I have read the Harry Potter books, and am still reading. I have also watched the movies. Whereas the first film is rather close to the book, except for a few very minor scenes, the second is less consistent with the book. The later films are really different.

What was the point of making up new scenes, different from the ones in the books?

The question is: why did this happen and what did it accomplish?

Edit: In the first book the dragon of Hagrid's is brought to the roof of the tallest tower and handed over, Dumbledore didn't even know, whereas in the film it was Dumbledore who somehow knew and advised Hagrid to give it to Percy. In the first book Harry was in the zoo with Dudley and a friend of his whereas in the film Dudley's friend was missing. Even these minor changes are strange and out of logic. As for the other things: a lot of conversations which are relevant to the plot are cut out, a lot of quiddich practices and games are cut out, interpersonal relationship scenes are missing. In the fourth book Dobby gave Harry the jillyweed and there were a lot more things which were changed in the film. In the fifth book when Moody's company was talking Harry to the Order of Phoenix HQ they used a disillusionment charm and the flight was good, there was no battle on brooms whereas in the film they used Polyjuice potion and they fought their way to the HQ. This can be a long list but all I say is, there is no logic behind these changes and actually nothing good in them too, they really change the way things actually went in the book.

closed as too broad by user13267, Buzz, Misha R, Harry Johnston, TheLethalCarrot Feb 3 '18 at 12:29

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 2
    Adaptation conparison, fandom information and such related question are on-topic for this site. – Edlothiad Feb 3 '18 at 6:38
  • 1
    I think this is an interesting and on-topic question. I think it is particularly apt for the SFFSE because so many of the lauded works in the genres have been adapted to film, television, animation, and video. I hope the votes to close will reconsider in this light. – Lexible Feb 3 '18 at 7:55
  • 2
    There are very few book-based movies where this doesn't happen. That said, each alteration and edit has its own specific reasons; I would recommend that you narrow it down to a specific scene that bothers you - otherwise I think the question is too broad. – Misha R Feb 3 '18 at 9:05
  • 1
    The question could have been more interesting if it asked why the films deviated more and more from the books as the series progressed. As it stands now, there are various reasons to close it, e.g. because it asks why the director chose to offend the OP. – Mr Lister Feb 3 '18 at 10:58
  • 3
    Plots that are brilliantly written do not necessarily make great scenes in a visual environment and vice versa. The sub-story of Dumbledore and the rich description JKR provided in Deathly Hallows were one of my favorite points of Book 7 but I understand that if it was included in either Part 1 or Part 2 it would make the movie at the very least boringly slow. On the other hand, the creative licenses that filmmakers took in the Battle of the Ministry Atrium gave one of the greatest duels in the series but it would be extremely undermined if it was attempted to be described in Book 5. – Lefteris008 Feb 3 '18 at 12:16

Such inconsistencies are not rude. (a concern the OP raised in the original form of the question)

Movies and books are different media, and one cannot adapt a work from one medium to the other without performing a large degree of interpretation. Some directors attempt to minimize interpretation (in my own estimation producing inferior and soulless derivative works... but that's just me, and some folks love such films for the very same reason :), while other directors embrace interpretation (for me, Alfonso Cuarón's Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was the best of the Harry Potter films, because he was the director most embracing of interpretation, but some folks hate it for the very same reason). This can even happen in books that reinterpret books—that is where the works are both in the same medium—such as Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality (Elizier Yudkowsky's reinterpretation of Rowling's series), The Last Ringbearer (Kirill Yeskov's reinterpretation of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings), and Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (Gregory Maguire's reinterpretation of L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz), each of which are serious literary reinterpretations of works by other authors, and all of which were written out of genuine interest in and respect for the work of the original authors… even when written as criticisms.

You might be interested in the literary theory the death of the author, which more or less argues that an audience has agency in interpreting the meaning of a cultural artifact (like a text). Because film directors and screenwriters who adapt a book to the screen are both audience to the original work, and author of the reinterpreted work, the experience of a movie viewer may involve the figurative death of two authors: the original author, and the director and/or screenwriter.

Back to my opening assertion: such inconsistencies between books and movies are not rude, because a director or screenwriter has no moral or ethical obligation to follow the specific vision of the original author, and must necessarily interpret the work. Of course, the filmmaker may fail, may be incompetent, or may be brilliant in their own interpretation, and that is for their audience—including you—to judge.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.