Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Book-to-Film: Harry Potter Series

Last week my husband and I were watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 on the 16th anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts.  I'm a (frighteningly) huge Potter fan.  I love the films, but upon this viewing I was reminded how much of the story was left out.

A lot of content is lost when adapting a book to film.  As fun and entertaining as book-to-film adaptations can be, you really do lose a lot in the process.  It's a necessity.  The medium of film demands it.  But so, so much is left out!  For example, if you never read the Harry Potter books but watched the films, you would never know:

  • What Squibs are
  • That Ron and Hermione were named Prefects
  • Peeves
  • How Fred and George got the money to start up Weasley's Wizard Wheezes
  • Teddy Lupin
  • Ted and Andromeda Tonks
  • What Veelas are
  • S.P.E.W.
  • That Dumbledore is more kind than crazy (Michael Gambon I'M LOOKING AT YOU)
  • That Firenze becomes Professor Firenze
  • Winky
  • That Ginny and Harry have chemistry
  • That Dobby stole Gillyweed from Snape's office to help Harry get past the second task in the Triwizard Tournament
  • About Fleur and Mrs. Weasley's bumpy relationship
  • Ludo Bagman
  • Charlie Weasley
  • Marietta Edgecombe
  • The origins of the Marauder's Map
  • That Kreacher and Harry became friends
  • About St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies
  • Augusta Longbottom
  • The Gaunts: Merope, Morfin, and Marvolo
  • Professor Binns
  • The full truth about the Dumbledores
  • Neville Longbottom's part in The Prophecy
  • Dudley Dursley's redemption
  • What happened to Peter Pettigrew
  • And so much more!

I do love the films, but, people, books are where it's at.  Films are wonderful auxiliaries to books, but watching the movies instead of reading the books will only rob you of a much deeper, intricate, fulfilling experience.  It's like going to the Eiffel Tower and thinking you know everything about Europe.  The Eiffel Tower is really cool, but it tells you nothing about Germany or Scotland.  I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but just in case any of you were considering skipping the book and going straight to the films, DON'T!  Read the books first!!

Moral of the story: Read Books!  (Watch the film(s) after.)


  1. I admit, I loved and read all the Harry Potter books when they came out but haven't cracked them open since. I clearly should go back and re-read!

    1. They're a lot of fun, and I bet you'll enjoy them just as much now as you did then!


    I clearly have something to say about this.

    Although I give an enthusiastic "AMEN" to everything you've listed, there are a few that I feel like I want to talk about please and thank you.

    First, that Michael Gambon, though marvelous in nearly everything else he does, complete misrepresents the kindness and gentility the makes up the core of Dumbledore. Why is he played as a manic, angry, batty, wacko?!

    Second, that Ginny and Harry actually have chemistry. This is so painful to watch every time I see it. Ugggh.

    Third, CHARLIE WEASLEY! I'm not going to lie, I've had a mad crush on Charlie ever since I was 13. He trains dragons!

    Fourth, the friendship that develops between Kreacher and Harry. This is one of my absolute favorite aspects of the books. I love that Kreacher's loyalties switch so fully upon being shown some goodness and respect.

    Also, I wish everyone loved Harry Potter to the level that you and I do. My dream would be to teach a college-level class on the symbolism and genius of the HP series. Can you imagine?! But in today's world, that would be nerdiness to the extreme. Maybe someday...

    That is all.

    1. Dear Chief:
      You win all the things for this comment.
      1. I KNOW. Book-Dumbledore and Movie-Dumbledore have very little in common besides their long beards and half-moon glasses.
      2. Yes. Ginny is such a spit-fire in the books. So spunky and feisty. Movie-Ginny is kind of a doormat. Maybe if she had more of a personality then movie-Harry (a pretty fine actor himself) would have had something to play off of.
      3. Yes! I missed Charlie Weasley immensely. Wish he could have been in the films!
      4. I know! Kreacher was so bitter and lonely when we first met him. I loved watching him become attached to Harry, and that moment when he appears in the Battle of Hogwarts fighting the Death Eaters was phenomenal.
      5. YOU SHOULD DO IT. I'll help you create the curriculum, if you want. That class would be the first to fill every semester, I predict. It would be extremely nerdy of us, yes, but it would also be THE GREATEST THING TO EVER HAPPEN.

  3. I love this post. I have a couple friends who don't want to read the books because they have seen the movies. I keep telling them sooooo much more happens in the book but they still won't read them. Sigh.

    1. Don't give up! One of my closest friends didn't read the books until after about six years of me begging. Miracles can happen! Meanwhile, I'll be here for you to commiserate with. :)


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