So, my mom, sister and I started this ‘thing’ (for lack of a better term) where we read the Harry Potter books one by one and watch the movies with each corresponding book. And then we complain and compare throughout the movie on what was changed, why it was changed, and what we would have done.
So below, is a collection of our thoughts!
Aunt Petunia is making a cake, but in the book it’s a pudding with sugared violets… We’ll revisit the cake later.
Dobby is sitting on his bed, not jumping all over the bed and Dobby never smacks his head into the dresser, it’s actually the wall and the window. (There’s a lot out-of-order in this part, but not going to address all of that.)
Alright, the cake falling onto Mrs. Mason. It actually falls on the floor, it looked rather gooey inside, so maybe it was pudding. But still, it landed on the floor and got all over Harry, not Mrs. Mason. Maybe that was for ‘dramatic’ effect, haha.
The Dursley’s actually don’t hear the bars coming off the window, it’s Hedwig calling for Harry. And all of his wizarding stuff wasn’t in his room, but rather his old room ‘the cupboard under the stairs.’ Annnnnd Mr. Dursley doesn’t fall out of the window, but we decided we liked that addition.
They cut out the de-gnoming of the yard, which I understand because it is just a bit of fluff, but it would have been cool to see.
Fred and George demonstrate using floo powder for Harry, not Ron. Also, in the book there is a fire already in the grate, you throw the floo powder, step in and then say your destination.
Hermione doesn’t fix his glasses when they meet up, and they don’t immediately go to the bookstore.
This whole interaction in the bookstore is irritating… Lockhart doesn’t spot Harry in the crowd, it’s because Ron gets stepped on.
(Let me take this moment to point out that I really despise Lockhart, and they picked an excellent actor for the role)
Lockhart also mentions at this point that he will be the new DADA teacher. Following this, the interaction with Lucius is… well, they add that bit about Voldemort’s name. Unnecessary really, and then Mr. Weasley is supposed to get into a fight with Lucius. I was actually looking forward to that.
The movie also makes it seem that the passage of time is really short. He arrives at the Burrow, the next day they go to Diagon Alley and then they are at King’s Cross. There’s actually a whole month of time that passes.
The car is actually invisible when they start off, but shorts out over London before they rise into the clouds. And Harry is never in danger of falling out of the car, we’ve decided that was a bit of added ‘dramatics’ because the trip to Hogwarts is actually rather long and boring.
The whomping willow. They don’t actually get stuck in the tree, they just run into it. And honestly, it’s not much of a willow to me. I guess they took artistic liberties, but I just don’t like it.
Snape is the one who finds Harry and Ron, not Filch. And Snape looks so satisfied and smug with the boys being in trouble, but in the movie he just looks angry.
Well, a lot is skipped, and we end up in Herbology. Hermione never mentions anything about the Mandrake restores people who are petrified. She mentions it is a restorative used on those who have been transfigured our cursed. And pink earmuffs. PINK! Would it have been that hard to make pink muffs? Also, she’s explaining the mandrake re-potting while they have earmuffs on. How can they hear her? She gives them a thumbs up and then tells them about the mandrakes. This is also where we meet Justin Finch-Fletchley, but alas it is not to be at this moment.
And then, we have the Howler. Which actually came earlier in the book, but for movie sake, alright. I like how they animated it, but they cut a lot of her angry speech out. And she never mentions anything about Ginny, but we’ve decided that was because they cut out when Ron asks McGonagall about the sorting. They wrap Collin Creevey into this part, which is not how it happens at all.
Then we have Gilderoy Lockhart and DADA. The cornish pixies. Lockhart doesn’t go into his office, he actually leaves the classroom, asking the three to take care of them for him. Hermione doesn’t use a charm to freeze
We move forward to Quidditch, with the fight between Gryffindor and Slytherin. When Malfoy calls Hermione a mudblood, several people make a move to jump on him. Hermione actually doesn’t know what mudblood means, Ron explains most of it.
A lot in this part of the movie is twisted up a bit, and Harry gets invited to Sir Nick’s death day party. Which we never see, but understandable.
Finally the point of the movie, the Chamber of Secrets! They stumble upon the Ms. Norris petrified and the message claiming the Chamber of Secrets is open. This is pretty good to how it happened in the book, though they do go to Lockhart’s office. This part moves along a bit quickly, he hears the voice with Lockhart signing autographs, and then we fast forward a bit to another day when Ms. Norris gets petrified.
Hermione asks Professor Binns about the Chamber of Secrets, and he only tells them after much prodding. In the movie McGonagall tells them, and doesn’t really hesitate to tell them.
Hermione learns about the Polyjuice potion from Snape’s class, and then they have to get a permission slip to get the book with the ‘recipe’ from the Restricted section. And of course, Harry flatters Lockhart to get it, which again is absent. They could have really made Lockhart much more annoying.
