Here's Why Harry Potter Doesn't See Thestrals Before Cedric's Death

Here's Why Harry Potter Doesn't See Thestrals Before Cedric's Death
Image credit: Legion-Media

Fans have once again been looking into one of the oldest plot holes in the Harry Potter series.

J. K. Rowling's magical universe has always attracted scores of fans with its fantastic beasts, ancient mysteries and incredible magic, with people always wanting more books, films and games. And while the main target audience of the franchise is teenagers, adult topics are also quite common on the pages of this bestselling series.

Morality's always featured prominently in the story of the boy who lived, and the creature that embodies it best is the Thestral.

Thestrals look like horses with skeletal bodies and huge black bat-like wings. They were once native to the British Isles, but at the time the book's events take place, they are extremely rare and an endangered species. Some wizards never get to see Thestrals in their lifetime because a person can only see them if they have seen another person die.

Harry first sees Thestrals after watching Cedric Diggory die, and when Ron tells him he's never seen a Thestral, Harry freaks out.

Naturally, he later learns more about Thestrals and, at one point, even rides one to quickly get to London, but most of his friends never get to see Thestrals as they've never seen another human being die. Thestrals are a clever plot device that J. K. Rowling used to talk about how people deal with loss, but there is one question that has been bugging fans for years now: why does Harry only see Thestrals after Cedric's death?

Here's Why Harry Potter Doesn't See Thestrals Before Cedric's Death - image 1

We all know that Harry saw his mother die as a kid, so it stands to reason that he should have been able to see Thestrals for most of his life. Over on Reddit, fans were quick to point out that one has to understand the significance of death to be able to see Thestrals after watching someone die and that, as a kid, Harry would have had little idea what it was he was seeing, so Thestrals remained hidden from him.

So, it's not really a plot hole but a lack of exposition on J. K. Rowling's part.