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Plot holes, inconsistencies, and contradictions v. 4



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 18th, 2011, 6:53 pm
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Plot holes, inconsistencies, and contradictions v. 4

Still more plot holes to find, it seems...


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Quote:
Originally Posted by inthebreeze View Post
An inconsistency that's always slightly bothered me is the rarity of the Parselmouth ability. In Chamber of Secrets Diarymort says that him and Harry are likely the only two Parselmouths to come to Hogwarts since Salazar Slytherin himself. That is what, three people that can talk to snakes in a thousand years? Sure, there's other wizarding schools and plenty of other witches and wizards that could have that ability, but Dumbledore tells Harry that there are Parselmouths among the great and the good as well. I always took that to mean there were good wizards that could talk to snakes as well, but we never hear of them. Possibly, Dumbledore was just referencing that Harry could do it and he wasn't a dark wizard, and if that's what Dumbledore means then that's a bit disappointing.


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  #2  
Old July 18th, 2011, 7:12 pm
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Re: Plot holes, inconsistencies, and contradictions v. 4

inthebreeze -- perhaps the only Parselmouths are direct descendants from Slytherin himself? It doesn't seem like the Gaunts went to Hogwarts, from the memory we got of them--at least not that generation. Perhaps that line, which is the only family of Parselmouths we know of in the books, stopped going to Hogwarts several generations back? I'm not positive this 100% explains it, but it might work.


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Old July 18th, 2011, 7:23 pm
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Re: Plot holes, inconsistencies, and contradictions v. 4

I'd forgotten about the Gaunts, that's a good point. I was just thinking that we hear Dumbledore mention the ability on a few occasions, and he seems to imply it's an ability roughly as uncommon as being a metamorphmagus - that there are very few of them, but they aren't so rare that it only shows up in one or two people every century. Dumbledore tells Riddle in the orphanage that it's 'rare, but not unheard of'. It seems that other people talk of Parselmouths like they are ridiculously rare, but Dumbledore talks about it like it is less so, and as Dumbledore is so wise and learned and all the rest of it, I always took that to mean he knew better, that he was right. It's just that we don't learn about enough Parselmouths to make him right.


  #4  
Old July 18th, 2011, 7:46 pm
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Re: Plot holes, inconsistencies, and contradictions v. 4

Quote:
Originally Posted by inthebreeze
An inconsistency that's always slightly bothered me is the rarity of the Parselmouth ability. In Chamber of Secrets Diarymort says that him and Harry are likely the only two Parselmouths to come to Hogwarts since Salazar Slytherin himself. That is what, three people that can talk to snakes in a thousand years? Sure, there's other wizarding schools and plenty of other witches and wizards that could have that ability, but Dumbledore tells Harry that there are Parselmouths among the great and the good as well. I always took that to mean there were good wizards that could talk to snakes as well, but we never hear of them. Possibly, Dumbledore was just referencing that Harry could do it and he wasn't a dark wizard, and if that's what Dumbledore means then that's a bit disappointing.
There were other Parselmouths - the entire Gaunt family could speak Parseltongue as we see in HBP. However, it does not appear that they actually attended Hogwarts so Diarymort's statement was not contradicted by that. So we're not looking at only three Parselmouths in over 1000 years. It was just a very rare gift that seems to have primarily been passed down through the Slytherin line. Voldemort was the last of that line.

Not only was Parseltongue a rare gift, it was also one that many associated with the Dark Arts. That would make some people reluctant to admit they could speak Parseltongue I think. If Harry had known he was speaking a different language and that his fellow students would wonder if he was a Dark Wizard because of it, he might have been hesitant about using that gift in front of everyone. Not that he wouldn't do it to save Justin from the snake, but he might have hesitated and considered what people would think about it. Parseltongue wasn't a gift that others would recognize unless they actually heard someone speak it so I can see quite a few slipping by unnoticed simply because they were careful never to use the language in the presence of others.

