This is the first in my Harry Potter posts. As you may have guessed I am a massive Harry Potter fan and the series is without a doubt my favourite books ever. They are they reason I read and the reason I want to write. You might ask why I am starting with such a subject as Thestrals? The answer is simple, to me they are the reason for the biggest flaw I have found in this series.
We are first introduced to Thestrals in the fifth book (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix). Thestrals are winged horses with skeletal bodies, reptilian features, their wings look like bat wings. People believe them to be dangerous and a sign of bad omens. Don’t sound too bad? Here’s where the catch comes in, only people who have seen death can see them. Doesn’t sound too confusing or a flaw? Harry cannot see them until the start of the fifth book. How do we know this? In every previous book (apart from Chamber of Secrets possibly) we have a mention of the horseless carts that pull the 2nd-7th years from the train station up to the school at the start of term and back down at the end. In the fifth one Harry is surprised that there is animals (the Thestrals) pulling the carts that usually pull themselves. Especially when he the only one who can see them, Ron and Hermione just look at him like he has gone mad.
Not seeing any problems yet? The fact that you have to be able to understand what death is, to be able to see Thestrals accounts for the fact that he cannot see them after his mother’s death before his very eyes when he was just a baby. Let’s deal with the issue of why he can suddenly see them after four years of not being able to. The previous year one he saw one of his friends and fellow Goblet of fire competitor die at the bidding of Lord Voldemort. So this explains why he can see them now. Makes sense. But tell me this when he gets the horseless cart back to the train station at the end of his fourth year, why can he not see them? Cedric has already died. When I first thought of this I had to check that he did take the carts down rather than walk, and indeed he takes the horse-less carts down.
Okay so a slight issue, but there is one more, in his very first year at Hogwarts Harry does not only see one of his professors (Quirrell) die, he actually kills him. At 11 years old, you should understand death, so why he can he not see them at the end of his first year?
My best guess is that J.K. Rowling did not come up with the idea of Thestrals until writing the fifth book. She is an amazing writer and the Harry Potter series is genius, this is no trying to take away from that, it is just a way to show what I love or dislike about the series, or sometimes just to discuss it.
Until next time bookworms.