Harry Potter fans are eagerly awaiting the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the movie based on a faux textbook that J.K. Rowling wrote to support the charity Comic Relief in 2001. As fans cross off the days until Rowling’s first screenwriting experience debuts on November 18 of this year, many are crossing their fingers and toes and hoping that their favorite creatures will make the cut. After all, most fans of the book series felt heartbroken when some of their favorite characters, creatures, and and moments hit the editing room floor without seeing a moment on screen.
The fact of the matter is that the Harry Potter universe is just too vast to be contained in seven films. Even after Pottermore enabled fans to be sorted and learn more about wizardry and Universal Studios developed a live experience through the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, there still isn’t enough Hogwarts, Diagon Alley, or Forbidden Forest to go around. Hold that thought when considering these 16 Moments From The Books You Never Got To See In The Movies.
16. Cool Battle Moments
While plenty of people think they witnessed the Battle of Hogwarts, they might find themselves aghast realizing that they merely caught the highlights. Although the film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 captured the essence of war preparation and battle tension, and touched on the losses that ensue, it does not hold a candle to what occurred in the book. Picture a band of house elves fighting on behalf of Hogwarts, Percy Weasley rejoining his estranged family in the fray, Sibyll Trelawney hurling crystal balls as weapons, and Hagrid’s half-brother, Grawp, winning a battle against the giants with the aid of the centaurs. One of the most harrowing moments in the book was not edited out, but watered down: Molly Weasley taking on Bellatrix Lestrange not in a quick, triumphant, almost flippant way–which is not like the family matriarch at all–but in the drawn-out, furious display of a mother who has just experienced the greatest loss of her life and refuses to allow it happen again.
Several other cool battle-related moments are also missing from the films. Movie viewers who skipped the books missed out on Wormtail’s suicide in order to assist Harry, Hermione’s brilliance in mastering Snape’s potions riddle before Harry faces Voldemort in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and the presence of the Sphinx in the tri-wizard tournament during Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Ask any Harry Potter fan about Winky the House Elf and only book readers will be able to answer. Winky’s alcoholism isn’t a huge missing moment from the films, but Hermione Granger’s entire S.P.E.W. story line was slashed from the movies entirely. The “cleverest witch of her age” was also one of the most compassionate, and in between her massive amounts time spent of studying, rule-breaking, and adventuring, she also managed to start a civil rights movement for house elves. It was Ron’s concern for the house elves of Hogwarts that led to their first kiss in the book, which was much less blockbuster-y and much more them.
Hermione’s S.P.E.W. story was not alone on the chopping block. Among many other story lines that were cut include Percy’s abandonment of his entire family in order to support the Ministry of Magic and the possibility of Neville Longbottom being the Chosen One instead of Harry Potter–a theory that some people continue to support. Neville’s entire presence oozed with badassery in the final installment, but it felt much more bravado-born in the films. Book fans also know that the young wizard who grew perhaps more than any other character would never smooch his good friend Luna Lovegood.
14. Harry’s investment in Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes
Many fans walked away from the films wondering just how two poor, jobless young men like Fred and George Weasley could possibly afford to open up their own joke shop, Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, in Diagon Alley. The answer lies in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. When Harry received his winnings from the Triwizard Tournament, he gave the 1,000 galleons to the twins. As a thank-you, they gave Harry the opportunity to take anything he liked from the shop for free. Fred simply told him, “You don’t pay here… You gave us our start-up loan, we haven’t forgotten. Take whatever you like, and just remember to tell people where you got it, if they ask.”
Book fans also know that the twins bet all of their savings on the Quidditch World Cup and won against Ludo Bagman, who paid the twins in Leprechaun gold, which disappears, never to be seen again. Much of the story of the twins’ development and sale of the products, from Molly confiscating tricks out of consternation to the twins selling dozens of gags to students in order to mess with Umbridge in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, never made it on screen.
