I’ll be the first to admit- I’m a total Potterhead.
Starting when I was 11 or 12, I read the books as they came out, and have since reread and watch the movies countless times. I mean, you’d definitely want me on your Harry Potter trivia team.
My first year of blogging (2016) I reread the entire series and re-watched each movie, and compared the two. I posted for each book/movie combo, and while reworking my blog, have decided to recompile those posts. Now, here is the master of all the books in comparison to the movies, and what differences I noticed- ones you might have missed or forgotten about, too!
As always, let me know what you think, and if you have any differences to add or debate, drop a comment so we can discuss!
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
1. Harry’s Befuddlement
First off, the thing that bothered me the most about the first Harry Potter movie was how dumbfounded they made Harry seem. He questioned EVERYTHING, repeated everything, and barely said anything to anyone except Ron, Hermione, and Hagrid. In the books, Harry’s sassy personality that we all love is apparent much quicker in the books than in the movies.
Hagrid almost had to drag Harry away from Curses and Counter-curses (Bewitch Your Friends and Befuddle Your Enemies with the Latest Revenges: Hair Loss, Jelly-Legs, Tongue-Tying and Much, Much More) by Professor Vindictus Viridian. “I was trying to find out how to curse Dudley.”
2. Meeting Malfoy
In the book, Harry meets Malfoy for the first time in the robe shop, while Malfoy is getting fitted. Harry observed Malfoy’s mistreatment of the shop clerk and his arrogant demeanor, and was put off. In the movies, they meet before the Hogwarts welcoming feast. I find this a minor delay in character development for the film, so I understand why the introduction at the shop was left out.
Ah, Peeves. I don’t think Peeves is mentioned once in any of the movies. Filch and Mrs. Norris stalk the halls of Hogwarts in the movies, but in the books, Harry and his friends have to also dodge Peeves, the school poltergeist.
“A bundle of walking sticks was floating in midair ahead of them, and as Percy took a step toward them they started throwing themselves at him. “Peeves,” Percy whispered to the first years…”Go away Peeves, or the Baron’ll hear about this, I mean it!” barked Percy. Peeves stuck out his tongue and vanished, dropping the walking sticks on Neville’s head.”
4. The “Hoggy Warty Hogwarts” School Song
Not a peep about the school song in the movies until Prisoner of Azkaban (when Hermione is singing it for fun), even though in the novel, the students learn it during the welcoming feast. I don’t think this one is really a big deal overall, so I understand why they left it out of the first movie, but it would have made more sense to have it there than in the future films. It supposedly isn’t sung after Harry’s first year, in reflection (and foreshadowing) of darker times ahead.
5. Knowledge of the Sorcerer’s Stone
In the movie, Harry and his friends are much more secretive about their knowledge of the Sorcerer’s Stone, and seem to get most of their information from Hagrid by chance. In the book, they are bolder about gathering information, asking direct questions to Hagrid, telling him they are actively trying to figure out who Nicholas Flamel is, and they even tell Professor McGonagall that they know about the stone long before they do in the movie. When it comes to getting to the stone, there are more tasks than the movie shows (which I’m sure they cut for movie length) and the one that Hermione gets rewarded for at the end of it all makes much more sense if you know about the task she performed!
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
1. Dobby’s Introduction
Harry’s first glimpse of Dobby is in the garden, not in his room at the Dursley’s.
2. The Weasley Rescue Mission
When Ron and the twins rescue Harry from the Dursley’s, they’d picked the lock to get Harry out of his room, then picked the lock on the cupboard under the stairs to retrieve Harry’s school things and trunk, all without waking the Dursleys. The movie made it seem a much faster and more dramatic rescue. The movie only catches the last part of the rescue mission.
3. Time at The Burrow
The movie cut about a month of living with the Weasleys, which included de-gnoming of the garden, pick-up games of quidditch, and Harry’s growing sense of a wizarding family. Also, lose a lot of Percy’s backstory, which also plays into the Weasley’s family drama- especially Molly’s mothering.
4. Speaking of Molly…
The howler never congratulated Ginny on being placed in Gryffindor. I mean come on, she’s a Weasley, of course she made Gryffindor. That howler was just pure rage.
5. Chamber of Secrets: A History
Professor Binns, History of Magic professor and the only ghost teacher, tells the story about the Chamber of Secrets, not Professor McGonagall.
