I recently had a Harry Potter marathon with my boyfriend in which we watched one movie every night for 8 days, and even though I’ve seen the movies several times, I still can’t help but think about all of the amazing little things from the book that were left out.
Let’s be real here. ALL the major differences pissed me off, and I’m sure everyone who read the books can relate. It’s something that all Harry Potter fans will always dwell on. So many amazing things had to be cut out to fit those giant books into a 3 hour movie – obviously you can’t fit everything from the series into 19 hours of film – and some cuts were necessary. But here’s the things that bothered me the most – I’ll start with the least annoying and work up to the ones that really bug me.
11. Fred’s death
This was one of the biggest deaths in the book, and it was glossed over. In fact, it didn’t even show his death, just BAM he’s dead! In the book, he died right after cracking a joke – still with a smile on his face – which is totally fitting for his character. Also, Percy’s devastation of his death after all of the drama between him and the family is totally lost on those who didn’t read the books.
10. Tom Riddle’s background
This is so important, because it explains why Tom was so f*cked up. He was incapable of love because he was born from a loveless union, as his witch mother forced his muggle father into the relationship with a love potion.
9. Snape and Lily’s background
In the movies, it seems kind of ridiculous that Snape is still in love with Lily. There were only maybe two scenes of them as children, and their whole relationship was vastly underplayed; when in truth they were best friends growing up until Snape was sorted into Slytherin, started using dark magic, called her a mudblood, and they drifted apart. Also not mentioned is the fact that James was, in fact, a giant douche when he was a student, and that Lily originally didn’t want anything to do with him. Or the fact that James was absolutely HORRIBLE to Snape when they were kids, hence Snape’s hatred of him, which seems rather unjustified and petty in the movies.
8. Hedwig’s death
Don’t get me wrong, I love that in the movies she dies protecting Harry. I actually prefer that death to her dying while trapped in a cage, like in the books. The part that bothers me about her death is that she was blamed for giving Harry away. HEDWIG DID NOT GIVE HARRY AWAY. All of the fake Harrys had a fake Hedwig, too. The thing that really gave him away was his use of Expelliarmus. Which is significant, because he refused to use an Unforgivable Curse, even in battle. (Although he did use the Cruciatus curse once – successfully, anyway – which I’ll get to in a moment, and the Imperius curse only twice in a desperate situation.)
7. Dumbledore’s background
It was mentioned in passing in the movies that his father killed 3 muggles, but never states WHY – those boys tortured Ariana to the point that she pretty much lost her mind, as well as her magic. So he just sounds like some murderous psychopath. And his sister had almost no part in the movies. It didn’t explain Albus and Grindlewald’s past (actually, Grindlewald pretty much had no part in the movies, either) and the feud between Albus and Aberforth, or Ariana’s death.
6. Harry witnessing Dumbledore’s death
Okay, so this is fairly insignificant, but REALLY bothered me. In the book, Dumbledore actually froze Harry with a spell so that he was fully immobilized, unable to move or speak. Thus being forced to watch Dumbledore’s death helplessly. In the movies, HE JUST STANDS THERE AND WATCHES. Why does that piss me off so badly? Because the real character of Harry Potter would never just stand there and watch Dumbledore die, no matter what he was told.
5. The Half-Blood Prince
The movie is NAMED AFTER HIM for crying out loud. There was no explanation whatsoever of the name, he just walks up to Harry at the very end and is like “Oh btw I’m the Half-Blood Prince. SURPRISE!” It just makes him sound like some arrogant, narcissistic ass that thinks of himself as royalty. When in reality, he’s a half-blood, and the magical blood comes from his mother – Eileen Prince – which makes him literally a half-blood Prince.
4. “You have your mother’s eyes.”
BUT HE DOESN’T. It’s trivial, really, compared to all of the major explanations they left out, but the fact that they harped on it for EIGHT MOVIES over and over and over again, and didn’t even bother to make it true (how hard is it to put some contacts in?!) makes it super irritating. Inconsistencies such as that one, that could be easily solved, drive me BONKERS.
3. Harry fixing his wand
This makes absolutely NO sense to me. In the book, he repaired his own wand and returned the Elder Wand to Dumbledore’s grave, thus rendering it useless when the time came that he died (because it would have no master). Yet, in the movie, he snapped the Elder Wand in two. Like, what?! WHY?! Now you have no wand at all! So, so stupid. He could have at least fixed his wand before he snapped it.
