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308 Some inconsistencies through the Harry Potter books

mercredi 05 mai 2010 • 14:00 (CEST)

This is a reimported version from the previous blog. It will need formatting, hopefully at a later point. It mostly stays this way for reference until then.

Be it understood that the following does not consist of a negative review or bad criticism or anything like that. They're just things I noticed and put down here, no more.

  • In (I, 1), Dumbledore has a watch that doesn't seem to make any sense, except for him. No such watch is ever mentioned again. The one Ron gets for his seventeen birthday as well as Fabian Prewett's watch Harry gets in (VII, 7) are perfectly normal apart from the fact that they have stars instead of handles.
  • In (I, 3), Harry mentions the fact that his birthday - the 31st of July - is on a Tuesday. The date given in (II, 8) (Nearly Headless Nick, who died on October 31st, 1492, celebrates his 500th deathday) implies that this chapter takes place in 1991. Thing is, the 31st of July, 1991, was a Wednesday, not a Tuesday.
  • In (I, 4), Hagrid says that Lily and James Potter were Head Boy and Girl at Hogwarts. However, in (V, 9), Sirius explains that he and James spent too much time in detention to become Prefects, and that Lupin got the badge instead. Furthermore, the letter of Percy Weasley in (V, 14) as well as his role in (III) hints that Headboyship is the logical outcome for one of the Prefects. Through the story, there seems to be no chance at all that James Potter ever became Head Boy. We have however no information about Lily on this matter.
  • In (I, 7), Nearly Headless Nick indicates that he's been denied the pleasure of eating for « nearly 400 years ». It's not consistent with the fact that he celebrates his 500th deathday hardly a year after (II, 8).
  • In (II, 3), Mrs Weasley's clock is described as having « only one hand and no numbers at all. Written around the edge were things like "time to make tea", "time to feed the chickens" and "you're late" ». However in (IV, 10), the same clock has changed and is now described as « completely useless if you wanted to know the time, but otherwise very informative. It had nine golden hands, and each of them was engraved with one of the Weasley's family name. There were no numerals around it, but descriptions of where each family member might be. "Home", "school" and "work" were there, but there was also "lost", "hospital", "prison" and, in the position where the number twelve would be on a normal clock, "mortal peril" ». The same description remains true through the end of the story (also mentioned in (V, 22) when Dumbledore says Molly might already know that Arthur were injuried, and in (VI, 5) when the nine hands remain on 'mortal peril').
  • In (II, 9), Percy Weasley (who's a Prefect) takes five points from Gryffindor because Ron's been rude to him after he caught him exiting Moaning Myrtle's bathroom. However in (V, 28), when Draco Malfoy (also a Prefect at that time) starts docking points from Gryffindor and Hufflepuff, Ernie Macmillan protests and says that Prefects can't take points from students and that if the newly created Inquisitorial Squad could, it would completely undermine the Prefect system. A possibility exists that Percy Weasley didn't actually take points off Gryffindor in (II, 9) but merely claimed it for dramatic effect (and because he was so full of himself). Some fans suggest that Prefects may actually be able to take points, but from their own house only, but there seems to be no confirmation. This chapter was later altered (as seen in the ebook version) so that Ernie says that Prefects can't dock points from each other, casting a different perspective on the matter.
  • In (III, 4), Hermione states that her parents left her money to buy herself a birthday present as her birthday's in September (she then buys Crookshanks from the Magical Menagerie). In (VI, 21), Hermione takes the Apparition test, making her 17. If she was born in September, she would have been younger than Harry, not older.
  • While in (V, 22), Dumbledore reckons that Molly Weasley may know - thanks to her clock - that Arthur has been injuried, the same doesn't seem to be true about (IV, 10) when she's worried and hints that if she had seen his name in the newspaper, she would have known he were alive - yet her clock would have given her the information.
  • In (VI, 17), as Harry and Dumbledore discuss how Riddle killed his parents, Dumbledore explains that the Ministry of Magic can detect underage magic but not the actual performer, and this is later repeated by Mad-Eye Moody in (VII, 2). However, this is most surprising. For one thing, even if they couldn't tell Riddle performed the magic, they could tell that there was underage magic there and the connection could have been made (or at the very least, they should have known that an underage was there with Morfin Gaunt). Secondly, if, as Moody puts it, « they can detect all the magic performed around an underage wizard », this has to be a nightmare during the holidays when children are home with their families - even if they rely on confidence that the parents will prevent the kids from performing magic, the Ministry would still detect the magic performed by the parents.
  • In (VII, 14), after Hermione brings Yaxley inside the Fidelius Charm protection at Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place, she, Ron and Harry flee by fear of Yaxley bringing Death Eaters inside the house. However, Yaxley is not secret keeper and could not give such an information - Snape confirms to Narcissa Malfoy in (VI, 2) that as he's not secret keeper, he cannot speak the name of the place, and should he have been able to bring them there without giving the information (e.g. by Apparition), Bellatrix would have raised that objection. Subsequently, only Yaxley could enter the house - Yaxley alone. As the Death Eaters would know for sure where they were hiding, it does make sense that they flee - but they give the wrong reasons.
  • In (VII, 16), Harry is worried that he might not be able to see his parents' house unless the Fidelius Charm has lifted after they died. Which is a bit stupid really, considering that he knew of its existence as a kid, and there's no information whatsoever that someone who've been told about the objects of a Fidelius Charm by the secret keeper could forget about it. Furthermore, Wormtail is the Secret Keeper and since he hadn't died at that point, Harry could not have told Hermione about the house if the Charm hadn't lifted.