Harry Potter: Books vs. Movies
Say “Harry Potter,” and at least one person in the room should know what you are talking about. The Harry Potter Series has undoubtedly changed the entire world over the past 20 years. Ever since Joanne Rowling (best known as J. K. Rowling) brilliantly published it (serious Scholastic Inc. magic here, since many other publishers did not want to accept the story), it has been a non-stop journey for the Harry Potter universe, in both literature and film. Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ronald Weasley are the main protagonists we follow throughout the epic tale.
As an avid reader of the Harry Potter Series (I have read all of them more than three times now and proud), one can see many differences between reading the story and watching it unfold in film. It is far easier to understand a character when reading the novels, and much easier to not know a character fully when watching the movies.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Starting with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, we start out with Harry Potter growing up and learning he is actually a wizard. Yes, “yer a wizard, Harry” 1. Seeing Hagrid give this enlightening news to Harry brings delight to the common viewer, who has seen Harry bullied by his cousin, Dudley Dursley, and mistreated by his aunt Petunia and uncle Vernon. Now for the passionate reader, this news is an absolute thrill, as the reader has read over many pages by now, exactly how miserable Harry’s life had been up until then, with details into what Harry felt the whole time. J. K. Rowling writes;
“Harry looked into the fire. Now he came to think about it…every odd thing that had ever made his aunt and uncle furious with him had happened when he, Harry, had been upset or angry…chased by Dudley’s gang, he had somehow found himself out of their reach…dreading going back to school with that ridiculous haircut, he’d managed to make it grow back…and the very last time Dudley had hit him, hadn’t he got his revenge, without even realizing he was doing it? Hadn’t he set a boa constrictor on him? Harry looked back at Hagrid, smiling, and saw that Hagrid was positively beaming at him” (Rowling, 58).
The reader knows exactly what Harry’s feeling and thinking, something that does not come across as easily on-screen. In the film, we do not know about these other horrible experiences Harry goes through with his relatives. As readers, we know very well how cruel they were to him. This was the first step in setting the character development for Harry Potter, who came to realize he was more than what he thought he could be, and was not alone.
Another significant difference between the first book and movie is how Harry Potter meets and interacts with Draco Malfoy for the first time. In the Sorcerer’s Stone novel, Harry is buying his first set of Hogwarts robes at Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions. He sees Malfoy trying on his own robes, J. K Rowling writes,
“In the back of the shop, a boy with a pale, pointed face was standing on a footstool while a second witch pinned up his long black robes.” Harry is then greeted by Malfoy with; “‘Hello’, said the boy, ‘Hogwarts, too?’. ‘Yes’, said Harry. ‘My father’s next door buying my books and mother’s up the street looking at wands,’ said the boy. He had a bored, drawling voice. ‘Then I’m going to drag them off to look at racing brooms. I don’t see why first years can’t have their own. I think I’ll bully father into getting me one and I’ll smuggle it in somehow’. Harry was strongly reminded of Dudley” (Rowling, 77).
As you can see, the scene is far different than how he met Draco in the film. In the film, Harry is with Ron and other fellow students waiting to be admitted into the Great Hall. There, Draco calls out that “Harry Potter has come to Hogwarts”. In the novel, Draco realizes who Harry is when they are aboard the Hogwarts Express. Entering Harry’s compartment, he states; “Is it true? They’re saying all down the train that Harry Potter’s in this compartment. So it’s you, is it?” (Rowling, 108). After these different first-time confrontations, the outcome is the same for both film and novel; Harry rejects Malfoy’s offer for help in making the “right” friends and it is rivalry history from there.
Understanding Harry Potter vs. Draco Malfoy At Its Fullest
In the novels; it is far easier understand exactly how deeply ingrained their rivalry is. Malfoy had actually challenged Harry to a duel during their first year at Hogwarts. After Harry rescues Neville’s Remembrall, in the novel, Draco challenges Harry to a wizard’s duel at midnight that same day. Of course, Malfoy does not show up that night and only intended for Harry to get caught walking around after-hours. This demonstrates Harry’s willingness to stand up for himself (one of the reasons he is a true Gryffindor). In addition, in both versions, Draco tells Professor McGonagall that Harry, Ron, and Hermione are out of bed visiting Hagrid (when Norbert is born). These examples say more about Malfoy than the film shows. Malfoy’s character is far from good; he will do anything he can to get Harry Potter expelled from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As noticeable at the end of the Sorcerer’s Stone, Malfoy is actually quite jealous at Harry being awarded extra House Points for bravery. He desires what Harry has; fame. Ironically, Harry longs for what Draco seemingly fails to appreciate; a family. This is only the beginning of their rivalry.
Getting To The Sorcerer’s Stone
The way Harry, Ron, and Hermione pass through their professors’ defensive spells to get to the Sorcerer’s Stone is quite different between the two versions. In the novel, Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger initially protested going after the stone. Harry stated, “I’m going out of here tonight and I’m going to try and get to the Stone first”. Ron declared, “You’re mad!” while Hermione screamed, “You can’t! After what McGonagall and Snape have said? You’ll be expelled!” Harry defensively shouted, “SO WHAT? Don’t you understand? If Snape gets hold of the Stone, Voldemort’s coming back! Haven’t you heard what it’s like when he was trying to take over? There won’t be any Hogwarts to get expelled from!” (Rowling, 270).
In the novel, Harry is of a strong, bold character from the very beginning, who stands up to his own friends since their very first adventure. But in the film, Harry’s young character is written with a much calmer attitude, whose friends immediately follow suit to what he does. It would have been great to see this heated conversation added to the film, because there are incidents in the future novels where Harry stands up for himself, thus making it easier for the viewer to understand that Harry has been assertive and direct since he was young. Harry’s character in the novel is not quiet and passive as he is shown most of the time in films.
Unlike what is shown on film, there are far more obstacles that Harry, Ron, and Hermione go through to get to the Sorcerer’s Stone. After they defeat Professor McGonagall’s chessmen, both Harry and Hermione proceed forward to the next set of obstacles. They come across Professor Quirrell’s obstacle, which is a troll who has already been defeated by Quirrell himself. After that, it is Professor Snape’s potions logic puzzle they must solve together. Snape’s logic puzzle stated that there were seven potions in the room; three are poison, two were wine, one would get them safely through the black fire (towards the Stone), one would get them back through the purple fire (back to Ron). Hermione solves this mystery and that is how Harry manages to cross forward to face Professor Quirrell and Lord Voldemort himself.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry begins to demonstrate maturity during his second year at Hogwarts, where he is attacked by rumors that he might be the Heir of Slytherin. He learns to deal with bad gossip, who he can trust, and what kind of person he wants to be in both the novel and film. For instance, when Gilderoy Lockhart enters the school as the new Defense Against The Dark Arts teacher, Harry is instantly repulsed by the kind of person Lockhart is; relishing fame and being too full of himself, traits Harry clearly does not approve of. Then, comes the mysterious attacks against Muggle-borns by someone who has re-opened Salazar Slytherin’s Chamber of Secrets.
As the year moves forward, people begin suspecting it is Harry who attacks everyone because he can speak Parseltongue (snake language). Harry learns, the hard way, who his real friends are at the time, and how to cope with people talking behind your back, which readers and viewers can probably identify with (having gone through similar situations at least once in their lifetime). Harry becomes stronger, and much braver. In both story versions, he enters the Chamber of Secrets alone after Ron gets stuck with Gilderoy inside one corner of the chamber. Harry knows there is a Basilisk ahead, yet that does not stop him. It is in the Chamber of Secrets where Harry demonstrates where his true loyalties lie; with Albus Dumbledore. He defends Dumbledore’s name by standing up to Tom Riddle (Voldemort). Harry exclaimed to Tom; “[Albus Dumbledore]’s not as gone as you might think!” (Rowling, 315). At this point, Fawkes the Phoenix appears to help Harry fight against the Basilisk.
One huge difference between the Chamber of Secrets novel and book is Tom Riddle’s explanation of how Ginny Weasley opened the Chamber of Secrets, and the aftermath of defeating the Heir of Slytherin.
In the novel, Tom explains Harry how Ginny opened the chamber. Tom said; “The diary. My diary. Little Ginny’s been writing in it for months and months, telling me all her pitiful worries and woes – how her brothers tease her, how she had to come to school with secondhand robes and books, how she didn’t think the famous, good, great Harry Potter would ever like her” (Rowling, 309). Tom continues on without remorse;
“If I say it myself, Harry, I’ve always been able to charm the people I needed. So Ginny poured out her soul to me, and her soul happened to be exactly what I wanted…I grew stronger and stronger on a diet of her deepest fears, her darkest secrets. I grew powerful, far more powerful than little Miss Weasley. Powerful enough to start feeding Miss Weasley a few of my secrets, to start pouring a little of my soul back into her…Haven’t you guessed yet Harry Potter? Ginny Weasley opened the Chamber of Secrets. ‘Dear Tom‘, he recited, watching Harry’s horrified face, ‘I think I’m losing my memory. There are rooster feathers all over my robes and I don’t know how they got there. Dear Tom, I can’t remember what I did on the night of Halloween…I think I’m the one attacking everyone, Tom!‘” (Rowling, 310).
The novel then describes Harry clenching his fists, his nails digging deeper into his palms out of anger and indignation at how Riddle laughed at Ginny’s most horrible moments 2.
The film, considering it only has about 2 hours and 30 minutes to tell the whole story, speeds up Tom’s explanation of how Ginny opened the Chamber of Secrets; “Yes Harry. It was Ginny Weasley who opened the Chamber of Secrets. It was Ginny who sent the Basilisk on the Mudbloods and Filch’s cat. Ginny who wrote the threatening messages on the walls.” Harry asked why and Riddle responded, “Because I told her to. You find I can be very, persuasive. Not that she knew what she was doing. She was, shall we say in a kind of trance? Still, the power of the diary began to scare her. She tried to dispose of it in the girls’ bathroom.” The viewer misses out on the detailed explanation of how Ginny and Tom’s interactions were throughout the events of Harry’s second school year. The reader, however, knows exactly why Ginny ended up being possessed by Tom. The diary was a Horcrux (part of Voldemort’s soul), that could only allow Tom’s soul out of the diary as long as Ginny kept writing about her soul into it. Thus, Tom was able to start possessing her little by little until he was finally outside the diary, something the movie greatly misses to explain thoroughly.
