The Harry Potter franchise is one of the most loved and successful series to be written and then adapted in to movies. J.K Rowling was able to create the story of a boy wizard that resonated with kids and teens all over the world. It’s a classic tale of destiny and personal discovery not just for our main character, but for his two best friends as well.
The books have been translated into 69 different languages and have sold an estimated 400 million copies, making the author, at one point in time, richer than the Queen of England. The series became so popular in Britain that book stores began releasing the newest editions only after school had let out. This was to ensure that students wouldn’t be skipping class.
Once the first book was published in 1997, the series was unstoppable. After successfully conquering Britain, Harry Potter spread around the world, captivating the hearts of a whole generation. Unsurprisingly, Hollywood took notice of this success. After turning down Steven Spielberg, J.K Rowling found her director in Chris Columbus and brought the first book to life in 2001. The movie series would grow to eight movies while adapting all seven books and some characters were better portrayed than others.
Here are the 8 Characters They Ruined (And 8 They Nailed) From Harry Potter.
16: Ruined: Viktor Krum
Unfortunately, Viktor Krum only appears in one of the films. While he plays a bigger part in the books, he was never intended to be a main character. Although he does return to Bulgaria after The Triwizard Tournament, Viktor and Hermione keep in regular contact and he later returns for Fleur and Bill’s wedding.
In the books, Viktor is the one who tells Harry Potter about the Deathly Hallows, explaining to Harry that the symbol was carved into the walls of Durmstrang by Gellert Grindelwald.
Viktor also looks quite different than his book counterpart, as Krum is described as tall and thin instead of the stockier Viktor we got in the films. We also never get to see Viktor in action on his broomstick, as the renowned Quidditch player is only shown during the introduction of the Quidditch World Cup.
15. Nailed: Luna Lovegood
Luna Lovegood is by far one of the quirkiest characters in the franchise and we love her all the more for it. The books described her as being pretty eccentric and usually off in her own world — this actually helps Luna and Harry Potter bond.
The films were able to adapt those same characteristics without making Luna seem like an airhead. The movies portrayed her as this sort of fairy girl who was always talking about magical creatures and reading The Quibbler, which is pretty much identical to the book.
14. Ruined: Ginny Weasley
In the movies, Ginny Weasley is portrayed as the nervous younger sister of Ron Weasley, who grows into Harry’s love interest. Ginny basically crumbles at the sight of Harry and never really has much to say. This is a stark contrast to the Ginevra Weasley from the books in which she is feisty, confident, and one heck of a quidditch player.
After her terrifying experience in the Chamber of Secrets, Ginny grows into a very confident young woman. However, she is relatively shy and clumsy around Harry until they all begin living in the Burrow together. As she gets older she shows a talent for breaking boy’s hearts and winning quidditch games. Ginny even played as the Gryffindor Seeker, but she preferred the position of Chaser instead.
Ginny is also a very good at casting curses and participated in almost every major fight in the series. In fact, she becomes infamous in her year for her proficient cursing abilities. After graduating from Hogwarts, she goes on to play in the Quidditch World Cup as a Chaser for the Holyhead Harpies and she later marries Harry, having three children with him.
13. Nailed: Dolores Umbridge
There are times when a character is so bad, so evil, and so manipulative that even the man villain looks saintly next to them. This is exactly what Dolores Umbridge is like. Thankfully, the Order of the Phoenix movie kept her ugliness that is described in the book. This ranges from her toad-like features to her horrid obsession with pink and kittens — this is a character that the movies nailed.
Her introduction to the school plays out in the movie in the same way it does in the book, right down to the unpleasant interruption of Dumbledore’s welcome back speech. Umbridge used her return to the school, as a Ministry-appointed professor, as a golden opportunity to unleash her hunger for power.
The film portrayed this perfectly: by highlighting her educational decrees, the scene of her walking down the hall and separating two kissing students and even adjusting a group of boys’ uniforms. This also highlighted her childishness, as shown when she is confronted by Professor McGonagall and the centaurs in the forest.
12. Ruined: Barty Crouch Jr.
Barty Crouch Jr. gets less than 20 minutes on-screen, yet he is such a pivotal character in the book. In his early teens, he joined the Death Eaters and participated in the torture of Neville Longbottom’s parents. However unlike the movie, he is steadfast in his innocence.
Barty Jr. never saw his father very much, seeing as Barty Sr. was trying to pursue his own career at the ministry. While under extreme pressure, he convicted his own son to life in Azkaban.
In the books, it is explained that his mother switched places with Barty Jr. in Azkaban and she later died there, leading everyone to believe that Barty Jr. was dead. In reality, Barty Jr. had escaped and put his father under the Imperius Curse. Barty Crouch Jr. was integral to the Goblet of Fire, but his reveal in the movie didn’t do his character justice.
