Top 10 Dumbest Decisions in Harry Potter
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Top 10 Dumbest Decisions in Harry Potter

VOICE OVER: Kirsten Ria Squibb WRITTEN BY: Garrett Alden
These decisions were dumber than Dudley. For this list, we'll be going over the most boneheaded, poor, or unfortunate choices made by good and bad characters in the “Harry Potter” franchise. Our countdown includes “Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone”, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2”, and more!

Top 10 Dumbest Decisions in Harry Potter

Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 dumbest decisions in “Harry Potter.”

For this list, we’ll be going over the most boneheaded, poor, or unfortunate choices made by good and bad characters in the “Harry Potter” franchise. We’ll be looking at dumb decisions made in both the movies and the books. And since we’ll dive into details, we’re gonna cast a spoiler warning.

If there’s a stupid “Harry Potter” choice we were foolish to leave off our list, please tell us about it in the comments!

#10: Taking the Flying Car to Hogwarts

“Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” (2002)
Harry and Ron Weasley don’t always make the wisest choices – especially when Hermione isn’t around. One of the duo’s dumbest moves comes when they go to King’s Cross and find themselves unable to travel through the magical barrier to reach Platform 9 ¾. Fearing no one will come to their aid, they take Mr. Weasley’s flying car to Hogwarts instead. This terrible idea nearly exposes Muggles to the magic of the Wizarding World. It’s also silly because the duo could’ve waited for Ron’s parents or another magical adult to help them. There are many, many methods of magical transport in the Wizarding World. The boys could’ve definitely figured out a much better way to get to Hogwarts than a flying car.

#9: Holding Detention in the Forbidden Forest at Night

“Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” (2001)
Hogwarts students are unintentionally put into dangerous situations all the time. But sometimes the professors intentionally put them into tricky situations. After being caught out of bed after hours, Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Draco all get detention. For their punishment, they must help Hagrid find an injured unicorn in the Forbidden Forest…at night! What makes things even worse is the one who harmed the unicorn that night is still roaming the forest. Oh, and he happens to be none other than Voldemort himself. Admittedly, an excursion like this could scare kids so badly they’ll never be tempted to break rules again. It’s still a bad idea, though.

#8: Slughorn Tells Tom Riddle About Horcruxes

“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” (2009)
Horace Slughorn was a professor at Hogwarts for many years. During that time, he taught Tom Riddle, the boy who would become Voldemort. During a private conversation, Tom asks about Horcruxes. Slughorn confirms they are dark magical artifacts infused with fragments of a wizard’s soul that could make one effectively immortal, and he also explains how they can be made. Not only is telling a teenager about horcruxes a bad idea, but it also directly ensures Voldemort survives his first brush with death. If we were talking solely about decisions that have the most disastrous consequences long term, this would probably take the top spot. We can see why Slughorn didn’t want to share the memory of this boneheaded decision with Harry.

#7: Dumbledore Keeps Too Many Secrets

“Harry Potter” Franchise (2001-11)
For one of the greatest wizards of the age, Dumbledore has a major flaw that he keeps repeating. He often keeps valuable information a secret from Harry, his allies and the Wizarding World at large. Dumbledore neglects to tell Harry about things like the existence of a prophecy or the fact that Voldemort could read the boy’s mind before both things turn into much bigger issues. While you could argue the headmaster hid information about items like Horcruxes for his students’ sakes, he could’ve told trusted professors like McGonagall more about his various plans. But Dumbledore seems to prefer leaving cryptic clues and relying on others to succeed through pure chance. For a headmaster, keeping secrets was both no fun and more than a little dumb.

#6: Harry Stops Sirius & Remus From Punishing Pettigrew

“Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” (2004)
Harry spends much of “Prisoner of Azkaban” in fear of Sirius Black, whom the world believes betrayed Harry’s parents to Voldemort. However, the accused criminal and Lupin reveal Peter Pettigrew sold James and Lily Potter out and disguised himself as Ron’s pet. Harry convinces the angry adults not to harm the rat. He instead asks for Pettigrew to be sent to Azkaban. This decision majorly backfires. Not only does Pettigrew escape, but he takes Cedric Diggory’s life and helps Voldemort get a brand new body. We’re not saying that either of them should’ve put the rat down permanently. But if they had, the revived Voldemort and his henchmen would not have taken the lives of Sirius, Remus and so many others later on.

