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Parts of canon you dislike

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Taure, Oct 17, 2020 at 2:18 PM.

  1. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    What discrete, specific parts of the HP canon would you like to quietly swipe under the carpet?

    Some of mine:

    1. JKR's notorious statement about wizards pissing on the floor and vanishing it, before the invention of plumbing. This quote has been overblown and twisted by the fandom - transforming into the idea that wizards shit their pants in front of each other - but even in its accurately stated form, it's a regrettable addition to the canon. And unnecessary - the Romans had plumbing, so I don't see why it's so ridiculous that wizards might use it in the 900s.

    2. JKR's statement that summoned objects travel at the speed of light. It's possible to read this figuratively as simply meaning "very fast" but it's still unfortunate. Given that Dumbledore makes Rosmerta's mead appear out of thin air in HBP, also unnecessary since apparently canon already established the ability to bring objects across long distances instantaneously.

    3. House-elves being bound to a wizarding master. I much prefer the idea of them being bound to a property and the owner of that property having mastery over the elf indirectly.

    4. JKR's reference to a magic gene. I prefer magic heritability to be itself a magical quality.

    5. Gamp's law, and specifically the food exception. Firstly because it nerfs transfiguration. Secondly because it creates all sorts of conceptual problems in attempting to justify within the larger body of how transfiguration works. I don't mind, in principle, the idea that certain things cannot be created using transfiguration (e.g. gold). And I do like the idea that wizards have to grow food, because magical farming is fun. But I think it would work better if creating food with transfiguration was possible but very difficult.

    6. Conjuration appearing in both charms and transfiguration. Again, it's just a bit messy from a conceptual standpoint. You can justify it but it would be so much neater if it was just more cleanly delineated.

    7. Imperius chaining (e.g. Draco casts Imperius on Rosmerta who casts Imperius on Katie). Far too powerful.

    8. Killing Curse being unblockable. It's so difficult to create interesting and realistic duelling mechanics when there is a single spell which cannot be defended against.

    What are yours?
     
  2. Heather_Sinclair

    Heather_Sinclair Chief Warlock

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    Pretty much everything released by JKR after the books were written. There are some exceptions, like simple information (birthdays, house affiliation, etc.) innocuous stuff. This is for obvious reasons.

    In the books themselves: contradictory things mostly. Shrinking charm is the most obvious that comes to mind. A few things that aren't explained well, like the whole "power level" issue. It's excusable since the books were geared toward children. They don't really care, but then we end up with magical cores and other nonsense as explanations.

    I've forgotten most things that annoyed me since I haven't read the series in a while.
     
  3. EkulTeabag

    EkulTeabag Seventh Year

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    The Patronus Charm being hyped up as some hugely advanced magic that isn't even taught at Hogwarts because of how difficult it is. And then a few dozen teenagers learn it in a couple of weeks. And then it turns out everybody and their literal grandmothers are throwing it around constantly to send messages to each other.

    It just bugged me because Prisoner of Azkaban is my favourite and then one of the best parts (Harry's growing skill at defensive spells) gets severely reduced in importance.
     
  4. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Agreed. And the same thing with the spells Harry learns at the end of GoF to prepare for the Third Task. At the time these spells were so cool and felt like a real step forward for Harry's magical abilities, the next step on his path towards being a great wizard. Then in OotP the spells were all made standard parts of the OWL curriculum.

    Really, OotP, as much as I like it for its worldbuilding additions, was the point where Harry's character arc changed from "hero's path" to "everyman in over his head".

    In PoA you had Harry mastering the Patronus Charm, rare and powerful magic, and casting it so powerfully as to repel a large number of Dementors.

    In GoF you had Harry resisting the Imperius curse, learning tons of new, useful magic for the tournament, and beating Voldemort in priori incantatem.

    All hero's path steps. You'd be forgiven for thinking, at the end of GoF, that Harry was on track to being a wizard of Dumbledore-like status.

    Then in OotP:

    1. Harry fails at Occlumency despite it being said that the same skill underlies it as resisting the Imperius.

    2. The magic he learnt for the tournament is made standard knowledge that everyone learns.

    3. The Patronus is given to everyone.

    Hero's path aborted. Then things are just made worse in HBP with Harry failing at non-verbal magic, using the HBP potion's book to cheat rather than to learn advanced techniques, doing no independent learning to prepare for the war, and just constantly struggling in his classes.

    DH redeems him slightly - he suddenly knows a load of new combat magic we never saw him learn, masters occlumency after Dobby's death, and gains new magical insight into e.g. wandlore. But it's too little too late, I think.

    Still, this is more character stuff I dislike. I had more intended the thread to be about worldbuilding stuff.
     
