Archive 1

The wings of a car

Somebody added the "error" that the Flying Ford Anglia, as depicted on the cover of CoS, "doesn't have wings", so the passage stating that its wings were smeared with mud was supposedly wrong. As another editor pointed out, this was nonsense as in fact all cars have wings (British English "wing" being the same as American English "fender"). Unfortunately they did so by adding this information to the article, compounding the false "error" instead of correcting it (what's known on the TV Tripe for Idiots Wiki as "repair, don't respond"). Hence I've removed the passage. — RobertATfm (talk) 10:12, March 21, 2016 (UTC)

There are, however a few examples of "responding" present on the page, so perhaps it's sometimes best to respond with an explanation, to prevent someone else pointing out the "mistake" in the future? RavenclawDBS (MCKA DevilboyScooby) 20:53, March 21, 2016 (UTC)

Once again

Once again I think it needs to be made clear that this topic is for mistakes made  by the AUTHOR.  Mistakes, incomplete knowledge, or bad choices by the characters are part of the story, and are not mistakes by JKR. Wva (talk) 15:46, September 6, 2016 (UTC)

Error in PS chapter 1

I've spotted two dubious points in the first chapter of [i]Philosopher's Stone[/i], but I'm not sure if either are serious enough to qualify as "mistakes". Professor McGonagall spends the entirety of 1 November 1981 watching the Dursleys. This raises two issues: (1) This day falls within the Hogwarts school year, as the first holiday is not until Christmas. As far as I know, Hogwarts was not closed during the First Wizarding War. So why is McGonagall not teaching, and why does Dumbledore say "I shall see you soon, I expect", as if he does not see her every day at Hogwarts? (2) Why is McGonagall watching the Dursleys at all if she is surprised to learn at the end of the day that Harry is about to be sent to live there? Is that not a bit of a coincidence?

I imagine the first point has several plausible explanations I might be missing: perhaps McGonagall was not teaching at Hogwarts by then, or lessons were cancelled for a week in celebration (although surely at least Heads of House should still be there to watch the children). I don't understand the second point though. Are either of these serious enough contradictions to be included in the list of mistakes?

They aren't mistakes! :) 
McGonagall was teaching at Hogwarts by then. Since Voldemort was defeated the night before, it was probably a day of celebration and Dumbledore must have permitted her to take leave for the day. She wanted to see whether the Dursleys were suitable to raise Harry. She wasn't surprised by Dumbledore bringing Harry to Privet Drive - she knew what his plans were - but she was surprised to hear Dumbledore still intended to leave Harry there even though she had noticed they were not kind people. She tried to change Dumbledore's mind and she was shocked he wouldn't. I believe what Dumbledore meant by "I shall see you soon, I expect" is that he will be seeing her back at Hogwarts soon - that is where he expects her to be. Hope that helps! --Kates39 (talk) 20:10, 24 September, 2016 (UTC)
There are several possible explanations.  In the Muggle - real - world, it is common for facutly members to be able to take sabbaticals to do research.  For example, at my institution, for every seven years you teach you are allowed to take one year for a sabbatical.  So it is possible that she decided to take a sabbatical that year.  It also is not necessarily true that a teacher has to teach every day of the school week.  In US high schools, teachers usually have free "planning periods" during the day where they can grade papers or work on future lessons.  At Hogwarts, it is possible that teachers have a day or two free from teaching responsibilities to handle their administrative work or to do research.  This is likely to be even more true if she was head of house at the time.  We know the headmaster does not usually teach since there are apparently significant administrative responsibilities he must handle.  So it would not be surprising if a "head of house" was given a day free of teaching responsibilities.  The same for a "head of department" as she apparently was at the time.  All the more so if she was both at the time.  (Even though we run into few professors who are not head of house and/or head of department, the very fact the terms exist suggest that "plain old professors" must exist.) Wva (talk) 20:12, September 24, 2016 (UTC). 


