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Talk:Mistakes in the Harry Potter books

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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). 

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