The Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, a fine institution of magic and mystical learning that any fledgling magic-user would be happy to call home -- or so one would think. Don't get us wrong, we love the idea of a magical school hidden away from the human world where kids with special talents can learn to use and develop them. Anything that encourages kids to learn and grow in a safe environment is always a big plus in our books. But as wonderful as Hogwarts is, we can't help but notice more than a few kinks in the magical mechanism.
Think about this, you go to a boarding school hidden away on a British island only reachable by boat or a special train, surrounded by a dense and dark forest filled with werewolves, centaurs, giants, and every other monster you can imagine. Then you take classes in an ancient castle filled with ghosts, sentient staircases, a giant serpent that slithers through the plumbing and take lessons from teachers who either want to help you learn to the best of your abilities or sacrifice you to their dark master. Something tells us that probably wouldn't be mentioned on the school syllabus. That all being said, Hogwarts is still a magical place any wizard (or Muggle for that matter) would be absolutely thrilled to attend. We just can't help but notice a few details that may make even the most starry-eyed student raise a few questions to the headmaster. Wands at the ready, boys and girls. We have a few queries ourselves about this school for witchcraft and wizardry.
15 BIGGER ON THE INSIDE
Do you ever wonder if the castle was built by Time Lords? With all of the castle's secret passageways, secret chambers, vaults, and vanishing rooms, it certainly has some Tardis-esque features. You would have to be a wizard to conceive a location as expansive as Hogwarts Castle.
Not including the grounds and Quidditch Pitch, the castle contains eight towers, hundreds of rooms and staircases, and at least eight different floors, it's a behemoth of a campus. For such a confined area, its insides cover more than a lot of ground. For kids attending this magical maze, we hope they bring a map and know a little cardio to get from place to place.
14 RESTRICTED TO ROWBOATS
Here's one we probably all had when we first saw/read about the carriages and Thestrals. If Hogwarts had the carriages, why did the first year students all have to come in rowboats? It just seems like a lot of extra effort to give students two separate modes of transport with one involving waters full of mermaids, grindylows, and Hagrid knows what else.
We can kinda see the reasoning for hiding some parts of the school away from the already bewildered minds of young children who are already perplexed how a place like Hogwarts even exists, but it seems a bit extreme having them go all the way across the lake just to get to the first ceremony. Couldn't they just have a separate door instead?
13 SENTIENT STAIRCASES
One of the most iconic features of Hogwarts is the revolving staircase outside the Great Hall. The stairs twist and turn all about, taking students wherever they need to go. This is a great way to express the possibility that the castle itself is a living thing, but it could raise some practical issues.
Since the staircases like to change, as the book says, what if they get temperamental? How many students have been late because the staircase wouldn't change or stopped at the wrong landing? Though they sound interesting on paper, in practice they could cause some pesky problems. Hopefully, they don't give tardy slips for acts of staircase.
12 GIANT CASTLE, ONE JANITOR
You know... Mr. Filch doesn't have the easiest job in the world. He's essentially a mortal in a magical world cleaning up after over a thousand kids. It's not easy for a Squib and his cat, even in the Wizarding World. We certainly hope Mr. Filch gets some kind of assistance.
We know the castle has House-Elves to help out in the kitchen and other tasks, but still, we can't help but wonder how Filch does it all. Being a Squib, he has no way to use magical powers, so he can't exactly pull a Mickey and charm brooms to make things easier. Perhaps the castle is able to magically clean itself? Or perhaps he's hiding a Muggle floor-buffer somewhere on the grounds.
11 PORTRAIT DIMENSION
Now this one's a head-scratcher. How exactly do the portraits in Hogwarts work? Everyone knows about the Fat Lady and Sir Cadagon, but we're not sure exactly what they are or what purpose they serve (aside from guarding doors). We were all mesmerized by moving pictures who talk and ask for passwords, but we can't help but wonder about the life of a portrait person.
How do these beings come to be? Are portraits windows into another world/dimension? Are they ghosts or some form of spirit? We haven't figured it out, but the portraits at Hogwarts don't exactly paint a clear picture.
10 SLYTHERIN'S DANGEROUS DORM
The common rooms of the Hogwarts houses are where the students call home during the term. Each abode is designed to reflect the respected house. Gryffindors have a castle tower with a big roaring fireplace, Ravenclaws have a spire with a study, Hufflepuffs have a cozy place beside the kitchens, but then you have Slytherin's abode located in a dungeon below the black lake. That's a bit dark and dreary, wouldn't you agree?
Slytherin doesn't exactly have a shimmering reputation, but sending students, some only between ten and twelve, to live in the dungeons doesn't exactly sound like a warm welcome either. Granted, the dungeons are outfitted with common comforts, but it still lies beneath a monster-infested lake! Have fun sleeping tonight, first-years.
9 SUSPICIOUS AND SINISTER SCHOLARS
The witches and wizards put in charge of molding the minds of young magicians at Hogwarts are some of the most powerful and most well-known names in the Wizarding World. Albus Dumbledore, Minerva McGonagall, and many others have spent their careers inspiring young wizards and witches, but maybe they should have done a background check on some of their fellow academics.