A second huge difference between the two story versions is the aftermath of the events. As Harry, Ron, Ginny, and Gilderoy Lockhart get out of the chamber with Fawkes’ help, all three of them go to the Headmaster’s office. They are immediately received by Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, Professor McGonagall, and Professor Dumbledore. Mrs. Weasley holds on tightly to Ginny, sobbing and asking how they managed to rescue Ginny. Then Harry starts telling them everything; how he kept hearing the disembodied voice in the walls, how Hermione realized it was a Basilisk, how he and Ron followed the spiders till they met Aragog, how that led to finding out the chamber was hidden in the girls bathroom on the second floor, Moaning Myrtle being the Muggle-born the Basilisk had killed 50 years ago, and Fawkes’ timely arrival with Godric Gryffindor’s sword.
Then, Harry, worried he would get Ginny in trouble if they did not believe Tom was controlling her through the diary, looks over at Dumbledore. Dumbledore, being an expert at reading minds, says, “What interests me most, is how Lord Voldemort managed to enchant Ginny, when my sources tell me he is currently in hiding in the forests of Albania” (Rowling, 328). Mr. and Mrs. Weasley then go on patronizing Ginny on why she trusted the diary in the first place. Mr. Weasley demands, “Haven’t I taught you anything? What have I always told you? Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can’t see where it keeps its brain? Why didn’t you show the diary to me, or your mother? A suspicious object like that, it was clearly full of Dark Magic-” (Rowling, 329). Dumbledore intervenes by telling them that Ginny would not be punished, and needed to rest after the huge ordeal, because “older and wiser wizards than she have been hoodwinked by Lord Voldemort” (Rowling, 330). In the film, this reunion is skipped over and we are immediately taken to the scene where Harry and Ron are rewarded for saving the school from the Chamber of Secrets.
This helped set forth the events that follow afterward; Ginny Weasley became a much braver, fierce, and outspoken woman, strong enough to even start talking to Harry Potter, whom she had a huge crush on ever since she met him, and had had a hard time speaking directly to him before these events. Likewise, Harry was able to gain Ginny as a friend and get to know her better for who she really is.
Sirius Black’s Influence on Harry Potter
Very sadly, Harry did not grow up with his mother and father. Voldemort killed them on October 31, 1981, when Harry was one year old. Since Harry was a baby during this tragic event, there were many things he did not know that had happened that night, nor who were his closest family friends. One of them was that he had a godfather, named Sirius Black.
Unfortunately for Harry, he found out about Sirius Black precisely when Black escaped from Azbakan prison during his third year at Hogwarts. In both novel and film, Harry was given a worldwide lie about Sirius; he overheard Professor McGonagall conversing with Cornelius Fudge and Madam Rosmerta, that Sirius had helped kill Harry’s parents by telling Voldemort their secret hideout at Godric’s Hollow. It was also wrongly stated that after Voldemort’s downfall, Sirius went back to Godric’s Hollow to try and finish the job (i.e., kill Harry), but was met by Peter Pettigrew and murdered him along with twelve other people. This was all due to nobody knowing that James and Lily Potter switched their Secret Keeper at the last minute. They made Peter Pettigrew their Secret Keeper, instead of sticking with Sirius, even hiding this change from Albus Dumbledore. This led to their deaths, as Peter Pettigrew was the actual traitor who sold Lily and James Potter to Voldemort. Once Harry, Ron, and Hermione finally confront Sirius in the Shrieking Shack, Harry finds out the truth.
In Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban, one very important explanation is glossed over in the film. How did Professor Lupin know how to find Harry and co. in the Shrieking Shack? In the book; Harry questions Lupin, “If you haven’t been helping [Sirius], how did you know he was here?” To which Lupin answers, “The map, the Marauder’s Map. I was in my office examining it – of course I know how to work it, I helped write it. I’m Moony – that was my friends’ nickname for me at school.” “You wrote – ?” Harry exclaimed in surprise. “The important thing is, I was watching it carefully this evening because I had an idea that you, Ron, and Hermione might try and sneak out of the castle to visit Hagrid before his hippogriff was executed. And I was right, wasn’t I? You might have been wearing your father’s old cloak, Harry – the number of times I saw James disappearing under it. The point is, even if you’re wearing an Invisibility Cloak, you still show up on the Marauder’s Map. I watched you cross the grounds and enter Hagrid’s hut. Twenty minutes later, you left Hagrid, and set off back towards the castle. But you were now accompanied by somebody else. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I thought the map must be malfunctioning. How could he be with you?” (Rowling, 347). After Harry yells at him that no one else was with them, Lupin exclaims he saw yet another dot on the map containing the name “Sirius Black”. Lupin then asks to see the Ron’s pet rat, Scabbers. Lupin says quietly “He’s a wizard,” and Black declares, “An Animagus, by the name of Peter Pettigrew” (Rowling, 348).
Professor Lupin explains,
“Everyone thought Sirius killed Peter. I believed it myself – until I saw the map tonight. Because the Marauder’s Map never lies…Peter’s alive. Ron’s holding him, Harry…The Shrieking Shack was never haunted…The screams and howls the villagers used to hear were made by me. That’s where all of this starts – with my becoming a werewolf. None of this could have happened if I hadn’t been bitten…and if I hadn’t been so foolhardy…I was a very small boy when I received the bite. My parents tried everything, but in those days there was no cure. The potion Professor Snape has been making for me is a very recent discovery. It makes me safe, you see. As long as I take it in the week preceding the full moon, I keep my mind when I transform…I am able to curl up in my office, a harmless wolf, and wait for the moon to wane again” (Rowling, 353).
As Lupin keeps explaining, Harry soon learns that Dumbledore planted the Whomping Willow so that Lupin could use it once a month, when he transformed into a werewolf. Lupin was to go inside the Whomping Willow, through a tunnel leading to the Shrieking Shack. In addition, Lupin’s closest friends at Hogwarts were James Potter, Sirius Black, and Peter Pettigrew, all of whom chose to become Animagi to accompany Lupin during his worst time of the month as a werewolf. This adds up to Lupin revealing that Sirius is Padfoot, Peter is Wormtail, and James was Prongs. These are crucial pieces of information that the viewer is not told, and if she/he did not read the book, there is no way they would know why/how Lupin knew how to use the Marauder’s Map in the first place. In terms of character development, Harry is able to learn more about his father’s life, helping him tie character traits to his father’s personality and see how similar he actually is to his father when it comes to rule-breaking.
This also helps explain how Ron’s rat, Scabbers, is actually Peter Pettigrew. First, how Peter is a rat. Second, Sirius begins to explain his side of the story now and how he knew where Peter Pettigrew was. Sirius saw Peter on Ron’s shoulder in the Daily Prophet‘s front page, missing a finger. Sirius explains, “Just before he transformed, when I cornered him, he yelled for the whole street to hear that I’d betrayed Lily and James. Then, before I could curse him, he blew apart the street with the wand behind his back, killed everyone within twenty feet of himself – and sped down into the sewer with the other rats” (Rowing, 363). Lupin confirms to them that the biggest bit of Peter they found was his finger. Sirius then emphasizes if Ron had not ever wondered why Scabbers had been living for twelve long years, also declaring that Hermione’s cat, Crookshanks, had actually been trying to bring Peter to him this whole time, because the cat knew who Peter really was 3. These additional pieces of information, however long, are necessary to the story’s plot and were skipped completely in the third film.
From then on, Harry’s family begins to grow, which is very crucial for his upcoming years. Harry was even the happiest he had felt since he found out he was a wizard, seeing a ray of hope in the possibility of being able to leave the Dursleys, and live with his godfather, Sirius. As for any young adult, it was crucial for Harry to have someone else he can confide to outside of Hogwarts besides Ron and Hermione, even Dumbledore. He needed someone he could look up to as a parent figure, with whom he would not feel alone or worried he would be judged. Knowing the truth behind his parents’ deaths not only helped make Harry a stronger and wiser person, but also helped him gain two more allies; a family friend, Remus Lupin, and a Godfather, Sirius Black.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, there are key points skipped over in the film’s version as well. For example, the beginning of the book begins by explaining how all three Riddles in Little Hangleton had showed up dead one morning with no sign of illness in their autopsies. These three Riddles happened to be Voldemort’s father, Tom Riddle Senior, and his paternal grandparents. The novel describes the Riddles as rich, snobbish, and rude. This is significant, since Voldemort uses his father’s bones to resurrect himself at the end of the film. A little after, in both novel and film, it is shown that Harry dreams/sees Voldemort killing the old Muggle caretaker of the Riddle House. Harry, feeling extremely worried over what he had dreamed, wonders if it actually happened, then decides to send a letter to Sirius Black explaining his concern. Harry has a parental figure he can confide in, which helps elevate a huge weight off himself.
Next, comes the invitation Mr. and Mrs. Weasley send to Harry Potter over the summer to attend the Quidditch World Cup. Uncle Vernon, frightened of Harry’s “serial killer” Godfather, decides to accept the Weasleys into his home to pick up Harry for the event. In the novel, the Weasley twins give Dudley Dursley Ton-Tongue Toffee, which may serve as retribution for bullying Harry for so many years. The Dursleys do not even make an appearance in the fourth film. It would have been good to witness the Dursleys seeing how much Harry means to other people, so much that they were willing to pick him up to take him to a grand tournament, and bother Dudley as well.
Dobby the Elf also appears in Harry’s fourth year at Hogwarts, but he does not appear in the film either. Dobby is now working at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry as a cook, and is even demanding fair wage for his services. In this book, it is revealed to readers that house-elves are the ones working in the school kitchens, as well as other household tasks. They make food magically appear for students and teachers alike by placing it on the roof of the kitchens and having them flip over to the tables in the Great Hall 4. They also do all the cleaning around the magical school, without pay. This motivates Hermione Granger to begin advocating for magical creatures by starting an organization abbreviated S.P.E.W. (The Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare). Furthermore, Dobby is also the one to provide gillyweed to Harry Potter for the second task in the Triwizard Tournament, and not Neville Longbottom as in shown in the movie. Had Dobby made an appearance in the fourth film, it would have helped show how loyal and grateful he is to Harry after Harry liberated him from the Malfoy family. It would have also demonstrated how well Harry and Dobby got along with each other after Harry’s second year at Hogwarts.
During the third and final task of the Triwizard Tournament, Harry, Cedric, Viktor, and Fleur had to face all sorts of magical creatures, riddles, and duels. Harry, for instance, had to solve a riddle a Sphinx presented to him. In the movie, however, none of these obstacles in the maze happen. Instead, the viewer sees how the maze itself is alive and presents natural obstacles for these champions.
