Because having 200+ magically gifted and inexperienced students running around a giant castle isn’t enough of a recipe for trouble, Queen Rowling gave us the glory that is Peeves the nasty poltergeist, only to deny us the delicious headache of an on-screen adaptation.
2. The Midnight Duel
Draco and Harry’s oversized egos make their first big appearance in this episode: the 11 year olds schedule a secret duel after hours - and obviously Ron and Goyle have to come along as seconds, because the duel must go on, even if somebody Wingardium Levi-o-sas somebody else to death. It’s the trio’s first real brush with breaking the rules, and it’s a lot of fun. Naturally, Flake-o Draco doesn’t show.
3. Professor Binns
It’s understandable why the movie steered away from Binns, the ghost teacher who died of boredom in his own classroom and kept on going. Not particularly titillating to audiences, is it? Still, you may not have noticed you died, Binns, but I noticed you were missing!
4. The Deathday Party
Sorry Nick, the 500th anniversary of your death and the rotting food you and your dead friends passed through so you could kind of taste it are just not as important as watching Harry and Lockhart go through fanmail.
It’s kind of important to know that there’s such things as non-magical people born into wizarding families and about the guilt and shame that goes along with it, and that Filch is one of those poor souls and that’s why he’s such a jerk because he works in a school full of kids bursting with magic he can’t do, and he has to clean up after them manually, but hey, so little time and so many secondary characters that Our Lady Rowling so brilliantly and fully fleshed out.
6. Gryffindor Wins the Quidditch Cup
It’s too bad there wasn’t room for the one Voldemort-less victory in Harry’s life. Also it’s the best thing that ever happened to Oliver Wood and we had to miss Sean Biggerstaff’s happy tears. Not cool.
7. A Marauders History Lesson
PEOPLE WHO HAVE ONLY SEEN THE MOVIES DON’T KNOW WHAT AN ANIMAGUS IS, GUYS.
8. De-gnoming the Garden
OK, this has about zero reason to be in the films other than that it’s a pretty hilarious wizarding household chore and Rupert Grint would have made the best faces while pulling ugly little men out of the ground and swinging them around.
9. Charlie Weasley
Technically he’s mentioned a couple of times in the early films and makes a quick appearance in the family photo. But otherwise, the certain to be rugged and handsome dragon-taming Weasley will have to remain the stuff of fantasy for us.
10. Ludo Bagman
The minister for magical sports and games is a delightful flake with a gambling problem that subsequently supplies the nest-egg for Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes will always have a place in our hearts, even if not on our TV screens.
Can we talk about the film’s logic here for a second? The fourth book introduces Veelas, siren-like creatures with strong magical powers to make men fawn over them (Great way to work in Harry’s looming puberty, Jo), as the Bulgarian National Quidditch Team’s mascot. Fleur Delacour turns out to be half Veela. She goes to Beauxbatons, the French Hogwarts (so, you know, co-ed and all). Yet this translates into the movies as such: no mention of Veelas whatsoever, but all Beauxbatons students are hot chicks? (And conveniently all Durmstrang students are boxy Alpha-males?) Whaaaaaattttt?
We were denied a house-elf with a drinking problem, whyyyy? Even though the films and the internet are Winky-less, Winky was pretty integral to the whole Barty Crouch, Jr. plotline - the weakness and obviousness of the film version of the twist basically owes David Tennant its life. And speaking of house-elves…
OH HI, did you know that one of the major motifs of the book is about breaking down prejudices and inhumane hierarchy for all creatures, not just Harry’s friends? If you only saw the movies then probably not, because the house-elf liberation front - a.k.a the best and most frequent inciter of awesome Ron and Hermione fights and eventually their epically public make-out sesh - is conspicuously absent from the movies.
14. The Sphinx
The third-task of the Triwizard Tournament is just generally underplayed in the Goblet of Fire. Believe it or not, the complicated labyrinth consists of way more than heavy breathing while wandering and running into a cursed Viktor Krum.
15. “Remember my last”
The vague and infuriating letter Petunia gets from Dumbledore was a hot topic, but didn’t make the cut for the movies, which is too bad, because it would have fit in well with all the other vaguely-mentioned-but-never-properly-explained elements on screen.
16. Ron and Hermione Named Prefects
Ron got some recognition, Harry got jealous, and we got to fantasize about all of Ron and Hermione’s private moments in the Prefect’s Bathroom before Dumbledore assured us all that Harry is still his favorite and poor Ron is forever Harry’s second.
17. Weasley is Our King
Order of the Phoenix was supposed to be Ron’s year, man. But leave it to the movies to scrap Quidditch from the 5th film entirely, which not only deprived us of the Slytherin’s Ron-bashing party later re-appropriated by the Gryffindors, but also the rage that happened to everyone ever when Umbridge bans Quidditch. (Why couldn’t they write HER out of the movies, hmm?)
18. Firenze Teaches Divination
Remember that time Divination kind of made sense? Neither do any of the movie versions of Hogwarts students.
19. St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies
Ugh. So many things happened during the visit to Mr. Weasley, like, I don’t know, MEETING NEVILLE’S PARENTS and seeing Lockhart again and clues about the new Minister being a puppet. Plus a movie version of the hospital would have been legitimately cool looking.
20. Percy acts like a little bitch
The whole world may not know you were a sniveling little jerk for all of Order of the Phoenix, or about the prodigal son subplot you play out after, but the rest of us will never forget, Prefect Percy.
21. Marietta Edgecombe
Serious question: Why did the movies bother to show Cho and Harry kiss if they weren’t going to even remotely address the fallout of her best-friend ratting out Dumbledore’s Army and the massive fight she and Harry have about it after? Cho gets off super easy and is made basically pointless in the films when Umbridge makes her an informant with Veritaserum.
22. Apparition Tests and Wandless Magic
Essentially, nobody learned anything sixth year.
23. Merope Gaunt
And 90% of the rest of Voldemort’s history. Seriously, all of the sixth book is a Voldemort history lesson and we got practically nothing converted to screen.
24. The Bat Bogey Hex
This is completely trivial, but apparently Ginny was awesome at casting them, and I just really wanted to see what it did.
25. The Search for the Half-blood Prince
In the book, Hermione is obsessed with finding out who is behind Harry’s handy potion book, which leads the trio to unwittingly uncover details about Snape’s past. In the movie, we get this, 10 minutes before the film wraps: “OH BTW HARRY, I’M THAT THING THE MOVIE IS NAMED AFTER WHICH OTHERWISE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE PLOT. BYE.”
26. Teddy Lupin
Teddy makes Lupin and Tonk’s death like a million times more tragic than it already is, but movie audiences didn’t even know he existed until Harry kind of sort of mentions his future godson to Lupin’s ghost. SERIOUSLY. WHAT. I know Tonks is an animorphamagus and everything (not that the films explained that either) but being able to transform so you don’t look pregnant sounds a little too good to be true to me.
27. Support Messages at Godric’s Hollow
One of the most touching moments in The Deathly Hallows is when Harry discovers all of the messages of hope and support left for him at the site of his parent’s murder, but ain’t nobody in the movies got time for that.
28. The Truth About the Dumbledores
-Dumbledore’s relationship with Grindlewald? Mentioned so fast I nearly miss it every time.
-The rumoured-to-be-racist Dumbledore, Sr? What you talkin’ about Willis?
-Dumbledore and Aberforth’s rivalry? Huh?
-ABERFORTH’S LOVE OF GOATS? IT’s PG-13 now, we deserve the truth!