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The 7 most irritating Harry Potter plot holes

Look, we love the Harry Potter movies as much as the next guy, but these Harry Potter plot holes are big enough to make us contemplate an Avada Kedavra or two.

Harry Potter plot holes

What are the biggest Harry Potter plot holes? Making just one fantasy movie is no easy task. It’s unsurprising, then, that mapping out an entire fantasy series can lead to a few inconsistencies and plot holes creeping in here and there. Every series has them, and the Harry Potter movies are no exception.

Some of these Harry Potter mishaps, however, are more annoying than others, so we thought it’d be fun to look at the most irritating Harry Potter plot holes. There are plenty to choose from if you’ve watched the Harry Potter movies in order as often as we have, but we didn’t want to include silly inconsistencies. We don’t really mind if one of the best Harry Potter characters changes wand design halfway through the series. That’s to be expected.

No, we wanted the plot holes that really left us scratching our heads while watching the best fantasy movies in this series. So here are all the Harry Potter plot holes that we can’t believe no one in the Harry Potter cast or behind the camera thought to fill in.

What are the most irritating Harry Potter plot holes?

  1. Death Eaters and the Unbreakable Vow
  2. Peter Pettigrew and The Marauders Map
  3. Dumbledore’s rapid ageing
  4. Veritaserum
  5. Invisible Thestrals
  6. Troll in the Dungeons
  7. The Potter’s Secret Keeper

Harry Potter plot holes - Snape takes the Unbreakable Vow

7. Death Eaters and the Unbreakable Vow

If you break an Unbreakable Vow, you die. That seems pretty simple and a downright excellent way of making sure that you can’t be deceived by a supposed ally in a life-or-death scenario. With that in mind, it’s worth questioning why Voldemort never encouraged his Death Eaters to take the vow.

Severus Snape, for example, was widely rumored to be a double agent. We see him take the Unbreakable Vow to protect Draco Malfoy and complete his task from the Dark Lord at the beginning of Half-Blood Prince, but that’s a promise he’s able to keep without betraying the Order of the Phoenix.

We suppose you could wave this away by mentioning Voldemort’s arrogance. He never expected any of his followers to betray him and fully believed he could destroy any of them who did. We’re not sure, though, that the sort of dark wizard willing to make seven Horcruxes wouldn’t see this as a prudent insurance policy.

Harry Potter plot holes: Peter Pettigrew

6. Peter Pettigrew and The Marauders Map

We all know The Marauder’s Map. It’s a magical map of the supposedly unplottable Hogwarts, which includes all of the secret passages that Harry and the gang use to wander the school after hours. The map’s most useful power is its ability to keep track of everyone and anyone who treads on Hogwart’s grounds.

Harry got the map from the Weasley Twins in the Prisoner of Azkaban (our pick of the best movies in the series), who claim they’ve been using it for years. It seems that in the two years their younger brother was at Hogwarts, they never bothered to check in on Ron because if they had, they’d have noticed something rather odd.

Someone called Peter Pettigrew would have been sleeping with Ron in his bed. What would make this even stranger is the fact that Pettigrew was supposed to be dead, and his death was relatively well-known in the Wizarding World? Maybe the twins did notice and didn’t want to kink-shame their brother’s love of ghosts? That or it’s a plot hole…

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5. Dumbledore’s rapid ageing

Three actors have played the adult Dumbledore. Richard Harris and Michael Gambon took on the role in the Harry Potter movies, while Jude Law played the younger and sexier version in the Fantastic Beasts franchise.

That makes sense, right? Well no. You see, there are actually only six years between the events of Secrets of Dumbledore and when Dumbledore met a young Tom Riddle. Yet we see Dumbledore’s meeting with baby Voldemort in the Half-Blood Prince during a flashback, and he looks like the decidedly less young and sexy Michael Gambon (sorry, Michael).

So Dumbledore’s skin routine must have really fallen apart during his war with Grindelwald. That or the Fantastic Beasts films are a poorly thought-out addition to the franchise? Check out our Fantastic Beasts 3 review for more.

Harry Potter plot holes: Umbridge

4. Veritaserum

The very existence of veritaserum makes the entire wizarding legal system a sham. The Ministry of Magic should be able to weed out undercover Death Eaters and dark wizards by dosing defendants before they testify. None of the best Harry Potter villains should be able to operate in the shadows.

We know the author has claimed there are ways to protect yourself from the effects of veritaserum. Still, you’re telling me you couldn’t slip them a little potion without them knowing? You’re a wizard, for Merlin’s sake! It’s not about ethics either, as we know the Ministry gave the Umbridge the potion to use at Hogwarts.

Harry Potter plot holes: Bill and Fleur on a thestral

3. Invisible Thestrals

In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the Boy Who Lived is shocked when he sees that the Hogwarts carriages are now being pulled by skeletal winged horses. Adding to his consternation is that no one other than Luna Lovegood seems to notice them. We later learn that these are thestrals, a sort of magical horse that you can only see if you’ve seen death.

As Harry saw Cedric Diggory die, he now could see the magical creatures. That makes sense, right? Well, no, because Harry watched Cedric die at the end of Goblet of Fire, so he’d have ridden the thestral-drawn carriage back to the Hogwarts Express the previous year. The author later clarified you only see thestrals after you’ve processed seeing death, which was her attempt to pour asphalt into a huge plot hole.

Harry Potter plot holes: Troll in the dungeon

2. Troll in the Dungeons

In Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Professor Quirrell uses his talent for troll-whispering to lure a gargantuan mountain troll into the school dungeons. Upon hearing this news and being a responsible headmaster, Dumbledore orders the kids to quickly make their way to their common rooms, where they’ll be safe.

Well, the Gryffindors, Ravenclaws, and Hufflepuffs will be safe. The Slytherins are screwed because their common room is in the dungeon, where the troll is. We knew everyone hated Slytherin house as it’s where all the bad guys came from but come on, Dumbledore, at least try and hide your open dislike.

Harry Potter plot holes: Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) sees his parents in the Mirror of Erised

1. The Potters’ Secret Keeper

In Prisoner of Azkaban, we learn how Voldemort managed to track down the Potters, kicking off the series’ events. The family was betrayed by Peter Pettigrew, who the Potters trusted as their Secret Keeper. We were led to presume that a Secret Keeper then had to be a third party not under the protection of the Fidelius Charm.

In Deathly Hallows, though, when the trio go to Bill Weasley’s cottage, we learn that Bill and his wife Fleur are each other’s Secret Keeper with no third party necessary. So why didn’t the Potters do the same? Because there wouldn’t be a story otherwise, of course!

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For more from the world of Potter, learn why Daniel Radcliffe wanted less Quidditch in the movies. We’ve also explained what happened to the Deathly Hallows and told you all about the secret inspiration for the Deathly Hallows symbol. And if that’s not enough, find out why Harry Potter is a nepotism baby and why one Harry Potter monster was too terrifying for the movies.

Finally, we’ve also got guides breaking down everything we know about the upcoming Harry Potter TV series release date and possible new movies like the Fantastic Beasts 4 release date and the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child release date.

The creator of the Harry Potter series, JK Rowling, has made a number of transphobic remarks on social media in recent years. If you’d like to learn more about transgender equality or lend your support, here are two charities we encourage you to visit: the National Center for Transgender Equality in the US and Mermaids in the UK.