It’s no surprise that some of these Harry Potter book characters didn’t make the cut for the movies, even if they are some of your favorites.
Not only did we lose many Harry Potter book characters in the films, we also lost many Pensieve scenes. In Half-Blood Prince, Dumbledore shows Harry memories of the Gaunt family. Not only do these Pensieve scenes show where a Horcrux is, they also show Voldemort’s mother, uncle, and grandfather. Who doesn’t love an origin story?
The Gaunt family is among the most important Harry Potter book characters to be left out of the movies. They may not have had any direct impact to the present Harry Potter timeline (given they were all dead long before Sorcerer’s Stone began), but they still were a major part of the series.
Knowing the circumstances surrounding Voldemort’s conception gives him more dimension than just a cartoon villain. It makes him feel more real, less like a caricature, and in some ways that makes him feel more dangerous.
Perhaps it made sense not to include Peeves in the Harry Potter films. We had Fred and George for comic relief and hijinks. Did we really need more? Well…yeah.
We were robbed of such gems, like McGonagall’s “it unscrews the other way,” a moment of levity from Lupin when he magics gum up Peeves’ nose, and the final battle’s “We did it, we bashed them, wee Potter’s the One, And Voldy’s gone mouldy, so now let’s have fun!” Hogwarts may be full of all kinds of danger, but the real, everyday threat of being whacked by walking sticks never made it to the films. A missed opportunity.
There were a lot of new characters in Goblet of Fire, so it’s no surprise that so many of them got cut from the film. One such casualty was Barty Crouch Sr.’s house-elf, Winky. Her main job was to watch over Barty Crouch Jr., until she was
set free fired for neglecting her duties and being falsely accused of casting a Dark Mark.
Winky then began to work in the kitchens at Hogwarts with the other house elves. She was still distraught about being “set free” from her master though, resulting in her falling into a depression and becoming an alcoholic.
The Harry Potter books definitely started to take on more mature themes by Goblet of Fire, but the films remained mostly kid-friendly. A depressed, alcoholic house-elf who wants to serve probably would have been too heavy for the movies. We did get two different house-elf perspectives of being enslaved through Dobby and Kreacher, but Winky’s character would have added more mature themes to the films.
Another Pensieve scene that wasn’t adapted into the Harry Potter movies was when Voldemort gets the Hufflepuff cup and the Slytherin locket. It indicates a rather important characteristic of Voldemort’s personality that is almost entirely eliminated from the films.
When we finally see Voldemort in his true form in Goblet of Fire, he’s already the snakelike, evil leader, hell-bent on killing Harry. There’s no nuance to his character. He’s not only terrifying to look at, but by this point, he’s one of the most powerful wizards to have ever lived, second only to Dumbledore. In his youth, however, he was attractive, cunning, and charismatic. It’s a side of Voldemort that at first feels unexpected, but it explains how he’s managed to get as far as he has.
In the Half-Blood Prince film, it does show some of that youthful charm put to work on Slughorn, but it’s Tom Riddle’s interactions with Hepzibah Smith, and her ultimate murder, that truly show the early stages of how devious and ruthless he was.
Poor Charlie Weasley is the only Weasley who doesn’t get an appearance in the Harry Potter films (if you exclude his image in a photo in Prisoner of Azkaban). He’s arguably the most interesting Weasley. Charlie was the Gryffindor seeker by his second year, and according to Oliver Wood, he was good enough to play for the national team if he’d wanted to. Instead, he chose to move to Romania and study dragons.
As awkward and uncomfortable family reunions can be during the holidays, Charlie would be great to have around the dinner table. By the sound of it, he’s a more athletic-looking Newt Scamander. Charlie is a Harry Potter book character who didn’t make it into the movies for obvious reasons, but for equally obvious reasons, how could they not want to give him an appearance?
Another character cut from Goblet of Fire is former star Quidditch player Ludo Bagman. He only appears in the one book, and his role isn’t very consequential to any characters, the plot of the book, or the plot of the series.
