In Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, while in Gringotts when Harry, Ron, Hermione and Griphook are disguised, they pass through the thief's downfall and just fall toward their destination. Wouldn't the thief's downfall be placed somewhere where people could not just fall out right next to their destination, which is claimed to be one of the most secure vault in Gringotts?

  • 2
    This question, and your comments on the answer you've received, make it appear that you are asking "why didn't Gringotts design differently the path, and the security on the path, to the vaults Harry & co want to go to." That's something fully in the purview of the author, there really isn't much we can say about it, other than "that's the way it is". Are you asking for us to find quotes saying something along the lines of "yeah, that's a potential security hole that they might have designed better"? Or, are you looking for quotes detailing the reasons for that being the design?
    – Makyen
    Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 3:03
  • 2
    Plot armour also comes to mind :)
    – Peter
    Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 6:11

1 Answer 1


In the novel (and film), Hermione casts a spell to prevent them from ker-splatting.

They were deeper than Harry had ever penetrated within Gringotts; they took a hairpin bend at speed and saw ahead of them, with seconds to spare, a waterfall pounding over the track. Harry heard Griphook shout, ‘No!’ but there was no braking: they zoomed through it. Water filled Harry’s eyes and mouth: he could not see or breathe: then, with an awful lurch, the cart flipped over and they were all thrown out of it. Harry heard the cart smash into pieces against the passage wall, heard Hermione shriek something and felt himself glide back towards the ground as though weightless, landing painlessly on the rocky passage floor.

‘C – Cushioning Charm,’ Hermione spluttered, as Ron pulled her to her feet: but to Harry’s horror he saw that she was no longer Bellatrix; instead she stood there in overlarge robes, sopping wet and completely herself; Ron was red-haired and beardless again. They were realising it as they looked at each other, feeling their own faces.

As to why they ended up closer to their target, the simplest answer is that they were already spiralling down (on a rail track) to get to the bottom of a deep well and access the deepest vaults. Falling just got them there quicker.

  • 4
    @Mr.DancingMan - because their destination was at the bottom of the well where the various deep vaults are kept. The cart is taking them there. When they fall they arrive at their destination very promptly.
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 11, 2018 at 23:20
  • 1
    But if it was one of the most secure vaults in gringotts, it surely would not be placed at such an opportune spot for thiefs
    – Ginge
    Commented Oct 11, 2018 at 23:45
  • 4
    @Mr.DancingMan - The security is multi-layered. If you survive the fall (or being dashed against some rocks depending on how much you try to cling onto the cart), you'll be promptly eaten by a dragon.
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 11, 2018 at 23:46
  • 7
    @Mr.DancingMan They got 'lucky' for the sake of the story, or it's a plothole, it happens when describing fictional realities.
    – Ryan Leach
    Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 3:48
  • 1
    It's not even a plothole, it's just not a completely foolproof security system.
    – Cubic
    Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 10:40

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.