Millions of kids (and even adults) have dreamed, wished and hoped that the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was real, and that they would get an acceptance letter delivered by an owl when they were 10 or 11 years old. I was one of those kids and if you are reading this right now, chances are you were too.
While I am still secretly waiting on that letter (that the owl just got lost and took an over 10-year long detour, right?), I also think that Hogwarts isn't perfect. There are flaws in this magic school's system because some rules simply don't make any sense. We also can't ignore the fact that some rather questionable decisions were made in this school – decisions that couldn't be further from being logical. Here are 15 situations when Hogwarts didn't make any sense:
15 Dangerous Hogwarts
Safety is one of the biggest issues in Harry Potter, especially when the Dark Lord rises again. There is an emphasis on Hogwarts being THE safest place ever and since it's the home of hundreds of students, that does make sense. But hold on! The Whomping Willow which attacks people who step into its reach doesn't sound very safe to me. Not to mention keeping an angry three-headed dog behind a door that a first-year student can open with a simple "Alohomora!" And let's keep in mind why Fluffy is in the castle in the first place: To guard the Philosopher's Stone - the key to immortality which Voldemort desperately coveted. Yes, the stone is also protected by spells and different kinds of magic but this doesn't mean that it was a good idea to put all Hogwarts students in danger.
14 No Background Checks On Teachers
You might think that even in the magical world, a school's headmaster would perform background checks on teachers before they are hired. You are wrong. In Hogwarts things are done differently! In Hogwarts we like to put our students at risk and that’s why we hire Defence Against the Dark Arts teachers like Professor Quirrell who just happens to have Voldemort living under his turban, Gilderoy Lockhart who is a fraud, and Remus Lupin who turns into a werewolf once a month and doesn’t even recognize his own friends anymore.
In all fairness, everyone could have made the mistake of hiring Crouch Junior because he was impersonating Mad-Eye Moody pretty well. Furthermore, Dumbledore was powerless against the Ministry of Magic when they sent Dolores Umbridge to be the new teacher in The Order of The Phoenix.
Nevertheless, Hogwarts definitely teaches us the importance of background checks.
13 A Squib As A Cleaner
Remember in The Chamber of Secrets when Harry visits the Burrow for the first time and is amazed by all the magic? He stares at the pan in the sink that scrubs itself and the scarf that is knitting itself. Life seems so much easier with magic – I think we can all agree on that. Who wouldn’t want to be able to say an easy spell once in a while to make the trash take itself out?
With Hogwarts being THE (most famous) school of Witchcraft and Wizardry, it is surprising that Mr. Filch is working there as a cleaner and janitor, since he is a squib (wizard-born, non-magical person). However, there are theories out there which argue that the reason why Dumbledore lets Filch work at Hogwarts is because he wants Filch to have a guaranteed job.
12 No Students With Glasses
Okay, this is not a rule but it is one of the things you notice when you watch any Harry Potter movie. It seems like Harry is the only Hogwarts student who wears glasses.
I know, I know, I know, I can see why some of you Potterheads will try to argue with me and you are right. TECHNICALLY, Harry isn’t the only student in the castle with glasses. Moaning Myrtle lives in the castle, wears glasses and since she died being a student there, it means she was wearing glasses while being a student at Hogwarts. Moreover, teenage James Potter is also the proud owner of glasses.
My point is that at the time Harry attends Hogwarts, he seems to be the only living student with glasses. If you think about it, that’s no big surprise because almost anything can be done, healed or mended with magic. Which makes you wonder why Harry never asks Hermione to fix his eyesight but I personally think this is a subtle homage to his dad.
11 The Need For Signed Permission Slips
Let’s take a minute to think about this. Dumbledore takes Harry to Hogwarts and away from his legal guardians who don’t want him to go to school there, but Harry is not allowed to go on a trip to Hogsmeade which is pretty much around the corner, without having a permission slip signed by his legal guardians? This doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it?
Students are allowed to live around Fluffy, the Whomping Willow, boggarts, trolls, dementors, and the Forbidden Forest but they need to have a permission slip to visit Hogsmeade?
One more thing: Dumbledore provides Hermione with a Time-Turner to travel through time so she can take more classes while she risks being seen by someone and changing the entire past or present, but Harry needs a SIGNED PERMISSION SLIP to go to HOGSMEADE.
10 Troll In The Dungeon
First of all – on a scale of 1 to 10, how amazing is Draco’s facial expression in this meme? I would say it’s a solid 9 ¾. Hahaha, see what I did there?
Secondly, Dumbledore might have just been overwhelmed with the thought of having a troll on the loose in the school, so his first reaction was to send the students back to their common rooms. We all know that the Slytherin dormitory is in the Dungeon, so that would mean sending the students straight into the troll’s arms.
Plot holes can happen, even in big franchises like Harry Potter and it’s not that much of a big deal, rather a cause for laughter when you look at this meme. In the end the troll didn’t stay in the dungeon very long anyway (and who could blame him for that?).
9 Illogical House Points
When I read the first Harry Potter book, one of the things that really made me love Hogwarts was the house points system. I always thought I would enjoy my classes so much more if we had a system like that in my own school. I am not even joking when I tell you that I was daydreaming about it in my lessons.
After the first Harry Potter instalment, the house points become irrelevant – they almost completely disappear to make room for much more pressing things that are going on in the magical world. I understand the reasoning behind that but to completely ignore one big aspect which makes Hogwarts so unique wasn’t the way to go, I think.
The way teachers gave and took away house points was always intriguing to me, until I realised that they were completely random and often very illogical, like when Professor McGonagall takes 50 points from Ron, Hermione and Harry each for being out of bed at night.
