As requested by rand al'thor, a follow-up question to How many Hogwarts students changed House from book to film?:

How many Hogwarts students changed year from book to film?

In the book series, we know Cho Chang was definitely in the year above Harry, for Wood tells Harry when he is in his third year:

'Harry, I've just found out who Ravenclaw are playing as Seeker. It's Cho Chang. She's a fourth-year, and she's pretty good ...'

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - p.188 - Bloomsbury - Chapter 13, Gryffindor versus Ravenclaw

However, in the film version of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (part 2), she is shown in the Room of Requirement with everybody else when the trio arrive via the secret passageway behind the picture of Ariana Dumbledore. This implies that she was not in the year above Harry (for she would have already left Hogwarts if she were (as per the books)) and was most likely in the same year as him. The "infallible" Harry Potter wiki says the same, though it does not seem to provide a reference - not needing to, of course, for it is never wrong ... :P

So, did Cho Chang definitely change years in the films and, if so, were there any others?

(Hint: I believe I recall seeing Katie Bell and Romilda Vane in Slughorn's potions class in The Half-Blood Prince so these are two free candidates to get you started. Proper references will garner upvotes :P )

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    Although Luna and Dean are there, too ... and I can't think why or how
    – Au101
    Commented Oct 29, 2015 at 18:05
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    Although the question is a good question, there were lots of people in the movie who returned to hogwarts in the deathly hollows. I don't think cho being there is unusual at all even if she did graduate the previous year.
    – Escoce
    Commented Oct 29, 2015 at 18:34
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    Romilda Vane is younger in the books. Katie Bell is definitely older than Harry, for she was already on the Quidditch team when Harry joined it in The Philosopher's Stone - becoming the youngest Quidditch player in a century. She must, therefore, be year 7, cause she's still around in HBP
    – Au101
    Commented Oct 29, 2015 at 18:59
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    Haven't been able to prove it yet, but pretty sure Cho is there out of convenience. In the book, the other DA members are notified via coin, but in the movie it's done via the wizard radio using a codephrase. Many of the people that would come through the painting in the book are simply there already to avoid having to show them come in. Commented Oct 29, 2015 at 19:10
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    +1 (naturally). I would've asked this myself in a day or two if you hadn't!
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Oct 30, 2015 at 0:45

2 Answers 2


Basically, in the films almost every major character is in Harry's year, just to simplify things.

Cho Chang definitely changed year.

You've given the book quote which shows she's a year above Harry in the books. Here's a film quote which shows they're in the same year in the films:

Hermione: I'm sure Harry's kissing was more than satisfactory. Cho spends half her time crying these days.
Ron: You'd think a bit of snogging would cheer her up.
Hermione: Don't you understand how she must be feeling? Well, obviously she's feeling sad about Cedric, and therefore confused about liking Harry, guilty about kissing him, conflicted because Umbridge is pressing to sack her mum from the Ministry, and frightened about failing her OWLs because she's so busy worrying about everything else.
Ron: One person couldn't feel all that. They'd explode!
Hermione: Just because you've got the emotional range of a teaspoon...
-- HP and the Order of the Phoenix, film

OWLs are taken in the fifth year, so Cho is in her 5th year (the same as Harry) in OotP.

So did Romilda Vane.

Romilda is a fourth-year student in HP and the Half-Blood Prince book, two years below Harry:

Before he could respond, however, there was a disturbance outside their compartment door; a group of fourth-year girls was whispering and giggling together on the other side of the glass. ... And one of them, a bold-looking girl with large dark eyes, a prominent chin and long black hair, pushed her way through the door. 'Hi, Harry, I'm Romilda, Romilda Vane,' she said loudly and confidently.
-- HP and the Half-Blood Prince book (thanks to Au101 for providing the quote)

In the film, though, she's in Slughorn's Potions class in the same year as Harry:


Katie Bell did not.

As commenters have already pointed out, Katie is in the Quidditch team in HP and the Philosopher's Stone (making her at least 1 year above Harry, since he's the youngest player) and also appears in HP and the Half-Blood Prince (making her at most 1 year above Harry, since she's still at school) in both book and film versions.