6. Fawkes vs. Basilisk
The movie put more focus on finding and being in the Chamber of Secrets. In the book, Harry didn’t run that much from the basilisk. Fawkes did most of the work there- he distracted and blinded the basilisk while Harry tried to make a run for it. When Harry finally kills the snake, there was no delay from fang-in-arm to healing-tears-from-Fawkes like there was in the movie. That was a pure hollywood-moment. Movie Harry probably would’ve died from the venom.
7. How did Harry know how to kill Riddle’s Memory?
Gut instinct told Harry to pierce the Riddle Diary with the basilisk fang. Watching the movie, I kept asking myself what made him do that? Other than Riddle yelling for him to stop, that is. Just curious.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
1. The Knight Bus
The night bus- for stranded witches and wizards– is very similar from the book to the movie until the point where Harry lands at the Leaky Cauldron. At this point in the movie, we don’t understand (because unlike the book, it isn’t explained) that Harry is afraid that he will be kicked out of Hogwarts for underage wizardry. But when he lands almost at the Minister of Magic’s feet, he’s terrified he’s been caught, then filled with relief when Fudge says it’s nothing to worry about. The movie just makes the audience assume, where the book (obviously) explains in detail.
Ron and Scabbers make The Daily Profit. Sirius asked to borrow the Profit from Fudge on a routine Azkaban visit, which happened to be that very edition. This is how Sirius figures our Scabbers is Peter Pettigrew, that Wormtail is still alive, and that he would be hiding at Hogwarts with Ron. Sirius also knew he could harm Harry or be an informant to Voldemort.
3. The Godfather
The details on how Harry learned about Sirius Black, and who else knew about their connection, are very different in the book than the movie. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley were overheard talking about how Sirius was (allegedly) after Harry, and Mr. Weasley warned Harry, who doesn’t play stupid in the book like he does in the movies. Malfoy knew why Black was in Azkaban, and what he did to Harry’s parents (allegedly), something not shown in the movies. Harry was with Ron and Hermione when he overhears about what Black (allegedly) did to Harry’s parents, hiding under the table without the invisibility cloak, and doesn’t learn about Sirius being his godfather. When he does learn that Sirius is his godfather, it’s while they are leaving the Shrieking Shack and everything is being explained.
It’s not well noted (if at all) that Crookshanks isn’t just a cat- he’s half-kneazle, which are notably intelligent and apt at noticing distrustful people. Crookshanks’ involvement during and leading up to the night that Peter Pettigrew returned is revealed in the book, in which Crookshanks helps and protects Black as he tries to get his hands on Pettigrew. This does not get explained in the movies, and is only used as tension-fodder between Ron and Hermione.
5. Sir Cadogan
The feisty and obnoxious painting of Sir Cadogan isn’t mentioned at all in the movies. They also didn’t include Black’s second attempt at getting into Gryffindor tower.
6. Lupin’s Transformation
The whole scene of fighting off Lupin after he changes into a werewolf, and Hermione howling to distract him is a total Hollywood moment.
7. Harry Isn’t Just Brave
He’s smart, too. Harry is much brighter than the movies make him out to be. He actually figures out that Dumbledore wants him and Hermoine to save Buckbeak and Sirius.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
1. Winky the House Elf
Winky the house elf isn’t mentioned at all in the entire movie franchise, but she plays a key part in the Goblet of Fire. She serves the Crouch family, and is first introduced at the Quidditch World Cup. Her duties as a house-elf hit a nerve with Hermione, leading her to start S.P.E.W. (Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare)- also unmentioned in the movies. Winky was freed from the Crouch family, and eventually starts working at Hogwarts with Dobby. After being prompted to enjoy her new freedom, she refuses to accept that she no longer works and cares after the Crouch family.
She declares that she will never share the Crouch family secrets- the biggest being that Barty Crouch Sr. fulfilled his dying wife’s last wish by freeing his Death Eater son from Azkaban, whom Winky was supposed to be looking after. However, during the World Cup events, she and Barty Crouch Jr. become separated, and he returns to the Dark Lord. From there, the plot of getting Harry to the graveyard for Voldemort’s return is enacted. Barty Jr. becomes ex-auror Alastor Moody via polyjuice potion, setting up Harry to win the Triwizard Tournament, only to be transported to Voldemort’s rebirth. In the movie, Winky’s involvement isn’t mentioned, leaving viewers to fill in the gap of how Crouch got out of Azkaban and into Hogwarts.
