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In Deathly Hallows, Harry gets choked by the locket when going after the sword underwater. As Harry is already holding his breath, why does it impact him that much within such short notice?

According to the book, Harry is disoriented and swims to the side instead to the top (the pool is described as not very deep). What is the cause of this confusion?

  • 4
    For reference, I'd suggest putting your head underwater for a minute, then try it again with someone trying to choke you. You'll find that one is harder than the other – Valorum Mar 7 at 20:32
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    And it doesn't take a minute to do a surface dive from 8 feet, pick up a sword and come back. It's a few second maneuver. – guest Mar 7 at 20:34
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    He's disorientated and panicked. – Valorum Mar 7 at 20:35
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    Lame. It's a not deep pool. He's been under a few seconds. Kicking upwards is a normal activity even at night. Especially in a not that deep body of water. – guest Mar 7 at 20:36
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    This isn't a plot 'hole'. The water is freezing cold, he's in almost total darkness and something is wrapped around his throat trying to choke him to death. Of course he panics and makes poor decisions. – Valorum Mar 7 at 20:37
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It's one thing to hold your breath. But strangling is not about having somebody not being able to breath but to stop the bloodflow to the head. That way, you can incapacitate somebody within seconds.

Symptoms of poor blood flow to the brain (from Medical News Today):

Key symptoms include:

  • slurred speech

  • sudden weakness in the limbs

  • difficulty swallowing

  • loss of balance or feeling unbalanced

  • partial or complete loss of vision or double vision

  • dizziness or a spinning sensation

  • numbness or a tingling feeling

  • confusion

  • vomiting or nausea

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