the "Why didn't they just shoot Voldemort?" thread

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SaneAmongInsane:
Okay from the other topic, someone brought up the question about why they didn't just shoot Voldemort. Now I use to watch these movies with my ex and drive her up the wall with all my questions cause really a LOT of what the magic community does doesn't make sense and is overly pretentios, but this question I investigated in earnest.

Arguments the dim-witted harry potter fan gives as to why the gun wouldn't work...
1. Muggle technology doesn't work around magic.
2. Voldemort would just be able to stop the bullet with magic
3. Voldemort will keep regenerating until the horcruxes are destroyed
4. If they did that there wouldn't be a story.

well... heres my counter argument,

1. You tell me some sort of electronic device doesn't work, I get it. Theres no telling what a magical aura could do to electricity. However a gun is mechanical and chemical. I have to assume if a pully and rope can work in Harry's universe a revolver would work to. Maybe you could argue that the gun powder wouldn't combust... But an obvious solution to that would be just use the wizard-chemical-equalvelent of gun power. Then you got yourself a magic gun!

2. Bullshit. First off, most of the spells require either saying a two syllable word and making a motion with the wand and I doubt Volde could do that against a bullet. Secondly, Voldemort being the racist that he is wouldn't know what a gun is/does if he saw one so he wouldn't have anyway of anticipating the impending bullet.

3. So Voldemort comes back... Just keep shooting everytime he resurrects. It's not like it's instantaneous, and you could probably do it several times before he actually could come up with an effective counter... and even then, just have hermione snipe him from across the pond. The time granted (instead of being wasted fighting him with magic) would be invaluable in finding the remain horcruxes.

4. NO! I freaking hate this response, because all it is trying to cover up how poor the story really is. Hey, I get a kick out the series, but this is a glaring serious plot hole. The whole reason the stakes are high is because the magic world assumes that unless Harry stops volde the muggles wouldn't stand a chance... Truth of the matter is, and JK Rowling said so herself, that in a straight up war with the magical realm the muggles would win. We have vastly superior technology and armor, not to mention numbers.

The only reason, the only GOOD reason why they didn't shoot Voldemort is because Harry just plain didn't think of doing it... and seeing as how both he and hermione both came from the muggle world and never once even lampshaded it I see is a major flaw in the whole series.

"Muahahaha! I am the Lord Voldemort! I am here to dest..." *Shoot him in the face*
"HAHA! Biotic Barrier Bit..." *Stab him in the throat*

Well, that worked better than expected. *Goes home and eagerly awaits Mass Effect 3*

The reason a gun would not work is that for a bullet to deal a fatal blow, it is required to rather hit a vital organ, poison the bloodstream, or cause significant shock/bleeding to kill. What many people do not take into account is that Voldemort is nothing but a physical manifestation of magic resembling his once-human form. He doesn't require a brain to think, a heart to beat, or anything like that. The body is just for appearance sake. Think of it like shooting a ghost. Maybe a magic/silver bullet would work though but not a regular gun.

I always thought that was the underlying message with the books and just why the books were so good.

The Wizards were so disconnected from the real world, that they were in turn dooming themselves.

I think if you were to really want those questions answered in the real world, it would be "because they're stupid". And in reality, they are. The culture behind them is vaguely reminiscent of the gypsy culture (And I'm American, so sorry if the word 'gypsy' offends anyone). Style is more or less lost on them. The house you visit are generally cluttered and at the very least are mostly a few decades behind muggle life.

They are very much pretentious, and that is why they had a downfall. They view themselves higher, when in reality they are having problems that even the muggles fixed, and they didn't need magic to do that. They lived in terror of a dictator like cult leader thing that lived in hiding, with a pretty much absentee government. Hell, they even had means to discern who would be an asshole by which house they got put into when they were eleven, yet they never seemed to use that as a criteria for who got into the highest ranks of the government.

To all other escapists who are thinking of bringing the "common sense says..." into this thread:
This is FUCKING MAGIC. Common sense doesn't come into play at all. Ever. This is a book with kids chasing dragons on brooms while trolls and giants and centaurs and three headed dogs are all regularly recurring features. There's plenty of glaring plot holes within the context of the story that someone could point out without resorting to "Well why don't they just launch a cruise missile up his ass?" or "Just chop his hands and feet off so he can't hold a wand AND talk at the same time."

For instance, you could argue the stories are shitty because, in most of the books, usually the way to overcome the final obstacle is with something the kids learned that fucking semester. And the bad guys probably could've won if they had a copy of the syllabus. Rowling took the chekhov gun argument to the extreme.

You could argue the stories are shitty because Harry is usually saved by a deus ex machina he pulls out of his ass or pure dumb luck hurling him ass-first to victory. Every time he's stuck, you can bet someone's gonna be all "oh wait, I forgot I had this" or "Wait a minute, something just appeared."

