The Harry Potter universe has entertained people for generations now and has even helped people come to terms with themselves. There's a magic to the story J.K. Rowling wrote and we feel it whenever we dive back into that story. That's a big part of why the HP universe has had so much staying power. That being said, one thing that might fall short in this story is the world building. While the Harry Potter universe is great at making us care about what's going on and the people in the story, there's a lot of holes in the world itself and as we become more critical readers, those holes become harder and harder to ignore.
Some of the plotholes in the Harry Potter franchise have remained holes: some things still make no sense and are indicative of Rowling's weird decisions. However, other plotholes have been filled not by the official writings, but by the Harry Potter fandom. Lots of things have ended up contextualized through fanfiction, theories, and people just trying to think their way out of the weirdness the story sometimes leaves us with. Regardless, here are fifteen things that still make no sense about the Harry Potter world, along with ten things that would have made the story make more sense or might have just made it better.
25 Canon That Makes No Sense: Why Wizards Can't Have Muggle Technology
Wizards apparently cannot have Muggle technology because it messes with their magic, but to be honest, this makes no sense. For one, lots of things are Muggle technology, like quills and parchment, or the typeface that's used for magical textbooks. On top of that, Hogwarts has indoor plumbing, which is undoubtedly a Muggle invention. Unless J.k. Rowling is fixing her face to tell me that magic actually keeps a running list of what Muggle inventions are made, there's no reason this could ever be a thing because literally everything can be interpreted as Muggle technology.
24 Canon That Makes No Sense: Why Hogwarts Was Even Allowed To Run With All The Dangerous Stuff Going
Hogwarts is a deathtrap. There's just no way around that. It's almost hilarious how many things have happened to the kids at Hogwarts in the years we get to see. Harry Potter's school years had a dangerous tournament known as the Triwizard Tournament, an event where a kid got stuck in a Vanishing cabinet and remained inside for months, a literal battle in an adult war, and an eleven-year-old girl getting possessed by the teenaged, time-traveling spirit of a warlord living in a journal. This isn't even considering the horrible teachers that put the kids' in harm's way like Snape, Umbridge, and Lockhart. Hogwarts would have been shut down a long time ago.
23 Canon That Makes No Sense: Everything About Bellatrix and Voldemort (And Now Nagini)
Bellatrix and Voldemort made absolutely no sense. For one thing, Bellatrix was actually married to a guy that she seemed to like, all things considered. Arranged marriages didn't seem to be a huge thing in the wizarding world, even among the insular purebloods, so Bellatrix would have married her husband because she wanted to. Meanwhile, she's mooning over Voldemort, who doesn't seem to care about her at all, and she's looking down on her reasonably happily married sisters because of it. This isn't even considering that Voldemort's pet snake is literally a really old lady from Fantastic Beasts, so this is just a mess.
22 Canon That Makes No Sense: Why Couldn't James And Lily Be Their Own Secret Keepers?
The whole reason James and Lily Potter were betrayed is that they were living in a hidden house and the only person who could break the charm and reveal the house to the public eye was the Secret Keeper in something called a Fidelius charm. This was originally Sirius because obviously, but they switched it to Peter because they thought Sirius would be targeted for the information.
That ended up being a bad decision for them. However, they could have done something much simpler: done the Secret Keeping for each other. James could have named Lily and Lily could have named James. It would have been perfect and nobody would have had to die!
21 Canon That Makes No Sense: How Do Wizard Kids Learn How To Read If They Start School At Eleven?
Wizard kids start wizard school at the age of eleven, but what happens before that? We know kids who grew up in the Muggle world go to Muggle school at first, but what of the pureblood kids? Do they sneak into Muggle school as well, risking blowing the cover of the whole wizarding world? Or do they, as seems much more likely, homeschool to varying effect?
This can explain why some of the wizard kids are straight up geniuses in their own right, like Draco (who is canonically the salutatorian to Hermione's valedictorian) and Ron's twin brothers Fred and George. This can also explain how some other kids, like Crabbe and Goyle, are functionally illiterate at first. Either way, this doesn't seem like a good way to ensure good education as a whole.
