25 Harry Potter Movie vs. Book Differences

Posted by , Updated on March 23, 2024

If you’re a Harry Potter fan who’s only seen the movies but never read the books, you’re missing about 1/3 of the story. Sub-plots, characters, and really stinking cool scenes that add depth to both the Wizarding World and characters are quite often lost in translation. On the flip side, the movie adaptations have given us some scenes full of emotions that aren’t there in the books. While every book fan has their own list of things that got cut, here’s our list of 25 Crazy Differences Between The Harry Potter Movies And Books.



Nearly Headless Nick's "Deathday Party" is missing from the movie.

Nearly_Headless_Nick_Source: //www.theodysseyonline.com/

In the first book, the Gryffindor Ghost invites the trio (Hermione, Harry, and Ron) to his Deathday party. It’s completely dropped from the films for time, but it would have been very cool to see.


Where the heck was Winky?

dobby artSource: //www.theodysseyonline.com/

The Crouch House Elf was REALLY IMPORTANT in the 4th book and then again in later parts of the story. She was just kinda…glossed over. We *barely* got Kreacher. Dobby wasn’t the only important house elf!


The most amusing game of Quidditch in the entire series is only found in the book.

Luna LovegoodSource: http://www.craveonline.com/

Luna Lovegood is amazing for a few reasons, but book fans will not soon forget the Quidditch game she announces in Half-Blood Prince. She explains such important things like “Losers Lurgy” without all the dull…scoring..and things.


Peter Pettigrew lives in the movie.

PeterPettSource: http://www.cinemablend.com

Um, what? In the book, Pettigrew’s silver hand, given to him by The Dark Lord upon his resurrection, turns on him and strangles him to death. This doesn’t happen in the movie.


The start of the first movie is much different from the book.

VernonSource: http://harrypotter.wikia.com/

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s/Philosopher’s Stone actually starts out with Vernon Dursley going to work and going about his day, noticing weird people in cloaks. The movies skip the entire first chapter of the first book, where people all across the country are meeting in secret, and raising glasses to “Harry Potter: The Boy Who Lived!”


Professor Snape's Potion Puzzle is omitted from the movie.

potion-bottlesSource: http://pottermore.wikia.com

In Sorcerer’s Stone, there are various challenges to get to the stone – most people know about the keys and the chess board, but Hermione solving Snape’s potions riddle was amazing, and it was completely cut for time.

“Danger lies before you, while safety lies behind, Two of us will help you, whichever you would find, One among us seven will let you move ahead, Another will transport the drinker back instead, Two among our number hold only nettle wine, Three of us are killers, waiting hidden in line. Choose, unless you wish to stay here for evermore, To help you in your choice, we give you these clues four: First, however slyly the poison tries to hide You will always find some on nettle wine’s left side; Second, different are those who stand at either end, But if you would move onwards, neither is your friend; Third, as you see clearly, all are different size, Neither dwarf nor giant holds death in their insides; Fourth, the second left and the second on the right Are twins once you taste them, though different at first sight.”

It would’ve been amazingly cool to see this on film.


Rita Skeeter is an unregistered Beetle Animagnus.

Northeastern_beach_tiger_beetle_insect_in_a_jarSource: https://www.bustle.com

That’s how she got all the “Scoops” during the Triwizard Tournament. She snuck onto Hogwards grounds as a beetle and hid in people’s hair. At the end of 4th year, Hermione put her in an unbreakable jar where she kept her for a year until she promised to not write nasty things about them anymore.


Hermione also founded S.P.E.W.

SPEWSource: https://www.bustle.com

That’s the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare, to you muggles. Fore reasons that are probably something boring like “time constraints,” SPEW and the amusing scenes that happen surrounding it, were cut. Or wait, maybe it’s because they cut most of the house elves and their importance from the movies, too. Maybe it’s that.


Harry's eyes are green, not blue.

GreenEyesSource: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

In fact, it’s pretty darn important that Harry has Lily Evan’s eyes, and she’s a green eyed redhead. His eyes should have been green. Especially since the technology existed to color them green when the first movie came out.


Since the filmmakers didn't feel the need to explain who the Half Blood Prince was in the 6th film, allow us.

HalfBloodPrinceSource: http://www.craveonline.com

Snape was the Half Blood Prince. The potions textbook with all the helpful hints that makes Harry good at potions belonged to a young Severus Snape, who was a half blood. Snape whose magical Mother’s maiden name was Prince. Snape whose muggle father was an abusive jerk. Snape, who really felt acceptance for the first time in his life with Harry’s mother, Lily Evans. Snape is the Half-Blood Prince, and if not for young Snape saying stupid teenage crap, as stupid teenagers do, Harry Potter would likely have been Harry Snape.


