I’ve been relatively quiet lately, but I’ve definitely been watching movies. I have actually been keeping track on an Excel spreadsheet of all the movies we’ve watched since January 1st. I’m lagging behind, I feel, with only 18 to date (that’s at the time this is being written… February 11th… I anticipate this won’t be posted until a later date).
What I have been spending an inordinate amount of time on… is re-watching (and in half the case, watching for the first time) the Harry Potter series! In the past, I watched up to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire but after that, I just sort of… stopped, I guess? Maybe because Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was easily my least favourite book so I was just like, “Meh.” As of today, David and I have finished up to, you guessed it, Goblet of Fire. What I totally forgot about these movies was how looong they are. It’s taking us forever to get through them because we have to commit to 2-3 hours a night/day to watching a Harry Potter film, which is super fine by me but David is all, “I have a life, you know,” which no, I didn’t know, but okay.
I really do enjoy all of these films. They are wonderful and there’s nothing more iconic from my childhood, I think, than Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley. I read all of those books at least twice over, but probably more… David, on the other hand, hasn’t read past Order of the Phoenix because he didn’t much care for it either. So, everything that happens after that is going to be a surprise to him! I have found that re-watching and initially watching these movies has raised many questions about the wizarding world that I now wish to share with you. This entry is going to be a two-parter because, well, we’re only halfway through the movies and I have quite the handful of questions already. I think they’ll easily double by the end of the saga! So, without further ado, let’s begin:
P.S. This is GOING to include spoilers, so if you haven’t seen or read at least up to the end of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire… turn back. I couldn’t live with myself if I spoiled the story for you!
Who would win in a war – muggles or wizards – and why is it unequivocally the muggles? Like, really. Yes, wizards have spells and wands and magic, but they also lack a TON of technology that muggles have and it’s super weird because we know for sure that muggles and wizards can intermingle because how else would you get mudbloods? The muggles won’t share their knowledge of guns or modern mail services or the Internet with their magical counterparts? In a one-on-one battle between a muggle with a gun and a wizard with a wand, I’m pretty sure the muggle with the gun is going to win. It’d take some kind of fluke for the wizard to take out a muggle faster than the muggle can fire a gun unless they use an unforgivable curse, in which case you can’t use a self-defense claim because it’s literally unforgivable under any circumstance, and it doesn’t even really matter because it appears that there is no cohesive court system or really even any decent government agencies in the wizarding world – leading me to my next point…
Why are there no regular Joe laws in the wizarding world? There are laws like, if your name is put in the Goblet of Fire, even by someone else, you are BOUND by LAW and DESTINY to participate in the Triwizard Tournament. Oh, it’s a super deadly tournament in which you fight dragons, spend up to an hour underwater amidst merpeople and grindylows to save someone close to you, and also navigate your way through an awful, deadly, truly impossible maze? Yeah, well doesn’t matter, someone got your name in there and now you have to do it and if you die, too bad. But what about laws about libel, defamation, or theft? Rita Skeeter can just come in and write a totally and entirely falsified article with no repercussions or consequences whatsoever? Makes total sense. What about assault? What about assault by a figure of authority on a minor?… leading me to my NEXT point…
Professors are allowed to attack students, verbally and physically, on pretty much a daily basis especially the ones who are in rival houses from themselves? Snape literally just walks by Ron and Harry like 8 times in one scene of Goblet of Fire and smacks them, pushing their heads around violently, all because they’re talking quietly during class… like everyone else in the room? I mean, to be fair, Moody does get reamed out by McGonagall for turning Malfoy into a ferret and whipping him around in the air with his wand, BUT she tells him that “we never use transfiguration as a punishment, surely Dumbledore told you that”… nothing about that fact that he was flailing him about in the air? The bigger problem was the fact that he was a ferret… yeah, okay. Just what qualifications ARE required to be a professor at Hogwarts anyway?…