  5. Sword_of_Dusk

    Sword_of_Dusk Squib

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    Aside from stuff mentioned above, there's a few things I deeply dislike:

    - Gobbledegook as the official language of Goblinkind. Dammit, why? It makes goblins sound like a joke because of it.

    - The lack of any Slytherin students who aren't complete pricks. I know the House has to have some students that aren't wrapped up in the Dark Arts, or are basically junior Death Eaters.

    - Related to the above, Harry's distinct lack of friends outside of Gryffindor. OotP helps to rectify this with Luna, but I would've loved to see him try to expand his circle of friends more meaningfully. As many times as the Sorting Hat spoke of unity between the Houses, why not have Harry lead the charge on that? I'm not necessarily asking for non-Gryffindors to be a focus, but just having scenes where Harry interacts with more people would be wonderful.
     
  6. darklordmike

    darklordmike Order Member

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    It's the inconsistent characterization rather than the inconsistent world-building that annoys me. But I won't go into any of that, since it's not the point of the thread.

    The plot holes and potentially world-breaking magic (time travel, polyjuice, etc.) have actually been a great boon for fanfiction. If everything had been consistent and laid out perfectly, we'd have a lot less room to maneuver in building our own stories. As much fun as it is to point out JKR's 'mistakes,' it's probably one of the reasons there's so much fanfiction for us to read.
     
  7. LucyInTheSkye

    LucyInTheSkye Second Year

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    Several small things, most already mentioned. The one that's brought me personally the most grief is that in PoA Lupin says that Snape saw Madam Pomfrey leading him to the Whomping Willow on a full moon night before Sirius orchestrated 'the prank'. To me this has caused endless issues with understanding Snape's thought process behind this event. I used to think that Snape, suspecting Lupin was a werewolf, suspecting that James, Sirius and Peter knew this and were hiding Lupin, that Snape thought that if he got proof that Lupin was a werewolf, he could tell Dumbledore and get all four of them expelled and that this is why he went into the Whomping Willow. This, to me, would make sense. However, if Snape knew that the staff of Hogwarts already knew that Lupin was a werewolf, then why would he go on that potentially suicidal mission? What did he think he would accomplish? Snape's memories show he strongly suspected what he would find, and he is supposedly smart, so why go after a werewolf on a full moon night? It's been suggested to me that Snape went in there to kill Lupin, but that doesn't mesh with my impression of Snape either, he'd be risking so much by doing that and was he even a killer himself at that age... Small detail, but it annoys me that it doesn't work.

    @Taure About the house elves belonging to properties, I thought this was how it is in canon? Where does it say it's to a specific person? From memory, I think Ron says, when explaining what house elves are, that they come with big properties. I think Kreacher says he's bound to serve the house of Black, which admittedly I've read a bit more abstractly as meaning any person Kreacher connects with the Black family, although Sirius's commands override Bellatrix's and Narcissa's, presumably because he has the correct last name and lives at Grimmauld. And I'm pretty sure the house elves of Hogwarts specifically serve the school, not a headmaster or Helga Hufflepuff or whatever person they might otherwise be tied to?
     
  8. Anarchy

    Anarchy Half-Blood Prince DLP Supporter

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    I've been rereading the books, and the biggest thing that makes me cringe is everything involving house elves. Beyond that though, every single throwaway line that JKR uses to make the world seem more whimsical, but is actually ridiculous when you actually think about it. There's too many to list though, but you know them when you see them, those random little remarks that people will take as irrefutable proof that something is possible and then base their revamped system of the world around it.
     
  9. Silirt

    Silirt Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    Death Eaters have basically no argument canonically.
    There's no justifiable reason for Secrecy.
    Biblical allusion of sacrifice gets applied to four different characters.
    Ron has moderately good chess skills and that's it.
    Voldemort just isn't that interesting as a villain.
     
  10. aAlouda

    aAlouda Seventh Year

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    Most of all I dislike two things mentioned in one of Rowling's Pottermore articles about Illvermony
    • One is that Isolt Sayre(the founder of Ilvermony) and her muggle husband managed to create a wand without any training in a single night and knowing nothing about wandlore except that it's a magical core inside a stick. It just breaks my suspicion of disblelif that the other magical beings(especially goblins) wouldn't be able to do that.
    • The other is that if two wizards fight together and both wield twin wands their power is increased tenfold. That just breaks the power scaling and makes you wonder how indivual dark wizards hold any power if you only need to arm two powerful wizards with Twin Wands to defeat them.
    What I disliked most in the books was how Draco Malfoy just avoided punishment for the horrific crimes he commited(slavery, torture, assesory to murder).