Dumbledore may have been referencing himself with that comment - though whether or not he could actually speak the language is not clear. He could understand it though so it is possible he could speak it as well. Harry could only speak it because he had a fragment of Voldemort's soul inside him so I'm not sure if he was referencing Harry or just trying to reassure him there. However, I don't think Dumbledore was referring entirely to the present either. Considering that Parseltongue was such a rare gift and Voldemort was the last living descendent of the Slytherin line, I think it is plausible that he and Harry were the only two Parselmouths at that time with other Parselmouths among the great and good from the past.


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Old July 19th, 2011, 12:47 am
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Re: Plot holes, inconsistencies, and contradictions v. 4

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abbsalah View Post
inthebreeze -- perhaps the only Parselmouths are direct descendants from Slytherin himself? It doesn't seem like the Gaunts went to Hogwarts, from the memory we got of them--at least not that generation. Perhaps that line, which is the only family of Parselmouths we know of in the books, stopped going to Hogwarts several generations back? I'm not positive this 100% explains it, but it might work.
That's what I always thought, too. It makes sense if only his descendants can speak Parseltongue, and the fact that none of them went to Hogwarts fits because it would make Voldemort the first heir to Slytherin to open the Chamber.


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Old July 20th, 2011, 5:36 am
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Re: Plot holes, inconsistencies, and contradictions v. 4

One thing I've noticed about JKR is that her ends aren't always neatly tied up. She leaves a lot of loose ends. In my opinion. Tolkien seems to close the loops more closely, he seems to have definite beginnings and ends and answers to questions. Jo's seem to end up asking more and more questions and possibilities. I don't know if that's a weakness or fault, but sometimes I feel it is, and I love her stories so much, I don't want to question it too much, because I love them so. Still, it lacks some of the satisfaction of Tolkiens completed story lines.


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Old July 20th, 2011, 6:40 am
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Re: Plot holes, inconsistencies, and contradictions v. 4

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajna View Post
One thing I've noticed about JKR is that her ends aren't always neatly tied up. She leaves a lot of loose ends. In my opinion. Tolkien seems to close the loops more closely, he seems to have definite beginnings and ends and answers to questions. Jo's seem to end up asking more and more questions and possibilities. I don't know if that's a weakness or fault, but sometimes I feel it is, and I love her stories so much, I don't want to question it too much, because I love them so. Still, it lacks some of the satisfaction of Tolkiens completed story lines.
Were there any particular loose ends you were thinking of ajna?


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  #8  
Old July 20th, 2011, 6:41 am
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Re: Plot holes, inconsistencies, and contradictions v. 4

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajna View Post
One thing I've noticed about JKR is that her ends aren't always neatly tied up. She leaves a lot of loose ends. In my opinion. Tolkien seems to close the loops more closely, he seems to have definite beginnings and ends and answers to questions. Jo's seem to end up asking more and more questions and possibilities. I don't know if that's a weakness or fault, but sometimes I feel it is, and I love her stories so much, I don't want to question it too much, because I love them so. Still, it lacks some of the satisfaction of Tolkiens completed story lines.
Well, to be honest, I'm glad, though this isn't really a plot hole, etc.

Tolkien did wrap absolutely everything up, but for a lot of the things, you had to consult outside resources, and even the closed up storylines within LOTR began to get tedious for many readers.

I think that JKR did leave a lot of things incompletely explained, but I think that the world she invented, given the whole new science of magic, was so very complex that this was a good thing, in that it made it easier for her to avoid inconsistencies. In addition, it allows a lot of room for imagination on behalf of the reader.

I find that a lot of the time, the gaps in explanation don't really get in the way of the story in HP, and usually enough information is there to provide a reasonable explanation.