Winky the House-Elf is a key character to the story, who is not presented at all in the fourth film. Winky indirectly helps in the resurrection of Voldemort. She is the faithful servant of the Crouch family, who helps Barty Crouch Jr. survive just long enough for him to help Lord Voldemort rise again. As Crouch Jr. is revealed to have impersonated Mad-Eye Moody during Harry’s entire fourth year at Hogwarts, in the book, he explains to Dumbledore, Harry, Professors McGonagall and Snape how he escaped from Azkaban prison. Through the use of Veritaserum and in front of Winky, he declared, “My mother saved me. She knew she was dying. She persuaded my father to rescue me [from Azkaban prison] as a last favor to [her]. He loved her as he had never loved me. He agreed.” (Rowling, 684). Then, Barty Crouch Jr. began to describe more details of what he did after he escaped Azkaban prison, while Winky kept telling him not to say anything else. Crouch Jr. said, “When I had recovered my strength, I thought only of finding my master [Lord Voldemort]…[My father subdued me through] the Imperius Curse, I was under my father’s control. I was forced to wear an Invisibility Cloak day and night. I was always with the house-elf. She was my keeper and caretaker. She pitied me. She persuaded my father to give me occasional treats. Rewards for my good behavior” (Rowling, 685).
Albus Dumbledore then asks who else knew of Barty Crouch Jr.’s liberation, to which he replied a woman named Bertha Jorkins. She had gone to the Crouch family house for Crouch Sr. to sign something, and accidentally saw Crouch Jr. Then, Crouch Sr. realized their mistake and put a very powerful memory charm on her. Bertha Jorkins was a Ministry official who was also omitted from the film’s script. Crouch Jr. continued to explain how he had been at the Top Box with Winky the night of the Quidditch World Cup, and stolen Harry’s wand. He used it to conjure the Dark Mark. At this point, Crouch Sr. realized what happened and let go of his elf, Winky, blaming her for his son’s misbehavior and the danger of him almost escaping. This led her to work in the Hogwarts’ kitchens with Dobby (where she tended to get herself drunk out of punishment for being let go by her master). Crouch Jr. then happily confessed how one night soon after, Lord Voldemort and Wormtail went to their home looking for him and placed his father under the Imperius Curse. Voldemort found out Barty Crouch Jr. was still alive because he met Bertha Jorkins in Albania, and extracted that piece of information from her memory. Of course, Bertha Jorkins was murdered by Voldemort soon afterward.
After Dumbledore, Harry, and the rest find out the truth about how Harry Potter ended up in the graveyard with Voldemort, Dumbledore takes Harry to his office to meet with Sirius Black and talk to Harry in private. This is another significant difference omitted from the movies; Albus Dumbledore knew of the communication between Sirius Black and Harry Potter, and recognized Sirius as his guardian (note: which is why Harry was allowed to go to Hogsmeade after Prisoner of Azkaban). Sirius was always deeply concerned for Harry, and one way he demonstrated being a worthy father-figure was when Dumbledore asked Harry to repeat everything that happened after he touched the Portkey, to which Sirius responded, “We can leave that till morning, can’t we, Dumbledore?” He put a hand on Harry’s shoulder stating, “Let him have a sleep. Let him rest” (Rowling, 694). Harry described how deeply grateful he was for Sirius, but of course, Dumbledore stated he had to explain no matter what. When Harry explained how Wormtail had cut his arm for blood, Sirius was outraged.
Once Harry got to the part where his parents reemerged from Voldemort’s wand, and Cedric asked if he could take his body back to Hogwarts, Harry could no longer speak, and Sirius had his face in his hands. This is one of the most memorable character developments for both Harry Potter and Sirius Black. Harry is forced to grow up in a drastic, and yet another tragic way, dueling Lord Voldemort and bringing Cedric’s body back to Hogwarts. It shows how pure of heart Harry is, always doing the best he can. It also demonstrates how Sirius matured to be a loving parent-figure for Harry, and gives readers the treat of seeing Harry treated with care by a family member for once. Sirius is a parent-figure Harry really needed throughout his entire life, and this emotional and significant scene is not shown in the fourth film. It would have been beautiful to see this play out in the film, but film time can only carry for so long (although Titanic and Avatar did go over the usual 2 hours and 30 minutes, which raises the question of why not Harry Potter as well).
In the novel, Harry is then taken to the hospital wing where Ron, Hermione, Bill, and Mrs. Weasley are all waiting for him. Dumbledore orders them not to question him and let him sleep, and Madam Pomfrey to allow Sirius (in dog form because remember; only Ron, Hermione, and Dumbledore know Sirius is innocent up until this point), to guard Harry. After Harry falls asleep, he wakes up a short time afterwards to witness the parting of the ways between Albus Dumbledore and Cornelius Fudge. Professor McGonagall had entered with them looking outraged, and explained to Dumbledore how Fudge had taken a Dementor with him to see Barty Crouch Jr. The Dementor immediately sucked out Barty Crouch Jr.’s soul. Professors Dumbledore and McGonagall were furious beyond recognition, and could not believe their ears when Fudge explained that he did it for his own safety, and did not believe Barty Crouch Jr. was acting on Voldemort’s orders. He even goes so far as to say that Harry is crazy and Voldemort cannot be back, because it would deteriorate his perfect world order. Dumbledore tells him he is blinded by his love of power and the office he holds, and will lose if he does not act now against Lord Voldemort. It would have been undoubtedly helpful to the common viewer to have seen this scene, because it helps explains what happened to Barty Crouch Jr. after he is left with Snape in Moody’s office, and why/how deeply arrogant and selfish Fudge is. The fifth film that follows does not explain what happened to Barty Crouch Jr.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, we see Harry deal with the consequences of not having Fudge’s support, plus having no other witness testify what happened the night Cedric Diggory died. Even with Ron and Hermione, he feels very alone, and only trusts his Godfather to confide in.
The way the Dursleys confronted Harry when Dudley is attacked by a Dementor is somewhat different between the two versions. In the book, Uncle Vernon ordered Harry to leave the house because he has had it with him, and does not want Voldemort coming after them because of Harry. Aunt Petunia immediately received a Howler from Albus Dumbledore, telling her to “remember [his] last” (Rowling, 40). Dumbledore was referring to the agreement she had made with him about Harry staying in her household because her blood was the only protection that could truly help Harry in the meantime, until he became of age. This character plot emphasized the importance of family and, whether one likes their family member or not, how much they can truly help you in times of great peril.
When Harry finally met up with Ron and Hermione shortly afterwards, in the novel, he lost complete control of himself and yelled at them,
“SO YOU HAVEN’T BEEN IN MEETINGS, BIG DEAL! YOU’VE STILL BEEN HERE, HAVEN’T YOU? YOU’VE STILL BEEN TOGETHER! ME, I’VE BEEN STUCK AT THE DURSLEYS FOR A MONTH! AND I’VE HANDLED MORE THAN YOU TWO’VE EVER MANAGED AND DUMBLEDORE KNOWS IT – WHO SAVED THE SORCERER’S STONE? WHO GOT RID OF RIDDLE? WHO SAVED BOTH YOUR SKINS FROM THE DEMENTORS? WHO HAD TO GET PAST DRAGONS AND SPHINXES AND EVERY OTHER FOUL THING LAST YEAR? WHO SAW HIM COME BACK? WHO HAD TO ESCAPE FROM HIM? ME! BUT WHY SHOULD I KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON?” (Rowling, 66).
This is a side of Harry’s character that is greatly missed in films. Loyal readers of the Harry Potter franchise know Harry can definitely lose his mind and nerve, and let resentment and sensitivity get the better of him sometimes. He is, after all, only human. Of course he would react angrily and frustrated if he is let out of plans and action against Voldemort. Voldemort is always trying to kill him after all, and Harry will not stand for being left out. One cannot blame him since he was left out for the first eleven years of his life from the Wizarding world, where he belongs. In addition, the entire scene above may also showcase Harry’s unconscious resentment that everything always happened to him. The movies showcase a much more tamed Harry, where we see that in the fifth film, Harry said in a much more annoyed, rather than angry way, “So what is this place?…You couldn’t have put any of this in your letters, I suppose? I’ve gone all summer without a scrap of news…Dumbledore said [not to tell me anything?] But why would he want to keep me in the dark, maybe I could help? After all, I’m the one who saw Voldemort return.”
One explanation that was not shown in the fifth film was the reason why Percy Weasley was happily working for Cornelius Fudge when Fudge tried to arrest Albus Dumbledore. In the book, when Harry first arrives to No. 12 Grimmauld Place, Ron explained to him how Fudge put Percy in his office because he probably wanted someone to spy on the Weasley family, since Arthur Weasley was so close to Dumbledore. Ron stated; “[Percy] went completely berserk, He said – well, he said loads of terrible stuff. He said he’s been having to struggle with dad’s lousy reputation ever since he joined the Ministry and that Dad’s got no ambition and that’s why we’ve always been – you know – not had a lot of money” (Rowling, 72). Percy Weasley’s obnoxious character changed throughout the novels, and was glossed over in films.
Rita Skeeter made another appearance during Harry’s fifth year at Hogwarts (not shown in film). Hermione actually discovered during their fourth year, that Rita was an unregistered Animagus, a beetle. This enabled her to write about some of Harry’s personal things with a twist in the previous year, for the Daily Prophet. During their fifth year though, Hermione forced her to write a truthful article for Luna Lovegood’s The Quibbler, interviewing Harry about what truly happened the night Cedric Diggory died. This allowed everyone to decide for themselves who they wanted to believe; Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore or Cornelius Fudge 5. In the movie, Rita’s truthful article (finally) is replaced with Seamus Finnigan simply telling Harry that it is the Daily Prophet that is rubbish because it could not give a good explanation as to how Bellatrix Lestrange and other Death Eaters escaped from Azkaban. The omitted scene shows how much braver still Harry had become throughout the years, since he dared talk about one of his most life-threatening and sad moments to the world. It would have been great character growth to show on Harry’s part, because he is not someone who easily opens up to everyone.
Another major change from the fifth book was how little we saw of Harry Potter and Cho Chang’s relationship. In the novel, on Valentine’s Day (after their first kiss in the Room of Requirement), Harry and Cho went to Hogsmeade to spend the day together. Harry was very self-conscious about himself and had no clue what he and Cho were going to talk about. As they left the castle, they grinned shiftily but did not really talk. Cho spoke first to break the silence, asking him if he really missed Quidditch, and if he remembered when they first played against each other in their third year at Hogwarts (something else omitted from Prisoner of Azkaban). Talking about Quidditch helped Harry feel more at ease talking to her. However, Pansy Parkinson and other Slytherin girls made fun of them, even telling Cho that “at least Diggory was good-looking” (Rowling, 558), which left an embarrassing silence between them. This showed how Harry was just beginning to learn about the difficulties of a relationship; how to deal with others’ opinion. One very wise thing Cho told Harry as they reached Hogsmeade was; “It’s funny, isn’t it? Remember when that Sirius Black escaped, and there were Dementors all over Hogsmeade looking for him? And now ten Death Eaters are on the loose and there aren’t Dementors anywhere…” Readers got to see how insightful Cho’s character was.
