Harry Potter Book vs Movie: Which Is Better?


Image by MoeRasmi from Pixabay

With the series being so large, it was impossible for the the Harry Potter movies to add every detail. That is why reading the books is a necessary activity for any HP fan.

Harry Potter is a name known around the world, and their fanbase runs deep. And with that fanbase comes the argument of whether the movies are as good as the books. Some people do say that the movies do their part and live up to the book’s potential but many others, including myself, believe that they just don’t uphold to what the books gave people. Of course, the movies did incredibly well with an estimated worth of $25 billion, people still want certain features and parts they didn’t include or ended up cutting. With missing details, scenes, and even whole characters missing, here’s why JK. Rowling’s book series is better than the movies. 

In case you don’t know, let’s start with what the books are about. Harry Potter starts with an eleven-year-old orphaned boy who finds out his parents were two incredibly strong wizards, and he seems to be able to produce some powers of his own. When his life completely flips and he ends up becoming a student at a magical school called Hogwarts, he meets people who will inevitably help him accomplish his main goal: to figure out about his parent’s death and to defeat and kill the person who caused it.

Whether you enjoy of the movies or not, fans can’t deny the amazing sets that brought Hogwarts to life. (Image by runextreme from Pixabay)

Now that that’s out of the way, the whole idea of the books being superior revolves around the idea that a ton of  large and small details are cut out of the movie. These scenes give readers more insight into the topics being discussed and the character’s motives and traits. Without those details, people are left confused. Certain details, not completely needed but still wanted. For example, the organization S.P.E.W, missing elfs, and even an explanation on Snape’s role in The Half Blood Prince. These examples, among many others, contribute to the fact that people question whether the movies do their complete job, and if you think about it, they really don’t. 

Another major scene not included in the movies was Hermonie starting S.P.E.W. This stood for The Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare. This comes about in The Goblet of Fire, or the fourth book in the series, when Hermione starts to raise awareness for the mistreatment of elves in the wizarding world. Now in the movies, we do see how bad they’re treated, but we never do see anyone noticing or standing up for them. In the book, Hermione tries to get her friends to stand with her and try to change the ways they are treated. This also leads them to find two elves Dobby, who was included in the movies, and Winky, who was not. This exclusion of scenes and Winky’s characters, in general, harmed the movies and didn’t give certain scenes the dramatic or suspense that could have been added, for example, when Winky gets accused of being the one to cast the Dark Mark in the sky.

Another big scene left out of the films revolves around The Half-Blood Prince, or the sixth book. In the movie, a mystery character named The Half-Blood Prince has a book that provides a few secrets when it comes to potion-making. Throughout the whole film, Harry reads and follows those directions and does extremely well in the class, surpassing everyone. At the end of the movie, the prince is revealed to be Harry’s potion master Severus Snape, but his entire speech from the novel was cut out. During this speech, Snape tells readers what the Half-Blood Prince truly means and brings in Harry’s parents to explain. This means a lot because it’s the literal title of the book and movie; without the explanation, people are left in the dark. It also brings about Harry’s parents and provides some backstory on them, something that fans wanted to see. It’s incredibly important because the entire basis of the sixth book/movie doesn’t get explained at all unless you read the books. 

In Deathly Hallows, the series final book and movie, Harry’s aunt and uncle, the abusive family he lives with, leaves and plans to abandon Harry at their house. His Aunt Petunia, Uncle Vernon, and cousin Dudley have always hated Harry Potter due to him being a wizard and them finding it more of a curse than a blessing.. They abused him all his life and changed, only slightly, when finding out he has those magic abilities. In the movie, they leave him without a word, and we don’t really get closure for them. People watching the movie question where they went or if the family and Harry ever resolved the hate that they had for each other, as well as where it came from. In the books, there was a scene where right before his aunt and uncle left, Harry’s aunt and cousin have separate moments with him to show their closure in the series. Here, Aunt Petunia talks about how she was affected by her sister, Harry’s mom’s, tragic death, which caused her to act so negatively towards witchcraft and wizardry. Both of these scenes were actually filmed too, however, they sadly didn’t make the final cut. 


Another big change from the book to movie adaptation was a ghost named Peeves. In the movie, his character was completely wiped. Peeves was mostly known for the mischief and chaos he brought to Hogwarts. In the book, he played a ton of jokes to students as well as tattle tale on Harry when he’s sneaking around the castle. Overall, he gives a sense of comic relief in the book to break up the plot and suspense. Peeve’s character was actually filmed and played by Rik Mayell, but was cut because producer David Hymen didn’t enjoy it too much. In the final battle of Hogwarts in the novel, Peeves’ character even threw himself into battle to try and help the students, staff, and everyone else fighting on the good side. Overall he was a great and funny character that fans were excited to see and were quickly disappointed when his jokes and mischief didn’t make the cut.

The book series can be found in the LRHS Media Center. “The mind is not a book, to be opened at will and examined at leisure. Thoughts are not etched on the inside of skulls, to be perused by any invader. The mind is a complex and many-layered thing.”
– Severus Snape (Ella DeBonis)

The last scene fans were very disappointed to see was in the finale duel with Harry and the person who killed his parents, Voldemort. In the movies, there’s a long and final fight between the two enemies, and eventually, Harry defeats him. Though the battle was a bit different in the final movie, in the books, it’s a long-drawn-out battle filled with sarcasm, banter, and eventually a different way of death. Voldemort actually dies from his own curse when it backfires. When Harry’s spell won the fight, the killing curse Voldemort was using bounced back onto him and inevitably killed him. Yes, in the movies he still dies and Harry wins, but it’s not said or shown that the backfire of his spell is what killed him. All we see is Harry winning and Voldemort disintegrating into ash and floating away. Fans wanted to see a bit more of the big battle in the first place, and when it came to the final clash, they were let down more.

There are tons of other scenes left out of the giant Harry Potter book franchise, and you will only get to experience them when you’re reading the books. Readers are able to see how life really was like for wizards and witches and how it didn’t always revolve around the trouble up ahead. Overall, the book franchise is better than the movies in many more ways than one.