The wizarding world of Harry Potter is full of things that enchant and mystify its readers. From Pygmy Puffs to the Whomping Willow tree, there are many magical oddities that work in a realm of mystery and wonder.
However, this cloud of mystery doesn’t only lurk around magical objects. There are many things throughout the Harry Potter books that simply make no sense – even in a world full of magic.
In order to preserve the enchanting nature of the books and start believing in magic, we have all chosen to ignore these questions, plot holes, and issues. Anything can happen with a swish of the wand and some unicorn blood, right?
Wrong. It’s time that we take off our magical glasses and put on our thinking caps so that we can truly see how we’ve all been deceived.
Through this list, you will delve into the enigmas of the books and uncover some dirt about Harry Potter’s plots, objects, and people, that simply don’t add up.
So, get ready to scratch your head and stroke your beard because here are the 15 Things That Make No Sense About The Harry Potter Books That We All Choose To Ignore.
17 How Can Voldemort Rule The Pureblood Revolution When He's a Half-Blood?
The Death Eaters comprised of witches and wizards who were radical pure-blood supremacists. They believed that pureblood wizards were superior and that the wizarding world should rid itself of Muggle blood.
However, their leader, Lord Voldemort wasn’t even a pure-blood. His mom was a witch, but his father was a Muggle.
Voldemort despised his father and ultimately detached himself from his Muggle line. He changed his name to Voldemort to cut his family ties. This can be seen in Chamber of Secrets, when he tells Harry, “You think I was going to use my filthy Muggle father’s name forever?”
Although it is assumed that some of the Death Eaters know about Voldemort’s bloodline, they still blindly follow him. Maybe Voldemort learned a lesson or two from another famous dictator.
16 Why Could Fawkes Look at the Basilisk in the Eye?
In the Chamber of Secrets, a basilisk was unleashed upon the students of Hogwarts when the Chamber of Secrets was opened. This basilisk could kill its victims with one look into its eyes, and petrify those that looked into his eyes indirectly. This is why Harry Potter could only defeat it once Fawkes, Dumbledore’s Phoenix, gouged out its eyes.
However, hang on a second… how did Fawkes puncture the basilisk’s eyes without looking into them? The book says that “Fawkes was soaring around its head and the basilisk was snapping furiously at him with fangs.”
So, therefore the bird clearly had to have his eyes open to dodge the basilisk’s fangs and see where he was going. Once Fawkes got close enough to the snake’s eyes, the basilisk’s gaze should have immediately killed him.
15 Harry Sees His Future Self But the Space-Time Continuum Is Not Disrupted
According to Dumbledore and the Ministry of Magic, there are grave consequences for meddling with time and being exposed to your past self.
In the book, Hermione even says Professor McGonagall told her that “awful things have happened when wizards have meddled with time… loads of them end up killing their past or future selves by mistake.”
However, apparently, this rule doesn’t apply to the Chosen One. In Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry and Hermione use the Time Turner to go back in time and save Buckbeak and Sirius.
Along the way, Harry spots his past self and Sirius Black being attacked by dementors. He then wards away the dementors by producing a Patronus.
Harry willingly exposed himself to his past self and suffered absolutely no consequences for disrupting the space-time continuum.
14 Why Not Cast More than One Spell?
“Harry took his chance; he leapt over an armchair and wrestled the three wands from Draco’s grip, pointed all of them at Greyback and yelled: ‘Stupefy!’ The werewolf was lifted off his feet by the triple spell.”
In the Deathly Hallows, Harry could use three wands at once and cast a triple spell. If this is possible, why don’t more wizards use multiple wands? A teenage boy figured out how to do it, so we can bet that it can also be done by other, more seasoned wizards.
It seems like a waste for wizards to be casting one spell at a time during a duel. If your life depended on it, wouldn’t you want to cast as many spells as possible?
Maybe if wizards thought outside of the box sooner, they could’ve stopped Voldemort a lot earlier.
13 Dumbledore Sends Slytherin and Hufflepuff Students Straight to the Troll
The Halowe’en Feast during Harry Potter’s first year was interrupted by Professor Quirrell announcing that there was a troll in the dungeon. To protect the children, Dumbledore told prefects to escort all students back to their dormitories.
Wait a minute-- according to J.K. Rowling, the Slytherin Dormitory is located “behind a concealed entrance down in the dungeons” and the Hufflepuff Boy’s Dormitory is in the dungeons near the kitchens. Therefore, Dumbledore sent half of his students directly towards the path of the troll.
