10 things from the Harry Potter movies that people often confuse with a Canon book

JK Rowling developed a complete and detailed world when she wrote the Harry Potter books. The lore included in the initial story was so complete for audiences that many will analyze the events that surrounded Hogwarts and the Wizarding World as if it were real-world history.

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With such deep knowledge, Harry Potter fans are very passionate about strictly adhering to the story of the canon. However, there are certain parts of the movies that fans have gotten so used to that they’ve completely forgotten they were ever in the books. Whether it’s because they fit so well into the story or because they repeat themselves so often that they’re just starting to blend in, these details are very easy to confuse with Rowling’s canon.

ten Dudley falling into the snake pen

The Dursleys and Harry at the zoo looking at the snake in Harry Potter

At the wizard Calculation book, Harry accompanies the Dursleys to the zoo for Dudley’s birthday. When Dudley pushes him aside to get a better look at a Burmese python, Harry’s temper gets the better of him and he accidentally knocks the pane off the animal’s enclosure, causing Dudley to fall and get trapped instead.

This scene is easy to consider canon because it looks so much like the book, except for one difference: Dudley never falls in the bullpen. Instead, he is simply terrified when the python escapes and approaches him. Getting trapped was a bit more exciting and mysterious, and gave Petunia something to scream about.

9 Snape’s Calm Demeanor

A portrait of Snape in Harry Potter.

Alan Rickman’s portrayal of Snape was so impactful that it’s easy for fans to forget that his behavior may look very different in the books. In the movies, Snape is cool and collected. He savors his students’ misfortune, but he still stands tall and speaks in a slow, calm voice.

However, the Snape in the books is even less likeable than in the movies. On more than one occasion in the books, Snape goes into childlike fits of rage. His hatred for James, Sirius, and Harry causes him to act blatantly immature, making it even harder for fans to come to terms with Severus Snape’s redemption arc.


8 The first task

Harry Potter

It is easy to see by comparing the Harry Potter books and movies than movies often favor drama. In the Goblet of Fire movie, Twiwizard’s second task goes horribly wrong when the dragon breaks free from its chain and chases Harry all around the castle. The scene featured lots of great CGI and created an exciting and easy-to-follow scene for the audience.

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In the books, this addition would have made very little sense. Fans criticized that no one batted an eyelid when a dangerous dragon let loose. However, the drama of the movie scene made it easy to overlook how the task actually unfolded in the book, which simply involved Harry tricking the dragon into following him as high as possible and diving down to retrieve the egg. .

7 Priori Incantatum

Dumbledore dueling in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

All Harry Potter fan knows what it looks like when two wizards duel in the movies. They’ll fly spells back and forth, until their spells collide, creating a link between their wands that can be used as a kind of reverse tug of war. This is first seen between Harry and Voldemort in Goblet of Fire but is later repeated by several other powerful wizards until it becomes an extremely common occurrence.

This connection means something completely different in the books. The only time two dueling wands will connect is when their core comes from the same magical creature, which applies to both Harry and Voldemort and is an example of how it was Harry’s fate to to be victorious in the cemetery.

6 Harry’s feelings about Luna

Luna comforts Harry at Hogwarts in Harry-Potter-and-the-Order-of-the-Phoenix

Luna Lovegood is very strange and one of the best Harry Potter secondary characters. In the movies, Harry accepts his quirkiness without a second thought. He invites her to Slughorn’s party at The Half-Blood Prince, saying she’s “cool”. He also rarely bats an eye when she shares some of his and his father’s outlandish beliefs.

However, if a fan has gotten used to this dynamic, they might be a little surprised to read the books again and remember how Harry sometimes thought of her. He cares deeply for her, but when he invited her to the party, it was on impulse. He immediately regretted it, dreading what she might choose to wear or say. He only felt a little better about his choice when Ginny congratulated him on it.

5 Cho’s Betrayal

Harry and Cho Chang from Harry Potter smile at each other in the Room of Requirement

The relationship between Cho and Harry was always doomed. Harry had witnessed his boyfriend’s murder, so they hadn’t got off to a good start. In the The order of the Phoenix movie, Harry stops talking to poor Cho when he learns that she told Umbridge how to find Dumbledore’s army. Even after learning that she had received a potion of truth, he never made an effort to reconnect.

Fans might forget that’s not how things played out in the book. Cho was very confused about their relationship, and Harry had no idea what to do. When Cho got jealous of Hermione, their whole relationship kind of fell apart – and of course, in the books, Cho didn’t spill the wick, her friend did.

4 Flying Death Eaters

Dark magic appeals to some wizards because of the power it can bestow. In the movies, one of those powers is flight. It may be a visual depiction of Apparition and Vanishing, but dark wizards are often seen hovering in billows of black smoke, both in the Harry Potter and fantastic beasts movies.

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In the books, there are complex types of magic that can allow a wizard to fly. The Order of the Phoenix were surprised that Voldemort could fly when he chased Harry into Deathly Hallows, and Harry later sees that Voldemort passed this knowledge on to Snape. However, no other Death Eaters are ever described as being able to fly.

3 Lily’s Gift to Slughorn

Professor Slughorn in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

When Harry uses Felix Felicis in Half-Blood Prince, Slughorn shares a touching story of finding a fishbowl on his desk, which contained a flower petal that turned into a fish (which he named Francis). He told Harry that the fish had been a gift from Lily and had disappeared the day she died. This story was so beautifully tragic and so well suited to Lily’s character that some fans completely forgot it ever happened.

Lily had been one of Slughorn’s favorites, and Harry used her to convince him to return his memory of Tom Riddle, but Francis the Fish was never book cannon. It’s such a great story, however, that many fans may choose to believe it anyway.

2 Bellatrix at the Astronomy Tower

Close-up of Bellatrix after killing Dobby in Harry Potter

A lot of Death Eaters saw Snape kill Dumbledore, but Bellatrix wasn’t one of them. In the film, however, the writers decided to include her. She urged Malfoy to complete his task and giggled in delight when Dumbledore finally fell over the edge of the tower. She then sings and dances with delight as the group of Death Eaters escape.

Bellatrix was one of Voldemort’s most trusted followers, so it only made sense that she was there. She was also invested in Draco’s mission to assassinate Dumbledore, so it’s easy to see why some fans may have overlooked this change.

1 Break the elderberry wand

In Deathly Hallows, Harry resents the power of the Eldar wand. In both the book and the movie, he chooses to ensure that he could never be passed on to anyone else. In the movie he breaks it in half and in the book he puts it back in Dumbledore’s grave, intending to die before anyone can claim it, thus eliminating its power.

In truth, the latter makes little sense when everyone in the Great Hall has seen him use the Eldar wand, and any instance of disarming would transfer the elegance of the wands. While breaking it in half doesn’t seem like a much better solution, it does at least allow for a more permanent elimination of the wand, which is why it might have solidified in people’s minds as the canonical ending.

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