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Trivia / Harry Potter

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It was a very long road following the Harry Potter series, stretching across 14 years. The following will give you an idea of what books were out compared to which movie was out. This is handy for folks interested in the history of the phenomenon. For instance, when the first film was released, the fans going to see it could have only read through Goblet of Fire.


General Trivia:

  • Harry names his kid Albus Severus in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. This had originally been taken as proof that scans that appeared online before the book was released were fake.
  • Dumbledore is an old Devon word for bumblebee. J. K. chose it because she liked the idea of him humming to himself all the time.
  • At King's Cross, there is a false archway labeled "Platform Nine and Three Quarters" kept well away from the actual platforms — complete with the rear end of a luggage trolley protruding from the brickwork.
  • In fact, the description that Rowling gives of the barrier between the platforms doesn't sound anything like what currently exists at King's Cross, for the very good reason that she was thinking of nearby Euston station when she wrote it, and only discovered her mistake later. It's not even correct at Euston; at both stations, there are train tracks between platforms nine and ten. In any case trains travel to Scotland from both stations, though by different routes.
  • Ginny and Harry's roles in Chamber of Secrets are reversed in Half-Blood Prince. First there's the Unrequited Love Switcheroo and then there's the fact that in the respective installments both are seduced by an evil book which they dispose of (or at least try to) after association with it causes them to endanger one or more people.
  • There are a lot of other parallels with books that are mirrors of each other, given book 4 as the centre — 3 and 5 both focus a lot on the Marauders and Dementors, 2 and 6 focus on Voldemort's past and also feature Harry and Ginny swapping roles as noted above, and 1 and 7 have a lot of focus on the night Harry's parents died.
  • Pansy Parkinson was based on girls who used to bully JKR in school.
  • The first name of Salazar Slytherin comes from the Portuguese dictator, António de Oliveira Salazar.note 
  • The core of the Elder Wand is the tail hair of a thestral.
  • Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban are the only books in which Everybody Lives. (Unless you count the basilisk; then it would just be Azkaban.)
  • In a 2014 interview [1] (at the bottom of the linked page, the full interview is available to read), Rowling said that Harry and Hermione are in some ways a better fit than Ron and Hermione, but at the end of the interview she said that there are still ways in which Ron and Hermione are better (e.g. he's funny and thus complementary with Hermione's intense and serious personality). She imagines Ron and Hermione would maybe need a little counseling, but would be all right in the end.
    • J. K. Rowling's statements were misinterpreted and/or exaggerated by many media, who reported that she said she "regretted" pairing Ron with Hermione, which she never did.
  • Fenrir Greyback has never appeared in his werewolf form.
  • It's never revealed in-story exactly where the fortune that Harry inherits from his parents in the first book comes from; Word of God states that his father James comes from Old Money.

Specific Tropes:

  • Aluminium Christmas Trees: One might think that a fumble-fingered executioner failing to sever a person's head completely was invented from whole cloth by JKR. As it happens, Jack Ketch did it twice.
  • Cash Cow Franchise: And how! The Harry Potter series is often credited with getting young people interested in reading again in the modern age. The series as a whole is the number one best selling book series of all time. Excluding religious, ideological, philosophical, and political books, the first installment is the fourth best selling single book (behind only The Hobbit, The Little Prince, and The Lord of the Rings). The last four books each broke the record for the fastest-selling book of all time. The film series is the third highest-grossing in history (behind only Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe). The last film is currently the thirteenth highest-grossing film of all time, and was third highest when it was released.
  • Cast the Runner-Up:
  • Creator's Favorite: J. K. Rowling has claimed her favorite character in Harry Potter is Remus Lupin, who is also a fan favorite. It doesn't stop her from killing him in the 7th book, though. J. K. Rowling stated that she finds Albus "Al" Severus Potter, the most "interesting" of Harry's children.
  • Defictionalization:
    • Rowling published three books mentioned in the series — listed up there with the main series — with profits reverted to charity. One looks like Harry and Ron's book, one seems to be a Hogwarts Library title, and another opens with the disclaimer "translated from the original runes by Hermione Granger."
    • Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, marketed by Jelly Belly. They've also made Chocolate Frogs, complete with cards, among many other candies.
    • The Vibrating Broom, which was so quickly pulled from the shelves.
    • Quidditch. Granted, the brooms don't fly (among other things), but it is a faithful reproduction of the sport, even to the point where college teams compete in a world cup.
    • Celestina Warbeck became a performer at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, with Molly and Arthur Weasley's favorite song "A Cauldron Full of Hot, Strong Love" as part of her repertoire.
  • Deleted Scene: There are a lot of them; On Freeform, the films run with the deleted scenes intact, although other scenes may be cut down for time. To the credit of the production teams, a lot of the deleted scenes were narration in the books, and would have pointed out the obvious on film.
  • Dyeing for Your Art:
    • Twins James and Oliver Phelps, who played Fred and George Weasley, are not redheads in real life. They are actually brunette.
    • Tom Felton's hair is naturally blond, but he had to bleach his hair for all the films to make it even blonder.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • The first book's title was changed from Philosopher's Stone to Sorcerer's Stone in America because the myth of the Philosopher's Stone was not well-known to Americans at the time and Scholastic believed kids would not want to read a book that had the word "philosopher" in it.
