While the Harry Potter series of eight films is well-regarded as a classic cinematic franchise for children and adults alike, it is also fair to say that quite a few production mistakes ended up on screen… And some of them are just shocking.
It was only 2001 when Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone premiered, which means that some computer-generated special effects were still in early stages and practical effects couldn’t always be properly hidden on camera. While those are justifiable errors, the Harry Potter saga was also guilty of more obvious production mistakes, such as objects randomly moving, and an inconsistency of props, changes in attire, and even apparent makeup variations.
There isn’t a single film in the Harry Potter franchise that didn’t feature at least one odd (and obvious) error, something that is actually more common in big-budget productions than most movie fans realize. Even though it takes a village of people to work on a blockbuster of Harry Potter’s magnitude, you’d be shocked to learn that those hundreds of eyeballs sometimes fail to spot some quite visible mistakes that ultimately end up on the screen - and on lists such as this one.
Potterheads, beware! These are 15 Shocking Mistakes You Missed In Harry Potter.
15 RON’S TRUNK CHANGES COMPLETELY
In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the franchise’s fourth film, Harry and Ron go to Platform 9¾ to hop on the Hogwarts train, but are impeded of crossing through the station’s magical wall and end up slamming their carts and falling down.
As Harry and Ron fall down after the collision, it becomes quite clear that Ron’s trunk completely changes its design. Sure, it looks bulky and gray with copper-like lines crossing around it, but whereas in one scene the trunk seems to have three of those lines, it suddenly only has two in the scene right after.
While it sounds simple enough, this appears as quite a noticeable change on-screen, especially since Harry and Ron fall down literally alongside the trunk.
14 TWO SHIRTS, ONE SCENE
Harry sleeps and has visions that wake him up during the Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix film. What could go wrong, you may ask?
Well, it just so happens that the t-shirt Harry is wearing while he is asleep is very, very different from the t-shirt he has on after waking up and sitting on the bed. While he is sleeping, Harry is shown wearing a light blue crew t-shirt. After he gets up, it is suddenly a Henley tee, and dark blue.
This sort of production mistakes happens because actors shoot different moments of a scene at different times. Actors may sweat, or something can go wrong with a piece of clothing, which means that sometimes they have to change. However, one would think that the team behind Harry Potter would have at least two t-shirts of the same color and type in case something ever went wrong.
13 VISIBLE BATTERY POWER PACKS
Battery power packs are used in film production for a wide variety of reasons. Microphones, lights, cameras, props… Many elements within the shooting of a movie require battery power, and these portable packs serve as a great tool for actors and the production team to be mobile and not necessarily require power outlets – especially in scenes that take place in the exterior.
While all of that is fair, it is shocking that a production of Harry Potter’s magnitude would allow the battery power packs to be visible on screen, but that is exactly what happened in The Prisoner of Azkaban. In an exterior scene involving Hermione and Harry, it is very clear from the shots that captured the actors from their backs that they were carrying battery power packs underneath their clothing. We can see the exact size and width of the device.
12 HAIRLINE REVEALED
The Defense Against the Dark Arts professor Quirinus Quirrell was supposed to be bald underneath his turban in The Sorcerer’s Stone, right? After all, he was “carrying” Lord Voldemort behind that head.
Well, while that was definitely the case for the character, actor Ian Hart’s hairline was pretty visible in one of the movie’s scenes, making things kind of confusing for Harry Potter fans who understood that Quirrell character was bald.
Curiously, as seen on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (where he portrayed Dr. Franklin Hall), Ian Hart doesn’t often have that much hair on top of his head anyway. He did, however, definitely have hair during the production of The Sorcerer’s Stone and relied on makeup and the purple turban to bring to life a bald character. Unfortunately, the turban was not enough to cover all of the actor’s hair.
11 HARRY’S DIFFERENT WOUNDS
In an earlier scene, Harry is seen with two fairly large scratches on his right cheek. In a later (but not that much later) scene, Harry is then seen with only one small scratch on the right cheek and an otherwise impeccable skin around it.
The time that passes between one scene and another does not justify – not even close! – how two scratches suddenly became one. Aside from the number of scratches, the damage also looks entirely different when comparing both scenes, since they are initially two thin and long scratches and suddenly become one thick and short scratch.
10 HARRY SWITCHES SIDES
It comes as no surprise that the first Harry Potter movie, The Sorcerer’s Stone, just so happens to be the one with the biggest number of production mistakes. It was the first time this team was working together, and the budget was much smaller.
Another shocking error in The Sorcerer’s Stone film took place during dinner in the Hogwarts’ Great Hall. In an initial scene in regards to that night, Hermione is sitting right next to Percy Weasley on the left side of the Gryffindor table. Harry is seen sitting across from them, on the right side. Then, out of nowhere, Harry is suddenly not only sitting on the left side of the table, but also in between Hermione and Percy.
While it is plausible that Harry could’ve potentially switched sides (even if out of nowhere), there is no explanation as to why he would tell Hermione to move one seat below in order to be in between her and Percy.
9 APPARENT CGI
In the Forbidden Forest scene in Order of the Phoenix where Harry, Hermione, and Ron are introduced to the created named Grawp, a very apparent CGI mistake happens.
As Grawp grabs Hermione and picks her up, it is very noticeable that everything below Emma Watson’s calves was digitally removed, which made for a very strange sight of a mostly legless Hermione. The digital “lines” of the CGI removal are also extremely apparent, which doesn’t help.
