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Customer Discussions > Harry Potter forum

Problem with the Invisibility Cloak - always bugged me...


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Showing 1-25 of 27 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 20, 2011 1:23:53 PM PDT
So, I feel like I must be missing something because I have never seen anyone bring up what (to me) is one of the more blatant oversights in the books.

In DH, there is a huge to-do over Harry's invisibility cloak being absolutely perfect, in that you become completely invisible to everyone and everything, as opposed to other knock off cloaks that can be seen through with a bit of magic and wear out over time.

However, there is a lengthy scene in the GoF book where Moody can easily see Harry under his cloak with his magic eye.

Am I missing something? I can't believe that I'd be the first person to bring this up. Any answers?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 21, 2011 8:17:37 AM PDT
H'mm... good one!

Posted on Apr 21, 2011 8:25:35 AM PDT
The "huge to-do" was that his cloak was the actual one from the story of the three brothers, and not a cheap knock off like the others for sale. And Mad Eye's magic eye could see through everything, even the back of his head and walls. So it would make sense that he could also see through the cloak, which is a lot thinner than a wall.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 21, 2011 11:45:44 AM PDT
Right. That's exactly what I'm saying though. According to legend, the cloak is perfect in every way.

While Mad Eye was indeed a powerful wizard, I don't like the thought of one of three pentultimate devices used in the entire story being rendered useless against a wizard's nifty trinket. I'm calling plot hole on this one.

If Harry happens to randomly encounter a wizard with the ability to see through it, how many other trinkets out there can also see through it? And if that's the case, then I'd argue that the cloak is far from perfect.

Posted on Apr 21, 2011 3:11:10 PM PDT
C. Wiley says:
I see your point on this, I also would like to add that the wand that could not be beat was actually beaten twice that we know of. One when DD won it, and once when Draco did. Now some could argue that the wielder at the time choose not to defend but... If it can never be beaten then it should have no baring on the wielders wishes.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 21, 2011 3:30:02 PM PDT
You know, I'll even let the wand thing slide. There were at least allusions in the book to the fact that it was the THOUGHT that it was unbeatable more than anything. I'll even let it slide as a "Ok, so the WAND is unbeatable, but the carelessness/arrogance of the WIELDER can lead to it being bested."

I'm just saying that with the wand, there were at least discussions over whether or not it was truly unbeatable. The cloak, on the other hand, is held to nigh perfection throughout DH. There wasn't even a MENTION of, "Oh, well it's pretty darn close to perfect. We'll let a couple of imperfections slide." It's held to more of an absolute, "Yes, this is the one completely perfect cloak in existence."

I'm not even upset about it. I'm more astounded that with the depth that these books are wonderfully analyzed that I've never come across anyone discussing it before.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2011 1:40:27 PM PDT
H'm. I just re- read the scene. It seems that Mrs. Norris could see Harry too. Perhaps when it was made, and for a long time after, no spells had been discovered or developed that would be able to see through the cloak. In any case, I agree with C. Wiley that its perfection was a matter of legend; no one had ever taken it and experimented to see whether the legend was true-- unless Dumbledore did while he had it all those years, but he never said. All three of the Hallows had their reputations which didn't quite live up to the facts, remember.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2011 5:42:32 AM PDT
I think you've hit the crux, MSM. The perfection of the cloak was, in part, that it could not be torn or damaged in any way. No scorch marks when ironing (if you could see it to iron it.) I think that, to normal eyes and normal senses, the wearer would be invisible - at least all that was covered. Remember that feet protruding from under it was a problem when Ron and Hermione joined Harry there. The special eye of Prof. Moody was developed so he could see through things, around things, etc. Mrs. Norris, like the eye, had special talents relating to senses that told her when she was looking at something wrong or not what was supposed to be. That's why students always feared Mrs. Norris. She was omnipresent, like most cats, and yet could tell when they were doing something wrong. LIke Tobermory, in the Saki story, she then would tell Filch.
BTW, Filch and Umbridge probably got along due to their mutual love of cats.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2011 9:18:24 AM PDT
... and dislike of students. Mrs. Figg and presumably Professor McGonagall liked cats too, and they were Good Guys. Now I think of it, we don't really see Filch liking any cat other than Mrs. Norris, certainly not the sort requiring pink bows. (Imagine Mrs. Norris' reaction to having a pink bow around her neck.)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 24, 2011 10:41:29 AM PDT
I do believe Mrs. Norris would have turned on Filch and he would have become petrified - with fear.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2011 10:17:55 AM PDT
Also, the phrase "buzz saw" comes to mind.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2011 1:10:34 PM PDT
Uh-oh, you have been watching too much Halloween or Friday 13th part 9,300.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2011 11:50:19 AM PDT
Actually, no. Just a long experience of cats and a little carpentry.

