For nearly ten years, fans all over the world were entranced in the Harry Potter novels by J.K. Rowling. Even before the books concluded, Warner Bros. jumped at the chance to bring the characters to life on the big screen, giving fans a direct line to the world of Hogwarts.
The only issue is there are some mistakes and inconsistencies die-hard fans have noticed over the years. Why can’t magic fix Harry’s eye-sight? And can we talk about how love potions and polyjuice potions are legal? Keep reading for more Harry Potter plot-points that don’t make a whole lot of sense.
They’re Quite The Medieval People
Even with everything at their disposal because of their magical abilities, witches and wizards choose to live as if they’re in medieval times. What’s the point of electricity when they’re just going to go on using oil lamps and lanterns? Flashlights aren’t even a thing because they have the Lumos spell!
They’re also still using precious alchemy metals for all of their currency, whereas the human population has since moved over to paper products. And keeping with the paper theme, why on Earth does Hogwarts still make their students use parchment along with feather quills and ink? Those materials must be so annoying to use for essays!
Wizards Can Grow Bones, Alter Teeth, But Not Fix Eyesight
Bare with us here. Hogwart’s healer Madam Poppy Pomfrey can re-grow Harry’s bones using Skele-Gro serum and alter Hermione’s teeth, so they appear smaller, right? If she can do all of that, then one would think she would be able to fix Harry’s poor eyesight.
We mean, honestly, the guy is fighting off the Dark Lord and Death Eaters with glasses that have broken one time too many. The fact that he was able to keep his lenses intact through the entire Battle of Hogwarts is mind-blowing. Give the Chosen One magical Lasik or something!
The Subjects Are All Magical
Going into Hogwarts, first-year students are required to take several core classes. These subjects include Defense Against the Dark Arts, Potions, Transfiguration, Herbology, History of Magic, Astronomy, and flying. There are no classes designated to literature, math, or even other history courses that aren’t about magic spells.
Did anyone wonder about the transition of muggle-born students leaving their world to come to a school where they have to drop everything they’ve ever been taught and learn Latin for magical spells? They’re 11-years-old! They should also know basic muggle classes anyway since they vastly outnumber the wizarding population.
Felix Felicis Is A Cheat Code No One Used
In The Half-Blood Prince, the reward for the student who makes the best liquid death potion is Felix Felicis, aka liquid luck. This potion is literally a cheat code for whoever drinks it. As we see when Harry goes to Hagrid’s house in pursuit of a specific memory from Slughorn, everything goes his way!
Why didn’t the wizarding community just whip up a huge batch of this potion and distribute it to everyone fighting in the battle? The war would have lasted a solid three seconds, and the Dark Lord would never have got his hands on Harry, almost killing him. Sigh.
Quidditch Rules Don’t Make Much Sense
It’s cool that J.K. Rowling was able to make up an entirely new sport for the wizarding world. That being said, Quidditch isn’t exactly the fairest game out there, in terms of rules. The thing is, the team’s chasers would have to be vastly outmatched for the game not to be won by the seeker finding the snitch.
Scoring a goal is 10 points while catching the snitch is 150. So, unless a team is stacked with the best chaser players in the world, the only significant person on the team is the seeker, since they can end and win the game for their team. That’s fair?
Muggle Money, Clothing, And Objects Are Foreign
The thing is, wizards are the minority group in the world, so it would make sense that they have at least a sense of what muggle money, clothing, and various objects like phones and washing machines are. Especially considering some wizards have muggle parents, one would think the wizarding world would know the use of something as simple as money.
If they don’t know what currency is, they’d never be able to walk into a coffee shop and grab a latte. That’s just not acceptable in any world, muggle or wizard! But, don’t worry, flying cars are a totally reasonable thing. Insert eye roll here.
Why Lock The Third-Floor Corridor
One of the first rules Albus Dumbledore says at the beginning of Harry’s first school year is that no one is allowed on the third-floor corridor unless they “want to die a most painful death.” Well, that’s an uplifting way to start the school year. The thing is, why bother locking the door?
Anyone who knows the spell Alohomora is going to be able to unlock the door and get inside. Cue Hermione Granger, the brightest witch of her year, being able to open the door in five seconds flat as a first-year student. All because she read chapter seven in The Standard Book of Spells.