    • Chamber of Secrets had several bits of Voldemort's backstory and plot foreshadowing that the editors forced Rowling to cut to make it shorter. Rowling had to cram them into Half Blood Prince.
  • Follow the Leader: Rowling has admitted she wasn't the first to send kids to wizarding school. However, a lot of books have attempted to cash in on the success of Harry Potter, some of them even being obvious ripoffs.
  • Gay Panic: Fans liked to interpret both Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks as gay. Lupin, for example, was an analogue to an AIDS victim, was not married late in life and had a very close bond with another man (who also had no canon partner). The latter more superficially liked wearing her hair short and spiky. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince then revealed that Tonks was in love with Lupin. Ironically she later gave Dumbledore Word of Gay when the makers of the film adaptation tried to write a line where he talks about a girl he had a crush on.
  • God Never Said That: Plenty.
    • There used to be a rumor about a gratuitous sex scene in the last book. Everyone heard that rumor (from everyone else), and all the sources claimed to have heard it straight from the author. While Ginny's "birthday present" came close, there was no onscreen sex. A video on The Onion about Rowling including a date rape in an upcoming Potter book may have had something to do with the rumor.
    • It was rumored that Rowling had confirmed Harry Potter and the Green Flame Torch/Pillar of Storge/Fortress of Shadows as the title of books six/seven. She responded by suggesting Harry Potter and The Toenail of Icklibogg.
      J.K: I am trying very hard not to feel offended that anyone thought this was possible. 'Storgé', for crying out loud. Come on, people, get a grip. [2]
    • Rowling never said that she may have subconsciously let the name "Harry Potter" from the Troll series seep into her story, regardless of what Phelous or any number of other people may tell you. What she actually said is that she took the name "Potter" from a family she was friends with as a child, and "Harry" simply because she has always loved that name.
    • There's a quote floating around on the Internet which confirms the fanon belief that Nagini is the snake Harry set free from the zoo, specifically "Yes, it’s rather funny, really, that next to no one realized the snake that Harry set free in Philosopher's Stone turned out to be Voldemort's final Horcrux, Nagini." It never happened. There's also a scientific hole in the theory, incidentally. Harry set a boa constrictor loose, which in the movies, was a python. Neither one is venomous or has fangs. Nagini is and does. In fact, Nagini was once a woman. One of the potential titles of the last book she gave WB for trademarking in 2005 was Curse of Nagini. It got cut and was worked into the Fantastic Beasts series.
    • Rowling said in a 2014 interview with Emma Watson that Harry and Hermione are in some ways a better fit than Ron and Hermione. The latter (canonical) pairing would have maybe needed some marriage counseling but "they will be all right in the end". Many media outlets reported that she said pairing Ron and Hermione was a mistake she regretted, which she DIDN'T say at all.
    • Another circulating rumor was that Harry was going to lose his virginity in the first draft of Goblet of Fire, but the scene was cut out by Executive Meddling. A rumor that was, to put it bluntly, hogwash.
    • There are persistent rumors that Rowling said "In a fight between a wizard and a muggle with a shotgun, the muggle will win every time." This quote has never been traced, and whether muggles or wizards would win is a continuing debate.
    • Fans were also convinced that Ginny would accomplish a major plot point because she was a seventh child. JK Rowling had only said that she was just the first daughter born to the Weasleys, and that the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter was traditionally important.
    • She never said Hermione was black. She said that Hermione's race is never specified and that she was fine with a black actress playing her in Cursed Child.
    • Some accuse her of saying that magic can cure Autism which isn’t true. What she said was that magic can easily cure a Muggle disease like the seasonal flu but has a harder time fighting a magical disease like dragonpox. Autism is a neurological disorder, not a disease.
    • She's somewhat changed her answer over the years but she's never confirmed that Grindlewald and Dumbledore were in a relationship. She said Albus was in love with him, and that she wasn't sure they were in a relationship, and that Grindlewald would be perfectly willing to exploit Albus. In 2019 an interview she gave about said relationship got taken out of context as well. Complex Magazine ran a headline that implied she said they had “an intensely sexual relationship” and the post went viral. She got accused of fetishizing the relationship. She said it was intense and that it was sexual separately, she never once put them together. She also goes on to say that she’s not interested in the sexual element even though it was there, she’s more interested in the clashing of magical equals.
    • On the old version of her website, Rowling had an entire section called the "Rubbish Bin" devoted to debunking rumors about both herself and the Harry Potter series. It can still be viewed in archived form.
  • Name's the Same:
    • Rowling liked the last name Evans, so she gave Harry's mother that maiden name. Later, when writing Order of the Phoenix, she named an unimportant character who Dudley beat up "Mark Evans". The fans went nuts trying to find the connection between the two... but Word of God says she's sorry, it was just a name she made up on the fly and should have known better.
    • Hufflepuff Zacharias Smith, is not to be confused with a more lovable dirty coward who is a Doctor. Doctor Zachary Smith.
  • Obvious Crossover Method: [Crossover character] raises Harry instead of the Dursleys might be the single most common crossover mechanism for Potter Fanfic.
  • The Other Darrin: For the French audiobooks, Dominique Collignon-Maurin replaced Bernard Giraudeau (who passed away in 2010) at the narration of the last three books.
