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The Harry Potter films are very faithful to the books, but as it is with any adaptation, some scenes and characters are left on the cutting room floor. Here are some of the biggest differences between the Harry Potter books and the films.
No Peeves – Peeves the Poltergeist was cut from the films. He was supposed to be played by Rik Mayall, who did some filming for the part, but director Chris Columbus cut his scenes.
Slytherins were at the final battle – In the book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the Slytherin students were not sent to the dungeons by Professor McGonagall.
The mysterious disappearance of Wood – Gryffindor’s overzealous Quidditch captain Oliver Wood disappeared suddenly from the movies, despite being referenced in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as attending the Quidditch World Cup and in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as returning to Hogwarts for the final battle.
Neville Longbottom’s parents – Neville’s parents Frank and Alice are referenced in the films, and they appear in a picture of the Order of the Phoenix’s original members. In the book, The Order of the Phoenix, Harry, Hermione, and Ron run into Neville at St. Mungo’s Hospital while they are visiting Ron’s father. Neville is visiting his parents, neither of whom recognize their own son. This scene is cut from the movie entirely.
Tonks and Remus Lupin’s child – The death of Tonks and Lupin in Deathly Hallows is especially painful because of their infant child. Movie audiences who hadn’t read the books, though, probably missed the news of their son Teddy altogether.
Voldemort’s full back-story – Some parts of Voldemort’s early life were kept in the movie, including when Dumbledore brought the news that he was accepted to Hogwarts, but many parts of Voldemort’s parents, including his mother’s love potion and his Muggle father, were left out of the movie.
Rufus Scrimgeour and the Ministry’s detainees – In Half-Blood Prince, Rufus Scrimgeour takes over as Minister for Magic after the disgraced Cornelius Fudge is run out of office. Most of his actions in Half-Blood Prince, like indefinitely detaining innocent people or inflating the Ministry’s successes against the Death Eaters for political gain, are left out of the movie. In the movie, he also never approaches Harry about stopping by the Ministry just so that the public sees him there and assumes he agrees with what they are doing.
The Dursley’s farewell – In Deathly Hallows, Harry says goodbye to the Dursleys before they leave their home to go into hiding, and Dudley, who bullied Harry for all those years, surprises readers by thanking Harry for saving his life and then shakes Harry’s hand.
Deathday Party – In Chamber of Secrets, Nearly-Headless Nick invites Harry, Ron, and Hermione to his Deathday Party. The scene is entirely cut from the movie.