Essential Seven Bad Harry Potter Film Differences From the Books

Harry Potter Books vs. Film

The biggest complaint that most Harry Potter fans have with the Harry Potter films is how they reduce scenes, concepts, and characters for a smoother transition from page to screen. The early Chris Columbus Potter films included “everything but the kitchen sink” creating a more faithful approach to the books. Starting with Alfonso Cuarón’s Prisoner of Azkaban, the films took on a more stylized approach. What ever approach you prefer, every Potter fan has complained about a scene from the book or character did not make the film.

I’m not against the more stylized approach. In fact I think the later films work much better. There are however, a few things that were changed or cut that I think were big mistakes.  Here is a list of the Essential Seven BAD Harry Potter Film Differences From the Books.

(NOTE:. this list does not include anything from the Half-Blood Prince)

7) S.P.E.W

Dobby the House Elf S.P.E.@

Goblet of Fire director Mike Newell decided to put the primary focus on the Tri-wizard tournament, and exclude all of the subplots from the book. This included Hermione campaigning for the rights of the Hogwarts house-elves. She did this by forming the S.P.E.W – Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare. As hard as she tried, nobody joined her cause for the elimination of house-elves enslavement. Her cause became pointless when the house elves themselves did not wish to be freed.

6) Foreshadowing Ginny’s Crush on Harry


Nobody involved with the first few films would ever have known that Ginny and Harry would eventually get together. The first two films touched on Ginny’s crush, but later films dropped it all together.  In The Sorcerer’s Stone Ginny developed a crush on Harry when she first saw him at King’s Cross. In The Chamber of Secrets Ginny becomes startled seeing Harry eating breakfast in her home. The films never featured Ginny becoming clumsy when Harry was around. They also cut out the singing valentine that Ginny sent Harry.

“His Eyes are as green as a fresh Pickled toad, His hair as dark as a chalkboard. I wish he was mine, he’s really divine, Our hero who conquered the dark lord.”

Since the new film features Ginny and Harry finally getting together these little moments would have created a great back story for their relationship.

5) The Death Day Party


The Death Day scene was a very interesting part in The Chamber of Secrets book, but not necessarily in Chris Columbus’s film. I envision Headless Nick’s birthday to be a very cool and dark surreal scene. Very different from the look of the film. Alfonso Cuarón, director of Prisoner of Azkaban, would have put an interesting spin on it. Either way, the scene was a highlight from the book, and I was sad to see that it was never filmed.

4) The Dursleys Scene from Goblet of Fire


I remember reading The Goblet of Fire, and couldn’t wait to see the Weasley family invade the Dursely’s home on the big screen. I guess I will have to keep waiting since the scene was never filmed! How great would it have been to see Dudley eat the magical Ton-Tongue Toffee enlarging his tongue four feet? This was a big mistake not to include this scene into the film. Every Potter film starts off with Harry at the Dursleys. It’s a great way to show the Muggle world vs. the real world.

3) Who Created the Marauder’s map

The Marauders Map

My favorite Potter film to date is still Prisoner of Azkaban, but I still can’t believe that they didn’t address who wrote the Marauder’s Map! Mooney (Remus Lupin), Wormtail (Peter Pettigrew), Padfoot (Sirius Black), and Prongs (James Potter) created the magical map documenting all of the secret passageways and rooms of Hogwarts. They called themselves the Mauraders using their animagus forms for their nicknames. It puzzles me why that they couldn’t include a few more lines of dialog at the end of the film where Lupin tells Harry about the maps creation! If they needed to cut a scene why not the stupid choir and toads?

2) Fidelius Charm Confusion

Fidelius Charm

This was probably the hardest concept of Prisoner of Azkaban to translate onto film. The film attempted to explain this, but unless you read the book, you would never understood it fully. On Sirius’s advice, Harry’s parents, made Wormtail their secret keeper by means of the Fidelius Charm. Peter was the only person who could reveal James and Lily’s where -abouts. If the secret-keeper should die, all the people aware of their location became secret-keepers.

A week after Wormtail was made the secret-keeper they were killed by Voldermort. Peter betrayed their hiding place to Voldermort, and framed Sirius Black for the betrayal and his own murder.

1) Neville’s Parents and Prophecy

Neville Longbottom and Belatrix

One of the most saddest moments of Order of the Phoenix is when we learn that Neville Longbottom’s parents were not really dead, but patients in St. Mungo Hospital. They went insane after being tortured by a group of Deatheaters. In that group was Bellatrix Lestrange. This left Neville to live with his grandmother. The film left his parents dead for story purposes.

I was very sad that they left out this part in film. This was the moment that the character of Neville became a main character of the books. Before this moment he was just the comic relief. We also learned that the prophecy revealed both Neville and Harry could have been the prophecy child since they were both born in July. Voldemort made the decision that this prophecy was about Harry by attacking him.

Be sure to read the companion article Essential Seven Good Harry Potter Film Differences From the Books

The Essential Seven is a weekly list of seven items that we at believe needs to be identified. Want our opinion on a topic for a future list? Email Lando Da Pimp. Don’t agree with our list? Then leave a comment. We will promise not to laugh at your dumb opinion! 😉

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  • hammerhead

    Having seen the movies (except for Phoenix and of course Half-Blood) and not having read any of the books, I’ve come to the conclusion that I should wait until after all the movies are out and I’ve seen them to start the books. This Essential 7 shows me that I’d be disappointed if I don’t.

  • It’s a double edged sword reading the books before seeing the films, on one hand you know all the background information so it’s easier to understand what’s going on, on the other hand you can get so wrapped up in what’s not the same as the book you forget to enjoy the movie