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9 Harry Potter Film Plot Holes We Pretend Don’t Matter

Ainhoa Rodríguez

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Hermione Granger surprised image
Warner Bros.

20 years after the first Harry Potter movie was released being a diehard fan of the saga remains complicated, why? Because there are a number of chunky plot holes in the Harry Potter stories between the books and the movies.

These are ones which no fan after years of analysis of the films, books, author’s comments, fan fiction, videos of theories on YouTube and other resources, has managed to give satisfactory answers.

Lovers of J. K. Rowling’s magic world accept that when the author let her imagination run wild she had moments of doubt. Ones in which she didn’t know how to resolve the functioning of that magical universe she presented to the world. After all, she built what is probably the best fantasy story in literature, that’s no small task.

From the logic of Quidditch’s games to the effects of some spells and potions. The misinterpretation of some parts of the books in the movies and holes in the plot that can be found if you stop to look carefully. There are many. The worst thing of all is that even after reading all the books from beginning to end over and over can you give them a solution that explains why they exist.

J. K. Rowling is a fantastic writer. The directors and scriptwriters of the films are great professionals. Between them, they managed to create a film universe as special and effective as the one the author designed on paper. The problem is that they’re also human and they make mistakes. Often letting themselves be carried away by the force of cinema and by wanting to always seek a more surprising visual effect over logic.

Does this make Harry Potter stop being cool? Does it make us fans less likely to recognize that there are things that don’t make sense? Of course not. But it’s worthwhile to look into these questions and see the reality of everything that didn’t work well within the magic of this story.

That’s what we’re going to do: explain in detail 9 scandalous holes in the plot that nobody has managed to explain.

If you’re prepared to know the clumsier side of the magic world then read on.

1. No international help in the final battle at Hogwarts

The first of our Harry Potter plot holes occurs both in the last book of the saga ‘The Deathly Hallows’ and the film. Where were the other magic schools when Hogwarts was being besieged by Voldemort’s army? No one knows.

In the Goblet of Fire, there was an expansion of the magic world. It was revealed to us that the universe of wizards was not limited to Hogwarts and Great Britain. But that in the rest of the planet there were magic institutions with people with the same powers as our protagonists.

During the Tri-Wizard Tournament teachers and students from Bulgaria and France arrived at Hogwarts as guests. Their leaders made clear their position against Voldemort. Plus their unconditional support for Hogwarts and its then Headteacher Albus Dumbledore. Now, where were they all when the school was under attack? Was there no one left to give a secret warning to alert them to what was happening? The truth is that there was a very important gap that the author didn’t fill.

For months Harry, Ron and Hermione were searching for Horcruxes. Those who stayed at Hogwarts had plenty of time to look for new allies overseas while Voldemort did the same for himself. But, that never happened. It’s a failure we will have to live with. Unless in the future the author tries to clarify it and provide us with relevant information to help us understand it. Who knows.

2. Memory spells, just as dangerous as the unforgivable curses?

The fourth film and book also explain the three unforgivable curses. Ones that no magician can use on another magician or Muggle. These would mean the violation of the most sacred of the magical laws that protect the integrity of people and you would end up inside an Azkaban cell.

But, the mind-reading and memory-erasing spells that Hermione and Harry use in the sixth and last movie are not penalised. Aren’t these spells just as dangerous and an attack on people’s freedom and integrity?

Hermione needed to protect her family from what was going on in the magical universe. And Harry needed to find Voldemort to know his every move. So it could be said that these were natural demands of the script. Where the good guys in the story use invalid resources to confront their worst enemies. Does that make it any more ethical or logical?

3. Why didn’t Voldemort subject his followers to an unbreakable vow?

During ‘The Half-Bood Prince’ we saw Snape, with Draco’s mother, perform a spell that was unknown to fans until that moment: The Unbreakable Vow. Through this binding oath, the magicians committed themselves to fulfil what they had sworn in that pact. To break it they would end up paying with their own lives.

So, why didn’t Voldemort submit all his followers to this oath during the last great magic war?

One of Voldemort’s main concerns was that he never really knew who his loyal followers were. Compared to those who were following him for fear of dying and waiting for the best moment to betray him. It would have been logical for him to use this oath to make sure. But he didn’t.

4. The number of wands equals strength

In ‘The Deathly Hallows: Part One’ film we see Harry use up to three different wands at once to disarm GreyBack in the Malfoy house. According to the OWL, the strength of a spell depends on the conviction of the wizard who conjures it and not on the number of wands he uses for it. This leaves us in doubt about whether a wizard can have more strength when the number of wands is greater than his opponent’s. Or if it is something that will always depend on the mental strength of each wizard.

