While the release of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone back in 2001 generated much excitement regarding the characters from JK Rowling’s universe, the same can also be said for the settings from within the wizarding world too. Warner Bros did a stellar job at bringing many to the big screen, but it was always going to be difficult to contain every single scene given the huge amount of source material to work with.
This meant that some felt underused in comparison to others. So it’s time to take a look back at the eight movies that released throughout the 2000s and revisit the places that weren’t quite as visible as fans would have liked.
8 Number 4 Privet Drive
Plenty happens at Number 4 Privet Drive during the first three Potter movies. There are the letters pouring through the fireplace, Dobby the House Elf paying an unwanted visit, and Aunt Marge being inflated to the size of a car. But from then on it’s less prominent, omitted completely from the Goblet of Fire while being used sparingly in the Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince blockbusters.
That meant several key moments were ultimately missed out. No Albus Dumbledore visiting, no owls coming in to give Petunia a fright, and no scene where the Weasleys nearly destroy the living room. While that’s the case, however, all three members of the Dursley family still remain iconic characters. Even if their personalities left much to be desired.
7 The Quidditch World Cup
In the Goblet of Fire book, the Quidditch World Cup is significantly more detailed than its movie counterpart. There’s plenty of build-up, including encounters with Stun Shunpike, Seamus Finnigan, Dean Thomas, and Barty Crouch Sr. And the game itself is detailed in full, with Ireland winning despite Viktor Krum catching the snitch.
That was certainly a missed opportunity, particularly when so much work had gone into the stadium design. It doesn’t show the dark forest where Harry, Ron, and Hermione get lost in either, with the trio instead wandering around out in the open. Quidditch, like several other things, was underused as the series went on – which is pretty understandable given Lord Voldemort’s return.
6 The Maze
Within context, the maze in the Triwizard Tournament also isn’t as fleshed out as it is in the source material. The movie does capture its dark and foreboding nature as Viktor Krum attacks Fleur Delacour within its confinements.
But the failure to include the maze’s many obstacles was a crying shame. Harry has to navigate his way past a sphinx by conquering a riddle that’s pretty difficult to work out. There’s a boggart, with the Boy Who Lived successfully overcoming the creature. And there’s also Blast-Ended Skrewts, horrendous creatures that Rubeus Hagrid has a bizarre soft spot for. In comparison, the film makes things come across as significantly more straightforward.
5 The Shrieking Shack
The Shrieking Shack is the setting for the big Peter Pettigrew twist in the Prisoner of Azkaban movie. However, plenty of details surrounding the so-called “haunted” place are left out. Even within that blockbuster, it doesn’t show Harry being caught out by Draco Malfoy while wearing his Invisibility Cloak, in an incident that prompts the Slytherin student into running to Severus Snape.
Flashbacks are used throughout the series but it would have made sense to show the Shrieking Shack in one, too, given it’s where the Marauders used to lie low as Animagus’ as they keep Remus Lupin company. Severus Snape nearly died at the secret passageway nearby as well, plus it’s where Igor Karkaroff’s body is found in the Half-Blood Prince novel. The latter scene may have been simply too dark to show or mention.
4 Hogsmeade In General
While on the subject of Hogsmeade, the whole setting is somewhat underused – despite appearing in four of the eight Potter movies. As mentioned above, there was the incident where Draco is shaken up. But more actually happens over the course of the series that aren’t shown on the big screen.
For example, the moment where Harry, Ron, and Hermione meet Sirius Black and Buckbeak in the mountains doesn’t make the cut. Neither does the chat between Fred and George Weasley with Ludo Bagman, who is a character Warner Bros opted against bringing to life. And the series also fails to show Harry’s disastrous date with Cho Chang at Madam Puddifoot’s tea shop, which would have been pretty amusing to see and is also a major contributor behind their break up.
3 The Riddle House
The Goblet of Fire begins at the Riddle House, which is looked after by an old man named Frank Bryce. The muggle sees lights on one evening and decides to check up on the place – only to encounter Voldemort, Peter Pettigrew, Barty Crouch Jr., and Nagini. But that’s the last time it’s ever even talked about.
Things are different in the books, with Harry learning via Albus Dumbledore’s Pensieve that it was also where Lord Voldemort murdered his father. The Dark Lord does this after discovering Tom Riddle Sr. left his mother, Merope, while pregnant because she’d used a love potion to make the connection. Voldemort’s father was from a completely different world and loathed by Merope’s family members, Morfin and Marvolo Gaunt. This ultimately fuelled his hatred towards muggles and everything they stand for.
2 Diagon Alley
Diagon Alley is shown off during the first two Potter movies, while the Leaky Cauldron makes a brief appearance during the events of The Prisoner Of Azkaban. But, besides the scene of Death Eaters kidnapping Garrick Ollivander in the early stages of the Half-Blood Prince, it’s not prominent during the rest of the movies.
Certain shops get shelved, such as Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour – where Harry gets unlimited free sundaes while he gets on with his homework during the summer holidays before the start of his third year – and Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions. Draco Malfoy and Harry cross paths in the shop twice in the books yet these showdowns are absent, either tweaked to be set elsewhere or left out entirely.
The only Divination Classroom appears solely in The Prisoner Of Azkaban and The Order of the Phoenix, meaning fans aren’t given the chance to see much of the strange Professor Trelawney in action. Her classroom is just like in the source material, containing many comfy-looking poufs and numerous crystal balls. But, despite that, it’s hardly put to good use.
In the books, Harry attends classes there until his sixth year. He passes out during an examination, something that Rita Skeeter manages to witness while transformed as a beetle. And Harry later has a new classroom when Firenze takes charge of the subject, which is another detail that the Order of the Phoenix movie fails to include. It’s understandable why, given Divination wasn’t crucial to the overall plot, but it would have been great to see nonetheless.
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