You could even argue the stories are shitty because super awesome devices are never used for the right reasons because Rowling realized she wrote herself into a corner. Harry and his friends have a necklace that can teleport you through time itself and a room that has WHATEVER YOU WANT INSIDE OF IT. Yet they still can't manage to overwhelmingly crush Voldemort.

These are all perfectly valid reasons to argue why Harry Potter is a bad story. So please stop trying to interject real world sense into a fantastical narrative. Besides this movie already stole that ending:

Seeing as the concept of magic itself is handled as clumsy and clunky as it is in Harry Potter, I'm not surprised this slipped ol' J.K.'s mind.

"But Harry spends a good amount of time in the real world. There really isn't a good reason for him not to at least consider, at least for a second "Why don't I just shoot him?"

Harry grew up in the UK, they outlawed guns ages ago. Why would he think about using a gun against Voldemort?

No one here read the books did they...

First of all... there are shield spells in the books that would deflect a bullet. (they are one-time casts that basically last, like a forcefield) Second.. the better wizards don't need to speak words, thinking the spell is good enough and they can react faster than you can pull a trigger...

So basically... why didn't people that could shoot lightning, teleport at will, and all that pick up a piece of metal containing gunpowder and try to kill the best wizard in the world with it? Because it wouldn't work you freaking genius. :P

Also, its NOT FUCKING REAL. 99% of things can be 'ended' with a gun, real life or not. ITS NOT always the best solution...

Killing voldemort wasn't always the plan from the get go in the story. I'm actually glad that killing isn't the first plan in real life. Your kid stole a bag of chips? SHOOT HIM IN THE FREAKING HEAD!

Dumbledore (sigh) never wanted to kill Voldemort but to help him.

cause it would of made things too easy XD.

http://youtu.be/YsYWT5Q_R_w

edit: man i suck at embedding stuff.

Matthew94:

Kendarik:

Matthew94:
They are fans who take a book too seriously. There is no way to argue with stupidity. Imagining scenarios is fun but any actual arguments just makes me face palm.

All you would need is a nuke and bye bye hogwarts, even if you stop the blast the radiation will be there for years.

Not really, because the [insert magic here] would wipe it all away and in fact stop the detonation in the first place.

You can't stop magic with science because you can handwave the science away with more magic if you want.

Oh, and btw, its a series of KIDS books. The OP is calling HP fans names, while actually spending real brain cells trying to disprove a kid's book about magic. Who's the dim witted one again?

"You can't stop magic with science because you can handwave the science away with more magic if you want."

This is precisely why I won't argue with HP fans over this as you can't ever win using common sense.

"its a series of KIDS books."

By book 6 I wouldn't call it a kids book, it's just so depressing and so it the next one except replace depressing with boring.

Few bitches are called sluts, and a few sluts are called bitches. It stopped being a kids book at about book three, if you want to debate it. I agree with you.

TestECull:
You could say that about most works of fiction. A .45 ACP to the brainpan would solve many, many books, TV series and movies in the first act.

And with you.

michael87cn:
No one here read the books did they...

First of all... there are shield spells in the books that would deflect a bullet. (they are one-time casts that basically last, like a forcefield) Second.. the better wizards don't need to speak words, thinking the spell is good enough and they can react faster than you can pull a trigger...

So basically... why didn't people that could shoot lightning, teleport at will, and all that pick up a piece of metal containing gunpowder and try to kill the best wizard in the world with it? Because it wouldn't work you freaking genius. :P

Also, its NOT FUCKING REAL. 99% of things can be 'ended' with a gun, real life or not. ITS NOT always the best solution...

Killing voldemort wasn't always the plan from the get go in the story. I'm actually glad that killing isn't the first plan in real life. Your kid stole a bag of chips? SHOOT HIM IN THE FREAKING HEAD!

Dumbledore (sigh) never wanted to kill Voldemort but to help him.

I remember the shield spell, but was it ever clarified that it would work on bullets, or just magic?

Also, its sad about dumbledore, like always, but still.

Why didn't they just shoot him? Because the series took place in England. You don't see any dark wizards trying that shit in the U.S., no sir.

Not sure if it's been mentioned yet but there was an 'unbreakable' charm in Harry Potter. Just charm your clothes and no bullets will penetrate them. Sure, they still have a lot of velocity, but if wizards can levitate things there is probably some sort of charm they have that can bleed of the kinectic energy. There, guns are now useless.

In addition, the argument that Voldemort is racist and wouldn't understand guns is pretty damn stupid. Voldemort grew up in London during World War II. You can be damn sure he knew a fair bit about what muggle weapons could do - he probably saw the aftermath of a few bombings etc.

