It’s almost exactly a decade since Harry Potter & Co arrived in cinemas for the first time in The Philosopher’s Stone, but since the first film the cast of characters in JK Rowling’s wizarding world has multiplied faster than the treasure in that Gringotts safe. Yet while the books grew as the series progressed, unfortunately the films still had to come in under the three hour mark (boo!) and more characters were given the chop as we reached the series’ climax. Here are fifteen characters who didn’t make it on to the screen. But have we missed your favourites?
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 releases on Blu-ray Triple Play, DVD and Digital Download on December 2nd.
Up until HP4, various directors had managed to fit most characters from the Potterverse into the film adaptations, but with the tome-like Goblet Of Fire rocking up in 2000, Mike Newell was faced with the unenviable task of swinging the axe. As the intricate side-plot involving Winky and her master Barty Crouch Sr was slashed, the lady house-elf was cut from HP4. Here she can be seen swigging Butterbeer (for which she developed an proclivity) after being sacked by Crouch for letting his son escape and rejoin the Dark Lord. Unlike Dobby, she neither wanted nor enjoyed freedom. Possibly the only alcoholic in the series…
When Hagrid and Madame Maxime set out on a diplomatic mission to recruit the giants in the quite frankly ginormous HP5, it’s Karkus with whom they start negotiating. As the Gurg (Leader) of the world’s last giant colony, he basically just lies about waiting for dinner, yet after he’s killed by a rival (Golgomath) the giants, are less willing to discuss Dumbledore’s proposals. It seems likely that Hagrid got some action while he was out in Russia though…
Neville’s Gran (Augusta Longbottom)
The journey of Neville Longbottom from the clumsy, shy, toad-loving youth of HP1 to the sword-weilding hero of HP7.2 is one of the most satisfying character arcs of the whole series. Just ask his gran. After Voldemort’s supporters tortured his Auror parents to insanity, Neville was left with his gran who always seemed disappointed in him. But that disappointment turned to pride when he led the resistance in Harry’s absence. Ninette Finch played Augusta in the final film, but her scenes were left on the cutting room floor. There was also a touching exchange at St Mungos in HP5 that didn’t make the grade.
Twenty-something Tom Riddle
Despite being the only film he didn’t make a real-time appearance in (with the exception of HP3) HP6 was undoubtedly Lord Voldemort’s book. In the text we discovered much about how history’s most dangerous dark wizard spent his childhood and came to power, but it most of it was left out of the film (for shame!) A couple of the most menacing scenes came when Riddle came to visit Hepzibah Smith (above) but even more crucial to the series was the scene in which Riddle returned to Hogwarts to ask Dumbledore for a teaching position. The increasingly snake-like antagonist used the meeting to hide one of his many horcruxes in the Room of Requirement. “Only I have discovered.. D’oh!”
Another vital character left out of HP6 was Lord Voldemort’s mother, who probably would have been very disappointed in her son if she’d lived past childbirth. The down-trodden Merope Gaunt was despised by her father Marvolo Gaunt, who often called her a squib (although as Caroline points out below, she could perform magic). The poor girl did have a massive crush on local toff Tom Riddle though and after her old man was whisked off to Azkaban, she drugged him with a love potion, got herself pregnant and stumbled off to an orphanage in London to have her baby – selling Marvolo’s priceless locket on the way. Incidentally, Dumbledore reasoned that the absence of love in Voldemort’s conception was one of the main causes for his failure to understand the power of it as a concept later in life. Wise man..
Like Winky, Bagman was considered surplus to requirement in HP4, yet anyone who has read the book will know that he played quite an extensive part in the Tri-Wizard Tournament – namely, refereeing the damn thing. His well-known gambling problem could have been the root of Yates’ edit and after failing to pay-up after losing a bet to Fred & George Wesley, he went on the run from the goblins to whom he also owed cash. Formerly a fine Quidditch player.
It’s not difficult to see why every director who turned his camera to Potter didn’t bother with Professor Cuthbert Binns, as he is widely known as the most boring individual of the series. The one time the ghostly teacher did have something of interest to say was in HP2, but although he reluctantly recounted the tale of the Chamber of Secrets at the behest of Harry’s class (despite believing it of ‘no importance’) his scene was stolen by McGonagall in the film. Students traditionally dozed during his classes and it was after a snooze in the staff-room that he passed away. Apparently he simply woke up, left his body behind and went off to his first lesson of the morning.
