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Auntie Slag
2014-01-02, 12:03 PM
The final Harry Potter was on TV yesterday. It makes for decent background noise, and now they seem to like repeating it as often as Bond films. But I have a few questions about Harry Potter generally:

1) Parents are happy to send their kids to a school where they could die? i.e. fighting dragons, drowning, quidditch, giant spiders, a sodding tree that eats you etc. The school seems to be full of death traps for the kids to fall into.

2) Is Voldemort's plan to take over a school?

3) By the final film Hogwarts is pretty much destroyed and lots of people are dead, including schoolkids. Presumably nobody passed exams that year because the school was in ruins. Yet despite the death toll Hogwarts is reconstructed and people continue sending their kids to this dangerous place where, even without the presence of Voldemort, they could still die during normal lessons?

4) Every single wand spell seems to be an instant macguffin. Cast a quick spell so as you're falling through the air you stop centimetres before hitting the ground. Cast a different spell and the victim acquiesces to everything you say. Okay, fine... but none of these spells are ever mentioned until the time they're needed on screen, so its not like you have a hope of guessing how they're going to get out of a certain predicament because it's instantly solved with a nonsensical spell.

Were the books as ropey as this? Presumably not, but from the films it seems like kids spend a year in school, learn one spell per year and that's enough to get them through everything!

HotShot81
2014-01-02, 03:12 PM
I read the books years ago, so my memories might not be that great.

1) Harry Potter and his gang usually step outside the rules. I suspect they are exposed to a higher danger rate than average kids.

2)Voldemort's end game is world dominion by those who use magic, and he wants to be immortal.

3) See number #1.

4) It's like any franchise, the new/more powerful toys are broken out as needed.

I think the whole point of Hogswart is A) The kids need to socialize. B) They need training with their gifts, and understand the world they are in.

Would you really want kids who could launch say fireballs while blowing their nose in a conventional classroom? Or would you prefer them in a school where there is staff properly trained there to handle that, and anything else outside what we consider normal?

Auntie Slag
2014-01-02, 03:22 PM
Actually yeah, the fireballs and blowing noses thing sounds like the perfect solution.

A higher danger rate than average kids? There's a carnivorous tree on school grounds with no fence around it. In the final film they cast gigantic shields over the entire school like the Gungans final battle in Episode I. And no staff member ever thinks to cast a little shield over the kid-eating tree? Or a Groundskeeper Willie style 'Caution: Well' sign?

I'd say the kids are all in the same danger as Harry and his wacky crew.

Thanks for the Voldemort answer though.

My point is the internal logic doesn't work. A writer can manage this. Roald Dahl managed this I'm sure.

Denyer
2014-01-02, 07:05 PM
“You can’t give her that!” she screamed. “It’s not safe!”

IT’S A SWORD, said the Hogfather. THEY’RE NOT MEANT TO BE SAFE.

“She’s a child!” shouted Crumley.

IT’S EDUCATIONAL.

“What if she cuts herself?”

THAT WILL BE AN IMPORTANT LESSON.

HotShot81
2014-01-02, 07:38 PM
My Transformer nut has a question.

Voldemort VS Megatron. Who is your money on for taking over the world?

I've got to give it to Megatron. He has better troops, and has been at it longer. He has in theory the ability to take over and hold the world, while Voldemort, well he might be immortal, but he doesn't have the best of troops. I mean the cons kept going after Megatron went farming, while Voldemort's people went into hiding.

Notabot
2014-01-03, 04:58 AM
Megatron has been failing for millions of years despite vast troops. He's the Detroit Lions of world domination.

As for the Harry Potter books, I read them a few years back out of curiosity, and had some of the same questions about safety and deus ex machina spells as you did. I also was thinking about how much trouble, confusion, and death could have been avoided if Harry had just not been such a jerk to Snape after finding out that Harry's dad was a bully to him. A simple, "Hey, I'm really sorry about what my dad did to you. I don't blame you for hating him, but can we get along?" Ultimately, though, all the kids are total jerks at one point or another. But I guess if they did the normal, rational, responsible thing, it wouldn't make for much of a story, would it?

inflatable dalek
2014-01-03, 03:36 PM
The trick with the Potter films is to remember they're a metaphor for Vietnam, then they make perfect sense.

Warcry
2014-01-03, 04:04 PM
Voldemort VS Megatron. Who is your money on for taking over the world?
Voldemort would have been finished as soon as he ran into a couple guys with hunting rifles. The story's magic, for all it's flash and excitement, is far less effective at killing people than mundane modern technology. And the wizards' reliance on it and shunning of knowledge of the Muggle world (the villains especially are guilty of this but even most of Harry's allies are hopelessly naive) means that the Death Eaters would severely underestimate their non-magical enemies and the vast majority of them would wind up dying before they had a chance to learn their lesson.

Ultimately, though, all the kids are total jerks at one point or another. But I guess if they did the normal, rational, responsible thing, it wouldn't make for much of a story, would it?
They're kids. If they behaved rationally, it would be even more fantastical than the wizarding parts of the story. :)

Paul053
2014-01-03, 07:17 PM
After my daughter finish the 7th book, I'm going to sell all of them. Does any one interest in buying? That shelf space works much better for displaying Transformers :lol:

Seriously, I've never forced myself to finish a book so hard and so careless like these books. Not even my high school textbooks.

Summerhayes
2014-01-11, 08:39 PM
I think it's because I was at just the right age when I read/ watched them all but I never had any issue with all the various suspensions of disbelief. You guys are too old, you don't understand!

Voldemort would have been finished as soon as he ran into a couple guys with hunting rifles. The story's magic, for all it's flash and excitement, is far less effective at killing people than mundane modern technology.
A couple of times, I thought Harry should have just gone home one summer and learned karate and bought a gun. Then the next time he was separated from his and he wouldn't be absolutely useless.
But yeah, megs could **** up Voldemort no problem.

inflatable dalek
2014-01-19, 02:02 AM
The current Paranormal Activity film actually ends with the lead characters (or at least their gangster friends) tooling up properly before going to take on the evil witch coven.

Suffice to say the net result shows why taking guns to a magic fight wouldn't really be a good idea.

"insert name here"
2014-03-04, 02:31 AM
I've been lurking and you will have to excuse my middle of the night typing (or not) but I can't resist the chance to comment on Harry Potter related issues. The reason the school seems so dangerous but actually isn't is quite simply that in the magical world the only real 'true death' is from the advarda kerdva spell or a curse, both of which are forbidden to use for all witches and wizards and this is what divides the good guys from the bad guys. If you had a potion you could drink that would fix a broken bone on the spot, you would be a lot less worried about engaging in dangerous activity where you might break a bone.

Auntie Slag
2014-03-05, 10:50 AM
Ah ok, so there is an internal logic & the advarda kerdva spell is the magical equivalent of a bullet to the head! And everything else is like taking a few knocks in Rugby, all part of a healthy education and all that.

If this was made clear in the books then its only the films that are guilty of being rather stupid (on this point).

Thanks Insert Name Here.:)

angloconvoy
2014-03-05, 11:48 AM
The current Paranormal Activity film actually ends with....

Cheers for the spolier!

I couldn't finish the first Harry Potter book. Found the films entertaining enough from the third on, but every criticism levelled in this thread seems fair.