Top 10 Harry Potter Movie Questions That Were Answered in the Books
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Top 10 Harry Potter Movie Questions That Were Answered in the Books

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Garrett Alden
When you have a book series as dense as this one, some things are bound to be left on the cutting room floor. For this list, we'll be going over the unexplained plot points from the enchanting series that were fully explored on the page. Our countdown includes Why Does the Defense Teacher Always Change?, Why Couldn't Harry See Thestrals Earlier?, How Did Voldemort's Followers Find the Trio?, and more!
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Top 10 Harry Potter Questions That Were Answered in the Book


Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 “Harry Potter” questions that were answered in the book.

For this list, we’ll be going over the unexplained plot points from the enchanting series that were fully explored on the page.

If there’s a wizarding question we magically left off our list, please take your quills to the comments. Not really though – it scratches up your keyboards and phones.

#10: Why Does the Defense Teacher Always Change?

“Harry Potter” Franchise (2001-11)
Audiences probably notice that Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has quite a lot of turnover with its staff. At least, it does with one particular position – the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. Every single year Harry Potter attends the school, there’s a new person doing the job. And they don’t stay for long. We’ve seen professors die, get amnesia, be revealed as imposters and more. This phenomena all comes down to He-who-must-not-be-named. As Dumbledore tells Harry in the “Half-Blood Prince” book, Voldemort once applied for the position. When Dumbledore denied it to him, the dark lord put a curse on the job. But if we’re being honest, most of them deserved to be sacked.

#9: How Did Harry Know Lupin & Tonks Had a Son?

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2” (2011)
It’s the side characters who get the real short end of the wand in the movies. During the final battle, Harry uses one of the titular Deathly Hallows to speak with his departed loved ones. One of the departed souls is his former defense against the dark arts professor Remus Lupin. During their conversation, he mentions Lupin having a son. However, this information about his fatherhood is only slightly referenced but never fully explained in “Part 1”. The seventh book features a scene where Lupin asks Harry to be his son’s godfather. But the eighth film only has a deleted scene where the former professor talks about his son with Tonks while Harry’s not around.

#8: Why is Harry Allowed to Go to Hogsmeade?

“Harry Potter” Franchise (2001-11)
Starting from their third year, Hogwarts students are allowed to visit the local village Hogsmeade for weekend trips. However, they need permission from their parents or guardians. Harry’s family doesn’t sign off on his field trips because he turned his aunt into a human balloon. This forces him to sneak into Hogsmeade through secret passages and while under his invisibility cloak. But in later films, Harry has no problems visiting the village the normal way. In the books, it’s clear that Harry’s godfather Sirius Black signed the permission form the boy who lived needed. It’s odd that the filmmakers didn’t just explain this with a quick couple lines of dialogue.

#7: How Can Fred & George Afford to Open a Shop?

“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” (2009)
The Weasley family aren’t well-to-do wizards. While they may live in one of the coolest houses in the world, they're still quite poor by magical standards. So, it probably surprised a few viewers to see that Fred and George managed to establish a joke shop on Diagon Alley in the sixth film. But how did they get such prime wizarding real estate? Well, “Goblet of Fire” neglected to mention that the winner of the tournament got a cash prize. Since Harry inherited tons of money, he gave the winnings to Fred and George. Their burgeoning business wouldn’t have been possible if Harry hadn’t reached the cup that fateful night.

#6: Why Couldn’t Harry See Thestrals Earlier?

“Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” (2007)
Harry Potter has been haunted by death since an early age. That’s why the thestrals in the fifth movie left viewers scratching their heads. Since these creatures can only be seen by people who have watched someone die, Harry should’ve seen them earlier. He was in the room when his mother died and watched Professor Quirrell turn to dust in front of him. However, both events were depicted differently on the page. He was in his crib while Voldemort killed his mother. And Harry also passed out before Quirrell died. While you could argue he should’ve been able to see them after Cedric’s tragic end, the books made it more plausible why he couldn't view them earlier.

#5: How Did Dumbledore Find the First 2 Horcruxes?

“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” (2009)
During the sixth film, Dumbledore lets Harry know that Voldemort has multiple Horcruxes. These sinister items contained pieces of the dark lord’s soul and helped him cheat death. However, the movie never delves into how Dumbledore figured out where the ring and locket Horcruxes were or why Voldemort chose those items specifically. The book details that both items have ties to the dark lord’s family. Dumbledore found the ring in a house that belonged to Voldemort’s relative. And after reviewing the dark lord’s life, the headmaster uncovered a cave the evil wizard used to visit. These small details explain how Dumbeldore found two of Voldemort’s most important possessions.

#4: How Did Barty Crouch Jr. Escape Azkaban?

“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” (2005)
One of “Goblet of Fire’s” biggest reveals is that Barty Crouch Jr. has been impersonating a dark arts professor this whole time. Before this reveal, we saw a memory of him being sent to a legendary wizarding prison Azkaban by his father. However, the film never explains how Crouch Jr. got out. The book explains that his father brought his dying wife to Azkaban. She then switched places with Barty Crouch Jr. While Mrs. Crouch died while disguised in prison, Barty Crouch Jr. was imprisoned and controlled by his father for years. The films also don’t mention that the Voldemort follower received the Dementor’s kiss later on. Maybe knowing his soul was sucked out might’ve been too much for viewers. [xref]

#3: How Did Voldemort’s Followers Find the Trio?

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1” (2010)
One would think the three experienced young heroes would be better able to hide themselves from Death Eaters and Voldemort’s other minions. However, during the first of the final two films, the trio is repeatedly found by the villains. But these incidents aren’t just about bad luck. In the book, Ron reveals that You-Know-Who has put a taboo spell on his own name. The dark lord reasons that Harry and others who rebel against him aren’t scared of saying Voldemort’s name. So, anyone who speaks his moniker aloud will have their location instantly made known to Voldemort and his followers. It turns out that Harry’s bravery was his undoing.


#2: Where Did the Two-Way Mirror Come From?

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1” & “Part 2” (2010-11)
In the two “Deathly Hallows” films, Harry suddenly acknowledges he has a shard of a mirror that lets him reach out to other people over great distances. This item becomes a crucial plot element because it leads to the heroes being rescued from Malfoy Manor. However, we never actually see Harry receive the mirror in the films. The final film just explains that it belonged to Sirius. But those who read “Order of the Phoenix” know that Sirius gave Harry the mirror so they could easily communicate. Admittedly, leaving the mirror out of early films explains why the young hero didn’t try to confirm that his godfather was kidnapped by Voldemort in his fifth year. The mirror omission might’ve actually helped the narrative.

#1: Who Are the Marauders?

“Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” (2004)
In the third film, Harry is introduced to the Marauder’s Map. This magical document was created by Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs. But the identities of this group weren’t fully fleshed out in the films. While the connection is never made on screen, the Marauders are James Potter, Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, and Peter Pettigrew. The failure to explore their identities unfortunately leads to several weird plot moments. In one instance, Harry insists the person who conjures a stag Patronus must be his dad since his map codename was Prongs. The boy who lived also refers to Sirius as Padfoot out of nowhere. By not defining the marauders, the filmmakers definitely managed to stir up some plot mischief.
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