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Okay--Harry Potter fans; a couple of inconsistencies (May be SPOILERS)

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hyphenate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-07-07 10:07 PM
Original message
Okay--Harry Potter fans; a couple of inconsistencies (May be SPOILERS)
Was told this would get more discussion here than in the Lounge, so here goes (It also might have more shelf life than that of a mayfly as well!):

I've been re-reading all the books (now that I no longer have to wait for the "next" one), and while I have discovered a few things in most of the books that bother me, there are a couple if things in #4 which are bugging me.

#1: In the beginning of #5, Harry is able to see the thestrals that drive the carriages, and Luna tells him it's because he has "seen death." Well, there are actually two arguments with this one: first of all, he saw his mother die (even if he was only a year old, he still "saw" the death, and therefore should have been able to see the thestrals right from the start. The second part of this is, even if the first point is discounted, he saw Cedric die BEFORE he went home at the end of #4, and therefore, should have seen the thestrals on the way to Hogsmeade for the return trip to London.

#2: During the regurgitation of Voldemort's past crimes in the "priori incantatem" in the cemetery, the wand brings back the murders and spells that Voldemort performed in chronological order. So the new hand for Wormtail, Cedric's murder, Frank Bryce's murder, etc. Except that James Potter is returned BEFORE Lily Potter in that scene, and in fact, Lily was murdered AFTER James, so she should have appeared first in the rewind.

Yeah, so these are minor points, and I'm sure there are more important things to discuss than old Harry Potter books, but shit it's better for me to dwell on HP than the mayhem and chaos in politics right now.

Also, Harry names his middle child after Dumbledore and Snape because at the end he respects them both. Sorry--I don't give a damn how much Snape "redeemed" himself at the end, he was still a prick to Harry for 6 years, and I don't think that fessing up to his love for Lily redeemed him THAT much, nor was his "sacrifice" that noble either! If there had been even a foreshadowing of his true allegiance at any time (to Harry) it would have made it clearer why Harry cared that much at the end, but in every single matter otherwise, Snape hated Harry.

Oh, and one more thing I just realized! When Barty Jr., as Moody, asks to borrow the Marauders' Map from Harry, he takes it, but he never gives it back! Or perhaps I missed something?

Anyhow, there are other things I found dismaying, and I'm sure I'll remember them eventually, but those are the most obvious ones right now. :)

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Matilda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-08-07 09:21 AM
Response to Original message
1. There's a section on MuggleNet devoted to mistakes
in each book up to Book 6.

Some are nitpicky and could have obvious explanations, but others are
errors, plain and simple. There appear to be more occurring in the U.S.
editions, so possibly some of the errors were picked up prior to
publication but the corrections were not passed on to the American

Here's a link to the main errors page:
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Matilda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-08-07 09:23 PM
Response to Original message
2. I also think that Rowling didn't do thorough research on snakes.
I was intrigued to know what sort of snake Nagini was, so I did some checking.

She was very big, which points to either an Anaconda or a Python. But neither of these snakes fit
with the facts in the book, because (a) they're not found in Europe, and (b) they kill by
constriction, whereas Nagini killed with her poisonous fangs.

Assuming that Voldemort acquired her in Albania, she had to be a Viper. They kill with their fangs,
but they're small snakes, nothing like the description relating to the size of Nagini.

Perhaps it was a case of poetic licence - Rowling just wanted to make Nagini very big to sound more
scary - or perhaps she just made her up with no thought as to what she might really be. Whatever
the reason, Nagini just couldn't be real as she was portrayed in the books.
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-08-07 09:27 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Rowling certainly didn't do her research on Snowy Owls
which she freely admits. :P

I got the idea Nagini was either a large constrictor or a large poisonous snake like a rattler or a cottonmouth, but if she was a constrictor she was magically given poisonous fangs, and if she was a poisonous snake she was made bigger and given a lot of gripping power. :shrug:

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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-08-07 11:39 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Here we go:
Teh canon from teh horse's mouth.

Section: Extra Stuff


Owls feature in many superstitions across the world. To the Greeks, the owl was emblematic of Athena, goddess of wisdom and war, and if an owl was sighted flying over the Greek army prior to battle it was considered an omen of victory. To the Romans, on the other hand, the owl was an unlucky creature that predicted death and disaster. In Britain there is a superstition that it is unlucky to see an owl by daylight, a superstition I had fun with in the first chapter of Philosophers Stone where, of course, the sudden explosion of owls flying by daylight represented something very lucky indeed, though the Muggles did not know it.

