Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Wingardium Leviosa

I'm in the midst of rereading the Harry Potter series for the first time in maybe four years. In that span, three HP films have been released. I've seen all the movies twice or more, save for the very last one, which made me cry, darnit. CRY! Actually, that isn't that big a deal. Lots of movies make me cry. Pollyanna, for one. Glad game? More like SAD game, amirite?

Anyway, the HP movies are good enough, but it has always bugged me how different they are from the books. It rarely bothers me when I'm watching the movie... Okay, yes, sometimes I'll be sitting there going, NOOO! Why is that DIFFERENT?? But usually, it's when I'm rereading the book after seeing its celluloid counterpart that I start to get my mittens in a twist.

I've just finished with book 5 and I think this is the worst so far... for having changed things from page to screen, I mean. Movie 4 certainly cuts a lot of rubbish out of book 4, streamlines things -- and thank goodness for that, because Hermione's obsession with the welfare of house elves is disconcerting at best -- but movie 5 just... rips apart the book. It was as if the filmmakers said, "Nice premise, Rowling, but we think we know how to tell a story just a leeetle better than you do!" I get it; books and movies are not the same. But boy is movie 5... off.

Here are a few of the differences that I noticed:

In the movie, Harry (inadvertently) reverses the legimency spell on Snape to see his traumatic teenage memories. In the book, Harry uses the pensieve when Snape gets called out of his office and that's how he sees the memories.

In the movie, Harry and Hermione lead professor Umbridge to Grawp the giant; then the centaurs show up and chase her off.  In the book, Hermione leads them to the centaurs, not Grawp, and once she realizes THAT was a mistake, Grawp comes along and the centaurs scatter (but they still take Umbridge, hehe.)

In the movie, Hagrid barely mentions his travels to see the giants. In the book, there's half a chapter devoted to his adventures.

In the movie, Cho Chang betrays Dumbledore's Army, but later we learn that it was because she was fed truth serum. In the book, it's Cho's friend who betrays them, truth serum has nothing to do with it, and Cho is really, really annoying.

In the movie, as I recall, there isn't any Quidditch. In the book, Ron tries out for keeper and makes it but he's really bad (they explored this in movie six instead). At one of the Quidditch matches, Harry and one of the Weasley twins are provoked by Draco Malfoy and beat him up, and as a result have their broomsticks confiscated by Umbridge and are banned from Quidditch "for life". I mention this, not because I particularly like Quidditch scenes, but because there are SO many in book five, it seems very strange to have all them left out of the movie.

In the movie, there is little or no mention of Percy. In the book, he's a huge gitasode, he leaves the Weasley family over their differences, and they don't reconnect for like two years.

I could keep going, but A) I sound like a nerd, B) I'm sure someone else on the internet has already done their dissertation on this very subject and has covered it in much more depth than I ever could, and C) seriously, I need to stop being nitpicky and just try to enjoy things.

And so I'm off to read book six...

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