11. Nailed: Hermione Granger
Hermione Granger is probably one of the best characters in literature: she’s smart, she’s witty, she’s brave — Harry Potter is lucky she is his best friend. From the very first book (and movie) Hermione has always been the one to get the boys out of trouble and save the day.
Thankfully, all the Harry Potter movies did her justice by having her grow into the smart and strong woman we all know and love. As a character, Hermione was a beacon for little girls all over the world, seeing as she was just as much a hero as Harry and the films translated that very well.
The movies could have easily portrayed her as the annoying, bossy friend that follows the boys around and just gets in the way. Instead, they stayed true to the source material and showed the world that girls can do anything, including kicking the butts of dark wizards, never cracking under pressure, and being able to have a soft side. She was never portrayed as the eye candy or the love interest — she was just our perfect Hermione.
10. Ruined: Kreacher
This grumpy little house elf had a lot more to do with the story of Harry Potter and Voldemort than the movies portray. While he is shown as a mean and grouchy house elf, who hates anyone who isn’t a pure blood, he is actually a very loyal friend and important character.
The books describe Kreacher as constantly stealing things that Sirius is trying to throw away and it makes you really feel for the elf, seeing as the Black’s are the only family he has ever known. When Dobby meets Kreacher, the two elves become unlikely friends and track down Mundungus Fletcher together.
Surprisingly, Kreacher was incredibly close with Siruis’ brother, Regulas Black. When Voldemort needed a house elf, Regulas volunteered Kreacher. He was then taken to the crystal cave and forced to drink a potion so that Voldemort could place his locket in the basin. Kreacher later took Regulas back to switch the lockets and saw his beloved master die there.
9. Nailed: Moaning Myrtle
When she was alive, Myrtle Warren was relentlessly teased about her physical appearance and her inability to make friends. The worst offender was a girl named Olive. While Myrtle was a student at Hogwarts, Tom Riddle opened the Chamber of Secrets and released the Basilisk. Unfortunately for Myrtle she was in the bathroom at the same time and made eye contact with the monster, which instantly killed her.
After her death, she stuck around as a ghost to haunt Olive for teasing her. It got so intense that Olive went to the Ministry of Magic and got a restraining order against her ghostly pursuer, which resulted in Myrtle being confined to the bathroom. She was understandably lonely and would shamelessly flirt with Harry Potter, Cedric Diggory, and even Malfoy, but only after he confided in her.
After the fight between Draco and Harry in the bathroom, Snape banished Myrtle from her toilet. However, she does return in The Cursed Child, seeing as she helps James Potter and Scorpious Malfoy use the pipes to get to the Black Lake.
8. Ruined: Sirius Black
In the films, Sirius Black is illustrated as someone who has suffered a great injustice and only ever cared about his friends. Sirius has a loving, fatherly aura about him that makes you wish Harry could have stayed with him forever. However, that’s not really the way he was.
In the books, Sirius was actually quite cruel. His bullying was not only directed at Kreacher, but some of his classmates as well. Sirius was a bit of a show off in school and was always getting himself into trouble. He would routinely bully Snape and encourage James to do the same. Sirius would even pick on his so-called friend, Peter.
There was one time at Hogwarts that Sirius tricked Snape into getting too close to the Womping Willow, which almost caused Snape’s death. Luckily, he was saved by James at the last minute. As Sirius grew older, he became more bitter about his family and he grew closer to James and Lily. When they died, he was devastated and it made him a much colder person.
7. Nailed: Professor McGonagall
Professor Minerva McGonagall is probably the coolest character in the whole series. In the books, she is stern and incredibly talented at magic. In the films, she is portrayed with that same rigidity, but she also has a little bit of her softness to her demeanor. Even as a baby, she was known to make the family cat do her bidding, make her father’s bagpipe’s play on their own and summon toys from high shelves.
Minerva took part in both Wizarding Wars as well as the Battle of Hogwarts and was an influential member of the Order of the Phoenix. She was always very concerned about her students, especially Harry Potter, since both his parents were members of the Order. She also took a particular like to Hermione, as she often saw herself in the young witch.
McGonagall was very strong magically and morally, her true love a muggle, was murdered in an anti-muggle attack and remained steadfast in her protection of her students after the death of Dumbledore. She was never afraid of a challenge and always stood up for those who couldn’t and this is how she was portrayed in the movies.
6. Ruined: Peeves
Peeves was barley a developed character in the films, but in the books he was every where. Although his origin is never really explained it’s said that he “came with place” and has been there since Hogwarts was founded. It’s speculated that he’s actually a manifestation of children’s mischief.
