When Warner Bros. announced nearly two decades ago that they would be adapting J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series of novels for the big screen, fans of all ages around the world wondered how the movie franchise would turn out.
The result was explosive. The Harry Potter movies were an enormous success, drawing in even more fans to J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world and making the British fantasy tale one of the biggest movies franchises and series of novels ever made.
Still, fans of the original books found various different details and changes that frustrated them and that they considered to be serious mistakes. Some look down on the movies to this day for this reason.
However, even so, credit must be given where credit is due. Each and every movie in the Harry Potter franchise was made with an impressive attention to design and detail. Viewers can catch new and exciting background details, Easter eggs, and other interesting tidbits each time they watch.
Because of this, there are details in the Harry Potter franchise that even the deepest and most devoted fan of the iconic fantasy series have never noticed.
This list is a compilation of all of the most interesting, surprising, and thought-provoking details included in all seven Harry Potter movies that many have probably never caught before.
Here are 25 Things Even Potterheads Completely Missed In The Harry Potter Movies.
25 The Trophy Case
One of the most visually thrilling aspects to the Harry Potter franchise is its innovative depictions of Quidditch, the wizarding sports event that requires players to fly in the air on brooms.
Easily among the most entertaining sequences of the franchise’s first movie in 2001, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, is when Harry learns the game and begins playing on the Gryffindor team himself.
Of course, it’s Professor Minerva McGonagall, head of Gryffindor House, that spots Harry’s talents when he takes off on a broom against teacher’s instructions to help Neville retrieve his remembrall.
As it turns out, director Chris Columbus placed a tiny Easter egg in the movie to show the viewers who caught the small detail that McGonagall had Quidditch skills of her own.
When Harry expresses anxieties over his playing skills in the first movie, Hermione insists that he’ll be good at the game because it’s in his blood. She then brings Harry and Ron to Hogwarts’ trophy display, where she points out that Harry’s father James won an award for his Quidditch skills when he was a student.
A smaller plaque to the right of James Potter’s name reveals that McGonagall herself also won a Quidditch award as a young student in 1971.
Perhaps even more interesting is that behind that Tom Riddle’s award for Special Service at Hogwarts can be seen behind the Quidditch awards, foreshadowing the character’s rise later on in the franchise.
24 Neville’s Remembrall
Even though the movies of the Harry Potter franchise have thrilling plots and intense sequences, some of the most entertaining moments come in the small, minor scenes where viewers can just watch the young witches and wizards as they live their daily lives at Hogwarts.
One example of these fun little scenes occurs in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, when the young wizards in training receive their mail by owl and Harry’s classmate Neville Longbottom is gifted a remembrall sent from his grandmother.
Hermione lets everybody know exactly what a remembrall is, which is a little glass sphere that fills with red smoke whenever a wizard forgets something. As soon as she explains the device, Neville’s remembrall fills with the red smoke that Hermione just talked about – but Neville says that he can’t think of what he’s forgotten.
However, the filmmakers placed a clever visual cue to hint to the audience what the fan-favorite character might have forgotten. The shot is framed with Neville in the foregrand and other students in the background.
This actually lets viewers see what Neville can’t seem to realize: that he is actually the one student in the hall who isn’t wearing his proper long black robes for the school day.
23 Newt Scamander and The Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter fans around the globe were thrilled at the return of the franchise to the big screen with the 2016 movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which followed Newt Scamander as he travelled across the Atlantic to America and then tracked down his lost beasts from the wizarding world.
However, few fans realize that this was actually Scamander’s second appearance in a Harry Potter movie.
Well, in a way. The truth traces all the way back to the third film of the franchise, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
When Fred and George Weasley gift Harry the infamous Marauder’s Map during the movie and show Harry how to operate the map that reveals the whereabouts of every witch and wizard in Hogwarts, Newt Scamander’s name can actually be seen walking the halls of the wizarding school on the map in the center right area.
This means that Scamander visited Hogwarts while Harry was a student during the events of the Prisoner of Azkaban.
