We were all devastated when the Harry Potter franchise came to an end in 2011, but somehow we’ve gotten a second stroke of luck. This year, we will be getting a Potter prequel with the new film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them as well as an HP sequel when Harry Potter and the Cursed Child hits the London stage. With these new delightful additions to the Wizarding World, this is the perfect time to look back at J.K. Rowling‘s original saga, and all of things that didn’t quite translate from the page into the cinematic experience. Here are 16 of the most WTF Harry Potter changes from book to film.
We’ll probably be bitter about Peeves’ absence from the films until the day we leave this earth. Not only was he deliciously annoying, Peeves the poltergeist was also hilariously rude and nasty. Harry, Ron and Hermione had enough trouble on their hands just getting through the year, but watching Peeves taunt them even further, would have been the icing on the cake. THIS WAS PURE NEGLIGENCE WARNER BROS.!!
2. The rocky past of Grindelwald and Dumbledore
In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows we finally learned a great deal about Dumbledore’s back story. Part of his back story is the fact that the late-Headmaster was once BFF’s with the dark wizard Grindelwald, until an altercation between the duo led to Dumbledore sister’s death. When we learned that the Deathly Hallows book was being split into two films, we were certain that we would see a great deal of this back story on the big screen. Instead, Grindelwald simply appears in the film as an obstacle between the Dark Lord and the Elder Wand. #FAIL
3. Cray Cray Dumbledore in The Goblet Of Fire
One of the most talked about changes from book to film in the entire Harry Potter saga occurred in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. In the book, Harry’s name comes shooting out of the goblet, and Dumbledore calmly asks him, “Did you put your name in into the Goblet of Fire, Harry?” However, Michael Gambon‘s Dumbledore does things quite differently in the film. Rushing towards Harry as though he’s about to throttle him, Dumbledore grasps Harry and shakes him violently shouting, “HARRY DID YA PUT YA NAME IN DA GOBLET OF FIYAH?!!!” Not only is Dumbledore positively frightening in this scene, it’s actually rather out of character for his nature.
4. Winky & S.P.E.W.
After witnessing Barty Crouch Sr. fire his doting house-elf Winky at the Quidditch World Cup in The Goblet of Fire, Hermione is disgusted and forms the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare (S.P.E.W.). In the book, she drags Ron and Harry down to Hogwarts’ kitchen (WE WANTED TO SEE THE TICKLED PEAR), where they are greeted by a newly freed and employed Dobby, and a distraught and drunken Winky. How could they leave all of these delightful house-elves out?!
5. The Weasley vs. Malfoy fight in Flourish and Blotts
In the book version of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Lucius Malfoy and Mr. Weasley throw-down in Flourish and Blotts bookstore. Punches are thrown and things get knocked. Literally during their altercation, “dozens of heavy spellbooks come thundering on all of their heads.” It’s only Hagrid’s sudden appearance that breaks up the fight. However, in the film Malfoy and Weasley simply exchange vicious words. How dull.
6. Bill & Charlie Weasley basically don’t exist
We should have known that we were getting gypped when it came the the eldest Weasley brothers, when we never got to see Charlie and his friends smuggle Hagrid’s dragon Norbert out of Hogwarts in the Sorcerer’s Stone. He pretty much doesn’t exist at all in the film world. Meanwhile, Bill randomly shows up in the first Deathly Hollows film (when we are actually first introduced to him in the Goblet of Fire book ) married to Fleur Delacour. We never get a true understanding of their love story, nor was the fact that Bill was maimed and bitten by a werewolf ever discussed, his rugged appearance is just hinted at.
7. The melting of Voldemort
In the last book, the final showdown between Voldemort and Harry occurs in the Great Hall just as the sun rises. Harry knows he’s already won because he knows he’s the master of the Elder Wand. Therefore, when Voldy tries to hit Harry with the Killing Curse, the curse bounces off the castle wall. (The Elder Wand cannot harm it’s “true master.” ) In his final moment, “Tom Riddle hit the floor with a mundane finality, his body feeble and shrunken, the white hands empty, the snake-like face vacant and unknowing.” This is not at all how Voldemort meets his end in the film. Though still climatic, Voldy sort of melts in the courtyard when the curse backfires and hits him.
