Top Ten Things the Harry Potter Movies Did Better

As a complement to my post last week, I wanted to share another Top Ten List about the Harry Potter movies. However, this time, instead of tearing them apart, I want to point out the parts that the movies aced, creating a better viewing experience. Most of them are pretty minor changes that stood out from the original source material.


So here are the Top Ten Things the Harry Potter Movies Did Better:

  1. Generally: Hedwig’s Theme
    • Okay, so I love soundtracks. When I first heard Hedwig’s Theme (or Hedwig’s Flight), I fell in love with it. Whenever I hear it, it screams Harry Potter at me and that is one connection that I will never quite have with the books.
  2. The Chamber of Secrets: “Scared, Potter?”
    • This is actually a pretty minor change, but I love it.
    • As Draco and Harry are about to start their duel at the Duelling Club, Draco taunts Harry. In the book, he simply says, “Scared?” but in the movies, Tom Felton added Potter to the end. I’m not sure why I love this so much more, but I can’t get over it. I definitely prefer the addition of Harry’s last name added to the taunt.
    • Maybe it has to do with my recent Drarry obsession. I mean, what?
  3. The Chamber of Secrets: Harry and Lucius’s confrontation
    • Lucius Malfoy says “Let us hope that Mr. Potter will always be around to save the day,” to which Harry responds, “Don’t worry. I will be.”
    • When I first found out that Daniel Radcliffe improvised this line in the moment, I was stunned. It is a great moment and every time I watch this scene again, I love it just a bit more. Little Harry standing up to the big bad Lucius makes for a wonderful moment. The fact that it was improvised makes it even better.
  4. The Prisoner of Azkaban: Hermione hits Draco
    • In the book, Hermione slaps Draco, but in the movie, she punches them. I’m not going to lie, I much prefer the punch.
    • You can watch the scene on Youtube here if you want a pick-me-up. And trust me, you are going to need it after the reminder of this next one.
  5. The Goblet of Fire: Harry returns with Cedric’s body
    • In the book, Harry is basically taken away by Mad-Eye Moody as soon as he gets back with Cedric’s body.
    • In the movie, Harry stays, clinging to Cedric’s body, refusing to be pulled away from it. We also see the reactions of the people in the stands, including Hermione, Ron, Cho, and Cedric’s dad, Amos. It is that final reaction that is why I have included this scene. It is impossible to imagine a parent’s grief at realizing their child is gone, but hearing Amos’ cries in this scene is so heartbreaking, it actually hurt more than seeing Cedric murdered. These cries cannot be recreated in text, no matter how much emotion is there.
  6. The Order of the Phoenix: Fred and George’s Fireworks Display
    • I choose this moment for a bit of a different reason. I love the books version of this scene. However, I truly love the power and colourful dynamic that plays out on screen for the scene as well. Seeing the fireworks come to life is an incredible moment. Especially after it is clear how much work the twins have put into it.
  7. The Half Blood Prince: Harry on Felix Felicis potion
    • And another happy one for you, before I go and finish the list with despair.
    • Harry is known for being pretty sassy in the books (“No need to call me sir, Professor,” which I realize now should have been on my last list… I can’t believe I forgot it.) After he takes the Felix Felicis potion in the movie though, he is straight up comical.
    • Harry has a lot going on in his life at all times, so his completely relaxed demeanor on the potion makes this scene pretty enjoyable. He isn’t worried if he is going to say the right thing. He can be “Harry, just Harry,” for once. Kudos to Daniel Radcliffe for doing such a great job in the scene.
  8. The Deathly Hallows: Hermione obliviates her parents
    • Time to break your heart with the reminders again.
    • In the book, we hear about Hermione sending her obliviated parents to Australia after the fact.
    • In the movie, we actually watch it happen. We have to see Hermione’s face as she watches her life disappear from her parents. It is heart-wrenching, but a beautiful added touch. It adds to the darkness of the film by showing that war affects more than just those who do the actual fighting.
  9. The Deathly Hallows: Hermione is tortured by Bellatrix
    • There is probably some contention over whether this scene is better in the books or in the movies. I’m going to have to go with the movie on this one. In the book, we only gets things from the point of view in the Malfoy dungeons.
    • However, in the movie, we hear Hermione scream and it is paired with her tear soaked face. There is a droplet of blood that slides down her arm where Bellatrix craved Mudblood. Each of these adds to the experience of the scene. It is difficult to read and even more difficult to watch. That is accurate about torture though. It shouldn’t be easy and the movie reminds us of that here.
  10. The Deathly Hallows: The Courtyard Fight Scene
    • I already mentioned how much I love soundtracks. The scene where Harry, Hermione and Ron are running through the fight taking place in the courtyard has one of the most haunting pieces of music I can think of in the series.
    • Not to mention, the stark difference that this scene gives us as the Golden Trio run through the battlefield. While the book can describe a battle, watching the scene, especially with the music, really brings it home.

Some honourable mentions:

  • The first task of the Triwizard Tournament – the dragon doesn’t stampede all over her eggs in the movie
  • Ron’s reaction to Fred’s death
  • Bellatrix’s death at the hands of Molly Weasley
  • Dobby’s final words

Do you agree with my list? What do you think the movies did better? Let me know in the comments.

2 thoughts on “Top Ten Things the Harry Potter Movies Did Better

  1. Pingback: August Wrap-Up – All is Fair in Love and Writing

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