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Top 10 Best Changes & Additions the Harry Potter Movies Made

VO: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Savannah Sher
We know the books are better, but hey, the movies got some things right! Join us as we down our picks for the Top 10 Best Changes & Additions the Harry Potter Movies Made.For this list, we’re looking at the biggest improvements the filmmakers made to the story in their adaptation, be it changes, additions or just great use of the visual medium.
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Top 10 Best Changes & Additions the Harry Potter Movies Made

We know the books are better, but hey, the movies got some things right! Welcome to MsMojo and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Best Changes & Additions the Harry Potter Movies Made.
For this list, we’re looking at the biggest improvements the filmmakers made to the story in their adaptation, be it changes, additions or just great use of the visual medium.

#10: Hermione and Ron’s Yule Ball Fight
“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” (2005)

As far as the main trio goes, Hermione is consistently the least emotional of the group. As she starts to become more aware of her feelings for Ron, however, she loses some of that composure. After the Yule Ball, Hermione is furious that Ron has been acting jealous all night when he missed the chance to ask her to the ball himself. In the book, because Harry isn’t there to witness most of Ron and Hermione’s fight, the reader only gets a tiny snippet of it. For the film, though, they extended the scene to show Hermione screaming and eventually sobbing on the steps of the entrance hall, letting viewers in on the pain she was feeling.

#9: Hermione Being Tortured
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1” (2010)

Similarly, this is another scene that took place off-screen in the books that would be brought to life by the films. In the final book, Harry, Ron and Hermione end up at Malfoy manor after being captured by Snatchers. The boys are put in a dungeon, while Hermione is left with Bellatrix, who delights in showing her exactly what she thinks of muggle-borns. In the book, Harry and Ron hear Hermione’s screams as she’s being tortured, but readers don’t really know what’s going on. In the movie, we get to see it in all its excruciating detail.

#8: Harry and Hermione Bonding Over Heartbreak
“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” (2009)

Book six is when the romance plots really start to bloom for the students in Harry’s year. As Harry’s just beginning to realize he has feelings for Ginny, Hermione’s contending with the fact that Ron is dating “Lav-Lav”. In the film, the writers opted to add a scene where Harry goes to find a clearly distraught Hermione, and the two friends share a quiet moment together. It’s a sweet and tender scene that shows what good friends these two are, without implying any romantic tension between them.

#7: Sirius Saying "Nice One, James"
“Harry Potter and the Order Of the Phoenix” (2007) After all this time, we’re still not over Sirius’ death. Fans of the books didn’t think it was possible that the movies could possibly make his final scene even sadder than in the books, but they did it anyway. Rather than fighting separately in the Department of Mysteries, the film has Harry and Sirius battle side by side. In one heart-wrenching moment, just before being dealt his final blow, Sirius says, "Nice one, James", momentarily mistaking Harry for his old friend. While not everyone loved this addition, it hits us in the feels every time.


#6: Neville's Speech
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2” (2011)

In the movies, Neville’s connection to the prophecy is somewhat downplayed, and we wouldn’t be surprised if the whole thing went over viewers’ heads. That’s why it was so great to give Neville the attention he deserved at the very end of “Deathly Hallows – Part 2”. Neville, who’s considered to be somewhat of a coward throughout the series, stands up to Voldemort in a moment where bravery really matters most – delivering an impassioned speech to encourage his compatriots to keep on fighting even though they’ve seemingly lost Harry.

#5: Felix Felicis
“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” (2009)

There are few moments of levity in the later “Harry Potter” books and movies, so the filmmakers adding this hilarious sequence was a genius idea and a nice touch. In “Half Blood Prince”, Harry takes Felix Felicis, or Liquid Luck, in order to improve his chances of getting access to Slughorn’s unedited memory. In the film, Harry acts like he’s intoxicated while the potion is affecting him, making for some very funny scenes to break the tension of what’s going on. That pincer scene gets us every time.

#4: Snape at Godric’s Hollow
“Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows – Part 2” (2011)

Before the final book was released, there was much speculation as to whether there was anyone else in Godric’s Hollow the night the Potters were killed. In the movies, they made the creative decision to have Snape arrive at the Potters’ house after they’ve been murdered, but before anyone else gets there. In that scene, we see a side of Snape we’ve never seen before. Learning the conflicted man’s true feelings for Lily is already a big moment, but this visual really brings it home. The use of music, paired with the inspired ordering of his memories, made this one of the most poignant sequences in the franchise.

#3: The Tale of the Three Brothers
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1” (2010)
When Xenophilius Lovegood tells Harry, Ron, and Hermione “The Tale of the Three Brothers” in the book, it’s presented as a story within a story. It would have been pretty boring to just film the actor reading out the entire tale, however, so the creators decided to add an unexpected animated sequence. It’s a departure from the typical storytelling method employed in the films up until this point, and one that could have gone over poorly. But this scene was executed in a way that made “The Tales of Beedle the Bard” more exciting than they’d ever been before.

#2: How Hedwig Dies
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1” (2010)

When Harry is trying to make a safe escape from the Dursleys’ house at the beginning of the final book, they use Polyjuice Potion to create six additional Harrys to confuse the Death Eaters. Their route doesn’t go as planned, however, and eventually realize who the real Harry is. In the books, this is because of Harry using a spell, but in the movies, they make Hedwig protect Harry and sacrifice herself, which gives him away. This death was already shocking and devastating, but the film managed to make it even more painful and poignant.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
The Tribute to Dumbledore
“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” (2009)

Lucius Malfoy's Cane Wand
“Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” (2002)


Seeing More of the Battle of Hogwarts
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2” (2011)

#1: Showing Hermione Erasing Her Parents’ Memories
“Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows” (Part 1) (2010)

One of the most emotionally affecting scenes in the movies actually happens off-screen in the books. Before going on the run with Ron and Harry, Hermione wants to protect her parents from being targeted by Lord Voldemort. She erases their memories and sends them packing so that they’ll be far away from the action. Though it’s simply mentioned that she’s done this in the books, we see it take place in the movie, and watch as her image fades from all the photos in their home. Pass the Kleenex, please!

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