In the movie, the effect is that it is the wands that give Harry that extra strength. Although in the books it said the opposite. Another adaptation fault where the logic is blurred to give way to the action for Hollywood.

5. The inconsistency of the trace law

This is one of the plot holes that follows Harry Potter over the series. Even to be on trial for it in ‘The Order of the Phoenix’. Using magic as a minor or using it in front of a Muggle.

The law of magical tracing detects if someone has used magic, but it cannot detect exactly who has carried out the spell.

So, did the Ministry really have the information necessary to take Harry to court for casting a Patronus in front of a Muggle as a minor?

In the movies, it is not clear and in the books, it’s presented as an inaccurate system where magicians could find a legal vacuum to act in an improper way.

6. The personality of Hogwarts’ portraits

Throughout the years, J. K. Rowling has made an effort to explain in detail that all the portraits of the magical universe.

All the portraits that appear in the movies seem to have their own ideas and the ability to have rational conversations with their owners. Giving rise to all sorts of gaps that have hardly any logical explanation. How much memory to they contain, are they like ghosts or like an A.I?

7. The Thestral dilemma

Why can’t Harry see the Thestrals in ‘The Goblet of Fire’?

According to J. K. Rowling’s own theory, the Thestrals are creatures that can only be seen by those who have seen “death”, to see someone die.

Yet, Harry, despite having seen his parents die, Harry isn’t able to see them until the fifth instalment of the saga. When he shares the scene with Luna Lovegood.

J. K. Rowling said he couldn’t see them because he didn’t really understand what it meant to die as a baby. That’s why it wasn’t until the fifth instalment that he was able to see them after Cedric died. Although most fans still see this explanation as insufficient. The creatures weren’t mentioned on the journey away from Hogwarts at the end of the school year.

8. Criminal records

Currently, any country can find out who we are and whether we have a criminal record. How is it possible that in a place where magic governs everything, there is no mechanism for tracking undercover criminals? This would have been really useful when Professor Quirrell snuck into the school with Voldemort in his turban.

It’s a necessary mistake so that Hogwarts has no control over its staff. Obviously, it allows the plot to happen. But it takes all security credibility away from a first-rate magic institution.

9. Is divination a reliable discipline or mere superstition?

It seems ironic that in a universe where people are able to keep their memories in glass jars, divination is still a questionable discipline. One that many describe as superstitious and deceptive. Not even Professor Dumbledore, who admits that Voldemort and Harry’s prophecy was fulfilled, as Professor Trelawney predicted, believes that divination is an exact art.


Thanks for reading our article on 9 plot holes from the Harry Potter films. Did we miss anything? Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.


Read about the tragic life of Remus Lupin HERE.

Read IMDB information on Harry Potter HERE.

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Comics & Literature

Shadow And Bone: Books vs. Series

Victoria Newell

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Shadow and Bone Season One image
Netflix

With the release of Netflix’s new fantasy series, Shadow and Bone, I utter words that I never thought would come out of my mouth “The screen adaptation was better than the book.”

While the Netflix adaptation did change some things in the book, they actually enhanced the story. All while adding a richness to the world. It kept with the integrity of the book, and met my extremely high expectations as a massive fan of the Grishaverse. But what did they change from the books? What changes were better, or fell flat? Here’s my spoiler-abundant review of Shadow and Bone.

Adaptation: Which books were included?

Shadow and Bone is based on a book trilogy by the same name written by Leigh Bardugo. She was also an executive producer and writer for the show. It tells the story of the mythical country Ravka which has been split in two by a mysterious swath of darkness populated by monsters called the Shadow Fold. It’s foretold that someone with the ability to summon light, the Sun Summoner, will one day destroy the Fold. When her best friend is in danger, Alina Starkov reveals the ability to summon light. This puts her on a collision course with some of the most powerful people in Ravka.

The show also included a prequel story to the Six of Crows duology, which is a series that takes place in the same world. But in a different country with different characters two years after the last Shadow and Bone book. Where Shadow and Bone is an epic story of good vs. evil, literal light vs. dark, Six of Crows is about a group of teenage gangsters committing felonies. It’s grittier, darker, and objectively better and has a large fan base. The show took three of the principal Six of Crows characters. It sent them after Alina Starkov for a cool million kruge.

The Sun Summoner

Let’s discuss our principal Sun Saint, played by Jessie Mei-Li. Alina feels as though she stepped right out of the book. Mei-Li did a fantastic job portraying her. The way that she feels lost and out of place in her world, her sense of humour, her charming dumb decisions. She’s earnest and kind, while subtly foreshadowing the greed for more power that comes into play in the later books.