This seems like a clear oversight from the editing team and a case of a bad job from the special effects team responsible for that particular scene. So much of Harry Potter relies on magical cinematic elements that one would think that this kind of mistake would be actively resolved by the time the movies were released.
8 VISIBLE CAMERAMAN
Ah, the good ol' visible cameraman in the shot – a production error as old as modern filmmaking itself. It has happened to quite a few blockbusters, such as Furious 7, The Martian, The Matrix, Titanic, Jaws, and yes, even in Harry Potter.
In this particular franchise, it happened during Chamber of Secrets, in a scene where the Hogwarts students are gathered around a defeated Draco Malfoy, who has fallen on top of the table where he and Harry were dueling. The cameraman is clearly spotted on the left side of the screen, in a pretty open space between two of those students.
There is no justification for that cameraman’s presence there, obviously, since such a technology doesn’t even exist in the context of the magical world of Harry Potter.
7 ITEMS ON TOP OF A TABLE
The scene in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 that reintroduces Dobby to the franchise is alongside another house-elf, Kreacher, as they are trying to take down a man in order to help Harry, Hermione, and Ron.
Though it is a quick and nearly unnoticeable mistake in the film, one can see quite clearly if attention is paid that there is a change in the objects on top of the table by the door from which Dobby and Kreacher come out of. As Dobby first emerges while holding to the man’s leg, there is a very visible black pan on top of the table right next to the door.
In the next shot, as the man is fully seen being attacked by Kreacher and Dobby, the black pan is no longer there, but instead, audiences spot a different black object alongside a basket.
6 DISAPPEARANCE OF BLOOD
This scene takes place in the aftermath of the Chamber of Secrets fight against Tom Riddle (aka young Voldemort). Harry has defeated a snake, fought against Riddle, and stabbed his diary, which finally awakens a spell-bound Ginny Weasley who was otherwise unconscious.
In the first shot where Harry and Ginny begin to chat, there is clearly a decent amount of blood on Harry’s left hand, which is coming from a significant wound on his arm. In the next shot, however, which zooms in on Harry’s hand, audiences no longer see any blood on it.
While there is undoubtedly a concern behind the appearance of blood in PG films, it was definitely strange to show Harry with a bloodied hand and immediately after show it without any of it. This mistake could’ve easily been avoided.
5 HERMIONE’S TOWEL CHANGES COLOR
The three challenges faced in the Triwizard Tournament during the events of the Goblet of Fire movie were, well… definitely challenging.
On the second task of the tournament, which involved saving their friends who were tied down underwater, Harry barely succeeded in saving Ron since he also had to save Gabrielle, Fleur’s sister. He came out of the water freezing cold and was met by Hermione (who had just been rescued in the task by Viktor) with a towel to provide some heat and dryness.
The thing is: in the scene, Hermione’s very own towel changes colors back and forth, depending on the shot. It is initially a dark gray/black, then it is suddenly white, and then it is back to its darker tone.
4 THE ORANGE SOFA BLANKET
You’ll be happy to know that Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince has very few shocking production mistakes, but still, there is a quite noticeable one that takes place in the beginning, when Harry is spending some time in the Weasley residence.
The particular scene involves Harry and Ginny seating on a sofa, as Arthur Weasley is sitting right next to them on an armchair. Initially, there is a quite visible pumpkin-orange sofa throw set on top of the sofa’s arm, on Harry’s side, immediately between the camera and the scene taking place.
However, in the very next shot, as the camera switches from one side to its opposite in order to capture Harry speaking, the orange throw is no longer where it was. Instead, it is then found behind Harry.
3 BOOK OPENS ITSELF
In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, as Harry and Hermione are by themselves in between rocks looking for clues in regards to Voldemort’s Horcruxes, the movie wants audiences to be focusing on the characters and on the book that Hermione is reading from. However, there is a second book sitting by her side – a book that is initially closed, and then mysteriously open.
This is such a weird mistake in the movie that fans have to wonder if maybe there was some other informationread from that second book in a scene that was ultimately deleted from the film’s final cut. It was not even windy in the scene! There is no explanation as to why the second book, which wasn’t being read from, would suddenly open itself.
2 THE MOVING CUSHION
Like Half-Blood Prince, Deathly Hallows: Part 2 had barely any major mistakes to draw from, but there was a quite visible one that is worth mentioning.
In the very beginning of the film, Harry, Hermione, and Ron go visit Luna Lovegood and then have a chat with Griphook, a Goblin played by actor Warwick Davis. Most of the scene focuses on Griphook sitting on a chair, and HRH are in the background, simply talking to him.
It is curious, then, that the movie’s final cut let it slide that the cushion behind Griphook very clearly moves down during the progression of the scene, even though the Goblin makes barely any movement, does not sit up, does not get up, and does not move the cushion down. A very simple, but very noticeable mistake.
1 VERY VISIBLE WIRES
Back in 2001, when the Harry Potter franchise began, CGI was not as capable as it is today of removing things digitally. So it ended up in the final cut of The Sorcerer’s Stone that the production team attached wires to Harry’s gloves to support actor Daniel Radcliffe as he held to a stick that, in the movie, was Harry’s broom.
The scene took place during Harry’s very first game of Quidditch in the saga, where Professor Snape was supposedly throwing him off balance (though it was revealed later that Professor Quirrell was the guilty one).
It’s a blink-it-and-you-miss-it mistake in the film, but also definitely something one could expect from a fantasy movie released in 2001 that had so many “magical” elements to deal with.
Were you surprised by any of these mistakes in particular? Were there any others that you found in the Harry Potter movies? Let us know in the comments below!