The main reason it's not used is simply because most wizards don't even know what a gun is. They have a spell that can kill so why would they be interested in a muggle weapon? Also, they're main goal is just to stop Voldemort, Harry's the only one who really thinks about killing him and because of the horcruxes he doesn't even think about actually killing him until the time comes when he can. Does it really matter anyway? The story is brilliantly written with everything becoming important by the end and it's not as bad as the ending for Transformers 3. Seriously, Optimus Prime could have shot that pillar as soon as the fighting broke out!

coolbeans21:
The way I like to imagine the books is. Voldermorte wins the battle against the loyalist wizards, decides to take on the rest of the muggle world and is taken out by a sniper within 30 seconds, Tango down!

The rest of the death eaters are whisked off to gitmo.

There is only one true wizard named harry, and his name is Dresden

You, sir, just earned yourself a huge, great big cookie covered in chocolate ecstasy(Yes, it totally exist now.)

Also, your Avatar is just.... epic.

OT : I dunno. A forcefield around Voldemort that deflects bullets? If not, I would totally get a M-16 and go full metal jacket on that jerk.

He wouldn't have to stop the bullet, he could just heal the wound after it hit him. Bullets don't kill instantly.

Nyaoku:
The reason a gun would not work is that for a bullet to deal a fatal blow, it is required to rather hit a vital organ, poison the bloodstream, or cause significant shock/bleeding to kill. What many people do not take into account is that Voldemort is nothing but a physical manifestation of magic resembling his once-human form. He doesn't require a brain to think, a heart to beat, or anything like that. The body is just for appearance sake. Think of it like shooting a ghost. Maybe a magic/silver bullet would work though but not a regular gun.

Can someone else who's read the book confirm this? I've heard a lot of arguments against why guns/bullets wouldn't work but this one has never come up (nothing against you Nyaoku but I'd think someone would have thrown this argument out in the many threads about this sort of thing by now). I've never read the books and always thought it was silly they don't just cap his ass.

In a book series I've read, a mercenary states that he would take out a wizard with a high powered sniper rifle. The wizard would die before he even realizes he's under attack.

SaneAmongInsane:
Okay from the other topic, someone brought up the question about why they didn't just shoot Voldemort. Now I use to watch these movies with my ex and drive her up the wall with all my questions cause really a LOT of what the magic community does doesn't make sense and is overly pretentios, but this question I investigated in earnest.

Arguments the dim-witted harry potter fan gives as to why the gun wouldn't work...
1. Muggle technology doesn't work around magic.
2. Voldemort would just be able to stop the bullet with magic
3. Voldemort will keep regenerating until the horcruxes are destroyed
4. If they did that there wouldn't be a story.

well... heres my counter argument,

1. You tell me some sort of electronic device doesn't work, I get it. Theres no telling what a magical aura could do to electricity. However a gun is mechanical and chemical. I have to assume if a pully and rope can work in Harry's universe a revolver would work to. Maybe you could argue that the gun powder wouldn't combust... But an obvious solution to that would be just use the wizard-chemical-equalvelent of gun power. Then you got yourself a magic gun!

2. Bullshit. First off, most of the spells require either saying a two syllable word and making a motion with the wand and I doubt Volde could do that against a bullet. Secondly, Voldemort being the racist that he is wouldn't know what a gun is/does if he saw one so he wouldn't have anyway of anticipating the impending bullet.

3. So Voldemort comes back... Just keep shooting everytime he resurrects. It's not like it's instantaneous, and you could probably do it several times before he actually could come up with an effective counter... and even then, just have hermione snipe him from across the pond. The time granted (instead of being wasted fighting him with magic) would be invaluable in finding the remain horcruxes.

4. NO! I freaking hate this response, because all it is trying to cover up how poor the story really is. Hey, I get a kick out the series, but this is a glaring serious plot hole. The whole reason the stakes are high is because the magic world assumes that unless Harry stops volde the muggles wouldn't stand a chance... Truth of the matter is, and JK Rowling said so herself, that in a straight up war with the magical realm the muggles would win. We have vastly superior technology and armor, not to mention numbers.

The only reason, the only GOOD reason why they didn't shoot Voldemort is because Harry just plain didn't think of doing it... and seeing as how both he and hermione both came from the muggle world and never once even lampshaded it I see is a major flaw in the whole series.

Actually with regard to number two he would know what a gun is since he grew up in a Muggle orphanage and spent his summers away from school there. Other than that I kinda see your point.

If the scenes showing Mr. Weasley interacting with Muggles and their technology (I think in a subway station?) is any indication of the rest of the wizarding world, then I doubt many of 'em even know what a gun is, or which side of it makes the loud noise.

And Mr. Weasley is supposed to be some Muggle fanatic, isn't he? Collecting Muggle things. And he was a spaz in the terminal.

because shut up that's why.

Now, questions/discussions like this can be plenty fun to have if you don't take it seriously, but it doesn't seem like that direction you wanted to go in.