2. Rita Skeeter
Rita Skeeter get introduced in the movies, but not to the extent that of the book. There is no mention of her overhearing private conversations, which in turn leads to no instigation by Hermione of Rita being an unregistered animagus. Much of the extent of slander to Harry Potter’s name started with her, leading to the divide with the Ministry of Magic.
This point also lends to another, as towards the end of the novel, Professor McGonagall and Dumbledore are arguing with Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic. McGonagall confronts Fudge about the allowance of his guard dementor performing the Dementor’s Kiss on Crouch Jr. This destroyed the testimony of the plot that brought Voldemort back, and what would have validated Harry’s word that Voldemort was back. This moment is where we see the conspiracy behind the Ministry of Magic, and though partly caused by cowardice on Fudge’s account, the other part is caused by doubt brought about by Rita Skeeter’s articles. Another piece left for the audience to figure out in the movies.
3. Bezoar Foreshadowing
Goblet of Fire mentions a potion in which Harry forgot to add a bezoar as a key ingredient during potions class. Knowing the magical properties of a bezoar eventually aids Harry in Half Blood Prince, in which Harry helps save Ron with one after being poisoned.
4. Hagrid’s Past
The story behind Hagrid’s family history, and the prejudice about giants, lead to the “special assignment” from Dumbledore. In the movies, this is mentioned in Order of the Phoenix, but only briefly. Readers got to understand the importance behind “parlaying with the giants.”
5. Bill and Fleur
In the book, Bill and Charlie Weasley are often talked about by Ron and his other siblings. In the movie, he is barely mentioned and becomes a convenient plot device in the 7th film. The is no mention of how he meets Fleur Delacour, but yet they open up Part 1 of Deathly Hallows with their wedding. Only the readers would understand how they could have possibly met, as the movie audience is left to assume. Additionally, they must assume what kind of characters they are, as the movie leaves out much of their individual character development.
Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix
1. Luna Lovegood
Things progress in the novel relatively accurate as in movie for the first two hundred pages, but as we get introduced to Luna Lovegood, we see some major differences. First off, Luna is a Ravenclaw, not a Gryffindor. Second, Ginny introduces her with the gentleness that in the movie, Hermione portrays. Unlike the movie, book Hermione is rather rude to Luna, and they butt heads many times. Their first non-abrasive moment happens at the end of the novel.
2. Quidditch Team Timeline
Ron tries out for the Gryffindor quidditch team in their fifth year, not sixth. At this time, Harry is not captain- in fact, he’s in detention for Professor Umbridge and doesn’t really see Ron’s tryout. The confundus charm Hermione performs in the movie, didn’t happen in the book. Also, Ginny isn’t on the team yet. Fast forward a few hundred pages, Harry, Fred and George are banned from playing quidditch at Hogwarts, and Ginny becomes a substitute for Harry (though eventually she wants to become a chaser.) And, because it isn’t mentioned in the movie, Gryffindor wins the quidditch cup that year, without Harry.
3. Dumbledore’s Army
The formation of Dumbledore’s Army and Harry teaching students defense against the dark arts is a little different than in the movie. The movie does a decent job on summarizing it, but initially Hermione brings it up to Harry, and he goes off on her and Ron, and he sits on the idea for a while. Then they decide to hold the meeting in the Hog’s Head. Hermione gets students to sign their name like a contract, and then charms it to know if they tell anyone about it- so when Cho’s friend tells Umbridge about the DA (not Cho!), her face displays a lovely acne charm that spells out “traitor”. And Dobby, not Neville, tells Harry about the Room of Requirement.
4. Umbridge Surveillance
The movie doesn’t mention that Umbridge was watching the Floo network, intercepting owls, she confessed to giving the dementors permission to attack Harry and Dudley. Though the movie did a great job depicting her evil guise, the book did it better. Additionally, the HP fandom has shown to hate her even more than Voldemort. What’s that say about corrupt government, hmmm?
5. Book Ginny
As everyone in the potter fandom knows, Ginny is so tough- she had to be, with so many brothers growing up. So when Harry is having his nobody-understands-me moments, she is the perfect character to snap him out of it. The movie needed more book-Ginny to balance out the emo-Potter.
