harry potter stuff that bothers you

this question is more or less limited to the books, because most of the changes we would make to the films are probably going to be to make them match the books more closely.

some of mine:

-i wish harry and ginny’s relationship had been set up a little more. thematically, i understand why harry had to end up with ginny, but really, he takes zero notice of her until book 6 when he’s all of a sudden all in love with her. she was into him the whole time, and he knew it, but we never see even a hint of him returning the interest until half blood prince and now she’s his one and only. it happens a little too abruptly for my taste.

-i wish luna had ended up with either neville or dean thomas rather than some random dude that rowling made up after the books were finished.

-the character of cormac mclaggen always bothered me because he just shows up in book 6 and we’ve never heard of this guy before. there’s a couple of other characters like this (romhilda vane comes to mind) but mclaggen is a fellow gryffindor and is the same year as harry and co, so we definitely should have heard of him. even blaise zabini, a slytherin character who’s somewhat prominent in this book, gets name checked at the sorting way back in book 1.

-in book 7, during the “seven potters” escape sequence, it makes absolutely zero sense for them to send the real harry with hagrid, or really even to have hagrid involved in the whole thing. i understand that they didn’t put him with mad-eye or kingsley because the death eaters would have expected him to be with the most skilled aurors, but it would have made more sense to pair him with someone less obvious like tonks or lupin or even bill. i mean, they did want harry to survive, right??

-i’ll just mention one movie thing that would have been such an easy fix. hermione’s entrance at the yule ball in goblet of fire has always bugged me. she looks nice, but she doesn’t look different enough. emma watson is a lot prettier than hermione is meant to be, and that’s fine, but in the book when she’s all done up harry and ron don’t even recognize her at first. they should have gone by the book for this one- straightened her hair, slinky blue dress, etc. that scene would’ve worked a lot better.

-kind of off the subject, but does anyone else think draco had a thing for hermione?

anyone else?

The concept of the Deathly Hallows are pretty late to the game.

I still want an explanation of how magic can apparently interfere with electromagnetism and whether or not it has any effect on either the strong or weak forces.

Yeah, that’s my complaint. We’ve got “Hunt the horcruxes, hunt the horcruxes, hunt the horcruxes… Oh, wait, there’s also these super-powerful items that can take care of everything all by themselves, and by the way, you’ve had one since your first year here”.

I think the Railway staff at King’s Cross should be fully aware of the existence of Platform 9 3/4.

I enjoyed both the books and the movies but it always bugged me a little that the concept of whether Magic was known or unknown seemed to shift. The earlier books suggested that this was taking place in our world but in secret but as the scope of the story got bigger, it seemed more and more that really this was a parallel world and Magic was known at least to some degree to the outside world. This happens a lot in stories (Angel did essentially the same thing) and didn’t ruin them for me but it’s fair to say it bugged me.

Really, the element of the HP books that bother me most is Professor Snape. It doesn’t make any sense to me for any adult to treat a child that way, let alone a teacher. I can buy magic, but a teacher who’s still carrying out his childhood romance/rivalry against the kid of his love interest/romance? Seriously? To the point where penalizes not only Potter but the entire Gryffendor house to carry out his petty vendetta! This speaks to me of someone who is so disturbed and emotionally stunted that they shouldn’t be allowed to have any contact with children.

And yet this same person is also the one trusted (and somehow able) to maintain a complicated double-agent assignment with the forces of darkness. It just doesn’t make any sense to me.

My bolding.

I wish she would stop trying to retcon the books. Dumbledore is gay, random dude you mentioned, and now Rowling is saying she wished Hermione ended up with Harry. Either write another book & use the ideas that were thought up after the series ended, or shut up. The series is over, movies are done. Let it go.

The rules of Quidditch are screwy.

Also…the game seems too likely to be dangerous to be permitted to young kids. The brooms need safety harnesses…

And, yes, the question of the universe. It seems a bit immoral to be risking the world – Muggles included – without giving them any representation in these vast and formidable affairs.

(Stargate SG-1 ran into the same issue. They actually addressed it once or twice, but usually just dodged around it. You’re getting us into a war with alien empires…and not telling us? Not cool…)

Poor wizard families make no sense to me. Shouldn’t they be able to conjure up all the stuff they could want?

I assume this is a movie only thing. In the movie of Prisoner of Azkaban it seems insanely obvious that Lupin and Sirius were and are lovers. Snape even calls them out as bickering like an old married couple. I was shocked in the later movies when suddenly Tonks was around and Lupin was with her.

With varying intelligence and powers, a law enforcement agency, and magical constraints (making food or gold), you’re bound to “have” haves and have nots.

My main problem is still time travel and the afterlife. Rawlings is weak there.

The first book set up Ron as a clever strategist who could beat a Hogwarts teacher at Wizard Chess. He hardly does anything after that other than ‘comedy relief’ and ‘loyal friend.’ Those are important, but I wanted him to advise Harry more, rather than just follow him through the story.