Although this doesn’t make sense, Gryffindor still wins the House Cup, which reminds me of this:
8 Gryffindor Wins The House Cup
Many people don’t like the Slytherin house (apart from Slytherins themselves) and there are good reasons why. We are made to hate this particular house in both the books and films. I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t rooting for Gryffindor to win the House Cup in the first year.
When you look at it though, it almost seems like Dumbledore desperately wants Gryffindor to win the House Cup too. The points he gives to Harry, Ron and Hermione at the end of the school year are surely well deserved but those last 10 points for Neville are just too perfectly timed. How lucky! Or maybe Dumbledore (and everyone else) is just fed up with Slytherin winning the House Cup and he works his magic because you know, he could.
7 Inconsistent Punishments
I think we can all agree that the punishment Ron, Hermione, Harry and Draco got when they were caught out of their beds in the middle of the night in their first year was unreasonable. When we think of detention, it would not cross our minds that it involves going to the Forbidden Forest (which is like the name suggests ‘forbidden’) in the middle of the night (why did they get punished again?) to find a creature that has been killing unicorns. Did I forget to mention that the forest is full of often dangerous and sometimes unknown creatures like massive spiders (calm down, Ron), Centaurs or Giants (I’m not talking about you, Grawp).
Fast forward one year to The Chamber of Secrets when Harry’s detention is to help Lockhart with his fan post. Another strange punishment and not even half as unsafe as visiting the Forbidden Forest. Well, apart from the danger of dying of boredom.
6 Rule Breakers Don't Get Expelled
Every year Harry spends at Hogwarts, he constantly breaks rules and he definitely is not the only one. Fred and George Weasley probably break every Hogwarts rule in their time at the school. They sneak out of the castle several times, throw snowballs at the back of Professor Quirrell’s head (or Voldemort’s face), confuse everyone with swapping their names, try to enter the Triwizard Tournament, smuggle their joke inventions into Hogwarts and organize the big fireworks show in The Order of The Phoenix.
Do Fred and George ever get expelled? No. Harry, Ron or Hermione? No. Nevertheless, Hermione constantly worries about getting thrown out of school (“I’m going to bed, before either of you come up with another clever idea to get us killed – or worse, expelled!”).
If you are not a Potterhead like me you are now probably wondering if it is even possible to get expelled from Hogwarts. Yes it is, just see for yourself:
5 The Care Of Magical Creatures Teacher
Hagrid is one of the most lovable characters in Harry Potter. We get to know him and his pink umbrella in the first few minutes upon entering the magical universe. We soon learn that he is not supposed to use magic because he got expelled from Hogwarts upon being falsely accused of opening the Chamber of Secrets and releasing a monster, the Basilisk which killed Moaning Myrtle. In reality Hagrid only brought his spider friend Aragog into the castle.
After this incident, Hagrid is allowed to stay on the school grounds and in The Prisoner of Azkaban Hagrid becomes the new Care of Magical Creatures teacher. He often comes close to being fired because he always brings said creatures to class to show his students. I know we all love Hagrid but from a professional point of view it was probably not he wisest decision to let him teach this subject at Hogwarts since he doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to fantastic beasts. He can’t help but care so much about them, even the ones that want to rip your head off.
4 Help At Hogwarts
Help at Hogwarts will always be provided although you aren’t even supposed to be dealing with these kinds of problems, like fighting the Basilisk in the Chamber of Secrets (which was only a myth to begin with) because you are students. But I already talked about the dangers of Hogwarts, so I want to ask you:
Am I the only person who wonders how Hogwarts would have helped if someone else who was smart enough found the chamber, someone who was not a Gryffindor? Then the sword would have not been able to reveal itself because that only happens to true Gryffindors. What if Cedric Diggory (if he could speak Parseltongue) was in Harry’s place? Would Hogwarts provide help to him and send him the Hufflepuff Cup? And how helpful would that be?
Do you know what I mean? Or am I not supposed to think that deeply into everything?
3 Voldemort Cares About Harry's Education
This meme couldn’t be more on point. Voldemort always seems to plan to kill Harry at the end of a school year. Or maybe, just maybe, Hogwarts has a rule about this. Something like “The Dark Lord is only permitted to attack the students (one in particular) at the end of every school year so they don’t lose valuable time studying.”
No, I’m just kidding. The students are too occupied to actually study since they are taking part in the Triwizard Tournament, playing Quidditch, or building their own little army.
Speaking about education: In the Harry Potter franchise, the studying often takes on a background role although most of it takes place in a school. The students are trying to save the world and sometimes their education has to take a step back. Just take a look at this:
2 No Exams
So Voldemort could have attacked Harry and Hogwarts at any day he wanted to because it doesn’t matter how much the students studied for their exams, they get cancelled anyway.
What school would actually do this and risk their students’ future lives and careers? Especially for the 5th and 7th year students who have to take their exams, their OWLS and NEWTs in order to finish school and get a job, even if this is a magical universe. I know, Hagrid just got out of Azkaban and Ginny was saved and all the students are not petrified anymore – that’s a reason to party, so why don’t we just cancel the exams? Not that I wouldn’t have loved to have this happen to me when I was in school, but I do feel sorry for Hermione because she was genuinely looking forward to presenting her knowledge to the teachers.
1 Lack Of Studying
I can’t be the only one who sometimes wonders what is happening in Hogwarts now that Harry, Ron, Hermione and all their friends have left school. Teaching and studying is probably the most logical answer. The Dark Lord has been defeated, the world has been saved, and the students of Hogwarts can finally concentrate on doing their exams in peace. What a shame that Hermione isn’t there anymore to experience this (but at least her children are).
Although Hogwarts has its flaws and many school rules don’t make any sense, I am still secretly hoping to have an owl drop off my lost letter. Maybe I should just use my Time-Turner to go back a few years to my 10- or 11 year-old self and wait for it there.
Who wants to join me?