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  #9  
Old July 20th, 2011, 6:45 am
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Re: Plot holes, inconsistencies, and contradictions v. 4

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajna View Post
One thing I've noticed about JKR is that her ends aren't always neatly tied up. She leaves a lot of loose ends. In my opinion. Tolkien seems to close the loops more closely, he seems to have definite beginnings and ends and answers to questions. Jo's seem to end up asking more and more questions and possibilities. I don't know if that's a weakness or fault, but sometimes I feel it is, and I love her stories so much, I don't want to question it too much, because I love them so. Still, it lacks some of the satisfaction of Tolkiens completed story lines.
Hm... That's interesting because I would say exactly the opposite! (I don't mean that in a way to say that I think LotR is inferior in any way--I love both series. In the spirit of full discloser, I will admit that I'm a bigger Potter fan--but I'm not trying to say one is better.) I remember when I first starting reading LotR, I had such a hard time keeping track of all of the names, characters, and stories that get mentioned, until my friend pointed out that a lot of them were not going to play a large part in the story. It was just part of Middle Earth, which Tolkien fleshed out so fully.

I think the loose ends Jo leaves are mostly just things she overlooked. There are a few which are intentional, I think, (Albus Severus--Gryffindor or Slytherin?), but most I think just never fit into the books (the Dept. of Mysteries???). Everything else, though, wraps up all together in such an awesome bundle. I think that's one of JKR's greatest strengths--making sure everything all comes together. Tolkien is a supreme world builder and Middle Earth is truly impressive--but some of the details that come up in the books never really come to anything.


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Old July 20th, 2011, 6:49 pm
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Re: Plot holes, inconsistencies, and contradictions v. 4

Do you think Harry lost the ability to speak parseltongue when Voldy's soul was removed from his body?

Also, I don't think that I would call not knowing Albus Severus's school house a plot hole. To be quite honest - there is no reason why he would be sorted into Slytherin. Harry was only considered for it because the Sorting Hat was reading Voldy's soul in Harry. The soul is gone now so it couldn't have been passed down to Albus.

You're not going to get sorted into a house based on being named after another wizard. If that was the case, wizards would never use the same name twice - or name their kid after a wizard who was in the house of their choice. Being named after some one does not say anything about the person's character.


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Old July 20th, 2011, 7:05 pm
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Re: Plot holes, inconsistencies, and contradictions v. 4

Quote:
Originally Posted by liveitup1 View Post
Do you think Harry lost the ability to speak parseltongue when Voldy's soul was removed from his body?
If I remember correctly, JKR herself said in an interview that he could no longer speak Parsel, and didn't miss it.


I agree that the Department of Mysteries remains a huge plot hole. Some say everything has been explained and said about it, but I still don't get it. To me it seems like she was going to deal more with it in later books but then forgot about it. I don't see why she would introduce it and leave a lot of details about it unexplained if she didn't want to tell more about it later. (Also: She one said in an interview that Sirius' death has a reason that would become obvious in later books. What was that? I know about all the "he had to die to keep the protagonist Harry attractive" etc theories, but did that become obvious as you read along? I don't think so)

Another thing that remains curious for me: Religion in the books! Is the wizard world religious? They do celebrate Christmas in Hogwarts, so I figure Hogwarts is Christian, also, they have tombos with crosses and all that.
(I hope no one feels offended by this, so if you're very religious, don't read on): But then the idea of religion in the wizard world seems strange to me. Do they consider Jesus a muggle? If so, why don't they have more respect for muggles and are so estranged?

Also, don't know if it belongs here, but what country is Durmstrang located in? Is it an international school for Eastern European countries?

Another thing I never understood:


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Old July 20th, 2011, 10:36 pm
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Re: Plot holes, inconsistencies, and contradictions v. 4