While most of the Hogwarts Staff are top of their field, they've had trouble in the Defense against the Dark Arts department. They've had teachers who were frauds, werewolves, agents of Voldemort, and don't even get us started on Umbridge. You'd think Hogwarts would have some sort of spell to filter out the crazies, but we guess a new ceiling charm was more important.
8 BEE IN OUR BONNET
You may not think he's pretty, but don't judge by what you see. The Sorting Hat is one of the most iconic and recognizable symbols of the school, it has the power to see into the being of a student to determine what house they should be sorted into. That's a pretty impressive attribute for an old hat, but maybe it's more powerful than the professors let on.
The book reads: "There is nothing hidden in your head that the Sorting Hat can't see..." If that's the case, then couldn't the hat predict which students would have turned to the dark side? What about when Tom Riddle was sorted? Did he see anything then? The Wizarding World may never know.
7 DEADLY DETENTIONS
When one thinks of detention, thoughts fly to a blank classroom or maybe separate area in the cafeteria for misbehaving students, not at Hogwarts. Disciplinary action is normally determined by the professor, and normally don't differ much from Muggle versions. They might copy lines, assist in clean up, or help a certain show-off sorcerer answer fan-mail, but there's one form of detention that has us a little disturbed.
When Harry and company serve their detention helping Hagrid in the Forbidden Forest, we saw more than a couple of red flags. The Dark Forest is home to werewolves and worse, why would anyone ever send a group of eleven-year-olds into a place like that? Probably not the smartest move on McGonagall's part.
6 NEVER ALONE
Is privacy even a thing at Hogwarts? To paraphrase Dumbledore: if there's a secret, the whole school knows. Yes, you've got the common rooms, hidden passageways, and Room of Requirement, but with the ghosts, portrait people, and a castle that could possibly be alive, the walls really do have ears.
Think about it, how many uses of magic can be a bit invasive? There are objects like the Marauder's Map that can tell you wherever anyone is at any given time, people in portraits that can travel anywhere there's a picture frame, and a ghost that literally haunts the girl's bathroom. It's a wonder anyone can get time to themselves at all.
5 DANGER: KIDS AT PLAY
It's said many times in the series that Hogwarts is one of the safest places in the Wizarding World, even though it is surrounded by a monster-infested forest and ghosts roam the halls. But with that guarantee, of course, parents would send their kids there for education. Someone also had the bright idea to hide several dangerous artifacts where children could possibly stumble upon them.
Hogwarts has been the hiding place for the Sorcerer's Stone, Riddle's Diary, and the Eldar Wand just to name a few. These are powerful and potentially dangerous magical artifacts hidden in a school full of hundreds of children. That would be like burying nuclear weapons beneath a high school football field. We've got two words, in that case: homeschooled wizards.
4 MONSTERS IN THE WALLS
Hogwarts hides more than enchanted artifacts within its walls. The castle has also hosted several magical creatures, and we're not talking a Cornish Pixie infestation here. Students are allowed to keep owls, cats, rats, and toads as companions, but how about three-headed dogs, giant spiders, dragons, and serpents with petrifying gazes?
Though some of the creatures mentioned are certainly more dangerous than others, we can't help but wonder why these things would be brought to the grounds in the first place? We understand Fluffy was a guard-dog and Aragog was Hagrid's pet. But who let Slytherin keep a Basilisk under the school? If it's not werewolves in the forest, it's werewolves in the classroom, it's a wonder they don't have a hotline for Hagrid.
3 A TERRIBLE TOURNAMENT
Hey kids, who wants to play a series of games where you might be eaten by a dragon, drowned by mermaids, or driven mad by a bewitched hedge maze? No, we didn't think so. The Tri-Wizard Tournament is a huge event in the series, but we do not think any kid, magical or otherwise, would want to participate in a contest where players could potentially die in a challenge.
We can believe someone like Viktor Krum can take on this kind of event, but the others? We have some concerns. You'd think after the first death the rest would forfeit out of fear. How can anyone expect a teenager to take on a full-grown dragon? And, more importantly, why would anyone want to?
2 FORBIDDEN FOREST DENIZENS
We've already mentioned how serving detention in the Forbidden Forest might not be the safest idea in the book, but let's explore further and ask why would anyone think land surrounded by the forest would be healthy real estate? It's full of werewolves, spiders, and all manner of things, but that's not the real issue. The real issue is the fact there is little to no protection.
As far as we know, the main source of protection Hogwarts has from being overtaken by the forces of the forest is some form of agreement between them and Hagrid. We know he's on good terms with the giants, spiders, and centaurs, but we're not sure what else might lurk about. Perhaps that's why he packs the crossbow?
1 LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION
Alright, class, let's review. Hogwarts is on a secluded island on the coast of Scottland, you can only reach it by boat or magical train, it's surrounded by a dense forest of monsters, and it's in a castle that contains many forbidden and dangerous secrets. And nobody, magical or otherwise, has any issue sending their kids here?
We understand that magical families would be more tolerant than those of Muggle-borns, but how can a student see the aforementioned and not tell their parents? We know Hogwarts is an institution meant to strengthen and mold young wizards, but if our kids had an incident involving dementors and dragons and all we got was an owl letter, we'd have some strong words at the next Hogwarts PTA.