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The Worst Book to Film Harry Potter Characters

Updated on March 19, 2017

After writing The Best Book to Film Harry Potter Characters, it only seemed natural to add a list of the worst ones, too. Out of the many great things about the movies, a handful of the characters were nothing short of disappointing for fans of the books. Here's a list of them.

Agree with this list, or do you have a different opinion? Let us know in the comments below.

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Number 4: Barty Crouch, Jr.

Although people were excited that David Tennant appeared in a Harry Potter movie, Barty Crouch, Jr.'s character was completely different in the movie to how it was in the book. His character isn't explored, really, and is more talked about than shown, but the few minutes he does get on the screen are quite bizarre.

Barty Crouch, Jr. was sent to Azkaban Prison by his father when found guilty of being a follower of Voldemort. He then broke out of prison (how he did it was explained in the books but skipped over in the movie), disguised himself as an ex-Auror and taught at Hogwarts for nearly a full year before he was caught. In the book, he is undoubtedly clever, obsessed with Voldemort and obeying his command, and a great actor, as he was able to fool everyone, including Dumbledore himself, that he was Mad-Eye Moody.

The few minutes he gets on screen, Tennant made Barty Crouch, Jr. look jittery and mad. If this were true, he wouldn't have been able to play Mad-Eye so well. And he has a weird, snake-like twitch in his tongue - what's with that?

Albus Dumbledore, played by Richard Harris (left) and Michael Gambon (right)
Albus Dumbledore, played by Richard Harris (left) and Michael Gambon (right) | Source

Number 3: Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon)

Dumbledore is one of the best characters in the Harry Potter series. As well as being an extremely powerful wizard, J.K. Rowling portrayed him as nothing short of lovable. He loves knitting patterns, he wears a bonnet he got from a cracker at a Christmas party, and he cares deeply for Harry. In the movies, portrayed from the third movie by Michael Gambon, he is given very few lines to portray the eccentric side of Dumbledore's character, and is a lot more strict and intimidating than he was supposed to be. I didn't like Dumbledore in the movies half as much as I liked him in the books, and I suspect that Gambon hadn't read the book series.

In the first two movies where Dumbledore was played by Richard Harris before he passed away, he was a lot more likeable - smiled more, and even wore half-moon spectacles as described in the book. I much preferred his version.

Horace Slughorn, played by Jim Broadbent
Horace Slughorn, played by Jim Broadbent | Source

Number 2: Horace Slughorn

We're first introduced to Slughorn in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. He likes the powerful, the influential and the talented, and even has a selection of students with these qualities close to him, named the 'Slug Club'. In the sixth book, Slughorn 'collects' students again when he resumes his old post of Potions Master. He's extremely important to the story because he has an old memory. When Voldemort was a student, Slughorn unknowingly gave him access to terrible dark magic that he later used to make himself almost immortal. Harry is given the task to extract this memory from Slughorn, as Dumbledore says it will be essential to defeating Voldemort.

In the books, Slughorn is described as portly, with a silvery walrus-like moustache. He often bellows "Harry, m'boy!" when the protagonist is around, and has a likeable but greedy nature.

Jim Broadbent played Slughorn, and honestly looked like he'd wandered onto the set by accident. He looks nothing like Slughorn - he didn't need to grow a moustache for the part, but he doesn't have the portly stomach, the power-loving demeanor or even a bellowing voice when greeting Harry. He was a huge disappointment to me, adding to an already poor movie (the Half-Blood Prince is my least favourite of all the films for several reasons, but I won't bore you with them now.) If I was given a role to play, I'd make sure I'd done as much research into the character as possible to know what they were like. There was really no excuse for the character to be so far from accurate when there was a novel to make reference to.

