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Nobody is perfect, and that includes J. K. Rowling. Here is a list of a few of the mistakes she’s made throughout her books. With the enormous amount of detail Joanne Rowling put into these books, there’s bound to be a few mishaps here and there.
Sorting by Numbers
In chapter seven of the Sorcerer’s Stone, at the sorting, JKR writes that ‘there are only three people left to be sorted’. However, Dean Thomas, Lisa Turpin, Ron Weasley, and Blaise Zabini were all left, meaning really she should have written four. This mistake has been apparent in some versions and non-existent in others.
In chapter sixteen of the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry, Ron and Hermione take the place of the chess set pieces. Ron takes the place of a knight but when it comes to him sacrificing himself to the queen he only takes a pace forward. According to the rules of chess, moving a knight only one pace forward is an illegal move.
Nearly Headless Nick is Nearly 500
In chapter eleven of the Sorcerer’s Stone, it is almost Nearly Headless Nick’s 400th death day (years since he died). But in Chamber of Secrets, he celebrates his 500th death-day.
How many Herbs and Fungi?
In certain versions of the Sorcerer’s Stone, One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi is at one point called One Hundred Magical Herbs and Fungi as an error!
In chapter three of the Chamber of Secrets, the Weasley’s clock shows phrases such as ‘Feed the Chickens’. In Goblet of Fire, it only states the locations of family members. We may be able to conclude that the Weasleys have two clocks. In Chamber of Secrets, the clock is described as hanging on the wall and in Goblet of Fire, it is the ‘old grandfather clock’. Grandfather clocks aren’t known to hang on walls.
Myrtle lives where?
In chapter eight of the Chamber of Secrets at Nearly Headless Nick’s death-day party, Hermione states that Moaning Myrtle haunts the girls’ bathroom on the first floor. However, it is later proven that the bathroom is on the second floor. Also, it states at two different points that Myrtle haunts the U-bend of the toilet (Chamber of Secrets), and then the S-bend of the toilet (Goblet of Fire). Make up your mind, J.K.!
Thanks to Mira Miles
In chapter nine of Chamber of Secrets, after PERCY says “Get–away–from–there–” his name is misspelled as “Perry”.
Slytherin, Ancestors or Descendents?
In chapter eighteen of the Chamber of Secrets, Dumbledore explains to Harry why he can speak Parseltongue. In this explanation, he refers to Lord Voldemort as “the last remaining ancestor of Salazar Slytherin.” He quite obviously means descendant, not ancestor, unless the Slytherin family reproduces differently from the rest of humanity.
In chapter three of the Prisoner of Azkaban, Stan tells Harry that the price to get to London was eleven sickles. Then, it said Harry shoved some gold into Stan’s hands. Sickles, in fact, are silver.
Marcus Flint, 8th year student?
In chapter eleven of the Sorcerer’s Stone, the book tells us that Marcus Flint is the Slytherin Captain in his sixth year. That means Harry’s second year is Marcus Flints seventh and final year at Hogwarts. In chapter fifteen of the Prisoner of Azkaban on page 306, fourth line, Wood and Flint shake hands. This year would be Flint’s eighth year. You are only supposed to go to Hogwarts for seven! An arguable error indeed, J.K. Rowling has since clarified that Flint has held back a year, which makes sense considering Flint’s character.
Snape or Snap?
In chapter fourteen of the Prisoner of Azkaban, on the second line from the bottom of that page you will see Snape’s name spelled as “Snap”! Found in first American Edition, Hardcover.
The Keeping Seeker
In chapter fifteen of Prisoner of Azkaban, it said Madam Hooch’s whistle rang out as she soared over to Montague and began shouting at him. A minute later, Katie had put another penalty past the Slytherin Seeker. It should say the Slytherin Keeper.
Headmaster Albus Dumblefore?
