Things From The Harry Potter Books That We Wish Were In The MoviesPublished on June 22, 2017. Updated July 7, 2020
Fans of Harry Potter most definitely flocked to the films, but there is no doubt the books were better. The books gave the full story that unfortunately the films didn’t have time for and, while some things were minor and other omissions were major, fans hung on to every detail and couldn’t believe some of the best book moments and characters that were completely left out of the eight movies. Here are 11 things from the Harry Potter books that should have been, or we at least wish, were in the movies:
11. Neville’s Parents
Before everyone became obsessed with Matthew Lewis’ physical transformation as Neville Longbottom through the Harry Potter films, fans of the book couldn’t get enough of his character development. Neville ended up playing a pretty large part in the Harry Potter universe, but a huge disservice was done to the character when his parents’ backstory was left out of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The book included a truly enlightening and heartbreaking moment where it is explained that Neville was raised by his grandmother not because his parents were dead but because they had been tortured into insanity by Bellatrix Lestrange as original members of the Order and had to live at St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies. The moment where Harry, Hermione, and Ron stumble upon Neville visiting his parents in the hospital is one of the book’s most emotional moments as well as one of the biggest defining moments for Neville.
Hermione Granger was amazing for many reasons, but one of her biggest stands was S.P.E.W. in Harry Potter and the Goblet Fire. Hermione’s formation of The Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare stood as a extremely important subplot because of its very tangible connection to the real world when it comes to issues of slavery, oppression and discrimination. Not to mention it also served as a major point of contention between Ron and Hermione, not only furthering their characters but their ever-evolving relationship that was central to the Harry Potter story. Eventually Hermione and Ron have their first kiss in the books after Ron stood up for the lives of Hogwarts’ elves, but everything was completely left out of the movies which upset fans.
9. The Marauders
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is widely considered as the best Harry Potter film, but there is at least one thing we wish was included. Fred and George Weasley gift Harry “The Marauder’s Map” which shows everyone on Hogwarts ground and exactly where they are, but more importantly who the Marauders are was a major plot point for the book and was completely left out of the movie. They were, of course, Harry’s father James Potter, Harry’s godfather Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew and tied together Harry and his father in yet another way, not to mention further explained the friendship and bonds between the four men, which was essential to Peter Pettigrew’s storyline. To leave so much important information out of the movie was a big mistake in the eyes of fans.
8. The Triwizard Winnings
When adapting the Harry Potter books into films, everyone was quite aware of what a rabid and passionate fanbase they were facing, and yet still had to change stories and altar important details that may have seemed small but were very significant to fans of the books. One of the book moments which most fans have taken issue with being left out of the movies was when Harry gives his Triwizard Tournament winnings to Fred and George to open up their joke shop. The moment meant a lot for many reasons including it solidified Harry’s relationship and love for the entire Weasley family, further developed Harry’s character, and most obviously explained where the twins got the money to pursue their dreams!
7. The Elder Wand
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2′s handling of the Elder Wand scene after Voldemort’s death is completely inexcusable. In the books, Harry mends his beloved wand with the Elder Wand and then leaves the powerful wand with Dumbledore in his tomb, offering closure to the significant piece of the Harry Potter story. In the film, however, Harry simply snaps it which then doesn’t explain how he gets his own wand back, and also makes it seem as though the Elder Wand is just a piece of wood that can be broken in half. The films messed up some big moments, and this was most definitely one of them.
6. Voldemort’s Backstory
By far Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince had some of the biggest pieces left out and one was Voldemort’s backstory. Aside from Harry Potter, the most important character in the series was Voldemort and Half-Blood Prince finally gave readers and Harry himself the most understanding of who Voldemort really is, including a complex and inbred lineage direct from Salazar Slytherin himself. Most of this very detailed and informative part of the book was left out of the film, and because of the omission, viewers missed out on critical information pertaining not only to Voldemort but Gaunt’s ring which is a Horcrux.
An entire list can probably be dedicated to important characters from the books that the films left out or minimized, but one of the biggest examples was this was the character of the house elf Winky. In the Goblet of Fire, Winky serves as an extremely important character when it comes to who Barty Crouch Jr. really is, how he was kept a secret, and how the the Dark Mark is unleashed in the sky at the Quidditch World Cup. Her character also furthers the plotline of oppression concerning the House Elves and adds another layer to the story of Dobby, but for inexplicable reasons she was left completely out of the films.
4. The Half-Blood Prince
There is absolutely no doubt that the filmmakers of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince completely missed the mark when they failed to actually explain Severus Snape as the Half-Blood Prince. Many of the omissions in the films may have been upsetting, but understandable because of time constraints, but the Half-Blood Prince is literally the title making it the most important plot point of the entire thing! It is truly boggling that the only explanation fans got was the line from Snape, “I am the half-blood Prince,” when there was so much more to the story than that.
3. The Weasley’s Injustice
The Weasley family are Harry’s pseudo adoptive family and at some point or another every single member of the large family plays a very important part in the books, and it can be argued that, aside from Ron, Fred and George, none of the characters got the justice they deserved in the films. Percy turning his back on his own family was a major part of Order of the Phoenix, but the issue was glossed over, meanwhile Ginny was never given the strength fans expected to see in her on-screen portrayal. Then fans of the book were completely surprised with how much was left out of Bill Weasley and Fleur’s love story which acts as a prominent sub-plot for several of the books, but is barely seen at all in the films. Fans completely understood that time constraints meant for changes and omissions, but the Weasley family always deserves the best.
2. Wormtail’s Death
Peter Pettigrew serves as one of the key antagonists through the Harry Potter series who is critical in Voldemort’s return, and those who read the books understood how complex his character really was as time went on. After Peter Pettigrew’s big reveal in Prisoner of Azkaban, his life is indebted to Harry because Harry chose to save him. This became paramount later in the series when Peter uses his own hand as a sacrifice to bring Voldemort back and in return is given a powerful steel one by the Dark Lord. In the Deathly Hallows, Pettigrew’s fate comes full circle as his own hand turns on him and strangles him to death after he helps Harry and Ron escape from the dungeon of the Malfoy Mansion, and seeing this as a sign of disloyalty to Voldemort the steel hand strangles him. This critical plot connector, let alone the important death of a key character, was completely left out of the books, but in no way should have been. Most importantly, the fact the character is more or less just forgotten and does not even appear in the Deathly Hallows films resulted in some of the worst storytelling in the films.
While Peeves may have not been an integral part of any Harry Potter storylines, he was a fan favorite character who helped make the magical world of Harry Potter real in the minds of readers. Each book featured at least one hilarious and memorable Peeves moment and eventually he even proved himself useful as he helped torment Dolores Umbridge and even fought in the Battle of Hogwarts. His exclusion of the films was not detrimental, but it was greatly noticed and it truly seemed like a key piece of what makes Hogwarts the strange and wonderful place that it is.