The Harry Potter film series is one of the most successful franchises in movie history, making billions of dollars at the box office. Fans of the book series by J. K. Rowling were so excited to see the books come alive on the big screen, and it made superstars out of the child actors. It’s interesting that J. K. Rowling found it difficult to even get a publisher to take her books seriously, but now, she’s the most successful female writer of all time. The Harry Potter theme parks are hugely popular and have become a must-see attraction at Universal Studios. Yet, all the publicity of the franchise has also brought on a heavy amount of criticism.
Fans of the book series have been up in arms about some of the inconsistencies in the film series, which have caused some to think that the films really didn’t capture all of the best details from the books. Yet, some of the other criticisms have been about the storyline itself. While it’s easy to get caught up in the magical world of wizards and witchcraft, it’s interesting to see that some of the elements of the story have big gaping holes in the plot. There’s no denying that the Harry Potter film series was a huge success and captivated audiences, but there are a few things that have made fans think about the inconsistencies in the story. Check out our list of the 20 things wrong with the Harry Potter movies, and see how the filmmakers may have slipped up a few times.
20. Peeves Was Left Out Of The First Film
Fans of the book series were really looking forward to the first adaptation, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, to make it to the big screen. Yet, there was one character that was left out of the film, and it was a bit of a letdown. Peeves was one of the Poltergeists in the book series, and fans of the books loved his mischievous ways. He often played tricks on Argus Filch, and he was a character that kids would’ve really loved to see on the silver screen. He was originally intended to be in the film, and there were even scenes that were filmed with Rik Mayall portraying Peeves. Yet, the scenes were ultimately cut from the film. Not only did the film miss out on this beloved character, but it also allowed fans to miss out on seeing Rik Mayall in another role before his untimely death.
19. Equal Classes
The Harry Potter films often show all of the houses at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry when they’re congregating together in the Great Hall. From the end of the year ceremony to the many feasts, each of the houses sits together at their own respective tables. Yet, the films make it seem like there’s always an equal number of students within each house. This doesn’t seem quite right, considering that there are only a certain number of children accepted into Hogwarts each year, and the Sorting Hat supposedly takes the personality of the student into account when choosing which house to place them in. How can there be an equal number of students in Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin? It just seems like there would probably be more or less in each house because of the fact that their personalities are taken into account.
18. Cut Snape’s Potions Riddle
In the first film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the gang must endure a series of obstacles toward the end of the movie. Yet, fans of the book series had a huge problem with the way this part of the film was portrayed. While Harry got to show off his broom skills when finding the key and Ron showed off his chess skills, Hermione’s best part from the book was left out of the film. There was one obstacle that showed a series of potions. This was a potion puzzle that was devised by Severus Snape, and it was a way to show that some witches and wizards have become too reliant on magic. Hermione was able to figure out the puzzle by using logic rather than magic, and it was a triumphant moment for her.
17. No Closure To The Dursleys
In the Harry Potter films, the Dursleys are shown as the worst family ever. They mistreat Harry in the worst way, and they don’t ever act in a loving manner toward him. Yet, the book series did a great job at putting that storyline to bed with a bit of closure for the reader. In the films, the last the audience ever sees of the Dursleys is when they’re seen moving away. Yet, there could have been much more done to delve into this storyline. After being put into protective custody by the Ministry of Magic, they were also being protected by the Order of the Phoenix. J. K. Rowling gave some further insight into their relationship by saying that Harry Potter and Dudley were able to get together on various occasions in order for their children to have a relationship with their cousins.
16. Backstory To Marauder’s Map
There were a number of different magical elements in the Harry Potter films that all had their own backstory. The Deathly Hallows had a great way of telling the story behind the Cloak of Invisibility, the Resurrection Stone, and the Elder Wand. Yet, the Marauder’s Map simply appeared in the Harry Potter films, and there never was a full description of the backstory. It was created by Remus Lupin, Peter Pettigrew, Sirius Black, and James Potter. This entire storyline stemming back to the First Wizarding War would have been a great addition to the Harry Potter films. Excluding the backstory seems like a major mistake by the filmmakers. However, it might mean that there’s a chance that new Harry Potter films could reveal in more detail some of the past struggles, back when Harry Potter’s parents were still alive.
15. The Cast Looks Old
The book series is quite detailed about the First Wizarding War and the age of Harry Potter’s parents during the time of their death. Lily and James Potter were only 21 years old when they were killed by Voldemort. With Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, and Severus Snape being their classmates, they should be in their mid-thirties during the time of the Harry Potter films. Yet, all of these actors were far too old when they appeared on the big screen. It was actually a disservice to the Harry Potter book series because it completely aged the characters. While people can reason that the age of the characters isn’t as important as finding the right actor for the role, it’s still really wrong when it comes to the accuracy of the story.
