7 Biggest Book-to-Screen Mistakes in the Harry Potter Movies

7 Biggest Book-to-Screen Mistakes in the Harry Potter Movies
Image credit: Legion-Media

Many fans believe that the mistakes were a result of rushed production, lack of attention to detail, or changes made in order to fit the story into a specific runtime. Others speculate that the filmmakers simply did not adhere closely enough to the source material. Whatever the reason, these mistakes have left fans disappointed and confused.

1. The sorting of the first-year students is random (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone)

Probably the strangest decision made by the creators of the film series. In the first movie, the sorting of students into the Houses is not done in alphabetical order, as described in the books. That would be fine, but the list of names read out by Professor McGonagall seems to lack any logic: first comes Hermione Granger, then suddenly Draco Malfoy, then Susan Bones, Ronald Weasley, and at the very end Harry Potter.

The rest of the freshmen who participated in the sorting ceremony are completely ignored.

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The three main characters and their future rival Draco Malfoy were shown because they were important to the plot. While the role of Susan Bones was played by Eleanor Columbus, daughter of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone director Chris Columbus. Apparently, this is the reason the girl got her five minutes of fame. To say it was unfair to the other kids is to say nothing.

2. Oliver Wood doesn't know the rules of Quidditch (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone)

It may be absurd, but it is true. The film's version of Oliver Wood, unlike his book counterpart, does not know the basic rules of Quidditch. And yet he's captain of the Gryffindor team!

In the scene where Oliver explains to Harry all the nuances of the most popular wizarding game, a strange thing happens: Wood claims that if the Seeker catches the Golden Snitch, his team wins. In fact, that is not the case.

According to the official version, by catching the Golden Snitch the team is awarded 150 points, but that does not always mean victory. After all, the opposing team can still score a decent number of goals during the game.

3. The fate of the Half-Blood Prince remains unknown (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince)

In the sixth movie, Harry finds a potions textbook that once belonged to a certain Half-Blood Prince. As the movie progresses, we realize that the former owner of the book had excellent knowledge of the subject. He also left important notes on the pages of the book that helped Harry succeed in Slughorn's classes.

In the finale of the film, we learn that Severus Snape was hiding under the pseudonym of the Half-Blood Prince, but the explanation ends there. The filmmakers do not explain why the former Head of Slytherin House chose such a name and what it ultimately means.

According to the source material, Snape's father was a Muggle and his mother was a wizard with the surname Prince. This small but important detail in the dark wizard's biography is crucial to understanding his character, which unfortunately is far from being fully explored in the movie.

4. Gryffindor robes on James and Sirius (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows)

7 Biggest Book-to-Screen Mistakes in the Harry Potter Movies - image 1

In one of the flashbacks shown in the final installments of the film series, you can see little James, Sirius, and Lily. In particular, the screen shows a flashback of Severus Snape on his first day at Hogwarts. The kids are sitting around a table, waiting for the traditional Sorting Ceremony. But there's a discrepancy here: James and his best friend Sirius are already wearing robes with Gryffindor symbols, which in theory they should not be having right after being sorted into the House. Apparently, the creators of the franchise simply forgot about this detail, but fans of the books were really annoyed by this mistake.

5. Harry's eye color doesn't match his mother's (all the films in the series)

Fans of the Wizarding World have repeatedly criticized the writers for the fact that canonically Harry Potter's eyes are green, while in the film we see them blue.

Unfortunately, during the filming of the first movie, Daniel Radcliffe had an allergic reaction to contact lenses, and it was eventually decided not to use them. That would be fine, but the mother of the main character in the movies — Lily Evans — has brown eyes.

It would make sense to choose an actress with blue eyes, the same as Radcliffe's, but apparently, the creators of the film series decided to just ignore this little detail. Though it is an extremely important element of the story. At least due to the fact that the characters in the movies keep reminding Harry Potter that "he has his mother's eyes".

6. Hermione breaks the most important rule of Hogwarts (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone)

Ironically, the most exemplary student of Hogwarts, Hermione Granger, breaks the school's most important rule on her first day when she meets Harry and Ron on the train.

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Noticing that the main character's glasses are wrapped in duct tape, the girl decides to fix them with a simple Reparo spell. Surprisingly, none of the adult wizards on the train even bother to admonish her. Besides, Hermione, who had managed to read all the school textbooks, should have known that under any circumstances magic is not to be used outside the walls of Hogwarts.

7. Harry never fixed his wand (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows)

At the end of the last book, Harry uses the Elder Wand to repair his own, then he goes to the grave of Dumbledore and returns the wand to its rightful owner. In the movie, however, the main character simply breaks one of the Deathly Hallows in half and throws it off the school bridge. After watching this scene, there are at least two questions: How does Harry Potter intend to repair his own wand later? And why is such an ancient and powerful artifact can be destroyed so easily?