10 times the Harry Potter movies deviated from the books.

 

 

Most Harry Potter fans count seeing the films as part of the Potter experience. After all, who didn’t love dressing up for premieres and watching the pages of your favorite series come to life onscreen? And there were times when it seemed Hollywood tapped right into your imagination: from the music to the casting, many aspects of Harry Potter movies so perfectly matched the books, that it felt like pure magic. I can still remember seeing the first movie in theaters, and from the moment baby Harry’s scar burned and the words Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone flashed across the screen, I got chills: it was everything I hoped it would be!

From a purely cinematic perspective, however, the series is certainly one that’s greater than the sum of its parts, with the inconsistencies and dull moments of individual films overshadowed by the ultimate grand scope and joy of seeing a trio grow from wide-eyed eleven year olds to full grown adults.

One of the biggest strengths is the source; Rowling is an incredibly competent storyteller and world-builder, meaning an adaptation of her work will, at the very least, have a great plot. Which makes it strange that the film-makers would ever want to deviate from them. Yet it’s a practice they engaged in at many points throughout the series.

Today, we look at ten of those moments that were either changed or completely omitted for the big screen, that really hurt the quality of the Harry Potter movies in the process.


1. The Devil’s Snare Moment

The movies often condense Ron into a punch line, when he’s so much more than that in the books: when Hermione is trying to figure out how to defeat devil’s snare, he yells at her to light a fire, and she says that “there’s no wood.” He responds, “Are you a witch or not?”

  1. Snape’s Logic Test

In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry, Ron, and Hermione face several tests before Harry reaches the sorcerer’s stone. One notably omitted test is when Hermione solves a logic puzzle involving potions: one potion will take her back, and one will help Harry move forward. The beauty of this scene is that she doesn’t need to use magic to solve the puzzle, and highlights the fact that many wizards forget the importance of non-magical qualities. It also showcases just how clever Hermione really is, which is a great moment.

  1. Peeves

Nowhere to be found in the movies…

  1. Time Travel Issues

In the books, it’s clear that Harry and Hermione CANNOT interact with their past selves when they go back in time, because this could have horrible consequences. Yet in the movie, Hermione throws rocks at them to get them to leave Hagrid’s hut.

  1. Lack Of Info About The Marauders

Whereas in the book you get plenty of backstory about James, Sirius, Lupin, and Pettigrew, in the movie this is barely featured.

“HARRY DID YOU PUT YOUR NAME IN THE GOBLET OF FIRE????”

In the book: “‘Did you put your name in the Goblet of Fire, Harry?’ he asked CALMLY.”

  1. Rita Skeeter As An Animagus

There are a LOT of things left out of the movie version of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Charlie Weasley is omitted, Ludo Bagman is nowhere to be seen, and we don’t get to see that hilarious scene where the Weasleys try to use Floo powder to get to the Dursley’s house. However, one of the WORST omissions is Rita Skeeter’s status as a beetle Animagus. How else would she find out all that gossip? (Besides making it up…)

07 S.P.E.W.

 

Ask any Harry Potter fan about Winky the House Elf and only book readers will be able to answer. Winky’s alcoholism isn’t a huge missing moment from the films, but Hermione Granger’s entire S.P.E.W. story line was slashed from the movies entirely. The “cleverest witch of her age” was also one of the most compassionate, and in between her massive amounts time spent of studying, rule-breaking, and adventuring, she also managed to start a civil rights movement for house elves. It was Ron’s concern for the house elves of Hogwarts that led to their first kiss in the book, which was much less blockbuster-y and much more them.

Hermione’s S.P.E.W. story was not alone on the chopping block. Among many other story lines that were cut include Percy’s abandonment of his entire family in order to support the Ministry of Magic and the possibility of Neville Longbottom being the Chosen One instead of Harry Potter–a theory that some people continue to support. Neville’s entire presence oozed with badassery in the final installment, but it felt much more bravado-born in the films. Book fans also know that the young wizard who grew perhaps more than any other character would never smooch his good friend Luna Lovegood.