20 Fanon That Makes All The Sense: All of The Marauder Characterization The Fandom Does
No era in the Harry Potter franchise has inspired more fanfiction, art, or theories as the Marauders era, otherwise known as the years Harry's parents James and Lily Potter went to Hogwarts with all their friends. They weren't taking down Dark Lords or anything, but they were illegally becoming Animagi to help their literal werewolf friend, gearing up to fight in the first wizarding war against Voldemort, no matter what side they were on, and creating god-tier magical artifacts like the Marauder's Map. Basically, the Marauder's era is what the HP series could have been without all the Chosen One baggage.
19 Fanon That Makes All The Sense: Seamus Finnegan and Dean Thomas Being A Thing
There are a lot of different ships in the Harry Potter world, but the one relationship that everyone seems to agree on is a relationship J.K. Rowling won't confirm despite all evidence in the books pointing towards it. That ship between Seamus Finnegan and Dean Thomas. They were the other pair of inseparable friends in the Gryffindor boys dorm and definitely had their own things going on.
They could have easily had a relationship that grew from childhood friendship, only to withstand the trials and tribulations of the war and end up together on the platform with the Golden Trio and their children, except J.K. Rowling decided to instead harp on about Dumbledore without saying much at all.
18 Fanon That Makes All The Sense: Everything About The Hufflepuffs
Out of all the Hogwarts houses, Hufflepuff was the one that got shafted the most. Considering that this house represents fairness and loyalty, you'd think everyone would respect it more. It's the one common room Harry never got to visit throughout the series, forcing us to learn about it on Pottermore. The fewest major characters in the series are from there: we have a few big names but nobody who ended up being a major part of the story at large. Hufflepuff has gotten some justice in the form of Newt Scamander, but before him, the best picture of Hufflepuff House came from the fans and their picture of it.
17 Fanon That Makes All The Sense: The Contextualizing The Slytherins Get Because Rowling Only Vilified Them In The Story
While the Hufflepuffs were largely forgotten in the canon, one could argue that they had a better time of it than the Slytherins, who have largely been vilified from day one. The only "good" characters that came out of Slytherin from what we get to see in the canon are a guy who was a #NiceGuy to Lily Potter, a guy who collected talented kids to curry favors from them later, the Malfoys (who only got a more sympathetic perspective on them much later in the game,) and to be honest, that's about it. The fandom did much better when it came to giving the Slytherins justice, and now people sorted into that house wear their green and silver with pride.
16 Fanon That Makes All The Sense: Muggleborn Culture At Hogwarts
While we spend a lot of time with the magical culture, the Muggleborn culture is far more fascinating. Keep in mind, Muggles have culture too and those kids would be bringing in their own life experiences and pop-culture references into Hogwarts. Harry Potter went to Hogwarts in the early and mid-nineties, meaning that it was prime grunge music and Disney musical season. Imagine a kid who summons a Patronus and it's Mufasa in the sky. Imagine a Muggleborn kid who creates magical studying pneumonics to Nirvana songs. The possibilities are endless and it's honestly a shame this wasn't explored.
15 Canon That Makes No Sense: Everything About The Money
Everything about the money in the wizarding world makes absolutely no sense. Imagine being a Muggle parent who needs to take your new wizard child shopping for school supplies. Imagine having to take your Muggle money and convert it into a system with only three denominations of money, and all of them are coins. There are no credit or debit cards, so you have to use the money you carry in a sack to make every purchase. This isn't even getting into the weird money conversions from Knuts to Sickels to Galleons. The whole money system just needs work.
14 Canon That Makes No Sense: No Muggle Technology, But Sewer Pipes Big Enough To Comfortably House A Basilisk
We've already discussed the lack of technology, but we need to discuss the indoor plumbing situation again. Let's talk about the whole Heir of Slytherin thing from the Chamber of Secrets. The school was founded a huge amount of time ago and Salazar Slytherin had a basilisk in the Chamber. Okay, cool, I can get behind that, but when the basilisk is literally living in the modern day plumbing system, one has to wonder how the snake got into the pipes enough to live there, how the people installing the pipes didn't notice the snake, and how the snake didn't die from coming into constant contact with the waste of an entire school for at least one full year. Either way, this canon makes no sense.