Soon afterwards, Cho lead Harry into Madam Puddifoot’s, which was decorated with frills and bows, far from Harry’s tastes. Harry lied to her saying that it was cute. It was obvious that Harry and Cho’s idea of a nice date was completely different. Cho loves cute atmospheres, while Harry does not. As Harry sat down, he noticed the Ravenclaw Quidditch Captain, Roger Davies, holding hands with his girlfriend, along with other couples kissing, which made him uncomfortable. Harry and Cho spend a few awkward moments not really talking. Then, Harry, with such minimal experience in relationships, asked Cho if she wanted to meet Hermione Granger later that day at the Three Broomsticks (this was to meet with Rita Skeeter and publicly say everything that happened the night Voldemort returned). Cho, of course, took this the wrong way. Just when Harry wanted to grab her hand, she started telling him how Roger Davies had asked her out weeks ago and how she and Cedric had been there before. Harry, rightfully, gets icy cold and cannot believe she would say both things in the middle of their date. Cho then tells Harry that she needs to talk about Cedric, and demands why he will talk to Hermione about it but not to her. After Cho burst into tears and ran out the restaurant, Harry stated; “Women! What did she want to talk about Cedric for anyway? Why does she always want to drag up a subject that makes her act like a human hosepipe?” (Rowling, 563).
Cho is clearly more experienced at dating than Harry is. While it is understandable she would be jealous at Harry mentioning to meet up with Hermione, she could have tried asking Harry for the reasons behind this request. Harry, on the other hand, could have also made it clear he was not interested in Hermione, but alas, it was only his first date. Cho was only thinking of her sadness over Cedric, and was clearly not ready to date anyone just yet when Cedric had died recently. It would have been great to see this scene on screen, because it would have shown more of Harry’s romantic development. Eventually, it is mentioned in the book that Cho begins to date fellow Ravenclaw Michael Corner, which is extremely ironic, because Ginny Weasley dated Michael Corner right before Cho did. Evidently, it was not Harry and Cho’s time to date.
At the end of their fifth year, Harry saw a vision of Voldemort torturing his Godfather, Sirius Black. He immediately goes to Umbridge’s fireplace to confirm if Sirius is at the Department of Mysteries. Unlike the film, the novel explains how Harry managed to use the Floo network to appear at Sirius’s fireplace. Harry yelled Sirius’s name, only to find Kreacher lurking there. “Where’s Sirius, Kreacher? Where’s he gone?,” Harry desperately yelled (Rowling, 740). Kreacher then lied to Harry, telling him that no one was in the house and that “Master [Sirius] will not come back from the Department of Mysteries!” (Rowling, 741). This changed everything for Harry. He believed Kreacher, who, unfortunately, was lying. The reason Kreacher lied to Harry was because Sirius Black was never nice to Kreacher. Bellatrix Lestrange, having once lived there and treated Kreacher in the nicest manners, manipulated Kreacher with affection and praise, ordering him to lie for her Dark Lord, Voldemort. Kreacher, hungry for love, willingly followed her orders. Had Sirius been nicer to Kreacher, Kreacher may have said the truth, that Sirius had never left Grimmauld Place.
Department of Mysteries
Bellatrix Lestrange vs. Sirius Black
As Harry, Ginny, Hermione, Ron, Luna, and Neville go to the Department of Mysteries, they actually face a room that constantly moves them to one section of the department at random, in the novel. Death Eaters are constantly trying to locate them, hence the room moves back and forth. Once Death Eaters and Harry and co. are in the same room (containing the veil), the fight begins. It is different than the fight we see in film. For one, Bellatrix Lestrange actually used the Cruciatus Curse on Neville in an attempt to get Harry to hand over the prophecy. Ron was attacked by tentacula, Ginny broke her ankle, etc. In addition, once Sirius, Lupin, Mad-Eye Moody, Tonks and Kingsley arrived to help save them, Macnair tried to choke Harry to get the prophecy. Sirius did not immediately land in front of Harry as is shown in film. To free himself, Harry jabbed Hermione’s wand in Macnair’s eyehole to fight him off. It is then described how Sirius passes by, dueling another Death Eater so fiercely that their wands were a blur. As Harry backed away, he saw Mad-Eye Moody’s spinning eye on the floor with Mad-Eye Moody laying down, covered in blood. Dolohov had been the one to knock him down, and just as Dolohov was about to attack Harry, Sirius hit him with physical force and began dueling against him. Then, Tonks is seen falling down a pair of steps as Bellatrix conquered the duel between them and was trying to kill her. Sirius then ran towards Bellatrix willing to duel her.
While Harry and Neville tried to leave the Department of Mysteries together, Dumbledore arrived, quite furious and began to tie up all the Death Eaters he saw, one by one. There was only one duel that continued, however, and that was between Sirius Black and Bellatrix Lestrange. During the duel between them, Sirius laughed as a jet of red light missed him, “Come on, you can do better than that!” The second jet of light hit him squarely on the chest. In the book, it is written how the laughter had not died quite from his face, but his eyes widened in shock. It seemed to take Sirius an age to fall. He sank backward through the ragged veil hanging from the arch, with Harry seeing the look of mingled fear and surprise as Sirius fell through the ancient doorway and disappeared behind the veil.
Sirius Black’s death is completely different in the film. There, we see him fighting alongside Harry against Lucius Malfoy and another Death Eater. Sirius even got to throw a punch at Lucius (Yes! Lucius deserved it long ago), and ordered him not to get near his Godson, Harry. This is a memorable moment for both Harry and fans, because Harry rarely had any adult stand up for him and defend him. Sirius was the only parent-figure Harry truly had. In addition, it was a very sweet treat to see Harry and Sirius dueling side by side, in a father-and-son type of way.
As Sirius successfully overpowered Malfoy and laughed in celebration, Bellatrix Lestrange striked him by surprise with the killing curse, Avada Kedavra, killing him instantly in the middle of his laugh and causing him to fall inside the mysterious veil. This is one of the most memorable scenes in all of the Harry Potter film franchise. It may even be far more powerful and emotional than the slower-paced scene we got from the book when Sirius duels Bellatrix, because in the film, she striked him just when all seemed well and he and Harry were having a great time of celebration.
In the novel, Dumbledore attempted to stop Bellatrix from escaping, but Bellatrix deflected his spell (showing how skilled she is at dueling, being able to deflect the greatest wizard of all time). Harry yelled after Bellatrix, “SHE KILLED SIRIUS! SHE KILLED HIM – I’LL KILL HER!” This demonstrated how heart-broken Harry was over Sirius’ death, he actually wanted to finish her off himself. He ran towards her (just like in the movie), and attempted to use the Cruciatus curse on her. She yelled at him, “You need to mean them, Potter! You need to really want to cause pain – to enjoy it – righteous anger won’t hurt me for long – I’ll show you how it is done, shall I? I’ll give you a lesson – ” (Rowling, 810). As Bellatrix and Harry briefly dueled, Bellatrix demanded Harry to give her the prophecy, and Harry happily told her that he broke it by accident. Bellatrix demonstrated fear and screamed that Harry was lying. Then, she pleaded to Voldemort not to punish her. Harry felt pain in his scar as Voldemort got extremely angry that the prophecy was broken, and Harry yelled “He can’t hear you from here!” (Rowling, 812). Voldemort answered “Can’t I, Potter?,” and appeared before them inside the Ministry of Magic.
Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore vs. Lord Voldemort/Tom Riddle
Harry was shocked by Voldemort’s appearance. Voldemort told Bellatrix he would deal with her later, and told Harry, “I have nothing more to say to you, Potter, you have irked me too often, for too long. AVADA KEDAVRA!” (Rowling, 813). Harry did not have time to resist, but was saved by a golden wizard statue, summoned by Albus Dumbledore. Voldemort breathed, “Dumbledore!”. Everyone knows Albus Dumbledore is the only one Voldemort ever feared, and it is no surprise he was quite shocked and unhappy to see him at Harry’s side. Voldemort then sent a jet of green light towards Dumbledore, who with a whirl of his cloak, disappeared. Dumbledore then reappeared and had the statues come to life, with the witch statue running at Bellatrix and pinning her down to the floor (Bellatrix screaming and uselessly hit the statue’s chest with a spell). The centaur statue dragged Harry away from the fight, and Dumbledore stated, “It was foolish to come here tonight, Tom. The Aurors are on their way.” Voldemort replied, “By which time I shall be gone, and you dead!” Voldemort actually sent a killing curse at Dumbledore, but missed, and hit a desk that burst into flames. Voldemort then created a shining silver shield to block Dumbledore’s spells. Voldemort challenged Dumbledore (possibly to try and intimidate him) by telling him, “You do not seek to kill me, Dumbledore? Above such brutality, are you?” (Rowling, 814). Dumbledore replied, “Indeed, your failure to understand that there are things much worse than death has always been your greatest weakness.” As the fight continued, the centaur took a hit of the killing curse for Dumbledore and shattered.
As one can see, the duel between Albus Dumbledore and Tom Riddle is quite different in both versions. There is more dialogue between them in the novel’s fight, demonstrating what kind of person they both are. Albus understands that living life without love and happiness out of the simple things in life is far worse than death, which he knows is Voldemort’s greatest weakness.
In both novel and film, Voldemort saw that he could not defeat Dumbledore, so he possesses Harry’s mind and body. He challenged Dumbledore to kill him through Harry. Harry, blinded by the pain he cannot endure much longer, thought; “Let the pain stop…let him kill us…end it, Dumbledore…Death is nothing compared to this…And I’ll see Sirius again…” (Rowling, 816). As Harry’s heart filled with emotion, Voldemort’s grip loosened and he leaves Harry’s body.
This is a slight difference from the movie, where the viewer sees how Harry, seeing Ron and Hermione standing near him, caused him to remember all the great times he’s had with them, as well as Sirius and other people he loves. We see a series of flashbacks to the best moments Harry’s had with them, which, in my opinion, are much more powerful and moving than Harry longing to see Sirius once more. As someone who grew up with Harry Potter and co., it is beautiful to see their happiest moments together, and how much they have grown since then. In the film, Harry tells Voldemort one of the most iconic quotes of all time in the entire Harry Potter series, “You’re the weak one, and you’ll never know love or friendship. And I feel sorry for you.”
Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley
It is during Harry’s fifth year when he begins to go through the typical teenage experience that involves romance and heartbreak all together. As mentioned earlier, he is only just beginning to know what it is like to date, and how girls may react in certain situations.
Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley became very good friends after the incidents of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Ginny lost her shyness around Harry and moved forward with her school work. During his fifth year, Harry began to hear a lot about Ginny going out on dates with other boys. This demonstrated Ginny’s confidence boost and left out any awkwardness between them. In the books, Ginny Weasley had actually become a fiercer, independent, strong-spirited, and intelligent young woman as she grew older, something the movies skipped over. She became the woman who Harry loves.
In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry’s romantic feelings for Ginny began to blossom little by little 6. When they boarded the Hogwarts Express for his sixth year at Hogwarts, Harry made his way towards Ginny while dragging his trunk. Harry went so far as to tap her and asked, “Fancy trying to find a compartment?” (Rowling, 136). Ginny replied she could not because she was going to meet Dean Thomas (another 6th year Gryffindor). Harry actually stated he was annoyed at this, because he had gotten so used to having her as part of their group over the past summer, that he had almost forgotten she did not hang out with them during the school year. During the summer, Ginny actually spoke out more, even making Harry laugh a couple of times. One of the most memorable moments of laughter she caused for readers was when she called Fleur Delacour “Phlegm”, because Fleur was living in the Weasley household due to her engagement to Bill Weasley (another thing skipped over in the sixth film). As one compares Ginny to Cho, one can tell Ginny caused Harry many more happy times (e.g., laughter) than Cho, whom Harry easily remembered as crying and thinking often about Cedric Diggory. It may not be a huge surprise that Harry found Ginny attractive, considering how many sad and bad experiences he has had in life.
Later on during the year, Harry had no choice but to choose Dean Thomas as a Gryffindor Chaser (not shown in film), since Katie Bell had been poisoned by Draco Malfoy. This helped boost Harry’s jealousy towards Dean. During one of their Quidditch practices, Ron accidentally hit another Gryffindor Chaser named Demelza. Ginny called Ron a “prat” and Harry said, “Don’t call Ron a prat, you’re not the captain of this team,” (Rowling, 286). Ginny responded, “Well, you seemed too busy to call him a prat and I thought someone should.” Harry wanted to laugh at this but held it in. This is another example of how easily Ginny could make Harry laugh.
Once they were about to change back into their school robes, Harry and Ron found Dean and Ginny locked in a close embrace and kissing fiercely as though glued together. Rowling described Harry’s feelings; “It was as though something large and scaly erupted into life in Harry’s stomach, clawing at his insides: Hot blood seemed to flood his brain, so that all thought was extinguished, replaced by a savage urge to jinx Dean into a jelly. Wrestling with this sudden madness, he heard Ron’s voice as though from a great distance” (Rowling, 286). Ron interrupted them (of course), and yelled he did not want to see Ginny snogging someone in public, while Dean gave Harry a shifty grin. Harry did not return it, “as the newborn monster inside him was roaring for Dean’s instant dismissal from the team.” The argument between Ron and Ginny got extremely intense, to the point that Ron tried hexing Ginny. Harry shielded Ginny by standing in front of her with his arms outstretched. As they headed back upstairs, Harry kept telling himself, “It’s just because she’s Ron’s sister. You just didn’t like seeing her kissing Dean because she’s Ron’s sister…” (Rowling, 289). However, soon after he began to imagine himself kissing Ginny, completely alone. This showed Harry’s emotional state developing, where he began to realize that he saw Ginny as more than a friend.
Harry began to think to himself; “his feelings for Ginny were entirely elderly-brotherly. They had lived, had they not, like brother and sister all summer, playing Quidditch, teasing Ron, and having a laugh about Bill and Phlegm? He had known Ginny for years now…It was natural that he should feel protective…natural that he should want to look out for her…want to rip Dean limb from limb for kissing her…no…he would have to control that particular brotherly feeling…” (Rowling, 290). It was clear that Harry did not want to risk his friendship with Ron for anything (which shows how more of a loyal friend Harry was than Ron). If it were not for the books, we would not know in full detail how Harry felt about falling in love with Ginny Weasley. In the novel, he even goes so far as to dream about her in ways Ron would probably want to beat him up for, according to Harry.
In the film, Harry and Ginny’s first kiss takes place in the Room of Requirement. However, it is completely different (and far better in my opinion) in the novel. Their first kiss happens right after Gryffindor wins the Quidditch Cup against Ravenclaw (Ginny vs. Cho as Seekers; Ginny replaced Harry since Harry was in detention with Professor Snape). Once Harry returned to the Gryffindor Common Room, he saw a roar of celebration, realizing they won. Rowling wrote, “Harry looked around; there was Ginny running toward him; she had a hard, blazing look in her face as she threw her arms around him. And without thinking, without planning it, without worrying about the fact that fifty people were watching, Harry kissed her. After several long moments – they broke apart. The room had gone very quite” (Rowling, 533).
Harry sought Ron’s eyes and Ron jerked his head as if to say “If you must” to Harry, while Dean was enraged and Romilda Vane looked as if she wanted to throw something. Harry then took Ginny out for a stroll. Of course, everyone, particularly the girls, were interested in their new relationship. Rowling wrote that Harry “found himself newly and happily impervious to gossip over the next few weeks. After all, it made a very nice change to be talked about because of something that was making him happier than he could remember being for a very long time, rather than because he had been involved in horrific scenes of Dark Magic” (Rowling, 535). Harry and Ginny joked around between themselves quite easily, and even spent lunch time together by the lake. The reader can see that Harry is himself with Ginny, without worrying if she will judge him, unlike Cho, whom she seemed to only think about what she wanted and what she alone was feeling.
Readers know that Albus Dumbledore’s death scene is completely different in the sixth film. In the novel, as Dumbledore died there was a battle inside Hogwarts School; students and teachers vs. Death Eaters (way more Death Eaters than in the movie by the way). Death Eaters managed to get in because of Draco Malfoy’s completion of the Vanishing Cabinet. As Harry headed down the Astronomy Tower after Snape, he saw two bodies surrounded by blood on the floor, though he was not sure who they were. Then, he saw Amycus trying to use Crucio on Ginny, and he intervened just in time to save her. However, he did not stop chasing Snape soon after. After the battle, Harry cried over Dumbledore’s body and, in both versions of the story, it is Ginny who walks him back to the castle, away from Dumbledore’s body and consoles him. It is in this battle where Bill Weasley is attacked by werewolf Fenrir Greyback. Afterwards, Fleur Delacour stated she will still marry him even with his scars, to which Ginny said she will have to get used to them together then. Harry replied, “She’s not that bad…ugly though” (Rowling, 635), after seeing Ginny raise her eyebrows (out of jealousy). All of the events mentioned highlight how much Harry cares for Ginny’s feelings and vice-versa.
During Albus Dumbledore’s funeral (not shown on film), Ginny and Harry talked about their relationship. Harry told her, “Ginny, listen…I can’t be involved with you anymore. We’ve got to stop seeing each other. We can’t be together” (Rowling, 646). Ginny: “It’s for some stupid, noble reason, isn’t it?” (with an oddly twisted smile). Harry: “It’s been like…like something out of someone else’s life, these last few weeks with you. But I can’t, we can’t…I’ve got things to do alone now.” Ginny didn’t cry, looked at him, and he continued, “Voldemort uses people his enemies are close to. He’s already used you as bait once, and that was just because you’re my best friend’s sister. Think how much danger you’ll be in if we keep this up. He’ll know, he’ll find out. He’ll try and get me through you.” Then, Ginny fiercely asked him what if she did not care. Harry responded to her that he cares and would not be able to take it if it ended up being her funeral. Ginny then says one of the most impactful lines in the series, “I never really gave up on you. Not really. I always hoped…Hermione told me to get on with life, maybe go out with some other people, relax a bit around you, because I never used to be able to talk if you were in the room, remember? And she thought you might take a bit more notice if I was a bit more – myself” (Rowling, 647). Harry, amazed, told her Hermione is a smart girl. Next, Ginny confessed that she knew something like that would happen, and that maybe that is why she likes him so much. This scene shows how much they care for each other because of who they are, and how easily they can express how they feel towards each other. Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley were meant for each other, based on everything they have been through together.
Albus Dumbledore – The Greatest Sorcerer in the World
Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore is, without a doubt, one of Harry’s most trusted friends. However, there were many things Dumbledore kept from Harry. While he was alive, he did not really confide his personal life to Harry. They always talked about Harry. This is why in the seventh book, Harry has many questions over what Dumbledore’s life was like 7.
After Harry and Hermione barely escaped from Nagini’s attack in Godric’s Hollow, Harry is filled with fury at Dumbledore for not laying out a clear path for him to help destroy all of Voldemort’s Horcruxes. After their narrow escape, Hermione gives him Rita Skeeter’s book titled “The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore“, and Harry reads it to finally find out more about Dumbledore’s past before Hogwarts. Here; he finds out that Gellert Grindelwald was Albus Dumbledore’s best friend during his teenage years. Shortly after his mother died, Albus Dumbledore had recently left Hogwarts when he was at the peak of glory (e.g., Head Boy, Prefect, Winner of Barnabus Finkley Price for Exceptional Spell-Casting, British Youth Representative to the Wizengamot, etc.). Because of his mother’s death, he had to return straight home to take care of his siblings, Aberforth and Ariana Dumbledore, when he really wanted to travel the world with his devoted friend, Elphias Doge.
Movie-viewers will recall that Elphias Doge was briefly shown at Bill and Fleur’s wedding. He talked to Harry briefly, stating how people barely counted Aberforth when Dumbledore was alive, and Harry responded that he did not even know Dumbledore had a brother. This is as much information as the movie viewer gets about Elphias Doge. He is skimmed through in the film, compared to the book (which describes him in more detail). Even more so, we learn that Dumbledore’s father was sent to Azkaban for attacking the Muggles who assaulted Ariana Dumbledore. In Rita Skeeter’s book, it is also revealed that Bathilda Bagshot first met Dumbledore when she was impressed by his paper, published in Transfiguration Today. Bagshot, being the great-aunt of Gellert Grindelwald, introduces Grindelwald to Dumbledore. This is another piece of vital information that gets glossed over in the film, which would have helped explain how the Elder Wand ended up in Dumbledore’s possession. Both Albus and Gellert were strong believers of the Deathly Hallows, and believed only they were worthy of leading the world for “the greater good.”
