- The ARG site "Pottermore" is loaded with Rowling's "ghost ideas" — pieces of the series' world that she fully considers canon but never found a place to be put into the books. Professor McGonagall's surprisingly tragic backstory has gotten one of the biggest fan responses.
- Although her initial plans not to kill any of the Power Trio held up, Rowling did consider killing off Ron halfway through the series at one point, when she was "in a very bad place" (although she knew in her "heart of hearts" that she wouldn't do it).
- Hermione was planned to have a younger sister who was a squib. Rowling kept delaying the revelation until she decided it was too late to introduce the character, so Book 7 makes it clear that Hermione is an only child.
- Among the highlights of what Rowling cut from the series include a dandy named Pyrites working for Voldemort; Sirius in dog form being "adopted" by an eccentric dog-lover (this would have replaced Sirius's plot of having to hide out in a cave), and the character of Mafalda introduced in The Goblet of Fire.
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them introduced the idea of a "Lethifold" — basically a murderous living blanket that would smother its victim and could only be defeated by using a Patronus (making it an obvious foe for Harry, since the Patronus is one of his best spells). This was revealed during the long wait for the latter books, and many people expected the Lethifold would show up but in the end, it never did.
- Another huge aborted arc regards Theodore Nott, a Slytherin student in Harry's year that basically does nothing in the whole series. He would have been introduced in The Chamber of Secrets (see below), and would have been a recurring character, a quiet student that doesn't get along with the rest of the Slytherin students and that didn't necessarily approve of their ideas (fanwank has theorized that he could have been a Token Good Teammate of sorts). For those that felt the Slytherin students were excessively characterized as Always Chaotic Evil, this is perceived as a seriously wasted plotline, if only to show a Slytherin student that wasn't a complete asshole.
- On Rowling's website, one of the Easter Eggs shows an alternate plotline for Book 1, where Harry's parents had apparently stolen the Philosopher's Stone, which partly explains why the Potters were so rich.
- Hermione's surname was originally Puckle. She was planned to have a younger sister, until Rowling realized it was a bit too late to start mentioning her.
- In the earliest draft of the first chapter, the Potters lived on an island, and Hermione's family, living on the mainland, saw an explosion out at sea and discovered the bodies of Harry's parents. In this version of the story, Hermione's father was the one who pulled Harry out of the wreckage of his parents' house.
- Dean Thomas was originally going to be a cousin of Ron named Gary. He would've fulfilled much of the role that eventually went to Neville Longbottom, and would have been with the Trio and Neville when they found Fluffy. Furthermore, he was going to have his own subplot: his biological father was actually a wizard killed for refusing to join Voldemort, but Dean's mother just thought he abandoned her. This is briefly alluded to in Book 7, but Rowling abandoned most of this back story in favor of Neville's, which ties in closer to Harry's story.
- Draco's surname was originally going to be either Spungen, Smart or Spinks.
- Originally, Rowling wanted the Sorting Hat to be a machine that "did all kinds of magical things before reaching a decision." When she decided that this idea was "too easy.", she thought kids should be sorted by the ghosts of the four founders, which would exist inside statues that came alive in the entrance hall, picking children for their houses one-by-one. After that, she grappled with drawing straws, a team captain doing the picking, and pulling names from a hat, before finally deciding that the hat itself would decide the students' fate.
- There was originally going to be a vampire teacher named Professor Trocar, after a sharp medical tool used to drain blood. Rowling did away with the idea, since the concept of vampires has been exploited so many times she felt there was little more she could add to the tradition.
- An early draft had Rita Skeeter as one of the people that Harry meets when he comes into the Leaky Cauldron for the first time. At this point she was named 'Bridget' instead. She was cut because it was taking too long for Harry to get to Diagon Alley and because Rowling decided to focus on Harry's fame later in the series. J. K. Rowling later said that by the time Rita properly appeared, she was influenced heavily by the journalists she had encountered since her fame.
Chamber of Secrets
- "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" was almost the title of the second book. Rowling's comments on this imply she had originally intended to use the Half-Blood Prince's entire plotline in the second book, but moved it back when she found it didn't fit very well into that book's plot.
