things with magic, it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that Wizards are far greater in strength than Muggles. But that isn’t true. Wizards are essentially in hiding. It was Muggles that drove them underground. Our weaponry and technology is superior. Our numbers much more vast. The reason why Voldemort doesn’t destroy humanity is because he can’t. He couldn’t even come close.
3. Time Turners Cause Time Paradoxes
This one probably irks the most Harry Potter defenders, but it’s also the one thing that so many fans cling to. They call Time Turners plot hole creators. They say they create too many paradoxes and were used too freely. But they really don’t create paradoxes if you understand the basic principles of time in Harry Potter. The Harry Potter Universe exists on a single timeline. That’s it. This is not a unique concept either. In fact, it’s been around for ages. Time Travel in this type of universe follows Novikov’s self-consistency principle, which states that only “self-consistent” trips to the past are allowed. The traveller can only see things that have happened. They are unable to change the past in any way that would create a paradox. So, while the user can interact with the past in certain ways, they can’t change it and they cannot alter the future. And just stop with the, why didn’t Harry go back in time and kill Voldemort? Just stop.
2. The Hallows Are All Powerful
This one certainly was never explicitly disproven, but there is enough evidence to suggest that the mythological properties of the Deathly Hallows were more myth than reality. Sure, they are powerful, but they are not infallible. It is far more likely that the creators, rather than having been created by Death and all that jazz, were just extremely talented wizards and nothing more. The stone does not appear to be able to resurrect the dead, the elder wand is not unbeatable and the cloak is not invulnerable to magic. We are even told that the Deathly Hallows story is a mere fairy tale designed to explain the magical objects, so it would follow that their magical properties are quite exaggerated as well. This should not make the Hallows worthless in anyone’s eyes, but it helps explain some of the mysteries around them.
1. Voldemort’s Death Is Wrong
No matter what the franchise is, film adaptations are almost always criticized when changes are made to the books. This has always been the case and it will continue to be that way. Our imaginations are powerful tools. Things that we can picture in books don’t always translate on screen. In Harry Potter, one of the things that many fans critique is Voldemort’s death scene. Simply put, in the book, Voldemort was killed and left a cold corpse. He was reduced from the all-powerful wizard to Tom Riddle’s lifeless body. In the films, he was turned to confetti. Plenty of fans have said this is wrong and a mistake of a change. Well, that line of thinking is wrong. Here’s the thing. The messages in book and film are different. They were from the very start. In the book, Voldemort is proved to be just a man. In the film, he’s less than that. Men leave behind a corpse, a body that can be mourned by their friends and family. Since Voldemort gave up his humanity to live forever, his death undoes forever. Without humanity, he won’t have a grave. Without a corpse, he is erased completely.
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