The question Does the exterior appearance of Hogwarts really change throughout the series? merely addresses the fact that Hogwarts does indeed change depending on what movie you're watching. I want to know what changed.

I'm looking for more examples of what all changed (visual comparisons, before and after, etc. are encouraged). As many specifics as feasible would be greatly appreciated!

  • 3
    This will require a long, detailed answer just based on what is available and there are probably details which never will be. But it would certainly be interesting.
    – ThruGog
    May 30, 2016 at 20:45
  • @ThruGog I doesn't need to be that detailed, just a little more detailed than your answer on the linked question. (+1 btw)
    – RedCaio
    Jun 19, 2016 at 0:06
  • Since you insist...
    – ThruGog
    Jun 19, 2016 at 6:23
  • Other than the moving staircases, you mean?
    – miltonaut
    Jun 19, 2016 at 11:43
  • @RedCaio It was mainly an off-hand comment, a poor attempt at a joke. We're told that the staircases move (and see them doing so in the movies), so those are constantly changing.
    – miltonaut
    Jun 22, 2016 at 7:52

6 Answers 6


There are some real complexities here, because some areas are approached differently, like entrance courtyards becoming clock tower courtyards, etc, and maybe one day I will use books and websites to try to clarify these points. But, let's start off with some clear changes:

Prisoner of Azkaban changes:

During the first two films, Hogwarts as a whole was decidedly flat. Hagrid's was reached by walking out the front door and across a flat field.

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Compare to the change in Prisoner of Azkaban:

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For Prisoner of Azkaban, the setting was altered dramatically to reflect Hogwarts' position in the Scottish mountains. The covered bridge was seen for the first time. We saw the stone circle overlooking Hagrid's hut, which was now much further from the castle.

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The front door was reached via a courtyard rather than opening straight onto the lawn. Other changes include new towers here and there as well as the style of pre-existing towers being changed.

enter image description here enter image description here

Goblet of Fire changes:

Goblet of Fire featured more of the castle itself as a whole as Harry and the dragon flew and climbed all around it. It confirmed that the changes in PoA were there to stay. Goblet of Fire is the first time we see the Owlery, a tower far from the rest of the Castle where the delivery owls are kept.

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Order of the Phoenix changes:

There were changes in the overall layout for Order of the Phoenix which are more subtle, but the clock tower was seen more prominently and in a new position.

Half Blood Prince changes:

Half Blood Prince saw the introduction of the Astronomy Tower.

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Deathly Hallows changes:

Looking at Deathly Hallows as one instalment, a stone bridge of sorts was added to the entrance mostly for a more dramatic siege. It appears to be that they moved the original viaduct from going across the front of the castle from left (near the entrance) to right so that it was projecting away from the entrance.

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If you are interested in significant interiors, the staircases were changed dramatically. Traditionally the stair cases looked like this:

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In this film, Harry fights Voldemort on stairs which look like this:

enter image description here (People debate that they are different stair cases, but I have chosen this second image as it shows that this large, straight group of stairs is just beyond the Entrance Hall, where it was not before.)

While the entrance courtyard changes frequently in the films, it certainly is much larger in Deathly Hallows Part 2:

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This is from The order of the Phoenix - it looks large, but compare the number of gargoyles.

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  • 3
    This answer is starting to look really wonderful. Would you be opposed to me adding to it here and there? :)
    – RedCaio
    Jun 21, 2016 at 9:38
  • 1
    @RedCaio - Why thank you. No I'm not opposed - feel free.
    – ThruGog
    Jun 21, 2016 at 18:58
  • Let me know if you want me to change any of the things I've added. Also, I'm not familiar with what you mean by "entrance courtyards becoming clock tower courtyards" and "the clock tower was seen more prominently and in a new position [in OotP]" so if you have more details on that, that'll be most helpful. :)
    – RedCaio
    Jun 22, 2016 at 2:19
  • @RedCaio - Great additions! I will need time to remind myself of those details but should get those on later.
    – ThruGog
    Jun 22, 2016 at 5:39
  • Is GoF the first time we see the suspension bridge?
    – RedCaio
    Jun 23, 2016 at 0:30

Hogwarts Castle Changes and Additions

Well, Hogwarts changed a lot over the years, and a lot is still undetermined. The changes I will be listing include changes to the castle and to the grounds, so the Quidditch Pitch, Hagrid's Hut. Here is a list of changes that are known to have taken place:

Chamber of Secrets

Believe it or not, there were at least seven changes made to the castle for the Chamber of Secrets film, those being:

