I've only been personally involved in four revolutions, which barely places me in the top three of Cracked's experts on the subject. However, since the rest of them are currently training troops for saving [classified] from [you wouldn't believe it anyway] while taking over [fart noises!], and today's column is all about the subject, it has fallen on me to reveal the surprising flaws in famous fictional revolutions. For instance ...
#4. The Hobbits Would Have Kicked Saruman's Ass The Second He Tried to Take Over The Shire
New Line Cinema
Lord Of The Rings is older than the Internet. Therefore, as long as the Internet has been a thing, people have over-analyzed Lord Of The Rings. I don't think a single site out there has forgotten to mention how butt-breakingly stupid Saruman the White was in his decision to fuel Isengard with wood from the nearby eons-old forest that he must've known was protected by a horde of sentient super-trees who could tear his little kingdom apart at a moment's notice. That's not the beef I have with Saruman today. Besides, I feel the movie version addressed this issue by casting the late great Christopher Lee in the role. Over 98 percent of all ents vouch that "Fuck you, trees, I'm Christopher Lee" is the magic word for them steering the hell out of your case forever.
New Line Cinema
"You'll play bass on my next heavy metal album."
Yet, Lee-fortified or not, Saruman did get his ass handed to him by a bunch of sentient firewood. The extended edition of The Return Of The King tries to convince us that he died in his crib, too. However, we're wiser, you and I. We've read the books, and know all about the Scouring of the Shire. The depowered Saruman leaves Isengard and heads off to the Shire. He still gets embarrassingly murdered by Brad Dourif, but not before he effortlessly conquers the shit out of the place and makes Bag End his new base of operations.
Which, in all honesty, is fucking ridiculous.
Consider hobbits. Over the course of LOTR and The Hobbit, we meet five of them (Gollum notwithstanding), all rather pointedly as basic as they come. Before the story is over, two of them have dicked around with the most dangerous artifact in the world for a prolonged amount of time. One has killed a giant demigod spider and torn through an orc fortress by himself. One has played a key role in saving the most powerful human kingdom. And one has successfully co-murdered the enemy's unkillable demon general. And that's not even taking into account the whole "saving the world" thing.
New Line Cinema
Technically the biggest badass in Middle-Earth.
But surely, Bilbo and the Fellowship hobbits were the absolute best the Shire had to offer? Nope! They're all like that. Consider Farmer Maggot, a grumpy agricultural type who was reduced to a bit character in the movies (he's the shivering hobbit pointing the way for the Ringwraiths in Fellowship's "Shire ... Baggins ..." scene). The OG Maggot is a badass. A plain old hobbit farmer who encounters a black rider and basically tells it to fuck off. Then he finds Frodo and his posse and escorts them to relative safety, because he felt he hadn't pissed off the ghostly murder horse guy badly enough. It's worth noting that the rider was offering Maggot money for Frodo's location, and Maggot had a history of animosity with Frodo. He just flipped off one of the most lethal creatures in the whole wide world because he didn't like its attitude.
That is the kind of people a powerless Saruman ran off to conquer with a handful of sorry-ass thugs. Perhaps it's a good thing Peter Jackson decided against filming the sequence -- it would have done no one any good to see Christopher Lee get repeatedly punched in the dick by several hundred grumpy three-footers.
#3. Any Violent Coup In The Harry Potter Universe Would Be Apocalyptic
I like the Harry Potter franchise because it has a truly smart and devious villain. Voldemort's thing is that he's not only super powerful as wizards go, but also unkillable because of the whole horcrux thing he's got going, and a pretty brilliant schemer to boot. He'll quietly build an attack force of half the named characters of the entire series and bide his time. He'll hatch plots that by all logic should kill all their subjects, and most of the time, only the narrative necessity of an if it weren't for those meddling kids card saves the heroes. Even in defeat, Voldemort doesn't mind. He'll spend a semester as a disembodied face in the sweaty turban of a motherfucker, see if he cares.
"This is why I later opted for the no-nose look."
That being said, he's also a goofy-looking noseless baldo foolishly attempting a revolution in a world that would descend into a never-ending (or rather, very quickly ending) whirlwind of madness the second someone would upset the power balance.
Everything in the Harry Potter universe is potentially a lethal weapon which every military of the world could only dream about. Everything. Trees, animals, people, objects. Give the wrong character a sock, and she's suddenly a demigod who can destroy you with a snap of her fingers if she wants. Forget your sorry-ass death curses -- a single Quidditch Golden Snitch could clear out a platoon of men in seconds, not unlike the whistle-arrow Yondu used in Guardians Of The Galaxy. Here's a fun game: Go watch a random Harry Potter movie and take a drink whenever you see an item or character that, with some imagination, could singlehandedly decimate a squad of Marines. You'll be blackout drunk within 20 minutes. An example: Here's Albus Dumbledore, one of the most powerful (and by far the most pacifistic) characters in the series getting fed up with a gaggle of totally-not-zombies.
Huh. That's a pretty powerful spell, and Dumbledore can probably whip it out with relative ease. In Half-Blood Prince, he can clear out a whole cavern, despite being severely weakened. What if shit got real and he'd have to go all-out? At full force, he should be able to throw one of those, what, every few hours? Just give the man one of the infamous time-turners, stick him in a flying car, and toss him off to have a nap and a sandwich before returning to the scene to travel back in time and nonchalantly rain hellfire over the next wave of Death Eaters.
"Wait, I could swear he wasn't holding that Whopper a second ag--Aaaaaaaarrrgh!"
What, the time-turners were all rendered useless during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries? Sure, kid. No one would ever think of mass manufacturing more weapons like that -- and worse -- in a time of high-octane war, consequences be damned. And it's not like they're the only weapon in a wizard arsenal. The contents of the Weasley twins' joke shop alone would be enough to turn the tide of a decent-sized conflict.
But would the wizard world dare to use all the potentially destructive power at their disposal? Fuck yes they would. It took muggle-humanity a couple of world wars to get our technology to a level where we were able to flatten cities, at which point we totally did. That's more or less the starting point in a wizard arms race, and they spend the entire franchise showing that they're all too human in their thoughts and action. So yeah, I'm calling it: The second Voldemort rolled out his Death Eater posse would mark the beginning point of an extremely slippery slope that would end within weeks with, well, this ...
Johan Swanepoel/iStock/Getty Images
"PLANETORUS DESTROCT-" "Oh, eat a dick, Harry."
... but with more sprinkles and fireworks and shit.