It is a truth universally acknowledged, that the books are always better than the movies. It’s simple fact that films usually can’t live up to everyone’s expectations. While the Harry Potter movie franchise is widely loved by fans, it still falls under this rule. Where the books have hundreds of pages to stretch out their story, the movies just can’t fit all the details, characters, and storylines into their 2+ hour run time.
It’s inevitable that things have to be cut from the screenplay with a book series as big and as detailed as this one. The wonderful world of witchcraft and wizardry had hundreds of characters contained in the pages of the seven books, but not all of them made it to the big screen. While there were many characters who had their storylines cut or only showed up once, for this list we’re focusing on those people who never even make an onscreen appearance. Characters who only appeared in portraits or photos will be considered, but only if they were supposed to make a flesh and blood appearance in the story.
From missing Weasley children to real life politicians, here are 15 Important Harry Potter Characters Who Never Made It Into The Movies.
While the movies were rather light on ghost characters altogether (hardly any Nearly Headless Nick? No Deathday party? A travesty!) there was one apparition that never even made it into the movies at all. Arguably the most prolific of the many ghosts that haunt the halls of Hogwarts, Peeves the Poltergeist made many appearances throughout all seven books.
The mischievous Peeves was constantly causing chaos, pulling pranks, and tormenting his nemesis, Filch the caretaker. He had been with the castle since before its founding as a school and was a constant presence in the halls. The troublesome poltergeist mostly flew around causing mischief but did, on occasion, prove useful to the school and its students.
When Umbridge took over the school Peeve made it his after-life’s mission to give her hell. After the Weasley twins left Hogwarts, he began a campaign of terror, playing pranks and destroying property around the castle. Even Professor McGonagall approved of his antics during this time, telling him the chandelier “unscrews the other way” when he was trying to loosen it. Peeves also helped during the Battle of Hogwarts, turning his chaotic skills against the Death Eaters.
The movies were originally going to include the jokester spirit, casting Drop Dead Fred’s Rik Mayall for the first film. His scenes were all cut, though, depriving us all of his post-war victory song: “We did it, we bashed them, wee Potter’s the one, and Voldy’s gone mouldy, so now let’s have some fun!”
14. Dennis Creevey
We got to meet one member of the Creevey family when the Harry-obsessed Colin showed up in the second film, but unfortunately we never got to meet the second Creevey brother, Dennis. Dennis, like his brother, was a Muggle-born student who was sorted into Gryffindor. His sorting ceremony was particularly memorable since he showed up soaking wet after having fallen into the Black Lake and been rescued by what was, presumably, The Giant Squid.
Dennis, along with Colin, joined Dumbledore’s Army during his second year after he snuck out of Hogwarts and followed the older kids down to Hogsmeade to sign up. Dennis and his family went on the run during the Second Wizarding War, after the ministry implemented the Muggle-Born Registration Commission.
It’s little wonder the second Creevey brother didn’t appear in the films since Colin was cut from all of the following films too. An odd choice, since Colin’s death was a significant part of the tragedy of the Battle of Hogwarts.
13. Marietta Edgecombe
A Ravenclaw student and Cho Chang’s best friend, Marietta Edgecombe had a small but pivotal role in the Order of the Phoenix book. She joined her friend Cho in signing up for Dumbledore’s Army in her 5th year. It is Marietta, not Cho under a truth potion, who rats Harry and his friends out to Umbridge.
Umbridge threatens Marietta’s mother’s job at the Ministry of Magic in order to get her to turn on her friends. Of course, that’s hardly a major feat, since Marietta spends most of the book distrusting Harry and begrudgingly being a part of the DA.
Unfortunately for Marietta, Hermione had jinxed the parchment all members had signed their names to, so that any betrayer would have boils erupt on their faces in the form of the word ‘SNEAK’. She then spends the remainder of the year hiding her face out of embarrassment. Ice cold, Hermione!
Of course some good did come out of Marietta’s role– her bestie Cho stood by her, against Harry (who was less than pleased about her betrayal), causing tension in the budding relationship. This proved too much for them and they later broke up. Thankfully.