‘…said Ginny angrily “Seeing as you don’t know anyone but me who’s been possessed by You-Know-Who, and I can tell you how it feels.” Harry remained quite still as the impact of those words hit him. Then he wheeled around. “I forgot,” he said. “Lucky you,” said Ginny coolly.’
6. The Quibbler Article
Unmentioned in the movies, an article in the Quibbler is what really starts to change people’s perception of Harry and trust that he did see Voldemort come back. Although the publication was typically a laughing stock, Harry’s account of what happened when Voldemort returned make those in denial or unsure understand that his story was unwavering.
7. The Removal of Hagrid from Hogwarts
The book describes such a horrible scene, and I’m surprised that kind of action didn’t make it into the movie. But then again, I probably would’ve cried seeing McGonagall get hit square in the chest with a Stupefy spell, and seeing Hagrid tied up and forced out.
8. Sirius’ Death
I had forgotten how emotional Order of the Phoenix is towards the end of the novel. I always hated that Sirius dies, but I apparently blocked out how much anger and emotion Harry lets out afterwards, especially while talking with Dumbledore about the prophecy. The movie cuts a lot of this- it’s still impacting, don’t get me wrong- but where the movie went silent, and where Harry doesn’t take out his anger, it takes that emotion away from the audience. I will note, I read that Radcliff’s anguished scream was silenced in the movie because it was so heart-wrenching, the director thought it would terrify the younger audience.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
1. Minister of Magic
Right in the beginning of the novel, we learn that the muggle Prime Minister and the Minister of Magic work together in necessary times, and that both are just recently new to the position, as the old Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge, has been fired and replaced by Rufus Scrimgeour. This transfer wasn’t noted in the movie, nor is it deemed important enough to include until Part 1 of Deathly Hallows.
2. Harry’s Summer
Harry did not ride the trains all summer, nor did some chick in a coffee shop try to pick him up. He was still at the Dursley’s, and waiting for Dumbledore to meet him there (though in disbelief that Dumbledore would.)
3. Return to The Burrow
In the book, Harry returns to the Burrow after visiting Slughorn with Dumbledore, and learns of Fleur and Bill’s engagement, since Fleur was at the Burrow. And, while there, the new Minister of Magic tries to persuade Harry to make like he supports what the ministry is doing. Harry denied him as they denied him and stands by Dumbledore.
4. Trips in the Pensieve
There are quite a few pensieve memories that we don’t get to see that help with understanding the horcruxes. Without them, the movie audience is left to guess what Harry is searching for.
5. Levicorpus Spell
Learning the Levicorpus spell from the Half-Blood Prince‘s potion book, Harry tries it out on Ron, not knowing that Snape created the spell. Without this background knowledge, the flashback of James tormenting Snape with the spell he created makes less of an impact to the movie audience. Also, it’s a pretty funny moment in the book!
6. Madam Pince
The book audience didn’t miss out on Harry and Hermione gossiping about Filch and Madam Pince being perfect for each other. The movie audience wouldn’t have a clue she’s the librarian.
7. Hermione’s Slug Club Date with McLaggen
The movie makes the date out to be a slight dig to Ron, but book Hermione made sure Ron got SEVERELY burned by telling Pavarti about the date in front of Ron while adding that she only likes “really good Quidditch players”. Book Hermione = savage.
8. More Recruiting from the Minister
Scrimgeour tries a second time to get Harry to join forces with the Ministry, and is denied again.
9. Apparition Lessons
They just left the lessons completely out of the movie, and leave the movie audience to assume that they learn how at school. But this was definitely an anticipated part of Half-Blood Prince, and of course, Hermione is the quickest learner, but it was still entertaining to read about, so I was bummed it didn’t make the film.
10. The Felix Felicis Potion, Part Deux
Right before Harry leaves with Dumbledore on the horcrux hunt, he runs to the dormitories to grab his invisibility cloak and warns Ron and Hermione that Malfoy was going to act tonight. He tells Ginny and them to drink the leftover Felix Felicis potion, and to warn the other members of Dumbledore’s Army for backup. Had he not done this, they could’ve died that night as Death Eaters did make it into the castle with Malfoy. This was left out of the movie.
