It's been on my mind for a time but the thing that triggered this post is the closing of the question

Who beheaded the celestial that became knowhere?

as primarily opinion based by 5 members of the community.

Another instance of a user VTC as primary opinion based was to the question

How did Snape allow his old advanced potions book to be used by Harry?

This question was, however, not closed by the community at large.

A third instance of "we don't know" answer to a question was my favorite one so far because as it later turned out, there was in-fact canon answer if you just looked closer enough.

So, what should be done with current & future questions whose answered could potentially be "We don't know from the available canon so far"

  • 2
    Doesn't really depend on the answer rather than the question. Confusing those matters seems again like trying to solve an overgeneralized problem that might not be well-represented by the few examples picked for it. Could you elaborate a little in which way you see a discrepancy in the way those questions have been dealt with so far? Is it the POB closure of one of them?
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Nov 2, 2018 at 17:43
  • @NapoleonWilson my issue is with people thinking "we don't know" answers make the question POB. I will write my detailed thoughts but in a while Nov 2, 2018 at 18:19
  • Part of the issue is the way the closed question is worded.. "what do you think", was the comment AFAIR...just editing the question to ask for any movie based information solves the question's problem...without invalidating the answer (mine). I've done that and VTR.
    – Paulie_D
    Nov 2, 2018 at 18:54
  • 1
    Essentially SF&F had the same discussion for the same reasons - scifi.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/11329/…
    – Paulie_D
    Nov 2, 2018 at 20:04
  • I think this problem should partially depend on if the in-universe of the Q, is still in some way ongoing. Like the 'How do the White Walker's raise the dead' Q, I'm pretty sure there isn't an answer "right now", but come season 8 or potentially the upcoming prequel series (The Long Night), this will probably address it more. Even the HP universe keeps expanding & there could be things that are directly addressed or might be suggested in supposition in upcoming material (Fantastic Beasts, Pottermore, tie-in materials). I agree that many jump 2 POB too soon on some of these. Nov 6, 2018 at 15:33

1 Answer 1


I see that this was a non-issue for most of the meta community.

So, "We don't know" is a perfectly acceptable answer if worded according to this brilliant answer from SFF.SE.

For future reference, there can be two instances whose answers can be "we don't know"

  1. If the event has already taken place, a question about that event is on-topic and can have "we don't know" answer.
    ex. Did spoiler get snapped?
  2. If the event has not taken place and is expected in the future, a question about that event is off-topic (primarily opinion based) because its answer will be "we don't know".
    ex. How will spoiler who's stranded on spoiler planet get back to Earth?

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