2. The Marauders
The map is in the movie, and there is ZERO explanation of where it came from. The Marauders’ background was one of my favorite parts of the books. I loved that they all had nicknames for themselves, I love that they all became Animagi for Lupin because he was a werewolf, and that they were all best friends growing up and created a mischievous map. (Let’s have a moment of silence for those who didn’t read the books and don’t even KNOW what an Animagus is.)
1. Harry cursing Amycus Carrow
This makes it to number one on my list because it was my absolute favorite scene out of all of the books. Okay, so just like #6, it’s pretty trivial in relation to the rest of the list, but this one pisses me off the most. I mean, it would take what, 30 seconds max? So WHY?! It’s actually kind of significant, too, because it’s the first and only time Harry ever successfully used a Cruciatus curse.
[McGonagall stands up to Carrow as Harry watches from under the Invisibility Cloak]
Amycus moved forward until he was offensively close to Professor McGonagall, his face within inches of hers. She refused to back away, but looked down at him as if he were something disgusting she had found stuck to a lavatory seat.
“It’s not a case of what you’ll permit, Minerva McGonagall. Your time’s over. It’s us what’s in charge here now, and you’ll back me up or you’ll pay the price.”
And he spat in her face.
Harry pulled the Cloak off himself, raised his wand, and said, “You shouldn’t have done that.”
As Amycus spun around, Harry shouted, “Crucio!”
Best. Scene. Ever.
There were plenty of other things that bothered me, of course – Tonks & Lupin’s relationship, Teddy Lupin being non-existent, Ginny’s whole personality, Neville possibly being the chosen one, Peeves and Winky being removed, Reeta Skeeter being an Animagus, Kreacher having almost no part, no house elves or centaurs in the Battle of Hogwarts…I could go on all day – but those were the things that really got to me about the movies!
What differences bothered YOU the most?
Confession: I saw the movies before I read the books, and I honestly didn’t really care much for them. I liked the first couple, but after 3 or 4 they became a blur, and I was thoroughly unimpressed with them. Hence why I put off reading the books for so long – because of the movies, I really had no desire to even read the books. But I am SO glad I finally did! There’s really nothing else that quite compares to Harry Potter. Rowling is a freaking genius! Of course the movies don’t compare, because how could they ever hope to?
31 Harry Potter book scenes we wish were in the movies by BuzzFeed
28 things the Harry Potter movies left out by BuzzFeed
I adored this post! So many things here anger me too. But about the contacts: Daniel Radcliffe’s eyes were allergic to the green contacts they were using, so they couldn’t use them!
Nice post! I think a lot of the changes always bugged me. I feel like the one that aggravated me to no end was when in the 4th movie, they took Dobby out completely and replaced his helping Harry with Neville helping Harry. I felt like it was so uncalled for. Truly by the time the last movie rolled around, I wondered if Dobby would even have his moment!
Yes! His death doesn’t hit as deep as in the books because of it.
I think the most baffling part of all of it is the lack of Peeves. He’s obviously not a huge character plot-wise but he was absolutely ALWAYS THERE during the books! A constant pain in the ass. It seems so weird they just dropped that completely for the movies.
I am laughing right now pretty much because I AGREE SO MUCH. Fred’s death didn’t bother me so much in the movie but I totally agree with you. They did gloss over that moment. At the same time though, I’m not sure they could have really made that fit in there. OKAY, VOLDEMORT’S PAST? RIGHT. THAT BOTHERS ME SO MUCH ABOUT THE SIXTH MOVIE. That’s probably my number one complaint with the movies.
Loved this post!
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I actually just read the books this year for the first time. Crazy, I know. But I adore them. But I saw the first movie and I just wasn’t thrilled with it. I also heard of all these things that they left out and it made me not want to see the movies. All of the things you mentioned are such a big part of the books and I hate to see the movies and feel cheated. Great post.
That’s okay, I didn’t read them for the first time until last year! And now I am OBSESSED. See I liked the first two movies (I saw the movies first) but after that I didn’t care much for them. I wasn’t impressed at all with the last few, the ending most of all. Actually, because of the movies I didn’t even want to read the books, but I’m so glad I did!! Now that I’ve read them, though, I appreciate the movies a lot more just because it gives me another little piece of the world I love so much, even if it’s not as good as the books XD
I’ve mellowed out a bit, but I remember when these movies first came out, I was livid! I prided myself on knowing what actually happened vs. what the movies decided. The one scene that I REALLY wanted was when Kreacher rallied the house elves. I was so incredibly let down when we never saw him again. One of the only changes that I actually loved is when Hedwig blocked the attack from hitting Harry – though I was also a teary mess.