08 HARRY’S INVESTMENT IN WEASLEYS’ WIZARD WHEEZES

Many fans walked away from the films wondering just how two poor, jobless young men like Fred and George Weasley could possibly afford to open up their own joke shop, Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, in Diagon Alley. The answer lies in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. When Harry received his winnings from the Triwizard Tournament, he gave the 1,000 galleons to the twins. As a thank-you, they gave Harry the opportunity to take anything he liked from the shop for free. Fred simply told him, “You don’t pay here… You gave us our start-up loan, we haven’t forgotten. Take whatever you like, and just remember to tell people where you got it, if they ask.

Book fans also know that the twins bet all of their savings on the Quidditch World Cup and won against Ludo Bagman, who paid the twins in Leprechaun gold, which disappears, never to be seen again. Much of the story of the twins’ development and sale of the products, from Molly confiscating tricks out of consternation to the twins selling dozens of gags to students in order to mess with Umbridge in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, never made it on screen.

09 CHARLIE FREAKING WEASLEY

Charlie Weasley, one of the coolest members of the Weasley family, is the one who works with dragons. While he is the one least Weasley in the books, he is rarer still in the films. The second eldest child of the family, Charlie lives in Romania. A former Quidditch captain and school Prefect at Hogwarts, he attended the school from 1984 to 1991, putting him in the same class as Auror Nymphadora Tonks. Readers were able to briefly catch a glimpse of Charlie in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire when the young man met Harry for the first time at the Quidditch World Cup. He also helped with the dragons used during the First Tasks during the Triwizard Tournament and was seen fighting during the Battle of Hogwarts during the Second Wizarding War.

Most of what we know about Charlie is via Ron or other members of the Weasley family, who mention him in other books. Hagrid asks after him, stating that he was always fond of the animal-loving Weasley, and Charlie sends friends to help pick up Norbert, Hagrid’s baby dragon, and take him to a safe location. There is a general consensus that Charlie was a talented enough Quidditch player to play professionally, but he chose to pursue dragons instead.

10 GINNY WEASLEY’S MIC DROPS

Few would argue that the Harry Potter films lack great lines. Some of the best one liners in the entire Potterverse movies are from the script rather than the books. That said, fans really missed some of their favorite quotes from the books, especially after envisioning them coming from their favorite characters’ mouths. Ginny Weasley, in particular, suffered on film.

Non-readers totally missed Ginny bluffing about Harry’s tattoo. When asked if he had a hippogriff tat in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the Chosen One’s girlfriend airily replied that he had a Hungarian Horntail inked on his body, explaining to him afterward that it was “much more macho.” Ginny, in fact, has several lines throughout the books that make her seem a better fit for Harry than her dull portrayal on film might indicate. Another great line occurs during the fifth book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Hermione and Ron tiptoe around Harry while he whines about his possible possession by Voldemort, but Ginny lets him have it, reminding him that she, in fact, does know what it feels like, thank you very much, and that he’s being a huge prat for not even considering that. Ginny’s character might have had more support from film viewers had she been able to deliver the lines that really portrayed her personality in the movies.

11 WEASLEY TWINS EXIT STAGE LEFT

 

Of the moments severed from the Harry Potterfilms, scenes featuring the Weasley twins are some of the most heavily missed. Remember when Fred and George gleefully dropped out of school during the reign of Dolores Umbridgeduring Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince? In the book, this scene was even bigger.

While fireworks (or in this case, Whiz-bangs) are always fun, in the book the twins’ big exit actually involved making a very big and very gross “portable swamp” outside Umbridge’s office to serve as a distraction while Harry used her fireplace to speak with Sirius Black. A furious Umbridge told the twins that they were about to witness what happens “to wrong-doers in my school,” but the twins must have already planned their departure, as they summoned their brooms and dramatically left the school in a whirl of chaos, hexing members of Umbridge’s Inquisitional Squad. Fred told Umbridge, “You know what? I don’t think we are. George, I think we’ve outgrown full-time education… Time to test our talents in the real world, d’you reckon?” He also told Hogwarts’ resident poltergeist, “Give her hell from us, Peeves,” causing Peeves to salute a student possibly for the first time.

