7 Things Harry Potter Movies Did Better Than Books

7 Things Harry Potter Movies Did Better Than Books
Image credit: Warner Bros.

The Harry Potter movies have left out one too many crucial scenes from the books, but in some cases, they fared even better than the original. Come on, we’ll prove it.

7. Foreshadowing the Time-Turner Plot Twist

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The Time-Turners are an essential plot tool in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, but in the books, we only learn about them in the climax. While the movies also don’t disclose Hermione’s secret prematurely, they add several little details that foreshadow the final plot twist, especially during the final sequences of the story.

It’s a nice touch that helps viewers understand how the Time-Turners work and ties the two timelines together satisfyingly and logically. The books overlooked this bit.

6. Keeping Harry Sympathetic After Cedric's Death

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In the finale of The Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter lives through terrible stress, and that affects him in the following year — but differently. The book Harry becomes very irritable and yells at everyone in his voice range; the movie Harry, on the contrary, almost becomes quieter but at the same time, he’s more anxious than ever before.

By changing the way the events of the previous summer affected Harry, the movies made him more sympathetic and relatable while still showing how messed up he is.

5. Making Umbridge Look More Humane

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Dolores Umbridge is one of the most hated characters in Harry Potter by both book and movie fans, but her movie version is admittedly better. In the books, Umbridge looks (and is described) like an evil toad which immediately gives away her nature. The movies show her as a sweet lady with an obsession with pink and cats, that’s it.

By not making Umbridge ugly, the movies allow her to show herself through actions while also highlighting that she deliberately disguises herself as a nice old lady.

4. Changing the Felix Felicis Sequence

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In The Half-Blood Prince, Harry’s tasked by Dumbledore to retrieve Professor Slughorn’s true memories, and The Boy Who Lived uses Liquid Luck for that. In the books, this sequence is pretty straightforward despite several comic reliefs; the movies took it to the next level, adding some hilarious — and dramatic — moments.

Harry acting like a happy drunk after using Felix Felicis creates the perfect build-up to Professor Slughorn’s tragic story about Lily Evans that wasn’t in the books at all.

3. Painting the Tale of the Three Brothers

Beedle the Bard’s old tale about the Three Brothers who tricked Death explained the mythical origins of the Deathly Hallows, and its movie version was incredibly well-crafted. The unique visual style of the tale added the much-needed elements of drama and, at the same time, a fairy tale to Xenophilius Lovegood’s narrative.

To be clear, there was no way for the books to compare with such a vivid and spectacular illustration of the tale, but the movies undeniably improved this scene.

2. Showing Bellatrix’s Torturing Hermione

When caught by the Death Eaters, the Golden Trio ends up in Malfoy Manor. There, Harry and Ron end up locked in the basement while Bellatrix Lestrange tortures Hermione upstairs. Hermione’s screams drive her friends insane, but they never see what exactly happens in the books — and neither do they see it in the movies.

But we catch a glimpse of Bellatrix carving the slur “Mudblood” into Hermione’s hand with a knife, which is a brutal but relevant reminder of who the Trio is dealing with.

1. Fixing Harry’s Decision-Making in the Finale

After the Battle of Hogwarts, Harry Potter is left with two out of the three Deathly Hallows. He wants to keep the Invisibility Cloak which is fair, but the second artifact is a deadly weapon that has only brought death and destruction through its entire history. The book Harry decides to…just return the Elder Wand to Dumbledore.

Thankfully, his movie version has more brains, and Harry destroys the Elder Wand, ridding the world of new power-hungry cretins with the ultimate weapon in the future.