10 Maladapted Characters from the Harry Potter Franchise


The Harry Potter universe has always been rich with interesting characters full of potential. Among wizards, muggles, fantastic beings, allies, and villains, the Wizarding World is a box of surprises in the books, but which has gained very interesting adaptations in the eight-film Warner Bros. saga.

Unfortunately, for various reasons, many characters ended up being very different from their original versions—either because of the lack of essential elements from the books or total cuts of their participation. Here are 10 Harry Potter characters that were not done justice by the film adaptations.



10 Ronald Weasley

Ron Weasley
Warner Bros.

It may sound sacrilegious to many, but in the movies, Ron Weasley is an idiot. Not because of Rupert Grint’s performance, which captures everything we love about Harry Potter’s best friend, but because of the script for the seven films that preferred to place him only as comic relief, taking away much of his wisdom about the Wizarding World. Since Philosopher’s Stone, several lines and conversations between Ron and the other characters in the franchise have been changed so that Hermione Granger becomes the smartest person in school and knows everything about wizards and their way of life—and as much as that has done for the little witch and her monologues, it relegates Ron to just a goofball.

Related: Why Romance in the Harry Potter Movies Doesn’t Work

9 Ariana Dumbledore

Hebe Beardsall as Ariana Dumbledore in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore
Warner Bros. Pictures

Many elements present in the books ended up being removed when making the films, in part to make the pace of these productions more palatable for audiences looking for adventure and action. Sadly, this means that most of Albus Dumbledore’s backstory was left out in Deathly Hallows: Part I.

Something very important about the wizard’s origin is the relationship built between him and Gellert Grindelwald, which ended up resulting in the tragic death of Ariana Dumbledore, the younger sister of the headmaster of Hogwarts. This was even mentioned in Fantastic Beasts: Secrets of Dumbledore, which alleviates the absence of this subplot in the original saga.

8 Fleur Delacour

Fleur Delacour
Warner Bros. Pictures

In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, audiences are invited to witness the legendary Triwizard Tournament, a competition that brings together three schools of magic, each represented by a champion. Here, we get to know Beauxbatons, the famous French witchcraft academy, and Fleur Delacour ends up competing in the tournament after being selected by the Goblet of Fire.

The character has a very secondary role in the books, but here we can discover that she is half-human and half-Veela. In the saga, Veela is the name given to a magical creature that, with its singing, manages to seduce other people. In addition to being excluded from the narrative, we also don’t have much information about how she fell in love with Bill Weasley.

7 Bartemius Crouch Jr.

Barty-Crouch-Jr-In-Goblet-Of-Fire (1)
Warner Bros.

Speaking of The Goblet of Fire, one of the great elements of both the book and the film is the presence of Barty Crouch Jr., a faithful Death Eater of Lord Voldemort, played by David Tennant, who ends up disguising himself as Mad-Eye Moody and does various machinations so that Harry Potter fell squarely into his master’s hands.

In the book, the character has a very intriguing story, especially thanks to the relationship he has with his father, Barty Crouch Sr.

There, we discover that he was sent to Azkaban after Voldemort’s first fall, but ended up escaping with his father’s help. Furthermore, his connection to Bellatrix Lestrange and his participation in the torture of Neville Longbottom’s parents is revealed.

6 Remus Lupin

David Thewlis as Professor Quirrell in Harry Potter
Warner Bros.

Easily one of the most beloved characters in the franchise, Remus Lupin is introduced in The Prisoner of Azkaban as the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. Little by little, he shows himself as a great ally of Harry Potter, and we find out more about his relationship with Harry’s father and his biggest secret: he is a werewolf.

In the films, Lupin is only a really important figure in the third film, but much of what we know about him afterward is entirely removed from the sequels. His story involves Fenrir Greyback, who turned him into a werewolf, and also the romance with Nymphadora Tonks, which causes him and Harry to have a misunderstanding that is only explained when we discover that Lupin would have a son, who would initially be abandoned; when Lupin is brought back from the dead, he asks Harry to be the godfather.

Related: Six Reasons a Harry Potter Series is a Bad Idea

5 Nymphadora Tonks

Harry Potter
Warner Bros. Pictures

Speaking of Nymphadora Tonks, the character has also gained a following of fans, but her participation in the films is quite contained compared to her role in the books. She is introduced in The Order of the Phoenix and soon befriends Harry Potter, as well as showing off her shape-shifting gifts. And afterward, she only returns punctually until her death in the penultimate film.

In the books, however, she ends up being quite developed in the sixth, when she undergoes a major physical and psychological transformation—which we only later find out is due to her love for Remus Lupin. In the seventh, not only does she play an important role in rescuing Harry, she is also one of the most tragic deaths in the Battle of Hogwarts.

4 Petunia Dursley

Harry Potter and his family the Dursleys
Warner Bros.

Introduced from the beginning as a cruel shrew, Aunt Petunia is a fascinating character in the original work, as in each book we discover more about her past and the relationship she had with Lily Evans, moving from envy to contempt and, finally, regretful mourning. A beautiful example is in The Order of the Phoenix when she receives a mysterious howler.

However, in the films, the character played by Fiona Shaw has little development beyond caricature, and it is not very clear why she hates magic. There’s even a deleted scene from Deathly Hallows: Part I where she has a heartfelt and touching conversation with her nephew, but that’s only featured on the penultimate movie’s DVD and Blu-ray bonuses.

3 Ginevra Weasley

harry potter ginny weasley
Warner Bros.

For many fans, Ginny Weasley is the definition of how bad adaptation can sour a character. In the books, she starts out as a very shy girl, but soon demonstrates a fearless and outgoing side, so much so that she is mainly responsible for inviting so many people to join Dumbledore’s Army in The Order of the Phoenix.

This development makes the romance between her and Harry Potter celebrated by readers, as she “complements” the character and shows her more tender and experienced side. In the movies, even with Bonnie Wright trying her best, the character is always a supporting character without charisma, and the romance between her and the Boy Who Lived is totally without chemistry.

2 Dobby

Dobby house elf death
Warner Bros.

Dobby, the House Elf is one of the most beloved characters of Harry Potter fans since he first appeared in The Chamber of Secrets, trying to do everything so that the boy does not return to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. However, in the movies, Dobby only comes back to die in Deathly Hallows: Part I.

In the books, the character has a constant presence, returning to The Goblet of Fire and The Order of the Phoenix. This makes us nurture an emotional relationship with the elf, which makes his death even more impactful. Unfortunately, the movies ignored much of the character’s history, and that makes his death have an impact just for nostalgia.

1 Lord Voldemort

Warner Bros.

Introduced in the first film as the most terrible enemy of Harry Potter’s life, the powerful Lord Voldemort was very well played by Ralph Fiennes throughout five of the eight films in the saga. However, the character itself doesn’t have as much dramatic weight because of all the plot that was cut from the films, especially The Half-Blood Prince.

While we get the occasional glimpse of what motivated Tom Riddle to become a Dark wizard, much is missing from the Gaunt Family’s backstory and all the hatred Voldemort developed towards Muggles. This makes the character very one-dimensional and doesn’t have all the layers present in the books.

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