- In the line of the previous, Rowling originally intended for the book to include more Foreshadowing and other things like that related to the main plot of the series, but her editor deemed these parts unnecessary and ordered her to remove them. Since this was only her second book, Rowling had yet to obtain her Auteur License and had to comply. Most of what she wanted to reveal in this book ended up getting moved to Half-Blood Prince, resulting in Chamber Of Secrets getting criticized for not doing much to advance the Myth Arc of the series and Half-Blood Prince for being rather Exposition heavy.
- Rowling had written a chapter named "Malfoy and Nott" that was a meeting between said characters. In it, Theodore Nott came with his father to Malfoy Manor to discuss whatever Death Eaters discuss, only for the boys to get kicked out of the discussion and have one of their own about Voldemort, the Death Eaters and The Boy Who Lived. Rowling said that it would have been a look at Draco actually seeing someone as his equal, because they were just as good students as each other and come from just as "elite" families. She liked specially this chapter, but was forced to cut it from the book because it felt out of place (most probably following her editor's orders). Rowling later tried to work it in in the fourth book, but it was cut as well and she gave up on it.
- Nearly Headless Nick's backstory was originally going to be described in a rhyme.
- Penelope Clearwater was a fifth year in early printings, making her a year younger than Percy. Later printings changed her to a sixth year.
Goblet of Fire
- The book was nearly titled Harry Potter and the Triwizard Tournament. J. K. Rowling changed it to Goblet of Fire as it had a "cup of destiny feel about it".
- Rowling intended to put in a female character named Mafalda (not the Ministry of Magic employee). She was written at being a "black sheep" cousin of the Weasleys', the daughter of the accountant squib relative Ron mentioned to Harry in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: extremely badly-behaved, unpleasant to be around, nosy and loose-tongued, and to top it off, being sorted into Slytherin. In addition, she would have been the first rival to Hermione, being equally brainy and a show-off, and eavesdropping into the conversations of her fellow Slytherins hoping to relay and impress The Trio. Despite Rowling's fondness for the character, she was ultimately axed due to her age, as Rowling couldn't figure out how to get Mafalda, a first year, to know so much. Rita Skeeter was given many of her qualities as a result.
- The Triwizard Tournament was originally intended to have four tasks, each representing the classical four elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water. Then J.K. Rowling found it too difficult to conceive a task for all four so Air and Fire were finally combined in the form of the dragons, with the lake representing Water and the maze representing Earth.
Order of the Phoenix
- Anthony Goldstein was initially written as a Hufflepuff, but was transferred to Ravenclaw in a later draft.
- Rowling knew straight away that she would have to kill off a member of the Weasley family, but didn't know which one. Arthur Weasley was actually originally intended to die of his injuries in this book, but Rowling had a last second change of heart after realizing that Arthur was the only positive paternal character in the series. She reportedly had an outburst into tears over killing him.
- The final potential titles Rowling considered were Harry Potter and the Elder Wand and Harry Potter and the Peverell Quest. She decided against the second one "quite quickly" as she found the word "quest" to be "a bit corny".
- The rough draft of potential titles that she gave WB in 2005 for trademarking included (among others) Harry Potter and the: Grey Lady, Broken Wand, Seventh Horcrux, Wand of Grindelwald, Curse of Nagini (which was later worked into the Fantastic Beasts movies), Mudblood Revolt, Revenge of Dumbledore, and Lost Sceptre.
- Ice cream parlour owner Florean Fortescue was supposed to have a much bigger role in the book's story - he was originally supposed to be kidnapped and saved by Harry, Hermione, and Ron, then given them clues about the Elder Wand and Ravenclaw diadem. This was cut as, in Rowling's words, the sequence was "going nowhere", though it does explain why the closure of Fortescue's shop and his kidnapping receives such emphasis in Half-Blood Prince.
- As Rowling wanted a Sacrificial Lion, this resulted in Lupin and Tonks getting killed off in the last book. Arthur again very nearly got killed off too. Ultimately it was Fred who got killed.
- Rowling was originally going to make Helga Hufflepuff's Horcrux a cauldron, but decided that a cauldron was just too clunky to be an effective Horcrux.
- Evanna Lynch revealed that Rolf Scamander (Luna's future husband) almost made it into the book and would have been the one to explain The Tale of the Three Brothers. The role was given to Luna's father instead.
- A lot of material released after the last book's release (such as the trio's lives after Hogwarts) were trivia Rowling would've liked to include in the actual book.
- Rowling considered giving Dudley a Muggle-born wizard child for the epilogue, but in the end decided that "no wizarding traits would ever survive contact with Uncle Vernon's DNA". Shame, that would have been a lovely little twist.