Harry’s Grandparents Are Never Acknowledged
Fans of the Harry Potter series, and probably those who didn’t read the books or watch the movies, know that Harry winds up living with his aunt, uncle, and cousin after his parents are murdered. But that begs the question, where are the kid’s grandparents? Aside from Snape’s flashback to Petunia saying she’s going to rat Lily out for using magic, they’re never mentioned.
According to J.K. Rowling on Pottermore, “dragon pox carried [Grandma and Grandpa Potter] off within days of each other, due to their advanced age.” Okay, so we take it his mom’s parents are also gone, and that’s why Harry’s stuck in a cupboard for 11 years.
No First Years Know About The Sorting Hat
Literally, not one first-year knows that they have to wear the sorting hat in order to be sorted into one of the four houses. First-years who have parents that graduated from Hogwarts and siblings that are still in school, like Ron and Malfoy, don’t even know.
The thing is, at the end of the series, we see Harry talking to his son, Albus Severus Potter, about the sorting hat because he’s afraid of being sorted into Slytherin. How is that allowed when no other first-year even knows of the hat’s existence? These are the questions that keep us up at night.
Ron Shouldn’t Have Been Able To Tell Dobby About Shell Cottage
Considering that Ron isn’t the Secret Keeper of Shell Cottage, Bill, and Fleur’s home, he shouldn’t have been able to tell Dobby the address. The Secret Keeper for the home is Bill, meaning he is the only person who is allowed to say the address of the cottage to another soul.
The twist to this is that the house had not been put under the Fidelius Charm until up until that moment, making it so Ron could have told Dobby the location of the safe house. The charm makes it, so the secret is trapped within a certain person, and no one else can utter the address.
Dumbledore Sat Back And Watched The Dursley’s “Raise” Harry
Can we talk about how Dumbledore knew the Dursleys were terrible people when he asked Hagrid to transport Harry from Godric’s Hollow to their house? Professor McGonagall told the headmaster, “they’re the worst kind of muggles imaginable.” Sorry, headmaster, but answering with “they’re the only family he has,” is not sufficient.
These people acted as if Harry didn’t exist, hardly fed him, treated him as their servant, lied to him, and, on top of all that, made him sleep in a tiny cupboard underneath the stairs. Not to mention their “precious son Dudley” did nothing but bully Harry throughout their entire childhood. Eleven years, Dumbledore!
Polyjuice Potion + Anyone = Bad Idea
One magical item that is beyond questionable is polyjuice potion. Even though it helps Harry, Ron, and Hermione throughout school and their search for Horcruxes, there is no way making those potions should be legal. The formula literally allows the potion creator to transform into any person of their choosing!
We saw it with Barty Crouch Jr. turning into Mad-eye Moody for literally an entire book, while the actual Mad-Eye is locked away in an enchanted chest. Come on, Ministry of Magic, you’re just asking for someone to infiltrate the ranks!
Majority Of Troubled Kids Get Sorted Into Slytherin
One thing that never made sense was that all of the so-called “troubled kids” were typically sorted into Slytherin (Peter Pettigrew excluded, of course). Even Hagrid says, “there wasn’t a bad wizard that didn’t come out of Slytherin.” Didn’t anyone think that maybe the sorting hat should mix the kids up a bit more? Or perhaps the culture of the house should change?
We mean, seriously, the Slytherin house is literally located in the dungeons! If a kid is subject to that setting and characters such as Crabe, Goyle, and Malfoy, during their impressionable years, sorry, but they’re likely to turn into a bad apple.
“Eat Slugs” Works As A Spell, Somehow
In the world of Harry Potter, the spells are these beautifully elaborate words and phrases. All of them very well thought out by Rowling and wonderfully enunciated by the actors and actresses on the big screen. And yet, one thing has always bothered us. With all of the Latin-inspired verbiage, how on Earth does Ron yelling “eat slugs” at Malfoy work?
He literally shouts two English words, and all of a sudden, Ron is spitting-up slugs due to his faulty wand. There is no way this should actually work! As far as consistency goes, this makes no sense, even for a second-year student.
Harry Seeing The Thestrals For The First Time His Fifth Year
As we learn from Luna, Thestrals can only be seen by those who have witnessed death. So, wouldn’t it make sense that Harry would be able to see the otherwise invisible creatures before his fifth year at Hogwarts? His mother was killed right in front of him, meaning he should be completely able to see the Thestrals prior to watching Sirius pass away.
