8 Harry Potter Plot Holes Nobody's Been Talking About

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8 odd questions about the world of The Boy Who Lived.

1. Villains don't use the Unbreakable Vow

We learn about the Unbreakable Vow in Book 6: it's a special spell that seals your oath in a tricky way so that if you break it, you die instantly. Given the nature of the spell, it's surprising that Voldemort never used it on his followers. He definitely wouldn't feel sorry to take the life of a traitor, and those who took the vow would stay loyal in fear of losing their lives. Perhaps he was too busy? That's a weak explanation, considering he had enough time to give a Dark Mark to each Death Eater.

2. Sirius and Bellatrix got their wands back

Despite their different personalities and worldviews, the cousins share a common fate. Both were sentenced to life imprisonment in Azkaban for committing crimes in the name of Voldemort. Sirius, who was unjustly convicted, escaped after a 12-year imprisonment, and Bellatrix spent two more years in Azkaban. But there's a less obvious thing these characters have in common: they both somehow got their wands back.

Azkaban prisoners aren't allowed to keep their wands (otherwise, they'd be off on the run the next minute). While we don't know what happens to the inmates' wands, we can assume they're either hidden or destroyed — why keep the wand of a wizard who will spend the rest of their life in Azkaban? Nevertheless, both Sirius and Bellatrix manage to break free from detention and keep their wands too. The idea that the two wanted criminals could go down to Diagon Alley to buy new wands seems unlikely.

3. Student surveillance outside of Hogwarts makes no sense

The Ministry of Magic monitors young wizards to ensure they don't do magic in places full of Muggles. However, if someone did use magic in the presence of a minor, they can't tell exactly who did it. When the house-elf Dobby uses magic at Harry's house, suspicion still falls on Potter. What's the point of this oversight anyway? Wouldn't it be easier to have the parents or guardians control their children?

4. Thestrals pull carriages

In Order of the Phoenix, we learn that the carriages at Hogwarts don't move on their own. They are pulled by Thestrals — creepy horse-like creatures that are visible only to those who have witnessed someone's death. Among the students, only Harry and Luna can see them. Now the question is, does the school really need these sinister creatures at all? Is there really no other way to transport students? Unless the Hogwarts staff want to taunt children who suffered loss, they should just enchant the carriages!

5. Mysterious living portraits

If you think about it, the nature of living portraits remains completely unclear. While some act like GIF images (remember chocolate frog cards or photos in newspapers), others are able to interact with people and leave their frames to go elsewhere. We know from the books that a person can teach their portrait so that the image retains some important features of the owner's personality. But you can hardly expect these "trained" portraits to give any good advice, for their knowledge of the situation is always limited to what they have previously learned. Do portraits have self-awareness? Are they autonomous in their judgments? J. K. Rowling left these questions unanswered.

6. Living in the magical world is not easy

The magical world seems nice to us because it's very different from what we are used to. Magicians can travel through fireplaces, exercise by flying on a broomstick, and do other incredible things. At the same time, they are almost completely cut off from the Muggle world because of the Statute of Secrecy, which has turned the magical community into a completely isolated system. This is why wizards are unaware of many Muggle inventions, even though some of them could make their lives a lot easier. For example, using quill and parchment looks great on the screen, but imagine writing an essay and dipping the quill in the ink every five seconds — that really dispels the aesthetic charms.

7. Keys are still keys

When we first meet Hagrid, he refers to himself as the Keeper of Keys at Hogwarts. Later, when Harry first visits Gringotts Bank, he absolutely needs the key to the vault — there's no other way to get in. Rowling hasn't explained why keys are so important as physical objects. Throughout the series, we have seen doors being locked using different wizardly means, so the good old key seems superfluous and outdated. Also, since wizards deliberately abandon many Muggle inventions, why are they so persistent with using keys?

8. How do young wizards and witches learn math and reading?

Hogwarts doesn't teach any of the curricula we are used to, so it's unlikely that students can learn basic math and reading skills within its walls. Muggle children get to study these subjects in regular schools, while children of wizarding parents are homeschooled before they go to Hogwarts. This means that the Ministry of Magic believes that all wizard parents are qualified enough to teach their kids to read, write, and count until grade five. Honestly, it's a miracle that all the children at Hogwarts can actually write their homework.