Harry Potter & 25 Things the Films Missed
a blog written by ᙢᗴᖇᙓᑕᗩ☂
There are some things the Harry Potter films missed when the book series was turned into a movie series...
This is by no means an exhaustive list, it is simply a compilation of notable absences. In no particular order, they are as follows:
1. Ludo Bagman (4th movie)
The movie chose to focus on Harry’s story and to cut out all the extra threads of story line, which is totally understandable otherwise the films would be five hours long each, but I felt that the other threads of the book added to the texture, reality, and complexity of the novels. Bagman’s Character was interesting because he seems a very likeable guy and obviously very popular but then Rowling arouses suspicion by Harry seeing his trial in the Pensive and by the discussions of the Weasley twins which adds to the threat of danger and possibilities for the reader to take guesses at. Rowling then made it clear that Ludo Bagman was just a bit of a weak idiot who had taken too many gambles and risks and could lose his pleasant, boyish attitude.
2. The Weasleys reunited in the room of requirement (8th movie)
Why did they skip it?????????
There was something wonderful about the resolution to the division of their family and the way that they were all on the same side once more that added to the tragedy of Fred’s death.
““I was a fool!” Percy roared so loudly that Lupin almost dropped his photograph. “I was an idiot, I was a pompous prat, I was a – a –“
“Ministry loving, family disowning, power hungry moron,” said Fred.
“Yes I was!”
“Well you can’t say fairer than that,” said Fred holding out his hand to Percy”
3. Fred and George’s portable swamp (5th movie)
Just a great Fred & George moment – in the novels there was a build up to their departure/expulsion, whereas in the film it just sort of happened and, in the books (obviously they did it for entertainment as well) some of their rebelliousness was to buy Harry time e.g. when he wanted to talk to Sirius about Snape’s memory, in the films they just blew up the exam hall.
4. Harry, Fred and George banned from Quidditch (5th movie)
This was so unfair it made me want to hit Umbridge right through the pages of the book - but she was played so well in the films that we all wanted to hit her anyway so we didn’t really need it ;) Plus Quidditch was something that was really difficult to film so it’s not surprising that they wanted as little of it as possible.
5. Fred’s death (8th movie)
Saddest of all the deaths for me (as a Fred fan) and obviously 'twas tragic for many of the main characters. You see the Weasleys briefly around a corpse but it doesn’t have the power that it did in the book and they failed to show how hard Fred’s death was for Harry.
““You actually are joking, Perce… I don’t think I’ve heard you joke since you were-”
The air exploded…”
“…And Fred’s eyes stared without seeing, the ghost of his last laugh still etched upon his face…”
“…The world had ended so why had the battle not ceased, the castle fallen silent in horror… because Fred Weasley could not be dead, the evidence of all his senses must be lying…”
“…But Harry knew how Ron felt: pursuing another Horcrux could not bring the satisfaction of revenge; he wanted to fight, to punish them, the people who had killed Fred.”
6. Lily in Snape’s Worst Memory (5th movie)
The fact that James Potter was so bullying hurts Harry a lot in the books and he clings onto the fact that his mother was so compassionate to help him get over the fact that his father could no longer be counted as a role model.
7. Dumbledore’s howler to Petunia (5th movie) and the vulnerability of the Dursleys (7th movie)
“For the first time Harry could appreciate that Petunia had been his mother’s sister” The bits of these books gave us more insight into why the Dursely family was so unpleasant and therefore made them more human. By the end of the series I actually felt sorry for Petunia despite everything, but in the films the last you saw of her was a hasty departure.
“She stopped and looked back. For a moment Harry had the strangest feeling that she wanted to say something: she gave him an odd tremulous look and seemed to teeter on the edge of speech, but them, with a little jerk of her head she bustled out of the room after her husband and son.”
8. The full explanation of Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs (3rd movie)
They explained the truth about Sirius and Peter Pettigrew in relation to the murder of the Potters, but although the marauders map was featured, they never properly explained who the marauders were and the stories of their time at school.
