Since writing my first blog post about Plot Holes, I have gotten a few requests from people to point out some plot holes in famous stories. As I am not one to disappoint my readers, I have compiled some examples of plot holes I know, and that have been pointed out on other fun sites, for your reading pleasure. (So, while trying to edit out your own plot holes, at least take comfort in the fact you’re not alone).
Note: Should perhaps be obvious but, hey, spoilers ahead.
1) The first thing people always have to point to when talking about plot holes it seems–the Time-Turner. For those that haven’t read the Harry Potter Series, or anything about them, or seen the movies, etc. “The Time-Turner was a device capable of time travel. The Time-Turner resembled an hourglass on a necklace. The number of times one turns the hourglass corresponds to the number of hours one travels back in time. It is extremely important that the user of a Time-Turner not be seen by past or future versions of themselves unless, of course, said versions are aware of their usage of a Time-Turner. A possible scenario is a wizard or witch killing their past or future selves by mistake” (Harry Potter Wiki). In Prisoner of Azkaban, brainiac Hermione Granger is using a Time-Turner to take several classes that happen at the same time of day, and it comes into play at the climax of the story.
Now time travel is a can of worms for any story, but the main point here is…If the wizards in Harry Potter are able to use time travel, why didn’t they just all go back to before the trouble started and keep it from happening?
There have been several arguments as to how this plot hole could be covered , but still it is a problem. Perhaps they all are destroyed in Book 5, but why didn’t they do it in the first four books (or before the series even started)? Perhaps within the realm of Harry Potter time travel you can only jump back, not move forward (making it so your future self doesn’t want to go too far back and not be able to catch back up to the “present”) but why then not find someone who doesn’t want to be in the present anyway, offer them a lot of money and have them go live a couple decades ago? All in all, it’s a problem J. K. Rowling opened up in Prisoner of Azkaban, and never could fully patch.
2) Wands changing ownership. “According to the seventh book, Harry disarmed Malfoy. Malfoy was the true owner of the Elder Wand, and so Harry became the true owner. If disarming was a suitable method for gaining ownership of a wand, then everyone in the DA would own each other’s wands.”
3) Horcruxes. “In COS [Chamber of Secrets], the horcrux in Harry should have died when the basilisk pierced him? Even though Fawkes healed him a few minutes later, the diary was destroyed in seconds when it was pierced, why should it take longer for the “Harry horcrux” to die.”
All right, I’ll try not to pick on Twilight too much (lord knows I’d like to), but just some points that really bother me (not counting factual errors like the whole “west coast” of Brazil thing [here’s a map of South America if you don’t get why that’s eye-rolling).
1) Edward is undead, his skin is ice-cold, doesn’t have blood circulating, but he’s still able to be, ahem, intimate and produce a child. Of course, as this blogger puts it, “Then again, he’s taken twelfth grade chemistry like a hundred years in a row; maybe he’s developed a new form of Viagra or something.”
2) Even after all her research in Twilight, Bella has no idea they sparkle instead of burn in the sunlight. In New Moon, Edward goes to get himself killed by revealing he’s a vampire by what this forum poster calls a “sparklefest”. As they put it, “did he not think of the fact that NOBODY KNOWS SPARKLING = VAMPIRE? Seriously, if they did see him in the sun, I bet they’d all just go, ‘Dude, it’s St Marcus’ Day, not Mardi Gras. God, you’re such a twat’.”
3) Alice’s visions. So many to choose from here (such as her visions only happening when convenient to the plot) but the big one I’ve seen pointed out goes against the rule Meyers has given her visions (that they can be changed based on people making different choices: “In Midnight Sun, Alice claims to have seen a vision of Bella as a vampire – implying that Bella has made the decision to become a vampire. At this stage, Bella doesn’t even know that the Cullens are vampires. How, then, was Alice able to see something based on a decision that it would have been completely impossible for Bella to make?”
4) And we’ll leave it at one more: “In Breaking Dawn, when Bella wakes up for the first time as a vampire, she describes being able to…hear all the way to the freeway. Sensory overload aside (even though such a high level of assault on the senses would probably have extremely damaging impacts), how is it that she is able to hear everything down to the freeway, yet Alice and Jasper were unable to hear her on the phone to James in the next room?”
The Da Vinci Code
1) Paternity Testing. “Ok let’s admit that the body is Mary Magdalen and you can do a DNA on the surving Magdalen descendant, you still don’t have Jesus’ DNA. So, how are you going to prove that the child is Jesus’ and Magdalen’s and not Magdalen’s and some other Joe Schmo.”
2) Clues to the killer. At the beginning the dying man leaves a message with clues to get the main characters started on their quest. He adds in the Fibonacci sequence to make sure his granddaughter is brought onto the case. Was there any reason he didn’t just write down who killed him and why? It seems he would have had plenty of time to.
