Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 was finally released, marking the end of the Boy Wizard's cinematic journey. Having read all of the books, seen all of the films, and having grown up as a member of Generation Potter, there are all sorts of things that I could write for the occasion. I could talk about how the series got a whole group of young people reading again, or how deeply the lexicon of the magical world has infiltrated popular culture. Better yet, I could rank each of the movies and books, or even discuss the jaw-dropping number of box office records the new film shattered over the weekend (biggest midnight showing ever, biggest single day ever, biggest domestic opening ever, biggest foreign opening ever, biggest world-wide opening ever). But I'm not going to do those things (save the mini-list you just read), and you know why? Because everyone's doing it!
So, I'm going to celebrate the passing of Potter in my own way: by making fun of it! The following is a list of 25 things within the world of Harry Potter that simply don't add up. Feel free to leave a comment below disputing any of my claims, or, better yet, adding to the list. Enjoy:
Sure, us Muggles seem to be a bit more weary of our safety than your average wizard, but would anyone in their right mind really feel secure riding for miles on end at top speeds and sizable heights on something that doesn't even have handles, let alone seat belts? And what about the splinters? Wouldn't your hands get sweaty and slippery with only a small wooden cylinder to hold on to? On a different level, why do witches and wizards even know about brooms, anyways? Surely they have more graceful, effective methods of cleaning their dungeon floors. Most importantly, given how riding a bike feels after extended periods, wouldn't broom riding reeeeeeeeeeally be murder on your butt? Just sayin'...
2. Three unforgivable curses, one unbeatable
For all of the curses and counter-curses that exist within J.K. Rowling's universe, wouldn't you think there would be more than one with the power to kill? Doesn't it get a little dull for Voldemort to use the same two words to wipe out every last person? Even us non-magical folk have figured out more than one way to rub someone out.
As if being besties with The Chosen One isn't cool enough, Ron and Hermione save the lives of everyone in the school on a seemingly yearly basis. Why aren't these kids way, way, way more popular? Everyone treats Ron like a doofy, red-headed stepchild, and Hermione like a know-it-all bookworm. I don't know about your school, but where I grew up, saving the world on the regular would yield much greater rewards. Harry and Ron can't even find dates to the Yule Ball!?! In real life, they would be crawling with ladies. Hermione, on the other-hand, might prove too intimidating to go after. Ah, gender roles...
4. Is Lily Potter really the very first person to take the bullet for someone in the wizarding world?
OK, so, Harry is the only person to ever survive the Avada Kedavra curse, and it was because his mother sacrificed her life out of love for him. That all checks out. But hasn't anyone tried that before? There are two incidences of half-bood genocide over the course of just 20 years, and not a single person in the Harry Potter universe has even tried taking the bullet for a loved one? What a selfish lot!
5. Quiddich: the worst sport of all time
Leave it to the wizarding world to invent a game even worse than Soccer. Sure, Quiddich is fun, and exciting, and what not, but its scoring system is nothing short of moronic. Goals are worth 10 points, and catching the snitch is worth 150? Unless you're a seeker, why bother even trying? As long as you're not losing by a whopping 16 GOALS, you're golden. And don't bring up Krum catching it early at the world cup: Purposely losing a game is called quitting, not being honorable.
6. All that magic and you're still wearing glasses...
Seriously, they can literally grow back entire skeletons in a night's time, and yet no one has figured out a spell or potion to cure poor eye-sight? Maybe it's just a fashion thing, but fixing Harry's vision should be as easy as swish and flick.
7. Who gives a rip about Jesus; we can do MAGIC!
Witches and wizards can literally defy the most basic and essential tenant of physics by creating matter, and yet they still celebrate Christmas? Turning water into wine is probably a spell that you learn in your third year, and with the ghosts ever-lurking around castle corridors, I can't imagine conquering death seems all that cool, either. Maybe they only celebrate the Santa/Coca-Cola Christmas.
8. Have fun at Hogwarts, kids. We'll see you in the afterlife
Another year, another threat to every living thing inside the walls of Hogwarts. How can all of these parents feel good about continuously placing their children's lives at risk? Do they not know what happens in the castle? Are there no parent-teacher meetings? The second I heard the words, 'giant, hostile, three-headed dog,' my off-spiring would be headed for Durmstrang.
9. Spring: A Wizard's most dangerous season
Spring is a rough school season even in real life: You can almost feel the warm rays of summer on your back, and yet you have to focus on all of your final tests and most daunting projects. But that's nothing compared to the experiences of Harry, Ron and Hermione, who narrowly escape death as a seasonal occasion. Seriously, Harry's life is in danger at the end of literally every school year. I suppose the other two have it a bit easier, but almost meeting your demise during your 11th, 12th, 15th, and 17th springs is nothing to scoff at. As soon as winter starts thawing out, you'd better hide.
10. Dumbledore: wise and inspiring figure, poor talent evaluator
Dumbledore might be one of the greatest wizards to ever live, but he couldn't differentiate a good teacher from a bad one if his life depended on it. Seriously, six different Defense Against the Dark Arts teachers in six years? That's a pretty rough track record, especially when one is a talentless fraud, another is a werewolf, and two are acting under the direction of the Dark Lord. Sure, he gets as pass on ministry-imposed Dolores Umbridge, but that doesn't make up for hiring a fake like Trelawney, or a leech like Slughorn. Seriously, Dumbledore: You need to do more extensive background checks.