One major difference from the show to the book is the anti-Shu (East Asian) racism at play in the show. In the mythical world of the Grishaverse, Alina’s country Ravka is at war with Fjerda in the north and Shu Han in the south. While Ravka is inspired by Russia, Fjerda by Germany/Scandinavia, Shu Han is inspired by East Asian cultures. Mei-Li is half Chinese, and therefore show Alina’s mother was Shu and her father was Ravkan. It makes sense that Ravkans would be hostile towards someone who looks like they come from a country they’ve been at war with for over a century. The change works well in the story’s favour. In the books, Alina always felt lonely and out of place. Adding this extra level of isolation drives home the feeling that she doesn’t know where she belongs.

Another major change comes in the way the story ended. At the end of the story, General Kirigan uses Alina’s power against her will to expand the Shadow Fold and use it as a weapon, killing hundreds of people. In the show, Alina is able to escape the Fold on their skiff with the help of several other characters. But in the book, Alina realizes her power in the same way she does in the show. But she uses it to jump off their skiff and run away with Mal, leaving everyone on the skiff to die. Living with the knowledge that she caused about a dozen deaths is definitely something Alina deals with in later books. The fact that she didn’t do that in the show might affect her character’s development moving forward.

But all in all, Jessie Mei-Li’s portrayal of Alina was perfect.

The Tracker

Alina’s best friend, Mal Oretsev, played by Archie Renaux, is disliked by a lot of book readers. Renaux’s portrayal of Mal, however, flipped a lot of people’s opinion on the talented tracker. In this fictional world, there are people known as Grisha who have the ability to manipulate things around them. In Ravka they are treated very well, and before Alina was discovered to be one, both of them had a certain level of disdain for Grisha. Mal and Alina are orphans who grew up together, in the show they call each other their “true north;” their home. He’s one of Alina’s prominent love interest’s and they have a close relationship.

In the book, Mal preferred Alina weak and without her power. He was more of a playboy, a little more selfish and arrogant, and less understanding. In the show, he spends a great deal of time being beat up and shot at in an attempt to get back to Alina. Seeing him track down the Stag for her, listening to letters he wrote to her that never got delivered really helped in understanding Mal’s character. And making him more likeable. In the show, he is principally concerned with protecting her and getting back to her, and Mei-Li and Renaux’s chemistry is off the charts. Renaux took a character that a lot of people have mixed feelings about, and made him into a fan favourite.

The Darkling

The Darkling, or General Kirigan, played by Ben Barnes, faced the most book to screen changes. The biggest being that in the book, he is referred to as only the Darkling. Whereas in the show he’s referred to as General Kirgian and “Darkling” is used as a slur. For reference, Kirgan is a powerful Grisha who has the ability to summon darkness and use it as a weapon.

It was a strange change, and I’m not sure why they did it, but it didn’t bother me too much. It took the mystery of his character away a little bit, but it’s something I can overlook. But there is one change to Kirigan’s name that truly bothers me. Kirigan’s back story and real name was revealed way too early. In the books that doesn’t happen until book three, Reign and Ruin. But we get his real name as an offhand comment in Episode Four and then his backstory in Episode Seven. General Kirigan is a fantastic villain but revealing his backstory this early waters down his character.

However, Ben Barnes understood the assignment. He portrayed Kirigan perfectly, really driving home how manipulative a villain he is. You want to like him, you want to trust him. The twist that he is the man who created the Shadow Fold and has no intention of destroying it stung even for book readers who knew it would happen. He’s likeable and hateable at the same time, and fans of the show are in the same boat as Alina. As in they have no idea whether to kiss him or kill him.

The Crows

By far the best addition to this show was including the Crows; our principal criminals from Six of Crows. The Six of Crows book follows Kaz Brekker, a rising star in the criminal underworld of Ketterdam, as he is hired to break a man out of a high security Fjerdan prison. He establishes a crew of Inej, Jesper, Matthias, Nina, and Wylan and they go have a heist.

The Crows have a lot of fans, so show-runners decided to twist the plot a little bit to include them. Six of Crows does do some groundwork in explaining where these characters are during the events of Shadow and Bone. From there it was finding ways for these two books to bump into each other. And they did it perfectly without making as many major plot changes as I thought they would.

Wylan is the only Crow missing from the line up in the show. But it should be noted that show-runners have said that he will be in Season Two.

Six of Crows outlines how star-crossed lovers Matthias and Nina meet each other, and the show follows that plot for the pair. Nina (Dannielle Galligan) is a powerful Heartrender, which is a Grisha who can control the body. Matthias (Calahan Skogman) is a Druskelle, a witch-hunter from Fjerda who had dedicated his life to hunting down and burning Grisha.

