Five Disappointing Book-to-Movie Character Adaptations
The Harry Potter film franchise is fantastic, and for the most part, it adapted its source material incredibly well. However, there are a few character adaptations that are quite disappointing.
‘I told her it’s [a tattoo] a Hungarian Horntail,’ said Ginny, turning a page of the newspaper idly. ‘Much more macho.’
‘Thanks,’ said Harry, grinning. ‘And what did you tell her Ron’s got?’
‘A Pygmy Puff, but I didn’t say where.’” (HBP 536)
In the books, Ginny is a fiery and feisty character. She is likable because she is witty and smart, and she stands up for those who perhaps can’t stand up for themselves. However, in the movie, her screen time is drastically reduced so that she becomes a background character who is defined more by her relationship with Harry than her own actions and personality.
‘We’ll be there, Harry,’ said Ron.
‘At your aunt and uncle’s house,’ said Ron. ‘And then we’ll go with you wherever you’re going.’ (HBP 651)
Ron’s character in the films often gets relegated to the comic sidekick instead of the brave, valued, and caring friend he is in the books. Plenty of his lines (like the one above) are often given to Hermione instead. This takes away from Ron’s growth and character development and keeps him in the role of the sidekick.
‘I — I made a grave mistake in marrying Tonks. I did it against my better judgment and I have regretted it very much ever since.’
‘I see,’ said Harry, ‘so you’re just going to dump her and the kid and run off with us?’” (DH 213)
Remus Lupin is a complex character in the books. His connection to James makes him a sort of father figure to Harry. However, in spite of his great characteristics, the book depicts him as a less than perfect character. His whole relationship with Tonks, him becoming a father, and his death are glossed over in the films, which just leaves him as a great guy without showing some of the faults that make him human.
Dudley gently released himself from his mother’s clutches and walked toward Harry, who had to repress an urge to threaten him with magic. Then Dudley held out his large, pink hand.
‘Blimey, Dudley,’ said Harry over Aunt Petunia’s renewed sobs, ‘did the dementors blow a different personality into you?’
‘Dunno,’ muttered Dudley. ‘See you, Harry.'” (DH 42)
The film version of Dudley Dursey was portrayed as a bully who constantly went after Harry. Yet in the books, Dudley’s experience with the Dementors changed him, and he grew as a character. This latest bit of development was left out of the film, so we never got to see the man he went on to become.
‘Bin havin’ a cuppa with Olympe,’ Hagrid said. ‘She’s jus’ left.’
‘Who?’ said Ron curiously.
‘Madame Maxime, o’ course!’ said Hagrid.” (GoF 718)
Hagrid had a prominent role at the beginning of the series as a father figure who eased Harry into the wizarding world and was always there to listen to his problems. But as the series went on, Hagrid’s on-screen role shrank. Just like with Lupin, several of Hagrid’s storylines were often skimmed over. We never got to see his relationship with Olympe or the impact of Rita Skeeter’s article on him.
What book character do you think the movies failed? Let us know in the comments!