12. Hepzibah Smith
One of the major storylines the movies skimped on was the backstory of its main villain Voldemort. During the books, especially the 6th and 7th ones, there are numerous chapters devoted to the journey Tom Riddle took to become the Dark Lord. Unfortunately the movies cut much of this detailed backstory, including his scenes with Hepzibah Smith; a very pivotal character in his path to the dark side.
Madam Hepzibah Smith was a rich older witch who claimed to be the descendant of Helga Hufflepuff and was an avid collector of magical antiques, including the famed cup of Helga Hufflepuff and locket of Salazar Slytherin. If these items sound familiar to you it’s probably because you know them as two of Voldemort’s Horcruxes.
The young Tom Riddle befriended the lonely older woman and manipulated her into showing him her treasures. When Tom saw that she had the locket, that was originally a heirloom belonging to his family, he promptly murdered her and stole the two items. He uses her murder as the tool to create the Horcrux within the cup. Worst of all, he then framed the woman’s poor house-elf for the death, leaving the elf to believe she had poisoned her mistress by altering her memory.
The moments with Hepzibah were essential to Tom’s desent into the darkness, but considering so much of his backstory was cut (more about that later), we’re not surprised they didn’t include her in the story.
11. Professor Binns
While everyone might recognize the more famous faculty members of Hogwarts, like Potions Master Severus Snape or Headmaster Albus Dumbledore, there is one member of the teaching staff who is unfamiliar to movie fans. Harry, Ron and Hermione’s History of Magic teacher, Professor Cuthbert Binns is completely erased from the films.
Having the reputation for being the most boring teacher to ever roam the halls of Hogwarts, Professor Binns unfortunately died in his sleep many years ago, woke up the next morning as a ghost, didn’t seem to notice, and just went on teaching. His lessons were so boring that he didn’t even need a pulse to keep teaching them. His droning voice and tedious teaching style had most of his students falling asleep in his class– except for Hermione, of course, who listened intently and took notes.
In the second book, The Chamber of Secrets, it is Binns who relays the story of the chamber and the heir of Slytherin after he realizes his students would rather listen to that than his monotonous droning from a history textbook. It’s through his love of history and many years spent at Hogwarts (both alive and dead) that we get the details on the Chamber of Secrets and the mystery Harry and his friends have to solve that year. But alas, poor Binns must have been a little too boring for the films’ producers, who make no mention of him.
10. Ludo Bagman
Ludovic “Ludo” Bagman is a wizard and the head of the Department of Magical Games and Sports for a time, at least until he has to go on the run from the Goblins he’s indebted to. In fact, Ludo had quite the gambling problem and had a penchant for dirty tactics.
Ludo helped organize the 1994 Quidditch World Cup, which Harry, Hermione, and the Weasleys attended. During the cup he took a bet with Fred and George for the outcome of the final, but unfortunately for Ludo, his gambling addiction bankrupted him and he was unable to pay his debts. Fred and George then humorously stalked Ludo throughout the school year, coming up with different ways to collect their money. Ludo tried to gain his money back by betting on Harry during the Triwizard Tournament, showing up multiple times to try and give Harry “a few pointers.” Harry always refused, of course. And since Harry technically tied with Cedric Diggory, Ludo was unable to collect on his bet.
9. The Muggle Prime Minister
Movies usually love a good portrayal of a real life person– doling out awards here, there, and everywhere for them– but for whatever reason the Harry Potter film series left out the opportunity for someone to bring England’s real Prime Minister to life (or perhaps for even a cameo from the real guy himself).
In the books, each Muggle Prime Minister is informed of the existence of the wizarding community after being sworn in. They are also kept in the loop with the affairs of the wizarding world, that might affect any muggle citizens– like, you know, all out war with Voldy and his muggle-hating Death Eaters.
Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge has many meetings with the Prime Minister throughout the books and even sends Order of the Phoenix member Kingsley Shaklebolt to protect him when Voldemort returns. The Prime Minister is shock when he discovers his new secretary is actually a highly trained Auror.
The real Prime Minister during this time was John Major. This could have been a great opportunity to not only add some grounding to the story, but also have a fun cameo à la Nixon in X-Men: Days Of Future Past or Watchmen.