- Rowling was asked permission to make a Harry Potter musical by Michael Jackson! Sadly, she turned him down. Rowling has always fought to keep Harry Potter as British as possible.
- Long before the film's production, Nintendo of all people were interested in developing a video game adaptation of the original book, initially aiming to provide a very British-oriented take in line with J.K. Rowling's wishes. However, the plans for the game fell through, in part due to Executive Meddling from Nintendo of Japan, who pushed for a more Japanese-friendly approach that took considerable liberties with the source material. Ultimately, Electronic Arts would be the ones to adapt the book into video game form, with the initial home console release being on Nintendo's direct rival at the time, the PlayStation (an Updated Re-release would, however, come out on the Nintendo GameCube two years later). For all we know, Harry could have been a Super Smash Bros. fighter.
- The movie series could have very well featured an example of Awesome Music by The Boss himself, Bruce Springsteen, reportedly called "I'll Stand By You Always." Springsteen wrote this ballad sometime between 1998 and 2000. He was inspired when he was reading the novels to his youngest son Sam. Sometime in early 2001 Bruce made the song available to director Chris Columbus, who at the time was shooting the first of the Potter movies. A Springsteen recording of the song was filed with the US Copyright Office on 13 Jun 2001. However, the Springsteen song was ultimately rejected due to Harry Potter novelist/creator JK Rowling's contractual stipulation that no commercial songs of any type be used in the Harry Potter film series. The song was eventually repurposed nearly two decades later for the film Blinded by the Light.
- Terry Gilliam was handpicked by Rowling to direct, but Warner Bros. outright refused him (in person, even) and quickly replaced him with Chris Columbus (who was chosen due to his extensive experience working with child actors). Gilliam was bitter about being rejected, even going on to bash Columbus's directing work as boring (though he's since got over it), but considering his cinematic track record, this may have been for the better.
- Steven Spielberg was attached to direct really early on. He wanted to make the film as an All-CGI Cartoon with Haley Joel Osment providing Harry's voice. Of course, Haley Joel Osment violated Rowling's stipulation that the cast be kept British and she also didn't like the idea of it being animated. Eventually, Spielberg left on his own, feeling that it would be like "shooting ducks in a barrel. It's just a slam-dunk. It's just like withdrawing a billion dollars and putting it into your personal bank accounts. There's no challenge."
- Another person asked to direct the film? Baz Luhrmann.
- Liam Aiken was the first choice for the role of Harry Potter, but was passed over since he wasn't British.
- Gabriel Thomson of My Family was tipped for the role of Harry by several sources in the media in the summer of 2000, forcing Warner Bros. to formally announce that they had cast Daniel Radcliffe just days later. Ironically, despite Thomson being three years older than Radcliffe, the latter hit puberty first, with his voice breaking at the tender age of 11 during the filming of the first movie.note
- William Moseley auditioned for Harry Potter.
- Hatty Jones auditioned for Hermione Granger, but was considered too old for the role.
- Alan Parker, Jonathan Demme, Rob Reiner, Peter Weir and Mike Newell (who later ended up directing Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) were also in the running to direct before Columbus was hired.
- Sean Connery was offered the role of Dumbledore, but turned it down because he famously hates the fantasy genre.note
- Patrick McGoohan was also approached for Dumbledore, but he declined due to bad health. Ironically, Richard Harris would die after only 2 films while McGoohan would survive until January 2009 (long enough to theoretically be in every film up through the Deathly Hallows duology).
- Tim Roth was cast as Snape, but he found scheduling problems with another role he was cast at the time, General Thade of Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes (2001) (a film includes future Potter cast member Helena Bonham-Carter and was once thought to be directed by Chris Columbus). Although Roth was equally interested in both roles, he was forced to choose one at the end, and he went for Thade. Talk about a bad career choice...
- Kate Duchene of The Worst Witch fame was offered a role, apparently that of Minerva McGonagall. She declined because she felt it was too similar to Miss Hardbroom, her character in The Worst Witch.
- David Thewlis, who would eventually join the franchise as Remus Lupin, either auditioned or was in consideration to play Professor Quirrell before Ian Hart was cast.
- Robin Williams (for the role of Hagrid), Rosie O'Donnell (for Molly Weasley), and Drew Barrymore all expressed interest in starring in the film as they were fans of the books, but Rowling's insistence on an all-British cast shot this idea down quickly.