In chapter twenty-two of the Prisoner of Azkaban, close to the end when Harry and Dumbledore are talking in Lupin’s office after he left, J.K. spelled Dumbledore’s name as Dumblefore. This is found only in American First Edition books.
In chapter seven of the Sorcerer’s Stone, Professor McGonagall brings out a four-legged chair with the sorting hat (to the sorting ceremony). In chapter twelve of the Goblet of Fire, she brings out a three-legged chair with the sorting hat. What happened to one of the legs?
Dark Mark, Where?
In chapter twenty-five of the Goblet of Fire, when Harry gets stuck in the stairs and Snape and Moody come along, Moody makes some statement. I forgot what it was, but it was something pertaining to the Dark Mark on Snape’s arm. Snape suddenly grabs his right arm; therefore the mark should be on that arm. But later, he shows Fudge the mark on his left arm…
In chapter thirty-four of the Goblet of Fire, when Priori Incantatem was preformed, the spells that Voldermort’s wand cast out are all the people he has killed, from his most recent to his first. However James Potter had appeared before Lily, stating that Lily was killed first, which we know for a fact is not true. This mistake has been omitted on later versions released.
Moody…No! It’s Crouch!
In chapter thirty-five of the Goblet of Fire, the spoken line is: “The Imperius Curse,” ‘Moody’ said. “I was under my father’s control. I was forced to wear an Invisibility cloak day and night.” Oops! Why is Moody saying this? It should be Crouch saying it.
Charlie works in “Rumaina”
In the Goblet of Fire, Bill Weasley says that he has not been to Hogwarts in five years. Since Harry is in his fourth year that would conclude that Bill had left the school the year before Harry joined Hogwarts. This cannot be true because Bill is the oldest child of the Weasley family. Charlie (the second oldest) is younger than Bill, but he was not at school when Harry was. Charlie probably left the school at least three years before Harry came. We can determine this because Fred and George were talking about how they had not won a single game since Charlie left (Fred and George said this in Harry’s first year). They probably would not have been talking as though Charlie had left the year before. This was pointed out to J.K Rowling, she said that Bill visited the school for one of Charlie’s Quidditch matches.
-Thanks to cfsdimples.
Who’s Talking to Who?
According to the paperback edition of Goblet of Fire, “Crouch is talking to Dumbledore” in one section, but in the hardcover edition, “Fudge is talking to Dumbledore.”
-Thanks to gazoo91.
Trial and Error?
Sirius Black says he received no trial, but in The Prisoner of Azkaban, Dumbledore says he gave testimony at Black’s trial. So did he have a trial or not?
On the first page of the book Harry is described as lying in his Aunt’s hydrangea bush, but on page 7 he recalls that “someone magical had been near him as he lay among Aunt Petunia’s dying begonias…” Maybe it’s not only Animagi that can change form!
Tree or Bush?
In the Hardcover U.S. edition of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, page 12, paragraph three, it says, “Harry stepped into the shadow of a large lilac tree and waited.” But lilacs grow on bushes, not trees!
Double Equals Single?
On page 225 of the American edition, Ron groans about their schedule. “History of Magic, double Potions, Divination and double Defense Against the Dark Arts…” Shortly after, on page 229, Harry and his classmates suffer “an hour and a half’s droning” in their History of Magic class. Later, on pages 232-233, Snape informs the class they have “an hour and a half” to complete their assignment. It was a single lesson of History of Magic, yet it lasted the same amount of time as a double Potions lesson.
Charms or Potions?
In Order of the Phoenix, UK Edition, page 340, it says “but Harry pulled out his Charms books and set to work on finishing his essay…” However, the excerpts from the Charms book have nothing to do with Charms – they sound like potion ingredients: “Therefore much used in Confusing and Befuddlement Droughts…” Then, after his conversation with Dobby on page 342, “He (Harry) bent and picked up his Potions book. He’d have to try and finish the essay tomorrow.” It appears that Harry’s Charms essay magically transformed into a Potions essay.