I don't think Rowling cares enough about the real world solutions as Harry Potter is supposed to be escapist fiction. Really, if the Prime Minister heard of an insurrection by this Voldermort chap he'd label him a revolutionary or a terrorists and the SAS would insist on doing something. But for Rowling to integrate that into her story would necessitate lookign into military weapons, tactics and REAL WORLD politics which I'm quite sure she'd find interminably boring.

I think a more obvious reason is JK Rowling growing up in the UK likely has had hardly ANY contact with firearms and it hardly even registers in her brain. Guns are EXTREMELY regulated to the point where they just are a non-factor, you only encounter them in films set in other parts of the world.

Every time they leave the muggle world it doesn't so much seem like they enter a magical world, it seem like they GO BACK IN TIME! Or go to a parallel dimension that is chronologically more in sync with pre-Enlightenment Europe than simply "UK without technology".

I'm also rather disappointed with the idea that magic totally substitutes technology as where is the magical substitute for communication technology? Owls may be more whimsical but they are far inferior to mobile phones to have direct calls or texting. Newspapers with animated gifs are no substitute for the internet's constant updating nor is there anything like television, cinema nor computer games.

I suppose my issue is that Rowling did not do enough to separate the Muggle (our) world from The magical world.

IF they were completely separate but superimposed dimensions, and the wizards and witches can cross over into our world, then fine. They could "hide" Harry in this parallel dimension that is ruled by the laws of physics and science. Then Harry and Hermione couldn't suggest firearms because as school kids they know nothing about them. And the Prime Minister wouldn't send the SAS because it's not his problem, it isn't even his dimension.

Frankly I found it caused too many problems saying the Magical world existed secretly with our world as:
-what about the matter of democracy, do wizards and witches get votes? Can they stand in elections? What laws must each follow? Taxes?
-why doesn't the magical community help with matters of illness, they might do great contributions to NHS? Even to law enforcement catching murderers and rapists?
-Why can't "non-magical" students go to Hogwarts? Isn't this discrimination? What about all these political issues?

See, I think Rowling was interested in a Tolkien type of magical world but still needed a way to ground it in the real world so made two of the principal protagonists FROM our world (Hermione had magical-parent(s) who raised her in Muggle world but informed of her lineage). This is a GREAT storytelling technique as it's good to have a fish-out-of-water character - especially the protagonist - for the other characters to exposit everything to.

EXCEPT normally it is not taken to the extreme of Harry Potter, of a de-facto completely different dimension or time. Luke Skywalker grew up as a simple farmer on a dead end planet, plenty of reason for him to ask about how the Empire's Galaxy worked. Frodo and Sam in Lord of the Rings admitted they'd never left Shire in the whole lives. Neo of The Matrix never knew of the grand machine-reality conspiracy. It all had to be explained.

And people don't ask why they didn't just drop a JDAM of Sauron's tower. Because that technology is not part of that universe.

PS: I have an explanation why why they didn't just fly on those eagles all the way to Mordor. A magical-medieval examples of a "no-fly-zone" we've seen over Iraq and Libya. It is much easier to shoot down anything flying through the air than to attack any small thing that moves on the ground. Ironically enough the best way into Mordor was to "simply walk into Mordor"

Magic is a tempting option but you really have to commit to it. The thing is technology alone can create so much opportunity. Who was it, was it Arthur C Clark who said:

"any sufficiently advanced form of technology is indistinguishable from magic"

In 1997 it must have seemed so cool to schoolkids the idea of communicating via messenger owls. Yet 15 year later it's common for schoolkids to instantaneously communicate via text messages, phonecalls and even video chat.

Holy shit, it's now been 15 YEARS since Harry Potter was first created. Not long till 20th anniversary. So old.

michael87cn:
First of all... there are shield spells in the books that would deflect a bullet. (they are one-time casts that basically last, like a forcefield) Second.. the better wizards don't need to speak words, thinking the spell is good enough and they can react faster than you can pull a trigger...

Basically this is the reason. I'm sure old mate voldy wouldn't walk around with some kind of protection. The thing he was most afraid of was death, he wouldn't take the chance of dying by walking around with no protection.

Oh and they actually mention guns once throughout the series. I believe it is when Sirius Black has escaped Azkabam. The muggles are alerted to his escape due to his perceived threat level and told he has a gun. The wizards describe the gun as: "a sort of metal wand that muggles use to kill each other with." So there, they do know about them. :P

SaneAmongInsane:
4. NO! I freaking hate this response, because all it is trying to cover up how poor the story really is. Hey, I get a kick out the series, but this is a glaring serious plot hole. The whole reason the stakes are high is because the magic world assumes that unless Harry stops volde the muggles wouldn't stand a chance... Truth of the matter is, and JK Rowling said so herself, that in a straight up war with the magical realm the muggles would win. We have vastly superior technology and armor, not to mention numbers.