Teachers are pulled off the streets and clearly not screened or interviewed whatsoever – Quirrell gets in literally carrying Voldemort on the back of his head??? Gilderoy Lockhart has no experience with the dark arts and is actually kind of a wuss. Lupin is a fricken’ werewolf (but arguably, the best Defense Against the Dark Arts professor in all of Harry’s years)! Mad-Eye Moody is rumoured to be mad, chugs mysterious vials of liquid periodically throughout the day, and turns out to be a notorious Death Eater… What exactly is the hiring process at Hogwarts? Maybe they need to look at that. Maybe they need to screen these eager beavers a little before just letting them live amongst hundreds (thousands?) of students who are not really the best prepared to deal with these issues because their Defense Against the Dark Arts professors have all been garbage! Not one has helped with protecting against Voldemort. Not one! Most of them hindered the process, to be quite honest… and for that matter…
Does Harry Potter wake up before his 3rd or 4th year going to Hogwarts and say, “Wonder what form Voldemort will take this year? What squabbles will we get into this time?” He has to realize by that point that every single year around the same time, Voldemort is hanging around causing hijinks. I mean, really, there’s a liiiittle bit of a pattern that emerges there. How is he not better prepared? I mean, yeah, the first year it’s like, okay, I’ve never met Voldemort, he’s probably not here anywhere… then the second year, hmm… okay, there’s a Chamber of Secrets and it’s whispering to me telling me to kill people, could it be the work of Voldemort? The third year… I guess the third year is probably to throw Harry off because Voldemort doesn’t really make an appearance, just Dementors, so we’ll give him an out there. But then the fourth movie, Harry begins to dream about a meeting between little baby fetus-looking Voldemort and Peter Pettigrew and a mysterious man we later learn to be a notorious Death Eater and loyal follower of Voldy… so does he not go, hm… I’m in a maze and things are getting really intense, maybe Voldemort could be involved.
“Hogwarts isn’t safe… anymore????” When was Hogwarts ever safe? Every year something pretty awful happens. Voldemort travels around the castle on the back of an unvetted professor’s scalp. A giant snake lives within the walls of the castle and turns out to be a… a pet of Voldemort’s. Sirius Black, notorious “serial killer,” finds his way into the castle/onto the grounds of Hogwarts. Again, a professor is not who he seems and there are about 1,000 clues to that notion, yet nobody figures it out until the end of the year. Hogwarts is not a safe place. I think I’d send my kids to Beauxbaton’s, probably.
House points are literally bullshit. They can be removed or added on any basis. Anything. And there’s no… set amount for any good deed or any bad deed. It’s arbitrary and ridiculous. In year 1, Hermione, Neville & Harry are all deducted 50 points for “wandering the corridors at night” whereas Harry only gets 60 points for defeating Quirrell AKA LORD fricken’ VOLDEMORT. Harry and Ron save Hermione’s life against a fully grown troll and only get 5 points each? But then in year 2, Harry and Ron are both awarded 200 points EACH for saving Ginny, slaying the Basilisk and defeating Tom Riddle… year 3, Hermione is deducted 5 points for “being an insufferable know-it-all”… shall I continue?
To conclude part I, I’ll end with one that’s near and dear to my boyfriend, David’s, heart. Quidditch. What a ridiculous sport. It would be 100 times better if they just eradicated the goals altogether, because you have to get 15 goals to even break even with the team that catches the Golden Snitch. Even if there was a time limit on the game, it would be a little bit better because then at least there’s a chance that the goals might mean something if the Snitch isn’t caught. And really, the record for the longest Quidditch game ever played is 3 months because the Snitch hadn’t been caught for that long. I’m sorry, but that’s an awful game strategy.
Despite all of these flaws, which are not really flaws in the movies or even really the books, they’re just flaws that come with writing about an entirely fictional universe. J.K. Rowling’s creation is impressive and it is vast so I’m super not surprised that so many of these things irk me. But they’re so minor compared to the overall story of Harry Potter, which is just… the embodiment of the fantasy genre for children and young adults, and I’m sure, even some adults. I’m sure you will be waiting with bated breath on part II of this exploration of the wizarding world. Until then, I’m out.
Tagged: alfonso cuaron, chamber of secrets, chris columbus, daniel radcliffe, david yates, draco malfoy, emma watson, goblet of fire, half-blood prince, harry potter, harry potter and the chamber of secrets, harry potter and the deathly hallows, harry potter and the goblet of fire, harry potter and the half-blood prince, harry potter and the order of the phoenix, harry potter and the philosopher's stone, harry potter and the prisoner of azkaban, hermione granger, maggie smith, malfoy, michael gambon, mike newell, order of the phoenix, part 1, part 2, philosopher's stone, prisoner of azkaban, rupert grint, the weasleys, tom felton, wizarding world, wizards, young adult