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Thread: Bludgers

  1. #1
    Seventh Year Ravenclaw
    Setting Off Fireworks in Potions Class
    Tim the Enchanter's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
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    Does anyone else think that Bludgers are absurd, the way Rowling has described them? The idea of a homicidal ball is brilliant, I think, but what always bugs me is that the Bludger is described in the books as being 10 inches in diameter.

    Now, I am horrible with numbers so I will not attempt to calculate how much such a ball would weigh, but I think a ball this big would be impractical and just plain deadly. If an olympic shot put weighs 7.26 kg/16 pounds, I hate to imagine how much heavier the larger Bludger would be.

    Using a Beater's bat against this kind of ball sounds rather pointless, in my opinion, because that bat will probably break and do nothing to stop such a large, heavy ball's progress. Also, I'm surprised that Bludgers don't kill more people in Quidditch games - I would think that broken spines, caved-in skulls, and perhaps the occasional decapitation would occur, but they apparently do not.

    So, do we just pass off the dimensions of the Bludger as something Rowling didn't think very carefully on? Or is there some other explanation for why such large Bludgers don't kill people (supposedly)? Could they be hollow? Or is the explanation something as simple (and rather stupid) as, "It's magic"?

    Tim the Enchanter

  2. #2
    Padfoot Patronus

    The answer to most things is "magic" I guess, but it doesn't seem stupid to me. The injury part first then, so if bludgers are heavy and they are big, because of both these things they will also not be able to change directions as quickly. So, the most possible explanation is that the player changes direction, thus most often missing the bludger or closely at least. Furthermore, there are two bludgers and four players in all who are supposed to do nothing but basically chase them and try to divert them towards other players. So I suppose for two players of the same team it shouldn't be that hard for each one to keep one bludger away from their team. How about that?

    The injuries would occur but I think that's one of the thing Jo missed out from shedding a lot of focus on. As for the bats, they should be heavy too, I suppose. I wouldn't think that the bats can throw off the bludgers at angles as you can do a cricket ball for instance, but if aimed correctly I'm certain it can be thrown away from the targeted player.

    The way Harry gets hit by McLaggen's bat, it's not something less than serious, but Harry was okay. It's just the wizard blood I guess, able to heal quickly. Perhaps their healers can even mend skulls, I don't think a Muggle would survive MacLaggen's bat. And I think he was much bigger than Harry.

    We are not explained the technical aspects of Quidditch but I'm sure enough hints have been given to make it real and just not magical, simple and stupid. Like, the Quidditch game that lasted three months? I mean it seems amazing but that's it, isn't it? The Snitch is fast and if you aren't a brilliant seeker, idea is the game will continue on forever. It's more about grasping the concept of it, I'm sure there is something that makes one player a better beater than another, right? I think it has to do with the ability of the player to hit with the right force, the right angle to be able to throw it off in a desired direction. Similarly, a chaser would need good dynamics with other chasers and the like.

    One more thing I thought of, perhaps it is so that the Quidditch played at Hogwarts is relatively you know easier than say the one played professionally. If you're on Firebolts, chances are the Snitch will be caught too soon, do you think? Maybe, the Snitch, the bludgers are much worse in those games than we see at Hogwarts.


  3. #3
    So, do we just pass off the dimensions of the Bludger as something Rowling didn't think very carefully on? Or is there some other explanation for why such large Bludgers don't kill people (supposedly)? Could they be hollow?
    I don't think she thought them out carefully. I just think she wanted to make them big and heavy. I think the Bludgers might have most of their weight distributed along their outer shell, and they might be internally hollow. I think the bats are the thing that concerns me. How could someone use a bat heavy enough to hit a Bludger? I suppose some of the answer has to be 'magic.' I think that's why people don't die more often, actually, because the Healers are able to mend bones and more serious injuries that would kill Muggles.

  4. #4
    Another thing to consider is that the Bludgers that students use a purposefully smaller to prevent more serious injury. Professonal league Bludgers could possibly be much bigger, just that like with most things, school-league Bludgers are made small just because of the fact that it is children playing with them.

    Though, given J.K.'s history, I think it more likely she just didn't think it out. I just wanted to offer a possible explaination.

  5. #5
    I can't believe noone has already said this, bludgers are pure metal and at Hogwarts they have been made to go slower, and the Beaters bats are magically reinforced so they don't break.

    I remember reading that in an interview somwhere, i'll try to find it.

  6. #6
    Racing Co
    Funny this is, it seems like the most skilled Beaters can employ a lot of aim when striking the Bludger. I think I'll have to fall into the "it's magic" category, which is of course the best cop out of the HP world. A sharp-shooting Beater should be able to have some control of striking the Bludger rather than just a misdirection, especially when the Bludger is approaching head on in a baseball/cricket direction.

    This all plays into my belief that a Beater has to be the most physically gifted players on the pitch. Professionals would have to be physical wonders with the strength to power the Bludger away from them and other teammates and an incredible sense of balance.

    And yes, I agree with the suggestions that Hogwarts could very easily have "school level" equipment. The pitch might even be smaller. The game would certainly have to be played differently because Hogwarts would be in complete disarray if matches were lasting four or five days.

  7. #7
    Russia Snow
    To be honest its not even just "It's magic" in my opinion it is "Just Rowling" as a author thinking up her own world, she doesnt have to look for the plot holes that we, as fanfiction authors, have to. As it is her world, she can pretty much just make it up

    But I agree in real life, they would be deadly machines. I dont ever really recal all that many people eve being hit by bludgers... considering it is their job to knock people off their brooms, they dont do such a great job >.<

    I don't suppose the bats would break though, they will have been specifically desigmed not to break at the impact and here "it's magic" definately does apply

    Russia xxxxx

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