20 Best Characters Cut From the Harry Potter Films


We count down the Top Twenty characters that were cut from the Harry Potter novels on their way to the big screen.

The Harry Potter films had to make their concessions in both plot and people. We take a look at which characters were kept solely to the pages of the books, and what they could have brought to the big screen.

Like any other fantasy series, Harry Potter abounds with sidekicks, supporting characters, and characters you might see once or twice and then never again. When it comes to movie adaptations, those once-or-twice characters are usually the ones to get cut, but with a universe as big as Harry Potter’s, some of the bigger players have to go, too.

We don’t have to like it, but we do have to live with it… And if in order to do so, we have to complain bitterly about it on the internet, well, so be it, and here we go.

Next: Number 20: Blast-Ended Skrewts

20. Blast-Ended Skrewts

Considering its sheer size, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire suffered when crammed into a mere two and a half hours’ worth of screen time. Since the filmmakers cut corners by ditching plot points and characters alike, it’s no surprise that a magical creature with no overall importance to the plot would get the axe, too.

While Hagrid’s dangerous crossbreed is included in the Goblet of Fire video game (pictured above), the Blast-Ended Skrewts are noticeably absent from the film. While the skrewts aren’t of any major significance, it would have been a trip to see them played out on-screen. A cross between a manticore and a fire crab—formidable creatures on their own—the Blast-Ended Skrewts manage to provide both a sense of trepidation as well as the occasional comic relief. Along with Harry, Ron, and Hermione, I bit my fingernails worrying about what the illegality of Hagrid’s creation would mean for his career, but that didn’t stop me laughing when the majority of Hagrid’s Care of Magical Creatures class ducked into his cabin for cover against a few rogue skrewts.

Ultimately, the Blast-Ended Skrewts probably would have proven an unworthy task for the special effects department to bother with. But all the same, you can’t argue that it wouldn’t have been at least reasonably funny to see those death lobsters have a go at a bunch of fourteen-year-olds.

Next: Number 19: Professor Binns

19. Professor Binns

It’s no secret that, when it comes to the movies, the Hogwarts ghosts got the shaft. When John Cleese (Nearly Headless Nick) is given only about sixty seconds of screen time, any hope we had for the rest of the ghosts was dashed pretty quickly. And when it comes to perhaps the most ho-hum character in the series, poor Professor Binns didn’t really stand a chance.

While he is the only ghost teacher that Hogwarts boasts, Binns is also regarded as the dullest of professors; indeed, his class is often slept through, and Harry and Ron are left to rely on Hermione for notes. Although Binns reluctantly recounts the legend of the Chamber of Secrets in its titular book—and calls all of his students by incorrect names in the process—he doesn’t prove himself to be a terribly noteworthy character, and his Chamber of Secrets speech was handed off to Maggie Smith (Professor McGonagall) in the movie.

Still, I was a little disappointed by his absence on the big screen. After all, as explained in Sorcerer’s Stone, anyone who “had fallen asleep in front of the staffroom fire and got up next morning to teach, leaving his body behind him” is pretty hardcore, no matter what his lectures suggest to the contrary.

Next: Number 18: Marietta Edgecombe

18. Marietta Edgecombe

If any book-to-movie adaptation suffered more than GOF, it was Order of the Phoenix, and Marietta Edgecombe’s nonexistence is only the tip of the iceberg. Forced into joining Dumbledore’s Army by her insistent friend Cho Chang, Marietta isn’t eager to make waves, nor is she afraid to make her disdain for Harry known. Of course, public disdain for Harry is a common theme in OOTP, so he doesn’t think much of it until Marietta blabs about this illegal student revolt to Dolores Umbridge.

One thing I like about Marietta’s presence in the book is that she serves as a representation of Harry’s fall from grace. Now, we see plenty of that from other characters and situations, such as Harry and Seamus Finnigan’s temporary falling-out, various mutterings from unnamed peers, and the constant barrage of abuse from the Daily Prophet. However, Marietta is the only character we see get any comeuppance, courtesy of Hermione, who works her magic to ensure that no one in the D.A. would betray the cause to any enemies, namely Umbridge.