11. Voldemort: powerful wizard, lousy strategist
He may be the most feared wizard in the world, but Voldemort has a pronounced tendency to act first, and think second. Trust Draco Malfoy to kill Dumbledore: seriously? You're sending a 16-year-old to murder your biggest rival? I know you want to crush the Malfoy family into submission, but aren't there less important tasks to do it with? And if Voldy knows all about the prophecy and the date of birth that it singles out, why doesn't he make sure to kill Neville, just in case? Maybe that would be a good job for Draco! For such a leader of men, old Tom Riddle is pretty lousy at the crossing T's and dotting I's kinda stuff.
12. What a surprise: The Tri-Wizard Tournament killed someone!
Sure, no one could have predicted that Cedric Diggory would be snuffed by Voldemort at the end of the final challenge, but you had to expect someone to bite the dust during this contest. 16-year-olds versus full-grown, fire-breathing dragons, and murderous merpeople? It's a miracle you didn't kill all of these kids! Count your blessing, and then lower your standards.
13. Breaking out of Azkaban is inexplicably time-consuming
Not to hate on Sirius Black or anything, but what took you so long? If all it took was losing a bit of weight and slipping into dog form, couldn't he have just starved himself for a few months, and made a break for it straight-away? Also, is Sirius the first Animagus ever imprisoned at Azkaban? Seems unlikely, and yet those oh-so-powerful Dementors saw a dog running through the halls and didn't think twice about it.
14. That's no way to treat The Boy Who Lived!
Not to be sacrilegious about it or anything, but isn't Harry something of a Christ-figure in the world he inhabits? Do you really think that the masses would side with a smarmy politician like Minister Fudge against the person responsible for returning order and peace to their world? Come on, Seamus, you'd be dead without this kid, he's saved the school twice already, and you're still not going to take him at his word? Tough crowd...
15. Where's the (magical) Beef?
A bit silly, but if wizards have awesome candy and vaguely alcoholic drinks, why isn't there more wizard-specific food served at Hogwarts? Chicken legs and potatoes again? That's muggle-fodder. Let's get some hippogriph wings up in here!
16. Can we get a head-count?
How many magical people are there in the world? Hogwarts seems to educate anywhere between 200 to 1,000 students at a time, depending on the filmic adaptation, and only two other schools are ever mentioned. Yet there's a fully-staffed political system, and even populous enough to make the Quiddich World Cup a multi-national event. Where are they all hiding, and don't they all need educations too?
17. Will someone give Bartie Crouch an Oscar already?
I'm sure that Bartie Crouch did his fair share of homework before deciding to impersonate one of the most iconic wizards around for an entire year, but seriously, no one figured it out? His mannerisms and voice were sooo spot on that even those who had known Mad Eye Moody for years didn't think twice? That's a tough voice to impersonate, and even trickier body-language. Hats off to the mystical world's finest thespian.
I'm known to admire a ginger girl or two, but there's something in those Weasley genes that seems to knock just about everyone off their feet. Much has been made about goofy old Ron landing a wip-smart, adventure-seeking babe like Hermione, but that's just the tip of the ice burg. Ginny ends up with the savior of the world, and big brother Bill bags Fleur Delacour, a woman whose beauty makes everyone around her go weak at the knees. Not bad for a bunch of copper-tops.
19. Sure, Harry, the Durselys will keep you safe!
I understand that the Dursely's are Harry's legal guardians, but do you really think sending him back to the Muggle world is such a good idea? Voldemort has an easy enough time getting to the boy wizard as is. Somehow I don't think he would find the prospect of facing down Vernon and Petunia all that daunting.
20. I've heard of peaking early, but this is ridiculous!
You know that kid who was really, really cool in high school, and then didn't end up amounting to much thereafter? That's everyone at Hogwarts. I'm sure that vanquishing evil a handful of times before you can even buy cigarettes might make grown-up life kind of boring, but do you really think that each and every single one of your buddies would end up marrying the person they were dating in prep-school? Even Voldemort, the most powerful wizard around, hid half his sole within the school, encased in various Hogwarts swag and merchandise. Get over it, dude.
21. Ministry of Magic=House of Cards
I understand that the ministry was under some pretty extreme pressure, but would it really only take a few months to secretly over-throw an entire government? As late into the story as the end of the sixth book, the Ministry is still a no-no to all things Voldemort. A few months later, they've got a freakin' statue dedicated to Muggle abuse right outside the door. In the future, more amendments might help.
When I see a large flock of birds flying above me, I look for cover. The kids at Hogwarts: they just finish their dinner. Seriously, no bird poops or even sheds wings as they deliver letters night after night? And what about Bird-Flu? How is this not a health code violation?
23. I may hate Half-Bloods, but deep down, I'm color-blind
In a world just as preoccupied with establishing and prolonging prejudices based on heritage as we are, isn't it strange that no one cares about race? Especially little Draco, the perfect Aryan, who uses the term, 'Mud-Blood,' in every other sentence. Good news for Kingsley Shackbolt, I suppose.
24. It's Friday Night, Let's...
It's alluded to at points, but it sure seems like the wizarding world is woefully lacking in the pop-culture department. Yeah, if I could do magic, I suppose summer blockbuster movies wouldn't be quite as cool, but what about music? How does one even listen to recorded music without electricity? Are the only people who are famous those who have actually accomplished something of meaning? Well, that kind of sounds quite nice, but still, what do people talk about/spend their free time on if not books (not textbooks), movies, and music?
25. It's like sword-fighting, only lame and non-sensical
This seems to be the whipping-boy of the Harry Potter universe of late, and why not? What exactly is going on during a wand duel? Some of them seem to consist of actual spell-casting, but often, and especially the ones between Harry and Voldemort, they look like two people trying to pull a magnet off of something. Is the wand doing all the work for you? And how is it exactly that you win? Do you just have to want it more or something? I guess we'll never know...