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Top 10 Disturbing Truths About Harry Potter


Written by Sean Harris It’s not all Chocolate Frogs and Butterbeer, you know. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 disturbing truths about “Harry Potter”! For this list, we take an in-depth look at everything that’s just a little bit wrong with the Wizarding World. We’re Potterheads and proud, but some parts of Harry’s story are seriously messed up. Special thanks to our user WordToTheWes for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Disturbing Truths About Harry Potter


It’s not all Chocolate Frogs and Butterbeer, you know. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 disturbing truths about “Harry Potter”!

For this list, we take an in-depth look at everything that’s just a little bit wrong with the Wizarding World. We’re Potterheads and proud, but some parts of Harry’s story are seriously messed up.

#10: Hogwarts Recruitment

Has Dumbledore never heard of background checks? Does he not care about his students’ welfare? Well, not really, but more on that later. The Hogwarts staffroom is heaving with dodgy sorts who really shouldn’t be anywhere near a school, let alone in charge of the pupils. Lockhart’s a professional liar, Moody’s a trained killer even before we realise he’s actually a Death Eater in disguise, and Slughorn inspired the Dark Lord during his first Hogwarts stretch – so obviously you’d invite him back. Why, Albus? Just why?

#9: Potions Class

Because Snape’s dungeon is basically a dressed-up meth kitchen steaming with life-threatening concoctions and hallucinatory brews. Yes, he keeps the really heavy stuff in a cupboard behind his desk, but Hogwarts is hardly Fort Knox when it comes to keeping students out – Nicholas Flamel can vouch for that. And then Slughorn comes along (him again), and has everyone obsessing over love potions like it’s totally normal to secretly slip someone a mind-altering substance to make them like you. Anywhere else, and that’s definitely illegal.

#8: Hogwarts is a Death Trap

Yes, a magical school in a magnificent castle hidden away from muggles has its obvious plus points, but why aren’t more parents plagued with anxiety when they leave their kids on Platform 9 ¾? Because Hogwarts is far from safe. On any given day, you could be maimed by a tree, hit by a bludger, mauled by a Hippogriff, killed by a Basilisk, you could fall seven storeys from a moving staircase or you could do detention in the famously dangerous Forbidden Forest. And that’s before you’ve even picked up your wand.

#7: Boggarts

An oft-forgotten creature from a stand-out Lupin lesson, the books and films don’t even scratch the surface for the limitless destruction that Boggarts could potentially bring. Because, what if your biggest fear is an apocalyptic tidal wave? Or an instantaneous end of the world? You’d have to muster a pretty impressive Riddikulus Charm pretty quickly to get rid of that. And even if the Boggart’s form is incapable of wielding actual carnage, putting a kid through their own worst nightmare in front of all their mates is seriously harsh.

#6: Polyjuice Potion

A shape-shifting game-changer introduced in Harry’s second year, Polyjuice Potion creates a fairly obvious problem: What if everyone’s on it? What if Fred really is George? Or Voldemort is Dumbledore? In short, you can’t trust anyone for as long as this stuff exists. And Hermione brews a batch when she’s thirteen, so – as brilliant as she is – it’s not exactly unobtainable. As Barty Crouch Jr. proves, the criminal possibilities are endless, as long as you can kidnap and imprison your victim. And casual identity theft couldn’t be easier.

#5: Dumbledore’s Motives

Kindly old wizard, or borderline sociopath? There’s no doubt that Dumbledore’s a major player in Harry’s story, because he basically causes most of Potter’s problems. The Hogwarts Headmaster has a hunch on Harry’s significance throughout the saga, and so manipulates the kid into sacrificing everything to defeat the Dark Lord – even his own life, if need be. It’s like Dumbledore and Voldemort are chess grandmasters, and Harry is Albus’ king piece. As for Snape? He’s just collateral damage in Dumbledore’s grand (admittedly quite glorious) design. We still love him, though.

#4: Rampant Prejudice

The Wizarding World seems unhealthily obsessed with class, heritage and bloodline – and it’s not just the baddies, either. Only the likes of Draco Malfoy freely drop the ‘M’ word, but prejudice creeps into all corners of Harry’s society. Remus Lupin is a social outcast thanks to his physical condition, the Weasleys are ridiculed by fully-grown adults because they’re short on money, and Lucius Malfoy somehow becomes a Ministry bigwig just by being a bastard, apparently. Obviously, it doesn’t help that the Hogwarts house system exists mostly to establish staunch social stereotypes from the off.

#3: Casual Slavery

As cute as Dobby undoubtedly is, his backstory is exceptionally bleak – and not just because of the Malfoys. Grim treatment of House Elves seems ingrained into wizard culture, with even the likes of Ron looking down on them. Hermione’s Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare is laughed at in the books, and skipped completely by the films – so, what gives? And why’s Hermione the only one who cares about it? Those Hogwarts feasts are clearly incredible, but pretty problematic given the slave labour going on in the castle kitchens to produce them.

#2: Wandlore

Here’s an idea, why not celebrate your kid starting school by buying them an ultra-powerful piece of magical tech which could kill or injure anyone? Because wands are essentially over the counter weapons, that you spend your formative years perfecting how to use. Yes, the Ministry has loose laws in place, but worthwhile preventative measures against wrongful wand use are pretty thin on the ground. And even if you are sent to Azkaban, you seem to get your wand back upon release, anyway. Ollivander’s got a lot to answer for.

#1: Azkaban

What with mass-surveillance techniques, blatant indoctrination and a point-blank refusal to acknowledge Voldemort’s return, the Ministry of Magic’s hardly a beacon for forward-thinking attitudes. But it outdoes itself with Azkaban prison. Inflicting a fate worse than death on known or just suspected criminals, it’s essentially a state-sponsored torture facility – and everyone’s OK with that. The Wizarding World has solid proof of an afterlife too, so an inmate’s mangled soul could suffer for eternity. At least the Dementors stay put at Azkaban, and innocent Hogwarts students are safe from their horrendous, life-ruining power. Oh, wait.
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