Thank you, Luna, for making us question plot consistency even more! Let’s just chalk it up to Harry being too young and not fully remembering his past, whereas Sirius’ death is raw and new.
Muggle Pop Culture Isn’t A Thing
Since wizards take up about one percent of the entire human population, it would be reasonable for them to know muggle pop culture, including music, television shows, and movies. Some wizards even grow up in the muggle world, so it would make sense for them to talk about their favorite films and musical artists at school.
But, no. We never see students watching movies or hear them listing to any music from artists like Ariana Grande. Come to think of it; the only time pop culture is referenced during The Goblet of Fire. During the Yule Ball, there is a live wizard band called the Twisted Sisters.
Accio Shouldn’t Be A Fourth-Year Spell
It makes sense that spells are taught at varying grade levels, as is math in the muggle world. The easiest spells are given to first-year students to master while harder and more complex spells, such as Expecto Patronum, are given to the higher grade levels. That being said, there is zero reason for Accio, the summoning spell, to be a charm for fourth-years.
This incredibly simple spell is seen a total of zero times until The Goblet of Fire when Harry uses it to summon his broom to help capture the golden egg in the first round of the Tri-Wizard Tournament. Long story short, it should be a first-year spell.
Where Do Pure-Bloods Go To School Before Hogwarts
One aspect of the wizarding world that was always confusing was the schooling prior to Hogwarts. Kids don’t receive their official letter until they are 11 years old, so what do pure-bloods do before that? Muggle-born students probably go to primary school, the same with kids who grow up with one muggle parent.
There’s no way pure-bloods are at home all day, waiting 11 years for a letter to come via owl. Is there daycare? Or maybe a Mommy and Me class solely for these kids? Whatever the case, there’s no way the parents allowed their kids to stay home every day for 11 years — they’d go insane!
Nobody Ever Exercises
Can we talk about how a majority of the people who attend or work at Hogwarts are in remarkable shape considering the absurd amount of food they have at their disposal? We mean, their only sport is Quidditch, for crying out loud! The game literally has the player sitting down on a broomstick and flying around.
The only muscle group really getting a workout are the arms, and that’s only if you’re in the beater or chaser position. Harry, for instance, should be huge! He was malnourished his whole life, is a seeker on his house team, and now has an unlimited supply of fatty foods. Nope, he’s still skinny.
Fred And George Would Have Seen Peter Pettigrew On The Marauders Map
Did anyone else notice that Fred and George said nothing about seeing Peter Pettigrew on the Marauders Map? You know, the guy that is supposedly dead from trying to save Lily and James Potter? Considering they used the map to leave the castle, it’s not surprising that they didn’t look hard at the names floating around the map.
But, still, even a glance of the name would have anyone else running to Dumbledore or Harry. Nope, it’s not until the twins pass along the map to Harry that Pettigrew’s name is all of a sudden visible.
A Remembrall Is Useless
Some magical items don’t make much sense and are pretty useless, one such object being a Remembrall. This glass sphere has white smoke in it, and when the smoke turns red, it means the person holding the ball has forgotten something. That’s great and all, but if the person forgot something, how in the world are they supposed to remember what they forgot?
Take Neville, for instance. In The Sorcerer’s Stone, young Neville is gifted a Remembrall from his grandma, the smoke turns red, and he says out loud, “the only problem is I can’t remember what I’ve forgotten.” How is that useful at all?
The Dress Code Is Inconsistent
Did anyone else notice how lax the “strict” dress code became during the Harry Potter films? The student dress code includes plain black work robes, a plain black pointed hat, protective gloves, and a winter cloak. May we be the first to bring up the noticeable absence of any and all pointed hats during the films?
The only time students are seen wearing the accessory is during the first film at the way end when Dumbledore announces the winners of the House Cup. Then, in the third film, everything goes downhill. Shirts aren’t tucked in, ties are loose, and robes are forgotten.
Do They Or Don’t They Know About Dentists
So, in The Half-Blood Prince, Professor Slughorn re-introduces the Slug Club. Only his favorite students are invited to part of the exclusive club, including Harry, Hermione, and Ginny. During their first meeting, Slughorn asks Hermione what her parents do in the muggle world. When she answers “they’re dentists,” everyone stares at her (minus Harry), insinuating that they have no clue what a dentist is.