8. Augusta Longbottom
Augusta Longbottom is the mother of Frank Longbottom and grandmother of Neville. After Death Eaters tortured her son and his wife to insanity, Augusta took in their infant son Neville and raised him. She’s a tough, no-nonsense woman who, while stern, was also very loving towards her grandson. Leaving Augusta out of the movies deprived us of a great character and some integral pieces of Neville’s story.
Augusta became very proud of her grandson’s involvement in the DA, and the ensuing Battle of the Department of Mysteries, telling Neville that his parents would have been proud of him. When Neville leads the rebellion against the Carrow siblings at Hogwarts, an enemy Auror is sent to take Augusta hostage for leverage. But instead the old woman puts the Auror in the hospital and goes on the run. She fights alongside her grandson in the Battle of Hogwarts and survives.
7. Frank And Alice Longbottom
Speaking of the Longbottom family, we never get to meet the other members either. While they do make a brief appearance in the Order of the Phoenix movie in a photograph, in the book we are supposed to meet them in person. When Ron, Harry, Ginny, and Hermione visit St. Mungo’s Hospital to see Arthur Weasley (an amnesiac Gilderoy Lockheart also makes an appearance) they run into Neville and his gran. It is here that the group find out exactly what happened to Mr. and Mrs. Longbottom.
While there we see the state of the couple’s tortured minds and what effect it has on their poor son Neville. While the teenagers are standing in the hallway, Alice Longbottom approaches her son without saying a word and hands him an old lolly wrapper like it’s a christmas present. While Neville thinks the others will laugh, Harry laments that he “did not think he’d ever found anything less funny in his life.” Making it even more depressing, Harry sees Neville slip the wrapper into his pocket after his grandmother tells him to throw it out.
During the movies the only house elves we really see are Dobby and Kreacher, but in the book series we meet quite a few of these little creatures. One such elf is Winky, the house-elf of the Crouch family. After Barty Crouch Jr. frames Winky for his own dark magic, his father, Barty Crouch Sr., is forced to dismiss her. This devastates her, as she is totally loyal to the Crouch family, and she sinks into a deep depression. She eventually goes to work in the Hogwarts kitchens, though she hates being there and would often get drunk rather than do any work. She never really recovers from this unfortunately.
She and Dobby become friends while working in the kitchens, although she doesn’t agree with or understand his happiness at being a free elf. It’s through Winky’s storyline that Hermione becomes involved with the house elf rights movement and creates her organization S.P.E.W (Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare).
While this isn’t as prominent in the movies, Hermione’s interest in helping house-elves is a major part of her character in the books and is actually the catalyst for her and Ron’s first kiss. And it’s all because of a little alcoholic house elf called Winky.
5. Charlie Weasley
With so many Weasley children running around, it’s no wonder the movies decided to cut the least important one. Charlie is the second eldest Weasley sibling who lives in Romania to study dragons. He has been mentioned many times since the first book (particularly in relation to his Quidditch prowess) and eventually makes his first appearance in The Goblet of Fire during the Triwizard Tournament. Charlie assisted with the dragons that were used for one of the challenges and it’s through him that Harry learns important information about the task. He shows up in later books as well and fights in the war against Voldemort with the rest of the Weasley family.
While he is briefly shown in the family photograph in the third movie, he never shows up in person. Charlie was the cool older brother with the dangerous job in a far-off land who everyone was proud of, but apart from that he didn’t have a huge part in the story. Seeing the complete Weasley family on screen would have been nice, but considering everything else they have to fit into the movies, we understand the decision to cut the older sibling. Luckily there was no shortage of red heads in hand-me-downs running around on screen for us to enjoy.
4. Andromeda and Ted Tonks
Andromeda and Ted Tonks are the parents of Order of the Phoenix member Nymphadora Tonks, but that’s not the only familial connection these cut characters have. Andromeda Tonks was born Andromeda Black, and is the sister of Bellatrix Lestrange and Narcissa Malfoy, and cousin of Sirius Black. She was exiled from the blood-purist Black family for marrying muggle-born Ted Tonks and, like her favourite cousin Sirius, was burnt off the family tree tapestry.
The couple worked alongside the Order of the Phoenix and used their home as a safe house for Order members. During the escape of the seven Harry Potters from Privet Drive in the Deathly Hallows, they are integral to keeping Harry safe. He and Hagrid take refuge with the Tonkses at their house while Andromeda tends to Hagrid’s wounds.
