Harry Potter and the Gaping Plot Holes

March 25, 2009

So I was sick and delirious a couple of weeks back. It was the flu, but sitting (or lying down) alone at home rather exacerbates the situation. Next time I’m sick, I think I will go to Disney Land (or take a couple of Advils and watch Top Gear, it comes to the same thing).

So anyway, you know how you read comfort books while you’re sick, and I was reading the Harry Potter books again, specifically the fourth one, the goblet of fire.  And reading retrospectively, with a view of knowing what has happened before and next, two plot points stuck out.

1. How dense did Dumbledore have to be to not realize that Moody was faking it?

D: (drinking his fifth firewhiskey) Lets sing the Firewiggle song Alastor!
“Boars in the mountain! Tra-la-la-la”

M: (on his fourth, gulping) “The dark lord wins through… ding-adong-along”

(Blue flash of light. End of story)

2. Why did Moody have to do the incredibly long and dangerous process of getting Harry through the Triwizard championship when all he had to do was to get harry to touch a portkey?

M: Harry! Come here, I got something to show you.

H: Yes Professor (bounding in).

M: Here check this out. It’s a dark thingamajig (taking curious looking object from pocket).

(Harry touches it, OMG it’s a portkey! He flies to Voldemort, who kills him on the spot, and laughing insanely, goes about his business, foremost being to find a good plastic surgeon)

Other plot holes in the series (I was sick for a while, and I read really fast)

1. Considering that they used the time turned to save an animal (Buckbeak the hippogriff), would be have been too much to do the same to save Sirius and Dumbledore? (Especially as there were in the ministry when Sirius died).

2.  Its funny how, while Harry and Ron almost get thrown out of college for driving the car to school, nobody notices 5 children flying through the air to London

3. What the big deal with Voldemort? I mean, sure he has some 20 (at most) death eaters with him. Couldn’t the good guys, with some help, killed them all of? (At the very least, they could have asked the army to bomb Malfoy Manor.)

Anyway, as I said I was sick. Then I had exams. Then I got the exam results. I am thinking this getting an education shindig while forsaking a chance to make decent money is highly overrated. I want my money back.



  1. Hi! Leaving a comment for the first time in your blog. 🙂
    The time turner has always bothered me too. Introducing time travel is a little weird. Always. She should have refrained from that. Anyway, as regards to the rest of your questions – while you ask why couldn’t they do the “obvious thing”… here’s why – it’s for the same reason why –
    1. people in scary movies decide to investigate rather than run for their lives
    2. the heroine decides to accompany the hero only to be kidnapped later or be used as leverage
    3. all scientific inventions have a human-altering part to it
    ETC. 😀
    Plot, baby, plot! 😀 Idiocy, in whichever form possible, always brings entertainment. 😀 On screen, or off screen!

    Awesome blog… nice medley of thoughts. 🙂

  2. He was delirious alright – he made scary sounds all through the night. He refused to eat and refused to take medicines for two whole days!

  3. LOL! 🙂 Well, again, I am sure she did not take into account a flu-ridden, lazy, grad student who is re-reading the Harry Potter books for the 20th time, meanwhile pondering why on earth is he doing that in Cincinnati, while he could have done the same in Infy!!! 🙂

  4. Hilarious….I absolutely love the ‘Portkey’ one….It should be something like Moody comes and says “Harry, here’s have a candy”. Candy is actually a portkey and harry happily eats it…For rest of the book then, everybody keeps on trying to figure out what happens to a person if he/she eats a portkey! 🙂

    I believe, books and movies lack a surprise ending these days…somewhere in like middle of 3rd or 4th book, Harry should have gone to a doctor, and then on next page…Doctor comes out all worried, calls Ron, who in turn asks, “How many more days, doctor?” 🙂

  5. good one !!

    havent come here for a while….you should write more often !
    By the way Im surprised you came up with only these many 🙂
    maybe you should do the LOTR comparison thing next 🙂

    lol the idea of Dumbledore drunk is hilarious !