- The original costume test had him dressed as he was on Mary GrandPre's cover illustration for the first book, with a striped rugby shirt, jeans and sneakers under his robe. This looked "like a kid in a Halloween costume", hence the standard-issue modern British Muggle school uniforms under the robes at Hogwarts.
- Producers intended to match the characters' appearances with their descriptions in the book - giving Daniel Radcliffe green contacts and having Emma Watson wear buck teeth. Dan's eyes couldn't take the contacts and Emma couldn't talk properly with the teeth in, so those ideas were abandoned.
- Canterbury Cathedral was the first choice to be used as a set for Hogwarts. They refused, worried that the witchcraft theme of the series would upset Christians who worshipped there.
- When Chris Columbus saw the first cut (before music was added), he thought the boats riding up to Hogwarts was a Leave the Camera Running scene which would have to be edited down. After Columbus saw the scene with the score John Williams had written for it, he realized that they had to keep the whole thing and they did.
- The character of Peeves was originally going to be included in the film. Rik Mayall was cast and apparently went as far as filming scenes before the character was cut. None of the footage - if it exists - has ever been shown. The story is rather complicated and involves two more cases of What Could Have Been. Apparently, Chris Columbus and David Heyman hated the design of Peeves and basically filmed the scene with him knowing that it wouldn't be in the theatrical release, but planning to go back and "fix" it for a future special edition to be released in 2002 or 2003. Columbus was planning to introduce an all-CGI Peeves in Chamber and presumably this would have been the Peeves he was planning to go back and insert into the first film. Then Peeves didn't make the second film either and it seems they just gave up after that.
Chamber of Secrets
- Madam Hooch was slated to return, but Zoe Wanamaker didn't like the salary she was being offered and turned it down. All of Madam Hooch's lines were then given to McGonagall.
- Alan Cumming was offered the part of Gilderoy Lockhart, but turned it down upon hearing that Rupert Grint and Emma Watson would be making more money than him on the project.
- Jude Law nearly played Gilderoy Lockhart but was deemed too young for the role. He would later go on to play a younger Albus Dumbledore.
- Warner Bros also wanted Hugh Grant to play Gilderoy Lockhart, but scheduling conflicts impeded it.
- Rupert Everett was also considered for Lockhart.
- Richard E. Grant and Bill Nighy (who eventually played Rufus Scrimgeour) were considered for the role of Lucius.
- Eddie Redmayne auditioned for the role of Tom Riddle, which went to Christian Coulson. He would later be cast as lead character Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
- In the early stages of production on the film, concept art was drawn for the Deathday Party scene.
- The initial concept for Lucius Malfoy was of a man with short blond hair and a pinstriped suit. When they showed it to Jason Isaacs, he argued that Lucius, being a wizard supremacist, would want to look as different from a Muggle as possible. He put on a long blond wig and velvet cloak and suggested a cane for grand gestures, leading to the iconic Lucius Malfoy look.
- The area at the top of Dumbledore's office contains a weird telescope, which you can see up close in the DVD tour feature. In a DVD documentary, Chris Columbus explains that they may want to use the telescope in "the third or fourth film", which obviously didn't happen, due to the switch in directors.
Prisoner of Azkaban
- Kenneth Branagh, who had previously played Professor Lockhart, was offered the director's chair. Had he accepted, he would've directed his ex-wife Emma Thompson.
- Guillermo del Toro was offered the film, but he declined. Del Toro actually wanted to direct, but felt that the movie's 'verse didn't conform to his more twisted vision of the books.
- Tilda Swinton was approached for the part of Professor Trewlaney, but turned it down. At first it was reported she did it due to scheduling conflicts, but she later revealed not to be a fan of Harry Potter anyways. Swinton has criticized the saga for romanticizing boarding schools, a concept she hates due to her own experiences on it.
- After Richard Harris died, Ian McKellen was approached to play Dumbledore (apparently for a second time, as he had been first contacted to replace Harris when the latter's health had started to decline). He turned it down, as Harris was famously critical of McKellen's acting, calling him "dreadful" and "passionless." As such, McKellen felt would have been inappropriate to take his role. He has always maintained that "Richard Harris was mainly a disappointed man because I had played Gandalf and he had to settle for Dumblewit. Or Dumblebore, I should say." McKellen further said, when asked who would win in a fight between the two, "Gandalf, of course."
