It is common to expect significant differences between book and film versions of the same story, simply because novel writing and film are very unique means of expression. This applies to Harry potter as well as storylines and characters missing from world building changes (both minor and major).
The audience has grown to appreciate a few of these changes, while others have been a point of contention among the fandom. However, what about those apparent changes that aren’t exactly being talked about? Are they all negligible in terms of impact on the main narrative?
ten Pigwidgeon exists, but not on screen
In the books, Sirius gives Ron an owl, indirectly apologizing for his role in the entire Scabbard debacle, which Ginny later names Pigwidgeon.
This adorable pet does not exist in the movie world, although it does make two appearances – in a background scene during the sixth film and in a promotional photo for the fourth. There was no real need to remove Pigwidgeon, however, as it would have served to highlight the more sarcastic aspects of Ron’s character.
9 There’s no hat sorting song
The sorting hat sings a different song each school year during the sorting ceremony. The first and second instances occur in The Philosopher’s Stone and The goblet of fire, respectively – in each case the hat serves as an explanatory tool for the four houses and their characteristics.
However, the song in which the sorting hat plays The order of the Phoenix is full of disturbing sub-texts regarding Lord Voldemort’s return.
8 Peeves The Comic Relief Poltergeist
Peeves the Poltergeist may not have been a main character (or even a side) of Harry potter, but most of his scenes are nothing short of slapstick comedy.
This entity is one of the many reasons Hogwarts is such a bizarre place, so cutting it off makes the wizarding world a little less remarkable, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. Sadly, most viewers didn’t really notice Peeves’ absence.
7 Do the students even have lessons?
The books are filled with countless classroom scenes, from potions and charms to transfiguration and the care of magical creatures. Movies don’t take classes entirely, of course, but the time and attention given to them is drastically reduced.
It’s a smart move, as it allows the story to better streamline its path, only revealing important events like Buckbeak’s justified attack on Draco and Flitwick teaching his early years the art of Wingardium Leviosa.
6 Hagrid, Olympe Maxime and the Giants
Although the Giants are seen marching under Lord Voldemort’s command in the films, only the books detail exactly what causes them to ignore Dumbledore’s offer of alliance.
Hagrid and Olympe Maxim travel to a giant settlement somewhere around Belarus in Northern Europe. They offer the leader, Karkus, a rare Gubraithian fire, effectively enlisting him in Dumbledore’s cause. Unfortunately, the leadership of the Giants changes overnight, and the current one, Golgomath, ends up making a deal with the Death Eaters.
5 Hermione’s SPEW (and house elves in general)
The house elves portrayed in the films are Dobby and Kreacher, both of whom play crucial roles in Harry’s life. The books reveal the existence of another named Winky, who serves the Crouch family and mostly takes care of Barty Jr.
Additionally, Hermione attempts to convert the wizarding world perspective on house elves and the miserable conditions to which they are subjected, even going so far as to create the Society for Promotion of Elfish Welfare, or SPEW.
4 The importance of house points
House points are awarded for achievements and withdrawn for infractions, whether disciplinary or academic. In fact, the times for awarding or securing points are common in the Harry potter books, which help accentuate student-teacher relationships.
The films, with the exception of the first, do not involve any discussion of house points (with one exception in the third film). No one complains though – the difference is tiny and inconsequential.
3 Dumbledore’s funeral is missing
The half-blood prince The film shows Dumbledore’s fall from the Astronomy Tower and Harry’s discovery of his body, but the funeral sequence is cut entirely from his script.
This means that film fans alone have never been able to see the greatness of Dumbledore’s dispatch, which consisted of a proper ceremony with hundreds of attendees. The ministry is obviously present, as are people from all over the wizarding world. The Great Lake Merpeople and Fawkes the Phoenix even perform their own personal lyrics for Dumbledore.
2 Voldemort’s maternal family
There is no reference to the specifics of House Gaunt, the maternal side of Voldemort’s extended family, in the movies. The books, on the other hand, mention quite a bit of information regarding the Dark Lord’s mother, Merope Riddle, née Gaunt.
It is revealed that she endures a violent life at home, tormented by her father, Marvolo, as well as her brother, Morfin, for virtually no reason most of the time. Merope’s decision to enchant the Muggle named Tom Riddle with a love potion is directly responsible for her son’s inability to experience love.
1 Where is Ludo Bagman?
Ludovic Bagman, the head of the department of magic games and sports, appears in the book version of The goblet of fire, in which he hosted the 1994 Quidditch World Cup. He is well known for making bets and running away from those he loses, and he loses quite a few.
Ludo even gives Fred and George Weasley Leprechaun Gold when they correctly guess the final match result. He has no place in the film; then again, it practically disappears at the end of the fourth book, anyway.
NEXT: Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix, Ranked by Might
Harry Potter characters post-Hogwarts careers (and salary in galleons), ranked
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