Harry Potter questions

I have been re-watching the movies (in reverse … strange, I know), and I have just a few questions.  Now, granted, some of these are probably addressed in the books and I’ve just forgotten.  I know that movies have to condense things so much that a lot is lost, but still …

* Do you really think that the Gryffindor commons room would be empty by 1am on a Saturday night?  It was in Goblet of Fire.  I think of my freshman year of college (all of college actually) and how my usual bedtime was 2am.  Would unsupervised teenagers really go to bed so early?  Were there lights-out rules in the books?

* How did Barty Crouch, Jr. (disguised as Moody) manage to finagle Harry out of the tournament arena after Cedric died?  Didn’t people have some pretty major questions to ask Harry at that time, being he was the only eye-witness to the death?

* Rowling herself has said there are about a thousand students at Hogwarts.  That doesn’t add up to me.  There are 5 Gryffindor boys in Harry’s year (Harry, Ron, Neville, Dean, Seamus) and five girls (Hermione, Lavendar, Parvati, and two unnamed Gryffindor girls).  That’s 10.  If there are 10 in each year, that’s 70 in the house.  That means 280 total in all four houses.  Is Harry’s year just an unusually small sampling?

* Where does Grawp live, even beyond OOTP?  Does he just stay in the forest?

* Why in the world did they have deatheaters burn the Burrow down in Half-Blood Prince?  How did they rebuild it in time for Bill and Fleur’s wedding?

* How much does it suck that they left out the Percy storyline and the Teddy Lupin storyline?

* I thought I saw George’s ear in both parts of Hallows, even though it was supposed to be cursed off.  Does that seem like an easy CGI move?

* In Hallows, when there are the seven Harry Potters, doesn’t it seem like a giant oversight of the Order to not have had them all (including the aurors) use polyjuice potion to transform into, say, some unknown muggles?  Seems far less dangerous.  And more confusing for the deatheaters.

* Why didn’t Voldemort kill Harry when he was standing over him at the Ministry in OOTP?  “Avada Kedava” doesn’t take that long to say.  Although Dumbledore was there, so …

* If it was THAT easy to kill someone (waving a wand and saying two words), isn’t it hard to imagine that there wouldn’t have been far more deaths in the wizarding community?  When you think of the stupid things that muggles fight over, it seems to me like the death toll would have been much higher.  And even in OOTP, the deatheaters are still shouting “stupify”– why wouldn’t they just go for the kill?

* Same thing as far as polyjuice potion: don’t you think it would have been much more common for people to sneak around as someone else?  Maybe it’s because it took so long to brew.

* They were going to shut down Hogwarts simply because the chamber of secrets was opened … but they didn’t shut it down after Cedric died or after Voldemort returned or after Snape and the Carrows took over?  Really?

I’m sure I have more questions.  I love that Jo Rowling made the wizarding world so real to us that we can even have these kinds of questions and discussions.  Would love to hear your thoughts, answers, or additional questions, friends!!

12 thoughts on “Harry Potter questions

  1. I could not get more than half way through the first novel because of all the adverbs (I know, we should all be such bad writers that we’re richer than the Queen, right?). And as much as I loved the first movie, mostly because we are being carried along with Harry in this new world he’s been pulled into, and all the amazing creatures and characters, when you look at it plot-wise, there’s almost nothing there.

    As I said in one of my posts, one of the biggest problems in Sci-Fi/Fantasy world-building is inconsistency, and you’ve put your finger right on it here. If the deatheaters are going to use “stupify” (maybe they were saying it to the audience) instead of the death spell, we have to understand WHY they aren’t using the death spell, there has to be a reason made clear to us beforehand.

    My biggest complaint about the entire Harry Potter series (and again, I’m talking about the movies here, as I never got through the books, but I have to assume that this applies to the novels as well) is that someone or something is ALWAYS coming to Harry’s rescue — not just helping, which would be fine, but actually saving the day for him and letting him off the hook. For this reason, Harry feels like a hugely passive character to me, and therefore really uninteresting. Even in the final movie, Neville ends up being more involved than Harry at the climax. (Someone said to me that this made sense because they have the same birthday…. REALLY??)

    It’s not hard to understand the success of the Harry Potter novels and films — incredible world building, terrifically fun characters (most of whom are far more interesting than Harry), lots of magic, strange creatures, etc (and the names! Severus Snape… Drako Malfoy…).

    And again, I wish I could believe that my upcoming trilogy could turn me into a billionaire. But all in all, it’s pretty weak stuff. Ah, well.

