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!
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.
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.
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.
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?)
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.
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.
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.
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!