  • The addition of the support-beam structure around the edge of the Quidditch Pitch. Quidditch Pitch (CoS-OotP)
  • The addition of the Whomping Willow to the Training Grounds area of Hogwarts.Whomping Willow (CoS)
  • The change of set for the Hospital Wing - a different design. Hospital Wing (CoS-DHpt2)
  • The change of the Defence Against the Dark Arts Classroom. Defence Against the Dark Arts Classroom (CoS-PoA)
  • The addition of the Greenhouses. Greenhouses (CoS-DHpt2)
  • The redesign of the walls surrounding the Training Grounds (In the background). Training Grounds Walls (CoS-HBP)
  • The redesign of the Training Grounds Tower Training Grounds Tower (CoS-OotP)

Prisoner of Azkaban

Prisoner of Azkaban one of the movies with the most changes. The design of the castle was standardised more and the terrain around it changed to be more exaggerated than before.

  • The addition of the Clock Tower on one side of the Quad. Clock Tower (PoA-DHpt2)
  • The addition of the Clock Tower Courtyard in front of the Clock Tower. Clock Tower Courtyard (PoA-DHpt2)
  • The change in style of the Hospital 'Tower', connecting the Clock Tower to the Quad. Hospital Tower (PoA-DHpt2)
  • The addition of the Wooden Bridge, connecting the Clock Tower Courtyard to the land. Wooden Bridge (PoA-DHpt2)
  • The change in position of Hagrid's Hut to be further away from the school. Hagrid's Hut (PoA-DHpt2)
  • The addition of the Stone Circle beyond the Wooden Bridge, leading down to Hagrid's Hut. Stone Circle (PoA-DHpt2)
  • The change in style of the Central Tower, and the two Bell Towers. Bell Towers (PoA-DHpt2) Central Tower (PoA-DHpt2)
  • The change in position of the Whomping Willow, moving from the Training Grounds to further outside the school, somewhere beyond Hagrid's Hut. Whomping Willow (PoA-DHpt2)
  • The addition of the Dark Tower - where Sirius was held prisoner. Dark Tower (PoA-OotP)
  • The change in position of the Fat Lady's Portrait, moved to the Grand Staircase instead of a corridor like in the first two films. Fat Lady (PoA-HBP)

Goblet of Fire

The Goblet of Fire did not contain anywhere near as many changes as Prisoner of Azkaban, but it still contained some changes.

  • The replacement of the Chamber of Reception with the Viaduct Courtyard. Viaduct Courtyard (GoF-HBP)
  • The lowering of the Great Hall, to be on height level with the Viaduct Courtyard. Viaduct Courtyard and Great Hall (GoF-HBP)
  • The addition of the Owlery (clearly never seen in previous movies). Owlery (GoF-DHpt2)
  • The addition of a small turret on the front of the Great Hall. Great Hall (GoF-DHpt2)
  • The addition of a tall window at the front of the Defence Against the Dark Arts Classroom. Defence Against the Dark Arts Classroom (GoF-DHpt2)
  • The replacement of the Defence Against the Dark Arts Classroom antechamber with the Turris Magnus Staircase. Defence Against the Dark Arts Staircase (GoF-DHpt2)

Order of the Phoenix

  • The change in appearance of the Potions Classroom. Potions Class (OotP-DHpt2)

Half-Blood Prince

  • The removal of the Defence Against the Dark Arts Tower. Defence Against the Dark Arts Tower (PS-OotP)
  • The addition of the Astronomy Tower, which houses all of the contents of the Defence Against the Dark Arts Tower. It also replaced the Dark Tower. Astronomy Tower (HBP-DHpt2)
  • The removal of the small unknown tower on the forward-facing exterior face of the Quad. Unknown Tower (PS-OotP)
  • Steepening of the two Viaduct Entrance Tower rooves and the Lookout Tower (which had a new turret added onto the side). Viaduct Entrance and Lookout Tower (HBP)
  • The replacement of the old Training Grounds Tower with a new Training Grounds Tower. Training Ground Tower (HBP-DHpt2)
  • The addition of spires to the two corner towers of the Clock Tower Courtyard. Clock Tower Courtyard Towers (HBP-DHpt2)
  • The addition of staggered seats to the Quidditch Pitch. Quidditch Pitch (HBP-DHpt2)
  • The addition of spires to many other unnamed small towers across Hogwarts.