  • Pet Fad Starter: The books, and perhaps the movies even more, led to a huge demand of snowy owls. Quite surprising, considering Owls are very uncommon as pets. This caused a big increase in unintentional neglect of owls by owners who don't have a clue how to actually care for a predatory bird. It got so bad that J.K. Rowling saw herself obligated to point out to her fans that owls are not good pets in real life, and an owl sanctuary had to be opened to accommodate all the owls that were bought as pets but then abandoned.
  • Referenced by...: See ReferencedBy.Harry Potter.
  • Refitted for Sequel:
    • The sorting ceremony for the America-based Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is similar to the discarded idea of Founder statues for the Hogwarts sorting. Ilvermorny is a later addition featured on Pottermore and talked about in the Fantastic Beasts films and Hogwarts Mystery.
    • A lot of the backstory about Voldemort and Tom Riddle that we find out in Half Blood Prince was intended for Chamber of Secrets. Jo's editor insisted on those parts being removed, and she didn't have a lot of clout to keep them in at the time.
  • Spin-Off Cookbook: There is an unofficial cookbook based on the books. Includes recipes for treacle tart, Harry's favorite dessert, Molly's meat pies, Mrs Weasley's classic dish or pumpkin pasties, a staple on the Hogwarts Express cart.
  • Technology Marches On:
    • As with the majority of books (being minor — when no one cares when and where they are released) as Pottermania picked up steam in America but books two and three weren't available yet, people realized this new-fangled Internet thing could be put to good use and simply ordered the books directly from American cried foul — this was taking potential profits from them — but Amazon UK pointed out that this was simply the inverse of what usually happened — books were usually released in the USA first and UK readers would order directly from them.
    • One of the notable differences between the wizarding and Muggle worlds that Harry discovers is that, unlike Muggle photographs, pictures in the wizarding world are animated and move. By The New '10s, improvements in computer technology led to GIFs becoming ubiquitous to the point they can be viewed on digital photo frames, taking away some of the mystic (although wizarding world pictures have a 3D effect, GIFs don't. Plus, GIFs become still images once printed).
  • Trolling Creator: Prior to the release of the final book, Rowling kept talking about how she was considering going the Torch the Franchise and Run route.
  • Trope Namer: These books named the following tropes:
    • Draco in Leather Pants: A character who is dis-likable in the canon material is redeemed in the fandom because of their attractiveness (via the fanfic The Draco Trilogy). invoked
    • Ron the Death Eater: The reverse of Draco in Leather Pants; a generally good character in the source material is turned into a villain via Character Derailment.
    • Golden Snitch: An aspect in a game or contest that, if met, will put the game out of reach for their opponents, named after the game-ender in Quidditch. A more specific criteria would be this aspect rendering the game leading up to this point virtually irrelevant (for instance, the Triple Points round in Family Feud).
    • Hold Your Hippogriffs: An Unusual Euphemism that references a fantastical element in the story, named after the half-eagle/half-horse animals in the series.note 
    • Hufflepuff House: A team or group that is basically unimportant within the main plot, named after the fourth house at Hogwarts.
    • Invisibility Cloak: An item, usually clothing, that renders the wearer invisible, named after Harry's own invisibility cloak.note 
    • Mad Eye: When a character has one eye larger than the other due to losing their mind, even if momentarily. Named for Mad-Eye Moody, who had one eye notably larger than the other and was rather eccentric.
    • Muggles: Ordinary people who are unaware of the magic/supernatural goings-on of the plot, taking the name of "non-magic folk".
    • Pensieve Flashback: A flashback in which the character actually experiences the scene from the past, walking around in a three-dimensional space but unable to affect the scene before them. Named after Dumbledore's depository for his 150 years of memories, which can be entered in order to experience memories in this manner.
    • Secret Keeper: A character who keeps the supernatural nature of another character a secret, named after the result of the Fidelius Charm, which hides the caster and requires they choose someone as a Secret Keeper, and only they can reveal their location.
    • Tom the Dark Lord: A phenomenally powered villain with a mundane name, named after the man who would change his name to Voldemort.
    • Wronski Feint: Feinting at an obstacle and pulling up at the last minute, with the intent of tricking a person into trailing you, moving Too Fast to Stop, and crashing. This is a classic Quidditch move.
  • Troubled Production:
    • According to J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was subject to this after she discovered a huge Plot Hole halfway through writing. She rewrote chapter 9 thirteen times.
    • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix went though more mild troubles; it took two years to write, apparently due to its dark and depressing subject matter. She also changed her mind about killing Arthur Weasley right when it came time to write the scene, causing her to spend the rest of the series determined to kill off another Weasley to balance it out.
  • What Could Have Been: See subpage.
  • The Wiki Rule: Here is the wikia for the book series.
  • Word of Gay: Possibly the most (in)famous example. Rowling announced Dumbledore's homosexuality after the series had concluded, to the ... exasperation of many (for every reason you can think of). Dumbledore is gay, but celibate.
  • Word of God:
    • Quite prevalent as Rowling gives a lot of extra information through interviews. Also, the FAQ she keeps on her personal website.
    • Contrary to the first movie, Rowling says that James Potter was actually a Chaser, not a Seeker.
  • Write Who You Know:
    • Snape is based on Rowling's chemistry teacher, John Nettleship, Ron is based on her best friend, and Hermione is based on herself as a kid. In each case, she insists their inspiration was unintentional.