13. Charlie Freaking Weasley
Charlie Weasley, one of the coolest members of the Weasley family, is the one who works with dragons. While he is the one least Weasley in the books, he is rarer still in the films. The second eldest child of the family, Charlie lives in Romania. A former Quidditch captain and school Prefect at Hogwarts, he attended the school from 1984 to 1991, putting him in the same class as Auror Nymphadora Tonks. Readers were able to briefly catch a glimpse of Charlie in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire when the young man met Harry for the first time at the Quidditch World Cup. He also helped with the dragons used during the First Tasks during the Triwizard Tournament and was seen fighting during the Battle of Hogwarts during the Second Wizarding War.
Most of what we know about Charlie is via Ron or other members of the Weasley family, who mention him in other books. Hagrid asks after him, stating that he was always fond of the animal-loving Weasley, and Charlie sends friends to help pick up Norbert, Hagrid’s baby dragon, and take him to a safe location. There is a general consensus that Charlie was a talented enough Quidditch player to play professionally, but he chose to pursue dragons instead.
12. Ginny Weasley’s Mic Drops
Few would argue that the Harry Potter films lack great lines. Some of the best one liners in the entire Potterverse movies are from the script rather than the books. That said, fans really missed some of their favorite quotes from the books, especially after envisioning them coming from their favorite characters’ mouths. Ginny Weasley, in particular, suffered on film.
Non-readers totally missed Ginny bluffing about Harry’s tattoo. When asked if he had a hippogriff tat in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the Chosen One’s girlfriend airily replied that he had a Hungarian Horntail inked on his body, explaining to him afterward that it was “much more macho.” Ginny, in fact, has several lines throughout the books that make her seem a better fit for Harry than her dull portrayal on film might indicate. Another great line occurs during the fifth book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Hermione and Ron tiptoe around Harry while he whines about his possible possession by Voldemort, but Ginny lets him have it, reminding him that she, in fact, does know what it feels like, thank you very much, and that he’s being a huge prat for not even considering that. Ginny’s character might have had more support from film viewers had she been able to deliver the lines that really portrayed her personality in the movies.
11. Weasley Twins Exit Stage Left
Of the moments severed from the Harry Potter films, scenes featuring the Weasley twins are some of the most heavily missed. Remember when Fred and George gleefully dropped out of school during the reign of Dolores Umbridge during Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince? In the book, this scene was even bigger.
While fireworks (or in this case, Whiz-bangs) are always fun, in the book the twins’ big exit actually involved making a very big and very gross “portable swamp” outside Umbridge’s office to serve as a distraction while Harry used her fireplace to speak with Sirius Black. A furious Umbridge told the twins that they were about to witness what happens “to wrong-doers in my school,” but the twins must have already planned their departure, as they summoned their brooms and dramatically left the school in a whirl of chaos, hexing members of Umbridge’s Inquisitional Squad. Fred told Umbridge, “You know what? I don’t think we are. George, I think we’ve outgrown full-time education… Time to test our talents in the real world, d’you reckon?” He also told Hogwarts’ resident poltergeist, “Give her hell from us, Peeves,” causing Peeves to salute a student possibly for the first time.
The swamp was never fully cleaned up, as Professor Flitwick preserved a bit of it, irritating Umbridge in the process and inspiring many more troublemakers to cause chaos in the school. As much as Molly Weasley wished her sons had remained in school, the two made very lucrative careers at their joke shop following their departure from Hogwarts.
10. Harry Losing His Mind Over Sirius
Everyone handles grief in different ways, and Harry Potter, who never really grieved his parents since he’d lost them at such a young age, took his godfather’s death quite hard. After Sirius was murdered during the battle at the Department of Mysteries in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry took out his rage and grief on Dumbledore’s office, destroying objects in an anguished explosion for the books.
Fans who roll their eyes over Dumbledore loudly demanding to know if Harry put his name into the Goblet of Fire when he quietly asked the boy in the books may be particularly annoyed over this omission. For starters, it’s an actual scene where someone screams, but it also further demonstrates Dumbledore’s patience and ability to handle his students’ emotions no matter the circumstance. He tells Harry, “There’s no shame in what you’re feeling,” and, “The fact that you can feel pain like this is your greatest strength.” Book-Dumbledore is a much kinder, wiser wizard than movie-Dumbledore.