Shipwreck

After fate pulls Nina and Matthias together through a shipwreck, they have to rely on each other to survive. They fall in love in spite of their differences. But to save Matthias from her Grisha comrades, Nina gets Matthias arrested, claiming he’s a Kerch slaver. This destroys Matthias’ trust in her despite Nina still loving him and sets them on a course for Ketterdam. Both actors do a great job setting up their relationship in only a few short scenes. And showrunners set them up to join Kaz’s crew in the next season.

But the real stars are Kaz (Freddy Carter), Inej (Amita Suman), and Jesper (Kit Young). The three of them get just as much screen time as Alina, Kirigan, and Mal. Their story begins when they get a hit on a job to go to Ravka, cross the Fold, and bring back the woman who claims to be the Sun Summoner.

Six of Crows

Reading Six of Crows definitely makes the Crow plot more enjoyable, as it is teeming in Easter Eggs. But everything with the Crows in this show is prequel and therefore new. Kaz is still building a reputation in Ketterdam, Inej still belongs to the Menagerie, and Jesper is pretty much the same.

One complaint I’ve seen fans have is that Kaz is not violent enough. In the books, we’re talking about a man who ripped a guy’s eyes out. And convinced a man that he buried his toddler alive. He’s also smarter in the books, always has a plan, and is maybe the most intelligent character in the Grishaverse. Yet, in the show, he doesn’t win many fights and pushes himself into a corner. But I still think that Freddy Carter was the perfect Kaz.

Book order

Fans of the book should note that this story is two years before Six of Crows. He’s not the Kaz we know and love yet. He definitely lays crumbs down for him to become that, and there are scenes in the show where Kaz shows just how ruthless he can be. There were also complaints that he was too outward with his emotion. But everything that makes Kaz sympathetic in the book comes from that we can read his internal monologue.

If Carter and script writers portrayed Kaz like how he is in the book to a fault, we would have no reason to sympathize with him. In my opinion, Carter, who is openly a massive fan of Kaz Brekker, did a fantastic job with the character. Portraying a younger, less experienced Kaz.

They also did a fabulous job of setting up Kaz’s heart-wrenching back story without spoiling it too early (take notes Kirigan). They put emphasis on his cane, his gloves, his relationship with Barrel King Pekka Rollins, and his inability to touch people. Kaz is a disabled character, having to walk with cane, and suffers from extreme PTSD and touch aversion. Carter did an amazing job of portraying those things and how they make Kaz stronger. Kaz embraces every part of himself to the point that they truly do make him a force to be reckoned with, and the show did an excellent job with that.

Relationships

Another thing to note is his relationship to Inej. Inej was kidnapped from her home when she was fourteen and illegally sold to a brothel in Ketterdam. But Inej has some skills in terms of espionage as she was trained as an acrobat as a child.

So Kaz buys her indenture, setting up a payment plan to pay for the massive sum, and Inej works for Kaz. Inej can’t leave Ketterdam without her previous owner’s permission, so Kaz puts up his gambling hall as collateral and a promise to pay off her indenture in full when they return. Inej has also expressed that she has never killed anyone and doesn’t want to, but when Kaz is in mortal danger, Inej makes her fist kill. These two characters are never going to admit that they love each other, but they repeatedly show that they do through their actions, and in the end, Kaz begrudgingly admits that he needs her. Inej is also the most religious character in the show, and going after the Sun Saint definitely provides some conflict in her heart.

She’s an assassin who is full of compassion and is incredibly pious and complex. Suman did an amazing job bringing this complicated character to life, and Carter and Suman have wonderful tension in their scenes.

Kit Young

And here to steal the show is Kit Young as Jesper Fahey. He does a great job as comic relief, releasing tension in high-stress scenes and being the comedic break-out of the show. But even through that, he alludes to Jesper’s crippling gambling addiction, his desire to be validated by Kaz, and his tender friendship with Inej.

All three of these actors embody the Crows perfectly. They simply stepped off the pages, and seeing them cross paths with Shadow and Bone characters feels natural and exciting. They definitely stole the show and my heart.

Overall

All in all, there is way too much to discuss in this series vs. the book, so I’ll boil it down to this, Shadow and Bone was perfect. The casting was phenomenal, the plot changes were natural and bettered the story, the inclusion of the Crows was genius, and everything about it was incredible. It set up the Crows to be united as the six of them and set them up for future heists, and it propped up the Shadow and Bone arc for book two. The show has not been announced for another season yet, but Bardugo has stated that she wants five, and I’ll be praying to the Saints for as much as I can get.


What did you think of Shadow and Bone the series vs. the book? Let us know in the comments below.


Whilst on Netflix check out the best of British movies HERE.

Read IMDb information on Shadow and Bone HERE.

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