    • J. K. Rowling based the Dementors on her own struggles with depression that she suffered prior to the success of Harry Potter, saying in an interview Dementors are the "absence of being able to envisage that you will ever be cheerful again. The absence of hope. That very deadened feeling, which is so very different from feeling sad." Visually, they are based on figures from Rowling's childhood nightmares.
    • Rowling has stated that she based Gilderoy Lockhart on an unnamed acquaintancenote  who was an enormous blowhard just like him, and that she barely exaggerated his real personality. As a matter of fact, she claims she toned it down! Part of the reason she's never confirmed who it is is because she didn't want to give him the satisfaction.


General Trivia:

  • Harry Melling, the actor who played Dudley in the films, is the grandson of Patrick Troughton.
    • Conversely, the actor who plays Dean Thomas, Alfred Enoch, is the son of William Russell, the man who played Ian in Doctor Who.
  • If you were to watch all eight Harry Potter films back-to-back, it would take nineteen hours and thirty-eight minutes. The extended cuts of the first two films would add an extra twenty minutes to that.
  • Fun facts about the four Harry Potter directors, Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuarón, Mike Newell, and David Yates:
    • One is American (Columbus), one is Mexican (Cuarón), and two are British (Newell and Yates).
    • The order they directed the films in is the same order their names would be listed in if organized in alphabetical order by last name.
    • Newell (born 1942) is the oldest person to direct a Harry Potter movie, being sixty-three when he directed Goblet in 2005. Although Yates has the most recent birthdate of all the directors (1963), the record for directing a Potter film at the youngest age is a tie between Columbus (born 1958 and directed Stone in 2001, making him forty-three) and Cuarón (born 1961 and directed Azkaban in 2004, also making him forty-three), whereas Yates was forty-four when he directed Phoenix in 2007. J. K. Rowling is younger than all the directors, being born in 1965.
    • Columbus and Yates are the only people to direct more than one Potter film, with Columbus directing two of them and Yates directing four of them. As such, Yates has directed the entire second half of the series.
  • Azkaban is the only movie in which the title doesn't appear over a cloud background (the title did appear over the customary cloud background in the trailers, but not in the actual movie). Out of the ones with cloud backgrounds, Chamber is the only one in which it's not a stormy cloud backgrounds. Stone and Prince are the only ones which include lightning in the cloud background. Chamber and Phoenix are the only films in which no scene takes place between the appearance of the Warner Bros. logo and the title.
  • Half-Blood Prince is the first movie since Prisoner of Azkaban to be rated PG instead of PG+13, which is strange, considering Dumbledore dies in the movie and a surprisingly bloody scene from the novel (Harry cursing Draco with Sectumsempra) is kept intact.
  • After Deathly Hallows came out, it was revealed that Alan Rickman (who plays Professor Snape) had had a conversation with J. K. Rowling about his character while filming Sorcerer's/Philosopher's Stone, and was the only other person besides Rowling who knew that Snape had been in love with Harry's mother. He based his entire performance off this conversation. (He was also JKR's personal favorite to play Snape.)
  • Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is the most financially successful Potter film, being the only one to pass the billion dollar mark. The least financially successful was Prisoner of Azkaban, which is "only" the thirty-second highest grossing film of all time. Hallows: Part 2 also has the highest rating (96%) on Rotten Tomatoes, while Order of the Phoenix has the lowest rating (77%).
  • The two halves of Deathly Hallows were written and filmed as one giant four-hour film. It was worked out in editing where to put the break between Part 1 and Part 2. Originally, the break was tentatively planned to occur after the Trio is captured by the Snatchers, but it got moved to after Voldemort recovers the Elder Wand. This means the battle at Malfoy Manor was originally intended as the beginning of Part 2, but instead became the end of Part 1.
  • The Deathly Hallows films don't really divide the book in half. More accurately, Part 1 covers slightly less than two-thirds of the book and Part 2 covers a little over one-third. In-universe it's even wider - Part 1 covers many months in the movie, Part 2 covers a little over 24 hours.
  • Warwick Davis has played two characters within one film twice in the series — in the very first movie and in the very last movie. In both cases, he played Flitwick and a Gringotts goblin.
  • The Closing Credits throughout the series:
    • First two films: The credits are plain white words on a black background. The starting music is "Harry's Wondrous World", which is not heard in subsequent films, either in the credits or elsewhere. The second film is the only movie in the series to have a scene after the credits.
    • Third film: First film in the series to use Creative Closing Credits, which in this case is an animation of the Marauder's Map. The music is a Credits Medley, titled "Mischief Managed!" on the movie soundtrack.
    • Fourth film: The credits appear on pieces of paper, resembling the scraps of paper thrown into the Goblet of Fire. Another Credits Medley, which opens with a Rearrange the Song version of "Hedwig's Theme". The credits track is not on the official soundtrack, which remains the case for the rest of the series.
    • Fifth film: The words appear on a parchment-like background in the same typeface as Umbridge's proclamations. The music is another Credits Medley, opening with part of "Dumbledore's Army".
    • Sixth film: The words form out of ink-like clouds the way images in the Pensieve do. The music opens with "Fireworks", which was composed for the previous film. Last film to use Creative Closing Credits.
    • Seventh film: A plain black background is used for the first time since the second film, but with the words being golden and metallic-looking. The music is "Obliviate".