Perhaps the Hogwarts alum wanted to pay a visit to his old wizarding school at the time, or he came to help Hagrid with Buckbeak, or Dumbledore called him in for some advice on the whole Sirius Black affair.
In any case, there’s a good chance that Scamander and Harry Potter bumped into each other in Hogwarts’ hallways during Harry’s third year.
22 The Mirror of Erised Decoded
One of Harry Potter’s first encounters with a magical object is in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, when the young Harry stumbles upon the Mirror of Erised tucked away in a small room in Hogwarts.
In a heartbreaking scene, Harry sees his mother and father in the mirror standing next to him, smiling proudly. Thinking the mirror is the key to communicating to his parents, he rushes to tell his friend Ron, but when Ron is brought to the mirror, he sees images that are completely different.
Dumbledore later explains to the confused young Potter that he is seeing his parents who have passed away because the mirror shows an individual’s deepest and most personal desires.
When Harry first discovers the Mirror of Erised, the camera pans around the border of the magical object to show that the gold frame has some words carved into it. On first glance, the words appear to be complete gibberish since they aren’t from any recognizable language.
However, they do have some significance. If the words framing the mirror are spelled backwards, it spells out, “I show not your face but your heart's desire."
It turns out that if Harry had took some time to play word scramble, he could have figured out what the Mirror of Erised really was without Dumbledore’s help.
21 A Cameo by the Novels
The events of the Harry Potter series took place in the 1990s before the digital age, and wizards are notoriously behind the times when it comes to certain things, like using a quill and parchment instead of pen and paper.
As a result, the young witches and wizards of Hogwarts use books all the time, constantly hitting the library for research thanks to their lack of things like computers or Google.
Production designers and filmmakers in the franchise used this opportunity of overflowing books on set to stick in a small and amusing surprise in the background that is easily missed.
In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, when Harry jumbles up the command for “Diagon Alley” in the Weasley’s floo powder network, he mistakenly ends up in the dingy and dangerous Knockturn Alley. Thankfully, he quickly bumps into his friend Hagrid, who escorts him to safety.
In the scene where Hagrid finds Harry, the two characters are near a bookshop. If viewers look in the window to the left of them, the shop’s display case actually shows hardcover copies of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels in the window.
If he wanted to, Harry could have popped into the book shop and bought a copy of Chamber of Secrets to see what happened next.
20 Lucius Malfoy’s Curse at Harry
One of the most despicable villains in the Harry Potter franchise is Draco’s father Lucius Malfoy, potrayed expertly by Jason Isaacs.
He makes his first appearance in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and is the catalyst for the movie's events, planting Tom Riddle’s diary in Ginny Weasley’s possession in the beginning of the story.
When Harry confronts him on the dark deed at the end of the movie, Malfoy denies it at first, and grows angrier as Harry pushes the issue. Draco’s father really looses it when Harry tricks him into giving Dobby a sock, freeing the house elf from the Malfoy’s service.
Lucius Malfoy actually becomes so angry during this confrontation that he whips out his wand and threatens Harry with it, actually going so far as to begin to say a curse before he is interrupted by Dobby.
Over the years, many have wondered what spell Lucius might have been intending to send Harry’s way.
If you listen closely, you can actually hear the evil Malfoy saying, “Avada,” meaning that he was actually about to deliver the “Avada Kedavra” spell, which is one of the three Unforgivable Curses.
If Malfoy hadn’t been interrupted by Dobby, he would have actually sent Harry to reunite with his parents – all over a house elf and a diary.
19 The Millennium Bridge Mystery
By the Potter franchise’s sixth movie, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, things in Rowling’s wizarding world had basically descended into chaos. Voldemort was back and stronger than ever, ready to take over and exact revenge on Harry Potter.
As one of the darkest movie of the entire franchise, The Half Blood Prince opens with a group of Voldemort’s followers descending down on London and wreaking havoc, destroying one of the city’s most iconic landmarks, the Millennium Bridge, in the process.
As thrilling as the sequence is, there’s one problem with this scene. The events of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince are supposed to be set in the late 1990’s.
Yet London’s famous Millennium Bridge was opened in 2000, meaning that the bridge actually didn’t exist when The Half Blood Prince took place.