14. Tom Riddle’s Childhood
While the Harry Potter films did give a bit of insight into the backstory of Lord Voldemort, there wasn’t much that was shown regarding his early childhood. When Tom Riddle was first introduced to Albus Dumbledore, he was already living in an orphanage. Yet, the story of his birth and childhood was actually quite interesting. His father came from a prominent family of muggles, and his mother came from a prominent wizarding family known for its pure bloodlines. The mother used a love potion on the father in order for them to conceive a child, but she stopped using the potion while she was pregnant. She felt that he would grow to love her because they were going to have a child together, but that didn’t end up happening. Instead, he left her, and she wound up dying after giving birth and putting Tom Riddle in an orphanage.
13. Gaunt Family History
There were quite a few different actors that portrayed Lord Voldemort during his varying stages of life, but moviegoers never really got to see some of the most extraordinary moments of Tom Riddle’s life. After Albus Dumbledore revealed to him his magical powers and brought him to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he became obsessed with finding out more about his parents. When he discovered that his father was from a muggle family, he actually went to his home and killed him. He killed his father, grandmother, and grandfather, and he altered the memory of his uncle to make him believe that he was the killer instead. This whole storyline regarding his first step into being Voldemort would have been a huge bonus for the films but was completely left out.
12. Hermione And Ron’s First Kiss Fell Flat
While there was some debate over whether Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley were the best couple in the world of Harry Potter, fans of the book series couldn’t be happier about these two finally getting together. Ron definitely needed to mature a bit from one book to the next, but their opposites-attract factor was great for the storyline. It became obvious that these two were going to end up together, especially after the whole jealousy surrounding her relationship with Viktor Krum. Yet, it took quite a while for Hermione and Ron to finally have their first kiss. In the book series, their first kiss was a monumental occurrence that really solidified their devotion to each other. Yet, the film made their first kiss seem like just a burst of adrenaline based on the stress of the situation.
11. Felix Felicis Was Gold
There’s no denying that the set designers and costume designers really had their hands full when working with the Harry Potter franchise. Dumbledore’s office had a plethora of books that were bound with real leather and Snape’s shelves were filled with all sorts of different jars of “potions” to create a truly realistic look. Yet, someone seemed to really drop the ball when it came to the Felix Felicis. The book series was very explicit about this “Liquid luck” potion being the color of molten gold. It even went into detail about how the droplets would “leap like goldfish above potion’s surface.” It doesn’t seem like it would be too hard to recreate this on the big screen, but the filmmakers decided to make it look clear rather than gold.
10. Leaving Out S.P.E.W.
While the Harry Potter films did show a few different house-elves, there was definitely something missing when compared to the book series. Dobby was the house-elf that served the Malfoy family, and he was the one that mostly interacted with Harry Potter. Harry snuck in a sock inside a book that allowed Dobby to be freed, which was his own way of fighting the injustice being done to Dobby. Yet, it was Hermione Granger that truly fought the good fight against the injustice regarding the house-elves when she created S.P.E.W., The Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare. She created it after seeing the horrible treatment of the house-elves during the 1994 Quidditch World Cup. Leaving this out of the films had the audience miss out on a great storyline regarding tolerance and equality.
9. Where Is Charlie Weasley?
When the Weasley family was first introduced into the Harry Potter films, it became immediately obvious that there were a great number of children. People commented on the hand-me-down robes, and Ron didn’t have money to purchase anything off of the sweets trolley on the train. While there could be an entire conversation about why the Weasleys couldn’t just create new clothing with their wands and spells, it seems like the biggest hurdle was the fact that they had so many children. Yet, there was one Weasley family member that was basically left out of any of the films. Charlie Weasley was never given a storyline in the films. Ron and his twin brothers were featured repeatedly, but Charlie Weasley was only seen through a family photograph when they all traveled to Egypt.
8. Rita Skeeter Unregistered Animagus
There were a few differences from the Rita Skeeter character in the book series compared to the films. In the books, Rita Skeeter had three gold teeth, but they completely left that out in the films. Yet, the biggest difference in the films was the fact that Rita was an animagus. This was an amazing ability for Rita Skeeter since she was a reporter and journalist. Her ability to turn into an animal would really come in handy when trying to get the latest scoop on things, especially if she could be in the room without people being aware of her presence. In the Goblet of Fire, it was Hermione Granger that revealed that Rita was an unregistered animagus and had the ability to turn into a beetle.