When Top isn’t the Top!
In Book 5, Chapter 30 (“Grawp”), pages 683 and 684, at the Gryffindor/Ravenclaw Quidditch match, it says: “They [Harry & Hermione] found seats in the topmost row of the stands.” Later on, when Hagrid comes to take them to see Grawp, it says: “Apparently he [Hagrid] had squeezed his way all along the row behind.” How can that be if Harry and Hermione were in the top row?
Second or Third?
In chapter 16 [In the Hog’s Head] it mentions that Colin’s brother Dennis is at the Hog’s Head in Hogsmeade to listen to Harry about forming a group to properly learn Defense Against the Dark Art [Dumbledore’s Army]. Dennis is only in his second year at Hogwarts, since he was sorted into the Gryffindor in the Goblet of Fire. Harry, Ron, and Hermione weren’t allowed to go to Hogsmeade until their 3rd year. So how is Dennis in the Hog’s Head?
What a Difference a Day Makes
In the American Edition, page 188, Slughorn says, “One tiny bottle of Felix Felicis enough for twelve hours’ luck. From dusk til’ dawn, you will be lucky in everything you attempt.”
But then on page 476, Harry says, “I don’t reckon I’ll need all of it, not twenty-four hours’ worth…”
So was it 12 hours or 24 hours worth of luck in the bottle?
Slapped or punched?
On page 176 of HBP, UK edition, it states “Malfoy looked rather as he had done the time Hermione had punched him in the face.” However, on page 216 of the UK POA, Hermione “…had slapped Malfoy around the face with all the strength she could muster.” So which was it? Open palmed or closed fist?
A Rose by Any Other Name..
Rookwood’s name change from Augustus to Algernon:
In Goblet of Fire, Chapter 30 (‘The Pensieve’), p 512, UK edition. Rookwood’s first name is said to be “Augustus”: “’Rookwood?’ said Mr Crouch, nodding to a witch sitting in front of him, who began scribbling upon her piece of parchment. ‘Augustus Rookwood of the Department of Mysteries?’ ‘The very same,’ said Karkaroff eagerly.”
And in Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 25 (‘The Beetle at Bay’), p 480, UK edition, it has somehow changed to “Algernon”: “Algernon Rookwood, said the caption beneath a pockmarked man with greasy hair who was leaning against the edge of his picture, looking bored, convicted of leaking Ministry of Magic secrets to He Who Must Not Be Named.”
Body Bind or Stupefy?:
In Half Blood Prince, Chapter 28 (‘Flight of the Prince’), p 557, UK edition, Harry was depicted as throwing the Full Body Bind curse at a Death Eater: “… He threw the Invisibility Cloak aside as the brutal-faced Death Eater, last to leave the Tower top, was disappearing through the door. ‘Pertificus Totalus!’ The Death Eater buckled as through hit in the back with something solid, and fell to the ground, rigid as waxwork…”
But later on in Half Blood Prince, Chapter 30 (‘The White Tomb’), p 604, UK edition, the Body Bind has somehow changed into Stupefy! The Minister says “’Somebody Stupified a Death Eater on top of the Tower after Dumbledore died.’”
So which is it? Body bind or Stupify?
In Deathly Hallows, Chapter 6 (‘The Goul in Pyjamas’), p 84, UK edition, Hermione informs Harry that she has modified her parents memory and they have no recollection of having a daughter: “’I’ve also modified my parents’ memories so that they’re convinced they’re really called Wendell and Monica Wilkins…’”
But later in Deathly Hallows, Chapter 9 (‘A Place to Hide’), p 139, UK edition, she appears to have forgotten all about it!
Ron says “’… But I’ve never done a Memory Charm.’ ‘Nor have I,’ said Hermione, ‘but I know the theory.’”
So she says she hasn’t done it, when she’s admitted it beforehand, maybe the Memory Charm for her parents backfired a little on her!