In J.K. Rowling’s original novel, the scene took place on a fictional bridge in the British city, so this big mistake lies entirely with the movie adaptation.
It's a glaring mistake, but many audience members probably didn't catch it when watching. In a movie with witches and wizards running about, some viewers might not have that big of an issue with it.
Still, with all of the other impressive attention to detail filmmakers had put into the franchise in the past, the inclusion of the not-yet-built Millennium Bridge in a tale set in the ‘90s was a bizarre error.
18 The Marauder's Map Misspelling
According to many Potterheads, one of the biggest sins that the movie adaptations committed was taking out the storyline explaining the true history behind the creation of the Marauder’s Map and not taking the chance to show young James Potter and his friends while they were students at Hogwarts.
Harry Potter’s father James and his friends Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, and Peter Pettigrew formed the group called the Marauders while they were students at Hogwarts. While they were there during their fifth year, they created the Marauder’s Map that tracks all beings at Hogwarts.
Harry later comes into possession of the Marauder's Map and even though he had one of its creators, Remus Lupin, as a professor his third year, the movies never explain the connection.
Many looked forward to this explanation to be brought to the big screen, but filmmakers gave the storyline up to focus on Harry himself.
However, while many disgruntled fans are busy being upset over this cut storyline, filmmakers snuck in a small in-joke.
When Harry is first given the map in The Prisoner of Azkaban, a shot shows the front cover of the map with the nicknames of all the creators. Viewers with a sharp eye might catch the fact that the name “Moony” is misspelled “Mooney.”
This is actually done on purpose. Filmmakers had some fun slipping in a reference to the movie’s visual effects supervisor, Karl Mooney.
17 The Goblet of Fire's End Credits
One of the most exciting sequences of the entire Harry Potter franchise is when Harry faces off against the vicious Hungarian Horntail in the Triwizard tournament in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
In this installment of the franchise, Harry must retrieve a golden egg that’s being guarded by the aggressive dragon in order to complete the first event of the legendary tournament.
Of course, the movie and Rowling’s storyline also provides some critique and commentary on the treatment of animals in entertainment. The night before the first event, the dragons are shown in small cages being poked and prodded by their handlers and are exploited for wizarding entertainment the next day.
However, director Mike Newell wanted to assure audiences that they had treated their fantastical creatures right.
If viewers have the patience to wait until the very end of The Goblet of Fire, they can catch an amusing detail that Newell and his team snuck into the credits. There’s a line in the end credits that assures Potter fans that “No dragons were harmed in the making of this movie.”
Newt Scamander would certainly be happy to hear that the dragons in The Goblet of Fire were all okay.
16 Wizard Breakfast Foods
One of the most entertaining and fascinating aspects to the fantasy genre in movies is the energy and attention to detail that filmmakers put into world building. There’s nothing quite like experiencing a completely unique, amazingly detailed fictional world and lifestyle playing out before you on the big screen.
The movie adaptations of Rowling’s novels are no exception. Each filmmaker in the franchise dedicated a serious amount of time on set to build convincing and complex sets so that viewers would be convinced they were truly watching the young witches and wizards of Hogwarts live out their lives.
One of the best examples of this dedication to building Hogwarts is the Great Hall. The huge set built for Hogwarts’ dining hall is impressive in its own right, but it's the small details that really make it special.
Not only is all of the food viewers see on screen real, but filmmakers actually invented brands of food that could be bought in the wizarding world.
One such example can be seen in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. In a scene where Harry, Ron, and Hermione are walking down the Great Hall, a box of “Cheeri-Owls” can be seen to the left with Luna Lovegood and Cho Chang.
The brand that supposedly makes “Cheeri-Owls,” Lunfrey, can even be seen on the box as well.
That’s some serious production design dedication.
15 The Ministry of Magic's Access Code
Among the more amusing sequences of the otherwise dark Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is when Arthur Weasley escorts Harry to his hearing with the Ministry of Magic.
As they make their way to the Ministry, Mr. Weasley marvels at all of the different muggle innovations, such as underground public transport and bicycles, as Harry helps him navigate the normal side of London.