I don't think the second point under the heading The Boy who Lived makes much sense! Could someone help me out and explain why it is a mistake? We know it took Hagrid a day to get Harry to Little Whinging because McGonagall spent it observing the Dursleys. The Potters died the night before on 31 October, everyone celebrated on 1 November. McGonagall observed the Dursleys for the day on 1 November and then Hagrid took Harry to Little Whinging that night. -- Kates39 (talk) 18:59, April 2, 2017 (UTC)

Which BTW means that nice and gentle professors Dumbledore and McGonagall let one year old boy almost 24 hours in dirty nappies and without any food (not mentioning, he let one year old boy overnight outside in the English November)?
Mcepl (talk) 09:44, May 4, 2017 (UTC)
I don't understand. I highly doubt McGonagall and Dumbledore left Harry to fend for himself for the day without giving him any food. There are many people who would have cared for him on 1 November. James and Lily die on the night of 31 October. Harry is picked up by Hagrid - we don't know how long he spent with him. McGonagall observes the Dursleys while the Wizarding world celebrates the fall of Voldemort and someone cares for Harry on 1 November. That night, Harry is left on the doorstep of Privet Drive. 
There is no mistake. Rowling intended that to happen. She wanted McGonagall and Dumbledore to leave Harry on the step on 1 November. It is more a question of McGonagall and Dumbledore's carelessness by just leaving him there!
Thereby, I still think the point should be removed since the page is a list of Rowling's actual mistakes - which I don't see here - not whether you think the actions of her characters were good ones! -- Kates39 (talk) 12:05, May 4, 2017 (UTC)
While I agree that the point is not very clearly made, it's what has been known as the Missing 24 hour problem, which has a long history - JKR herself has answered questions about it. The Alohomora podcast talked again about it recently and The HP Lexicon just updated their related essay.
Rather than remove it, more clarity is needed to raise the point how it's implied that Hagrid both got Harry from Godric's Hollow just as the Muggles were beginning to swarm (early morning 1 Nov) but brought him straight away(?) to Privet Drive (near midnight 1 Nov). I'll look for quotes later, but that's the gist of it. Cheers --Ironyak1 (talk) 15:35, May 4, 2017 (UTC)
I agree. I will get started on a better explanation. -- Kates39 (talk) 17:31, May 4, 2017 (UTC)

How can one find dropped Invisibility Cloak?

“I found this at the base of the Whomping Willow,” said Snape, throwing the cloak aside, careful to keep this wand pointing directly at Lupin’s chest. “Very useful, Potter, I thank you. …”
—HP & The Prisoner of Azkaban, chap. 19

How can one found the invisible cloak lying on the ground?

Mcepl (talk) 10:54, February 28, 2017 (UTC)

As described in PS and OP, the cloak is not always invisible. It's only invisible when someone wears it.--Rodolphus (talk) 10:56, February 28, 2017 (UTC)

It's an Invisibility Cloak, not an "invisible" cloak; it doesn't need to be invisible unless someone is wearing it. IIRC, in Philosopher's Stone it's decribed as being "silvery" in appearance when not being worn. — RobertATfm (talk) 08:20, March 1, 2017 (UTC)

Possible false "plot hole"?

I've just seen the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (I am housebound, hence don't get to see films until the Blu-Ray comes out), and I'm surprised that so far, nobody on this wiki has raised the point that "if Obscurials usually die before they are ten, how is it that Harry Potter lived for eleven years in the Muggle world with no ill effects at all?". (This point has been raised on the TV Tripe for Idiots Wiki.) To forestall it, do we need warning comments in the page source, pointing out that the reason Harry didn't become an Obscurial is because the Dursleys simply didn't tell him that he was a wizard (or even that there was such a thing as magic), so Harry didn't need to repress his magic and thus was in no danger? — RobertATfm (talk) 13:53, April 17, 2017 (UTC)

JKR has explained this on her website.

--Rodolphus (talk) 15:35, April 17, 2017 (UTC)

I made a video for Mistakes of the COS book 


[ I’m huge fan of harry potter and jk rowling ... Watch this video as fun video, not Criticism (but it is … kind of) :) ]

[Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone:[url][/url] ]—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Payamsalimi (talkcontribs) 19:59, May 3, 2017 (UTC).

Delphi goes to Azkaban

An editor recently added (since, rightly, reverted):

  • On page 293 where they are telling Delphi that she will be taken back to our time Hermione then says in line eight of that page, "And you'll go to Azkaban. Same as your mother." It is possible for her to go to Azkaban (if it is still in use) but the part of her mother being there is false. Bellatrix Lestrange was killed in the Battle for Hogwarts, so the sentence from Hermione should have been "And you'll go to Azkaban."