The swamp was never fully cleaned up, as Professor Flitwick preserved a bit of it, irritating Umbridge in the process and inspiring many more troublemakers to cause chaos in the school. As much as Molly Weasley wished her sons had remained in school, the two made very lucrative careers at their joke shop following their departure from Hogwarts.

12 HARRY LOSING HIS MIND OVER SIRIUS

Everyone handles grief in different ways, and Harry Potter, who never really grieved his parents since he’d lost them at such a young age, took his godfather’s death quite hard. After Sirius was murdered during the battle at the Department of Mysteries in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry took out his rage and grief on Dumbledore’s office, destroying objects in an anguished explosion for the books.

Fans who roll their eyes over Dumbledore loudly demanding to know if Harry put his name into the Goblet of Fire when he quietly asked the boy in the books may be particularly annoyed over this omission. For starters, it’s an actual scene where someone screams, but it also further demonstrates Dumbledore’s patience and ability to handle his students’ emotions no matter the circumstance. He tells Harry, “There’s no shame in what you’re feeling,” and, “The fact that you can feel pain like this is your greatest strength.” Book-Dumbledore is a much kinder, wiser wizard than movie-Dumbledore.

13 PUNK TONKS

Harry Potter fans who only see the films may blink and kind of wonder just who this Nymphadora Tonks person is and what she is doing in the movies. What purpose does she even serve besides putting a new meaning to the term “duck face”? Readers know that Nymphadora Tonks is a much more vivacious, fun Metamorphmagus who enjoys wizard bands, loves to make her hair bubblegum pink, and is over the moon for Moony. Her cheerful “Wotcher!” and background presence in many dealings of the Order of the Phoenix are mostly absent from the films.

One of the most popular tangential stories in the Harry Potter universe is Tonks’s unrequited love for Remus Lupin, which turns out to be not so much unrequited as discouraged by Lupin, who believes he is too old, too poor, and too dangerous for the energetic witch. There is an entire story involving Tonks being unable to change her appearance, the changing of her patronus into a wolf, and a general depressed demeanor surrounding the Auror. Much of her story is cut, as is Lupin’s– such as his exuberant announcement of the arrival of his son and his uncharacteristic harshness toward Harry. His acceptance of Tonks as his partner is revealed at Dumbledore’s funeral, where the two are seen holding hands, her hair returned to its bright pink shade once again.

14THE WEASLEYS CONNECT THE DURSLEYS TO THE FLOO NETWORK

It’s one of the most hilarious scenes in the entire series and fans who’ve never opened one of the books have no idea what they are missing. When the Weasleys show up to whisk Harry off to see the Quidditch World Cup in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Arthur just assumes that he should connect the Dursleys to the Floo Network in order to tansport Harry, since that’s what all Wizarding families do. He couldn’t have anticipated that the Weasleys would have had their chimney blocked to prevent letters being sent via Owl Post, let alone that they would lose their minds over a gaggle of wizards in their pristine, “perfectly normal” home.

When Arthur, Fred, George, and Ron are all stuck in the Dursley’s chimney, it’s one thing. How Arthur blows them out and what the twins do to a terrified Dudley Dursley is another. If non-readers still wish to skip reading the books, this is one scene to thumb to and read because it’s one of the most enjoyable moments in the books. The film actually skips over most of the Quidditch World Cup, for that matter, so fans can see how that went in the book as well.

15 DE-GOMING THE GARDEN

 

When Harry first visits Ron’s home, Ron is embarrassed for him to see the sprawling tower known as the Burrow and its mess. Harry, of course, thinks it’s brilliant, even with its poltergeist and pests– including garden gnomes. In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry has a chance to yank up the grouchy little guys out of the Weasley garden and hurl them out of sight. Of course, they only return later, much like muggle weeds continue to come back.

Garden gnomes are so prevalent in the series that it’s almost odd that they didn’t make the movies. They are seen in several of the books as well as the video games, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the series trading cards, and even in LEGO Harry Potter. While many small scenes like this are cut to make room for larger moments, this humorous moment really could have only taken seconds of the film and still provided a good laugh.

 

 

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