The most logical thing for Dumbledore to have done was to have every student stay in the Great Hall, do a roll call, and send teachers out to find any missing students. However, we all know that the students' safety isn’t always Dumbledore’s top priority.
Good thing the troll was actually in the bathroom because otherwise, it would’ve been 50 points from Dumbledore.
12 The Capabilities of the Pensieve
The Pensieve is a magical object shaped like a basin. According to Dumbledore, “one simply siphons the excess thoughts from one’s mind and pours them into the basin” so that you can always review your memories.
Harry and Dumbledore use the Pensieve on multiple occasions to learn more about Voldemort. However, the way that the Pensieve works makes absolutely no sense. Memories viewed in the basin are seen from a third-person point of view, which is simply not how memories work.
There’s even an instance in the Half-Blood Prince where Harry and Dumbledore enter Hokey the house elf’s memory and is able to see events that happened when Hokey was no longer in the room.
Hokey leaves to fetch a tea tray, but Harry and Dumbledore remain in the room and watch an interaction between Tom Riddle and Hepzibah Smith.
11 Aunt Petunia's Ignorance
Aunt Petunia grew up with her magical sister Lily. However, she seems to have forgotten everything about the wizarding world.
In Sorcerer’s Stone, Aunt Petunia is described as looking just as surprised as the other Dursleys about Harry needing to board his train at Platform Nine and Three-Quarters. However, according to the Deathly Hallows, she has actually been there at least once.
Aunt Petunia should have also been aware of the Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery. It has been in effect since 1875, long before Lily’s time at Hogwarts.
Therefore, she should have been aware that Harry couldn’t use magic at home prior to the realization in Chamber of Secrets, when Harry was scolded for Dobby’s use of magic.
Is Aunt Petunia trying to distance herself from the magical world, or is she just ignorant?
10 The Time Travelling Playstation
In Goblet of Fire, Harry wrote a letter to Sirius Black which said that Dudley had thrown his PlayStation out of the window because his parents threatened to cut his allowance if he didn’t stop eating unhealthy food. According to Harry, this happened on his fourteenth birthday.
However, Harry’s fourteenth birthday was on July 31st, 1994 and the PlayStation wasn’t released in Europe until September 29th, 1995. In fact, the console wasn’t even released in Japan until December 3rd, 1994. So, how did Dudley get his grubby little hands on a PlayStation?
Some fans have created stories about how Dudley could’ve gotten a Playstation before its release. The most popular story is that he begged his parents to sign him up to be a product tester.
9 Can You Hear Parseltongue?
Parseltongue is the language of the serpents and is known to be a trait of a dark wizard. Throughout the books, the only people that are shown speaking Parseltongue are Harry Potter and Tom Riddle. To everyone else, the language seems to sound like the hissing of a snake.
During the duel between Malfoy and Potter in Chamber of Secrets, Malfoy conjures a snake which Potter starts talking to. Potter doesn’t realize he is speaking in Parseltongue, while everyone else hears him hissing much like a snake.
However, later on in the book, Harry can hear the basilisk talking to him through the walls, but Ron and Hermione don’t hear anything. Even when they strain their ears to listen, they don’t hear any hissing noises.
So, what do non-Parselmouths actually hear?
8 The Use of Muggle Objects
Just as the Wizarding World is completely clouded from Muggles, the Muggle World also seems to be a mystery to witches and wizards-- but why?
Arthur Weasley is completely mystified by Muggle objects throughout the series. For example, in the Chamber of Secrets, he asks Harry, “What exactly is the function of a rubber duck?”
Why doesn’t Arthur know what a rubber duck is? Most wizards went to Muggle school for the first 12 years of their life and are also taught Muggle Studies at Hogwarts. Arthur Weasley even headed the Ministry of Magic’s Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office.
If the Wizarding World had paid more attention to the Muggle World, they may have even learned about Muggle weapons and potentially used them to stop Voldemort.
7 Boa Constrictors Can't Wink
Harry Potter’s powers are revealed when he meets a boa constrictor at the zoo. When Harry gets close to the snake’s glass cage, it “raised its head until its eyes were on a level with Harry’s [and] it winked. Harry stared. He looked back at the snake and winked too.”
Although it’s a touching moment between man and beast, it’s completely implausible. Snakes physically can’t wink because they don’t have eyelids. Each eye is actually covered with a single clear scale which protects the snake’s eyes from injury and from drying out. This is why they can’t wink, blink, or close their eyes.
However, maybe snakes just refuse to wink for Muggles, or maybe the boa constrictor at the zoo was actually an Animagus. Who knows in the wizarding world of Harry Potter.
