Where the movies could have made a great case for social injustice, they simply left out the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare. Created by none other than Hermione Granger, S.P.E.W. points out the mistreatment of house elves by almost all Wizards - even the “good” ones - and works to help stop the forced servitude of these creature. And what’s even worse is that house elves are practically left out of the entire movie series! Sure, there’s Dobby in The Chamber of Secrets/Deathly Hallows and briefly Kreature in The Order of the Phoenix, but what about Winky in The Goblet of Fire? No mention of her whatsoever in the movies! Essentially, house elves ROCK and all Hermione wanted was for them to be an equal part of the wizarding society. But you would never even know about S.P.E.W. unless you read the books.
2. Peeves the Poltergeist
Ask most every Harry Potter reader and they’ll tell you that the leaving out of the beloved Peeves the Poltergeist is one of the worst parts about the movies. In fact, ghosts are hardly in the movies at all when in the books, they’re a constant around Hogwarts. There’s also no explanation on why only certain people become ghosts after death, something that Harry wonders after Sirius dies. Anyways. Good ole Peeves was always getting into trouble and provided a much needed comic relief throughout the series. He was annoying, loud, and most all students tried their best to avoid him as he would often rat them out to teachers. But readers love him. Especially because in the 7th book, he sings an original song that include the lyrics “now Voldy’s gone moldy, so now let’s have fun!” all throughout the castle. Peeves was also often in cahoots with Fred and George Weasley and he was someone who, in The Order of The Phoenix, EVERYONE (readers and fictional characters alike) adored for his pranks on the horrid Professor Umbridge.
3. The Marauders
Yes, we all know about The Marauders’ Map from The Prisoner of Azkaban, but what about the Marauders themselves? The movies don’t even mention that “messers Mooney, Wormtail, Padfood, and Prongs” from the map are in fact Remus Lupin, Peter Pettigrew, Sirius Black, and James Potter (respectively). It is Lupin, after all, who very insistently states that “the map never lies”, but why would he know that? Because he’s one of the makers. It’s a great plot line that is completely glossed over most likely for times sake. But ask any HP reader and they’ll probably all tell you how we would much rather have a Marauders short series than a Fantastic Beasts one.
4. Neville’s Parents
The Longbottom’s story is nothing less than tragic. After being tortured by deatheaters to the point of insanity, they suffer a fate worse than death by having to continue to live on not knowing any of who they are or even who their son is. Frank and Alice live out of their lives in St. Mungo’s Hospital (along with Gilderoy Lockhart, another detail left out in the movies) never to know anything but the insanity that consumes them. Neville may make them proud, but they never know it. They, like Harry’s parents, sacrificed their lives for their son, but the fact that they didn’t die from the cruciatus curse only makes it harder for Neville to move on from the family that he lost. There’s slight mention of them in the movie, but it doesn’t do them justice. All these details and more can be found in the 5th book.
5. The Prophecy
The prophecy in the 5th movie describes that a baby is to be born at the end of July with the power to defeat Lord Voldemort. It never specifically names or describes Harry, simple a baby boy. Coincidentally, one Neville Longbottom is also born at the end of July. So was Harry ever really “The Chosen One”? Or could it have been Neville? If Voldemort hadn’t have been defeated the night he killed Harry’s parents, he would have gone on to kill Neville as well to ensure his own safety, as he was very well aware of the prophecy and what it stated. There are argument among fans that it could have been Harry or Neville with “the power to defeat the dark lord”, but it also could have been both of them. After all, without Neville’s help in The Deathly Hallows, the last horcrux wouldn’t have been destroyed and Harry might not have been able to defeat Voldemort.
6. The Dursley’s Redemption
In the books, Dudley leaves Harry with the heart felt sentiment that he actually doesn’t despise his cousin all that much, which is a lot of emotion for Big D. Aunt Petunia attempts to offer what might be a kind word to her fleeting nephew, but holds back. While these scenes were filmed for the 7th movie, they never made it in. So those who only watch the films are left to think that the Dursley’s couldn’t care less for Harry even after all those years. What a shame.