It's called suspenstion of disbelief. The books are entertaining and meaningful if you don't question things like that. It's trivial.

Aren't guns illegal where they live? Don't know how thriving the black market is in that area either so perhaps it would just be a pain to acquire one.

I don't even get where this "muggle technology doesn't work around magic" thing comes from. There's like a million reasons why that doesn't make any sense:

1. Like the OP said, "muggle technology" does not run on "anti-magic", it runs on physics. If low-tech stuff works around magic, there's no reason for high-tech stuff not to work around magic.

2. I re-read the first few books in the series pretty recently (for nostalgia) and quite a few things stand out to me: For one thing, Harry lives with muggles for 3 months every goddamn year. He uses "muggle technology" all the time. Hell, he even talks about secretly using Dudley's computer when he's away.

3. (and this is the best argument) I'm fairly certain that no one in the books EVER says ANYTHING about magic screwing with technology. I'm pretty sure someone just made that up the first time this question came about.

Well, there's my nerdy, pointless, fictional debating for the day. Now I'm going to go be productive.

farson135:

SaneAmongInsane:
Arguments the dim-witted harry potter fan gives as to why the gun wouldn't work...

This is not an argument from a fan but it is the argument my European Folklore Professor would make-

Rowling is doing more or less what Tolkien did with the Lord of the Rings. Specifically they both are using standard folklore archetypes to "hand make" a folktale, fairy story, myth, etc. Basically all of the Lord of the Rings is is copy/pasted elements of folklore with a bit of theory thrown in. Harry is more or less following Vladimir Propp's hero's quest archetype where (summary) the hero leaves on a quest, he is tested, he wins, he marries the princess. In order for the hero archetype to work there must be a counter action where the hero must make a sacrifice to gain the tool necessary to defeat the villain. Just getting a gun would not have required a sacrifice or a real journey.

In other words you should think of the story more as a literary exercise (for children no less).

Or you could just say that Rowling is English and since the English have such oppressive gun laws Harry probably wouldn't have been able to get a gun anyway without consulting a local gang (that would be an interesting twist on the hero archetype).

Yes but I feel not at least addressing it and making up some sort of mythology explaining why a gun wouldn't work, it's still a glaring flaw she never lampshaded.

You don't have to explain the gun away in LOTR or other mythologies because usually it's not invented yet or it's an entirely different world. However, in Harry Potter it shares a universe with us. A basic explanation is needed.

You know what else bothered me? The revolving staircase. Can you imagine how annoying that would be if you missed it and had to wait for it to swing around again? Why the hell would they design it like that when they could just have a stationary staircase?

And the pictures... I remember the quote "Well you don't expect him to be there all day, do you?" incredibly inconsistent for the needs of a photograph. Could you imagine if you got pulled over by a cop or were carded trying to buy butter beers and your avatar decided to take his coffee break? ANARCHY I TELL YOU!

AND THE CANDLES! THE CANDLES IN THE DINING ROOM! What, the wizards are to "hipster" for a fucking lamp? Okay, levitate all those candles... WHO THE HELL WANTS TO EAT WHILE MOLTEN HOT WAX DROPS ON THEM?!?!

lol, I love the mythology because it's fun to screw around with.

edit

See... this is always an interesting topic. Whenever someone asks this question, I always feel the urge to retort with another.

Why do you think a gun would even work?

The simplest of solutions don't always work in spite of the value people put on them. If it were that easy, it probably would have been done.

SaneAmongInsane:
Okay from the other topic, someone brought up the question about why they didn't just shoot Voldemort. Now I use to watch these movies with my ex and drive her up the wall with all my questions cause really a LOT of what the magic community does doesn't make sense and is overly pretentios, but this question I investigated in earnest.

Arguments the dim-witted harry potter fan gives as to why the gun wouldn't work...
1. Muggle technology doesn't work around magic.
2. Voldemort would just be able to stop the bullet with magic
3. Voldemort will keep regenerating until the horcruxes are destroyed
4. If they did that there wouldn't be a story.

well... heres my counter argument,

1. You tell me some sort of electronic device doesn't work, I get it. Theres no telling what a magical aura could do to electricity. However a gun is mechanical and chemical. I have to assume if a pully and rope can work in Harry's universe a revolver would work to. Maybe you could argue that the gun powder wouldn't combust... But an obvious solution to that would be just use the wizard-chemical-equalvelent of gun power. Then you got yourself a magic gun!

2. Bullshit. First off, most of the spells require either saying a two syllable word and making a motion with the wand and I doubt Volde could do that against a bullet. Secondly, Voldemort being the racist that he is wouldn't know what a gun is/does if he saw one so he wouldn't have anyway of anticipating the impending bullet.