8. When Harry snapped the Elder Wand in half.
The Elder Wand was the first of the Deathly Hallows, and is the most powerful wand in all of history. When someone possesses the wand, the cloak of invisibility, and the resurrection stone, they become the Master of Death. Moldy Voldy was obv after all of the Hallows. However, after defeating the Dark Wizard Grindelwald, Dumbledore had become the Master of the Elder Wand. After his death, Voldy steals it from Dumbledore’s tomb but he doesn’t realize he never became it’s master as you need to conquer the wand from the original owner, not simply take it. Instead, that honor is passed to Draco Malfoy (remember, he used the disarming spell on Dumbledore in Half Blood Prince) and then to Harry after he disarmed Draco in the Malfoy’s home in Deathly Hallows. In the books, when Voldemort is defeated, Harry uses the Elder Wand to repair his original wand, and he promises Dumbledore’s portrait that the Elder Wand will be returned to his tomb so that when Harry dies its power would as well. HE DOES NOT IN FACT SNAP THE WAND IN HALF AND CHUCK IT!!! #Blasphemy
9. The story of the Marauder’s Map
Messrs Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs would like to request that the Harry Potter films kindly explain who on earth they are!!! Fred and George Weasley steal the Marauder’s Map from Filtch’s office during their first year at Hogwarts, and they give it to Harry during his third year so that he can sneak into Hogsmeade Village undetected. However, the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban film fails to discuss the origins of the map. Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs are actually Lupin, Wormtail, Sirius and James Potter who constructed the map, and became animagi in order to join Lupin when he transformed into a werewolf. The films also never explain the fact that Shrieking Shack and Whomping Willow were put on Hogwarts grounds specifically for Lupin to use for his transformations. His yells and shouts were heard all throughout Hogsmeade, giving the shack it’s nickname.
10. Lily Potter and the wrong color eyes
In J.K. Rowling’s books, Harry Potter has striking green eyes, and there is a running theme throughout the series where people repeatedly tell him that he has his mother’s eyes. Ironically, Daniel Radcliffe has striking blue eyes, and he is deathly allergic to contact lenses, so our movie HP was a blue-eyed with black hair. This was all peachy until Warner Bros. really dropped the ball and chose a brown-eyed actress to play a young Lily Potter. COME ON PEOPLE! This was a major plot point through the ENTIRE series. Surely they could have at least gone in and digitally altered the actress’ eye color if they couldn’t find a red-headed blue-eyed gal to play her.
11. Um … Where’s Dobby?
From the moment he burst onto the scene in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets to warn Harry Potter about the plot against Hogwarts, Dobby stole our hearts with his comic relief, lust for freedom and delightful assortment of socks. He continues to appear over the course of the Harry Potter books. Dobby gives Harry a major clue about the 2nd task in the Goblet of Fire, and he also appears in the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix to tell Harry about the Room of Requirement. In the books we see him in Chamber, and then not again until the Deathly Hallows where he dies!!!! We still haven’t recovered from the film’s mistreatment of Dobby. Seriously, HP would have slept through the second task of the Triwizard tournament without him!
12. Tom Riddle’s back story.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is one of the best books in the saga because we finally got Tom Riddle’s back story. Though we got to meet evil baby Tom Riddle in the sixth film (who looked NOTHING like the Tom Riddle from Chamber of Secrets), much of his back story was never explained. If you didn’t already know, the reason why Voldemort can’t love is because he was conceived while his muggle father was under the influence of a love potion. Basically, the entire history of The House Of Gaunt (and the fact that they are inbred and insane AF) is nowhere to be found in the films; which means we never got a true understanding of Voldys ancestry or back story. This would have been super helpful in understanding the Dark Lord’s diabolical plot.
So the way the Horcruxes were discovered in the films was generally a hotmess.com. In the books, Harry and Dumbledore begin using a pensieve in order to take a look back into Voldemort’s past. This is how Harry knows to look for Helga Hufflepuff’s cup in Bellatrix LeStrange’s Gringotts vault, it’s not just a feeling that he has.
14. Fred’s Death
In the final film during the Battle at Hogwarts, Fred Weasly dies off screen. Though it’s devastating, it’s not how things happen in the books. Not only do we witness Fred’s death in the Deathly Hollows, but his death also leads to Percy reuniting with his family after betraying them for the Ministry of Magic. In Rowling’s text, Percy shakes his brother as Ron kneels beside them, “Fred’s eyes stared without seeing, the ghost of his last laugh still etched upon his face.” It’s literally a SOUL CRUSHING piece of literature and Fred’s death deserved more dignity on screen.
15. THE MUTHA-FREAKING Half-Blood Prince!!!!
So the sixth book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is life. And there is a reason why it’s called, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince! So quite frankly, we’re still aghast that this was NOT explained in the film. In case you didn’t know, Snape is the Half-Blood prince. His mother, Eileen Prince was a pure blood wizard, and his father, Tobias Snape, was a muggle. Therefore he is half-blood and half-Prince. It’s not the biggest plot point missing from the films, but surely we could have used a better explanation than Snape mumbling “I am the half-blood prince.” Like, how do you not explain a plot-point that is also the TITLE of the film?!
16. Peter Pettigrew’s pathetic end
Peter Pettigrew aka Wormtail is one of THE WORST characters in the entire Harry Potter saga. He betrays Harry’s parents who were his friends, and rats them out to the Dark Lord which leads to their death. Basically, HE IS TRASH. Therefore, in the novels his death was in many ways cathartic. When the truth of Wormtail’s betrayal is revealed in The Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry spares his life, leaving him indebted to the boy-who-lived. This debt is paid off when Wormtail catches up to Harry and tries to strangle him in the Deathly Hallow. Remembering he owes Harry a life debt, Wormtail turns his magic hand on himself, committing suicide. We have no idea was this was left out of the movie, in fact after letting Harry go, Wormtail pretty much just disappears from the story all together. SERIOUSLY!! We needed to see him die.
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