During Umbridge’s time at Hogwarts, Peeves made a point to constantly harass her, pulling various pranks on her throughout the year and even helping the Weasley Twins do the same. However, when the Chamber of Secrets was opened Peeves relentlessly teased Harry Potter and encouraged other students to sing a song about it and even made up a dance.
Although he would torment and tease the staff and students, he did show loyalty to McGonagall. As for his helping the Weasley twins, that was probably because they were so mischievous. Peeves also participated in the Battle of Hogwarts, after Filch begrudgingly asks him to help.
5. Nailed: The Weasley Twins
These two lovable boys were almost identical in the movies and books. They didn’t lose any of their humour, mischief, sarcasm, or loyalty in the adaption of Harry Potter movies. Each movie reflected the boys growth that happened in each book, becoming more creative and inventive in their pranks.
Although silly, and full of jokes, the twins were also incredibly brave and took part in every battle and scheme that involved Harry and their little brother Ron. Similar to any big brother, they were fiercely protective of Ginny while teasing her all the same. Fred and George were popular with both the teachers and the students.
Just before graduating, the two boys decided to leave Hogwarts behind (chasing out Umbridge on their way) and they open a joke shop in Diagon Alley. The shop was incredibly successful and continued to thrive even after the death of Fred.
4. Ruined: Regulas Black
Regular Black was almost entirely omitted from the films, except for his initials on his bedroom door. Regulas was the younger brother of Sirius and he was adored by his parents, seeing as he followed the familial traditions. Regulas was sorted into Slytherin, became a Seeker, was a member of the Slug Club and later became a Death Eater.
From a young age, Regulas admired Voldemort and had newspaper clippings of his deeds hung on his bedroom wall. When he received his Dark Mark at age sixteen, his parents were immensely proud of him. However, Regulas began to question the Dark Lord’s motives not long after joining, as he began to realize what Voldemort’s true plan was.
Regulas decided to steal the Dark Lord’s horcrux with the intention of destroying it. He had asked Kreacher never to reveal what he had done to his family. Unfortunately. Sirius died thinking his baby brother was a loyal Death Eater when in fact he was a hero.
3. Nailed: Rubeus Hagrid
Rubeus Hagrid is almost identical to his book versions in each film. The lovable half-giant was tasked with reintroducing Harry Potter to the wizarding world and serves as the guide to the audience in both the film and book. He is illustrated as a loving, caring man who will do anything for his friends and who is fiercely loyal. As a member of both the original and reinstated Order of the Phoenix, he fought in both Wizarding Wars as well as the Battle of Hogwarts.
Just like in the books, Hagrid becomes the Care of Magical Creatures professor and takes great pride in teaching his students as well as caring for his animals. Hagrid is like the friendly neighbour you go see when you need someone to talk to, he was always there to provide a helping hand (or an ear) when the trio needed some comforting advice.
Hagrid was also rather smart, despite often being ridiculed for being an oaf. He was able to care for a number of creatures that would normally be hostile to man. Hagrid also concealed his wand in his pink umbrella and continued to do magic, despite being wrongfully expelled from Hogwarts in his third year.
2. Ruined: Fleur DeLacour
In the movies, we don’t see much of Fleur expect during the Triwizard Tournament and later living with Bill Weasley. In the book, Fleur is both outraged and concerned that Harry Potter is allowed to compete in the tournament, claiming he is just a little boy. She participated bravely in the tournament even though she failed the second task.
She eventually took a part-time job at Gringotts to improve her English and started a relationship with Bill Weasley. Shortly after, the pair got engaged and Fleurmoved into the Burrow to get to know the family better. This was to the displeasure of Hermione, Molly, and Ginny who all mocked her, assuming she was empty headed.
After Bill was attacked and scarred from a werewolf, Molly made a comment to Fleaur about probably not wanting to marry Bill anymore because of the damage to his face. This sent Fleur into an outrage, accosting Molly for thinking she was so shallow to only love Bill for his looks. This was the turning point in her relationship with her soon-to-be mother in law. Unfortunately, this version of the character is never properly portrayed in the movies.
1. Nailed: Harry Potter
It can be hard to really encapsulate the main character of an entire series, but with the exception of his eye colour, the movies nailed Harry’s character. The film version grew in perfect synch with the book version and portrayed all the most important parts of Harry’s character.
The movies were able to represent Harry in times of joy and times of series stress when he would become agitated and difficult to be around. The movies were able to feel his frustration and anger, as well as his hopefulness. The biggest gripe with the movie version of Harry Potter is that his eyes are a different colour than his mother’s. This wouldn’t be a big deal, but everyone constantly tells him that they have the same eyes.
Harry was as brave in the books as he was in the movies and out of all the characters he is the best adapted. The movie didn’t feel the need to separate the two versions of the character, which is something we are very thankful for.
Did we miss any characters from Harry Potter that they ruined (or nailed) in the movies?
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