    • Although Jo Rowling is not the greatest writer I’ve ever read, the story really is riveting and fantastic, and the way that she pulls all seven books together into one seamless story is incredible. There is a feeling of intention that I appreciate. Even the Narnia books don’t have that same flow, as it seems obvious that Lewis just kept adding one book after another without originally planning to do seven. And yet we (or at least I) am more than willing to ignore the inconsistencies of Narnia for the story. Anyway, I agree that the first Potter book doesn’t have that much of a plot (we are more sucked into this strange new magical world), but the following books, especially Prisoner of Azkaban and Deathly Hallows, have such fascinating plots. And the overarching story is well worth it.

  2. How did Barty Crouch, Jr. (disguised as Moody) manage to finagle Harry out of the tournament arena after Cedric died? Ok here’s what the books said: when harry got back from the graveyard, moody/crouch jr took him away to his office. Dumbledore was a bit busy handling the situation and lost sight of harry for a bit. When he realized moody had taken harry, Dumbledore figured out that moody wasn’t the real moody because the real moody would have stayed at the scene. That’s when they busted him. Yes, Dumbledore did have major questions for harry when he got back but he wasn’t going to ask them right away without handling the crowd’s reaction and the student’s safety first.

  3. the death eaters only burned down the burrow in the movie – not the books. The director said they burned it down for dramatic effect to show the hardships of the war, the battle between good and evil, and i’m betting it was particularly the burrow because so many people had an emotional connection to it that the film makers really wanted to punch in the reality of the war. No, it doesn’t really make sense that it could be remade so quickly for the wedding, but there is the factor of magic in quick rebuilding.

  4. When I read the books or watch the films, I like to ask if something is weird because of magic or because they are British. In Deathly Hallows Part 2, why does Voldemort explode like a vampire in the Tijuana sunshine?

  5. To answer about the lights out question: I think there was a lights out rule. It wasn’t specifically stated in any of the books, but McGonagall made a statement in one of the first books that made it sound like there was. Also, I think being that the students started at Hogwarts at 11 years old, were more than just expected to attend all lessons, and went to school there for 7 years, I think they had more of a responsibility and need to go to bed early.

    The number of students: I’m not sure that Harry, Ron, Neville, Seamus, and Dean were the only fifth year boys. I know that the books don’t name more students, but it doesn’t make any sense for there to only be 5 of them. The books suggest that the class sizes were much bigger as well as things like how big the Great Hall is and how many people showed up to watch Quidditch matches. I think she just chose not to include more names, so as to help readers connect more personally with fewer characters.

  6. With the number of Characters…. There had to have been more…but not all named… During Quidditch matches, she mentions about how many of slytherin colors are in the crowd… in the movies alone, the Great Hall with the long tables (and I’m sure in the books, they could have a bigger great hall)…is filled with people…. During Half Blood Prince and Harry and Ron are snickering at the newbies…the hall their in is full of them… and that can’t be the only hallway crowds are students are trying to find their way. “The House tables had vanished; instead, there were about a hundred smaller, lantern lit ones, each seating a dozen people.” (GF, US pg 415) (quoted from another page questioning about this…so don’t hold me to the page number)…. And to explain Teacher/student ratio with this….There are many days in a week, plenty of chances for multiple class times. But there are also other inconsistencies too so I will give you that too… It’s a magical world where one uses one’s imagination.

    The students were supervised…by older students (prefects)… similar to college RA’s

    Voldermort enjoyed playing with Harry…. And I believe deatheaters were told not to kill unless they knew for certain it wasn’t Harry…Voldermort wanted to be the one to kill Harry. Also I believe some deatheaters kind of didn’t want to be in their deatheater position anymore …this is shown when they’re called to the cemetery when Voldermort returns… they remain deatheaters mainly because they aren’t brave enough to stand up to Voldermort and yea they probably like the whole “pure blood” business… You notice, once it looks like Voldermort is going to lose, many deatheaters start apparating or running away.

    And polyjuice portion ingredients are relatively rare it seems…according to Snape accusing Harry of snitching his supply but it was really Crouch Jr.

    Plus to answer broadly, from the horcruxes we know that dark magic and magic in general can back fire, have its repercussions, etc… this might be why the wizarding world in general stays away from many different magical stuff…

    and I came here to look at the answers for the Burrow but the ones I found were similar to other sites…

    Anywho…keep up the questions…its always fun to look deeper… though I’m a Potterhead enough that I let it be many times. 🙂 There is a lot of deeper meaning to many things in the movies/books that have been discovered since that I find quite intriguing and amazing Rowling could come up with such a story line…

  7. Pingback: Back to School: Book Characters at My Lunch Table | Jackie Lea Sommers

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