I haven't come up with anybody else yet...

  • This is an excellent answer, well done for more-or-less answering your own question. However the girl next to Romilda Vane, behind and to the left of Hermione is Katie Bell. Who would surely not be in Harry's 6th year potions class unless ...
    – Au101
    Commented Oct 30, 2015 at 1:08
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    @Au101 Mistake in the films then? I'm pretty sure the line about Harry being the youngest Quidditch player in a century is there in the PS film as well as the book.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Oct 30, 2015 at 1:10
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    (I should say that I hadn't done any research on this question until just now - it's true I suggested the question, but I didn't have an answer waiting for it!)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Oct 30, 2015 at 1:10
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    @CandiedMango Because Katie being in Harry's class contradicts other things in the films (unless 7th-years share the same class for some reason) while Romilda being there is consistent with everything else in the film universe.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Oct 30, 2015 at 10:35
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    Seeing as I follow the rule that whatever is onscreen is canon (barring just continuity errors between scenes) I have another explanation. I don't know about British schools, but being held back is not uncommon in American schools. It can even be on a class by class basis. So, for some reason, she's been at Hogwarts for seven years but is retaking sixth year Potions. (And, unless it says otherwise, she could also be in sixth year Potions in the books.)
    – trlkly
    Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 18:48

Per the comments to rand al'thor's excellent answer, I just wanted to go ahead and post an answer to say

Katie Bell also changed years

(But there are conditions)

In the books, Katie Bell is not in Harry's year. She is already on the Gryffindor Quidditch team when Harry joins it and it would be hard to understand all of the fuss if Katie Bell had only just joined.

'Seeker?' he said. 'But first-years never - you must be the youngest house player in about -'

'- a century,' said Harry, shovelling pie into his mouth. He felt particularly hungry after the excitement of the afternoon. 'Wood told me.'

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - p.113 - Bloomsbury - Chapter 9, The Midnight Duel

What's more, we never see Katie Bell in any of Harry's classes (including first year flying lessons), we do not see her getting sorted and she is never mentioned as one of Hermione's dormmates. Now, this would be understandable if she were a non-entity (I know there's a lot of speculation about the real size of Harry's classes and whether there were a lot more Gryffindors in Harry's year than we ever see), but for a significant minor character (if you see what I mean), it seems almost inconceivable.

In any case, it is finally confirmed beyond all doubt in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, where Harry is in his sixth year[citation needed]:

They returned to the common room, which was empty apart from half a dozen seventh-years including Katie Bell, the only remaining member of the original Gryffindor Quidditch team that Harry had joined in his first year.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - p.167 - Bloomsbury - Chapter 9, The Half-Blood Prince

And yet she is clearly seen in Harry's Potions class in the movie of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (thanks to rand al'thor for the image):

enter image description here

(Katie Bell is highlighted in blue).

It is quite hard to see why she would be in Harry's sixth year class, unless she was a sixth year in the film version.

She is also shown wearing school uniform during the Battle of Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, implying she was still at school when those events took place. This could only put her in Harry's year.

However, as I say, there are conditions. The film version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone also has the fuss about Harry joining the team:

Ron: Seeker? But first-years never make the house teams. You must be the youngest Quidditch player in a -

Harry: - century. According to McGonagall.

And, again, all the old arguments about never seeing her in any of Harry's classes (even when new characters like Bem were literally written in) until the Half-Blood Prince apply.

In the first two films, Katie Bell is played by a different actress. Then, she is largely written out until the sixth and seventh (second part, I believe) films, where she is recast and given more prominence. I think we can safely assume that the change of years happened for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, in order to highlight a character who had a relatively major role to play in the plot of that film; but who had until then (in the movies, at least) been a very minor presence.

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    There is an alternate, in-universe explanation: Katie may not have qualified to take her NEWT with Snape, but it is explicitly pointed out Slughorn is more lenient about who he will accept. She may be taking the class specifically a year late.
    – Weckar E.
    Commented Mar 22, 2017 at 13:07

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