  6. I just finished watching HPatGOF on TV, where I noticed the portkey plot hole. I’ve read all the books multiple times and never paid much attention to it, but it really bothered me today. I looked it up and I found this site, in addition to a few others where people have pointed out the missing facts.
    for example: http://www.leakylounge.com/Plot-Hole-Mad-Eye-Mood-t19098.html
    and I think the people had many good points.My main thought was, once Harry returned with
    Cedrics body, why didn’t Dumbledore or the other teachers take the portkey back to the graveyard? Also, I considered why Moody hadn’t simply given Harry something to bring him to Voldemort. See the link for peoples theories.

    As for the time traveling, I don’t know why they don’t use them to solve a lot more problems, I’m sure Dumbledore has access to them. Anyways, when it comes to saving Dumbledore or Sirius with them, it is mentioned somewhere in the start of the 5th book that they destroyed all the time-turners when they were fighting in the Hall of Mysteries the previous year.

    Whew! alright well, that’s my opinion and I;m not sure if it’s relevant, but those are some of my theories. Thanks!

  7. I meant “mentioned somewhere in the start of the 6th book”. Sorry!

  8. My explanation for all your interesting points would be:

    1) I don’t believe that Moody/Crouch could just have Harry touch any portkey at any time. This had to be well-planned and even rehearsed so that Moody/Crouch could absolutely guarantee Harry’s passage to the graveyard for a very crucial moment. As you could see from the Half Blood Prince, Voldemort did not tolerate any failures on the part of the Death Eaters and, if you said Harry was going to be at that cemetery at that moment, he had better damn well be there or else. Having Harry touch a portkey at just any point was too “iffy”. As well, by having Harry touch the portkey at the end of the third contest and hidden in the maze would make people assume that he was felled by the task and not kidnapped. Having Harry kidnapped within Hogwarts or in Hogsmeade would have drawn too much attention to darker forces and Voldemort, at least at the beginning, does not want people to know that he’s coming back into power. Ignorance is on his side.

    2) The Time-Turner issue: I’m going to assume here that the Turner cannot be used to bring back people from the dead (such as in the first Superman movie, although he deliberately disobeyed his father’s orders). Death is final, even in the Wizard world.

    3) Dumbledore being ignorant of the “fake” Moody I think shows us just how powerful the Polyjuice Potion really is.

    4) Back to the portkey: by the time Dumbledore and Co learn of what happened to Harry in the cemetery, I think they can safely assume that Voldemort and his cronies would be gone from there pretty quickly, especially since they could not stop Harry from escaping. Besides, they have their hands pretty full with hysteria at Hogwarts by that point.

    5) I think it’s probably easier to spot a flying car than a flying broomstick. Besides, didn’t the five children fly to the Ministry at night?

  9. #1) The time turners were destroyed in the Battle at the Ministry at the end of Book Five. Sirius and Dumbledore died after the time turners were destroyed.

  10. “My main thought was, once Harry returned with
    Cedrics body, why didn’t Dumbledore or the other teachers take the portkey back to the graveyard?”

    Uhm, because they didn’t know where it went and once they did there was a freakin’ deadly wizard on the other end? That would be insanely dangerous.

    As for time travel– In Book 3 Hermione basically explains that if you haven’t already done something, you can’t change it. So you can’t actually change something you know definitely happened, because if you had changed it, it wouldn’t have happened. That’s why she couldn’t go back and attend the class she missed once Ron and Harry told her she had missed it, and why they couldn’t use it later on to grab Pettigrew. Once it’s happened, it’s happened, and if you didn’t see it getting fixed before you you can’t go back and fix it.

    Also in Book 5 all the time turners were destroyed, remember?

    The car: They had an invisibility button on it that got them out of London, but it later faltered, hence the random spottings over England.

    Moody: Dumbledore was friends with Moody, but he was very busy. And Crouch could probably have ducked out of most social encounters.

  11. Apparition is blocked in Hogwarts – portkeys likely are too, for the most part. When they were worried about Sirius Black getting in, no one seemed concerned about him using a portkey, so it likely isn’t possible. An exception was made for the Triwizard Cup, which was obviously supposed to return the winner to the maze entrance. It was likely much easier for Barty Crouch to tweak this portkey which was already geared to work at Hogwarts, than it would have been for him to create a new portkey and circumvent those protections.


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