Any long term readers of this blog will know I am a huge fan of Harry Potter. Along with my housemates, we even created and began the first Harry Potter society at my university.
So, as you would expect, I’ve read the books several times and have of course seen the films; but if you asked me which was better, the books or the films, I would have no hesitation in saying the books.
Often when books are made into films, things are excluded and changed and Harry Potter is no different. It is a long and sometimes complicated book series, so it was obvious that not everything would fit into the 8 films, but there are some aspects which I think should have been included.
- Peeves. (Those who haven’t read the books all collectively say ‘who?‘ here.) Peeves is a ghost at Hogwarts. More specifically, Peeves is a poltergeist, which means he is noisy, destructive and loud. He’s always around when Harry wishes he wasn’t and appears quite a lot in all the books. I’m surprised they even managed to cut him out completely, he’s almost a main character!
- The Hogwarts kitchen (ft. Winky) – The Hogwarts kitchen is only explored once in the books, but it’s such an interesting chapter where we find out just how all the Hogwarts food is made and presented on those four long house tables in the Great Hall. It is a scene that I’m sure all the book readers would have loved to see visually in the films (and in real life at the London Studio tour!) During this chapter, we also learn that house-elves get drunk off butterbeer; Winky (previously a house-elf for the Crouch family) tries drowning her sorrows after getting in trouble. This is all I’ll say about it, but I would suggest you read the books to find out more!
- Nice Kreacher – We don’t see Kreacher much in the films, but what we do see tells us that he is very loyal to his previous Slytherin masters. After they died, he was left to serve Sirius, which he did with much bitterness, and after Sirius died, he was left to Harry. But what the films leave out is how Kreacher becomes friendly towards Harry and his friends after he lets him have Regulus’s fake locket. He cooks them meals and looks after them while they stay in the House of Black and he even appears during the Battle of Hogwarts where he leads the other house elves to fight. The books end leaving you thinking that Kreacher will be happily serving Harry from then on, and honestly, it’s a nice thought.
- The end of the Elder Wand – Okay I’m just going to go straight in here and say the films made this completely wrong. Think about it, if Harry snapped the Elder Wand, how would he fix his own? Harry isn’t exactly the sharpest tool in the shed, but even he’d realise that he needed to fix his own first! This is what he does in the book, fixes his old wand, and then returns the Elder Wand to where it belongs, with Dumbledore. He does NOT throw it off what is left of that Hogwarts bridge.
Voldemort’s death – He did NOT just fake into a million pieces, okay? He DIED, like a human (surprisingly), but his body fell down, all in one piece, which they later took away from the castle.. much better, right?
- Nice Dudley – In Deathly Hallows, there are a few moments where Dudley seems to have realised that Harry isn’t that bad and has maybe even developed some love for his cousin. He leaves Harry cups of tea, and even says a nice goodbye with him when Harry leaves the Dursley house for good. This last scene was actually filmed but was unfortunately cut from the final version of the film. It would have been nice to see Dudley finally be kind to his cousin and it would have just been a way to conclude Harry’s life with the Dursley’s. (I do believe that it is in the DVD’s extra features though!)
These 6 things are just some of the reasons why the Harry Potter books are better than the films. If you want to find out what else the films missed out, I do advise you to go and read the books – you will not be disappointed!
(Plus, if you haven’t read the books, you’ve got no chance of winning this quiz!)