In the books, the trio uses the invisiblity cloak ALL THE TIME.

Comic-Con_2010_-_WB_booth_-_Harry_Potter_-_Invisibility_Cloak_(4859614758)Source: http://harrypotter.wikia.com

It’s almost (almost) their Deus Ex Machina. It’s used a lot less frequently in the film, particularly later films. It also looks completely different in the books, where it’s described as being made from a silver, fluid like material.


In the book, Harry doesn't snap the Elder Wand.

The_Elder_WandIISource: https://scifi.stackexchange.com/

He uses it to repair is own broken wand with Faux’s feather as it’s core, and then returns it to Dumbledore’s tomb. Since Harry is the last “True Master” of the Elder Wand, if Harry dies a natural death (as in, not dying by being defeated by another) the power of the Elder Wand will die with him.


Time travel in the movies is...well...TIME TRAVEL DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY!

timeturnedSource: https://www.bustle.com/

You cannot interact with your past self. That includes throwing rocks at your own past head. While Time Travel in the books is clumsy at best (let’s not talk about that..play…thing), it’s abysmal in the movies. No, they didn’t throw rocks at themselves. They only observed their past/future selves. Oiy


Aunt Pentunia's Hair is supposed to be blonde!

Blonde_hairSource: http://harrypotter.wikia.com

And she’s supposed to have “nearly twice the usual amount of neck.” How can you not get the hair color correct?


You know the Marauder's Map?

marauders mapSource: http://www.gamesradar.com

That cool map Harry has that was from “Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot & Prongs”? Yeah, the Marauders were Remus Lupin (Moony, the Werewolf), Peter Petegrew (Wormtail, rat Animagus), Sirus Black (Padfoot, black dog Animagus) and Harry’s dad, James Potter (Prongs, stag Animagus). The four were best friends at Hogwarts, and while Lupin couldn’t help being a Werewolf, the other three trained themselves to be unregistered animagi to help him deal with his condition. That’s kind of completely glossed over in the films, but it’s pretty important since Wormtail (who was secretly working for The Dark Lord) was the Potter’s Secret-Keeper, and the reason why Voldemort could find James and Lily on the night he killed them. Everyone in The Order thought it was Sirius, which is why so many (including Lupin) believed his guilt for so long. Wormtail is just awful guys. He’s just scummy scum.


Tom Riddle's back story was cut pretty short in movie 6.

tom riddle's diarySource: http://www.onthebox.com

For instance, they cut his mum, Merope Gaunt, in movie 6. And his Grandfather, Marvolo Gaunt, who was a jerk. Merope’s Story Matters! She wouldn’t stay alive for her child! Voldemort literally never knew his mother’s love, not for a moment.

“‘Merope refused to raise her wand even to save her own life.’

‘She wouldn’t even stay alive for her son?’ Dumbledore raised his eyebrows. ‘Could you possibly be feeling sorry for Lord Voldemort?’

‘No,’ said Harry quickly, ‘but she had a choice, didn’t she, not like my mother –’

‘Your mother had a choice, too,’ said Dumbledore gently. ‘Yes, Merope Riddle chose death in spite of a son who needed her, but do not judge her too harshly, Harry. She was greatly weakened by long suffering, and she never had your mother’s courage…’”


They also gently gloss over the fact that Tom Riddle's family is inbred.

family-treeSource: http://www.onthebox.com

Like really inbred, on the wizard side. Much like royals, it keeps the blood pure! Since they were directly descended from Salazar Slytherin himself, the Gaunt’s family tree didn’t, uh, branch out much.


As a weird change in the movies, when the Death Eaters and the Dark Lord die, they explode or flake away like non-glittery vampires.

harry vs voldemortSource: http://www.radiotimes.com

The books were pretty explicit. The bodies of the Death Eaters and the Dark Lord were placed in a room separate from everyone else.


That whole beautiful, magical dance scene between Harry and Hermione in the tent in Deathly Hallows Pt 1?

Harry_&_Hermione_dancingSource: Regal Cinemas, FL, November 2010.

Where they’re both so sad, and the horcrux is getting to them, so they have their little radio playing. Harry just takes the horcrux off Hermione, and if you’ve ever had a BFF of the opposite sex who’s your ride or die, you totally just *got* that scene. And it made you cry a little. This scene didn’t happen in the books. Still, it was a lovely choice for the films.


Harry and Ginny's first kiss is COMPLETELY different.

ginny y harrySource: http://www.radiotimes.com/

In the books, Ginny runs to his arms in the common room, and they kiss in front of everyone. It’s passionate. It’s giving no cares who’s watching. It’s bold. It says a lot about Ginny as a character and a partner to Harry. The movies basically neutered this awesome scene and hid them in the attic. It was a completely different feel. This Ginny is not the Ginny the book fans were expecting. Actually, Ginny in the book is a bazillion times more spunky and full of moxie than movie Ginny, which is disappointing.