On the flip side, the Weasley spoon clock in their kitchen, the one enchanted to say where everyone is at any given moment, has some of the family members at the dentist. So, does the wizarding world know about dentists or not?
Unbreakable Vows + Teenagers = Horrible Idea
Can someone explain how an unforgivable vow is a good idea? Especially considering there don’t seem to be any precautionary measures taken to ensure dumb teenagers don’t make any promise with the spell they can’t take back.
Think about it; there’s no way there isn’t some young couple that thought it was the smartest idea ever to make an unforgivable vow that they’ll love each other forever. And if that isn’t bad enough, the penalty for breaking the vow is death! That’s some dark magic nonsense if we’ve ever heard it.
Most Of The Tri-Wizard Tournament Is Boring To Watch Live
Hot take: the Tri-Wizard Tournament would be super boring if you were a spectator. Not to say all of the events would be boring to watch, but the majority could probably be televised. Oh, wait, there are no televisions at Hogwarts. The first task, grabbing the golden egg from the dragon, is the only event that is remotely entertaining for the crowd.
The others, rescuing someone from the lake and finding the Tri-Wizard Cup in the hedge maze, must be dreadfully boring. It’s a total waiting game for people! Here, watch these people disappear into the water and hedges and sit around for them to return. It’s fun!
The Number Of Students Per Year Is All Wrong
J.K. Rowling has admitted to being bad at math, but that doesn’t mean the student numbers should be all over the place. Let’s break it down. Witches and wizards spend seven years studying at Hogwarts, and it’s been said that each house has ten students per year. That would mean there are only 70 students per house and 280 total.
That is far less than anything Rowling describes in the books. One logical conclusion is that there was a baby boom in the magical world after the Dark Lord was defeated the first time, increasing student numbers.
Why Aren’t Portkeys Main Modes Of Transportation
With all of the various modes of transportation in the wizarding world, it really seems as though portkeys are not only the easiest but the safest. Apparating, although very useful in a sticky situation, leaves the witch or wizard vulnerable to splinching body parts, as Ron did in The Deathly Hollows.
Then, there is the Floo Network. Again, it’s helpful if the powder is on hand, and a fireplace is nearby for travel. Another downside, the Network is tracked by the Ministry of Magic, which is never a good sign. So, why not make portkeys the norm? Just carry around an old boot, problem solved!
Love Potions + Teenagers = Should Be Illegal
Can we all agree that love potions are a huge legal issue and shouldn’t be allowed? The concoction should really be up there with the Unforgivable Curses because of the lack of consent on the side of the person who takes the potion.
Take Ron, for example. In The Half-Blood Prince, he accidentally takes a love draft meant for Harry. Next thing he knows, he’s head over heels in love with a girl he’s never spoken to before. Thankfully, Harry brought him to the potion’s professor, and everything was fine. But that potion is a huge liability issue and shouldn’t be in the hands of anyone, especially hormonal teenagers!
The Killing Curse Is Rarely Used In Battle
We understand that it is one of the Unforgivable Curses, but if the killing curse is so unstoppable, then why don’t the bad guys always use it in battle? Is that too easy? Everyone just goes about disarming one another, but no one thinks, “huh, I could end this entire thing very quickly with one tiny curse.”
Sorry, but that doesn’t sound entirely realistic, especially when it comes to certain Death Eaters (cough, Bellatrix Lestrange, cough cough). Alas, we’re stuck watching non-vocal spells being thrown about with the occasional Expellirmus spell. Seriously, do they not teach other dueling spells at Hogwarts or in Dumbledore’s Army?
The Hogwarts Express Is A Non-Stop Train Ride To Hogwarts
This isn’t necessarily a mistake, but it’s not explained in the books or films, either. The Hogwarts Express leaves Kings Cross Station in London, but kids from all over the UK have to get there since the train seems to be a non-stop ride. That would mean kids from Scotland would have to make there way down to London just to travel back up to Scotland where the school is located.
Does that make sense to anyone, or are we losing it over here? Of course, they probably travel by portkey or something, but it seems like an easier go about would be to have some stops.