Lord Voldemort’s maternal grandfather was a foul-tempered old bastard who treated his children (and pretty much everyone else) with utter contempt. We find him living in a squalid shack just down the road from the Riddle House in HP6, clinging to his last remaining treasure, Slytherin’s Locket. He went to Azkaban for attacking a ministry official PP (Pre Potter) and died there some years later. Many fans were disappointed when his Voldemort Origins scene was cut from ..Prince, especially with all that hormonal carping that made it in.
The Muggle Prime Minister
Also axed from HP6 was the opening scene in which Cornelius Fudge popped in to No.10 to inform his Muggle counterpart that he’d been replaced as Minister of Magic and explain the fact that the wizarding world was now at war. David Yates decided to replace the exchange with scenes depicting the fallen bridge Fudge describes and one in which Harry tries to chat up a cafe worker. Why? We don’t know, because apparently this was one of Rowling’s favourite scenes from the series. According to the HP timeline, the scene took place at some point in the summer of 1996, meaning that John Major was head of the government. Maybe they couldn’t get him to appear in the movie?
Fred & George started a joke shop, Percy was seduced by the ministry before returning to his family and Bill got it on with Fleur, but what the hell happened to Charlie Weasley? Well he’s still working with dragons out in Romania. He cropped up briefly in HP4 and returned for the battle of Hogwarts in HP7.2 but only appeared fleetingly in a postcard of the Weasleys in Egypt circa HP3 (right). According to Rowling he wasn’t gay, he just “preferred dragons to women”. Weirdo..
Yet another character bumped from HP6, Voldemort’s uncle appeared in a couple scenes, firstly cursing a ministry official and later in an exchange with the young Tom Riddle. Morfin, who loved snakes (but was almost certainly a virgin) was sent to Azkaban after cursing Tom Riddle snr and a nice ministry chap called Ogden (see left). Some years later, Riddle Jr came to visit and flew into a rage when he heard the tale of his parentage. He killed his father and their family and confounded Morfin to make him believe he had committed the crime. After breaking through the memory charm to get to the truth, Dumbledore tried to have Morfin exonerated but he died soon afterwards.
Ted Tonks crops up a couple of times in HP7 and he’s cut on both occasions. First up, the “big-bellied fair haired man” was on hand to rescue Harry after the Battle of Seven Potters in the early stages of the book and then he showed up on a river-bank with co-outlaws Dean Thomas, Griphook, some other goblins and Dirk Cresswell. Not only was Tonks’ dad still fully supporting Harry (whom he didn’t know was listening in to his conversation) but he and his friends revealed crucial information about the location of Gryffindor’s sword. Unfortunately he was killed by Snatchers later in the book.. 🙁
Few animals summed up Hagrid’s love for weird and dangerous creatures more than the infamously horrid Blast-Ended Skrewts of HP4. The Care of Magical Creatures teacher and country bumpkin stumbled across the nasty animals which had a penchant for fire, destruction and cannibalism by crossing Manticores with Fire Crabs. Armed with suckers and shooting sparks, they appeared to be a massive violation on the Ban On Experimental Breeding. Thankfully they killed each other off, apart from one who was placed in the maze at the end of HP4. And on that note, what happened to our Sphinx Newell?!
The lusty old witch from HP6 developed quite a crush on the young Tom Riddle in a scene which provided a crucial part of Voldemort’s backstory. An descendant* of Helga Hufflepuff, the wealthy witch was robbed and then murdered by the Dark Lord after blabbing about her heirlooms. Smith showed Riddle Hufflepuff’s cup and Slytherin’s locket, which had originally belonged to Voldemort’s folks, while he was visiting her on behalf of Mr Borgin. Like many of the flashback scenes from HP6, hers was ditched by Yates.
The co-owner of the imaginatively-titled dark magic shop Borgin & Burke’s on Knockturn Alley, Borgin was described in less than favourable terms by Rowling and even had a scene in HP2. Unfortunately for Edward Tudor-Pole (left), he only featured in the extended edition. Borgin comes perilously close to a cameo in HP6, but director David Yates decided to show the kids watching Malfoy buy the vanishing cabinet through the shop window. See below..
First published on: Nov 30, 2011.