However, once they reach a certain telephone booth, it’s Mr. Weasley’s turn to shock Harry with a different type of innovation. As it turns out, this particular iconic red telephone booth in London is actually the visitor’s entrance to the Ministry of Magic.
In order to access the entrance, Mr. Weasley puts in some money and quickly dials 6-2-4-4-2. This actually spells out m-a-g-i-c – magic – on a telephone’s number pad.
Once you figure it out, it’s not such a subtle password, and it actually seems a bit dangerous to have an access code like that in a public telephone booth.
Still, it is a cute detail and it only goes to show that there’s no stone unturned when it comes to little Easter eggs and minor surprising details when it comes to how the world of Harry Potter is constructed.
14 Harry's Quidditch Captain Number
With Harry’s talent in the game and his father’s own infamous skills, Quidditch is a big deal in the Harry Potter franchise. So it’s an exciting plot point when Harry finally becomes Gryffindor’s Quidditch Team Captain in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.
The significance of the moment was not wasted by filmmakers, who slipped in a small instance of foreshadowing through Harry’s costuming. Harry’s number as Quidditch Captain was 7. This can be taken as a detail foreshadowing his role as the seventh of Voldemort’s horcruxes.
While it might seem like a stretch to consider a number on a Quidditch jersey as foreshadowing something so crucial, filmmakers throughout the franchise used the number seven in different important scenes.
Some examples include the fact that there are seven heads on the snake that details the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets, seven companions to escort Harry in the beginning of The Deathly Hallows Part 1, and seven locks in the chest that imprisoned Mad-Eye Moody in The Goblet of Fire.
When all of these different details are taken together, it becomes clear that filmmakers did it all on purpose and that making Harry number 7 in Quidditch in The Half Blood Prince is no mistake.
13 Gilderoy Lockhart's Baldness
Easily one of the best and most entertaining performances throughout the whole Harry Potter movie series is Kenneth Branagh’s portrayal of Harry’s second year Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, Gilderoy Lockhart, in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Though Lockhart is a wizard famous for his extravagant exploits and adventures around the world in the Harry Potter universe, he is exposed as a complete fraud when Lockhart is tasked with saving Ginny Weasley in the Chamber of Secrets and is caught by Harry and his friend Ron trying to flee the wizarding school.
However, director Chris Columbus wanted to add even more depth and detail to Lockhart’s despicable lies. In order to do so, he and his set designers added some subtle hints in Lockhart’s office to visually suggest to audience members that Lockhart is telling even more lies than they are first aware of.
A prime example of this lies on Lockhart’s desk. If viewers look to the left of the screen when Harry and Ron confront and corner their Defense Against the Dark Arts professor in his office, they can catch a luxurious blonde wig sitting on display on Lockhart’s desk.
The professor even stuffs the wig into one of his bags during the scene as he’s packing to flee.
The Harry Potter movies then suggest that this wizard’s iconic blonde locks are just as fake as his famous journeys around the world.
12 Stephen Hawking in the Wizarding World
In the Harry Potter movies, witches and wizards are rarely seen interacting with muggle objects. When they are, such as in the case of Arthur Weasley, they are typically fascinated by the simple and baffling technologies muggles invented to get around in their daily lives.
However, it would appear that some wizards actually dip into muggle literature and read some of the books non-magic people have to offer. This is proven in the beginning of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
After Harry runs away from the Dursleys, he takes up lodge at The Leaky Cauldron. In an effort to make the pub more authentic, director Alfonso Cuarón included some footage portraying some of the scenes you might catch on a daily basis at The Leaky Cauldron.
This includes the bar maid cleaning glasses and putting stools up by magic. A wizard can also be seen reading a book with some tea, stirring the teacup with a spell.
However, upon closer look, this wizard is actually reading a muggle book. Even more important is the significance of what book he’s reading.
It's Stephen Hawking’s classic A Brief History of Time, which explores the connections between time and the universe.
This title foreshadows the crucial roles that time and time travel have on The Prisoner of Azkaban’s plotline. It's a smart and purposeful choice by Curón and an interesting little detail to catch in the background.