My wizards' owls reflect their personality to a certain extent. Poor Ron gets Pigwidgeon, who is a Scops (these are very small owls with ears cute, but distinctly unshowy). Poor exhausted Errol is a Great Gray, which in my opinion is the most comical-looking owl in the world just Google the Great Gray to see what I mean. Naturally I gave my hero what I consider to be the most beautiful owl of the lot: the Snowy Owl, which also goes by the name of Ghost Owl. These are not native to Britain, so I felt that she would give Harry kudos at Hogwarts (there is no other snowy owl there, as I trust you have noticed). However, any owl expert would tell you that Hedwig is strangely atypical of her breed. Only after Philosophers Stone had been accepted for publication did I realise that Snowy Owls are diurnal. I think it was during the writing of Chamber of Secrets that I discovered that Snowy Owls are also virtually silent, the females being even quieter than the males. So all of Hedwig's night-time jaunts and her many reproving hoots may be taken as signs of her great magical ability or my pitiful lack of research, whichever you prefer.

(Incidentally: there has been a spate of stories in the press recently concerning the upswing in popularity of keeping owls as pets, allegedly as a result of the Harry Potter books. If it is true that anybody has been influenced by my books to think that an owl would be happiest shut in a small cage and kept in a house, I would like to take this opportunity to say as forcefully as I can: please dont.)
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Matilda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-10-07 09:02 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. As owls are a feature in all the books,
in various breeds and sizes, you would think that Rowling would have done
more careful research.

Then again, I guess she can just explain any discrepancies by saying
that creatures are different in the wizarding world.
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-08-07 11:57 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. "Nagini" is a form of "Nag," or cobra (also seen in Riki Tiki Tavi)
Edited on Mon Oct-08-07 11:58 PM by XemaSab
Naginis are female cobra goddesses in India, so she's probably a cobra in the book (though the illustrator and film crew sort of botched that one :P )

Sorry for all the responses. :P
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Matilda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-09-07 01:44 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. I thought of that, but discounted it,
because I figured a cobra is so distinctive that somewhere Rowling would have mentioned the hood.

And they come from India and Asia, and we're not told that Voldemort was ever there. That's not
to say he couldn't have been, but I stuck to the information we have, which only talks about

My feeling is that she just wrote about a very big snake with fangs, and didn't even think about
what it really might be.
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radfringe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-24-07 06:44 AM
Response to Original message
8. underage of magic use...
in Chamber of Secrets - Harry gets a letter from the ministry regarding unauthorized use of magic by a minor. Although it was Dobby using the magic, the ministry is unable to detect WHO performed the magic, just that magic was performed and a minor resides in that house... considering Harry is the only wizard in the home, it's easy to blame him.

now in the next book - Prisoner of Azkaban, it opens with Harry hiding under the bedcovers, performing LUMOS with his WAND so he can read/study and had been doing it fairly regularlly during the summer break before Sirius broke out of Azkaban. Why didn't the ministry of magic come down on him?
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YellowRubberDuckie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-31-07 07:16 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Wasn't the bit under the covers in the movie?
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Matilda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-27-07 11:03 PM
Response to Original message
9. Snape's Redemption.
I didn't really pick up the full significance of Snape's death until
reflecting on the book later, but it was rather more heroic than it
appears at first.

Snape knew that it was Draco who disarmed Dumbledore, and could have
saved his own life by telling Lord Voldemort that fact. But he didn't,
even though he knew it meant certain death, and he died to save Draco.
So two people died to save a would-be Death Eater - Dumbledore died to
save his soul, and Snape died to save his life.

I'd call Snape a hero - a kind of anti-hero, perhaps, but still a hero.
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Sabriel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. Remember Snape's reaction to Harry in the HBP
When they're running across the grounds. Harry calls Snape a coward, and Snape just about goes apeshit. I don't have the text right here, but he slashes him with his wand and says, "Never call me a coward!"

Given the undercover, death-defying interactions he had with Voldemort, I can understand his reaction.
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Ozymanithrax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-26-10 06:43 PM
Response to Original message
11. Harry considered Snape the bravest man he ever knew...
With seeing Snapes memories, he re evaluated everything. Snape is the reasons Harry survivied, and he was no less a prick than Dumbledor who used Harry ruthlessly. It is just that Dumbledor was nicer about it. I don't see an inconsistency. People do thinks for weird reasons.

I'll take a look at the others. It is sure better than discussing the inconsistencies in Stephen King's "It."
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