While the films make Cho the unwitting culprit (unwitting since we learn that she was under the influence of Veritaserum at the time), J.K. Rowling put the blame on a fully coherent Marietta, who is duly punished when a series of pimples spell the word “SNEAK” across her face. Marietta’s marred skin is a sort of moral victory for us all, and it was a bummer not to see that played out in theaters.

Next: Number 17: The Muggle Prime Minister

17. The Muggle Prime Minister

While Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince opens with several exchanges between Cornelius Fudge and the Muggle Prime Minister, the films take a different approach by opening on the destruction of a bridge, and that weird flirtatious scene between Harry and a waitress about twice his height. Personally, I think the inclusion of the Muggle Prime Minister’s indignant sputtering would have been a better use of all our time.

It’s a brilliant scene that connects the Muggle world to the Wizarding one in a way we hadn’t seen before, through governmental influence. Truly, it is necessary that the Muggle government be made aware that magic exists, because it has the power to affect their world without being an everyday presence in it. While the scene doesn’t break the fourth wall, it does make the reader feel more connected to what’s happening in the Potterverse by overlapping that magical plane with our own.

According to various sources and the Harry Potter timeline, the most recent meeting between Fudge and the Muggle Prime Minister took place in 1996, so although the PM remains anonymous on the page, that timestamp would put John Major in office. As this Tumblr post points out, that would make the “Iron Lady” Margaret Thatcher the one who tried to throw Fudge out the window. While we wouldn’t have seen that scene play out regardless, since Fudge merely recounts it to the new PM, it still would have been a treat for the audience to hear him explain that one.

Next: Number 16: Harry's extended family

16. Harry’s extended family

While the primary focus of Harry’s loss of family is his parents, the Mirror of Erised actually proves that there is more to the Evans/Potter lineage than Lily and James alone. Sorcerer’s Stone cites that when Harry looks into the mirror, he is surrounded by “at least ten others,” including his parents as well as people with “other pairs of green eyes like his, other noses like his, even a little old man who looked as though he had Harry’s knobbly knees.”

It’s understandable that Warner Bros. would choose to include only Lily and James in the Mirror of Erised, as more people would have cluttered the scene. Even in the books, Harry’s family life focuses on the Dursleys and his parents, so extra actors really would have been superfluous in this case.

Still, you have to wonder about those other people in the mirror. We can safely assume that four of them would make up Harry’s grandparents, but the rest? We know that Lily’s only sibling is Petunia, and that James was an only child—the books don’t offer us any clues beyond that, and while the films certainly wouldn’t have delved into Harry’s family tree more than was necessary, it’s something to think about.

Next: Number 15: The Bloody Baron

15. The Bloody Baron

Another ghost gets the short end of the stick, and I can’t decide if it’s a worse end than Professor Binns’ or not. True, the Baron makes something of an appearance in the movies (see image above, which, on tape, is accompanied by someone identifying the ghost as the aforementioned baron), but his essence has been completely stripped.

In this short but telling appearance, the Bloody Baron seems harmless and foolish, whereas the books describe him as a frightening thing, shackled and covered in silver bloodstains. He is the only Hogwarts ghost that any of the students fear, and the only being that has control over Peeves the poltergeist. The Baron even turns out to be of some importance, as we learn in Deathly Hallows that he killed Helena Ravenclaw (Hogwarts founder Rowena Ravenclaw’s daughter) in a rage, and wears the shackles as penance. Had the Baron not killed her, Voldemort likely wouldn’t have gotten ahold of the diadem she had stolen from her mother, which would have made for one less Horcrux.

That turns out to be more of a “kind of blows your mind” fact than anything that is essential to the plot, but we could all use a little mind-blowing every now and then.

Next: Number 14: Hepzibah Smith

14. Hepzibah Smith

If the Bloody Baron proved himself to be a cog in Voldemort’s Horcrux machine, Hepzibah Smith is certainly more crucial to that quest, seeing as she possessed two sought-after historical objects.