13 Canon That Makes No Sense: If Hermione Could Fix Her Teeth With Magic, Why Didn't They Fix Harry's Vision?
About halfway through the series, Hermione fixes her teeth with magic despite her parents being dentists and them insisting she do it the Muggle way. This raises a major question. If Hermione, an admittedly gifted kid, but still a magical student, is able to fix her teeth with no major issues, why couldn't they fix Harry's eyesight?
The scar is one thing because that's a magical scar, but his eyesight, unless Voldemort was involved in making his eyesight bad, is just a regular medical malady. Not only did Hermione not think of it, literally nobody else did either. The scar aside, one of Harry's most recognizable features is his glasses and fixing his eyesight would have helped him be less recognizable.
12 Canon That Makes No Sense: How Does The Audience Watch The Second and Third Triwizard Tasks?
The second and third Triwizard tournament events are extremely exciting for us as readers and watchers of the movies because we're able to see what's happening in the water and in the maze. However, for the characters who weren't in there, it must have been quite boring because they literally wouldn't have been able to see anything at all. Imagine buying tickets to watch a calm, placid lake and not knowing what happens until people start popping out of the water. You would feel cheated and it's weird that nobody mentioned how people knew what was happening.
11 Canon That Makes No Sense: Why Didn't Fred And George Question Who Peter Pettigrew Was
Much has been made of the Marauder's Map and how it was able to see Peter Pettigrew on the map. Harry wouldn't have known what it meant until it was explained to him and it's not like he was looking at the map while he was sleeping. However, Fred and George had owned the map for a couple of years before giving it to Harry, so they would have seen the name Peter Pettigrew constantly around their little brother, but they don't say anything. They're both pretty smart, so you'd think they'd say something or at least ask.
10 Fanon That Makes All The Sense: The Golden Trio Could Have All Gone To Different Houses
Considering J.K. Rowling's fascination with Gryffindor, it makes sense that she put Harry, Ron, and Hermione in Gryffindor. However, I agree with a large portion of the fandom that says that putting them all in Gryffindor was a huge missed opportunity. Had they been in different houses, it would have strengthened their friendship, given us more opportunities to see the other houses without coming up with weird Polyjuice potion hijinks, and they would have been a great example to show inter-house friendships. It also would have allowed the characters to explore other aspects of their personality instead of dismissing those things in favor of more Gryffindor traits.
9 Fanon That Makes All The Sense: Another Fate For Harry
While Harry's demise would have collectively broken the hearts of an entire generation, think about how awesome it would have been to see everyone rally in the aftermath of his demise. Instead of Harry being the one to destroy Voldemort, it's someone else, maybe the collective strength of his friends banding together to take down Voldemort themselves. The story becomes about them as a whole and between them all, they would have rebuilt society. It would have really helped reorient the story so it's not like whole institutions are relying on this one teenager to set everything right.
8 Fanon That Makes All The Sense: The Relationship Between Harry and Draco
As much as Harry and Draco seem to hate each other, there's so much they could have learned from each other. J.K. Rowling definitely emphasizes the relationship between these two very different, but also similar men, but she doesn't take it as far as the fandom does. To be fair, I'm not saying Harry and Draco should be together romantically. Some fans do think that, but I'm not endorsing that here because Harry and Ginny do seem destined. That being said, these two never seemed to reach an understanding in the books or films, only really burying the hatchet in Cursed Child, Either way, this was a missed opportunity.
7 Fanon That Makes All The Sense: International Wizarding Headcanons
The international wizarding world has been defined much more with the advent of the Pottermore website, where J.K. Rowling expands on her worldbuilding, but before that, we didn't know a thing about anything outside of the British wizarding world. This left the fandom with enough holes in the story to fill them with their own ideas.
Before Ilvermorny, we had a whole host of ideas out there as to what an American wizarding world could look like. Unfortunately, between the middling success of the Fantastic Beasts franchise and the controversy surrounding some of the inspiration of Ilvermorny, some people are subscribing to the fandom interpretation over the real canon.
