Worldbuilding - Issues with Harry Potter


Alright, my lovelies, this week I'm going to rant (at length) about everything that's wrong with the worldbuilding in the Harry Potter universe. This isn't to say that I dislike the series (I don't) or that I think the story isn't good (it absolutely is) or even that I could have done better (I'm not convinced I could have) but here's my two cents (and change) on the subject of why the worldbuilding for the Wizarding World can't hold water.

There are no spoilers in this article, but it will probably make a lot more sense if you've read the books.

Secrets

When you have an entire society living in secret there are basically two ways to handle it: Either the society is living somewhere the normal world can't see them (such as underground, in outer space, or simply invisible) or they're blending in with normal human society and are pretending to be normal.

The problem with the second option is that there are opportunities every single day for someone to divulge that secret ("By the way, I'm actually a wizard! Look what I can do!") or accidentally give away that something spooky is going on. When some of the population keeping the secret are children, you're bound to have problems. Then there are some members of the magical world who are not concerned with keeping secrets at all (note: any creature that's not a human).

Even with a team of people working full-time, doing nothing but modifying people's memories so they don't remember seeing this that and the other, the secret is bound to get out very, very quickly, and on top of that, this is the age of the internet, the online forum, the telephone, and the sensationalist press. You can't tell me that every person on the planet is as willing to delude themselves as the select few who refuse to believe that the biting teacup was a figment of their imagination.

Muggles and Muggle Tech

In canon, there is exactly 1 all-wizarding village in Britain. That means there is only one place in the entire country where you could conceivably live and never have any contact with muggles at all. Hogsmeade being a rather small village, we can assume there aren't a lot of wizards living there, ad they make up an extremely small proportion of the wizarding population.

The rest of them must by default live in close proximity to muggles and their various technological advances. Some of them must even work in the muggle world, as the Ministry of Magic, Hogwarts, and Diagon Alley can't possibly employ the entire wizarding population of a country even as small as Britain.

In that case, them being exposed to muggles on a near daily basis and probably having some exposure to things like cars, telephones, and computers, why is it that the norm in the wizarding world is that no one knows how to dress normally (even though all the kids wear normal muggle clothes under their robes all year) and conventions like nonmagical communication are apparently nonexistent in the magical community?

And when there are (at a very rough estimate) 3-4 muggleborn students in each year at Hogwarts (17-20% of the student population) and all of them know how muggle tech works...

Can you see where I'm coming from? The lack of technology in the wizarding world might be excused as "magic is easier" but it seems to me that a lot of their magic-related problems would be solved if they just adopted some of their nonmagical neighbors' conventions.

Slytherins

I've never been very fond of the "this race is entirely evil" trope (like orcs and goblins) and we see it very prominently in Harry Potter, to the extent that it makes me really sad. Out of the named Slytherins we meet throughout 7 long and very detailed books, there are a total of 2 adults and 0 kids considered redeemable from that house. One is a fat, greedy old man who prizes influence and comfort over human life. The other is a teacher who literally heaps emotional and mental abuse on his students and enjoys doing so.

In other words, not very redeemable at all.

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Alright, I think I got that out of my system. Thanks for letting me rant. Until next week (guess what we're reviewing!) stay safe and stay awesome.

#Rant #Rambling #Fault #HarryPotter

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