9. Harry’s desperation after Sirius’ death (5th movie)
In the film Sirius’ death was pretty well done but although Harry was totally distraught immediately after, it seemed that all his emotions had fizzled out. After they go back to Hogwarts, Harry is still furious in the books. He blames himself but at the same time he wants to blame Snape because it hurts less than blaming himself, and he’s furious when Dumbledore suggests that Sirius should have treated Kreacher better because he doesn’t want anyone to speak ill of him. He then goes to get the two-way mirror in the hope that he’ll still be able to communicate with Sirius by it, before chasing his hope that his godfather will have returned as a ghost. In the film it was hard to be sympathetic with Harry after he moved on so quickly, it made him seem less human whereas his ongoing struggle to accept that Sirius was gone in the books further distinguished him from the evil of Voldemort.
Incidentally, there was no mention of the two way mirror meaning that its appearance in the 7th and 8th films was a bit random and un-related to anything.
10. A lot of House Elf stuff (4th – 8th movie)
This took up a large chunk of Hermione’s time and to be honest, I thought it took up a bit too much time so I wasn’t too sorry that it wasn’t in the films but it did provide the reason for Ron and Hermione’s kiss in the 7th book.
““Who?” asked Hermione.
“The house-elves, they’ll all be down in the kitchen, won’t they?”
“You mean we ought to get them fighting?” asked Harry.
“No,” said Ron seriously, “I mean we should tell them to get out. We don’t want any more Dobbys, do we? We can’t order them to die for us-”
There was a clatter as the Basilisk fangs cascaded out of Hermione’s arms. Running at Ron, she flung them around his neck and kissed him full on the mouth.”
11. Neville’s “I’ll join you when hell freezes over.” (8th movie)
His little speech in the film was good but that’s the line I’ll always remember.
““I’ll join you when hell freezes over,” said Neville “Dumbledore’s Army!” he shouted, and there was an answering cheer from the crowd whose Voldemort’s silencing charms seemed unable to hold.”
12. Harry and Voldemort’s final chat (8th movie)
I loved that bit in the book – in the film they spent the time that could have been spent explaining on making Voldemort shrivel up like burned paper. He was meant to die with “Mundane finality” but no, he has the most dramatic death of the lot.
13. Nearly all the memories about Voldemort (6th movie)
Bob Ogden, Marvolo Gaunt, Hokey the house elf – all their contributions to the storyline were ignored. I thought that the exploration into Tom Riddle’s past and the things it brought to light were interesting and pretty key to the nature of Lord Voldemort. The tragedy of his past, his brutality (and ability) as a teenager, and his deceptive charm, not to mention the sightings of three of the horcruxes were all pretty important aspects of the story line and it was disappointing that they were exchanged for a lot of rubbish about hormonal teenagers.
14. Harry’s coded letter to Sirius and Umbridge’s postal crackdown (5th movie)
Sorry but it annoyed me how stupid this letter in the film was. The coded letter actually showed that Harry at least had some intelligence…
15. Valentine’s day (5th movie)
The morning: a sickly sweet, romantic fiasco. The afternoon: an incredible interview about Voldemort’s return.
The morning was painful to read because it was so awkward and cringy and the film managed to capture this in other scenes (although the stuff at Madame Pudifoots did reveal Cho’s vulnerability and confusion) but the afternoon was so good, not to mention the follow up! After so much control by Umbridge, the interview was a little ray of hope and the start of a rebellion and Umbridge’s snowballing loss of control. The fact that the whole school managed to read the banned article, combined with Luna’s delight at the success of the quibbler made me almost as happy as Umbridge being carried away by centaurs.
16. Harry, Ron, and Hermione meeting Sirius in the cave above Hogsemede (4th movie)
Forgive me if I’m being stupid but I believe he said some pretty important things, giving a detailed account of Barty Crouch and his son… while we’re on that topic, Barty Crouch Senior died (without the insanity in the book) and Harry ran to tell Dumbledore about it and then no one mentioned it or did anything. Clearly having the corpse of a ministry official investigated wasn’t high on their list of priorities.
17. The build-up to Fred and George’s Joke shop (4th movie)
Sorry but I wanted to see the Tongue Ton toffee. It would have been immensely satisfying.