9. Punk Tonks
Harry Potter fans who only see the films may blink and kind of wonder just who this Nymphadora Tonks person is and what she is doing in the movies. What purpose does she even serve besides putting a new meaning to the term “duck face”? Readers know that Nymphadora Tonks is a much more vivacious, fun Metamorphmagus who enjoys wizard bands, loves to make her hair bubblegum pink, and is over the moon for Moony. Her cheerful “Wotcher!” and background presence in many dealings of the Order of the Phoenix are mostly absent from the films.
One of the most popular tangential stories in the Harry Potter universe is Tonks’s unrequited love for Remus Lupin, which turns out to be not so much unrequited as discouraged by Lupin, who believes he is too old, too poor, and too dangerous for the energetic witch. There is an entire story involving Tonks being unable to change her appearance, the changing of her patronus into a wolf, and a general depressed demeanor surrounding the Auror. Much of her story is cut, as is Lupin’s– such as his exuberant announcement of the arrival of his son and his uncharacteristic harshness toward Harry. His acceptance of Tonks as his partner is revealed at Dumbledore’s funeral, where the two are seen holding hands, her hair returned to its bright pink shade once again.
8. The Weasleys Connect The Dursleys To The Floo Network
It’s one of the most hilarious scenes in the entire series and fans who’ve never opened one of the books have no idea what they are missing. When the Weasleys show up to whisk Harry off to see the Quidditch World Cup in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Arthur just assumes that he should connect the Dursleys to the Floo Network in order to tansport Harry, since that’s what all Wizarding families do. He couldn’t have anticipated that the Weasleys would have had their chimney blocked to prevent letters being sent via Owl Post, let alone that they would lose their minds over a gaggle of wizards in their pristine, “perfectly normal” home.
When Arthur, Fred, George, and Ron are all stuck in the Dursley’s chimney, it’s one thing. How Arthur blows them out and what the twins do to a terrified Dudley Dursley is another. If non-readers still wish to skip reading the books, this is one scene to thumb to and read because it’s one of the most enjoyable moments in the books. The film actually skips over most of the Quidditch World Cup, for that matter, so fans can see how that went in the book as well.
7. De-Goming The Garden
When Harry first visits Ron’s home, Ron is embarrassed for him to see the sprawling tower known as the Burrow and its mess. Harry, of course, thinks it’s brilliant, even with its poltergeist and pests– including garden gnomes. In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry has a chance to yank up the grouchy little guys out of the Weasley garden and hurl them out of sight. Of course, they only return later, much like muggle weeds continue to come back.
Garden gnomes are so prevalent in the series that it’s almost odd that they didn’t make the movies. They are seen in several of the books as well as the video games, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the series trading cards, and even in LEGO Harry Potter. While many small scenes like this are cut to make room for larger moments, this humorous moment really could have only taken seconds of the film and still provided a good laugh.
6. Rita Skeeter, Animagus
Had more questions about Animagi been answered in the Prisoner of Azkaban movie, there might have been room in the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire film for the entire Rita Skeeter story line. As perfect as Miranda Richardson was for the role of Skeeter, her biggest secret would have made the character even more interesting: Skeeter is an unregistered beetle Animagus, which is how she finds out so many of Harry’s secrets. There are scenes in the book that lead up to the revelation, such as a character flicking a beetle off another’s hair.
Her secret was discovered by Hermione, making this yet another one of her cleverest moments cut from the big screen. Not only does Hermione capture the journalist and put her in a jar to ensure she stops spreading rumors about Potter, but she also ensures that Skeeter print a truthful article at no charge to run in The Quibbler. It truly is an underestimation to call Hermione the brightest witch of her age, considering she’s brighter than half the adults, too.
5. Dumbledore Schools The Dursleys
During Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, it is nice to see Arthur Weasley’s bewilderment over Harry’s aunt and uncle not giving two whits about the most famous wizard of all time, but it’s much more satisfying to see what Dumbledore has in store for the Dursleys in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. When he magics mead for them to drink out of thin air and they refuse to drink them, the drinks simply bob around, knocking them each on the head. It is such a hilarious image that it’s necessary to pause before continuing with the book. Harry suspects that Dumbledore is really enjoying the moment, too.