3. So Voldemort comes back... Just keep shooting everytime he resurrects. It's not like it's instantaneous, and you could probably do it several times before he actually could come up with an effective counter... and even then, just have hermione snipe him from across the pond. The time granted (instead of being wasted fighting him with magic) would be invaluable in finding the remain horcruxes.

4. NO! I freaking hate this response, because all it is trying to cover up how poor the story really is. Hey, I get a kick out the series, but this is a glaring serious plot hole. The whole reason the stakes are high is because the magic world assumes that unless Harry stops volde the muggles wouldn't stand a chance... Truth of the matter is, and JK Rowling said so herself, that in a straight up war with the magical realm the muggles would win. We have vastly superior technology and armor, not to mention numbers.

The only reason, the only GOOD reason why they didn't shoot Voldemort is because Harry just plain didn't think of doing it... and seeing as how both he and hermione both came from the muggle world and never once even lampshaded it I see is a major flaw in the whole series.

The stories take place in the UK with a much lower availibility of guns and much tighter gun control. Getting your hands on a gun is pretty difficult. The Wizarding World also maintains "The Ministry Of Magic" which in the books enforces a strict seperation of the magical world and "muggle world" to the point of there being a surprising amount of ignorance about what muggles have and what they can do.

By the time Harry got to the point where he probably would have decided to go for a gun, and had the magic to obtain one, there was no real point to getting his hands on one. After all he could point a wand at someone and take them down with energy rather easily, which was at least as good as a handgun, so why bother? I'd imagine deflecting a bullet (to be fair) would be no more difficult than deflecting a spell, for it to really matter you'd need a surprise attack.

Reading between the lines I will say that the wizards being in hiding is NOT just to protect muggles from them, but to protect them and the magical creatues from the muggles. See, if someone like Voldemort won, he probably wouldn't "conquer the muggles" like he seems to think, especially seeing as the pureblood wizards he uses are interntionally ignorant (as a result of arrogance). He'd probably do a lot of damage by surprise, but there really aren't that many wizards between all their scattered "shadow communities" existing between the cracks. He probably doesn't realize that the muggles could unleash tens of thousands or millions of dudes with guns that are doing the same damage as your average "curse" not to mention bombs, planes, and other assorted things that perform on a very high level. It would be bloody, but numbers would tell, and it probably wouldn't even be close in the end. Most of the major spells (memory charms, etc..) seem to involve acting on an individual level, which is why it takes something like the Ministry of Magic a huge amount of effort (enough to slot them off) to control witnesses to things like a flying car, because they need to find the witnesses and wipe their minds one at a time.

To be honest the books also try and justify the lack of muggle involvement simply though the Prime Minister being an idiot. There is one bit where the Minister Of Magic, meets the so called "Minister Of Muggles" and it's revealed that the Prime Minister is basically freaked out by meeting this guy and feels he's borderline hallucinating, etc... (it's been a while) relations with other countries outside of Britan are kind of glossed over. The point being that there was SUPPOSED to be communicatin between the worlds at a very high level, but at some point it broke down other than the Minister Of Magic occasionally showing up to rant and rave. This incidently also explains why there wasn't a division in The British Goverment dealing with relations (at least not anymore) and why when things were getting really hairy the British Goverment didn't send a bunch of British Royal Marine Commandos, or James Bond MI-6 types to intervene.

Of course there is another point to consider beyond all of this. Voldemort is unkillable due to the way his soul is divided, this is a central plot point. In a personal, direct confrontation, you could probably shoott him thousands of times, and if you hadn't gotten all his horcruxs he would be hurt, but continue to live. It's also noteworthy that Voldemort in addition to being unkillable is the second most powerful wizard in the series. Dumbledore is more powerful (as was proven during their throw down in the ministery of magic... which explained why Dumbledore was "the only one he ever feared"). A point about Dumbledore is also that he could very easily have been Voldemort, since he was nearly as bad when he was younger which is apparently part of why he had such insights into him. Dumbledore's old friend (and now lover I guess) was the previous Dark Lord prior to Voldemort whom he defeated, and it affected him greatly. The point being that guns and soldiers might ave helped to an extent with the battles, but in the end you weren't going to get Voldemort himself without taking out the Macguffins... err Horcruxs. While Dumbledore had more power in a direct confrontation when he was at full strength (though it was very close) even he couldn't actually kill Voldemort.... though the events leading to his death were based around him getting the Horcruxs (when he died he was all messed up from drinking poison, and magicking his way through a giant defensive trap to get to where he thought one was...).

Ahh well, enough HP rambling, these are my thoughts on the subject having seen the movies, and read all the books. The books have a surprising amount of detail for children's books, and what seem to be amusing Acedotes, do tend to wind up filling in details. The bit between the minsters for example kind of sets the tone for why there isn't any kind of intervention by muggle authorities, and also shows that there was intended to be more interaction between the sides at a high level (as I mentioned).