    • Eighth film: Same as the seventh film. The opening music is an unaltered version of "Hedwig's Theme".
  • Voldemort's headquarters during the Battle of Hogwarts got changed from the Shrieking Shack to the boat house because Stuart Craig wanted to show the interior of the boat house at least once in the series.
  • The first line of the first movie and the last line of the last movie were both spoken by someone named "Albus":
    Albus Dumbledore: I should have known that you would be here... Professor McGonagall.
    Albus Potter: [after Harry asks "Ready?"] Ready.
  • A common joke among Italian Harry Potter fans is that Snape is the secret identity of the singer Renato Zero. Why? Well, here's Renato Zero.
  • There is a rather famous series of tapestries decorating the Gryffindor common room, looking rather much like this.
  • To acquaint himself with his lead actors when he came in to direct Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Alfonso Cuarón had the three actors write an essay on their characters. One wrote a 16-page essay. One wrote a 1-page essay. One didn't do it at all. Guess which one was which.note 
  • 12 actors appeared in all eight films as the same character: Daniel Radcliffe (Harry), Rupert Grint (Ron), Emma Watson (Hermione), Tom Felton (Malfoy), Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid), Alan Rickman (Snape), Geraldine Somerville (Lily), Bonnie Wright (Ginny), Matthew Lewis (Neville), James and Oliver Phelps (Fred and George), and Devon Murray (Seamus). Additionally Warwick Davis appeared in all eight films as both Flitwick and Griphook. If one counts both parts of Deathly Hallows as one installment, then the list also includes Maggie Smith (McGonagall), David Bradley (Filch), Alfie Enoch (Dean), and Josh Herdman (Goyle).

Specific Tropes:

  • Ability over Appearance: Horace Slughorn, Dolores Umbridge and Gilderoy Lockhart were all played by actors who didn't quite match the physical description of their book counterparts (for instance, Slughorn is meant to be short and stout, but Jim Broadbent is over six feet tall), but who had the attitude down perfectly. As hard as it is to believe, when Maggie Smith was cast as Minerva McGonagall, there were plenty of fan complaints — some complained that she looked too young and others that she looked too old — and yet these days it's hard to imagine anyone else capturing the character's presence better. Imelda Staunton looked absolutely nothing like the toadish Umbridge, but the contrast of having her looking like a sweet grandmother type, but is a monster underneath, had a much better impact than her looking as ugly as she was on the inside (not to mention the savings on makeup/special effects).
  • The Abridged Series
    • Coldmirror did some wildly popular German dubs of the 1st ("Harry Potter und ein Stein"/"Harry Potter and a Stone"), 2nd ("Harry Potter und der geheime Pornokeller"/"Harry Potter and the Porn Cellar of Secrets") and 4th ("Harry Potter und der Plastikpokal"/"Harry Potter and the Goblet of Plastic") Movie.
    • Cleolinda Jones has done "Movies In 15 Minutes" treatments of films 1, 3, 4 and 6.
    • Every movie in the series has an entry in The Editing Room.
  • Acting for Two: Warwick Davis plays Flitwick throughout the series (with a different look in the earlier films), the goblin bank teller in Stone, and is also Griphook in Deathly Hallows. Additionally, Flitwick's new look was originally meant to be a separate character. Basically, they cast Warwick Davis whenever they need someone very short.
  • Acting in the Dark: Inverted. Alan Rickman was one of the few people in the world who J. K. Rowling told about the ending ahead of time so that he would know the true motivations behind his character. It has been suggested that Rickman only took the role because of this: rather ironically, he had an aversion to always being cast as the villain, so he needed to know that Snape had major sympathetic qualities for him to accept.
  • Actor-Inspired Element: The initial concept for Lucius Malfoy was of a man with short blond hair and a pinstriped suit. Jason Isaacs argued that Malfoy, being a wizard supremacist, would want to look as different from a Muggle as possible. He put on a blond wig and velvet cloak and suggested a cane for grand gestures, leading to the now-iconic Lucius Malfoy look.
  • Actor-Shared Background: Brendan Gleeson was a teacher for fifteen years before becoming an actor.
  • Adored by the Network: Whoever holds the television rights — first, Freeform, currently, the channels of NBCUniversal — will air the films frequently due to their enduring popularity, as well as a cheap, reliable way of filling an entire day's worth of programming.
  • All-Star Cast:
  • Ascended Fanon: Because Lavender Brown was never given a proper description in the books, the fandom eventually decided that she was a blonde, buxom girl who was also a bit of a ditz—despite the fact that two different black actresses had played her prior to the Half-Blood Prince. The producers eventually cast Jessie Cave, who is blonde, buxom, and plays the character as ditzy as she possibly can.
  • Author Existence Failure: Or rather, Actor Existence Failure — Richard Harris, between movies two and three.
  • Cast the Runner-Up:
    • Tom Felton initially auditioned for the role of Harry and then Ron. He was ultimately cast as Draco Malfoy.
    • Helen McCrory was initially cast as Bellatrix Lestrange. However, her pregnancy led to her dropping out and being replaced by Helena Bonham Carter. Come Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince she was cast as Narcissa Malfoy instead.
    • Jamie Campbell Bower auditioned to play the teenage Tom Riddle in Half-Blood Prince, which went to Frank Dillane. He managed a small role as the young Gellert Grindelwald in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
    • David Thewlis was considered for Professor Quirrell. He would later join the cast as Remus Lupin.