6 Fanon That Makes All The Sense: Dudley Having A Magical Child
J.K. Rowling went on record to say that despite magic clearly running in Lily's side of Harry's family, Dudley Dursley could never have a magical child because of the total lack of magic in Vernon Dursley's bloodline. This is a total missed opportunity. For one, the idea of Dudley's child running around Hogwarts with his magical cousins James, Albus, and Lily, is too good to not actually happen.
For another, it really cements the total separateness between Lily and Petunia and robs Harry and Dudley of that chance to truly understand each other and repair that generational rift. There's lots of symbolism there that the fandom picked up on, but the official material just sort of forgets about it.
5 Canon That Makes No Sense: No Muggle Technology, but Colin Creevey Gets To Use A Camera?
While we know that wizard kids can't use Muggle technology, a huge hole in that rule becomes apparent when we meet Colin Creevey, the aspiring photographer who was gone too soon. Colin has a camera all the time, which saves him in the second installment when he uses it to see the basilisk that turned him to stone. The big question here is: cameras are Muggle technology, so Colin shouldn't have this.
Sure, cameras in the 90s were higher tech, but this is still an egregious flouting of the set rules that Rowling wrote. You can't even explain this away with it being a magically augmented camera because Arthur Weasley having a charmed Ford Anglia is against the rules and he's considered weird for liking Muggle tech. It's just a weird plot hole.
4 Canon That Makes No Sense: The "No Magic for Students" Spell Was Only A Thing When Harry Potter Needed A Conflict To Overcome
We all know that kids aren't allowed to use magic outside of Hogwarts, but the rules for how this is enforced are remarkably vague, and they raise questions as to who is being targeted by this rule. The way the Ministry goes after Harry for using magic beyond his set level of schooling, you'd think he committed a war crime.
However, kids who grow up in magical environments are always around magic or using magical devices because that's what they grew up around. Do parents need to avoid using magic around their school-age kids to avoid setting this off? How do kids in the Muggle World do their summer homework without setting this off? The rule seems smart and a way to maintain secrecy, but it raises more questions than it saves the kids.
3 Canon That Makes No Sense: Everything About Dementors
Considering how brooding and moody pre-teens and teenagers can be, there was no reason any adult should have allowed Dementors into the school. Yes, Dementors are the guardians of Azkaban and would be helpful in tracking down Sirius Black, but there was no reason for them to be anywhere near the school and definitely not anywhere where they could get to the kids.
That being said, what even are Dementors and how did the wizarding world get them to even guard Azkaban in the first place? These beings of despair answering to regular humans and acting as their tools or subordinates makes even less sense considering how they suck the life and joy out of people. I want answers on this one more than most of these questions, actually.
2 Canon That Makes No Sense: How Can You Curse A Job?
Let me get this straight: a young Voldemort went out of his way to curse a job because he couldn't have it, making everyone in that position only hold the job for a year before something bad happens. That's fine and all, but there were ways to circumvent that. Dumbledore, upon deducing that a curse was put on, specifically, the Defense Against The Dark Arts position, could have simply renamed it!
It wouldn't even have to be too out there, either, considering how much emphasis is put on pronouncing words correctly and even a syllable out of place being enough to derail a spell. Accuracy matters, so if the DADA teacher position was named something like "Combative Magic Teacher," that would have been the end of the curse right there. One title change and the kids could still be getting taught by Lupin, which is the real tragedy here.
1 Canon That Makes No Sense: If There Are Wizard Schools In Other Countries, Are There Other Governments?
With all the different schools that are coming out of Pottermore in different countries around the world, this raises a major question: where are the other governments? Are the other wizarding governments around the world Ministries of Magic as well? Do they communicate with each other? If they do, why don't they help each other put down major threats so we don't have Voldemorts and evil Johnny Depps running around and antagonizing people?
This is actually my message to J.K. Rowling on the subject: I would very happy with a world-building book that specifically delves into the political climate of all the magical governments and a history of their creation, and how they communicate with each other. I don't know if anyone else is interested in the political science of Harry Potter, but I know I am, if only to answer these burning, unanswered questions.