As the Harry Potter series is now decades old, new fans don’t go through the same experience older fans went through. There’s a disconnect mainly because the novels were set in the 1990s, and the way the world works has now changed drastically.
For this list, we’ve taken into account the technological disparity between generations, and the differences in impact monumental moments had on the older and newer fans. The points in this list concern both in-universe examples and how we feel about those things in the real world. Here are 10 things kids these days don’t understand from the Harry Potter novels and movies.
Kids these days have become used to technology as a second nature, and have no clue what it was like to remain in touch back in the 1990s, this is why it won’t be understandable to them why it was such a big deal that Ron called Harry.
One thing they won’t consider, is that Ron somehow got hold of a Muggle telephone, and then somehow managed to dial the number belonging to the Dursleys. The reason why this is significant is that it represented how much Ron cared for Harry to have a friend call in during his days in solitude, showing us that he really was his best friend. Kids these days would most likely think Ron was an idiot to call like that in the first place.
Another thing you can find on the internet these days is the newer generation of fans asking why Harry didn’t wander away from Little Whinging to pass his time and stuck around to get abused by the Dursleys every day – that’s because back then there were no cellphones for him to call should he get lost, and the Dursleys certainly weren’t going to go looking for him.
The other qualm new fans have is wondering how the kids spent their time away from Hogwarts, as the wizard children didn’t have any technology for them to pass the time. What JK Rowling was in fact going for here was to show to us the value of a family life the wizards had; you’ll notice wizarding families had much closer relations than Muggle families.
To be fair, even the generation Harry Potter was released in didn’t really grasp the concept of owls being used for communication, especially when phones were commonplace then. But what the newer generation lacks is the patience that the kids in the 1990s had, as they were used to waiting for communication.
Nowadays, instant messaging and Facebook means you know everything that’s happening in the lives of those people who aren’t your friends, but Hogwarts students generally had to wait for the summer to be over to know the happenings of acquaintances, and only friends received the honor of owl post. So, what the newer generation of fans miss here is that JK Rowling was using owls as a way of representing keeping in touch with those people who were closest to the main characters.
Kids these days binge-watch the entire series, either before or after reading the novels, and don’t understand why the fans who waited for film releases were annoyed by the addition of the scene where Bellatrix attacked the Burrow in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’s film version.
It’s mainly because the scene served absolutely no purpose, and was only used to add to Helena Bonham Carter’s screentime. Plus, it was added to put a layer into Ginny and Harry’s romance, which was always flat in the movies. The reason why fans were miffed was because it was a cheap attempt to make us care about this couple and that Bellatrix was just too overused in the movies. Moreover, it made no sense that the Death Eaters could just so easily attack the Order of the Phoenix at home.
It’s a good thing that kids have many options nowadays for support when feeling depressed or out of place in lives, but it wasn’t even 1-percent like this two decades ago, where childhood issues were generally waived away by adults.
That’s why kids of today have a hard time understanding why Ginny poured her heart out to a mysterious memory in a diary rather than talk to someone about her problems – there just wasn’t the kind of awareness there is today over these issues back then. So, before someone from the latest generation terms Ginny as being stupid not to understand the diary’s intentions, they need to realize how isolated she was feeling at the time.
The only way to understand why it was such a monumental moment to see Hermione being all pretty and feminine in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is to travel back in time to 2005 to see the scene being unveiled.
Binge-watching the movies today just can’t tell the new generation how important it was to see Hermione undergo this change. You had to live out the time between releases in real-time to understand the development in character (and the change in appearance) that Hermione went through. Fans of the books had imagined how Hermione would look before the film’s release, and were still in awe at the representation of the character onscreen. That’s something you can’t understand now.
New fans who get as far as Half-Blood Prince, instantly jump over to Deathly Hallows to understand the mystery behind R.A.B. Back in 2005, we didn’t have this option, and for two painstaking years, fans theorized who R.A.B. could be.
What kids these don’t realize is the significance of it being Regulus Black. Fans back in the day mostly nailed the identity before the reveal, as we sifted through the books and scrutinized the conversation between Sirius and Harry, where he revealed his brother absconding from the Death Eaters. People put two and two together – narration in Order of the Phoenix had a scene where Harry located the Horcrux locket without knowing what it was – and jumped in happiness when their theories turned out to be correct.
If you’ve read the books in one go, then you also jump onto the script of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and Voldemort having a daughter doesn’t seem that big news. However, those of us who grew up with the books were scandalized to find out he not only fathered a daughter but that too with Bellatrix Lestrange.
The reason for this outrage was due to the fact that Voldemort was specifically stated not to feel anything other than his ego. He shunned every interest he received from women back when he was younger, and it was inferred in the books that he had no interest in that kind of stuff. With the reveal of Delphini, Voldemort now looks like some kind of creepy player, and Bellatrix’s pregnancy is riddled with timeline plot holes.
Touch screens are now the norm, and today’s kids don’t know what it was like to use dial-pad cellphones. So, the Easter egg left by JK Rowling in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix flies over their heads, where Arthur Weasley dialed in the number 62442.
You see, in a standard cellphone at the time, the dial pad with this number spelled out the word “magic”; this was an excellent reference toward the real world, in-universe. Now, touch phones have removed the texting feature that came in dial-pad phones, and kids think the number was just randomly thought out by the author.
The new generation who read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child don’t understand the confusion older fans have, since they didn’t have Prisoner of Azkaban as their point of reference. Rowling had previously played off the Time Turner as something that didn’t change the events of the past; instead, everything happened exactly the way it was supposed to.
Cursed Child makes a mockery out of the Time Turner idea, turning it into a bad version of Back to the Future. Kids these days figure Time Turner use was always wibbly-wobbly, and can’t understand why older fans were confused, nor do they get how the original Time Turner characteristics were supposed to be.