#5: Harry Goes to the Ministry

“Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” (2007)
Thanks to that famous scar and a few other factors, Harry’s connected with Voldemort’s mind. So, when he receives a vision of the dark lord torturing Sirius in the Ministry of Magic, he becomes hellbent on rescuing his godfather. When Harry gets ignored by adults, he decides to travel to the seat of Britain’s wizarding government right away. But it turns out that his intel was false. Voldemort tricked him into traveling to the Ministry so Harry would retrieve a prophecy. The ensuing battle there results in Sirius meeting an untimely end. But there’s one fact that makes Harry’s decision look worse. If he just used a two-way mirror that allowed him to check on his godfather, none of this would’ve happened.

#4: Barty Crouch Sr. Breaks His Son Out of Azkaban

“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” (2005)
Barty Crouch Sr. is a Ministry of Magic official whose son, Barty Crouch Jr., is convicted as a Death Eater and sent to Azkaban. While the father lets his child rot there in the movies, he makes a different and extraordinarily poor decision in the books. Crouch Sr. breaks his son out of the prison as a favor to his sick wife. He thinks it's fine because he keeps his son imprisoned and mind controlled for years in their home. But this plan backfires when Peter Pettigrew liberates Crouch Jr. and works with him to bring about Voldemort’s return. If Crouch Sr. hadn’t indulged his wife’s final request, Voldemort would never have gotten his body back.

#3: The Triwizard Scheme

“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” (2005)
Villains sure do love overly complex plans. Voldemort concocts a doozy of one in “Goblet of Fire.” To get Harry’s blood to his body, You-Know-Who has Crouch Jr. disguise himself as one of the most skilled Aurors ever. While Crouch Jr. is undercover, he enters Harry into the Triwizard Tournament and makes sure the boy wins. When Harry touches the Triwizard cup to claim victory, he’s instantly transported to Voldemort. Was this complex plan really the only option? Couldn’t Crouch Jr. have just kidnapped Harry earlier? Or, short of that, secretly got the blood by some other means? There were so many things that nearly derailed this convoluted plan completely. Although Voldemort did get his body, Harry survived and warned the world that Voldemort returned!

#2: Harry Resists Learning Occlumency

“Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” (2007)
As we mentioned a couple times before, Voldemort’s connection to Harry’s mind proves problematic. Dumbledore tries to help his student learn how to resist these mind invasions by making him learn Occlumency from Snape. Unfortunately, Snape and Harry already have a pretty bad relationship. Their bad blood reaches a breaking point when Harry peeks into one of Snape’s worst memories during training. In the wake of this incident, the professor immediately refuses to teach any more lessons. Someone should’ve made the Occlumency training continue. If it had, Voldemort probably wouldn't have tricked Harry into going to the Ministry. Still, most of the blame falls on Dumbledore for not having literally anyone besides Snape teach Occlumency.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few dishonorable mentions:

Peter Pettigrew’s Long Life as Scabbers, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” (2004)
Did He Really Have to Live as a Rat for 10+ Years to Hide?

Bellatrix Attacks Ginny, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2” (2011)
Mrs. Weasley Instantly Makes the Evil Witch Pay

Harry Uses Sectumsempra on Malfoy, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” (2009)
He Should Know Better Than to Use a Spell Without Knowing What It Does

Harry Breaks the Taboo, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1” (2010)
Harry Saying the Name When He Wasn't Supposed to Leads to His Capture in the Book

Leaving Harry With the Dursleys Full Time, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” (2001)
Could Dumbledore Not Have Let Harry Spend Some Time Each Year With Less Horrible Families?

#1: Voldemort Doesn’t Check Harry’s Pulse

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2” (2011)
The Dark Lord makes several mistakes before his final downfall. But he saves his biggest blunder for last. When Harry confronts him in the Forbidden Forest, Voldemort sends a Killing Curse at him that knocks them both down. As the villain rises to his feet, the hero plays dead on the ground. When Voldemort sends Narcissa Malfoy to check on Harry, she lies and says the boy is gone, for her own reasons. But why did the villain leave anything to chance? If there were a boy prophesied to take you down, wouldn’t you triple check he was out of the way? Don’t get us wrong, we’re glad the villain didn’t. But from Voldemort’s perspective, this was a stupid, costly and easily avoidable mistake.

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