Not only does Dumbledore school the Dursleys on their manners, but he also knocks them over their own sofa until they are sitting in it. He brings Kreacher into their house only to freak them out even more. The best moment, however, is when Dumbledore scolds the Dursleys for treating Harry so poorly: “You did not do as I asked. You have never treated Harry as a son. He has known nothing but neglect and often cruelty at your hands.” It would have been immensely satisfying to have seen this scene play out in the movie.
4. Petunia Gets A Howler
During Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Dumbledore sends Aunt Petunia a Howler that she will never forget as long as she lives. It arrives after the Dursleys discuss kicking Harry to the curb once again. Her voice trembles as she notices that not only is it a magical letter, but it is addressed to her. The message is very simple, but delivered in a terrifying voice: “Remember my last, Petunia.” If the voice is indeed Dumbledore’s (and it should be, since it was sent by the headmaster), it would give readers a true taste of his rage, since he is usually very mild-mannered and controls his emotions, even when angry.
Not only is this moment fantastic because fans get to see the Dursleys get a Howler, but it also demonstrates exactly what happens when you refuse to open one. Her Howler smoked and burst into flames before it revealed its message, proving that ignoring a Howler truly does make it much worse.
3. Ginny and Harry’s Real First Kiss
The tender moment that Ginny and Harry shared in the Room of Requirement during Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince does not exist in the book. Instead, it’s a very public yet somehow even more meaningful moment between the two characters. Harry enters the Gryffindor common room following a detention session that is especially bitter, given that it meant that he was barred from playing in the Quidditch Cup match, only to witness a room full of cheering Gryffindors surrounding Ginny and the rest of the team. Caught up at the sight of Ginny and the heady victorious moment, Harry approaches her and they fervently kiss, beginning their romantic relationship. The scene is far more passionate and youthful than the quiet Room of Requirement kiss from the movies. Fans of Harry Potter understand that the book version is much truer to Harry and Ginny, considering how much they both love the sport. Ginny even becomes a professional player eventually.
2. Gryffindor winning the Quidditch Cup
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was the first movie to truly deviate from the books in many ways, and while it’s widely considered the best movie in the series, many book fans’ hearts broke as they realized some of their favorite moments had hit the cutting room floor. Most importantly: the incredible, spirit-lifting moment when the Gryffindor Quidditch team, led by Harry as Seeker, finally won the Quidditch Cup. This moment is so powerful that Harry uses it as his best memory when he’s conjuring his Patronus later in the book. Quidditch was always an important part of Harry’s school life but it took a real back seat in the later films, since it wasn’t directly relevant to the plot.
Lots of other little moments were left out of the Prisoner of Azkaban movie. Many fans who did not read the books were completely confused about the Mauraders and the Animagus story line. Much of the passion and explanation surrounding the relationship of Moony and Padfoot (including the explanation of these nicknames, as well as those of Wormtail and Prongs) made the reunion scene much less dramatic and satisfying.
The lack of Hogwarts’ resident poltergeist is one of the most common movie complaints that Harry Potter fans voice. Peeves, a mischievous entity, routinely taunts and torments the students of the school– as well as some of the adults, including Filch. The only being in the school who scares Peeves is the Bloody Baron ghost, and the only humans that he seems to truly respect are the Weasley twins. Dumbledore, of course, could also keep him in line. While comedian Rik Mayall originally played Peeves in a scene featuring the prank-pulling poltergeist for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, it was not included in the movie.
Peeves has been known to taunt poor Professor Lupin with the refrain “Looney, loopy Lupin!” and blowing air into Harry’s ear to wake him up in the middle of the night. Some of Peeves’ best moments include pranking Dolores Umbridge, singing obnoxious songs about Harry, stuffing a keyhole with bubblegum. and fighting in the Battle of Hogwarts during the Second Wizarding War.
Did we include your favorite Harry Potter book scene that didn’t make it to the movies? Let us know in the comments!
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