11. Truth About The Half Blood Prince
Snape finds out that Harry has his old potions book before he kills Dumbledore. In the book, this costs Harry to miss the last Quidditch match and several Saturday detentions, wayyy before Dumbledore’s death.
12. Harry Finally Notices Ginny
Finally, Harry notices Ginny as more than Ron’s sister, and is jealous of her current boyfriend. The movie makes it out like Ginny just stood in the wings waiting for him, but the truth is Harry made the push for her, even though he kept telling himself not too because she was Ron’s little sister. Also, the movie kissing scene in the Room of Requirement never happened. Then, almost as soon as they are official, Harry breaks it off before he goes hunting for horcruxes because he doesn’t want her to be used or hunted by Voldemort for information.
13. Bill and Greyback
Bill was attacked in the fight pre/post Dumbledore’s death on the tower while fighting with Greyback when the Order stormed in to clear the Death Eaters out. The scar on his face left him with cursed marks from a werewolf unchanged, leaving him with some wolfish tenancies. In the movie series, Bill and Harry don’t even meet until Part 1 of Deathly Hallows.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
1. Dudley Isn’t The Worst
In the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (DHP1) movie, the Dursleys pack up and leave rather quickly, without a word to Harry. However, in the book, Dudley actually shows some respect to Harry by saying “I don’t think you’re a waste of space”, and “You saved my life.” It’s not much, but the readers know how difficult it must have been for Dudley to say those words, and it’s a shame that the movie scene got cut. (Also, incase you didn’t know, Harry and Dudley kept in contact after the Battle of Hogwarts.)
2. The Battle of the Seven Potters
In DHP1, the Battle of Seven Potters does a decent job of relaying the action scene, but a few details made it even better in the books. The most important detail left out of the movie was how the Death Eaters knew which Potter was the real one. In the movie, Harry claims it was Hedwig trying to protect him, but in the book, Hedwig is stuck and hit by the killing curse in her cage almost at the beginning of the battle. What really gave him away was that instead of attacking Stan Shunpike (Prisoner of Azkaban knight bus conductor turned Death Eater) he tries to disarm him with Expelliarmus, which as pointed out by Lupin, is Harry’s trademark spell. Also unnoticed in the movie battle- Harry is still underage, and the Trace wasn’t broken yet, so all the spells he cast during the fight are technically illegal underage magic. However, as pointed out later on in the book, the Ministry probably didn’t want to tell the public that Voldemort attacked Harry again. And one more thing- the seven Potters were all to go to a different safe location, then take a port key to the Burrow, incase they were being tailed. This is where we are introduced to the Tonks’, Ted and Andromeda, who are unmentioned in the movie. This is why the concern about timing in the movie about who was supposed to be back first doesn’t make much sense.
3. Learning About Horcruxes
In the book, Hermione manages to Accio a pile of books about Horcruxes from Dumbledore’s office before they left Hogwarts. So, they (Harry, Ron, and Hermione) actually knew quite a bit about horcruxes before they set off hunting them… such as how to kill them (though they didn’t figure out the Sword and basilisk venom connection at first). In the movie, they appeared unenlightened and catch on much later, figuring things out as they go.
4. Cousin Barny
In the book, Harry attends Bill and Fleur’s wedding disguised via Polyjuice potion. This protects both him and the wedding guests if any interrogation were to occur. At the wedding, he runs into unsuspecting Viktor Krum, who points out the Deathly Hallows symbol on Xeno Lovegood, which aids the trio in the future. In the movie, Harry goes as himself, doesn’t see Krum, and again, the audience and movie Trio are left to figure things out. Oh, and while on this subject, the wedding occurs AFTER Harry’s birthday in the book, not on the same day as noted in the movie. Harry’s birthday actually takes place on the same day they receive the contents of Dumbledore’s will. And while on the topic, Scrimgeour is more overly suspicious in the book than in the movie, and gives the trio a hard time as he relays the will contents, thinking they know more about the items than the Ministry. The only thing the Trio figures out faster in the book than in the movie, is the Snitch’s flesh memory.