    Also that's more annoying, but Harry naming his child after Snape, I would much rather have preferred him to be called Albus Rubeus or something like that.
     
  11. Solpagae

    Solpagae First Year

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    Ollivanders: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 BC, has always unreasonably annoyed me. Although there may be real life examples of business or direct family lines stretching back, it's just one of those oddities that breaks my suspension of disbelief and immersion.

    Merlin in Slytherin, rather than pre-founder figure.

    Strangely, since I am very lenient on time travel, Super-Time-Turner. I haven't seen or read it, but I understand Cursed Child has a Time-Turner that breaks the mold and can go back decades. Normally I don't need to make sense of time travel in my head, I just go along for the ride. But this felt like a violation of the preestablished rules.

    And, has been mentioned, the Slytherins, but also bad guys/Death Eaters/Dark wizards, being one-shaded and not having a toe to pirouette on between them.
     
  12. James

    James High Inquisitor

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    Hermione Granger
     
  13. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    I never minded that in particular. Occlumency can be the sort of thing that requires a certain natural character -- closed-off, good at hiding feelings, emotionally controlled. You can't learn to be different than who you are, and hence Harry fails at learning Occlumency. But the general point stands, of course. There are enough other examples.

    Does it, then? I don't see a need for that, actually. Is there anything wrong (in a factual sense) with having one House of bigots? I grant you that it doesn't fit the House as it was intended, but assuming the Sorting Hat had said "all those who agree that blood matters go to Slytherin", what would be the issue?

    Basically, I'm always arguing it's not a priori bad world-building. It's either the fairy tale good vs evil (which is not limited to Slytherin in HP), or, if you gave the Death Eaters and their ideologies more nuance, a clash of different sets of morals and values. "A house of pricks" is a great starting point, in fact, if that is an outside view, and you then manage to flip that around by questioning the (your, the reader's) definition of "prick".

    --

    Personal stuff: Everyone can't learn Parseltongue. Go away with that shit. And two different versions each of how tracking underage magic and the Fidelius works. Stick to one. Preferably the first one.
     
  14. Sword_of_Dusk

    Sword_of_Dusk Squib

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    Factually, there's nothing wrong. However, there's already a precedent for at least one person being in Slytherin and not ending up such a bigot. Her name is Andromeda Tonks. Whatever she may have entered school like (we have no idea of her thoughts back then), she ended up not adhering to her family's values.

    The fact that not one person in Slytherin during Harry's time in school seems to show any whispers of not being a raging bigot just feels odd. I think there's nothing wrong with one person out of ten being different than those around them.

    Mind you, this doesn't make the books bad. This is just something I personally dislike.
     
  15. ashland

    ashland Second Year

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    Yeah, the implication, however slight it is, that parseltongue can be learned has always annoyed me in addition to Harry seemingly losing the ability.

    There being nothing else to the Chamber of Secrets besides a place for a huge snake to hide.

    Poor characterizations of Harry and Ron's girlfriends for the sake of the trio, which ties into my hatred of the cookie cutter, fairytale ending. Draco forgiven, Harry married to his super understanding, best friend's sister, the big happy Weasley family.

    Aurors as a group was a let down. As was Mad-Eye as an individual.

    The way Bellatrix died. Might as well have let Neville do it for all that it was believable.

    Edit: there being 11 schools and 3-4 of them on one continent.
     
  16. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Harry didn’t stay dead.
     
  17. Clerith

    Clerith Ahegao Emperor ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Lots of small nitpicks, but...

    Harry wearing Dudley's ill-fitting hand-me-downs despite having a vault full of gold. And having the old, broken glasses for so long.

    I know that getting new clothes and magical glasses or contacts was an essential part of the indy!Harry Diagon Alley shopping trip (why did they always have to buy muggle clothing and sneakers though, for fuck's sake), but I always wanted Harry to use his money and buy some nice things, including fitting wizard clothing.
     
  18. Kevizoid

    Kevizoid DA Member

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    Slughorn qualifies as well I believe. He seems to embody everything a Slytherin stands for without any sort of real malice. I'd say there are others but it would have indeed been nice to have an actual student who wasn't a piece of shit.
     
  19. Sword_of_Dusk

    Sword_of_Dusk Squib

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    You know, I would've been alright with him choosing to remain dead. He'd definitely earned his rest at that point.

    Ah, I forgot Slughorn. Whoops.
     
  20. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Eh @Sword_of_Dusk - I wasn’t really clear I guess. I didn’t want him to choose to stay dead I wanted him to die like the above average but not badass wizard he was. To be an actual sacrifice where he didn’t have the option of coming back.
     
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