What the Harry Potter Movies Shouldn’t Have Changed
By: Meg Humphrey
I recently binge watched the Harry Potter movies before embarking on my boyfriend’s first journey to the written world of Hogwarts (he had seen the movies, but hasn’t read the books). Here are my frowny-face thoughts about what the movies passed over.
Dudley never thanked Harry. A recurring theme in Harry Potter is showing that most people aren’t all bad. Snape’s love for Lily, Narcissa Malfoy’s devotion to her son, and Kreacher’s loyalty to Regulus Black are all examples that even the most toxic people aren’t lost causes. Dudley, always the bully, sees at the end that although he doesn’t understand what’s going, Harry is still part of their family.
Neville didn’t visit his parents at St. Mungo’s. The awful fate of Frank and Alice Longbottom is touched upon in the movies, but the full horror wasn’t disclosed to movie viewers. When Ron, Harry, and Hermione are visiting Mr. Weasley after the snake attack in Order of the Phoenix, they run into Neville and his Gran. We see the heartbreaking ordeal that Neville lives with and we’re forced to wonder if Harry didn’t come out on the better end because at least the suffering of his parents are over. Neville also gets scolded for not previously telling his friends about his parents (although Harry knows because of a photograph), as if he was ashamed of them.This moment with his Gran is special because it relates to The Deathly Hallows where she finally says that she’s proud of Neville and that he’s living up to the memory of his parents.
Ron and Hermione’s first kiss. Although anticlimactic, the first kiss between Ron and Hermione in The Deathly Hallows was perfect. It doesn’t happen because they were in immediate moral peril (kind of), but rather because Ron expresses concern that they need to tell the house elves in the kitchen that they need to evacuate for safety. Ron had spent so long fighting her about SPEW, that his understanding here touched her deeply. It’s not the grand acts, but the small ones. Hermione’s attachment to the equal treatment of house elves is overlooked in the movies, so I understand why it wouldn’t make sense to work it in, but something else could have been used instead.
Harry and Kreacher never reconciled. The dealings with Kreacher illustrate many of the themes found throughout Harry Potter: loyalty, tolerance, and kindness. Regulus Black treated Kreacher kindly, which is why his devotion to his late master is never ending. Hermione continuously ignores the insults he hurls and her and defends his right to be treated humanely. Although fairly vile at first, Kreacher develops a strong relationship with Harry and even starts to go against his lifelong teachings of mudblood hatred. During the Battle of Hogwarts, he leads the other house elves into the fray against Voldemort and the Death Eaters. Some of the blackest hearts can be changed, but most of the examples are removed from the movies.
James, Sirius, Lupin, and Peter weren’t revealed as the creators of the Marauder’s Map. The creation of the Marauder’s Map is a small part of the important whole of the friendship of James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and Peter Pettigrew. We were given no background on these characters except that they were close friends growing up. They leave out the fact that James, Sirius, and Peter became animagi in order to keep Lupin company while he would turn into a werewolf every month. That kind of compassion, loyalty, and company meant the world to Remus and showed the true fiber of the group.
What part of the movies did you wish they hadn’t changed?