DHP1 does show the importance of the interaction with Kreacher, but the details of how they knew for sure that Sirius’s brother Regulus was indeed the RAB from the note in the fake locket was overlooked. In the book, Kreacher told the Trio the whole story, and they started to respect Kreacher and elf magic. When they gave Kreacher the fake locket, it changed the relationship between him and Harry as his new master for the better. And because this was left out of the movie, the movie audience never got to witness what the readers did during the Battle of Hogwarts:
“The house-elves of Hogwarts swarmed into the entrance hall, screaming and waving carving knives and cleavers, and at their head, the locket of Regulus Black bouncing on his chest, was Kreacher…”Fight! Fight! Fight for my Master, defender of house-elves! Fight the Dark Lord, in the name of brave Regulus! Fight!”“
6. Lupin’s Cold Feet
In the book, Lupin tried to persuade Harry to allow him to assist in the hunt for horcruxes, and ditch Tonks. We learn that he is regretting their marriage, worried about her pregnancy, and thinks that Tonks and the baby would be better off without him. Harry harshly reminds him that this isn’t true, and that he needs to be home with his wife and soon-to-be son. Eventually, the harsh words are forgiven and Lupin allows himself to be proud of his family, and honors Harry by naming him Teddy’s godfather. In the movie, we can tell there is some animosity between Harry and Lupin, but not why. Also, only at the end of the movie do we learn that Tonks and Remus had a son and named him after Tonks’ father. Honestly, much of Lupin’s relationship with Tonks is cut from the movie.
7. Breaking Into The Ministry
The break-in to the Ministry of Magic in DHP1 differs from the book in a few ways, but I’m willing to let most of them pass. What bothers me the most is the way the escape happens. In the movie, the polyjuice potion is wearing off on Harry, he attacks Umbridge, Hermione gets the locket, the trio and Mrs. Cattermole run into the elevator. Harry fends off the dementors, and then they fight off Yaxley as they leave the ministry in the Floo Network grates. That’s fine for the movie audience, but as a reader, I wish I had seen the book version. Harry as Polyjuice-Runcorn sneaks into the courtroom under the invisibility cloak, stuns Umbridge and Yaxley out cold, unchains Mrs. Cattermole, and he and Hermione aide the muggleborns awaiting trial to escape the courtrooms. They run into Ron by the elevators, who tells them that the ministry is aware of intruders. Harry does some quick thinking, everyone makes it to the Atrium, and as Runcorn he intimidates the ministry workers into keeping the Floo Network grates open. As confusion takes over, Yaxley catches up, grabs Hermione’s foot, and goes through the Floo grates with the trio. They land at Grimmauld place but immediately have to apparate elsewhere, as Yaxley has now seen the secret-house for the Order, compromising it’s safety and secrecy.
In DHP1, they use the radio as the source of information from day one while on the hunt for the horcruxes- again, probably due to time restrictions- but there is little explanation of it’s importance or specific connection to Harry. In the novel, the radio comes later on, after Ron comes back to Harry and Hermione, and information is gathered by other means including those traveling as they go into hiding (ie. Ted Tonks, Dean Thomas, and Griphook) and the photo of old Hogwarts headmaster Phineas Nigellus Black (who helped Snape to pass on the sword). When Ron does come back, that’s how they learn about Potterwatch and who hosts the show, what ‘snatchers’ are, and how they learn about the Taboo of using Voldemort’s name. When Harry accidentally says ‘Voldemort’, that’s how they end up surrounded by snatchers and hauled off to Malfoy Manor.
9. Gringotts Escape Plan
In the DHP2 movie, during the robbery of Gringotts, the Trio are attempting to escape the vault and Hermione comes up with the plan to hop on the dragon and ride the thing out of the ceiling. While I love Emma Watson as much as every other fangirl, I feel that because of her portrayal as the brains in the trio, many of the brilliant schemes were changed to to be her ideas / solutions, instead of who the book originally attributed them to. This is one of the best examples, because in the novel, this escape plan all Harry. Even if you didn’t read the book, movie Hermione mentions a few times that she dislikes flying, so logically, this wouldn’t have been her go-to plan.
10. Meeting Aberforth
Thanks to the deleted scenes feature, I know that DHP2 producers attempted to give more detail the scene where the Trio makes it to safety in Hogsmeade, thanks to Aberforth. However, the final cut showed Harry telling Aberforth that they were hunting Horcruxes, and Aberforth never relaying the truth about what happened between him and Albus. So when Neville comes through the portrait passageway and takes the Trio into the Room of Requirement, he didn’t give as much detail as the book about why there were hammocks in the Room of Requirement. The book clearly states that nobody but the Trio knows about the Horcruxes, and the extra details from Neville help the Trio later on in the book.
