Reasons Why “Deathly Hallows” Should Have Deviated More From The Harry Potter Books

Reasons Why "Deathly Hallows" Should Have Deviated More From The Harry Potter Books

Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) sprints across the room to push Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) against the wall while yelling, “Did you enter your name in the Goblet of Fire” is one of the most well-known Harry Potter memes. Why not, then?

Although Michael Gambon’s delivery of the lines in the fourth movie is entertaining and dramatic, many fans see that scene as a symbol of the carelessness they believe the series’ numerous directors and screenwriters displayed in their adaptations of the novels.

In that scene and throughout the novel, Dumbledore is never as frantic or physically abusive with his students; to make him so would seem to betray much of his established persona.

That sequence, as well as every Harry Potter film from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban through Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, omits so many characters, subplots, and details about the Wizarding World’s history that a vocal group of fans has always been left pining for from the movies.

For them, the two-part Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows adaptation deserves praise for making a greater attempt to adhere to the text. That decision was one of many flaws in those two films, in my opinion.

Not just because it’s funny, but also because I’ve never had an issue with Gambon’s delivery in that scenario. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire makes it clear that Dumbledore is more concerned than he has been in years about the indications of Lord Voldemort’s impending return, and he is genuinely perplexed as to how Harry’s name ended up in the running for the Triwizard Tournament. Dumbledore may maintain his composure in the book.

Reasons Why "Deathly Hallows" Should Have Deviated More From The Harry Potter Books

But Harry’s observations and Hagrid’s statements serve as a secondhand account of his anxieties. In the movie adaption, the actor who plays Dumbledore may show this anxiety to the audience directly because the movie must stay under two and a half hours.

For any script, but especially for an adaptation, it’s crucial to make changes to the remaining content in light of what is excised. If not, some elements of the plot and the characters wouldn’t make sense. Even when that isn’t the case, changes must be made since if one area is cut, another important area won’t have the same impact as it has now. Better illustrations of this can be found in Goblet of Fire than in Dumbledore.

The plot of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as a book isn’t wholly dependent on the secondary conflicts between Harry and Voldemort, despite the fact that they received a lot of build-up in the prior six books’ characters, relationships, and logistical aspects.

The first six films’ build-up was mostly excised. But most of the payoffs are still present in the Deathly Hallows movies. As a result, two movies are overstuffed with material that doesn’t resonate the way it should or can because it wasn’t set up.

Reasons Why "Deathly Hallows" Should Have Deviated More From The Harry Potter Books

Consider Ron’s older brothers as an illustration. Bill (Domhnall Gleeson) and Charlie Weasley don’t exist prior to Deathly Hallows, at least not in the movies. Bill is not mentioned at all, although Charlie is occasionally.

Similar considerations apply to his relationship with Fleur Delacour (Clémence Poésy), not only in light of Bill’s absence but also in light of the fact that Fleur isn’t seen or mentioned after Goblet of Fire.

And even though the Death Eaters attacked the Weasleys’ Burrow home in the previous movie, their wedding is still featured in Deathly Hallows: Part I. This begs the questions of why it is still deemed safe for Harry to stay there, why the Weasleys still reside there, and why the Death Eaters bothered attacking it when it appears to have had no consequences.

Another instance of keeping the payoff even when the setup was omitted is the romance between Lupin (David Thewlis) and Tonks (Natalia Tena). The relationship between these two is unexpectedly revealed in Half-Blood Prince and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the fifth book in the series.

In contrast, these characters receive little more than cameos in the movies (apart from Lupin in The Chamber of Secrets). At least their romance isn’t the time-sink that Bill and Fleur’s becomes because of how little their parts are in the Deathly Hallows films compared to The Order of the Phoenix and The Halfblood Prince.

However, viewers are still expected to root for a romance that appears out of nowhere and to cry just as much when two minor characters pass away as they do, say when Fred Weasley (James Phelps) wins the girl.

Reasons Why "Deathly Hallows" Should Have Deviated More From The Harry Potter Books

Finally, there is Dobby (Toby Jones). The house-elf makes an appearance in all but one of the books after Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. After Chamber of Secrets, he only appears in one more movie.

None of it is depicted in the films, including his growing relationship with Harry, his turns providing important context, his efforts to assist with the Triwizard Tournament, Dumbledore’s Army, or his spying on Malfoy. However, Deathly Hallows: Part I brings Dobby back without ever mentioning how long he had been gone.

Some viewers would have rathered that the entire build-up for these aspects had never been altered in any way. I’m not sure I concur. Almost all of the Dobby, Bill and Fleur, Lupin and Tonks, or Lupin and Tonks-related material in books 3 through 6 was a clean lift; you could remove everything and, with some inventive writing on Kloves’ part, the core plot would still function.

Whether or not these cuts were wise decisions, they nonetheless occurred. Adjustments could and should have been done instead of acting as though they weren’t there.

Would some of those have been challenging changes? Perhaps, and that would have required some significant rewriting, Dobby needed to be present to help Harry and his pals leave Malfoy Manor for logistical reasons. But in a running series, that’s how adaptation works. Such modifications might have angered some fans and led to a bigger argument than Dumbledore’s yelling about the Goblet of Fire.


Kimberly is a freelance writer with a love of writing and traveling. She has been writing for most of her life and has been published in various magazines and online publications. She writes about entertainment, technology, and lifestyle-related topics at Kimberly is always looking for new writing opportunities and loves learning about new cultures and experiences.

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