Harry Potter: Movies vs. Books

Hello!  I’m making good on my goal to post more blogs!  I’m pleased that the Packers have made it to the Super Bowl.  Love the Packers.  Go Pack Go!

Ahem.

The Great Debate

Movies vs. books.  I’ve always been on the side of books.  Books, in general, will be better than the movie because the books will be much more in depth.  You can see which side I sit on for this debate.  I honestly can’t think of any movie that has been better than the book.

So why should I even discuss this?  Why not?  There are reasons that people should at least give the books a chance.  I’m old fashioned that way – I prefer to read books on paper.  You know, not on a Kindle or a Nook.  I know it kills trees but I just like books.

I’m not saying the movies are bad.  I’ve enjoyed them all!  I had always hoped that the movies would take the story to the next level, but I’ve been left disappointed on all the movies so far.

****This blog contains spoilers for the entire Harry Potter series, both books and movies.  If you haven’t finished the series, don’t continue reading!*****

Differences Between Books and Movies

I’ve always thought that the books contained the purest form of the story line.  The books give you everything.  The Harry Potter books left clues for the final book throughout all the other books.  While the first two movies are pretty true to the books, the third movie starts with the major deviations.  Important information, like who actually created the Marauder’s Map (other than their nicknames), is removed from the plot.  I thought that was pretty important to the story, it gave Harry an insight on his father’s abilities.  Even worse, they cut out HOW Sirius managed to escape from Azkaban, because, you know, no one had managed it before.  The Fidelius Charm wasn’t explained, which is important because it how the Potters were hiding.  However, the movie does hint at the future relationship of Hermione and Ron and Harry’s darker side.

Goblet of Fire.  I honestly enjoyed the movie.  It was concise and seemed pretty good.  However, there were some glaring problems in my mind.  Dobby.  Where did Dobby go?  And Winky?  Dobby is a huge part of the plot, so is Winky!  I noticed that anything that Dobby was supposed to do, like getting Harry the gillyweed for the second task, Neville did it.  Winky was a large part of the plot too.  She was supposed to be guarding Barty Crouch Jr. while he was in the top box at the Quidditch World Cup, her fear making her miss that he stole a wand.  It seems in movieland that Azkaban doesn’t take away wands, as Barty Crouch Jr. had a wand at the World Cup!  My other main beef was how little Sirius was in the film.  Sirius is my favorite character and thus, I might be a little biased.  But he took on a fatherly/brotherly role to Harry in the book version.  He was barely in this movie except for the scene in the fireplace.  Poor Sirius.

Order of the Phoenix.  It was such a long book and I understand it must have been hard to compress down to movie size.  A memory of Snape being humiliated by James Potter was altered in the movie.  I considered this one of the more important points in the book because it showed that James wasn’t as sympathetic a character as he seemed.  He wasn’t golden.  Moreover, it was what caused Snape and Lily’s friendship to end.  Of course, this is more important in later books, but the thing is…leaving something out to be covered in another movie doesn’t always work.  Again, Neville served in place of Dobby.  I was most disappointed with the battle at the end.  I knew everything couldn’t stay, but I really wanted to see the Department of Mysteries – all of it – on film.

Half Blood Prince.  My biggest irk with this movie was the added scene at the Burrow.  My boyfriend and I argued over whether the scene had been in the book – I went and checked, it hadn’t.  It just felt…unnecessary.  How would the Death Eaters have found the Burrow?  I’m pretty sure that far into the war the “biggest blood traitors” would have had some protection in place.  It just didn’t make sense to me.  My other big issue was cutting the Gaunts out of the book.  That memory shows two items that become horcruxes – it is highly important.

Deathly Hallows Part 1.  I figured this would be hard to convert to movie.  There’s a lot of portions from books in the wizarding world, memories, internal monologue.  All things considered, I think this movie covered it pretty well.  The movie compensated for what the prior movies had been lacking.

Looks like you hate the movies.

Actually, I enjoyed watching the movies.  They are good movies if you ignore the books.  They tell the story.  I just prefer the detail and crafting of the novels.  I appreciate the skill that went into the process of writing them and how masterful the importance of small details is.

I just want people to understand that the books offer a very detailed adventure while the movies are kind of like SparkNotes.  It’s easier, but you don’t get the same level of comprehension.  Don’t hate on books!  Reading is fun!

Honestly?  I’m really excited for Deathly Hallows part 2.  I want to see how they manage to make it work.

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