11. Ravenclaw’s Diadem
In the novel, Luna shows Harry to the Ravenclaw common room to see what the lost diadem looks like. They go under the invisibility cloak, look at the diadem, and run into Death Eater and “Professor” Alecto Carrow. Luna stuns her (Alecto), and as they are trying to leave the common room, they run into Alecto’s Death Eater and “Professor” twin brother, Amycus, and Professor McGonagall. As the two argue, Amycus spits at McGonagall which sets Harry off, and he attacks Amycus and knocks him out. This is when McGonagall realizes that Harry is back, and starts making preparations to protect the school. She ties up the unconscious Carrows and sends Patronus messages to the other heads of houses. Making their way down from the Ravenclaw tower, Harry and Luna back under the cloak , they run into Snape. Here, McGonagall duels him and makes him leave the castle. Then, everyone gathers into the Great Hall, and all underage students (and almost all Slytherins) are organized to leave the castle for their safety, and so they mustn’t have to fight their families. In DHP2, everyone begins in the Room of Requirement, and then heads to the Great Hall. Harry appears out of the students, calls out Snape, and McGonagall makes Harry step aside to duel Snape. Then, students start running everywhere and Harry heads for the Ravenclaw tower. Luna stops Harry from going to the tower and sends him, sans cloak, to talk with the ghost, the Grey Lady.
12. Ron and Hermione’s Kiss
Either version- book or movie- still makes me want to cheer because FINALLY. But I’m being picky here, and the book version is better in my opinion. Ron and Hermione have just come back from the Chamber of Secrets with an armful of basilisk fangs after successfully killing the Hufflepuff cup, and are relaying the story to Harry. As he’s clearing out the Room of Requirement so he can get it to change to the room where the diadem is hidden, Ron suddenly remembers that they should evacuate the house-elves for their safety. Hermione, front-runner of SPEW, drops her armful of fangs and leaps at Ron and kisses him. In my opinion, this would’ve made a better scene than the typical Hollywood “in case we die” kiss, but they movie version couldn’t have the real scene because SPEW was never introduced. And while we’re on the topic, Harry and Ginny’s movie kiss didn’t happen either. That kiss happened before Harry left the Burrow, on his birthday.
13. The Turning Point- Where The Movie Takes A COMPLETE TURN From The Book
After Harry comes back from the Pensieve with Snape’s memories and learns of his fate, so many things differ from book to movie. Immediately apparent, his trip out of the castle is very different. In DHP2, he sees Ron and Hermione, reminds them that the snake is the last horcrux (something they’ve know since before they started hunting horcruxes in the book, but only recently found out in the movie). He also states that it explains how he knows he must die, saying,
“There’s a reason I can hear the horcruxes.”
None of this happens in the novel. He can’t hear the horcruxes (nor can Voldemort feel them for that matter). He doesn’t even know where Ron and Hermione are as he’s leaving the castle, but he also doesn’t want to see them because it would hurt too much to say goodbye. He’s under the invisibility cloak, and the only person he stops to talk to is Neville, to tell him (just in case) that Voldemort’s snake must be killed. **Plot hole (maybe)- he doesn’t mention how it has to be killed (with something that will kill a Horcrux.)**.
14. The Resurrection Stone
In the movie, it’s this shiny geometric rock, which Harry seems to immediately recognize as the stone, though he’s surprised that it is what the snitch was hiding. In the book, it’s (logically) the cracked stone from the Slytherin family ring that Voldemort turned into a horcrux, which Dumbledore found, wore, and was cursed by, and eventually learned how to kill it. HENCE THE SNITCH IN HIS WILL and THE HORCRUX BOOKS IN HIS STUDY. And guess what? Harry knew it would be the stone in the snitch, just as he guessed back in Malfoy Manor.
15. EVERYTHING DURING THE KINGS CROSS SCENE WITH DUMBLEDORE
I can’t believe how so much was left out of this scene. Yes, we see the dying part of Voldemort’s soul, and a few dialogue lines were the same, but nearly all the detailed information about WHY Harry is still alive and HOW he’ll manage to defeat Voldemort and the truth about Dumbledore and the Deathly Hallows is JUST NOT THERE IN THE MOVIE.
