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Wizard’s Library: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Book vs. Movie!

This is not a normal Wizard’s Library entry since I am sure most people reading this have already read or watched Harry Potter.  This is just a quick highlight of some of the differences between the book and the movie and why I think the old adage, “The book is much better than the movie,” proves true!

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling - Book vs. Movie!!!

Are you missing anything if you only watch the Harry Potter movies and not read the books?

Some people will never read the books and are missing key elements of the story.  You can analyze each one and decide if it really makes a difference.  Some do, some don’t!  

I like to weigh in when it changes how I feel about the characters.  Usually when something is left out, it is because the movies cannot fit everything in.  The entire sub-plot of Hermione supporting Elf rights in later books is important to her character, but totally absent from the movies.  

Another example of something important that is left out is Charlie Weasley.  He was a great supporting character in the book, a good example for Ron, and doesn’t appear ever in the movies!

Other things that were missing are certainly less consequential, such as where Harry first met Malfoy.

What was in the first Harry Potter book but not in the first movie (The Sorcerer’s Stone)?

  1. The first chapter introduces the Dursleys and establishes how horrid Harry’s life was.
  2. The film doesn’t explain how Hagrid got the flying motorcycle.
  3. Harry met Draco earlier in the book; in Diagon Alley.
  4. Quirrel dies when Voldemort leaves his body, not by Harry’s “touch of death”.
  5. Vernon Dursley notices wizards everywhere and his role is significantly reduced.
  6. Snape’s part of the challenge to get to the Sorcerer’s Stone was a logic potion puzzle..
  7. Another missing challenge was Professor Quirrel’s guard troll.
  8. The Mirror of Erised in the book also showed Harry his grandparents.
  9. Charlie Weasley helped get Norbert safely away from Hogwarts.  
  10. Harry is dropped off at King’s Cross for the first time by the Dursleys!
  11. Harry had to spend a month at the Dursleys after getting his supplies at Diagon Alley.  
  12. Harry is not allowed to open his surprise broom gift at breakfast.  
  13. Peeves the Poltergeist is an important supporting character, but not in any of the movies!
“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” by J.K. Rowling and 1st Warner Brothers Movie.

Was anything shown in the first Harry Potter movie that was not in the book?

  1. The snake cage glass reappears to trap Dudley.  That wasn’t in the book, but it was funny.
  2. The dirt birthday cake that Harry makes solidifies how pitiful he was.
  3. The scene of Harry in the window of his dorm room with Hedwig was added to show that he really felt at home.  However in the book Harry passes out almost immediately after the welcome feast, once he gets to his bed!
  4. McGonagall’s transformation to cat form happens in the first Transfiguration lesson in the movie, but not until the third year in the books.  They wanted to show some impressive magic and it was effective.
  5. Movie Seamus blows up EVERYTHING!  Book Seamus only set his feather on fire once.  This was just a cheap recurring gag at Seamus’ expense.
  6. Hagrid plays the John Williams music for “Hedwig’s Theme” on his recorder (or flute), which is kind of cool, but also a reminder that it’s a movie.
  7. The famous line, “I’m not going home – not really,”  was not in the book.  However, it is memorized and repeated by millions of HP fans.

What was changed in the Harry Potter movie that was significant?

  • Harry should have had green eyes.  Daniel Radcliffe tried to wear the contacts, but he was allergic to them and they had to go with blue eyes and chose not to CGI them to green!  “You have your mother’s eyes,” is repeated ad nauseum in the movies, but Lily’s eyes were green…
  • Dudley’s hair should have been blonde
  • Hermione’s hair should have been more “bushy” and she was supposed to have “buck” teeth!

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

  1. Do you prefer the Harry Potter books or movies?
  2. Do you think the planned television version of Harry Potter will catch everything?  
  3. When do you think the films will be remade?

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1 thought on “Wizard’s Library: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Book vs. Movie!”

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