Quote:
Originally Posted by willfitz View Post

Tolkien did wrap absolutely everything up, but for a lot of the things, you had to consult outside resources, and even the closed up storylines within LOTR began to get tedious for many readers.
Who are these "many readers"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quaphasia View Post
Another thing that remains curious for me: Religion in the books! Is the wizard world religious? They do celebrate Christmas in Hogwarts, so I figure Hogwarts is Christian, also, they have tombos with crosses and all that.
(I hope no one feels offended by this, so if you're very religious, don't read on): But then the idea of religion in the wizard world seems strange to me. Do they consider Jesus a muggle? If so, why don't they have more respect for muggles and are so estranged?
Religion is kept mostly off stage, which works well IMO. One doesn't have to be Christian to keep Christmas with feasts, decorations, etc. I don't think there is any evidence that Hogwarts "is Christian". Presumably some wizards can be Christian, judging from the graves, and some belong to other religions and some to none. As for Jesus a muggle - I think you are looking into it too deeply! The author doesn't go there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quaphasia View Post
Also, don't know if it belongs here, but what country is Durmstrang located in? Is it an international school for Eastern European countries?
Northern European?

Quote:
Originally Posted by liveitup1 View Post
Do you think Harry lost the ability to speak parseltongue when Voldy's soul was removed from his body?
That would make sense.


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Old July 20th, 2011, 11:12 pm
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Re: Plot holes, inconsistencies, and contradictions v. 4

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quaphasia View Post

Another thing that remains curious for me: Religion in the books! Is the wizard world religious? They do celebrate Christmas in Hogwarts, so I figure Hogwarts is Christian, also, they have tombos with crosses and all that.
(I hope no one feels offended by this, so if you're very religious, don't read on): But then the idea of religion in the wizard world seems strange to me. Do they consider Jesus a muggle? If so, why don't they have more respect for muggles and are so estranged?
Why wouldn't Jesus have been thought a wizard? Jesus could perform miracles. Miracles (like turning water into wine) would be pretty "wizard-y," so I don't think they would consider him a muggle.


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Old July 20th, 2011, 11:17 pm
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Re: Plot holes, inconsistencies, and contradictions v. 4

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Originally Posted by mrfutterman View Post
Northern European?
I know it's supposed to be Northern, but there are certain things which led me to believe it's more Eastern: First is Viktor Krum, who is Bulgarian, which is everything but Northern... Second is Igor Karkaroff, who, in my opinion, seems to be Russian or something in that direction, at least considering his name and accent. The only Northern European student is Gellert Grindelwald, who is presumabely German or Scandinavian. That's what I thought was strange. Or perhaps Durmstrang just has a very wide catchment area, for many countries.
(Which disappoints me a little, because I always imagined every country to have their own school of witchcraft and wizardry. But as it seems, in the wizard world, I would have been a Durmstrang student. Meh.)


Quote:
Originally Posted by liveitup1 View Post
Do you think Harry lost the ability to speak parseltongue when Voldy's soul was removed from his body?
I found the the interview where she answered that question. It was in the Bloomsbury live chat and can be found at http://www.accio-quote.org/articles/...bury-chat.html


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Old July 21st, 2011, 12:53 am
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Re: Plot holes, inconsistencies, and contradictions v. 4

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quaphasia View Post
Another thing that remains curious for me: Religion in the books! Is the wizard world religious? They do celebrate Christmas in Hogwarts, so I figure Hogwarts is Christian, also, they have tombos with crosses and all that.
(I hope no one feels offended by this, so if you're very religious, don't read on): But then the idea of religion in the wizard world seems strange to me. Do they consider Jesus a muggle? If so, why don't they have more respect for muggles and are so estranged?
Frankly, I don't think that the Muggles and Wizards seem to share many books, so I think they'd be about as aware of the Bible as Harry is of Babbity Rabbity and the Cackling Stump. By the way, there is a thread for discussing religion in the books: Religion in HP v2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrfutterman View Post
Who are these "many readers"?
Quite a diverse group.


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Old July 21st, 2011, 1:53 am
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Re: Plot holes, inconsistencies, and contradictions v. 4

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quaphasia View Post
.

