There’s a definite schism in the fanbase where the Harry Potter movies and books are concerned. Not everyone is a fan of reading in general, and these people choose to only watch the films to know the story. While there’s nothing wrong with that, these people do need to know the movies are very different in certain important aspects than the books.
Due to these stylistic changes, integral scenes from novels don’t deliver the story as it should’ve been, and moviegoers are either left scratching their heads in befuddlement, or feel as if characters reacted in a way that was unconventional of them. Here are 10 things that would’ve had you feeling a lot more fulfilled had you read the books first and then seen the movie.
10 Where Was The Resistance To Stop Snape?
In the movie climax of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, we saw Harry race after Snape and the Death Eaters after the former killed Dumbledore, and once Harry was easily beaten by Snape, he returned to the castle to find a large crowd around Dumbledore’s body; this happened despite it being bedtime. Then why wasn’t there any resistance to stop Snape from fleeing?
If you’d read the books, you’d have known that there were certain people who had been fighting the Death Eaters – the film just didn’t show it. The Order of the Phoenix, Ron, Hermione, Ginny and a few friends patrolled the corridors, and the film skipped from showing us these characters trying to put up a defense onscreen. But the bad guys hadn't simply walked away without a fight.
9 Why The Centaurs Were Hostile
For the average moviegoer, the sight of the Centaurs outright trying to kill Umbridge would’ve been a very surprising scene, as we saw Harry being rescued by a Centaur in Philosopher’s Stone – then why were they suddenly so hostile?
In the books, it was shown from the first novel itself that, barring Firenze, the other Centaurs despised humans. Firenze had been literally kicked out of the herd by the fifth part, and the remaining Centaurs now held no qualms about killing people. Without having the knowledge of the Centaurs’ hated of humans, seeing them try to kill without warning is easily alarming.
8 Trelawney And The Prophecy
When Harry reaches for the prophecy in Order of the Phoenix, you can see that Trelawney is kind of projected inside the crystal ball; but there’s no explanation as to what the heck she’s doing in there. After Sirius’ death, Dumbledore confirms that Voldemort and Harry need to have a final to-the-death battle.
However, the film doesn’t confirm it was, in fact, Trelawney who made the prophecy, nor that Snape had been the one to overhear it. We don’t get to know that Neville could’ve been the Chosen One instead of Harry, and the overall motivation for Voldemort to target Harry (they were both Half-Bloods). The moviegoer would probably just keep wondering if it really was Trelawney in the prophecy or not.
7 Why Harry fell In Love With Ginny
In the film version of the fifth part, there was not even a teeny bit of indication that Harry had any interest in Ginny. Cut to the sixth part, and he’s suddenly peeking in at her through her bedroom window like some lovesick Romeo; this makes no sense if you’ve only watched the movies.
In the books, Harry notices little things about Ginny from book five, such as how easy-going she is or how she’s so funny; in book six, Harry is shown to have spent the whole summer with her and then realized he loved her. Ginny was dry as an old bone in personality in the movies, and no one can get why Harry would ever fall in love with her.
6 Harry Being Kreacher’s Master
In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1, we saw Kreacher summoned to Number 12 Grimmauld place, where Harry and his pals treated him like vermin to get information out of him. This was very different from the book, where Harry accepted Kreacher as an equal and was remorseful how he’d treated him before.
Disregarding that, it still didn’t make any sense why Kreacher would even be answering to Harry, seeing as he wasn’t supposed to be his slave – that is, it didn’t make sense for those who didn’t read the book. In Half-Blood Prince, it was explained that Sirius’ will left the house-elf to Harry, making him Kreacher’s owner; the movie had it seem as if Harry was just too good at interrogation.
5 Harry & Cho Break Up
You can accept the film version’s explanation of Cho being subjected to Veritaserum and then telling Umbridge about the DA, but it made Harry seem like a real jerk for remaining broken up with her after gaining this knowledge.
The book elaborated on why Harry didn’t have a clean break with Cho: he was just too embarrassed how things were left off between the two and didn’t know how to talk to her; a sentiment she shared. This explained why Cho suddenly disappeared, as Harry was actively avoiding her. The movie fan won’t understand why Cho wasn’t seen around at Hogwarts in Half-Blood Prince.
4 The Heroes Flying Straight To The Ministry
It looked pretty stupid of Harry and his friends to fly directly to the Ministry after the Centaurs took away Umbridge, considering that the whole thing had started because Umbridge had caught them in her office trying to communicate with Sirius through the Floo Network – why didn’t they just go back and use it after she was gone?
The reason for that would be because, in the book, Harry did do just that but was met with Kreacher, who pretended to Harry that Sirius had been taken to the Ministry. Without this scene in the film, you’d think Harry and his friends were a bunch of chumps who broke into the government office without confirmation.
3 Percy's Presence In The Last Battle
It was already confusing as a movie fan to see Percy being Fudge’s lackey in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, since we hadn’t heard anything about him turning on his family, but even if one were to assume he did betray his family, it was even more surprising to see him in Deathly Hallows – Part 2.
Wasn’t Percy against the heroes, so why was he at Hogwarts fighting alongside them? In the last novel, Percy’s family asked him this question when he suddenly popped up, and Percy admitted he had been an ambitious fool, before proceeding to apologize to everyone. In the film, it looked as if nobody really cared if Percy was a bad guy or a good guy.
2 Harry’s Warning
Wormtail sounded like a cute pet name Voldy gave to Peter in Goblet of Fire to those who’d just watched the movies, as Padfoot, Prongs, and Moony went unmentioned save for one scene in Prisoner of Azkaban on the Marauders Map.
In Order of the Phoenix, Harry would use the Padfoot nickname to tip off Snape that Sirius was in danger, but this would’ve made zero sense to someone who didn’t read the book, since the movies had earlier never confirmed that Sirius was Padfoot. You’d have been just as much in the dark as Umbridge had been with this seemingly cryptic statement.
1 Harry Quickly Moving On From Sirius' Death
It was really odd that Order of the Phoenix’s film version omitted Harry’s insane rage at Dumbledore for inadvertently causing Sirius’ death, and Harry seemed to have accepted it quite quickly; although he was still mourning at the film’s end. In the next movie, however, Harry seemed to have forgotten Sirius entirely, despite it being set only two weeks later.
In book six, Harry’s upturn in emotions was explained when he admitted to Dumbledore that he realized that Sirius would not have wanted him to be depressed, and Harry chose to move on in honor of Sirius’ love for him. The film version is impossible to justify Harry for suddenly being happier and not reflecting over his godfather’s death.