Deathly Hallows

  • The enlargement of the Viaduct Courtyard. Viaduct Courtyard (DHpt2)
  • The removal of the original Viaduct. Original Viaduct (PS-HBP)
  • The addition of a larger Viaduct spanning a chasm and connecting the school to land. New Viaduct (DHpt2)
  • The removal of the Training Grounds. Training Grounds (CoS-HBP)
  • The addition of the Quad Battlements and Dormers. Quad Battlements (DHpt2)
  • The replacement of the old Lookout Tower with a new Lookout Tower. Lookout Tower (DHpt2)
  • The replacement of the moving Grand Staircase with a stationary, wide and extended Grand Staircase. Grand Staircase (DHpt2)
  • The enlargement of the Entrance Hall and the addition of the stone statues that fought in the Battle of Hogwarts. Entrance Hall (DHpt2)
  • The redesign of the Boathouse. Boathouse (DHpt2)
  • The change in position of Filch's office to further towards the back of the Great Hall. Filch's Office (DHpt2)
  • The addition of the Viaduct Courtyard Gatehouses. Viaduct Courtyard Gatehouses (DHpt2)


This is just a quick comparison between the Hogwarts from Philosopher's Stone and the Hogwarts we see in Crimes of Grindelwald:

Hogwarts (PS) Hogwarts (CoG)

  • 1
    While this post does list several changes, many items it includes are just first-appearances of locations that we would have had no reason to visit in earlier films (e.g. Chamber of Secrets or Divination Classroom, etc) Oct 14, 2018 at 11:10
  • You are right, a few of the 'changes' I put in are like that Oct 14, 2018 at 20:26
  • New locations are not changes. For a change, you should be able to show before-and-after.
    – T.J.L.
    May 13, 2020 at 14:45

The Whomping willow is removed in Half Blood Prince too. The whole area from where it was placed in PoA is gone and there is only a hill instead.

Whomping Willow (HBP)


In Sorcerer’s Stone, when Percy takes the first years to the portrait hole, it is located away from the main staircases that change and it is a lady in a pink dress. In Prisoner of Azkaban, the portrait is of a totally different woman and the location changes to the changing staircase area.


Also the girls bathroom where moaning murtle was, changed from CoS to HBP. In CoS, the entrance to the chamber of secrets is present with the basin and only 2 sections of toilets, one to the left and one to the right. In HBP the basin where the chamber of secrets entrance was, is gone. And there is also a middle section of toilets:

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Now you might say that they are not the same bathroom but that would be wrong. In the HBP book,before Harry and Malfoy fight, Malfoy cries to Moaning Myrlte that he wont be able to kill Dumbledore, which means that it is the same girl's toilet as in CoS, since Myrtle is there.

  • 1
    "...which means that it is the same girl's toilet as in CoS, since Myrtle is there." No. We know for a fact that Myrtle visits other bathrooms multiple times, so I'm gonna need stronger evidence than Myrtle's presence to convince me it's the same bathroom. Especially since I doubt Malfoy entered the girl's bathroom and sought Myrtle out to chat with her. Isn't it far more likely she spied on Malfoy (like the perv we know she is) in a boy's bathroom, saw him crying, and he eventually began confiding in her? I think the book even confirms this, but I'm not sure where the passage is. :)
    – RedCaio
    Nov 30, 2018 at 21:10
  • Fairly sure the bathroom from HBP is a boys bathroom on the sixth-floor. This article also seems to confirm that: harrypotter.fandom.com/wiki/Sixth-floor_boys%27_bathroom Jul 10, 2019 at 10:55

ThruGog wrote a great answer on this topic! I just want to add a few points:

  1. The suspension bridge has been shown since Harry Potter and the Philosopher's stone, in the scene right before the trio went to the dungeon where Fluffy was (I can't find a screenshot but the wiki page also confirms that http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Suspension_Bridge).
  2. Before astronomy tower was added in the 6th movie, there was a Defense against the dark arts tower which is shown from the 1st to 5th movie. It is also the same tower where Mcgonagall's office is in the 1st movie in the flying lesson scene where harry caught the rememberall(http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Hogwarts_Turris_Magnus).

  3. From PoA to Order of Phoenix, you can see the Dark Tower (the tower where Sirius Black was kept in PoA) in various scenes. This Tower is also removed in HBPrince along with the defense against the dark arts tower and replaced with the astronomy tower as ThruGog suggested. http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Dark_Tower

  • Some more details of the actual changes rather than links would be better. Links go dead where as as long a this site remains alive the information will be available.
    – Edlothiad
    Dec 8, 2017 at 9:02

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