6 No One Ever Noticed Ron Was Sleeping with Another Man?
At the end of Prisoner of Azkaban, we learn that Peter Pettigrew had been parading around as Scabbers the rat. However, why did it take so long for him to be discovered?
Harry apparently never thought it was odd that a strange man named Peter was sleeping in their room every night.
Fred and George also had the map prior to Harry for about five years. Why did they never check in on their brother? And if they did, why didn’t they say anything about a stranger sleeping in the dormitory with Ron, or Percy when he had the rat?
The Weasleys were familiar with Peter Pettigrew’s history so the name itself would’ve brought up red flags if the brothers had ever seen it on the map.
Also, would Voldemort or Tom Riddle’s name have appeared on the map when he was inhabiting the back of Professor Quirrel’s head?
5 Ollivander Makes Absolutely No Money
Many people have pointed out how wizarding economics makes no sense. However, Ollivander’s wand business takes it to a whole different level.
Ollivander sells every wizard their first wand. Although it seems like he’d have a steady flow of income, he makes absolutely no money. In fact, he actually loses money every time he sells a wand.
It is said in the books that unicorn hair costs 10 galleons. However, a wand with unicorn hair is 7 galleons from Ollivander’s. Therefore, the businessman is losing at least 3 galleons every time one of these wands are sold.
What kind of business is Ollivander running and how can he keep his shop open? Then again, it’s not like wizards need money anyways-- they could just use magic, right?
4 The Triwizard Tournament is a Spectator Sport You Can't See
The Triwizard Tournament is held every five years and is one of the biggest spectator events in the wizarding world. However, for a spectator sport, the events are extremely hard to see.
During the second challenge, spectators sat in the stands and simply stared at a clock. Since the event was held entirely underwater, all they could do was watch the time pass by and wait for the champions to emerge from the water.
The final challenge was also conducted in an impenetrable maze. This means that spectators couldn’t see into it and, once again, had to sit there and simply wait for a champion to emerge victoriously.
For such a dangerous event, the Triwizard Tournament had no visibility for spectators or for any emergency personnel. It’s as if the games were begging for Voldemort to step in and attack the kids.
3 How Do So Many People Walk into the Girl's Bathroom?
One of the oddest things about the Harry Potter series is the fact that so many boys seem to simply waltz into the girl’s bathroom.
How did Tom Riddle stumble upon a chamber of secrets in the girl’s bathroom? Did he spend a lot of time in there? Also, why doesn’t Moaning Myrtle notice everything that’s going on in her bathroom? was she crying so loudly that she couldn't hear Ginny entering the bathroom, the pipe door opening, or the Basilisk coming in and out?
Throughout the books, Hogwarts’ bathrooms seem to be the most dangerous places to be. Not only did a bathroom host the Chamber of Secrets, but Hermione also got attacked by a troll in a bathroom, Katie was hexed by a necklace she found in the bathroom, and Draco was left bleeding on the floor in the bathroom.
2 What Took Hagrid So Long?
One of the most controversial plot holes of the Harry Potter books is known as “the Missing Day.”
Harry Potter’s parents were killed on the night of Halloween, October 31st. However, Hagrid doesn’t arrive to save baby Harry from his house until the Tuesday after Halloween. This Tuesday was November 2nd.
So, what was more important than picking up the Chosen One, and why did it take Hagrid an entire day to arrive?
There are many fan theories that explain what Hagrid was doing during his missing day. One of the more plausible theories suggests that Dumbledore was conducting surveillance of the house to make sure it was safe for Hagrid to arrive.
However, other theories suggest Hagrid decided to drink away his sorrow at multiple different bars before arriving at Harry’s home, or that he had to learn how to ride his motorcycle before he could save Harry.
1 Where is London?
Many scenes in the Harry Potter books take place in and around London. However, the layout of the city doesn’t actually match the real-world layout of London.
When Harry and Ron arrive at Hogwarts after illegally taking the Weasleys’ flying car, it is said that they were seen by no less than seven muggles. One of the places that the muggles caught sight of the car was at Post Office Tower.
However, this is nearly impossible. Hogwarts is located in the highlands of Scotland, north of King's Cross Station and Platform 9¾. Therefore, Harry and Ron would have been traveling north to track the Hogwarts Express. Post Office Tower is about 2 miles southwest of Kings Cross Station and nowhere close to their path.
The Post Office Tower also hasn’t been called by that name since 1984. Therefore, during Harry and Ron’s flight, it would have been known by its new name, BT Tower.
Are there any other things about the Harry Potter books that make no sense? Let us know in the comments!