Posted on Apr 29, 2011 10:21:11 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 29, 2011 10:22:28 AM PDT
Did anyone stop to think also that MAYBE JKR just wasn't thinking that far into the future when she wrote those parts? That the Deathly Hallows weren't part of the plot yet? You make good points though. The DHs were in fact flawed.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 29, 2011 12:25:30 PM PDT
.... naaahhhhh.

Posted on Apr 30, 2011 8:40:21 AM PDT
JKR isn't perfect, despite what the mass hysteria declares.
But I kinda wonder if she DID have the whole thing planned from the start. Killing off certain characters, for one.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 30, 2011 11:00:57 AM PDT
I don't know what- all she's said by this point on that subject, but certainly she had the entire story arc well- thought- out. Perfectly? Not even Tolkien was perfect. Absolutely everything included from the beginning? Certainly not; but the primary characters and events, I'd guess Yes.

Somewhere here there's a thread on Foreshadowing, in which we found and discussed dozens if not hundreds of instances of things that turned up later in the series.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 30, 2011 4:08:27 PM PDT
As a sometime author, I usually think through where I want a story to go, but the ups and downs of personalities and little details (like who dies) aren't always clear at the beginning. I once wrote a mystery (unpublished) and had no idea until part way through "who done it". It allowed me to let the characters speak themselves free or into a corner. I suspect JKR did not envision exactly who would die, but she knew somebody would.

Posted on May 1, 2011 8:21:09 AM PDT
I must search for that thread. Or reread the series once more. It's been about a year since I did that.

I find myself doing that to when I attempt to write books. The future tends to remain foggy until I acually get to the certain part. Maybe that's why my book attempts always end in failure.

In reply to an earlier post on May 13, 2011 1:15:28 PM PDT
Elizabeth, I always know the general outcome when I start, unless it's a mystery.
But I sometimes introduce a character that I like that they get more page time than I anticipated they would. Who knew?
I've also had characters who vanished almost abruptly mainly because they didn't have much good to do. In my book about Jack Dawkins (available on Amazon), sometimes called The Artful Dodger, there are people who come and go. Sometimes I find that a character from early on is strong enough that he can return two or three times and be just as potent. In a book I am trying to get published, the villain (and yes, he really is one) is seen first, and then, once his importance is established, he goes away, coming back now and then to remind us he was there. I always knew where he was heading, but various diversions along the way made me change things.

Good luck on your endeavors. It's fun to write, but frustrating trying to get things published.

Posted on May 22, 2011 3:22:02 PM PDT
I can understand that. For my part, I write fantasy and thriller stories. Thanks for the advice-type replies.

Now that I have managed to drag the topic way off, wouldn't be cool to have an invisibility cloak? ^^;

Posted on Jun 7, 2011 7:33:32 AM PDT
D. Johnson says:
Don't forget that DD could see through the cloak too, CoS in Hagrid's cabin. But then DD was special himself.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 10, 2011 12:52:11 PM PDT
Well, he had the cloak for years, too... maybe he realized that he could listen for breath, or watch for feet, or see an edge or something, too. Not that he'd be any less special for that.

Posted on Jun 20, 2011 10:18:06 AM PDT
D. Johnson, JKR said that Dumbledore knew that Harry (at least) was with Hagrid when he came because he used the Homenum revelio spell. He can't see through an invisibility cloak. Only Mad Eye Moody's blue eye can do this. Even Mrs. Norris can't see through the cloak, she can only detect a human presence through her cat's instinct.

Posted on Feb 25, 2012 10:05:03 PM PST
Cwbys21 says:
At the end of Deathly Hallows when Harry is talking to Dumbledore, Dumbledore says something along the lines of the Hallows not being made by death at all, just some very talented and dangerous wizards. So in the few hundred years after the cloak was made, magic advanced and Mad Eye was able to create a fake eye that was capable of seeing through it.
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Discussion in:  Harry Potter forum
Participants:  10
Total posts:  27
Initial post:  Apr 20, 2011
Latest post:  Feb 27, 2012

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