SpikeyGirl:
If guns do work magic could make the bullets invisible and probably silence it!
Ultimate sniper time.

Meet old mundane sniper rifles. Effective reach - half a kilometre away or more - no need for a invisible bullet when your can't make you out clearly (if they can see you at all). Also, use plain old subsonic ammunition plus a suppressor. Bam! Or rather "sssst" - no need for magical silencing.

And for all people that try to justify why a gun wouldn't work because of all sorts of magical shielding, you are forgetting something - nobody even suggests using guns. Why would Voldy or his Death munchers consider trying to protect themselves from it? It takes a single person to pull out a gun and he'd take any other wizard in the world by surprise, it seems. Furthermore, it has never been established that shooting will not work. Because it has never been brought up. I'd understand if Hermione went "But what about guns?" and somebody explained it wouldn't work but there is virtually nothing to suggest that currently. Is Voldemort making his clothes out of bulletproof wool or something? For all we know, he might have made them explode on impact with aluminium.

Now, I understand why the lich wannabe along with his sith wannabes wouldn't want to use mortal tech but there are other wizards out there - some of them intelligent and resourceful people, some are experienced in the muggle world, some are both. And when the excrement has collided with the blower of air, none seems to have remembered that a magic wand is not the be-all-and-end-all tool. Forget guns, a radio would have been untraceable by the wizard racists. Mobile phones, heck, normal phones, alarms and so on can all be used against the magical fascists. And since none of the bad guys seem to want to mess with the "inferior" muggle tools, it would have taken them quite a while to catch up to it.

There is currently, no excuse for why the wizard community hasn't tried any tech at all. Yes, they are old fashioned but not all of them - and the muggle blooded (or just half) magicians are a significant portion - smaller than the purebloods, but big enough for at least one to go "Hey guys, try this out."

I think a lot of people who didn't grow up in England misjudge how alien guns are to people who do. The first time I actually saw a gun I was 24 and flying out of the country for the first time. It was shocking, and a little scary, to see them being carried openly by police at the airport.

Unless you live in very specific areas of the UK, guns are not something you ever encounter. Sure, we see them on the news, we know they exist, but we just don't see them day to day in our lives.

So I can definitely see even Harry (who's plot pre books is pretty much set up to ensure he has no significant contact with the outside world) and Hermione (who appears to have spent most of her life studying magic anyway)... entering Hogwarts at 11 and then having limited Real World contact, not thinking of firearms as an option.

Or for that matter, even if they did consider them an option, not knowing what weapon would be suitable, how to get one, and definitely not knowing someone with the skills to use it.

However... the British government have been handling outright civil war right on their doorstep for the last god knows how long. Had someone within the Magical world gone to them and properly explained the situation, they would have done everything within their power to stop it. This includes highly trained military people.

tippy2k2:

Nyaoku:
The reason a gun would not work is that for a bullet to deal a fatal blow, it is required to rather hit a vital organ, poison the bloodstream, or cause significant shock/bleeding to kill. What many people do not take into account is that Voldemort is nothing but a physical manifestation of magic resembling his once-human form. He doesn't require a brain to think, a heart to beat, or anything like that. The body is just for appearance sake. Think of it like shooting a ghost. Maybe a magic/silver bullet would work though but not a regular gun.

Can someone else who's read the book confirm this? I've heard a lot of arguments against why guns/bullets wouldn't work but this one has never come up (nothing against you Nyaoku but I'd think someone would have thrown this argument out in the many threads about this sort of thing by now). I've never read the books and always thought it was silly they don't just cap his ass.

In a book series I've read, a mercenary states that he would take out a wizard with a high powered sniper rifle. The wizard would die before he even realizes he's under attack.

The Dresden Files. A different series and a different universe. That Harry is just as mortal as the next guy, albeit, (potentially) longer lived.

Voldemort resurrects himself by creating a new body. I have no idea how resistant the body is to magic, I don't remember anything being told about the new body being nothing more than a fleshy vessel for him. I would hazard a guess that Voldemort would still be killed by a sword through the heart or decapitation.

5) It's a kid's book and guns aren't in those.

If you want real world anything in sci-fi worlds, a gun would solve everyone's problem every time.

Smurfs shoot Gargamel. The end.
Care Bears shoot Noheart. The end.
Cain shoots Diablo. The end.
Dragonborn shoots dragon. The end.
Frodo shoots Smegel and Sauron. The end.
My little pony shoots hipster brony or something. The end.
Ash shoots up Elite Four. The end.
Garfield shoots Odie and John. The end.
Harry shoots Voldemorte. The end.

Is there really an awesome story to be told about MAGIC that ends with a guy pulling out a gun and ending it abruptly?
Why learn any magic at all? That wizard should be like, "Nah, don't go to school. Have a GUN. You can just shoot someone faster than they can cast spells. Here, Harry. Have a fucking gun and just shoot everyone."
Harry Potter goes to Columbine.