Following the completion of his Hogwarts education, Tom Riddle worked for the Dark objects retailer Borgin and Burkes, which is how he met Hepzibah Smith in the first place. Now, Hepzibah Smith pretty much embodies everything I plan to be when I grow up: Rich and lusty with a lot of time and knickknacks on my hands, and shamelessly flirting with every good-looking young man who happens my way (although hopefully I won’t get murdered by any of those young men, as is poor Hepzibah’s fate).

Hepzibah was in possession of both Hufflepuff’s cup as well as Slytherin’s locket, the former because she is a descendant of Hufflepuff, and the latter she bought from Borgin and Burkes. Voldemort feels a claim on the locket, as it had belonged to his mother, but he would have killed Hepzibah for the cup alone, since one of his most ardent desires was to use magically significant objects as his Horcruxes. In this way, Hepzibah Smith plays a pivotal role in Voldemort’s journey, but somehow not pivotal enough to earn her any film credits.

Next: Number 13: Winky

13. Winky

Jumping from Prisoner of Azkaban’s 435 pages of material to Goblet of Fire’s 734 was no easy task, especially since the films were handed off to yet another new director. Mike Newell had his work cut out for him, and so he had to make some cuts of his own. Since not even Dobby—who plays a role in five of the seven books, but only two of the films—makes an appearance on the fourth film’s screen, it’s no surprise that Winky was left to the pages.

Winky the house-elf is involved in a somewhat elaborate side-plot concerning Bartemius “Barty” Crouch, a high-ranking Ministry official who is made far more likeable on-screen than on the page. The gist of the tale is that Winky let her guard down in her task to keep Barty Crouch, Jr. hidden, and so he is able to escape and rejoin Voldemort’s regime. Crouch, Sr. sacks Winky for her alleged carelessness, and she is forced to find work in the Hogwarts kitchens with Dobby and other house-elves. Unlike Dobby, however, Winky is bereft in her freedom, and spends most of her time drunk on butterbeer (which, although non-alcoholic to humans, is detrimental to a house-elf’s basic sensibilities).

The Winky and Crouch plot is an interesting one, to say the least, and it’s a bummer that it didn’t fit into the film. But even I—master of mocking the movies—have to admit that it’s too intricate a side-plot to cram into a film that didn’t have time for more important momentum. Winky’s presence would have hardly made sense without her backstory, and so her absence is understandable, if not totally agreed upon.

Next: Number 12: Phineas Nigellus Black

12. Phineas Nigellus Black

Phineas Nigellus Black was dead long before the series begins, but as a former headmaster of Hogwarts, his portrait hangs with all of his predecessors and successors in the Head’s office. His purpose is, however, more notable than simply hanging on the wall and delivering snide comments at every available opportunity.

As a member of the Black family (Sirius’ great-great-grandfather), he also has a portrait at Grimmauld Place to which he can travel. Because of this convenient arrangement, Dumbledore often sends him to watch over Harry while he stayed at Order headquarters in OOTP. In Deathly Hallows, Hermione keeps Phineas’ frame in her bigger-on-the-inside bag to keep him from informing on them to Snape; however, Phineas manages to pass along enough information so that Snape is eventually able to leave the sword of Gryffindor to the trio.

While the filmmakers were able to skirt around these plot points, rendering Phineas unnecessary to meet their ends, the character in the books is often a breath of fresh air. Blood purist he most certainly is, but his blunt observations regarding the dramatics and narcissism of young people play a nice contrast to Dumbledore’s calm understanding.

And let us not forget that, despite Phineas and Dumbledore’s differences, that doesn’t stop the former from saying of the latter upon his escape from Hogwarts in OOTP, “You know, Minister, I disagree with Dumbledore on many counts… but you cannot deny he’s got style…”

Truer words have seldom been spoken.

Next: Number 11: Bertha Jorkins

11. Bertha Jorkins

Like Winky, Bertha Jorkins is heavily tied into Goblet of Fire’s Crouch storyline, which, as we already know, was mostly cut due to the film’s time constraints. Even though, as Sirius notes in the text, Bertha “was an idiot,” he goes on to say that “she’d be very easy to lure into a trap,” and such is Bertha Jorkins’ fate.

