Harry Potter's narrative had at least one plot breaker, in my point of view (Maybe it's because J K Rowling went so deep into the magic narrative?), and I found myself doubting the entire history.

As pointed in various blogs in the internet, the plot breaker I'm talking about the Time Turner, used by the trio to save Sirius Black from the dementor's kiss in The Prisoner of Azkaban. I mean, if such a device existed, why was it not used from the start to destroy Voldemort in the very beginning of his existance?

I know How-It-Should-Have-Ended videos are far from being trustworthy references, but just to show my point,...

My question is: Is it a plot-breaker? If not, why? Are there others?

  • 2
    As-is, this question is somewhere between too broad and primarily opinion based. What one would define as "the greatest plot-breaker" will vary from one person to the next. Asking for a list of plot-breakers or plot holes would tread closely to being a list question. To your specific example of the time turner, this would be a duplicate of Why Couldn't a Time Turner Have been Used to Stop Voldemort?
    – phantom42
    Jul 1 '14 at 17:57
  • VTC as primarily opinion-based. Also, the video is extraneous. Jul 1 '14 at 18:01
  • Do you just want to know about this specific "plot breaker" or about all "plot breakers" in the series? If the former, as phantom42 notes, it's already been addressed. If the latter, this question is primarily opinion-based.
    – jwodder
    Jul 1 '14 at 18:01
  • 2
    There are three questions here: "Is it a plot-breaker?" "If not, why?" "Are there others?" The last one is too broad, inviting all sorts of unending discussion; the first two are, in my opinion, primarily opinion-based and not really suitable for the site. Jul 1 '14 at 18:01
  • 1
    I've never heard J.K. Rowling say "because a wizard did it." To be fair, there are plot holes, sure. But offhand I can't think of a time JKR has denied this. I will say this -- the woman can think quickly on her feet :)) Frankly, I usually see "because a wizard did it" or "because it's magic" said by users who are too lazy to construct an answer that directly addresses a specific issue. $0.02. YMMV, etc. Jul 1 '14 at 18:21

I would say that it is not a plot breaker. The evidence in the books seems to show that time-turners operate in a single linear deterministic model of time travel. That is to say, while the users are transported back in time, they cannot "truly effect" the time-stream. Everything that Harry and Hermione did when they traveled back in time had "already been done" before they used the time-turner. It gets a bit confusing to think about, but the general idea is that you cannot change the past with a time turner.

Another thing to not is that we are not sure if the time-turner can be used to return to the present. Harry and Hermione went back a very shot period of time, and lived out the entire period. Traveling back years without a way to return to the "present" could get more complicated.


Per Pottermore, travelling backwards in time using a time turner to kill Voldemort would have been highly ill-advised and almost certainly resulted in the death of the user/s;

"All attempts to travel back further than a few hours have resulted in catastrophic harm to the witch or wizard involved. It was not realised for many years why time travellers over great distances never survived their journeys."

There are also some other dramatic effects described, essentially highlighting the possibility of contaminating the timestream to the point that the user (or their friends/family) become "un-born".

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