Next you're going to start ranting about how Fritz was killed.

Odbarc:
5) It's a kid's book and guns aren't in those.

If you want real world anything in sci-fi worlds, a gun would solve everyone's problem every time.

Smurfs shoot Gargamel. The end.
Care Bears shoot Noheart. The end.
Cain shoots Diablo. The end.
Dragonborn shoots dragon. The end.
Frodo shoots Smegel and Sauron. The end.
My little pony shoots hipster brony or something. The end.
Ash shoots up Elite Four. The end.
Garfield shoots Odie and John. The end.
Harry shoots Voldemorte. The end.

Is there really an awesome story to be told about MAGIC that ends with a guy pulling out a gun and ending it abruptly?
Why learn any magic at all? That wizard should be like, "Nah, don't go to school. Have a GUN. You can just shoot someone faster than they can cast spells. Here, Harry. Have a fucking gun and just shoot everyone."
Harry Potter goes to Columbine.

It could work if done right.

Personally I think it would've been a brilliant idea. However, it could be argued that because they're in England/Scotland they don't have the familiarity with guns that we Americans do, and therefore simply didn't think of it even though some of them had been Muggles beforehand.

That said, I'm gonna go ahead and leave this here for you, because it's awesome.

image
(from Sluggy Freelance)

SaneAmongInsane:
Okay from the other topic, someone brought up the question about why they didn't just shoot Voldemort. Now I use to watch these movies with my ex and drive her up the wall with all my questions cause really a LOT of what the magic community does doesn't make sense and is overly pretentios, but this question I investigated in earnest.

Arguments the dim-witted harry potter fan gives as to why the gun wouldn't work...
1. Muggle technology doesn't work around magic.
2. Voldemort would just be able to stop the bullet with magic
3. Voldemort will keep regenerating until the horcruxes are destroyed
4. If they did that there wouldn't be a story.

well... heres my counter argument,

1. You tell me some sort of electronic device doesn't work, I get it. Theres no telling what a magical aura could do to electricity. However a gun is mechanical and chemical. I have to assume if a pully and rope can work in Harry's universe a revolver would work to. Maybe you could argue that the gun powder wouldn't combust... But an obvious solution to that would be just use the wizard-chemical-equalvelent of gun power. Then you got yourself a magic gun!

2. Bullshit. First off, most of the spells require either saying a two syllable word and making a motion with the wand and I doubt Volde could do that against a bullet. Secondly, Voldemort being the racist that he is wouldn't know what a gun is/does if he saw one so he wouldn't have anyway of anticipating the impending bullet.

3. So Voldemort comes back... Just keep shooting everytime he resurrects. It's not like it's instantaneous, and you could probably do it several times before he actually could come up with an effective counter... and even then, just have hermione snipe him from across the pond. The time granted (instead of being wasted fighting him with magic) would be invaluable in finding the remain horcruxes.

4. NO! I freaking hate this response, because all it is trying to cover up how poor the story really is. Hey, I get a kick out the series, but this is a glaring serious plot hole. The whole reason the stakes are high is because the magic world assumes that unless Harry stops volde the muggles wouldn't stand a chance... Truth of the matter is, and JK Rowling said so herself, that in a straight up war with the magical realm the muggles would win. We have vastly superior technology and armor, not to mention numbers.

The only reason, the only GOOD reason why they didn't shoot Voldemort is because Harry just plain didn't think of doing it... and seeing as how both he and hermione both came from the muggle world and never once even lampshaded it I see is a major flaw in the whole series.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought this! Seriously, lots of the time, I was thinking where a sniper could be lying in wait with a high-power rifle and IR optics. Plug the bastard from a few hundred meters away. Even with a travel time of a second or two, no way Voldemort would have the reflexes or time to evade or cast a spell. The only reason they didn't seem to do this was because they look down on muggles.

Edit: There is also the possibility of drone strikes, grenade launchers, all kinds of overkill hardware they could use to kill him.

There's a few in-universe reasons for it - I'll just ignore the fact that it's one of many irritating plot holes. First is that, for whatever reason, the various mechanical and chemical processes that go into firing a gun don't quite take in high-magic areas, so it doesn't work for whatever reason. The response to that would be to use a crossbow. The counter-argument to that would be that wizards have spells/unconscious magical powers that protect them from mundane, physical threats, to which the answer is to shoot him with a magic crossbow.

And then the other person says that doesn't work, because the only magic that works in the world is the deus ex machina allowed by Rowling, and all the wizards and muggles are idiots, or they just don't like killing. Whee!

I just try not to think about it.

Honestly, I usually don't think 'Why didn't they shoot him?', I think 'Why didn't they blow him up?'. You can't miss if you use enough explosives. Or, I dunno, MAGIC explosives.

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