Similar with Hermione. She was the cleverest witch of her generation, and did plenty of smart things. But none of that helped much in the final books. I so wanted a scene somewhere with the students cornered by adult, very dangerous Death Eaters, in which Hermione pulls out some magic she’d read about but never tried, on the level of Dumbledore. Call down lightning, or a true fireball, or turn them all into toads.

I loved that Neville got to kill Nagini. But I sort of expected Snape to do it. His death was a little weak for the greatest Occulomens in history, not to mention a potion master. After Voldemort had Nagini bite Snape, I expected him to either tell V that he’d been dosing himself wtih something for years that either made him poisonous to snakes or immune to their venom. He coudl even have lain there faking, had his touching scene with Harry, then stood up and announced he was fine due to his potions.

To sum it all up, I was disappointed how many important characters didn’t seem to have much of a role in the final book other than to make sure Harry makes his appointment with Voldemort.

i don’t entirely disagree, but the whole “dumbledore is gay” thing never bothered me. there’s at least hints of that in the text.


He’s a year younger, not same year as Harry, Ron and Hermione. The only male Gryffindors in Harry’s year are himself, Ron, Neville, Seamus and Dean.

It was dumb to have HARRY in the whole thing. Send a bunch of decoys out without the real Harry amongst them at all, and let Harry slip away non-magically, after the heat was off.

I could write a dissertation on the below point.

Mad-eye Mood should not have been Barty Crouch, Jr. the entire book, only in the final sections of the book. I loved Mad-eye and it was frustrating to learn that it wasn’t him the whole book and we really only meet him in the 5th book.

I mean, the kids would have no idea, but certainly the professors would notice subtle differences in Mad-eye, wouldn’t they? Looking exactly like someone and being a pretty good actor is not enough to fool everyone, especially not in a world where magic is a part of life. Someone would have noticed that Mad-eye was a bit off and eventually he would be tested to see if it is really him. No one is that good of an actor.

It would have been cool if Rowling had it plotted that at a certain point, Mad-eye swapped with Barty Crouch, Jr. and only by going back and re-reading post reveal would you realize the moment it happened. It could have been a great twist and a lot of fun upon future re-reads.

I don’t know the moment it should have happened, but I guess somewhere…well, after the second task and before the third(obviously).

Let me ask some questions to go further. Humor Mrs. Mahaloth and me.

A. Was it required for Barty to look like Mad-eye for him to get Harry’s name in the Goblet of Fire? Would it have killed Rowling to make it so Barty Jr. somehow got in undisguised…and also stole polyjuice potion?

B. Why did the Portkey have to be the Triwizard cup? You have to take hold of a portkey, but couldn’t they have made it something else? Like, after his (my suggested) late book transformation, couldn’t Mad-eye(barty) have invited Harry to his office…then have him bring him a pot of tea, revealing the tea to be the portkey. Was there anything about the Cup that was special?

That whole evil plot is definitely one of the weaker aspects of the whole series, as it requires an incredibly convoluted set of things to go right, along with ludicrously foolish lack of common sense and security on the part of Dumbledore et al., and it still only ends up accomplishing something that could just as easily have been accomplished by (as you say) inviting Harry up to tea.

In addition to many other things mentioned here, I think the relationship between the Wizard world and the Muggle world is very poorly thought out. There’s no way that Wizards are so closely integrated into the Muggle world that they get into the ministry of magic by lining up at a lavatory in Muggle London, and get to Hogwarts by going to the Muggle train station (before going into their hidden platform) while at the same time Mr. Weasley, who actually works in the department that would require him to have contact with muggles, is so comically baffled by simple and basic muggle artifacts. (Obviously that’s not really the point… JK Rowling never claimed she was doing consistent bottom-up universe building, and it rarely intrudes on my actual enjoyment of the books, but it does bug me that so many very basic questions have, as their answer, “it’s best not to think about it too deeply”.)
For a vastly more in-depth and entertaining analysis of many of the things that are implausible about the HP universe, I highly endorse the greatest fan fiction ever written: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality.

I was about to make the same point. The entire plot of GoF makes no sense because of this. I fanwank it by saying that the Cup was supposed to be a portkey, and while the Ministry would detect and investigate an unauthorized portkey they won’t notice if a legitimate portkey has its destination changed.

It bugs me how ignorant most wizards – even Ron’s Dad, who takes real interest in such things – are of the Muggle world and Muggle technology. I mean, it’s all around them. It’s implausible they wouldn’t know more about it, even living in their own hermetically-sealed underground society.

The course of instruction at Hogwarts is poor. They study only magic. What about mathematics, (Muggle) history, English – and science? Wizards should know that Muggle science is worth studying – it’s not wrong, only incomplete.

And the religion of wizards is never specified or even mentioned, even though Hogwarts celebrates Christian holidays and Harry had a “godfather.” Unlike most British public schools, Hogwarts appears to have no chapel.

Yeah, I felt pretty cheated that we spent 6.5 books avoiding any semblance of magical theory and then have the climax of the entire series rest on one rather silly point. I would much have preferred to read the whole series from the point of view of Hermione.