The bludger is rogue from the beginning of the match, it doesn’t happen out of no where while Harry is playing. Malfoy and Harry don’t have a fight in which the bludger destroys the stadium, the match is over pretty quickly with Harry grabbing it from alongside Malfoy’s head. Marcus Flint actually reprimands Malfoy for it in the book. And Harry actually lands in mud. J.K. Rowling does a good jump representing just how rainy it is in England, with a lot of quips about how Harry was happy when they actually had a dry Quidditch match.
Harry puts up more of a fight against Lockhart in the book, and Malfoy isn’t in the hospital wing. Harry wakes up to Dobby on top of him, not the noise of the Basilisk slithering through the pipes.
Dumbledore says ‘the Chamber of Secrets has been opened again.’ Not that the ‘students are in grave danger.’ He establishes that he knows what is going on, but in the movie he seems kind of aloof.
With the Polyjuice potion, they actually brew it in a stall, not out in the open.
Dueling club: very important! Harry says he gets the distinct feeling that Snape can read his mind. This points forward to Occulmency, which happens to be very important later on. Lockhart actually smashes into the wall… And they take out the bow, cut out a bit of the spells Malfoy and Harry throw at each other, and the whole room is dueling. Then they bring Harry and Malfoy on the stage, which is when Malfoy throws the snake at Harry and he uses parseltongue.
Harry actually confronts the Hufflepuff table, specifically Ernie Macmillan about what happened with Justin. And then he is caught with the latest victim, Justin, by Peeves (but he’s been cut out of the movies altogether, a grave disappointment).
The password for Dumbledore’s office is lemon drop, not sherbet lemon. Really, is it that difficult? And McGonagall goes up with Harry and leaves him there by himself, and then with the Sorting Hat. It. Does. Not. Talk. Out. Loud. Really, is it that difficult? He puts the hat on in the office and it abruptly cuts off talking when he pulls the hat off.
The cupcakes for Crabbe and Goyle are on a banister, not floating in the air. And then once they drink the potion, they don’t have to ‘make their voices sound like them’ they are Crabbe and Goyle in everything. And Harry has already taken the glasses off.
A lot of time passes in-between Harry finding the diary and him figuring out how it works. He doesn’t just start writing in it, he figures it out when the dwarf on Valentine’s Day knocks his bag off and the ink gets on everything. The diary is the only thing that is clean, and he figures it out. In the memory in the diary he ends up in the previous headmaster’s office, not with the girl’s body being carried out of the castle. Also, Riddle never says Hagrid, he calls him Rubeus. And Aragog was obviously much bigger, because it bowls Riddle over while try to escape.
One of my favorite lines in the book is when Sprout says, ” The moment they start to move into each other’s pots, we’ll know they’re fully mature.”
They kind of wrap it into their meeting with Hagrid, when he says that once the mandrakes are mature they’ll be able to make the draught and heal those who have been petrified.
They cut out Penelope being petrified with Hermione. This is also the point where they mention that no Slytherin’s have been petrified, but at least one person from the other houses has been.
In the book, Harry and Ron never get a chance to ask Hagrid about the Chamber of Secrets, Dumbledore and Fudge show up before they have a chance. Fudge puts up a fight about Dumbledore being suspended. They also don’t follow the spiders right after the meeting, they wait a few days because they couldn’t find anymore spiders in the school to follow.
That night when they return from Aragog is when Harry figures the girl who died must be Moaning Myrtle.
Harry and Ron hide in a wardrobe to listen in on the teachers, not in the hallway.
Harry never has a chase with the Basilisk through the chamber, everything happens right in front of the statue of Salazar Slytherin. He also has the Sorting Hat on his head and then pulls it off, which is when he realizes the sword is in there. Harry only stabs the diary after Fawkes has healed him and drops the diary on his lap. After everything happens in the chamber is when they find out that Lockhart’s memory charm backfired, and that’s when Myrtle says Harry can share her toilet.
And we never visit Lockhart again. They tell Dumbledore in McGonagalls office about the memory charm backfiring, and Lockhart is like ‘Am I a professor?’
With freeing Dobby, the diary is stuffed into the sock. Lucius takes it out of the sock and Dobby catches it, securing his freedom. And the feast where Hermione joins them isn’t the end of year feast, but rather just a midnight feast that lasts all night.
There is a lot of humor that Rowling writes into the book that we miss in the movies. Harry handing out his telephone number and him explaining the Dursley’s to Hermione; how they would be disappointed that he hadn’t died when there were so many chances this year.
I honestly started to fall asleep for a bit of it, but not because it was boring. I’ve been extra exhausted lately, so a comfortable position plus a warm room was all I needed to nod off for a minute or two. Whooops! Doing the Prisoner of Azkaban in a couple weeks!