7. Dumbledore Freaking Out On Harry Over Goblet Of Fire
Upon the death of Richard Harris, filmmakers had to get a different actor to portray Professor Albus Dumbledore. While the book series definitely got darker with each new book, there were some extreme differences between the way Professor Dumbledore was portrayed in the films during the end of the series. This could be because of the way the storyline in the books evolved, or it could be because of the different actors portraying the character. Yet, there was a moment in the Goblet of Fire that really had fans wondering what the filmmakers were thinking. In the book, Professor Dumbledore approached Harry Potter “calmly” and asked him if he’d entered his name into the Goblet of Fire. Yet, the movie had Professor Dumbledore flying at Harry and grabbing him in an almost violent manner.
6. Disarming Charm Does Anything
There’s no denying that the world of Harry Potter is filled with a variety of different spells and potions. Yet, there seemed to be a lack of spells toward the end of the Harry Potter film series. In the beginning of the film series, moviegoers were introduced to a variety of different spells and wand movements, but toward the end, it seemed like they just kept using the same spells over and over again. The Disarming Charm was used constantly, and it seemed like “Expelliarmus” could basically do anything. Obviously, this Disarming Charm would come in handy on more than one occasion when dealing with Lord Voldemort and his followers. Yet, it did seem like the filmmakers got it wrong with how often they would use this charm.
5. Percy Weasley’s Isolation And Redemption
It can be difficult to include every detail from a book into its film adaptation. Everyone knows that the book will have far more detail, and there will inevitably be storylines that simply won’t be able to make it into the film. Yet, it’s really difficult for fans of the Harry Potter book series to get over so much that has been left out once the adaptation makes it to the big screen. Percy Weasley was depicted in the film series on a number of occasions, but his full storyline wasn’t explored. In the books, he actually has a large storyline regarding his isolation from the Weasley family and his ultimate redemption. This was completely left out of the film series, and he basically just vanishes from the franchise.
4. Ginny Weasley’s Personality
When Harry Potter first met Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley in the film series, it seemed like there was a budding romance that would happen. Yet, it wasn’t immediately known that Ron would wind up with Hermione if based solely on the films. In fact, it seemed like Harry was far closer with Hermione than Ron, and his romance with Ron’s little sister seemed to come out of nowhere. Yet, the book series did a great job of showing Ron’s sister, Ginny, as extremely witty and likable. This wasn’t the case in the film series. She appeared awkward, quiet, and almost completely devoid of personality. Leaving Ginny’s personality out of the film series was a disservice to her character and the storyline overall.
3. Ron’s Lacking Personality
In the book series, there’s far more detail surrounding the personality of Ron Weasley. His character really starts to evolve from one book to the next, which is also the case in the film adaptation. However, there’s a lot about his personality that doesn’t really shine through in the films. In the books, Ron is seen as truly wholesome, caring, and clever. Yet, the films seem to focus more on his immaturity. His jealousy regarding Hermione’s relationship with Viktor Krum makes him seem like a horrible choice for a future love interest for Hermione. He’s also seen as very jealous of Harry Potter, and he had a number of moments where it didn’t seem like he was actually a great friend to Harry.
2. Voldemort’s Death Was Completely Different
In the book series, Lord Voldemort’s death wasn’t exactly the same as it was depicted in the films. It wasn’t actually Harry Potter that killed Voldemort since the Expelliarmus Disarming Charm was only used to shield Harry while he was able to obtain the Elder Wand. Then, the spell that was cast by Voldemort and used by Harry was the cause of his death. The book depicted his death as “Tom Riddle hit the floor with a mundane finality, his body feeble and shrunken, the white hands empty, the snakelike face vacant and unknowing.” Yet, the filmmakers went a completely different route when they chose to depict his death. There was a flaking away of his existence and an excruciating death that was far from just the vacant look that it was supposed to be.
1. Eye Color Changes
When a book series is turned into a film adaptation, it’s inevitable that there will be certain differences because of the actors that are chosen. Yet, there are some differences in the Harry Potter films that truly angered the diehard fans of the books. Harry Potter is described as having green eyes, but Daniel Radcliffe is clearly shown as having blue eyes in the films. On top of that, his mother is also supposed to have green eyes. Lily Potter was portrayed on a number of occasions in the films, both older and younger. Yet, she clearly had brown eyes. With the entire series featuring scenes where people remark on how much Harry has the same eyes as his mother, this is a difference from the book series that people can’t seem to let go of.
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