Wicked/Wizard of Oz
1) Why didn’t Elphaba (The Wicked Witch of the West)’s parents ever bathe her in water? As one forum poster here puts it, “I know she had an inhuman aversion to it even as an infant, but why wouldn’t her folks wash her in it anyway?” It’s a pretty good question in my opinion. Of course, this plot hole would be relatively easy to explain away by saying people tend to wash with something else if that’s what Maguire wanted to do.
The Sound of Thunder
The Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury is “all about these guys that use a time machine to go back in time and hunt dinosaurs. When they arrive in the past, there’s a levitating walkway that they’re allowed to walk on, but they CANNOT step off of it. The idea is that if you alter anything from the past, it could change the way EVERYTHING happens in the future. Long story short, one of the guys steps off the platform, accidently kills a butterfly, and when he comes back to the future, all the signs say the same thing, but are spelled differently.
“The biggest hole here is the fact that stepping off the walkway can ruin things, but killing a dinosaur, thus making it fall over, onto land that it never would have originally fallen on, also obviously antagonizing the dinosaur, which would change its course of direction from what it naturally would have been, doesn’t matter. Why does one butterfly from the human make a difference, but the butterflies that the dinosaurs fall onto, or the fact that dinosaurs are dying unnaturally soon makes no difference?” (Duncan) Personally, I would also like to add to Duncan’s plot hole…there’s a moving walkway in the [insert appropriate paleolithic era here]. How did someone build it/get power to it/etc. without changing anything?
Yet another time travel problem.
And, since I have family in town and blog posts may be few and far between for a week or so more, something to entertain yourself in my absence: Name the Movie by the Plot Hole: http://www.sporcle.com/games/Igon/plotholes_movies_cool (I’m sad I only got 9 of 12…)
6 thoughts on “Plot Holes (Part II)”
When it comes to time travel… there will always be a huge plot hole, which would take a whole book by itself to close it up.
Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!
I’ll show my points about Twilight, based on yours:
1) Vampires don’t exist. It doesn’t matter if a vampire can or not produce a child. It’s a fantasy fiction, created by Stephenie Meyer. In her mythology, vampires can do it.
2) If you see a guy sparkling, you’ll probably find it awkward, I guess. It’s not only about sparkling vampire, actually. It’s about revealing their specie. People will start to question about it. Because of this, The Volturi created their laws and spread vampires myths, to “hide” them of the humans.
3) Okay, maybe that’s REALLY a hole. But, I think all of Alice’s visions are subjective. And she doesn’t see only Bella’s choices, but also all choices which involve Bella. So, maybe that vision is based on an Edward’s choice. I don’t know.
4) Oh, Jesus! SHE WAS A NEWBORN, SHE COULDN’T CONTROL HER ABILITIES YET!
You should to check your points before publish them.
Thanks for your comment. All points were taken from the pages linked in the article if you’d like to discuss it with them.
Ooh, interesting! I can think my way out of all the Harry Potter ones except the time travel one, because time travel never really makes sense. At least, I’ve never seen a fictional account of time travel that didn’t make me go “yeah, but what about…?” As for #2, the rule of wand ownership by winning a duel only counts for the Elder Wand. Wands can be passed down, because Ron has Charlie’s old wand in the first two books (although that opens up a new plot hole: given the whole “wand chooses the wizard” thing, why did Charlie get a new wand at all if the old one was still useable enough to give to Ron?), but the Elder Wand is a special case and can only be taken by force. I admit that one is still thin, but it kind of makes sense if you accept that along with its extra magical powers the Elder Wand has different rules than ordinary wands.
And #3, well in the case of the diary the only thing “alive” in the diary was the bit of Voldemort’s soul, and the diary was a lot smaller than harry and had a fang plunged right through the middle of it. The diary was utterly destroyed straight away, and didn’t have any life to slowly ebb away. In the case of Harry being bitten, the poison took time to work, so the horcrux was able to hold on until Fawkes’ tears healed Harry (before the poison could kill him). Hermione says to destroy a horcrux you’ve got to put it beyond magical means of repair, so it follows that for a piece of soul contained in a horcrux to die the vessel has to be destroyed beyond repair. Obviously Harry *hadn’t* got beyond repair yet, because Fawkes was able to heal him, but the diary was instantly beyond repair because a book can’t be “healed” by phoenix tears (they’re more an anti-venom than a spell and thus only work on living creatures). If Harry had died of the basilisk bite, then the part of Voldemort’s soul trapped inside him would also have died, as it did when he was killed by the Avada Kedavra curse in Deathly Hallows. But Harry didn’t die, so neither did the piece of soul.