11 Professor Slughorn's Wand
One of the more amusing elements of the later Harry Potter movies is Horace Slughorn.
As the chaos of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince unfold, Harry’s sixth year Potions Professor is completely egotistical and mostly concerned with making himself appear as good as possible, even though these efforts just make him look absurd.
In the Harry Potter mythos, it is always stressed that a wand reflects its witch or wizard, deeply tied to its owner’s personality, character, and spirit.
This is certainly true for Professor Slughorn, whose wand captures exactly how a wand can function in this way and how much time the artists behind the Harry Potter franchise put into even the smallest of details.
It's difficult to catch, but Slughorn’s wand has some interesting and revealing details. The tip of the handle comes out in two round prong shapes, which can be interpreted either as a slug head or a pair of horns.
Additionally, Slughorn’s wand has some interesting decorations. It’s encased in metal and painted with black and silver, reflecting his surface-level fixations on luxury.
Even though the wand is barely seen in the movie, production designers still put in the work to create this unique wand and make Slughorn as authentic a character as possible.
10 The Beauxbaton's Dance Skills
Students of the Bauxbatons Academy of Magic, a wizarding school in the Pyrenees mountain range in Europe, are known for their magic skills, intelligence, and grace.
Their elegant introduction in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is one of the most memorable scenes of the entire movie, and the students’ delicate dancing captures the attention of all Hogwarts students as the Bauxbatons skip into the Great Hall.
However, these impressive European witches are caught dancing a far less elegant routine later on in the movie.
Near the climax of The Goblet of Fire, as students are prepping for the third and final event of the Triwizard Tournament, students from all three schools are gathered around the entrance of the hedge maze to cheer on the contenders.
The Beauxbatons students are seen doing a cheerleading routine in the stands to cheer on their contender, Fleur Delacour. If something seems a bit familiar about their cheer as you’re watching this scene, there’s a reason for that.
These European students of magic are actually dancing a more stylized version of the muggle dance, the Macarena. This is probably the last dance you’d ever expect such stylish witches to perform.
They do deserve credit, however. These Beauxbatons make the Macarena look better than a majority of people can ever make that ridiculous dance look.
9 A Chess Game's Foreshadowing
There’s a great deal of foreshadowing all throughout the Harry Potter franchise, and filmmakers of the series have used visuals to hint at audience members of what is to come in the future since the very beginning.
One example of this method is associated with wizard’s chess in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
A good portion of this movie sees Harry learning about different aspects to the wizarding lifestyle. His friend Ron Weasley helps him learn many different things, one of which includes how wizards spend their leisure time.
At one point in the movie, Ron teaches Harry the violent board game of wizard’s chess, in which the chess pieces destroy each other when one side is defeated. During this game, Ron’s queen captures one of Harry’s knights.
This seemingly minor scene actually foreshadows one of the climax scenes of the movie later on. One of the tasks Ron, Harry, and Hermione must complete in order to retrieve the Sorcerer’s Stone involves a life-sized game of wizard’s chess.
Ron uses his board game skills and takes control of the game, serving as a knight and directing Hermione and Harry’s moves.
In the end, he ends up sacrificing himself to the opposing queen so that Harry and Hermione can move ahead to the next task. This mirrors the end of the original chess game that he and Harry were playing earlier in the movie.
8 The Deathly Hallows' Early Appearance
While many instances of foreshadowing through the Harry Potter franchise occur to hint viewers towards later events in the same movie, there is one instance where an early film hints towards a crucial element of the final two movies.
It is a brief and nearly impossible detail to catch. It occurs in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, when Dumbledore counsels Harry on the truth behind Barty Crouch, Jr. before the Triwizard Tournament’s final event.
The two are in Dumbledore’s office for the discussion. In one shot, Dumbledore turns to face a glass display case with various magical objects.
To the left of the frame, a pyramid with a circle in the middle can be seen, which is actually the insignia for the Deathly Hallows that becomes so crucial later on in the franchise.
