The Biggest Plot Hole in Harry Potter

Back in the Fall of 2005, shortly after the publishing of The Half Blood Prince, I read the Harry Potter books for the first time. Needless to say, the masterful story telling and the compelling and complex plots blew me away. Since then, I have been a constant fan of the Harry Potter Series, and I reread the books at least once a year (currently, I have read the entire series 8 times over). Yet in spite of my love and devotion for the series, there is one major plot hole that I’ve never been able to wrap my mind around, and all of it revolves around the entrail-expelling curse.

For those who are not as familiar with the Harry Potter world as I am, this curse is only mentioned once when Harry and the Weasley’s are visiting Arthur at St. Mungo’s. On page 487 of The Order of the Phoenix, we see the following sentence, “The walls were of paneled oak, and there was a portrait of a rather vicious looking wizard on the wall, captioned Urquohart Rackharrow, 1612-1697, Inventor of the Entrail-Expelling Curse.”

Thus, in the world of wizards, there is a jinx that will literally make someone crap his or her pants, and even though the knowledge of this curse has existed for hundreds of years, no one in the books ever uses it. How is that possible? Wouldn’t making your enemies crap their pants be a better curse that jelly legs or bat bogies? Wouldn’t the entrail-expelling curse be the perfect way to gain the upper-hand in a duel?

I’ve spent multiply hours trying to figure out a solution to this conundrum, but nothing provides a satisfy answer. Even if we assume that the curse is complex and hard to perform, that doesn’t explain why Hermione never used it. Multiply times in the series, we see that Hermione is capable of performing all kinds of advanced magic. So in book 6, when Ron was being the world’s biggest prat, how come Hermione attacked him with birds and asked out Cormac McLaggen when she hypothetically could have made him crap himself every time he was in the company of Lavender Brown? Even if we assume Hermione couldn’t use this curse, what about Voldemort and all of the death eaters? Surely making someone expel their entrails should have appealed to their cruel and sadistic natures. Hell, it probably would have coupled with the Cruciatus Curse perfectly.

Unfortunately, the only conclusion that I was able to come up with was that J. K. Rowling included it in the series as a joke while failing to grasp the magnitude of such a curse. Alas, I suppose I’ll never know unless I happen to encounter Rowling in person someday… 

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