For the most part, I love the Harry Potter movies. They’re fun, they’re exciting, and the actors are amazing. To me, Snape is always Alan Rickman, even when I’m reading the books. But, considering how long the movies are, and how much time they spend on trivial things (more on that later), they sure leave out a lot of important stuff from the books. Here’s what I would really have loved to see in the movies, in no particular order:
1) Peeves. Come on, he’s in every book! We couldn’t have him in one scene? He should at least have shown up in Order of the Phoenix, because he was part of one of that book’s best moments. “Give her hell for us, Peeves!”
2) An explanation of the Marauder’s Map. I realize the end of The Prisoner of Azkaban was pretty long on exposition, and it’s hard to get it all into the movie, but at some point someone should have explained who Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs were. Especially since they use those nicknames for the rest of the movies. Very confusing for anyone who didn’t read the books.
3) More house elves. Dobby was in every book except 1 and 3, Winky had an important role in book 4, and Kreacher is a fascinating character who showed up a lot in books 5 through 7. But Dobby is only in two of the movies, Kreacher has a tiny bit part that was almost cut from the script, and Winky isn’t there at all. What an injustice for the elves! Hermione would be furious.
4) Lupin and Tonks’s romance. There are a lot of good couples in Harry Potter, and Lupin and Tonks are my favourite. But in the movies, not only does Tonks barely have lines, but there’s no indication the two are married until after they’re both dead. Such a wasted opportunity.
5) Dudley’s redemption. This is actually one of my problems with the books, too: we never get to see a good Muggle. Even though the good wizards are all supposed to be defending Muggles, the only ones we really get to know seem hardly worth defending. At least, in the last book, Dudley Dursley grows up to be a lot less nasty, and we even get to sympathize with Petunia a bit. And they had to cut that scene out of the movie.
6) The inscription on the Potters’ grave. This bugs me because it would have been so easy to put it in the scene at Godric’s Hollow in Deathly Hallows, Pt. 1. The entire seventh book is about Harry’s search for the meaning of the phrase, “The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” There’s no excuse for leaving such an important theme out of the movie when it would have taken so little time and effort to put in.
7) The Quidditch final in Prisoner of Azkaban. This might not seem that important to most people, but it is to me. The chapter where Gryffindor finally wins the Quidditch Cup (and incidentally, the only time they win with Harry on the team) was literally the reason I got hooked on the series. It’s the only time I’ve ever been on the edge of my seat during a sports game, real or fictional, and the triumphant ending made me so happy that I decided the wizarding world was going to be my escapist fantasy of choice forever. I would have loved to see that game on the screen.
The movies may have dropped the ball on a few things, but at least we can always go back to the books! Namarie!