Based on Sirius’ observation, we can assume that Bertha had always been scatterbrained, thick-skulled, what-have-you, but her lack of intelligence is exacerbated years after her Hogwarts days. As an employee at the Ministry of Magic, Bertha worked closely with Barty Crouch, and during a trip to his house on business, she overhears Winky talking to someone who Bertha correctly deduces to be Barty Crouch, Jr. By this time, Crouch, Jr. was a convicted criminal who was thought to be dead, and so Bertha took it upon herself to confront Crouch, Sr. He put such a powerful Memory Charm on her that it damaged her functionality for the rest of her life, and therefore added fuel to the old “Bertha’s an idiot” fire.

Eventually abducted and tortured by Voldemort, it’s Bertha who reveals to him that one of his most loyal servants is still alive, and that the Triwizard Tournament was being reinstated that same year. After deeming what was left of her useless, Voldemort kills her and uses the murder to make his snake, Nagini, into a Horcrux. But despite what a catalyst Bertha is, cutting Crouch’s plot meant cutting hers as well, and she went the way of Winky.

Next: Number 10: Ted Tonks

10. Ted Tonks

Even though Ted Tonks only makes two brief appearances in Deathly Hallows, he’s the father of everyone’s favorite Metamorphmagus, and therefore deserves a few accolades. Not only did the man play a hand in Nymphadora Tonks’ stellar upbringing, he also works to assist the Order during the botched Seven Potters plan. He and his wife, Andromeda, open their home as a safe house to ensure that Harry and Hagrid get where they need to be.

Later in the book, it is discovered that Ted—a Muggle-born wizard—is forced to go on the run to avoid persecution under the Death Eaters’ rule. Along with Dean Thomas, Dirk Cresswell, Griphook, and Gornuk, Ted dodges the oppressive laws enacted by Voldemort and his cohorts, and continues to voice his support for Harry. During his conversation with his fellow outlaws, Ted condemns the lies the Daily Prophet spins about Harry, scoffs at the notion that Harry had anything to do with Dumbledore’s death, and praises Harry for whatever he’s out doing, even though Ted doesn’t know what that is. It’s clear that he trusts Harry, and won’t hear a word against him.

Sadly, Ted doesn’t make it through the war alive, as he’s caught and murdered by Snatchers some time after the above exchange. Although the last thing I wanted to see was another beloved character die in IMAX, he would have been an asset to the film.

Next: Number 9: Andromeda Tonks

9. Andromeda Tonks (née Black)

Sirius introduces his favorite cousin by name in OOTP, two books before we meet her in the flesh. Since she only makes one small appearance in DH, though, it’s no wonder why the filmmakers chose not to put an actress’ face to the character’s name.

Andromeda, like Sirius, was blasted off the family tree for turning her back on the Blacks’ blood purist ideals, although her reasoning differs from Sirius’ in that she fell in love with and married Muggle-born Ted Tonks. Although the full story behind Andromeda’s shirking of family responsibility isn’t present in the books, much less the films, it certainly piques interest.

Perhaps it’s a story better suited to fanfiction, but it takes only a few moments to consider it before you come to the conclusion that Andromeda Black is a hell of a woman, and one you’d probably like to see more of. With the phenomenal casting of Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix and Helen McCrory as Narcissa, I would love to see who the filmmakers would have landed for Andromeda.

Next: Number 8: Teddy Lupin

8. Teddy Lupin

Since the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows nine years ago, I’ve heard nothing but mixed reactions regarding the epilogue. Personally, I think it’s a nice way of tying up some loose ends without being too tidy about it, but I found the film’s interpretation of it severely lacking for many reasons, one of which is the distinct lack of Teddy Lupin.

So, no, we probably didn’t need to catch him making out with Victoire (Bill and Fleur’s daughter), but even a little name drop would have been appreciated. After Remus’ and Tonks’ deaths nineteen years previously, it would have been comforting to know that their son grows up to engage in some healthy PDA.