7. The Three Brothers
Okay, so it’s kind of a confusing plot line even for readers and it takes a while to put all the pieces together. But essentially Harry was a descendent of Ignotus Peverell, one of the three brothers from the story that Hermione reads aloud to Xenophilius Lovegood in the 1st part of the 7th movie. This is why Harry’s father had the invisibility cloak, because it was passed down in his family. Turns out Voldemort is also a descendent of Cadmus Peverell, the brother who owned the resurrection stone. Perhaps that’s why he was so fascinated with being immortal. So technically, Harry and Voldemort were related in some really distant way. Another fun family tree fact is that Arthur Weasley’s mother was a Black, so the Weasley’s are distantly related to the Black’s and the Malfoy’s, as Draco’s mother is apart of the Black family as well (her sister being Bellatrix). Guess that’s what happens when you’re in such an isolated community and everyone wants to breed purebred - not a big pool to choose from!
8. Percy Weasley
The only way any watchers or the films will remember Percy Weasley is from his brief scenes in the 1st and 3rd movies. Other than that, he is no where to be found in the story. Percy is a majorly minor character in the movies, but he played an important role in the books. One of the most heart breaking moments is when he decides to side with his job at the ministry over his family, thus cutting off all ties with his brothers and sister. This beyond devastates Mrs. Weasley and angers Mr. Weasley to the point where none of the family can even mention their traitor brothers name without her bursting into tears and him angrily exiting the room. Which tags along with another detail left out - the bogart in the Black family house. When Mrs. Weasley begins to clean, it escapes the wardrobe and her worst fear is revealed - all of her children and loved ones lying dead before her. Not a key element, but still something that readers wanted included. Percy’s leaving is a tense predicament which shows just how much family’s can be torn apart in the wake of war, but also sheds light on the devotion to family when he finally comes home and fights with his father and mother instead of against them.
9. Retrieving the Sorcerer’s Stone
The journey that Harry, Ron, and Hermione make to get to The Sorcerer’s Stone is very skewed in the movies. For one thing, Ron doesn’t freak out in the devil’s snare, in fact he stays rather calm. More importantly, however, is the task which Hermione delivers the trio from. Essentially, Snape set up a series of riddles tied together with potion making that, let’s face it, Ron and Harry wouldn’t have been able to figure out. Leaving this out of the movies makes Hermione’s contribution to the group somewhat less - after all, casting a sunlight spell isn’t that hard. Solving potions that if done wrong could poison you? Yeah, that’s a lot harder.
10. Snape’s Memories
There’s an entire chapter devoted to the memories that Snape gives to Harry in The Deathly Hallows, and in the movie it’s rather quick and not as detailed as fans would have liked. The chapter, titled “The Prince’s Tale”, is most readers favorite thing about the 7th book, as it brings Snape’s character full circle and gives an in depth view to his relationship with both Lily and James Potter. The sequence in the movie simply does not do it justice.
11. Voldemort’s parents
The backstory of Tom Riddle is touched on, but not gone into as great of a detail in the movies as it is in the books. What the movies don’t tell us is that Voldemort’s mother, a witch, formulated a love potion and gave it to Tom Riddle Sr., a muggle. They “fell in love” and after some time, she decided to stop giving him the potion and let him decide to love her on his own, at least for the sake of their son who was yet to be born. Long story short - he went running for the hills and Tom is sent to the muggle orphanage after his mother dies in childbirth.
12. Wormtail’s Death
Some argue that Peter Pettigrew’s death is his attempt to redeem himself for betraying James and Lily Potter and blaming Sirius for his crimes, which could very much be the case. But his suicide is no where in the movie. After The Goblet of Fire when Pettigrew cuts off his own hand for Voldemort, the dark lord then issues his servant with a new magical hand. Fast forward to the 7th book when Harry and the gang are trying to escape Malfoy Manor. Contrary to the movies, Pettigrew finds them and has the chance to rat them out (pun intended) or let them go free. Instead of calling attention to them, Pettigrew’s own hand begins to strangle him, and they have no choice but to run off and continue to try and escape. Now did Pettigrew have to kill himself? Did the hand act on it’s own? Perhaps. He owed Harry’s family a debt and it’s possible that the hand knew that and therefore satisfied it with its masters own death. Karma. It’s a killer.