5 Reasons Why I Like the Harry Potter Books More Than the Movies

E! Online recently published an article called “Five Reasons the Harry Potter Movies Are (Gasp!) Better Than the Books!” I gasped all right. The Harry Potter movies are better than the books? No freaking way! I mean, I like the movies and I’ll definitely see Deathly Hallows Part 1 this weekend, but the books have a special place in my heart.

Their list is all in good fun, but I couldn’t just leave it alone. So here are five reasons why I like the Harry Potter books better than the movies:

1. Characters have more depth in the books – After reading seven books, I feel like readers really got to know the characters in Harry Potter, including many details that never made it into the movies. For instance, after watching Goblet of Fire, you might think Hermione spent all her time studying and romancing Viktor Krum. However, in the book she organized the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare (SPEW) and put a lot of energy into harassing her friends to join the cause, but that didn’t make it into the movie (they also minimized Dobby and Kreacher’s movie roles). There are lots of other examples too: no Peeves the Poltergeist, we don’t see Neville visiting his parents in St. Mungo’s in Order of the Phoenix, and I didn’t think the relationship between Sirius and Harry was fully developed. And I can’t even tell you how disappointed I was that Dumbledore’s funeral wasn’t in the Half-Blood Prince movie. He deserved better than that.

2. Incredibly detailed subplots – When condensing a 700 page book into a 2-3 hour movie, a lot of material has to be cut–there’s just no avoiding it. But it’s all those little details that I love. Like the elaborate back story of the giants, details about the origins of the Marauders and their map, the Quidditch World Cup, Tom Riddle’s history, etc. It’s those details that make the world Rowling created so special.

3. No limit on my imagination – The thing I like about reading the books is that there is no limit on my imagination and what I visualize while reading them. Overall, I think the movies did a wonderful job of recreating the wizarding world, but on certain things I prefer my mental image. I always imagine Dumbledore looking more like Richard Harris than Michael Gambon, and Gary Oldman isn’t quite my image of Sirius Black. But I can imagine them any way I want when reading the books.

4. Humor – The overall story of Harry Potter is quite dark, but Rowling tempers that with humor sprinkled throughout the books. I’ve always felt that the movies never quite captured that wit and humor as well as the books. The movies seem really dark and when they do try to be funny, they go for the obvious joke, like in Half-Blood Prince when Cormac McLaggen pukes Dragonballs all over Snape’s shoes. Lame.

5. More bang for your buck – I’ve spent countless hours reading the books, and I’ve had so much more fun reading than watching the movies. I have great memories of reading the books along with Jose, trading the book on and off, and having great conversations about what we had read. I can’t really say the same for the movies.

One thing I do think the movies do better is Quidditch. Yeah, the movies cut out a lot of the Quidditch scenes that were in the book, but I found watching Quidditch was WAY more interesting than reading about it.

So do you like the Harry Potter books better than the movies? Or are you more of a movie person? Let me know in the comments!

Follow me on Twitter @kristendaemons

Print This Post Print This Post

Please make sure to read our comment policy before posting a comment.