    • Jude Law was deemed too young to play Gilderoy Lockhart, but did play the young Dumbledore in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
    • Jason Isaacs originally auditioned for Gilderoy Lockhart, but Chris Columbus asked him to try for Lucius Malfoy too.
    • Bill Nighy was considered for Lucius Malfoy before being cast as Rufus Scrimgeour.
  • Contractual Purity:
    • Daniel Radcliffe invoked a wave of moral outrage when he appeared on London's West End as Alan Strang in a production of Equus. It's an incredible (albeit disturbing) role that any actor would be insane to turn down the chance to play. The Moral Guardians, however, only saw Naked!Harry Potter — which is probably what he was banking on, anyway.
    • There was some uproar about Clémence Poésy (Fleur Delacour) appearing topless in a French movie, even though it was before she was even cast in the film.
    • Emma Watson has let it be known that she's willing to do nudity in other films, which means it's just a matter of time before the Moral Guardians scream about Hermione Granger showing her dirty pillows in some movie or another. Watson has also been berated by Moral Guardians for the shocking crimes of... going to a nightclub and drinking. There's also a Paris Hiltonesque crotch shot, which those guardians must have been specifically looking for in order to find it.
    • Jamie Waylett (Vincent Crabbe) got this in 2009 after being arrested for possession of marijuana, even though Crabbe isn't a particularly "wholesome" character to start with. Worse still, Crabbe was written out of the last two films because of this. Insanity, especially because Crabbe dies in the book. In the films, Goyle dies instead of Crabbe.
    • On the other side, it seems pretty much no-one cares that Rupert Grint acted in Cherrybomb, playing a character who does drugs and steals cars. Then again, he's a bad guy who's supposed to do bad things.
    • Harry Melling, who plays Dudley, has lost a huge amount of weight over the years (to the point of having to wear a fat suit for the final movie) and is barely recognizable from his younger self. He's publicly stated he is happy about this so he can avoid this issue in his adult career as an actor.
  • Character-Specific Pages:
  • Dawson Casting:
    • Not initially the case for the central Power Trio, and some of the other younger actors, especially in the early films. However, as the films were staggered further and further apart, the age differences between the cast and their characters grew. Emma Watson was actually younger than Hermione in the first book when she was cast, but by the time of Deathly Hallows, Part 2 she'd overtaken Hermione by a few years.
    • An especially egregious example is the casting of Shirley Henderson, well into her thirties at the time, as Moaning Myrtle, the ghost of a Hogwarts student. (Of course, it's hard to tell with all that ghost make-up.) Also, this may have been a conscious decision. If they had cast a teenager in the part of Myrtle, she would have looked noticeably older by Goblet of Fire. By casting a young-looking adult in the part, this becomes much less of an issue.
    • Christian Coulson (young Voldemort's actor in Chamber of Secrets) was 24 years old at the time, while his character was 16.
    • David Tennant plays Barty Crouch, Jr. both in the present day and in flashback. Present-day Crouch, Jr. is Tennant's real age, but in the flashback, Crouch Jr. is supposed to be about nineteen. Tennant does not look it at all.
    • Also an accidental case with Geraldine Somerville and Adrian Rawlins as Lily and James Potter as the age when they died was not revealed to be 21 until the final book 6 years after the first film was released. The two were played by actors in their 30's and 40's. The gravestone in the film indeed confirms that they are the same age as in the books. This is made worse by the fact the two actors age 10 years between the movies despite their characters being dead with Somerville and Rawlins around their 40's and 50's.
    • Taken to an extreme with Alan Rickman, who plays Snape (who is in his late 30's in his last appearance) when he is actually in his mid-60s.
    • Maggie Smith as Professor McGonagall as well. McGonagall, as it would be revealed later ages from 46 (in Book 1's first scene with baby!Harry) to about 63-64 at the end of the final book. She was not recast for that scene, either, making Maggie about 20 years older at the time than her character was supposed to be.
    • This trope is why it was eventually decided that the only way to adapt the books to film was to make every single one back-to-back-to-back, as waiting to see if the first movie was successful would have resulted in some drastic age lifts between them. The studio just trusted their gut that the first movie would be successful enough to warrant a franchise.
  • Deleted Role:
    • Rik Mayall was cast as Peeves and shot several scenes for the first two movies, all of which were cut and have never been publicly shown. Test audiences didn't like the character design.
    • Sir Cadogan, played by Paul Whitehouse, was cut almost completely out of the third film. Sir Cadogan can still be seen jumping through several paintings behind Ron, Harry and Hermione during the Fat Lady's disappearance, and he appears in the DVD special features.
  • Fake Brit:
    • The cast is largely from the UK, by fiat of Rowling herself, but does have a few Irish actors such as the original Dumbledore, Richard Harris, Fiona Shaw as Petunia Dursley, and Evanna Lynch as Luna Lovegood (who is presumed British, though Lynch uses her natural accent).
    • In the first film, the goblin Griphook was played by American Verne Troyer, but his voice was dubbed over by Warwick Davis. And Chris Columbus cast his daughter Eleanor in the non-speaking role of Susan Bones.
    • Irishman Jim Norton as Mr. Mason at the start of Chamber of Secrets is another minor example.
