Um, guys? I hate to say it, but…Quidditch doesn’t make much sense.
Chapter 10: Halloween
This is the chapter where Harry (and more importantly, an army of readers) learns the rules of Quidditch. It’s an exciting moment in the series. Quidditch is such an important part of J.K.’s wizard world.
But as Oliver Wood was explaining the rules, all I could think was “Why didn’t I notice this before? Quidditch doesn’t make any sense!”
Stay with me, all you die hard Quidditch fans.
I know the live-action grounded Quidditch assigns a different point value to the Snitch, but in the books, it counts for 150 points. That’s the equivalent of 15 goals. Unless one team is getting crushed by another, it’s the deciding factor. The Seeker is even introduced as the most important player on the team, responsible for the winning or losing of the game.
Thematically, I understand the reason for this. It’s nice to have Harry on the Quidditch team, but it’s way more exciting if the entire game balances on his “chosen” shoulders.
Here’s my problem:
If the Snitch is worth 150 points and essentially wins the game, why bother with the Quaffle at all? What’s the point? The best anyone else on the team can do is stall until the Snitch is captured. The only scenario in which the Chasers or Keepers are remotely important is if there’s a chance of gaining 15 goals on the other team. The whole game could easily be played with just the Seeker zipping around the pitch with the Beaters guarding him.
How does the troll get into Hogwarts? Isn’t Hogwarts the safest place in all of wizardom? Are you telling me a half-wit troll can just wander in at his leisure? And why send the students back to their towers? Isn’t it better to keep them all in the Great Hall, where we are certain the troll is not, instead of sending them wandering the castle? Again, I know this logic kills any sort of excitement or plot in the story, but it comes to mind.
Nevertheless, for as much as I tease, whine, and outwardly mock, this chapter as a few crowning moments:
This is the chapter when Harry and Ron become friends with Hermione. This is a vital plot point, because Ron needs a wife. No other reason. There’s just no feasible way he’d make it on his own without someone to cook his dinner and set out his clothes in the morning. (you know I’m right)
Also important to the series on a whole is the growing list of not-so-subtle hints that Snape may be evil. While the films failed to continue this story line past Sorcerer’s Stone with any sort of integrity, the books truly push the idea that Snape is not to be trusted. As a reader who was obsessed with the “Is Snape Evil?” subplot, I love finding these moments.
But despite my fears of being attacked by Quidditch fans everywhere (they can still run impressively fast with those brooms between their legs) I maintain the sport is horribly flawed.