Ginny Weasley, played by Bonnie Wright
Ginny Weasley, played by Bonnie Wright | Source

Number 1: Ginny Weasley

In the books, Ginny was extremely popular with the boys, fiery, fearless and talented. She's likeable because she gets on well with her mischievous older brothers, Fred and George, she's brave (not putting up with Harry snapping at her in Book 5, and bravely fighting with Dumbledore's Army). In the films, she barely gets any screentime until the director probably thought, "oh crap, Ginny's actually important in the sixth book, we'd better make her relevant."

In the movies, Harry suddenly likes Ginny for almost no reason at all. She doesn't have many lines, and what she does say doesn't strike any particular likeableness about her. She doesn't possess any of the fire or personality that she did in the books. This isn't really the actress' fault, but it was disappointing, and made Harry's relationship with Ginny (which, in the book, was a full-blown, official relationship, and in the movie was a quick peck on the lips in the Room of Requirement) quite mundane.

Do you agree with this list? Are there any more characters that you were disappointed with? Comment below.

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    • I Am Rosa profile image

      Rosa Marchisella 23 months ago from Canada

      Yeah. Sadly, this list could be longer, but you definitely nailed really glaring ones.

    • poppyr profile image
      Author

      Poppy Reid 23 months ago from Tokyo, Japan

      Who didn't you like, Rosa? :D

    • Amanda108 profile image

      Amanda 21 months ago from Michigan, United States

      I couldn't agree more about your Dumbledore opinion. To add a bit of my own thoughts:

      It definitely starts when Michael Gambon had to take over. He's too intense. BUT, we sadly never got to see how Richard Harris might have portrayed Dumbledore in the second half of the series when things become darker so it's hard for me to say "better or worse" when comparing the two versions as they're quite different views of the same character, even in the books. Dumbledore had secrets and he had power that put him in a position of trying to do the best he could for the world and for love, but which sometimes forces him into a somewhat darker (though not "bad guy") role. Naturally he would lose a little of the perfect, kindly grandfather role as this happens so Gambon was intentionally playing a less lighthearted man. But with Harris he had that "twinkle" in his eye, a genuine kindness and the display of what Dumbledore found most important in the world: love. Gambon was always missing that. It made him difficult to like.

      If I was making my own list, I'd probably add Lupin and Tonks. I felt none of the sympathy for Lupin that I did in the books; once again I think he was a little too intense when he was supposed to be gentle and/or worn down (depending on the time period).

      And don't even get me started on Tonks! Where's our perky, fun, bubblegum-hair girl?! We see a flash of her in the movie version of OotP. But then Half-Blood Prince ignores her romantic troubles from the book yet still makes her appearance rather goth looking (which it wasn't in the books anyway; I believe she was described in a manner that implied her light had gone out, basically - not like she was dressing like an emo teenager). We don't see her clumsiness or her charm or the way the teens all relate to her and have fun with her. There's not enough life in her, but I think this had less to do with the actress and more to do with shortened/changed storylines, dialogue, and wardrobe.

      Sorry for rambling, by the way - Harry Potter is an "always" passion of mine. ;-)

    • poppyr profile image
      Author

      Poppy Reid 21 months ago from Tokyo, Japan

      Great comment! I agree that both Lupin and Tonks didn't get nearly enough screen time in the later movies. They also completely ignored Tonks being in love with Lupin in film 6, they just shoved them together in a scene. The sixth movie was terrible in every possible way anyway though.

    • I Am Rosa profile image

      Rosa Marchisella 21 months ago from Canada

      So many of them, but I was most disappointed with Barty, Sirius, and like Amanda said, Tonks - she wasn't even the same character! They really short-changed her :-(

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      Harry harry 6 months ago

      Mind if I use your picture?

      (I beg your pardon for understanding my comment

      Because i'm korean)

    • profile image

      I am korean 6 months ago

      Yes I agree with your article.

      May i use some of your pictures?

      (Sorry about my short comment and awful english)

    • poppyr profile image
      Author

      Poppy Reid 6 months ago from Tokyo, Japan

      Hi, there. It's fine to use the pictures as long as you include links to where you got them.

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