16. The Final Battle With Voldemort
In the movie, when Harry returns to the castle, he jumps down from Hagrid’s arms after Neville kills the snake and starts dueling with Voldemort- the final battle of the Battle of Hogwarts commences. This isn’t how the novel goes. First, Harry is laid down on the ground. Then, battle cries ring out from creatures of the Dark Forest, including Grawp (“HAGGAR!”), creating a distraction from poor Neville, who’s in a body-bind curse with the Sorting Hat aflame on his head. As Death Eaters and Voldemort move from the attack of the creatures, Neville breaks free of the curse, gets the Gryffindor sword from the hat, and kills Nagini. Harry, using the distraction, throws his cloak over himself and comes back to life to seek out Voldemort, who no longer has the horcruxes to protect him.
17. WHY HARRY (AND LOVE) WINS
In DHP2, Harry duels with Voldemort, and it’s a long dragged out scene with no observers. In the book, Harry catches up to Voldemort, calls him out, brings attention onto them, and they circle as Harry explains how his sacrifice protects all those fighting alongside him, just as his mother’s sacrifice protected him while he was a baby. He also explains how he survived, how Voldemort was (for lack of a better word) stupid enough to use his blood to bring himself back to life. And finally, just before they break into the duel, Harry explains how HE is the one that the Elder Wand responds to, and how it will not hurt it’s master. As Harry and Voldemort’s curses hit and connect, Harry’s easily causes Voldemort’s killing curse to rebound, causing Voldemort to finally parish once and for all, dying a human’s death (sans that Hollywood flaking apart and turning to dust business.)
18. Finally, Harry’s Wand
In the movie, Harry apparently chooses to keep Draco’s wand since his is still broken, and he decides to break and toss the Elder Wand into wreckage. Book Harry, however, makes a very sane (and humble) decision to mend his old wand that Hermione accidentally broke during the snatcher attack, returns Draco’s wand to Draco, and returns the Elder Wand to Dumbledore’s grave, where as long as Harry dies a natural death, the power of the Elder Wand will die as well.
PHEW! You made it to the bottom of the….wait…
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
I’m including my thoughts on Harry Potter and The Cursed Child because I’d been so torn about reading it. When I heard that Cursed Child came out, it was on my To-Buy list immediately, but then I started to hesitate when I saw the conflicting reviews. I didn’t want to spoil the magical world that I grew up with, so I put it off. Mentioning this to a friend (shout out to Amber!), she said she had a copy that I could borrow if I decided I wanted to give it a chance.
I’ll say within the first 30 pages, I knew I didn’t like it. Part of the reason was because I struggled in reading the script and imagining some of the parts that don’t pertain to what we know of as canon in the wizarding world. The other part was the way the plot was pushed along. It felt very fast (almost too fast) and emotionally charged, to where I felt that as a reader, I wasn’t getting depth in the character development. JK Rowling put so much complexity into her characters and her writing, but we’re following the children of these characters she created, and we get very little depth. I could only superficially understand the “cursed child” syndrome, and in script form, Albus comes off full of angst and dramatics- circa Harry fifth year– so it made me dislike him almost immediately, whereas I’d rather like the main character.
Despite all that I will say overall, the script got more exciting the further I read on and the story overall is an interesting concept. A brief summary for those who haven’t read: Harry’s middle-child son, Albus Severus, dislikes being the famous Harry Potter’s Slytherin son. Albus overhears Cedric Diggory’s father asking Harry to use a time turner to go back to the Triwizard Tournament and prevent Cedric from dying at Voldemort’s hands- a request Harry denies. Albus decided to fulfill the request instead, and with his best friend Scorpius Malfoy and Amos Diggory’s niece Delphini, they set out to change the course of history, each for their own personal gain.
To me, it felt like I was reading published fan fiction. It was entertaining, but I can’t quite accept it as canon (and as I’ve seen in other reviews, I’m not alone on this), and I really dislike that it’s considered the eighth book in the Harry Potter series. It’s not a book, it’s a play script, and there are so many little bits of information that do not correlate with the structures set by the preceding books.
So, to answer the big question: to read or not to read? I say read if you are hardcore Potterhead, and take the story with a grain of salt, as if you were reading any other fan fiction. It’s not going to ruin the world we know and love- it’s just going to give an alternative view.