However, Albus and Gellert had a huge fight later on. Gellert had arrived at the Dumbledore’s, where Aberforth lost it and yelled at Dumbledore that he could not leave to search for the Hallows because he had to take care of Ariana. A fight followed between the three, where, very sadly, Ariana was accidentally killed. It is not known who’s spell killed her, but Dumbledore never forgot what happened. In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, we saw him desperately pleading to someone (Grindelwald) not to hurt them (Ariana and Aberforth) while he is drinking the potion protecting Voldemort’s locket. His guilt never left him. Albus Dumbledore told Harry of the Ariana’s unfortunate death when we see them at King’s Cross Station (while Harry is in limbo between moving on or going back to finish off Voldemort). In the eighth film, it is completely unmentioned. They only talked about what Harry had accomplished.
In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, readers also learn that Dumbledore was trying to use the Resurrection Stone right before Harry’s sixth year started. This caused his death sentence even before Draco Malfoy began to plot how to kill him, on Voldemort’s orders. Dumbledore told Harry at King’s Cross Station;
“When I discovered it, after all those years, buried in the abandoned home of the Gaunts – the Hallow I had craved most of all, though in my youth I had wanted it for very different reasons – I lost my head, Harry. I quite forgot that it was a Horcrux, that the ring was sure to carry a curse. I picked it up, put it on, and for a second I imagined that I was about to see Ariana, and my mother, and my father, and to tell them how very, very sorry I was…I was such a fool, Harry. After all those years I had learned nothing. I was unworthy to unite the Deathly Hallows” (Rowling, 720).
Dumbledore told Harry that it was wrong of him to want to bring back those who are at peace, rather than self-sacrifice, as Harry did for all of those he loves at the Battle of Hogwarts (i.e., allowing Voldemort to kill him). “You are the true master of death, because the true master does not seek to run away from Death. He accepts that he must die, and understands that there are far, far worse things in the living world than dying,” (Rowling, 721) Dumbledore said to Harry.
As a reader of the Harry Potter series, one gets to know who Albus Dumbledore truly is. He started off as a man of great ambition, searching for glory and the Deathly Hallows in his younger years; the Elder Wand to become invincible, the Resurrection Stone to bring back his family, and the Cloak of Invisibility to complete the collection (he knew how to become invisible without a cloak). He had finished top of his year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and had to deal with the hardships of a wounded family, causing him to feel resentment and be selfish during his earlier years. After he is forced to fight against Gellert Grindelwald, the man he loved, he becomes selfless and decides that he is not meant to hold great power. He decides to fight for Muggles and Magical Creatures’ rights, something the love of his life would have never done. There is no doubt that it took great courage for Albus Dumbledore to fight against Gellert Grindelwald, which makes Albus Dumbledore a worthy Gryffindor.
Both film and novel introduce Hermione Granger into their lives quite similarly. The one difference is that when Harry first saw her in the Hogwarts Express, he described her as having “rather large front teeth.” In both versions, Ron and Hermione clash all the time, while Harry and Hermione have a much better understanding of each other. This helps set forth the rest of the trio’s adventures and decision-making. The films reenact the novels’ scenes between Harry and Hermione so well, that there is hardly any difference at all in their relationship between the two versions.
Hermione Granger is Harry Potter’s most loyal and caring friend. She has stuck by Harry’s side both emotionally and physically. Hermione became his best friend after he and Ron saved her from the mountain troll in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. She even took the blame for them by stating she had tried taking on the mountain Troll. When they entered their third year at Hogwarts, it was she who helped Harry rescue Sirius Black. Had it not been for her exceptionally brilliant mind, Harry may have messed up his past pretty badly when they were time-traveling. It was thanks to Hermione taking more than one class that Harry had a Time Turner to help save Sirius to begin with.
When Harry was unjustly accused by most of the school that he had put his name into the Goblet of Fire, even Ron, who claimed to be his best friend, left his side because of his jealousy. Hermione, on the other hand, stood by Harry’s side. As Harry was preparing for the first task, it was Hermione who stayed up late nights with him to train on the Summoning Spell, Accio, and firmly believed he had not placed his name into the Goblet of Fire. They were so close, that others began to question whether or not they were boyfriend and girlfriend. Reporter Rita Skeeter even made up a lie stating that Harry and Hermione were going out. This will further affect their relationship with Ronald Weasley.
In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Hermione even encouraged Harry to teach them how to duel against the Dark Arts, properly. Hermione firmly believes in Harry’s abilities, and Harry believes in hers, for in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, he declares to Professor Slughorn that Hermione is the best in their year. In addition, during their fifth year, Harry was looked upon wearily when he saw Arthur Weasley attacked by Nagini through the snake’s eyes. Harry moped during their holiday break by himself until Hermione knocked on his door one day and told him that he should not let the event get to him. This was changed in the film, where the viewer sees that Sirius managed to make Harry come back to his senses. Moreover, when Harry wanted to check Grimmauld Place to see if Sirius was still there, Hermione was concerned for this drastic and dangerous action, but supported him either way.
Harry and Hermione confided in each other whenever an issue occurred with either of their romantic interests. As stated earlier, when Harry and Cho had a rough Valentine’s Day due to Cho’s jealousy at Hermione, Hermione laughed at how Harry reacted and even gave him advice on how to handle the situation better next time. This is great to see, considering how Harry does not have a mother-figure to confide this to and needed all the love advice he could get (he certainly was not going to get it from Ron, because Ron could barely handle his own love life).
Once their sixth year began, Harry even began to notice how Hermione felt about Ron. When Hermione was devastated that Ron Weasley and Lavender Brown had kissed after a Quidditch match, Harry went after her and consoled her. The way he does so is a little different in both versions. In the novel, Lavender and Ron barged into an empty classroom Hermione had gone to and summoned twittering birds. Lavender, giggling, stepped out of the room. Ron stayed, and Hermione said, “You shouldn’t leave Lavender waiting outside. She’ll wonder where you’ve gone” (Rowling, 302). Then, she launched the birds to attack Ron. The movie showed this scene a bit differently, and for the better (in my opinion). Harry took a seat next to Hermione and allowed for her to rest her head on his shoulder and cry as much as she needed to do so. He even stayed willingly in this position as Lavender and Ron showed up and Ron asked what was going on. Hermione, a brave Gryffindor, got up and simply sent the birds to attack him.
When the trio headed off to find Lord Voldemort’s Horcruxes, Ron left them on their own. Ron may say he is Harry’s best friend, but that is the second time Ron left Harry’s side, allowing his jealousy to get the better of him. Hermione stayed with Harry even when Ron was obviously jealous of both of them being so close with one another. This demonstrated how strong and true Harry and Hermione’s bond is, even if it meant leaving Ron behind. When Ron returned, he and Harry destroyed the locket (Horcrux). Then, in the novel, Ron actually sobbed after the Horcrux revealed Ron’s worst fear; Harry and Hermione to become a couple. Harry told Ron that Hermione is like a sister to him. This scene would have shown how much Ron truly cared for Hermione had it been shown on screen.
While Harry and Hermione are alone in Godric’s Hollow, they visit Harry’s parents’ graves. This is one important significant moment in his life, since it is the first time he does so. Hermione is there for him, leaning on his shoulder for comfort, and even magically creating a wreath to leave on their resting place. Another important contribution she makes to Harry’s life is that it is she who saves him when Nagini is attacking them at Bathilda Bagshot’s home. Without Hermione, Harry may not have made it out of there alive. It is also she who realized that one way to destroy Horcruxes is with the sword of Godric Gryffindor.
One thing that helps tie Hermione and Harry together right from the start is their childhood. Both grew up with Muggles, and they know how it feels to enter the Wizarding world with a Muggle background. Also, they were both selfless, always taking others’ feelings into consideration (something Ron lacked greatly). During Christmas, they tended to give each other thoughtful gifts; Hermione gave Harry a Broomstick servicing kit while Harry gave her a new book to read. This is missed on screen, but there is enough interaction between them on film for their strong bond to be obvious to the viewer. Many fans have confessed their wish; that they hoped Hermione would have ended up with Harry Potter instead of Ronald Weasley. Given all the interactions between Harry and Hermione, one can see how they might have been destined to be together as well. However, that is a never-ending discussion that will be left for the reader/viewer to decide for themselves. Hermione is perhaps the second most important character in the whole series, because without her, Harry would not be where he is standing today.
Severus Snape – The Bravest Man We’ve Ever Known
Severus Snape is the bravest and most loyal man Harry has ever known. Initially, Severus Snape was a strong supporter of Lord Voldemort, being a Half-Blood himself, with very little, if any, paternal love. Snape’s father was a Muggle who constantly argued with his Witch mother. Severus grew up knowing Lily Potter, whom he met before starting their first school year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Snape wore oversized clothes when he was little, and was even made fun of by Petunia Dursley. When Harry entered Snape’s memories in Dumbledore’s Pensieve, he learned the true reason why Severus Snape always seemed to hate him.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows described how Lily Potter had not taken a liking to Severus Snape at first, due to him not being friendly to Petunia. It is a different beginning as shown in the movie, where we see Lily immediately intrigued by Snape, and even smiled at him. As Harry continued watching Snape’s memories (in the novel), we see that Lily and Severus had become good friends, with Snape even telling her what the Ministry of Magic is like. Then, Lily confessed her worry that Petunia had been saying Hogwarts was not real. Severus reassured her, and when Lily also declared she was worried that it made a difference whether you are Muggle-born or not, Severus said, “No, it doesn’t make any difference” (Rowling, 666). Lily even tried helping Severus out by asking him how things were at his house (i.e., if his parents are still fighting).
Later on, Severus witnessed the Evans family at platform 9 and 3/4, where Lily pleaded with her sister to forgive her for going to Hogwarts, and that she would ask Dumbledore herself if Petunia may also be allowed to attend. This is omitted from the movie, which would have helped viewers understand exactly why Petunia was always so mean to Harry Potter. It was not because she disliked magic. On the contrary, she heavily wished she could be a witch too.
Harry then sees that the first time James Potter and Severus Snape met was on the Hogwarts Express. Snape had been sharing the compartment with James, and it was when Snape said that Lily better be in Slytherin that James noticed them. Harry immediately noticed the sharp contrast between them. James looked as if he had been well-cared for and loved, unlike Snape. For Harry to notice this contrast is of great character significance, showing that Harry never forgot how he was orphaned and had to wear Dudley’s hand-me-down clothes, very similar to Snape. The importance of Harry remembering his roots is vital to the story, because he grew up to be a kind, courageous, and selfless person, quite like his mother.
