10 Book Characters Who Should Have Been In The Movies


2022 is a big year of anniversaries for Harry Potter, ash Harry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone first hit shelves 25 years ago, and the film adaptation celebrated its 20th anniversary in January. With the disappointing response to Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, fans are even more nostalgic for the success of the original movies.

Though all eight Harry Potter movies were generally well-received, some book fans still prickle at the many changes and omissions in the adaptations. Many fan-favorite characters and critical players fell by the wayside. From Voldemort’s mother to Winky the House Elf, the inclusion of these characters would lend nuance, complexity, and joy to the Wizarding World of the Harry Potter movies.

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The Gaunts

The movie version of Half Blood Prince, unfortunately, excluded much of the book’s investment in Voldemort’s backstory. Readers learn about Tom Riddle’s dark childhood, starting with the unpleasant wizard family he was born into. The patriarch Marvolo Gaunt, Voldemort’s grandfather, voices anti-muggle sentiment and pure blood supremacy. Voldemort’s uncle Morfin is depraved and violent. Merope, Voldemort’s mother, is mistreated and pitiable, searching for a way out.

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Understanding the Gaunt family would flesh out the movie Voldemort’s motivation and provide context for Riddle’s transformation into the ultimate dark wizard. Merope, who dies shortly after the birth of her son, is a critical piece of the puzzle.

Phineas Nigellus Black

The talking portrait of former Hogwarts headmaster Phineas Nigellus Black serves mainly as a source of snark in Order of the Phoenixbut it becomes integral to the story in The Deathly Hallows. Because he has a second portrait hanging in the Hogwarts headmaster’s office, Phineas can move between frames, helping Snape deliver the Sword of Gryffindor to Harry in a pivotal scene.

Beyond the plot mechanics, the inclusion of Phineas would have offered more nuance to Slytherin. Precious few Slytherin characters achieve any kind of redemption in the movies, but many Slytherins have actually done some good in the Wizarding World. the Harry Potter series constantly reminds audiences that choice matters more than destiny. Phineas is an example of a Slytherin who makes a noble choice. Meanwhile, any number of respected British actors could chew the scenery in this role. Rowan Atkinson especially comes to mind.

The Carrows

The brother and sister Death Eaters take over as disciplinarians in Hogwarts’s post-Dumbledore order. They routinely torture students, spurring Neville Longbottom to fully step into his rebellious Gryffindor shoes. Both Amycus and Alecto appear in a significant scene in Ravenclaw Tower in The Deathly Hallows during Harry’s search for the Horcrux. During this scene, Harry leaps to the defense of Professor McGonagall and defeats both the Carrows.

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While Amycus and Alecto Carrow appear in the movies, they are limited to non-speaking roles and much of their significance is omitted. Amycus is portrayed by Ralph Ineson, whose talent and extraordinary voice are wasted in the sidelined role.

Ludo Bagman

Reader favorite Ludo Bagman features heavily in The Goblet of Fire, but filmmakers decided he wasn’t essential to the movie version. While the story managed to work without the washed-up Quidditch star-turned-Ministry of Magic official, it was a missed opportunity to feature even more fun and intrigue around goblet’s central mystery.

In the book, Bagman is portrayed as a likable, if mostly incompetent, Ministry department head and Triwizard Tournament organizer. He gets into a sticky gambling situation with Fred and George Weasley, offers to help Harry cheat in the Tournament, and covers for numerous Ministry blunders. A look into his backstory even shows that he was once suspected of working with the Death Eaters. Aside from comic relief, Ludo is a prime suspect as to who put Harry’s name in the Goblet of Fire, which would have made a great red herring. If made today, Matt Berry could pull off the role with equal parts cluelessness and pomposity.


winky

Like Bagman, Winky the House Elf was cut from The Goblet of Fire to streamline the plot and runtime. Her omission is a shame, given that it’s Barty Crouch’s treatment of Winky that inspires Hermione to begin crusading for the rights of house elves. The fact that even the heroes overlook the existence of slavery rubs Harry Potter fans the wrong way, so the movies should have at least given voice to Hermione’s objections.