    • Zoë Wanamaker (as Rolanda Hooch), was born in the U.S. to American parents, but lived in the U.K. from a very young age. As it happened, her father was shooting a movie in England (Mr. Denning Drives North) when he was put on the infamous Hollywood blacklist, so he just decided to stay. In any case, she's been in the U.K. long enough to have a legit British accent and that's the part that matters as far as Harry Potter is concerned.
    • Although they're less strict with this rule in Fantastic Beasts as American Zoë Kravitz has a prominent role as Leta Lestrange who was actually born in France but raised in the UK.
  • Fake Irish:
    • In a strange example, Rhys Ifans (who is Welsh) played Xenophilius Lovegood with an noticable Irish accent to fit in better with his on-screen daughter Luna Lovegood (who is played by Irish actress Evanna Lynch).
    • And even stranger, and rarely acknowledged, example is Michael Gambon, who admitted right off the bat to adopting a slight Irish accent in honour of his predecessor Richard Harris — it's only obvious at certain times, such as when he loses his cool with Harry in Goblet of Fire, but it does give the impression that Dumbledore was born and raised in Ireland, or at least spent enough time there when he was young to pick up the accent and retain traces of it for a full century. Gambon is Irish by birth, but the trope is still played straight since he immigrated young to the UK and has no natural Irish accent.
  • Follow the Leader:
    • Along with Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings, the Potter films inspired the 2000s trend of adapting fantasy novels into big-budget movies that could maybe launch a profitable franchise. This most notably includes the film versions of ​The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Eragon, The Golden Compass, and Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Hell, perhaps even Twilight made it to the big screen as part of this trend. The fun irony is that this ended the earlier 1990s trend for Home Alone clones, meaning Chris Columbus killed the very trend he had started a decade earlier.
    • Deathly Hallows is largely responsible for the Movie Multipack trend in Hollywood during The New '10s. Due to the fact that, even after cutting out all the unnecessary subplots from the book, the shooting script was five hours long, it was split into two parts. After the two films brought in a combined $2.2 billion box office haul, studios began to split the final films of their based-on-a-book franchises so they could milk more profits. The trend would later die out since these films were frequently criticized for padding the stories in order to justify the two installments and suffered at the box office as a result.
  • Hide Your Pregnancy: Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange) was pregnant during the filming of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, but it would have thrown a major wrench into the plot for Bellatrix to appear pregnant. So she spends that film wearing a loose costume and hiding behind the furniture, especially in the Unbreakable Vow scene.
  • I Am Not Spock: All of the child actors with the exception of Robert Pattinson are mostly identified with their characters.
  • International Coproduction: The series is a US/UK co-production, with Warner Bros. on the American end and Heyday Films on the British end. Additionally, Chris Columbus's company, 1492 Pictures, was involved in the first three films and effects house Moving Picture Company helped produce Deathly Hallows – Part 2 on top of providing effects.
  • Licensed Game: A whole bunch of them, all based on the films.
  • Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: Apart from two-disc editions, there's the Ultimate Editions, with an extended cut and many goodies in the packaging. The Limited Wizard Edition features almost all of the special edition content including Ultimate Edition content and more in a $500 30 disk set including everything on both Blu-ray and DVD; it also comes in a large elaborate case.
  • Name's the Same: No, the actor who plays Justin Finch-Fletchley, Edward Randell, is not the governor of Pennsylvania. That gentleman is Ed Rendell.
  • Never Work with Children or Animals: As Katie Couric pointed out in a TV special about the making of the first film, Harry Potter breaks both rules rather spectacularly. A good part of the reason Chris Columbus was picked to direct the first two films was because of his experience working with kids in Home Alone and Mrs. Doubtfire. Columbus has said that the first film is full of cuts because the kids would so often ruin takes by laughing, looking into the camera, etc. He was therefore quite impressed that the main trio had progressed enough to be able to do The Oner in later films. And, of course, the UK's child actor laws provided the inconvenience of only being able to use their lead actors for four hours per day while they were still underage. The Great Hall scenes were especially difficult, as they combined the difficulty of working with children and the difficulty of working with crowds. It's like trying to herd cats.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Most famously, Richard Harris and Michael Gambon as Dumbledore.
    • Throwaway characters tend to get recast after they get important, such as Parvati Patil, Angelina Johnson, Lavender Brown, Katie Bell, and Pansy Parkinson.
    • The character of Voldemort supplies two examples. The present-day Voldemort was first played by Richard Bremmer/Ian Hart and then by Ralph Fiennes. Sixteen-year-old Tom Riddle was played by Christian Coulson in the second film and by Frank Dillane in the sixth.
    • And unless that was an uncredited Ciaran Hinds having undergone mounds of plastic surgery in film five, it looks like this is happening to Aberforth in the final films.
    • The Fat Lady was played by Elizabeth Spriggs (film 1), and then by Dawn French (film 3).
    • Lavender's recasting especially sticks out, as she actually changed race for the sixth film — she suddenly becomes Caucasian when she was previously black. In the books, her race was ambiguous.
    • Tom the barman, from a normal-looking man, to... uh, bald Quazimodo?
    • In the seventh film, Hermione's parents are played by different actors than the ones who played them during their equally brief appearance in the second film. (One of them being Catelyn Stark!)