In the books, we don't actually see Hermione obliviate her parents.

obliviateSource: http://www.cinemablend.com

We see her emotionally tell the boys about it. The movies actually show us her casting the spell. That’s kind of opposite of how it usually goes. However, it still makes for a pretty powerful scene that helps set the tone of the film.


Dudley's Goodbye is quite different as well.

harry mellingSource: //www.theodysseyonline.com/

When Harry says his final goodbyes to the awful family that raised him, we see a moment of remorse for Dudley. That perhaps he, too, was a product of his terrible, no good, very bad parents. He shakes Harry’s hand and wishes him luck. The movies denied us this moment and any nuance of character development for Dudley Dursley.


Peeves the Poltergeist was actually cast and filmed for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

shadow peevesSource: http://www.craveonline.com

Sadly, he got cut in editing, and was therefore removed from the rest of the films. Not only is Peeves responsible for really amusing and charming moments, such as when McGonagall explains that it unscrews the other way. He’s as old as Hogwarts itself. It’s like they just left out part of the castle.


Neville could've been the Chosen One.

Matthew_Lewis_cropSource: //www.theodysseyonline.com/

Okay, so in the movies Neville turns out pretty hot, and pretty kick-butt, but it’s really glossed over how Voldemort’s CHOICE to “mark” Harry is what makes Harry the “Chosen One” in the prophecy. The prophecy applies equally to Neville (Born as the 7th month closes, to parents who had defied Voldemort 3 times), until Voldy makes his choice on that fateful Halloween.


Dumbledore's reaction to Harry's name in the Goblet of Fire.

Wizarding_World_of_Harry_Potter_-_Goblet_of_Fire_(5013548397)Source: http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Legilimency

“HARRY DID YOU PUT YA NAME IN THE GARBLARAFAR!?!?! *roughly shakes 14-year-old’s shoulders*” is not at all (at ALL) like in the books. In fact, Dumbledore is pretty darn calm in that entire scene because that’s kind of his thing.

“Did you put your name into the Goblet of Fire, Harry?’ Dumbledore asked calmly” is what the book says.

It’s kind of important because a) it shows that Dumbledore is treating his student with respect instead of accusation (unlike movie Dumbledore), and b) it’s implied that possibly, Dumbledore was trying to read Harry’s mind to find the truth. (Dumbledore was known to use the art of Legilimency.)

But hey, let’s just yell at the kid and shake him up a bit, despite that being completely out of character for Dumbledore.

Photo Credits: Feature image: text added; Books: Dallas Epperson via flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, Movie cover: Colin Zhu via flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, 25. Rob Young from United Kingdom, Nearly Headless Nick – John Cleese (6973102606)CC BY 2.0, 24. William via flickr, CC BY 2.0, 23. Pat Dolan via flickr, CC BY 2.0, 22. Movie Scene image from Harry Potter: Goblet of Fire and is used here as fair use, 21. Image of Vernon Dursley from the movie Harry Potter: The Sorcerer’s Stone used here under Fair Use, 20. publicdomainpictures.net (public domain), 19. wikimedia commons (public domain), 18. Karen Roe via commons.wikimedia.org CC 2.0 Image edit: Words added. 17. wikimedia commons (public domain), 16. Snape’s True Love via flickr, CC BY 2.0, 15. The Conmunity – Pop Culture Geek from Los Angeles, CA, USA, Comic-Con 2010 – WB booth – Harry Potter – Invisibility Cloak (4859614758)CC BY 2.0, 14. Doug Kline, The Elder WandIICC BY 2.0, 13. allnightavenue via flickr, CC BY 2.0, 12. Daniel Christensen at English WikipediaBlonde hairCC BY 3.0, 11. KRLSMapa d’amagatotisCC BY 3.0, 10. The Conmunity – pop culture geek via flickr, CC BY 2.0, 9. pixabay (public domain), 8. Indri Rizal via flickr, CC BY 2.0, 7. Image of scene from the movie Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollow Pt.1 used here under Fair Use. 6. “Ginny y Harry” by SevPrince via deviant art, CC BY 3.0 unported, 5. kiara_ via flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, 4. vagueonthehowHarry MellingCC BY 2.0, 3. shutterstock, 2. Rob Young, Matthew Lewis cropCC BY 2.0, 1. The Conmunity – Pop Culture Geek from Los Angeles, CA, USA, Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Goblet of Fire (5013548397)CC BY 2.0