18. Crabbe and Goyle being girls (6th movie)
In the films Draco works entirely alone, in the books he uses Crabbe and Goyle as look-outs having taken polyjuice potion to disguise them as first year girls so that no one suspects them. It's just not the same, is it?
19. Peeves and Professor Binns (all of the movies)
““We did it, we bashed them, wee Potter’s the one. Voldy’s gone mouldy so let’s have some fun!””
20. Harry and Hermione’s really strong defensive and precautionary concealment measures (7th movie)
Ok, so the whole world is on the lookout for Harry Potter, he’s fully aware that Voldemort is after him and has most likely predicted that he wants to go back to his birthplace, and yet in the film they walk straight into Godrics Hollow as themselves and totally unhidden.
In the book they’ve practised disapparating under the invisibility cloak and they go into Godric’s Hollow under the disguise of polyjuice potion which makes them look like a middle-aged muggle couple. The only reason that they remove the invisibility cloak is because “Harry did not want to enter like a pantomime horse” covering their tracks behind them as they went.
““We’ll need to practise Disapparating together under the invisibility cloak… and perhaps Disillusionment charms… Unless you think we should go the whole hog and use Polyjuice potion?...the thicker our disguises the better.”…”
“…Harry did not want to enter the village like a Pantomime horse trying to keep themselves magically concealed while magically covering their traces.
“Let’s take off the cloak,” said Harry, and when she looked frightened, “oh, come on, we don’t look like us and there’s no one around.””
21. The battle under the dark mark (6th movie)
The general rule with movies is that they will use any excuse for a major fight scene even when it’s not in the book (e.g. Prince Caspian from the Narnia series) and any existing fight will be blown way out of proportion, so I was expecting some pretty major duelling at the end of the 6th film. But no, Dumbledore’s death is the only disaster of that night. Bill Weasley’s mauling by Fenir Greyback is skated over, not to mention the crazed fighting of the novel. It was a bit of an anti-climax.
22. Potterwatch (7th movie)
It was great having it in the books because it was like a link back to the real world and everything that the reader was familiar with, also the fact that there was a secret, coded radio station run by the “good guys” gave you some hope in the seemingly eternal vat of despair.
In the film Ron spends ages fiddling with radio but he never finds Potterwatch, only endless reels of dead people which fails to loosen the tension the way Potterwatch does. Another thing that was so effective was that this ray of sunshine made you relax and then it was followed almost immediately by the disaster of the arrival of the snatchers who took them to Malfoy Manner.
23. Kreacher being nice and his full story (7th movie)
What was good about this was that it proved Dumbledore’s arguments correct – it proved the power of compassion. The minute that Harry stops growling at Kreacher and listens sympathetically to him, Kreacher starts to respond in a positive way, and Harry giving him the locket probably didn’t seem like a big gift to Harry, but the fact that he valued what was important to Kreacher and treated him better than Sirius had made a lot of difference.
24. The Divination Teachers (5th and 6th movies)
Well Trelawney was replaced in the 5th book with Firenze which was omitted (not that it was particularly important) and then in the 6th, when Trelawney spent most of the year drinking sherry, she reveals to Harry than Snape was the one who overheard her prophecy leading to the murder of the Potters. Rowling made us hate Snape by the end of the 6th so that the big reveal of his awesomeness was even more awesome.
25. The locket and other Black heirlooms (5th movie)
One thing that Rowling does very effectively is to leave little snippets of information and little clues hidden in the stories that are mentioned so fleetingly and covered with things that seem far more important so that, by the time most readers have got to the end of the book they’ve forgotten. For example, Regulas Articus Black is mentioned briefly in the 5th and 6th books but Rowling tricks you into thinking that he’s pretty irrelevant when he is actually key to the whole Horcrux plot being one of the few wizards who actually discovered Voldemort’s secret. Another example is the way that they actually sort through the old Black heirlooms and find the locket in the 5th book. They pass it round the table trying to open it but by the time they are looking for the locket the reader has forgotten and then Harry remembers and it is like *facepalm*.
What about you? Comment below with your list of scenes you would have liked to see on the screen!