Interestingly enough, The Goblet of Fire film adapation came out in 2005, two years earlier than the release date of J.K. Rowling’s final novel in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Apparently, J.K. Rowling herself had a good deal of input in the franchise’s production and purposefully told filmmakers to place that symbol in the movies in order to foreshadow an event that many fans and even workers on the series itself did not know about.
7 A Mic Mistake
Producing the sound design for feature movies is more difficult than many suspect. It is notoriously difficult for filmmakers to capture all of the sound they need on set on the days of shooting, so many directors turn to recording their actors’ audio after the footage is completed and dubbing the actors’ dialogue over the images later on.
However, this is also expensive. To cut down on costs, some filmmakers get innovative. One such director is Alfonso Cuarón, who decided to use microphone packs on his actors in certain scenes of the Harry Potter movie he was responsible for creating, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
Of course, even the best directors make mistakes. While many consider The Prisoner of Azkaban to be among the best movie of the entire Harry Potter film franchise, the movie does include one little mistake.
In the scene where Hermione and Harry use the Time Turner to go back in time and save Buckbeak from his unfortunate fate, both actors’ microphone packs can be seen under their shirts on their back as they creep around Hagrid’s pumpkin garden and attempt to get Buckbeak untied.
It’s a small goof that’s hard to catch, but once it’s seen, it’s impossible to ignore.
6 Tom Felton's Girlfriend
Few things are as satisfying as seeing all of the characters of Harry Potter grown up, peaceful, and happy with their own families at the conclusion of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two.
The concluding sequence of this movie and the entire franchise features Harry, Ginny, Hermione, and Ron whisking off their own young children to Hogwarts at King’s Cross Station in London just as they had travelled themselves earlier in the franchise.
A brief glimpse of Draco Malfoy, his wife, and his own son can also be seen in this sequence.
As it would turn out, there’s a special story behind Malfoy’s wife in this scene. The character was actually played by Tom Felton’s real-life girlfriend at the time, Jade Olivia. Olivia was a stunt assistant on the Harry Potter movies and had been dating Felton for some years before the final installment of the franchise.
However, Olivia did not originally want to make her small cameo. Felton told reporters on the press tour for Deathly Hallows Part 2, “She was at first reluctant, but I pulled her arm and twisted it. She was filming with me for three days at King's Cross [railway station in the U.K.]; we were very excited.”
Even though Felton and Olivia broke up some time later, her cameo is just yet another entertaining detail that adds a bit of flair to the series.
5 Ron's Fixation on Hermione
Watching Hermione and Ron develop their growing romance over the course of the Harry Potter movies is one of the most entertaining and heartwarming aspects of the franchise.
Even though their romantic feelings towards each other aren't directly hinted at until the fourth movie, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, there are some subtle suggestions of hidden feelings in the third film, The Prisoner of Azkaban, that can be easy to miss.
One of the biggest plot points of The Prisoner of Azkaban involves Hermione's ability to time travel using the Time Turner. She randomly appears in and out of scenes throughout the movie before her ability is revealed, resulting in some amusing moments where an utterly confused Ron can't seem to figure out where Hermione keeps popping in from.
Interestingly, Ron is the only character throughout the entirety of The Prisoner of Azkaban who seems to notice that Hermione isn't always around.
At the very least, he is the only one to ever comment on how Hermione seems to appear out of nowhere. There are actually at least five scenes where Ron confronts Hermione over her mysterious ability to come and go without being noticed.
Ron's comments to Hermione have a bigger function than just letting the audience know something strange is going on with Hermione's travel throughout the movies. It also serves to build the foundations for and foreshadow the romantic relationship that would develop between the two later on.
4 Harry's Yule Ball Secret
The beautiful and elaborately designed Yule Ball scene in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is one of the most visually stunning in the entire series.
The scene manages to both capture the awkward nature of school dances and the magic of the Hogwarts lifestyle at the same time.
However, there is something peculiar about how Daniel Radcliffe’s Harry Potter is portrayed during this lovely Yule Ball scene. It's nearly impossible to catch, but Radcliffe was actually filmed in a different manner than all of the other characters.
In a behind the scenes documentary, Radcliffe revealed that he had some trouble learning the dance choreography all because of his tight filming schedule.