Winky provides an unflinching look at the conditions of house elves, and she is a pivotal player in the events of goblet. It’s Winky who convinces Crouch to allow his son to attend the Quidditch World Cup, leading to Crouch Jr’s conjuring of the Dark Mark and meddling in the Triwizard Tournament.

Andromeda & Ted Tonks

In simplifying the complex story of The Deathly Hallows, Nymphadora Tonks’s parents, unfortunately, hit the cutting room floor. Andromeda is the sister of both Narcissa Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange, and her resemblance to the latter means she could have been played by the talented Helena Bonham Carter.

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Muggle-born Ted, meanwhile, goes on the run from Death Eaters and is killed by snatchers. When the Golden Trio learns this, the reality of the Wizarding War truly sinks in. Sadly, Ted dies before the birth of his grandson, but Tonks and Lupine pass along his name to their baby. Andromeda and Ted open their home to Harry and the Order of the Phoenix, risking their lives, so their inclusion would have emphasized the sacrifices of ordinary people for the cause.

Peeves

Peeves the Poltergeist is perhaps the only character in the Harry Potter series capable of conjuring more mischief than the Weasley twins. A constant thorn in the side of caretaker Argus Filch, Peeves is a hallmark of Hogwarts’s whimsy and weirdness.

He frequently serves as a low-level antagonist for the heroes, but Peeves’ loyalty to Hogwarts places him on the nobler side of several conflicts. He mercilessly pranks Dolores Umbridge (one of the evilest Harry Potter characters) and the Inquisitorial Squad, and he even joins in the defense of Hogwarts in The Deathly Hallows. In omitting Peeves (who would have been played by Rik Mayall), the movies surely missed out on a lot of laughs.


Augusta Longbottom

Neville Longbottom’s grandmother took him in after his parents’ torture and admission to St. Mungo’s. Readers finally with her in Order of the Phoenix during a visit to the hospital, where she urged Neville to be proud of his parents’ sacrifice.

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Though Neville implies that she’s a stern, intimidating woman, Augusta proves she’s also fiercely loyal and willing to fight for what’s right. In Deathly Hallows, she unflinchingly jumps into the Battle of Hogwarts and fights alongside her grandson. It would have been cathartic to see her and Neville together in action. What’s even more disappointing is that Augusta was originally included in The Deathly Hallows, pt. 2played by Ninette Finch, but her scenes were cut from the final version.

Charlie Weasley

Admittedly, the movies make room for a lot of Weasleys, many of which are among the best characters in Harry Potter. With most of the screen time going to Ron, Ginny, the twins, and Arthur and Molly, however, the older Weasley brothers drew the short straws. Percy practically disappears as the filmmakers sacrifice his redemption arc, Bill jarringly shows up in The Deathly Hallows, and poor Charlie doesn’t make the cut.

Charlie may not be essential to many plotlines, but he still deserves a seat at the Weasley table, especially given that even Auntie Muriel has an on-screen appearance. Furthermore, Charlie’s work with dragons makes him one of the more interesting Weasley siblings.

Teddy Lupin

Though a very minor character in the books, mostly referenced by other characters, it’s Teddy Lupine who brings the events of the Harry Potter series full circle. The night of his birth is a much-needed respite from the stresses of war, with the promise of new life amid all the suffering. Born in the middle of a wizarding war to members of the Order of the Phoenix and orphaned as an infant, Teddy’s origins are similar to Harry’s. Unlike Harry, however, Teddy grows up with a connection to his family, an understanding of their sacrifice, and a vast support system.

Harry gets to be, for Teddy, the thing he never had. He steps into Sirius’s role as Godfather, but he’s there from the very beginning to be a mentor for Teddy. It’s a beautiful way to close the Harry Potter series; the cycle repeats, but with hope and progress. Sadly, this closure was never realized onscreen; Luke Newberry was cast as Teddy for The Deathly Hallows, pt. 2but his scenes were deleted.


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