When Harry first sees Andromeda he mistakenly believes her to be Bellatrix, since the sisters are nearly identical. But he soon realizes that they couldn’t be more different, since the kindly Andromeda is nothing like the psychotic Bellatrix.
The resemblance between the two means they could have easily had Helena Bonham Carter play a dual role in the film, something she no doubt could have handled wonderfully.
3. Teddy Lupin
While the youngster is certainly mentioned a few times in the movies, we never get to see the blue-haired metamorphmagus Teddy Lupin. In the books the son of Lupin and Tonks has a bigger role than he does in the movies– he is bought up quite a few times, shown in pictures and is present at Platform 9 and 3/4 in the epilogue, 19 years later. When Harry and Ginny are dropping their children off at the platform, James Potter runs over to tell his parents that Teddy and their cousin Victoire Weasley were snogging. During this exchange it is also revealed that Teddy is very close with the Potters, spending most of his time at their house.
But unfortunately we never get any interaction with the son of the werewolf and witch, since the movies decided not to ever show him. In The Flesh actor Luke Newberry was cast in the role for the epilogue but was edited out of the final cut.
We can’t help but think that Tonks and Lupin’s deaths might have been that much more depressing if we had gotten to see the son they left behind, just as Harry had been left by James and Lily’s deaths. But considering most of the Tonks and Lupin love story was left on the pages of the books, we’re not surprised their son didn’t appear either.
2. Eileen Snape and Tobias Snape
“The Prince’s Tale” was arguably the most talked about chapters in Harry Potter history. We finally learn all of the pieces of the enigmatic Snape’s life and everything Dumbledore had been planning all along. It places all of the pieces together and shows the true tragic story of the Hogwarts potions master. The chapter delved into his and Lily’s backstory and gave us some necessary insight into Severus Snape.
So when the movie came around and skipped over most of it, opting instead for a short montage of a few key events, fans were pretty disappointed. The movie totally erases any of Snape’s backstory that doesn’t involve his love for Lily, including his lonely and tumultuous life with his parents.
Eileen Prince was a witch who married muggle Tobias Snape and, while married to him, became isolated from the world of magic and became trapped in an unhappy marriage. The two would fight constantly and there were a few hints that the household may have been physically abusive as well. The couple also neglected their son, who would often wear old mismatched clothes that didn’t fit him.
Snape’s unhappy childhood was a huge component of his character and, without showing his childhood, we miss out on much of what made his character so layered. It’s not so much that Eileen or Tobias twere all that important in the world of Harry Potter, but rather the storyline that featured them definitely was.
1. The Gaunts
While leaving Hepzibah Smith out of the movies left a sizeable hole in Voldemort’s backstory, cutting the Gaunts pretty much erased it entirely. The Gaunts were once a noble and prominent pure-blood family, descended from Salazar Slytherin. Since then the family had been reduced to poverty, as well as violence and mentally unstability from years of inbreeding. The three remaining members; abusive patriarch Marvolo, downtrodden daughter Merope, and insane brother Morfin, all lived in a dilapidated shack in the woods.
Merope became infatuated with the wealthy and handsome muggle Tom Riddle, and used a love potion on him. After a year of marriage, Merope broke off the bewitchment when she fell pregnant, but once released, Tom abandoned her. Merope gave birth to a son and died not long after. She named her son: Tom Marvolo Riddle.
In the movies, we don’t even get a mention of most of the family. Voldemort’s entire existence is due to the Gaunts’ story, especially since Tom was denied any semblance of a loving family when his mother died.
Marvolo was the owner of the Gaunt family ring and Salazar’s locket, two of Voldemort’s Horcruxes. And it’s because of an interaction with Morfin that Tom murders the entire Riddle family (including his father) in cold blood to create the ring Horcrux. He then blames Morfin for the massacre.
Without the Gaunts and their story we miss out on so much of Voldemort’s character and it reduces him quite a bit. In the books he was memorable for his viciousness and cold blooded killing, demonstrated through these flashbacks. In the movies he’s memorable for not having a nose and giving awkward hugs.
Which of these Harry Potter characters did you miss seeing the most? Let us know in the comments!