In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, there is a scene omitted from the movie where, after Harry saw Snape’s memories of how James Potter bullied him while they were in school together, the reader is told how miserable Harry is after what he had seen.
“He had been so sure that his parents had been wonderful people that he never had the slightest difficulty disbelieving Snape’s aspersions on his father’s character. Hadn’t people like Hagrid and Sirius told Harry how wonderful his father had been? (Yeah, well, look what Sirius was like himself, said a nagging voice inside Harry’s head…He was as bad, wasn’t he?)…Harry tried to make a case for Snape having deserved what he had suffered at James’s hands – but hadn’t Lily asked, “What’s he done to you?” And hadn’t James replied, “It’s more the fact that he exists, if you know what I mean?” Hadn’t James started it all simply because Sirius said he was bored? (Rowling, 653).
Unlike the movie, we are able to read over how much Harry cared about his parents’ legacy, and what type of people they were like. More importantly, we see how big an advocate he is for fairness and kindness. The fifth film demonstrated why Snape hated Harry (because of James’s bullying), but never showed how Harry really felt about his father once he saw that memory. With this new information, Harry no longer felt proud that he looked like his father. Searching for answers and comfort, Harry sought help from Ginny, Fred, and George to cause a distraction for Umbridge while he sneaked into her office to use her fireplace and contacted Sirius Black.
Harry finds Sirius and Lupin at Grimmauld Place, and he tells them everything he saw in the Pensieve. Sirius and Lupin stayed silent for a moment, till Lupin finally said, “I wouldn’t like you to judge your father on what you saw there, Harry. He was only fifteen.” (Rowling, 670). Harry responded angrily, “I’m fifteen!” The novel continues; “Look, Harry, James and Snape hated each other from the moment they set eyes on each other, it was just one of those things, you can understand that, can’t you? I think James was everything Snape wanted to be – he was popular, he was good at Quidditch, good at pretty much everything. And Snape was just this oddball who was up to his eyes in the Dark Arts and James – whatever else he may have appeared to you, Harry – always hated the Dark Arts,” Sirius responded (Rowling, 670).
Harry was still unconvinced, challenging Sirius by telling him his dad only attacked Snape during that time because Sirius was bored, to which Sirius responded, “I’m not proud of it.” Lupin then tried calming Harry down by telling him that his father was simply an arrogant fifteen-year old who got carried away at times, and that Snape did not lose an opportunity to curse James, so James could not really take that lightly either. Lupin and Sirius then began beaming when they explained to Harry that James was always trying to show off for Lily. Harry asked, “How come she married him? She hated him!” (Rowling, 671) to which they replied that she did not really hate him and how they started going out during their seventh year, once James’s head deflated a bit. Harry confessed he felt sorry for Snape and only now did he truly understand why Snape was the way he’s always been with him.
As Harry continued to look inside Snape’s memories after his death (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows), he learned that Snape chose to continue acting as Voldemort’s loyal follower on Dumbledore’s orders. Voldemort had killed Lily Evans, and Snape no longer respected him. He was willing to help keep Harry safe in her name. Sadly and ironically, it was Severus Snape who also helped Lord Voldemort kill Lily Evans without meaning to. Severus had been the one who overheard Professor Trelawney’s prophecy about Harry and Voldemort, seeing her tell this to Albus Dumbledore. Severus, then a loyal follower of Voldemort’s, told Voldemort right away. Voldemort traced it down to Harry Potter, James’s and Lily’s son. This is glossed over in the movie, as well as the fact that the prophecy could have also been talking about Neville Longbottom.
Harry also witnessed a memory where Snape and Dumbledore are at the Yule Ball. Snape said, “Karkaroff tends to flee if the Mark burns” (Rowling, 680). Dumbledore asked Snape if he will do the same, to which Snape replied, “No, I am not such a coward.” Dumbledore stated, “You are a braver man by far than Igor Karkaroff. You know, sometimes I think we Sort too soon…” He then left Severus Snape speechless. Snape had indeed grown to his fullest potential, acting for the good of all instead of his past, selfish beliefs about the Dark Arts.
There is no doubt that Albus Dumbledore believed Severus Snape belonged in Gryffindor. He had seen everything Snape had done, and found him a worthy Gryffindor. Perhaps if Snape had not wanted to be in Slytherin so badly, he may have been given a spot in Gryffindor House at Hogwarts. Dumbledore was so fond of Snape, that he trusted Snape would be courageous enough to kill him, thus saving Draco Malfoy from Voldemort’s wrath. Snape did not want to do it, but ended up doing so to help Dumbledore. In addition, Snape was even brave enough to try and protect Hogwarts’ students once Dumbledore passed away, right under other Death Eaters’ noses. Even when Voldemort and co. were chasing after Harry and co. when they left the Dursley’s home Snape tries using “Sectumsempra” on another Death Eater in all the commotion, but accidentally cut off George’s ear (something left out of the seventh film).
Had it not been for Severus Snape, Harry Potter may have died long ago. Harry could not have survived without Snape’s help. Ironically, Snape was the bravest man for being Dumbledore’s right-hand man and spying on Lord Voldemort right under Voldemort’s nose. He “Always” loved Lily Potter and that is something that Lord Voldemort could never understand, because he cannot understand love.
The Battle of Hogwarts
The Battle of Hogwarts is the most impacting battle of all, because with it comes the end of Harry Potter vs. Lord Voldemort. The battle started out very different in the book from what we see in the eighth film. When Harry, Ron, and Hermione entered Hogwarts through the secret passage, they are greeted by their friends, most of whom were part of “Dumbledore’s Army”. They filled Harry in on the details of how much Hogwarts had changed since their sixth year ended. Severus Snape became Headmaster of Hogwarts, and Neville, Luna, and Ginny were the leaders of Dumbledore’s Army up until Easter of that year. Ginny did not return to Hogwarts after Easter, and Luna was kidnapped by Death Eaters during Christmas. Neville also revealed how Death Eaters working at Hogwarts began using students’ relatives by kidnapping them in order for students to behave. They tried kidnapping Neville’s grandmother but she fought back strongly and was on the run since (making Neville proud of her and her of him).
Next, Dumbledore’s Army revealed how they thought that if Harry went back to Hogwarts, it would be to overthrow Snape and the rest of the Death Eaters from Hogwarts. They were so enthusiastic and eager, they even sent a message to Luna and Ginny that Harry was back (using the fake Galleons Hermione created during their fifth year, which is something else not shown in films). Hermione and Ron managed to convince Harry to have them help look for Ravenclaw’s lost diadem. Then, Ginny, Fred, George, and Lee Jordan climbed out of the secret passageway to greet them. They did not reunite in the Great Hall as shown in the film.
Another difference is that Cho volunteered to take Harry to the Ravenclaw Common Room to search for the diadem. Ginny intervened and fiercely said that Luna would take Harry instead. This is quite a funny and romantic moment, because it is obvious that Ginny still has feelings for Harry, and would not take the risk of having Harry and Cho alone together.
After Harry and Luna managed to enter the Ravenclaw Common Room, they are met by two Death Eaters. Other students in the Ravenclaw dormitories tried to see what is going on, and Professor McGonagall walked in asking what the commotion was about. While Harry and Luna were under the Invisibility Cloak, the Death Eaters stated they would blame the students for forcing them to call Voldemort when they do not have Harry Potter. McGonagall, enraged, told them she would not allow it, but they end up spitting in her face, literally. Harry loses it and uses the Cruciatus Curse on them, finally understanding what Bellatrix Lestrange meant by having to really mean it. This not only demonstrated Harry’s good heart and utmost respect for Professor McGonagall, it also showed how far he had come in becoming an even more powerful wizard than he already was. Harry used an Unforgivable Curse to righteously defend, not purposely harm. In the movie, we do not get the pleasure of seeing this scene play out, so we do not get a chance to see that Harry has indeed grown up to be a worthy man and wizard.
Furthermore, in the novel, Severus Snape gets sacked by Professors McGonagall, Flitwick, and Sprout in one of the school hallways. Harry then tells them to stop Voldemort from entering the school at all costs for as long as they can. Professor Flitwick is then asked if he has an idea of where the Ravenclaw diadem could be, to which he replied, “Nobody has seen it in living memory!” (Rowling, 601). It is Professor Flitwick who delivered this vital line, not Cho as shown in film. Professor McGonagall then ordered the Heads of Houses to gather everyone in the Great Hall. Professor Slughorn replied that he did not want to fight against Voldemort, to which Professor McGonagall replied, “we duel to kill” (Rowling, 602), even if that meant having to fight against him. Shortly after, Harry was in even more of a hurry because he saw, through Voldemort’s mind, Voldemort going back to the cave that held the locket to confirm that the locket was taken.
As everyone else gathered in the Great Hall, Harry went back to the Room of Requirement to see Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, Kingsley Shackelbolt, and even Percy Weasley enter the room, ready to fight. Here, Percy admitted he was a prat and asked his whole family for forgiveness. In all the tension between the Weasley family, Lupin tried to break the tension by showing them a picture of his newborn son, Theodore Lupin.
In the Great Hall, Professor McGonagall ordered underage students to leave through the secret passageway in the Room of Requirement, while those wishing to fight and who are over-age were welcomed to stay. Harry could not find Ron and Hermione at this point, but went on to search for the Gray Lady of Ravenclaw. He came to the realization, on his own, that perhaps the actual ghost of Ravenclaw House may be able to help him locate the diadem. Then, unlike the movie, Helena Ravenclaw made a shocking revelation in the novel; that she stole the diadem from her own mother, Rowena Ravenclaw. This demonstrated how much Harry had learned to listen quite closely to other’s people words. Hermione may have been able to figure it out had she heard Professor Flitwick. But it is Harry who does so, and it is highly likely he has also learned from Hermione’s excellent logical skills. Harry then retraced his steps and remembered how he had placed a wig and a battered old tiara on top of a warlock statue during his sixth year. He realized the diadem was in the Room of Requirement.
As he reached the room, he met up with Ron and Hermione, whom had gone to the Chamber of Secrets to get some Basilisk fangs, to kill Voldemort’s Horcuxes. Ginny was now accompanied by Tonks in the Room of Requirement. Harry told them they needed to leave briefly. Tonks, however, does not wait and goes to find Lupin. Ron then stated, “We’ve forgotten [the house-elves]! They’ll all be down in the kitchen, won’t they?” (Rowling, 625). Ron explained how they did not need another Dobby incident, which causes Hermione to fling her arms around his neck and kiss him full in the mouth. As mentioned earlier, Hermione is a big advocate of equal rights for everyone, and for her to see Ron being so selfless makes us see how much that means to Hermione. Hermione shows that she has completely fallen in love with Ronald Weasley. Ron, on the other hand, has learned to be more selfless and conscious of other people/creatures.
