Harry Potter: Book vs. Movie Kisses
Prepare for some fluff. Harry Potter has a surprising number of kisses we all looked forward to when we made the journey to the theater. Let’s compare the book vs. movie kisses (and the relationships along with them) and reminisce about their differences.
Cho Chang and Harry Potter
Harry’s first crush came with an abundance of teen angst. Cho Chang was the object of Harry’s fantasies for two years before they finally shared a kiss. The book’s kissing scene (before and after) is much more telling of Cho’s personality. While Harry is squirming internally with nerves, Cho is experiencing a range of emotions that could be held in a full measuring cup. In the book, Cho is clearly conflicted about liking Harry – a completely normal emotion for a girl who just lost a boyfriend. Hermione reveals that Cho’s traumatic loss has haunted her throughout the year when Harry divulges his “wet” kiss with a crying Cho to his friends. Perhaps Cho is less likable as a person in the book, but can you blame her? I would probably display jealousy for Hermione Granger if I were dealing with the murder of Cedric Diggory at 16 years old. Harry doesn’t know how to deal with his own pain and is at a loss when it comes to talking to Cho and engaging in a healing dialogue. Harry’s ability to empathize and understand how he should have navigated the situation with Cho after the Madam Puddifoot’s Tea Shop fiasco probably helped him in the future with his relationship with Ginny.
The kiss in the film has a much different tone. In the movie, Cho is calm and collected as she stays behind after the Dumbledore’s Army meeting. She does express a moment of grief for Cedric Diggory, but she seems sure as she kisses Harry under the mistletoe. In return, Daniel Radcliffe’s portrayal of Harry’s first kiss appears rehearsed and stiff. Her character lacks the emotional repercussions of Cedric’s death. Harry’s first love is devoid of the teenage awkwardness so apparent in the book. The movie skates over Cho and Harry’s relationship and blames their breakup on Cho telling Dolores Umbridge about the DA. Even though she’s coerced into selling out the DA with Veritaserum, the truth of the matter never fully comes to light. Cho and Harry’s breakup feels much less warranted. In the book, readers understand why they’re not compatible. Cho exhibits growth and gallantly returns to fight in the Battle of Hogwarts alongside the DA. Cho overcomes many more impressive emotional obstacles in the book. Love or hate her, the book scene does address a deeper issue and had a much more effective buildup of anticipation. The book presents Cho as a more well-rounded character and readers were much more enthralled by the excitement of Harry’s first kiss.
Ginny Weasley and Harry Potter
Ginny and Harry’s first kiss in the film was miles away from the spontaneous, passionate moment in the book. The movie’s scene is quiet and secretive. Ginny kisses Harry with his eyes closed in an attempt to be coy and disappears into the Room of Requirement. Their romance lacked chemistry in Half-Blood Prince – probably due to the painfully awkward flirting moments that devalued Ginny’s character traits that fans love. Ginny is a strong, bold leader. Ginny Weasley does not kiss and run; she blazes a confident path toward Harry after winning a Quidditch match:
Harry looked around; there was Ginny running toward him; she had a hard, blazing look in her face as she threw her arms around him. And without thinking, without planning it, without worrying about the fact that fifty people were watching, Harry kissed her” (HBP 349).
Although Ginny and Harry’s relationship is short in the books, the audience gets to see how the match works and supports their eventual marriage. The Half-Blood Prince film portrayal of their relationship is non-existent, not counting the weird courting scenes prior to the kiss. Did she really need to tie his shoe? I guess that’s the height of romance these days.
Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley
Although the movie moment is delightfully natural between Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, the scene leading up to Hermione and Ron’s kiss carries different meanings. The film shows the kiss as a moment of relief after a near-death experience. Their love can no longer hide in such serious circumstances. The book, however, is an instant of sincere connection between the two. Ron finally realizes the moral implications of house-elf enslavement by showing concern for their safety during the Battle of Hogwarts. He finally realizes they can’t order the house-elves to die – even if they would appear to do so willingly. SPEW no longer seemed trivial after he experienced true empathy for house-elves. The fact that you can order another being to die for you is deplorable. Hermione throws herself into the kiss, not only because of the possibility of death but also because Ron finally understands her.
Which kiss is your favorite? Do you prefer the book or movie? Let us know in the comments below!