In DH when Harry, Ron and Hermione are on the run, the lack of food is a major plot element. I was never terribly bothered by some of the other inconsistencies in the HP world but in DH, it always seemed glaring to me that while Harry and friends are going hungry or eating horrible mushroom soup, Ted Tonks is able to easily use a summoning charm to capture salmon.

"Reckon there's salmon, or is it too early in the season? Accio Salmon!" —Ted Tonks

I don't think the question of if it is "too early" for salmon mitigates the inconsistency. One assumes there are other types of fish in HP world, along with rabbits or any number of other animals which could be eaten and could have been summoned by Harry et al. Is this a case of Tonks being a more mature wizard and knowing how to live rough? That also doesn't really satisfy given how clever Hermione is.

  • Squeamishness? Harry grew up in a muggle house. When would he learn how to gut and fillet a fish?
    – Valorum
    Jun 15, 2014 at 14:14
  • @Richard Growing up in a Muggle house doesn't really have anything to do with it. Ted Tonks was Muggle-born, for a start. Not to mention plenty of Muggles would know how to fillet a fish. It's not the kind of thing he'd have ever learnt living with the Dursleys though. Jun 15, 2014 at 15:08
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    @anthonygrist - I'd be willing to bet that 95% of British teenagers don't know how to fillet and cook a rabbit, for example
    – Valorum
    Jun 15, 2014 at 15:28
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    @Richard Hermione was able to recognise eatable mushrooms, which is, I would say, rather less spread skill than cook/grill a fillet (or some meat). Proper gutting takes some time, that is true. But as I experienced at one summer camp - among 6-7 teenagers around 12-16 years was at least one (but more) who knew/ figured it out how to: 1. catch a carp (from a little pond), 2. kill it, 3. skin the carp, 4. gut it, 5. make a very taste meal on an open fire. All in less than 1-2 hours. Mind you, as far as I know, they were all Muggles. No Accio, or other.
    – quapka
    Jun 15, 2014 at 16:57
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    Summon bigger fish
    – SQB
    Jun 15, 2014 at 20:08

1 Answer 1


Why do you think that they could NOT summon fish? That paragraph right before the Salmon Accioing was:

"My mother," said Ron on night, as they sat in the tent on a riverbank in Wales, "can make good food appear out of thin air."

He prodded moodily at the lumps of charred gray fish on his plate. Harry glanced automatically at Ron's neck and saw, as he has expected, the golden chain of the Horcrux glinting there. He managed to fight down the impulse to swear at Ron, whose attitude would, he knew, improve slightly when the time came to take off the locket.

Clearly, they HAD fish. They were just too bad of cooks to cook it in a Molly-quality way.

  • Ha ha - you may be right: they were bad cooks! I just remember the few scenes later when they were enticed by the smell of salmon cooking.
    – spring
    Jun 15, 2014 at 22:39
  • @TOMATO - a few scenes EARLIER they had no food aside from mushrooms. But clearly they DID manage to get some fish as the quote shows. Jun 15, 2014 at 23:26

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