There are a few scenarios that a person faces when they tell someone that they are a Potterhead. In an ideal situation, it would turn out that the person you’re telling this to actually turns out to be a Potterhead herself/himself. But in the real world, you would probably hear them ask stupid questions like “have you read the books?” or even worse, they will say something like “Why read books when you can watch movies?” or the absolute worst “MOVIES>BOOKS”. Nothing, I repeat, NOTHING makes us lose our minds quicker than any of these statements. So after having my fair share of such unfortunate encounters, I decided to settle this “books vs movies” for once and for all.
Let me begin by saying that while the Harry Potter movies are great cinematic experiences, they will never be able to match up to the books. I mean there are so many subplots integral to understand the main plot in the books that never made it to the movies.
For instance, the movies never showed or mentioned the origin of the Marauder’s Map. Not only did it serve as a means for the fan to actually know about James and his friends - Sirius, Remus and Peter (a super emotional chapter, if you ask me), it also helped put together a lot of details in the series. Such scenes not only help develop the plot better, they also help fans understand the characters better because it is only in such moments do we see them so raw and get to understand their emotions better.
Another such scene from the books that showed us a side of a character we never thought we would get to see is the scene from St. Mungo’s where we first meet Alice and Frank Longbottom, Neville’s parents. Neville putting that toffee wrapper in his pocket is a scene that none of us would ever forget and also secretly cry over. That scene happens to be one of the most powerful scenes JKR has written and I’ll tell you exactly why - a) Because never in a million years did we imagine Neville to have such a tragic backstory, the element of surprise increased the impact. b) We realise Neville and Harry are not very much different and we sympathise with Neville as much as we did with Harry. c) We get to know how courageous Alice and Frank are and that they also deserve as much appreciation as Lily and James. d) The moment was so bittersweet, it left us with an equal amount of tears and smiles. The ability to make readers feel so much in just a single scene is a reflection of how incredible a writer JKR is.
One of the things I will forever be mad about is the fact that they filmed Dudley’s last conversation with Harry and it never made it to the film. Yes, there exists a scene with Dudley’s redemption that shows him telling Harry that he’s not a waste of space. A scene that showed the much hated Dudley Dursley actually act humane with Harry, something that had never happened in 17 years, very much deserved to be in the movie. Speaking of redemptions, the movies also never showed Percy Weasley accepting his mistakes and reconnecting with his family. During the Battle of Hogwarts, he said to Mr. Weasley, “I’m sorry, Dad.” Fans have realised that this is the first time he has called Arthur “dad”, while previously, he only referred to him as “father’.
But at least the movies portrayed Percy accurately because not all Weasley children got the same appreciation. The movies’ portrayal of Ron and Ginny is honestly sometimes so pathetic. While in the books, Ron was much braver and a much better friend, in the movies they portrayed him as someone with no spine or no regards for his friends’ well being at all. Whereas Ginny was shown as a cold person, even a damsel in distress at some point, whereas in the books she was empathetic, kind, brave and downright badass. Even Fred and George didn’t get enough credits in the movie.
If there’s one thing the Harry Potter fandom can agree upon mutually, it has to be our hatred for the “HARRY DID-YA PUT YA NAME IN DA GOBLET OF FIAAHH” scene. I’m sorry but how hard is it to read “Dumbledore asked calmly”? I’m pretty sure hard core Potterheads understood what exactly I’m talking about. For the muggles, go read the books.
The thing I always miss in the movies is the amount of humour and sass there is in the Harry Potter books. Right from Harry’s “there’s no need to call me ‘sir’, professor” or McGonagall’s “have a biscuit, Potter”, the amount of shade JKR has thrown in the books is the level of savage I aspire to be.
And now that the conversation has finally been directed towards Minerva McGonagall, our queen of sass, let me tell you that she happens to be the most highly underrated character of the series. Not only did she survive stunning spells to her chest, she stood up to Dolores Umbridge and defended her teachers and students when they needed her the most. Her loyalty towards Hogwarts and Dumbledore is absolutely commendable, as well as her courage. No wonder that she earned so much respect from Harry that he was able to mean and cast a Cruciatus Curse at Amycus when he spat at Minerva’s face. Although, Maggie Smith’s portrayal of Minerva McGonagall is laudable as well. Right from the first movie when she gifts Harry his first broomstick to the Deathly Hallows movies when she duels Snape and the chills-worthy moment of her protecting Hogwarts before the battle, all she has done is earn admiration and respect from the fans.
Even though the movies might not be as upto the mark as the books, I have to admit there are some moments that I enjoyed more on the screen. These include - a) Harry and Remus’ conversation about Lily & James from the Prisoner of Azkaban movie b) The sacking of Severus Snape. Although, I love both versions of it, from the book as well as the movie. c) “You’re my best friend, Harry.” from the Half Blood Prince, as well as Harry and Hermione dancing together in Deathly Hallows pt.1.
Well, that’s all I have to say about this debate.Let me know your favourite book scenes that never made it to the movies. And if you want me to talk about something else related to Harry Potter, drop in your comments at email@example.com . Till then, “I'll be in my bedroom, making no noise and pretending I'm not there”.
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