(Also: She one said in an interview that Sirius' death has a reason that would become obvious in later books. What was that? I know about all the "he had to die to keep the protagonist Harry attractive" etc theories, but did that become obvious as you read along? I don't think so)
I have been wondering the same thing...there have been theories about little stuff like harry wouldn't have been able to us Grimmauld place in the seventh book but is that truly why his death was so important? I would have thought the reason (based on what JK said) would have been much more obvious and easily spotted but I can't seem to figure out a definite reason for it

also, another curious thing to me (not really a plot hole, but an inconsistency) is that in HP7 the book, Hermione talks about how she modified her parents memories to make them forget about her and make it their life's ambition to move to Australia, but then a little later in the book when they are in the cafe right after they disapparated from the wedding, the death eaters come and the knock them out...well Harry and Ron both say they've never done a memory charm before, and Hermione also says she's never done a memory charm before but she knows the theory of it...how can that be when she's already modified her parents memories?


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Old July 21st, 2011, 2:00 am
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Re: Plot holes, inconsistencies, and contradictions v. 4

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Originally Posted by Potterwatch93 View Post
I have been wondering the same thing...there have been theories about little stuff like harry wouldn't have been able to us Grimmauld place in the seventh book but is that truly why his death was so important? I would have thought the reason (based on what JK said) would have been much more obvious and easily spotted but I can't seem to figure out a definite reason for it
Actually, I think it is along the lines of Grimmauld Place, but not just that. I think the key thing is Kreacher, and Harry being able to tease out the truth about the locket from him. That was an extremely important revelation, and got the ball temporarily rolling.


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Old July 21st, 2011, 5:04 am
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Re: Plot holes, inconsistencies, and contradictions v. 4

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Originally Posted by willfitz View Post
Frankly, I don't think that the Muggles and Wizards seem to share many books, so I think they'd be about as aware of the Bible as Harry is of Babbity Rabbity and the Cackling Stump.
I don't know about that--after all, both the Dumbledores and the Potters had biblical quotes on their gravestones in the Godric's Hollow cemetery. To me, that suggests that there's at least an awareness of Christian scripture within the British wizarding community. Whether or not religion of any sort is actually practiced is a discussion that does not belong in this thread, so I'm not going there.


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Old July 21st, 2011, 7:12 am
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Re: Plot holes, inconsistencies, and contradictions v. 4

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I don't know about that--after all, both the Dumbledores and the Potters had biblical quotes on their gravestones in the Godric's Hollow cemetery. To me, that suggests that there's at least an awareness of Christian scripture within the British wizarding community. Whether or not religion of any sort is actually practiced is a discussion that does not belong in this thread, so I'm not going there.
Does it, though? I guess it is one of those things everyone will look at differently. I mean, many authors will put allusions to other works into their own, but whether that is meant to be taken as an allusion by the character or an allusion by the author through the character is another matter. I mean, it was never mentioned that the quotes were Biblical references (I'm sure I'm not the only one who only found that out until someone mentioned it on here), so it might just have been a case of JKR having her characters phrase their sentiments in a way that would resonate with a certain portion of her readership.

That said, logistically, I think there would have to be a deal of religion mixed in among the magical world simply because an appreciable portion of the wizarding world will have grown up in muggle households until they were 11, and odds are they would follow whatever religion their parents laid out for them, and, odds are, given their geographical location in the books, that would usually mean at least a basic knowledge of the Bible.


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Old July 21st, 2011, 9:51 am
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Re: Plot holes, inconsistencies, and contradictions v. 4

On the subject of Parseltongue:

Quote:
Originally Posted by inthebreeze View Post
I'd forgotten about the Gaunts, that's a good point. I was just thinking that we hear Dumbledore mention the ability on a few occasions, and he seems to imply it's an ability roughly as uncommon as being a metamorphmagus - that there are very few of them, but they aren't so rare that it only shows up in one or two people every century.
What has always slightly bothered me is the fact that Ron was able to use Parseltongue in DH when he entrered the Chamber of Secrets with Hermione to retrieve Basilisk fangs. Does this mean one can actually learn how to speak Parseltongue? That would mean that one isn't necessarily born with the ability to speak Parseltongue but could also aquire it with the help of someone who speaks it.


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Last edited by colouredshadows; July 21st, 2011 at 9:54 am.
 
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