As head of the Department of Magical Games and Sports, Ludo helped organize the Quidditch World Cup and was commentator for the Triwizard Tournament. Aside from refusing to pay a bet he lost to the Weasley twins, Ludo doesn’t have much purpose. With so many other new Harry Potter book characters introduced in Goblet of Fire, there was no way to include them all in the film, and Ludo was an easy choice to cut loose.
The Muggle Prime Minister
Whether you’re a fan of the Half-Blood Prince film or not, we can all agree that not including the first chapter, “The Other Minister,” was a mistake. The film instead starts off with an action sequence, wherein the Millennium Bridge collapses due to a Death Eater attack. It’s an obvious, dramatic way to open a movie with an action sequence, but sometimes the obvious isn’t the best choice.
Rather than a dramatic action sequence, Half-Blood Prince could have started with a dramatic (and humorous) dialogue sequence. It’s one of the only scenes in the series that takes place from a Muggle perspective, which is exactly why it has value.
True, the Millennium Bridge being destroyed does establish how the Wizarding world can affect the Muggle world, but even in its grandiosity, it’s still less impactful. To know that the Muggle Prime Minister is aware of the Wizarding world adds a whole other layer to the series. It makes it feel less insular and shows just how far reaching their influence can be.
There are some really great Harry Potter book characters that never made it into the films, but Professor Binns is probably not one of them. This History of Magic professor is regarded by his students as super boring, so it’s hardly a surprise he was cut from every Harry Potter film.
Andromeda and Ted Tonks
Tonks’ parents never made it into the Harry Potter films, which isn’t surprising considering Tonks’ own role was fairly reduced from the book adaptation. That said, Andromeda’s inclusion in the films, even if briefly, would have been worthwhile.
Andromeda Tonks is actually the sister to Bellatrix Lestrange and Narcissa Malfoy. She was born into a pureblood purist family, the Blacks, sorted as a Slytherin like the rest of her sisters, but doesn’t subscribe to their beliefs whatsoever. She married a Muggle-born wizard, and while she never joined the Order of the Phoenix like her daughter, she was on their side and provided assistance wherever possible.
If there’s one thing the Harry Potter books and films are negligent in, it’s their poor representation of Slytherin students. Not all Slytherins are bad, not even all Blacks are bad, and having a character like her in the films would have been a good reminder of that.
Okay, they’re not technically a “character” so much as an entire species. However, they’re a huge oversight in terms of creatures we missed out on in the films. They’re popular and unique enough to be considered a separate character. Even the Wizarding World of Harry Potter knows how much they mean to fans of the series. The new Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure ride features a blast-ended skrewt. Though not influential to the story in any way, they’re a Harry Potter character that’s quite iconic, and their presence is certainly missed in the films.
Teddy Lupin, son of the late and great Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks, is another victim of Harry Potter book characters who didn’t make it into the movies. Teddy may have only been in the epilogue, and his role to the series’ plot is inconsequential, but his existence does represent something important.
Teddy is meant to reflect Harry’s own story. Harry Potter is about a boy orphaned by Voldemort’s war who grew up during a Wizarding war, but was (eventually) surrounded by people who care about him. Likewise, Teddy is a boy orphaned by Voldemort, but he grows up surrounded by loving friends and family.
We see Teddy on platform 9 3/4, happy, having had a fulfilled childhood. It brings the series full circle, starting and ending with a boy orphan, but this time in a safer, more stable world. That theme is lost in the films without seeing Teddy and knowing how he turned out.
Marietta is Cho Chang’s friend and a member of Dumbledore’s Army. The only real reason she would have been good to include in the Harry Potter movies is to help Cho’s story make more sense.
In the books, Marietta ends up snitching on Dumbledore’s Army to Umbridge, revealing its existence and location. In the movie, Cho is the one who tells Umbridge under the influence of Veritaserum. For some unknown reason, she is then shunned by the group for “betraying” them, even though she unwillingly drank a truth serum that forced her to rat them out. This then triggers her and Harry’s break up. It makes Harry look terrible and renders Cho’s character useless for the rest of the film series.