    • In the first film, Helena Ravenclaw was played by Nina Young in a Continuity Cameo. Although she didn't have a single line, her role in the first movie was still larger than her role in any of the books prior to Hallows where is played by Kelly Macdonald.
  • Playing Against Type: In contrast to most of Maggie Smith's acid-tongued characters, Minerva McGonagall is a stern but Cool Teacher, who is mostly serious — but undoubtedly heroic.
  • Promoted Fanboy:
    • Evanna Lynch, who plays Luna Lovegood, is a big fan of the books. She made her own radish earrings!
    • Rupert Grint, as he had an obsession over being Ron once he realized how many similarities he had to the character.
    • Emma Watson was a fan of the Harry Potter books before she was cast as Hermione. She was also a big fan of Alfonso Cuarón before he directed the third film.
  • Real-Life Relative: Brendan Gleeson (Moody) is the father of Domhnall Gleeson (Bill).
  • Role-Ending Misdemeanor: Because of Jamie Waylett's little run-in with the law, evidently Goyle rather than Crabbe gets the honors of an on-screen death in the last film.
  • Romance on the Set:
    • Jamie Campbell Bower (who plays young Grindelwald) met Bonnie Wright, they began dating and were engaged, but broke it off after a year.
    • Tom Felton and his girlfriend Jade Olivia. She was a stunt assistant on the series and after they began dating, she was cast as Draco's wife in a case of Actor Allusion.
  • Self-Adaptation: J. K. Rowling was actively involved in the creative decision-making for the Harry Potter films. At least some of this was necessary, as many elements that would only become important later would likely have been left out, their significance unrecognized at the time - Kreacher in Phoenix is one such element.
  • So My Kids Can Watch:
  • Suppressed Mammaries:
    • This happened to Evanna Lynch in the fifth and sixth movies. While not overly endowed compared to other young actresses her age, she is noticeably bustier than her other female castmates.
    • Emma Watson is reported to have resorted to binding herself during some of the later movies, due to "growing up" faster than her character.
  • Throw It In!:
    • In Chamber of Secrets, when Harry and Ron are disguised as Draco's minions, Harry forgets to take off his glasses. Draco points them out and Harry says he was just doing some reading. Draco's response ("I didn't know you could read") was an ad-lib by Tom Felton.
    • In Chamber of Secrets, the bit with Harry going "Don't worry, I will be" was Daniel Radcliffe deliberately channeling another Harry from Warner Bros.
    • The reason Lucius Malfoy tried to outright murder Harry after he freed Dobby in Chamber of Secrets was because Jason Isaacs ad-libbed the first curse that popped into mind, and it happened to be the Killing Curse.
  • What Could Have Been: see subpage.
  • Word of God: Chris Columbus said in an interview in 2016 that the reason the characters mostly wear Muggle clothes was because test audiences found the more book accurate clothes to be silly looking.
  • Word of Saint Paul: The actors have been known to opine on popular ships involving their characters:
    • The last film suggests a romance (or at least a pair of reciprocal one-sided crushes) between Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood, which is a widely fanon-supported couple, but not one that happens in canon. (Indeed, it is one of the few ships that Rowling explicitly went out of her way to repudiate). Matthew Lewis, who plays Neville, asserted the two had a brief fling, but ended up marrying their canonical partners.
    • Both Devon Murray, who plays Seamus, and Alfred Enoch, who plays Dean, are staunchly supportive of their characters getting together, with the two staging a "marriage proposal" at a fan convention and Murray tweeting that Seamus and Dean could finally get married when Irish voters backed same-sex marriage in a referendum. They are among the most prominent characters whose fate post-Hogwarts has yet to be revealed, leading many fans to accept what Murray and Enoch say at face value.

    Video Games 
  • Acting for Two: The first two games have a lot of this:
    • In the first game:
      • Joe Sowerbutts voices both Harry and Draco.
      • Gregg Chillin voices Ron, the Weasley twins, and Lee Jordan.
      • David de Keyser voices Dumbledore, Quirrell, and Voldemort.
      • Ève Karpf voices McGonagall, Hooch, and Sprout.
      • Allan Corduner voices Snape, Flitwick, and Filch.
    • In the second game:
      • Lewis MacLeod voices Draco, Dumbledore, the Weasley twins, Percy, and Oliver Wood.
      • Victoria Robinson voices Ginny and Moaning Myrtle.
      • Allan Corduner not only returns as Snape, Flitwick, and Filch but also voices Lucius Malfoy and the Sorting Hat.
      • Ève Karpf voices the same three characters she did in the first game, plus the Fat Lady.
  • Executive Meddling:
  • Follow the Leader:
    • The versions of the first three games for sixth-generation consoles are clearly inspired by the The Legend of Zelda. The control scheme sports a Camera Lock-On feature for targeting enemies, as well as with spells and items that are equipped to three of the buttons. The gameplay structure is also quite similar, with Harry acquiring spells and items in "challenges" (dungeons) and needing to finish them and defeat the bosses of each dungeon.
    • The pair of games based on Deathly Hallows are often criticized for being poorly implemented Take Cover! third-person shooters in the vein of Gears of War.
  • Role Reprise: Some of the actors from the film reprised their roles for the fifth game onwards, such as Rupert Grint and Tom Felton. One exception is Ralph Fiennes who reprised his role already in the fourth game.

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