- Harris' family wanted Peter O'Toole to take up the role, as he was one of Harris' best friends. The studio decided against it, fearing the similarly elderly and ill actor might also die before the series was out. Ironically, he didn't - he instead passed away in 2013, almost 2 and a half years after the final film premiered.
- Christopher Lee was also offered to play Dumbledore, but he refused due to all the drama and gossips that had been created around the recast, which he believed would be disrespectful to Harris.
- Richard Attenborough was considered for the part of Dumbledore.
- Before leaving production, Columbus suggest Robson Green to play Sirius.
- One of Alfonso Cuarón's more bizarre ideas involved a scene with a pipe organ being played by tiny people jumping on the keyboard. Rowling rejected it, saying it wouldn't make sense in her universe.
- Originally, the Trio was supposed to watch the execution of Buckbeak from a graveyard. Rowling rejected this because she envisioned the Hogwarts graveyard being in a different part of the grounds and said it would become significant in the sixth book. Therefore, the graveyard got changed to the giant sundial you see in the final film.
Goblet of Fire
- Chris Columbus was hoping to come back to direct this and rest of the films, but failed to do so. Still, he has said that he is proud of the work done with all of the films.
- Guillermo del Toro was asked to direct, but he declined again. M. Night Shyamalan was also considered.
- At one point, the producers briefly but seriously considered adapting the book into a duology of films. Director Newell decided against it, ultimately cutting some of the book's subplots to make it fit.
- Percy Weasley was scripted to appear in the film. Actor Chris Rankin's contract was for only four films, however, and he opted to skip this one in favour of appearing in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
- John Malkovich and Rowan Atkinson were possible choices for Lord Voldemort.
- David Walliams was offered the role of Barty Crouch Jr, but he was unavailable. Another version claims he turned it down because he disliked the character and wanted to play a Hogwarts professor instead.
- Ray Winstone and Billy Connolly were both offered the part of Moody.
- Rosamund Pike was approached to play Rita Skeeter, but after learning it would be a two-film contract with not much screentime, she declined.
- Potter fans campaigned for Henry Cavill to be cast as Cedric Diggory, but Robert Pattinson landed the role instead. Years later, Twilight was set to become a movie, and author Stephenie Meyer expressly said she pictured Henry Cavill when writing Edward Cullen, but he wasn't cast, being considered too old, losing the role to... Robert Pattinson. Again.
- Franz Ferdinand, huge fans of the series, were approached to play the Weird Sisters along with Jarvis Cocker of Pulp. However, a Canadian folk rock band, Wyrd Sisters, sued Warner Bros, Cocker, and guitarist Jonny Greenwood, so the band in the film ended up nameless. Cocker also wanted making a full album with guests such as Iggy Pop, but he gave up due to the lawsuit.
- Concept art was drawn of Winky the Elf.
- The lengthy subplot between the Weasley twins and Ludo Bagman was originally included, and there were even reports that Martin Landham had been cast as Bagman. Ultimately they were cut from the script, with Barty Crouch receiving many of Bagman's leftover lines.
- In the film, the first choice for Hermione's Yule Ball outfit was a blue dress like in the book. However, the costume designer found that the blue didn't suit Emma Watson. The dress went through several changes before they ended up with the pink dress instead.
- According to Tom Felton, the film version almost averted the Magic Pants trope when Draco is changed back from being a ferret. Storyboards exist of a naked Draco (seen from behind only) being changed back and running off in embarrassment, but they never made it past storyboarding - something Tom admits he was very grateful for - since the film would undoubtedly have very young viewers.
Order of the Phoenix
- Guillermo del Toro was approached to direct, but he declined yet again. Matthew Vaughn was also considered.
- Helen McCrory was originally cast as Bellatrix Lestrange, but had to drop out shortly before shooting began after discovering she was pregnant, and was replaced by Helena Bonham-Carter. She was later cast as Narcissa Malfoy in Half-Blood Prince. Ironically, shortly before shooting began on Half-Blood Prince, Carter also learned that she was pregnantnote .
- Anna Friel, David Thewlis' long-time girlfriend, lobbied hard for the part of Nymphadora Tonks, but was turned down.
- Saoirse Ronan auditioned for Luna.
- English footballer Theo Walcott was meant to have a cameo, but he wasn't able to make it due to commitments with Arsenal FC.
