Forums: Index > The Wizengamot archive > Plot holes

I think I've identified some plot holes in the Harry Potter series (if they've already been discussed it would great if a link could be provided), and I would like if we could discuss them and, in case they aren't plot holes, to be told so and to be explained why not :)

Time-turners: With time-turners, whenever something bad happens (Voldemort returns, Harry's parents die, Sirius dies, Tom Riddle is born, etc.) wizards could just use a time turner to make such unfortunate event not happen. I mean, wouldn't it be way easier to kill/arrest Voldemort before he becomes powerful (or perhaps alter the past so that he is never born) instead of having to hunt for hidden horcruxes protected by dark magic at the risk of Voldemort himself, his death-eaters, etc. of stopping you. I know it would take some precise calclation and turing the time turner a lot of time (perhaps a charm can make it turn by itself at high speed), but still, it would be a lot easier. I know that the ministry's stock of them was destroyed, but still they could have been used before that (to prevent the deaths of James and Lily Potter for instance say, the day after they died) and I'm sure some time-turner must have been left in the vastness of the wizarding world (or could be created/produced). Then again, fiddling with the past could be considered a bad habit (dangerous, to be used only in emergencies), but... Wouldn't preventing Lord Voldemort from rising to power/Killing him when young or preventing deaths of loved and/or important people classify as a emergency? I mean, if they used time-turners from matters as simple (and not-an-emergency) as taking extra classes (which they entrusted to teenagers) to matters not-as-important-as-killing-Voldemort, as was saving Buckbeak and Sirius, why would they not use them to stop Voldemort, the darkest wizard of all times?
Truth potion: In book 5, when Harry was in a lawsuite/judgement to determine whether it was true that he had used magic being underage and outside-of-school to protect himself and a muggle against dementors, instead of all the complicated procedure they went through, employing witnesses in the midst of it, why not just make Harry Potter and/or the squib witness drink a truth potion and BANG! problem solved just like that (since thay would be able to only tell the truth, thus Harry would say that he was attacked by dementors, thus all the trouble they actually went through would have been avoided).
Portraits: Whenever a loved one dies (Potter's parents, Fred, Lupin, Tonks) or someone that had important infromation for killing Voldemort (Dumbledore), why not just make a magical portrait a that person and BANG! you can happily talk with the loved ones you missed so much and obtain the information you so much needed to defeat Voldemort, you're mortal enemy.

Any comments would be appreciated, TomasBat 02:01, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Rowling has addressed the issue of using truth potions on her website, as outlined in the Veritaserum article. Veritaserum is not infallible because there are various ways to protect oneself from its effects. Thus, it is considered unfair and unreliable for use at trials.
As for portraits, they are only 'echoes' of the people who died. You don't really have the person back, only a kind of weak imitation. Besides, it hasn't been revealed whether a portrait can be made after a person's death, or if steps need to be taken while a person is still alive. As for people who had important information for killing Voldemort but died, Dumbledore is the one you mentioned and the only one I can think of, and he does have a portrait. Oread 02:40, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
There are so many plotholes in the series, it's hard to even start. Nevertheless, it's really well-written, so that's alright. :) A few that come to mind:
  • Why are there poor wizards? Why are Harry, Ron and Hermione always hungry in DH? I get it, you cannot transfigure anything into money or food, but you could easily transfigure your old clothes into new ones, or transfigure one pound of potatoes into ten pounds of potatoes every time you threaten to run out, etc.
  • Why is Harry a hero for going after the Philosopher's Stone? He is just being stupid and impulsive. If he hadn't gone after the stone, Voldemort wouldn't have had a chance in hell to get it, as he always wanted to use it and thus would not have been able to get past the mirror. Actually, hiding the stone in the mirror poses the very real risk that nobody will ever be able to retrieve the stone again; for people who really want to have it would normally want to use it, and for anybody who doesn't want to use it, it would probably not be the deepest desire of their hearts. So without Harry creating this special situation, the stone might well have been lost. Why not destroy it right away? And anyway, what is Dumbledore playing at, letting Harry get away with everything?
  • How can Harry threaten to kill Sirius in the end of POA, when they all learn in GoF that they won't be able to kill anyone for quite some time yet? How does he even know how killing someone by magic works? So why would Sirius take him seriously?
With the timeturners, the thing might be, that they are NOT able to ALTER the course of events: When Hermione got her timeturner from Professor McGonnegal she was warned about the way to use it (although I don't recall whether the exact warning is stated in the book). When Hermione and Harry use the timeturner to rescue Sirius and Buckbeak, they never alter the course of the events! Harry (first time) sees a Patronus which Harry (second time) produces. In the film both hear something in Hagrids hut which makes them leave (first time). (Second time) Hermione throws a stone to create exactly this noise. So, this is not necessarily a plothole but just a paradoxon of time-travel. Greets, the invisible book of invisibility 21:10, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
Also I think that time turners would not be powerful enough to go very far back in time, it would impossible I think to create magic strong enough to turn back time to when Voldemort was born.