The diadem is destroyed differently in each version. In the film, we see they used a Basilisk fang to destroy and kick it into the fiery Room of Requirement. But in the novel, after they leave the Room of Requirement, they see that it got caught in the fire (i.e., Fiendfyre) and is leaking with a blood-like substance.
Afterwards, Harry sees Percy and Fred Weasley backing into view, while Percy was joking about resigning to the Minister of Magic. Fred happily realized he was joking, and when he was about to say how long it had been since he last heard Percy joke, the air around them exploded. Harry flew through the air. Their corridor had been horribly attacked, and Harry saw Fred Weasley’s last laugh still etched upon his face. It is one of the most horrible moments for all readers of the Harry Potter series. Percy Weasley is crying all over for the death of his brother. It is a very sad moment for him, since he had not spoken to his family for months now. Percy even tried to shield Fred’s body from further harm. Fred’s demise was very different from the movie, where we saw that Fred and George were fighting Death Eaters alone. In the film, the audience does not get enough screen time on the characters’ mourning over Fred’s body.
Even more different from the novel is Voldemort’s last stand, when he shows everyone Harry’s “dead” body. In the novel, Voldemort punishes Neville when he tried to make a stand against him. He placed the Body-Bind curse on Neville, the Sorting Hat on top of his head, and set the hat on fire. Everyone lost their grip with screams of outrage and many things happened at once. As Harry was about to act against Voldemort, hundreds of other witches, wizards, and magical creatures from the outside world joined the fight. They swarmed over the out-of-sight walls and moved toward the castle, with Grawp was yelling “HAGGER” (Hagrid), as Voldemort’s giants ran towards him, hooves and arrows came from centaurs, and Death Eaters began trying to move out of the way. Harry quickly put on his Invisibility Cloak, just when Neville broke free of his Body-Bind Curse and the flaming hat. Out of the hat came the sword of Godric Gryffindor, which Neville used to cut off Nagini’s head.
In the seventh novel, as Harry walked to the Forbidden Forest to meet Voldemort and die willingly, he spotted Neville and told him that in case anything happened to him, he had to know that Nagini the snake MUST be killed. Neville remembered and obeyed, as Nagini’s head went flying and her body lay dead at Voldemort’s feet. Not only is this another Horcrux down, it showed Neville’s tremendous character growth throughout the entire series. Neville is a worthy Gryffindor, showing bravery far beyond what everyone imagined he had. He dared to kill Lord Voldemort’s faithful serpent right under Voldemort’s nose. It is different from the movie, where Ron and Hermione are the ones trying to kill the snake while Harry is off fighting Voldemort, and Neville saves them at the last second.
As the novel continues, Harry and co. are then joined by house-elves from the kitchens as well, who are led by Kreacher yelling, “Fight! Fight! Fight for my Master, defender of house-elves! Fight the Dark Lord, in the name of brave Regulus! Fight!”(Rowling, 734). They hacked and stabbed Death Eaters’ ankles with malice in their eyes. This would have been an awesome scene to have incorporated in the movie, as magical creatures too were always mistreated by many of Voldemort’s followers, barely had rights, and were looked down upon by Lord Voldemort himself. Voldemort’s arrogance never allowed him to see that house-elves also hold feelings, and are sometimes be more powerful than him.
Bellatrix Lestrange’s final battle is quite different in the novel. There, Hermione Granger, Ginny Weasley, and Luna Lovegood all duel against her at the same time. Incredibly so, Bellatrix Lestrange is not easy to defeat even with three very strong witches simultaneously. She is able to stop them all at once, having learned how to duel from Lord Voldemort himself.
They dueled in the Great Hall, about fifty yards away from where Voldemort was dueling against Minerva McGonagall, Horace Slughorn, and Kingsley Shacklebolt at the same time. The book describes; “Hermione, Ginny, and Luna, [were] all battling their hardest, but Bellatrix was equal to them, and Harry’s attention was diverted as a Killing Curse shot so close to Ginny that she missed death by an inch” (Rowling, 736). Harry then decided to go after Bellatrix to try and prevent something like that from happening again, but Mrs. Weasley beats him to it. She yelled, “NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!” (737) at Bellatrix, and ordered the female trio to move out of her way. Bellatrix took her lightly at first, laughing at her new opponent. However, as Mrs. Weasley began to slash and twirl with ferocity, Bellatrix followed suit, and the floor around their feet even became hot and cracked.
Everyone in the Great Hall was now standing lined up against the walls, seeing the two biggest fights in the castle. Some wanted to go help Molly Weasley, but she yelled that Bellatrix was hers. Bellatrix laughed the same exhilarated laugh Sirius Black did right before he fell into the veil, and Molly’s curse passed her outstretched arm, hitting Bellatrix squarely in the chest over her heart. Bellatrix’s eyes bulged with a frozen smile, she had realized what happened, and fell to the ground. Everyone was shocked to see this outcome, and Voldemort is outraged. This is a very different ending for Bellatrix Lestrange compared to the movie, where we see her frozen to stone and Molly breaking her into pieces.
Voldemort is ready to murder Mrs. Weasley, but Harry puts a shield charm on her and finally emerges from his Invisibility Cloak. The whole hall gasped, screamed, and cheered all over, while Harry and Voldemort began to circle each other. This is a completely different scenario from the film, where the viewer sees Harry and Voldemort fighting one-on-one all over the castle, even flying together. Everyone else is too busy dueling in the Great Hall, unable to see them. It depends on the reader/viewer to choose which fight they prefer, novel vs. film. Personally, I 100% prefer the novel’s final battle.
Harry ordered everyone watching, his team and Death Eaters alike, not to interfere, because it had to be him who finished Voldemort. Then, he told Voldemort; “No more Horcruxes. It’s just you and me. Neither can live while the other survives, and one of us is about to leave for good…” (Rowling, 737). Voldemort laughed and said Harry would not be the one surviving, and even asked who Harry would use this time to die in his place. Voldemort began to claim that Harry’s survivals have always been accidents. Harry answered that Voldemort would not be able to kill anyone else because he gave up his life to save them, and his spells no longer affected them the way they should.
Voldemort then began saying that Dumbledore was dead, but Harry interrupts and confessed that Dumbledore had planned his own death all along, aiming to make Severus Snape the true master of the Elder Wand. Harry also revealed how Snape was loyal to Albus Dumbledore the moment Voldemort killed Lily Potter, Harry’s mother. Harry further explained to Voldemort that Draco Malfoy was the true owner of the Elder Wand because the wand chooses the wizard. Voldemort, having always believed that everything and everyone else was beneath him, started listening to Harry, wondering if what he said was true. Then, Voldemort stated he would kill Draco after he had done so to Harry. However, Harry releases the most vital information of all; he disarmed Draco Malfoy at Malfoy Manor, which made him the owner of the Elder Wand now. Harry tells Voldemort to try and feel remorse for everything he had done, because he knew what would become of him once he died. Finally, hoping to the heavens, Harry attacked with “Expelliarmus” as Voldemort shouted “Avada Kedavra!”. It would have been awesome to see this on-screen because everyone had affected Harry Potter’s life in one way or another, and Harry willingly died to save them. Harry deserved his family and friends to be present in his final moments against Lord Voldemort.
Their spells collided, where golden flames erupted where they met and in that moment, the Elder Wand flew high against the sunrise, spinning toward Harry, the master it would not kill, and Harry caught it with his free hand. Voldemort fell backward, “arms splayed, the slit pupils of the scarlet eyes rolling upward. Tom Riddle hit the floor with a mundane finality, his body feeble and shrunken, the white hands empty, the snakelike face vacant and unknowing. Voldemort was dead, killed by his own rebounding curse” (Rowling, 744). Everyone in the Battle of Hogwarts deserved to watch Voldemort die, as they have all been affected by him one way or another, and would have been a very emotional moment for all to see their efforts against him paying off with his end.
What followed was enormous; everyone wanted to thank Harry, and they all started running towards him, screaming, crying, cheering, all in one go. The first ones to reach him were Ron and Hermione, followed by Ginny, Neville, and Luna. He could not understand what anyone was saying, but everyone thanked him, mourned their loved ones, and began receiving news throughout the morning – those under the Imperious Curse woke up, Death Eaters fleed or tried avoiding capture, innocent people were released from Azkaban, etc. Even the Malfoy family was there among the celebration, unsure of what to do, quite unlike the movie where we see them leave the castle grounds as the battle raged on.
After Harry finally managed to be alone from the crowd, he, Hermione and Ron go to Dumbledore’s office. There, Harry decided to try to mend his original, broken wand with the Elder Wand, knowing it was his last hope. He succeeded. This is a very important act by Harry because it shows his tremendous courage and selflessness. He chose not to keep the most powerful wand in the world. His need for his very first wand showed just how deep his bond was with it, not caring if it is the most powerful of all. Harry is the true Master of Death, who willingly sacrificed himself for those he loves and fought till the very end. The film only showed him breaking the Elder Wand, but not mending his original one, which lacks the character growth viewers should have seen from Harry Potter.
The epilogue, nineteen years later, gave readers a more insightful look into the mind of Harry Potter, and how Ronald Weasley, Hermione Granger, and Ginny Weasley grew up to be. In the novel, as Harry, Ginny, and their children are headed towards platform 9 and 3/4, with Sirius Potter teasing Albus Potter about the House will might be sorted in (Slytherin). J.K. Rowling wrote that Ginny silenced James with a stern look. As they all met Ron and Hermione with their family, Ron told his daughter, Rose, to beat Draco’s son, Scorpius Malfoy, at every test. Hermione disapproves. Later on, as Albus Potter confides to his father what worries him, Ginny is described as being tactful enough to distract the others. The reader gets to know more details of what their adult lives are like; their children’s names, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger have barely changed, Ginny Weasley is as fierce and caring as ever, and Harry Potter is the same loyal, devoted, and kind person we met all those years ago. Of course, there are many other details and scenes that the films write out, but all cannot be explained in one article.
Books allow for more depth and character development, movies cannot do justice to everything in the novels they are based on. There is nothing like reading the Harry Potter Series.
- Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. 1997. ↩
- Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. 1998. ↩
- Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 1999. ↩
- Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. 2000. ↩
- Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. 2003. ↩
- Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. 2005. ↩
- Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. 2007. ↩
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