10 examples of foreshadowing in the first book (that didn’t make the films)


It’s no secret that when JK Rowling was working on the Harry potter series, she planned things very carefully, laying the groundwork for future reveals from the first pages of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Throughout the first book, there are layers of meaning – like in Snape’s potions class, when he asks Harry about specific ingredients – and moments of foreshadowing.

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However, when the book was adapted for film, much of it was cut. For the most part, it wasn’t anything major – filler scenes and extra exposure. However, some cases of carefully planned foreshadowing and accumulation have also been removed.


ten Dumbledore’s Love of Lemon Drops

Harry Potter Dumbledore Phineas Nigellus Black Desk

In the opening scenes, when Dumbledore and McGonagall are waiting for Hagrid to come to Privet Dr with baby Harry, Dumbledore offers him lemon candy. Of course, that foreshadows his office passwords, which are all Muggle candy names, and which become much more important afterwards.

However, this is a very minor omission. It doesn’t really matter that Dumbledore previously expressed a taste for candy, and it’s easy to see why he was cut. Considering that this is far from the only thing that would be cut from the opening scenes, it really doesn’t impact the movie as a whole.

9 Dumbledore’s Watch

Dumbledore looks suspicious in Goblet of Fire

In the same scene where Dumbledore expresses his love for Muggle candy, he is also described as checking his watch, which “had twelve hands, but no numbers, with little planets moving around the edge.” It later turns out to be, presumably, a watch given to Dumbledore when he came of age – as Molly gives one to Harry, and explains that a gift of a gold watch is a wizarding tradition.

Like his love for Lemon Drops, however, this is a small detail that would be easily overlooked from the film without major repercussions – especially since the first film was filmed in 2001, and the scene where this tradition took hold. been explained were the Deathly Hallows – which came out as a book in 2007! There was no way to know it was more than a casual detail to make things more magical.

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8 Marge hates Harry and Mrs. Figg

It is mentioned in the book that Harry’s aunt Marge “hates” Harry and that Mrs. Figg often takes care of him. This happens because Harry was originally not supposed to go to the zoo and the Dursleys are trying to think of another person to take care of him. Of course, both characters become important later – Marge is so rude that Harry blows her up and runs away, and Mrs. Figg is revealed as a member of the Order of the Phoenix!

However, the entire exchange is left out of the film – Harry still intended to go to the zoo, and neither Marge nor Ms. Figg are mentioned at this point. Again, however, this is a minor omission. The two still play their key roles later, and while a little depth is lost here, that’s not enough to really impact the story.

7 Descriptions of Lily & James wands

Lily Evans and James Potter from Harry Potter in winter clothes dancing and smiling for the camera

The scene where Harry takes his wand from Ollivander also undergoes some changes. One of the main ones is that Ollivander from the books tells Harry about his parents’ wands. Lily, he says, was “a fine wand for charm work,” and James as excellent for transfiguration. ”Later, Slughorn speaks at length about Lily’s charming work and the charmed goldfish she created for he, and James is later revealed to have mastered the most impressive transfiguration of all and became an animagus as a teenager.

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Obviously, Rowling was implementing this particular skill early on, and having it repeated by multiple characters strengthens Lily’s character and adds to the revelation that James was an Animagus. However, it’s easy to see why this might be cut, as it’s not entirely relevant and detracts from Harry’s wand-picking experience.

6 The Centaurs

Harry first meets a centaur in both versions of the story, but in the book several appear. While the film Harry is protected by Firenze, the book Harry also meets the “bad guy” Bane and Ronan, who argue with Firenze for help. Firenze even says “I opposed what is hiding in this forest, Bane, yes, with humans by my side if necessary”. This foreshadows the moment when Firenze is finally exiled from the herd for helping the humans and comes to teach at Hogwarts.

However, in the movie, none of this happens – and because Firenze doesn’t teach at Hogwarts, this line preparing for his exile isn’t necessary. The story would have added depth to the story with Umbridge and the Centaurs, but in the end, it was probably reduced to this point out of need to keep the movies to a reasonable length.

5 Neville’s Broken Wrist

Neville's HP Sorcerer's Stone

In both the book and the movie, Neville falls off his broomstick in class and breaks his wrist, which leads Madam Hooch to leave with him, Harry to fly after the Rememball and be chosen for the Quidditch team. In the movie, this is the last time you hear about Neville’s injury, but in the book, Harry meets him later and is told the nurse fixed it “in about a minute.” . This comes into play later, when Harry is injured, and ends up having to push back the bones, because Professor Lockhart tried to fix it!

It’s not a major change, but it’s interesting to realize that Harry, and everyone else in his class, undoubtedly knew how easy it was for Madam Pomfrey to mend bones. This then adds to the mistrust and aversion towards Lockhart, as they would have known how much he had spoiled the spell.

4 How old is Croûtard

In both the book and the movie, Ron introduces Harry to Scabbard and comments on how unimpressed he is with his pet. However, in the book, he talks about being delivered and explicitly says that Crustard is an “old” rat given to him by his older brother.

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Of course, that’s a huge plot point later, as it’s revealed that Scabbard is Peter Pettigrew in his Animagus form! In the movie, there is nothing to indicate that Crusty is anything other than a normal rat, which actually mitigates the impact of when the truth comes out.

3 Flamel card on the chocolate frog

Albus Dumbledore Chocolate Frog Card

In the books, Harry first hears Nicholas Flamel’s name when he reads the back of his first Chocolate Frog card. Dumbledore’s card includes notes that he is known for his work with the uses of dragon’s blood, and “his work on alchemy with his partner, Nicholas Flamel”. Harry later knows he heard the name somewhere, but can’t place it – until he eats another Chocolate Frog and remembers it. In the movie, Hermione finds the same information in a book.

It’s a much bigger change, and one that really emphasizes Hermione and her ability to figure things out. It’s an understandable change, in many ways – it makes Hermione the hero and ensures that no fan is wondering why Harry wouldn’t remember it in the first place.

2 The motorcycle belonging to Sirius

Hagrid riding a bike, Harry in the Harry Potter sidecar

In the opening scene, Hagrid takes off on a giant motorbike, carrying Harry. In the book, Hagrid explains that he borrowed the bike from Sirius Black, and when he leaves he says he should return it to him. This, of course, foreshadows the role of Black – and the big reveal in Prisoner of Azkaban that Sirius was actually a friend of the Potters!

That may have been omitted specifically to enhance the shock of this revelation – and, of course, because initially it doesn’t matter how Hagrid got the bike.

1 Dragons in Gringotts (and Hagrid wants one)

One of the key plot points of the first installment in the series is that Hagrid put Fluffy, his three-headed dog, to guard the stone … and accidentally tells someone how to get past Fluffy by convincing him. stranger to give. him a dragon egg. He always wanted a dragon, and Harry eventually understood that the one he got was a setup.

In the book and in the movie, Harry tells Hermione and Ron that Hagrid always wanted a dragon, and that he told Harry that when they first met. In the book, it’s true – Hagrid mentions that there would be dragons in Gringotts and that he wanted one since he was a child. In the movie, however, Hagrid never says that to Harry! It was an oversight, because a deleted scene shows them both on the tube, where Hagrid says he wants a dragon. Obviously, this was meant to be a part of the final film, but when it was removed, the plot hole that this causes was unsolved!

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