“Everybody else had about three weeks, and I only had about four days to learn because I was doing another scene,” the lead actor told interviewers. “I’m quite proud of what I was able to do, but it was very hard.”
Because the young actor was having trouble even with all of his hard work, filmmakers decided to shoot Harry in exclusively medium shots above the waist so that viewers would not be able to see any of Radcliffe’s mistakes.
The scene is a win/win for the artistic minds behind the movie. Not only are Radcliffe’s mistakes impossible to notice, but the scene is still remembered as one of the best of the franchise to this day.
3 Deadly Hallows' Danielle Radcliffe Reference
The three lead actors of the Harry Potter franchise – Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson – are indebted to Rowling’s wizarding world. Whereas the three British stars were once average children, they were skyrocketed into A-list fame by taking on the roles of Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger.
Still, there were some frustrations that came with these roles. Because the three actors portrayed their characters for so long, it was difficult for them to prove to the public that they weren’t just capable of doing wizarding work.
In efforts to combat his public perception as a child star and prove that he could take on other, more serious roles, Radcliffe took the ambitious lead role in the famous stage play Equus in 2006.
Radcliffe impressed theater critics from all over with his nuanced performance. The Harry Potter family was so proud of the lead actor’s success outside of the franchise that they placed a little background detail in the movies to commemorate Radcliffe’s work.
It would take a quick eye to catch it, but this detail comes during one of the most action-packed scenes in The Deathly Hallows Part 1.
While Harry, Hermione, and Ron are dueling two wizards in a London café, a poster for Radcliffe’s play can be seen tacked up on a display board in the background.
Maybe the three could pop in to a London theater down the street and catch a performance of Equus after their duel.
2 The Leaky Cauldron's Tricky Sign
Even after all of this time, it’s still entertaining to revisit the first movie in the Harry Potter series, The Sorcerer’s Stone.
Even though it’s the one movie in the franchise most geared towards an audience of children and is relatively light and easy in tone as a result, the film does an amazing job at capturing the wonder and awe of Rowling’s unique and textured world of magic.
You can rewatch this one particular movie over and over and still catch new things each time. One of the best examples of director Chris Columbus’s expert eye to surprising details comes early on in the film when Hagrid is giving Harry a tour of the wizarding lifestyle during a day in Diagon Alley.
One of their main stops during this day out is at the popular wizarding pub that later becomes one of Harry’s own favorite spots, The Leaky Cauldron.
If viewers pay attention to the upper left hand screen, they can see that the sign for The Leaky Cauldron starts off blank and black. However, the sign’s gold decorations reveal themselves once Harry and Hagrid start approaching, meaning The Leaky Cauldron has an enchanted sign that remains blank unless wizards approach in order to ward off muggles.
It’s one of those fun details that makes the filmmakers’ dedication to portraying the depth of the world of Harry Potter that makes the movies all the more impressive.
1 Snape's Coded Message to Harry
Who could forget Professor Severus Snape's big introduction in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone?
Snape dramatically barges into the room and gives a lengthy, intimidating monologue about how potions is a complex subject that will cause many students to fail. When he notices that Harry is taking notes and thinks that the young Potter is ignoring him, Snape barrages Harry with a series of questions and embarrasses him in front of the class when Harry can't come up with the answers.
However, while this interrogation at first seems to be unfair and cruel to Harry, there is actually a coded message in Snape's comments.
One of the questions Snape asks is if Harry knows what would result in adding the powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood. Harry doesn't know the answer, but that's not the important part.
This is actually a coded comment that would be lost on all viewers that don't have an extensive knowledge of Victorian-era flower symbolism. Asphodel is a lily, which means demise under the Victorian flower code, while wormwood reflects loss and absence.
Snape is actually referencing Harry's mother Lily with this comment, though it is lost on the young Potter, and many viewers too.
Even though Snape is not revealed to be the complex character we know him to be today until much later on in the franchise, this scene subtly reveals how there is more than what meets the eye when it comes to Hogwarts' potion master.
Are there any Harry Potter movie details we missed? Let us know in the comments!