- The first script for the film did not include Kreacher, to which Rowling told the crew the character would be essential for later movies.
- The St Mungo's sequence was originally going to be included, complete with an appearance by Kenneth Branagh reprising his role as Gilderoy Lockhart. It was scrapped, because it would have meant building a new set. Instead Neville tells Harry about his parents personally in the Room of Requirement.
- For the brief scene showing Azkaban, the idea came up that putting Azkaban on the edge of a giant waterfall would be a great visual. The problem is that Azkaban is meant to be in the middle of the North Sea. They tried to find some way to justify having a waterfall in the middle of the ocean, such as having a weird ocean sinkhole, but eventually they just gave up and depicted the ocean normally.
- Sirius' death scene was filmed as it happened in the books, if the original script is to go by (this was confirmed by Helena). The battle scene was, along with so many other scenes, removed (and never released), and the shot of Bellatrix appearing was bizarrely mirrored, as well as dubbing Helena saying Avada Kedavra. Harry's scream was supposed to be heard, but it ended up being muted due to being too agonizing, so much so that it apparently caused Emma Watson, Bonnie Wright, and Helena Bonham-Carter to start crying on-set.
- The movie was originally three hours long. Only a tiny bit of that footage has been released to date.
- As per the custom, Del Toro was offered to direct.
- Bob Hoskins was considered for Horace Slughorn, but was rejected. Ironically, Hoskins was a favorite actor of Rowling, who once stated she would write a role for him in the seventh book.
- Kevin McKidd was offered the role of Fenrir Greyback, but he was too busy filming Grey's Anatomy.
- Jamie Campbell Bower auditioned to play the teenage Riddle. He didn't get the part but they cast him as the young Gellert Grindelwald for the next film.
- Naomi Watts was approached to play Narcissa Malfoy, but her agent rejected it, possibly without her ever knowing it.
- Emma Watson considered not returning due to worrying about not being able to keep up with her schoolwork. She ultimately decided she wouldn't be able to bear seeing someone else in the role. Hilariously, she then realized what a Hermione-ish thing she almost did too.
- A line in the script established Dumbledore as straight; Rowling nixed the line, writing on the script "He's gay". (This was well before Rowling outed Dumbledore in an interview.) Writer Steve Kloves clarified in a discussion with Rowling (which can be seen on one of the DVDs) that he intended the relationship mentioned, about a woman that Dumbledore was fond of, to be platonic and that he suspected Dumbledore was gay, but removed it due to not wanting to cause confusion after Rowling made the notation.
- The shooting script had Harry taking Dumbledore's wand after his death. Then Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out, and the importance of Dumbledore's wand in the plot meant that that idea had to be scrapped.
- All the Voldemort flashbacks from the book were in the original script. David Yates cut them down to Dumbledore meeting him at the orphanage and the two talks with Slughorn.
- Rufus Scrimgeour was originally going to appear but he was saved for the final film.
- The appearance of the Carrow twins was supposed to tie into Draco Malfoy traveling between the Vanishing Cabinet in Hogwarts and the one in Borgin and Burkes, but this connection was not highlighted in the final cut of the film.
- For the first time, Del Toro expressed genuine interest in directing, but was concerned Warner Bros. would try to interfere too much.
- John Williams wanted to return to compose the score, but a scheduling conflict prevented him from doing so.
- Billy Connolly was in talks to play Xenophilius Lovegood.
- Kate Winslet was the first choice for the Grey Lady, but as with Naomi Watts in the previous, they couldn't get through her agent, and Kelly Macdonald got the part instead; it's unknown whether Winslet would have said yes. This marks the second franchise Winslet narrowly missed out on (having nearly played Sauron in The Lord of the Rings), though she would eventually get to be part of a franchise with Divergent.
- Crabbe would've suffered the same death he had in the book had his actor not been found with marijuana; his role as the sole casualty of the Fiendfyre is given to Goyle.
- Producers tried to change Minerva's duel with Snape to happening with Harry instead. Rowling had to step in, insisting the duel was an essential part of Minerva's character.
- There was serious consideration for filming the deaths of Lupin and Tonks.
- A scene during the final battle was filmed where Draco would toss Harry his wand after he reveals that he's alive to Voldemort.
- The epilogue had to be re-shot because the aging make-up on Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Bonnie Wright and Tom Felton didn't look good in the footage. Photos exist showing drastically different costumes and hairstyles for the actors.