I don't recall if this was before or after Bellatrix was killed (I've only read Cursed Child once so far), but even if it was after, the figure of speech is still correct. "And you'll go to Azkaban. Same as your mother." is being used to mean "you will go there, just as your mother did", not necessarily "you will go there to join your mother". — Evilquoll (talk) 10:37, May 10, 2017 (UTC)

Why don't the books from Harry potter and the goblit of fire onwards (up to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) have the chapter headings like in the books before them? Are peple working on that or is this how the page is going to stay?

Audiogamer22 (talk) 18:00, November 1, 2017 (UTC) 17:55, November 1, 2017 (UTC)Audiogamer22 (talk)

Mistakes with Fidelius Charm?

I have published what for me are some mistakes in the page but it has been removed and I don't know why.

My point is this: in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry, Ron and Hermione went to Grimmauld Place beacuse they thought it was the safer place to be since, among the Death Eaters, only Snape could enter. Why this?

  • I know that he was good and he didn't want Harry to be killed but why didn't Voldemort ask him to reveal the name of the place since after Dumbledore's death he knew that Snape was a Secret Keeper?
  • And since Harry, Ron and Hermione knew very well how the Charm work why were they sure about the fact that Snape had not revealed it?
  • Moreover, we know that the secret could be told not only by telling it directly (thing that could have happened despite the Tongue-Tying Curse as we know that Snape later in the book could speak without any problem) but also by writing it on a piece of parchment as Dumbledore did with Harry, so even in the case Mad-Eye's Charm would have been effective Snape could have told Death Eaters and Voldemort how to enter.
  • Finally, if Voldemort didn't know that the house could be a place for Harry to stay, why did he send so many Death Eaters without giving them a way to enter - that is: make Snape tell them the secret?

And another doubt is: when Hermione let Yaxley enter in the Fidelius Charm (so telling him the secret) why did she say that he could have let other Death Eaters enter inside the house? For sure she knew that Yaxley was not the Secret Keeper and he couldn't bring anyone inside, so how is it possible that she committed such a big mistake?

Has someone an explanation for these?

TheHunter94 (talk) 19:04, January 17, 2018 (UTC)

A very simple explanation: characters are not omniscient.
This charm is described as an "immensely complex" bit of magic.  Therefore, there is reason to believe that the vast majority of wizards have never even heard of it, let alone understand the details of how it works.  In addition, since it is apparently incredibly rare, the magical world itself probably hasn't discovered all of the details about the charm.
Keep in mind that Dumbledore said of Voldemort, (paraphrased), "What he does not value he makes no effort to understand."  Since this charm is based on friendship and loyalty - things that Voldemort despises - it makes perfect sense that he knows absolutely nothing about this charm.  It also makes sense that the Death Eaters were equally ignorant about the charm.  They didn't know that everyone became "secret-keepers" on Dumbledore's death, and it is certain that Snape never bothered to tell them with this detail.  Voldemort didn't tell Snape to let everyone into the house because Voldemort did not know that Snape became a secret-keeper on Dumbledore's death.
They were certain that Snape had not told the secret to the Death Eaters because the Death Eaters were not waiting for them  in the house.  It became perfectly clear when they saw  all the Death Eaters in the square staring at the house waiting for them to leave.  They wrongly thought that this was because of the "tongue-tying" curse, but the effect was the same.  We also know nothing about the nature of the "tongue-tying" curse; despite its name, it may prevent information from being communicated in any manner.  (Also, remember that according to JKR Snape entered the house BEFORE Mad-Eye created these curses, so we have no idea what effect they might have had on Snape.)
It is not clear if the Death Eaters knew the trio was in the house.  It is possible that the "taboo" alerted them to the fact but they could not enter due to the Fidelius Charm.  Or, it is equally possible that they had no idea they were there, but this was one of the locations they were staking out "just in case."  (Remember, in the books Lupin told them they were watching every Order-connected property, and the movie shows Yaxley entering Hermione's old home.)
As for Hermione, she likely made a mistake about the effects of bringing Yaxley within the range of the Charm.  Again, characters under extreme stress make mistakes; if they didn't do this the characters would be unrealistic, and there would be no story.  More charitably, it is possible that upon reflection Hermione didn't know for certain what the effects would be, but decided that the RISK of going back to the house or calling Kreacher was too great. Wva (talk) 04:55, March 1, 2018 (UTC)