The Harry Potter movies did a brilliant job at bringing JK Rowling’s seven-novel book series to the silver screen, capturing the imaginations of people around the world and seeing the franchise’s popularity soar in the process. Just about everybody was taken in by the story of The Boy Who Lived as he established himself as the face of a generation.
Despite having numerous directors, ranging from Chris Columbus to David Yates, the movies did a stellar job at building set pieces that would linger in the memory for years. But with the books possessing an unrivaled depth to them, a few locations from the novels were always going to be missed. We now take a look at a few that were missed out—and judge whether or not it was the right decision.
10 Filch’s Office
Argus Filch is a rather unpleasant character, although his nastiness pales in comparison to some of the villains of the Harry Potter series. In the second book of the series, we learn the true reason for his dislike of just about everybody who attends Hogwarts. He’s a squib, AKA someone born into a magical family who possesses no magical ability.
We discover this when Harry, in trouble for muddying the freshly-cleaned floors of the castle, takes a peek inside a drawer in Filch’s office. There, he reads a letter that reveals the janitor had been trying to learn magic. It was omitted from the movie and, while it wouldn’t have added much to the general storyline, it would have been good to have an explanation for Filch’s vile personality on the big screen.
9 The Potions Room
No, we’re not talking about Professor Snape and his dingy dungeon inside Hogwarts castle. Instead, we’re talking about a place that would have been featured after the impressive chess scene in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone—had Chris Colombus decided to flesh out the movie’s memorable final showdown.
In the novels, Harry and Hermione are met with one final challenge before they have a showdown with Professor Quirrell: seven potions, one of which would send an individual back while another would allow them to progress. The room would have added an eery dimension to the sequence and been a welcome inclusion to the movie.
8 Mr. Weasley’s Office
Moving away from Hogwarts locations that were missed out, the movies also missed the chance to give us more insight into the life of Arthur Weasley via his office at the Ministry of Magic. When Harry travels to the magical headquarters in the Order of the Phoenix blockbuster, he goes straight to his hearing for use of underage magic. In the books, however, he has time to kill.
He spends it sitting in Arthur’s office in the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts department. It's here he is told a story of a biting kettle and shrinking door keys, and it would have been a neat use of special effects to see them on-screen. Again, it doesn’t really matter that it was left out, but it would have shed more light on what the father of the Weasley clan gets up to at work.
Obviously, not the whole of Albania. You can’t fit that all on screen, no matter what dimensions you’re working with. But the Harry Potter movies missed a trick by leaving out the country entirely. In the books, it serves as the temporary home of Lord Voldemort’s ghost-like spirit after he loses his powers at Godric’s Hollow.
It is also where Wormtail reunites with his master and where the duo coaxes information from a Ministry of Magic worker named Bertha Jorkins, who feeds them information about the Triwizard Tournament and the whereabouts of Barty Crouch Jr. However, we get no explanation in the films as to how Voldemort and Wormtail found each other. Given the Dark Lord was robbed of his power—and Peter Pettigrew was disarmed—this certainly seemed an oversight. It’s not like they tracked someone’s location on a phone now, is it?
6 History Of Magic Classroom
When reading the Harry Potter books, you could not help but think how awesome it would be to attend Hogwarts, rather than your own school. After all, why would you want to learn about things like English and Geography when you could learn about exotic plants in Herbology, educate yourself on how to brew some crazy stuff in Potions, and boost your dueling capabilities in Defence Against the Dark Arts?
One class that nobody wanted to be in, however, was History of Magic. Taught by Professor Binns, who had a drawling voice that sent just about everybody around him to sleep, it was easily one of Harry’s least-favorite lessons. Binns and his classroom failed to feature in the eight chapters of The Boy Who Lived’s on-screen story but, in truth, he was no big loss.
5 The Hogwarts Kitchens
When it came to knowing Hogwarts and its many secrets, Fred and George Weasley were the kings of the castle. The duo knew where everything was, whether it be a way to sneak into Hogsmeade or to bypass some levels of the place, but it was the kitchens where they appeared to enjoy going to the most. Why? Because of how kind the House Elves were.
The movies show us two House Elves in Dobby and Kreacher, but that’s your lot. In the books, however, we learn that there are hundreds working in the kitchen, preparing the food that levitates up to the long tables in the Great Hall. We would have liked to see the kitchen in action if only to drool over the food alone.
4 Firenze’s Classroom
Firenze features in Sorcerer’s Stone (albeit with the use of some rather questionable CGI), saving Harry Potter from the clutches of Professor Quirrell and Lord Voldemort after they face off in the Forbidden Forrest. The Centaur is then never seen again, even when the rest of his kind make a brief cameo in the fifth blockbuster of the series.
In the book of the fifth installment, however, he actually takes on a teaching role in the castle following Dolores Umbridge’s decision to sack the questionable-at-best Sybil Trelawney. He has a classroom altered to his needs, with the room sensationally resembling a forest complete with stars in the night’s sky. This would have been cool to witness, especially when the pupils are stumped to come across it.
3 Ravenclaw Common Room
In the Harry Potter movies, we get to see two common rooms. There’s the one belonging to Gryffindor, where Harry, Ron, and Hermione spend much of their time plotting away, and then the Slytherin base in Chamber of Secrets.
That’s your lot when it comes to the big screen, however, with no other common rooms featuring. It’s different in the books, though, with the Ravenclaw Common Room providing a truly satisfying moment: Harry cursing Death Eater Alecto Carrow after she spits in Professor McGonagall’s face. Luna Lovegood uses a cool piece of logic to gain entry to the room and it’s something that certainly should have featured in Deathly Hallows: Part 2.
2 St Mungo’s Hospital
In the Harry Potter books, St Mungo’s Hospital is often mentioned and, in the fifth chapter of The Boy Who Lived’s tale, he actually goes there with the likes of Ron, Hermione, Mad-Eye Moody, and Mrs. Weasley to visit Arthur Weasley after his near-death experience in the Ministry of Magic’s Department of Mysteries. However, the movie chooses to skip this bit and instead shows Arthur readjusting back at Number 12 Grimmauld Place.
It’s a shame, too, because St Mungo’s provides two great moments. Harry, Ron, and Hermione stumble across former Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher Gilderoy Lockhart in one of the wards. And there’s a poignant moment where the trio learns the awful truth about Neville Longbottom’s parents, who had been tortured into insanity by Death Eaters. It would have given Matthew Lewis another memorable scene—and given audiences another emotional blow.
1 The Gaunt House/Shack
Out of all the locations the Harry Potter series overlooked, the Gaunt House (which would later become a shack) has to be their biggest mistake. There’s no denying Half-Blood Prince skimmed over large elements of Lord Voldemort’s backstory, but seriously, to not include the house of his mother, uncle, and grandfather was nothing short of scandalous.
In the books, Harry witnesses the memories of Bob Ogden, who travels to the place to dish out punishment to Tom Riddle’s uncle Morphin, son of Marvolo Gaunt. It is here we see the Gaunt’s thirst for violence and appetite to hurt Muggles, something which would later resonate in the last of their bloodline. Voldemort then heads to the place years later and murders his uncle in order to steal the ring on his finger, which he would later turn into a Horcrux.