Of course, Teddy doesn’t just stand for raw sexual magnetism, or whatever it is that makes kids these days make out in train stations. No, what Teddy really does is bring one of the series’ central themes full-circle, as he, like Harry, lost his parents to a war. Unlike Harry, though, Teddy is raised with a lot of help and love by his grandmother Andromeda, and what’s left of the Order. While Teddy’s story is still a little bleak, there’s a great big ray of hope that slices through it, too; and when it all comes down to it, that’s what Harry Potter’s all about, and the predominant reason why Teddy should have featured in the film.

Next: Number 7: Ariana Dumbledore

7. Ariana Dumbledore

Considering Dumbledore’s importance to the series and his sister’s significance to his character development, Ariana Dumbledore’s absence from the movies is rather jarring. While she appears in the portrait in the Hog’s Head, we don’t get much of a sense of her story, which, incidentally, is yet another tragic tale in the world of Harry Potter.

When Ariana was six, a group of local Muggle boys violently attacked her when they saw her using magic, and the experience left Ariana unable to control her magic and unwilling to try. As Aberforth explains to Harry in DH, “It destroyed her, what they did. She was never right again. She wouldn’t use magic, but she couldn’t get rid of it; it turned inward and drove her mad, it exploded out of her when she couldn’t control it, and at times she was strange and dangerous. But mostly she was sweet and scared and harmless.”

During one of the occasions in which Ariana loses control, she accidentally kills her mother in a magical fit. Ariana herself is killed when she tries to stop and is consequently caught in the crosshairs of a three-way duel between her brothers and Gellert Grindelwald. Unable to pinpoint whose curse killed her, her death put an even deeper rift in the relationship between Albus and Aberforth.

Ariana’s life and death are instrumental in Dumbledore’s character development. He never forgave himself for playing a part in her death, and his entire worldview changed following her passing. He abandoned his prejudices and Grindelwald with them, and went on to become the symbol of equality that he is so often celebrated for.

Next: Number 6: Ludo Bagman

6. Ludo Bagman

Ludo Bagman is another character deemed unessential to the overall plot of GOF, and therefore cut from the movie adaptation. In the book, Bagman is a boisterous former Quidditch star-turned-Ministry official whose lack of decorum is charming, aside from the gambling problem that eventually runs him out of town, never to be seen again. Before that, though, he takes a liking to Harry, who he bet his gold on in the Triwizard Tournament, and is the reason why the Weasley twins lost all their savings. Fred and George, who bet their money on the outcome of the Quidditch Cup, were paid in leprechaun gold (which disappears after a few hours) by Bagman, who never had the means to reimburse them.

Thankfully, Harry takes those Triwizard winnings Bagman had bet he’d win and gives them to the twins, insisting that they use the gold to fund their joke shop. So Bagman wasn’t completely useless, after all, hm? His failure to show up on-screen was more obvious than many other missing characters, perhaps due to his exuberant spirit.

Next: Number 5: Augusta Longbottom

5. Augusta Longbottom

Neville’s grandmother almost made it into Deathly Hallows. Ninette Finch was cast and her scenes shot, but they were ultimately left on the cutting room floor. A shame, since the unforgiving and no-nonsense Augusta Longbottom is clearly made of some kind of impenetrable steel, and it is truly a sight to behold.

While she is initially disappointed that her grandson Neville doesn’t show the same skill as his parents, she—like much of the fandom—learns to admire him when he grows into his own role as a hero. When Neville leads the resistance at Hogwarts in Harry’s absence in DH, Augusta’s pride knows no bounds. She’s not all talk and no action, either; rather, she shows up to fight in the Battle of Hogwarts. She immediately inquires after Neville’s whereabouts, and when Harry informs her that he’s fighting, she says, “Naturally. Excuse me, I must go and assist him.”

We all wanted to see that tough old bird saunter off to take a few Death Eaters down, probably as badly as we wanted to see Molly Weasley take out Bellatrix Lestrange. There’s something immensely satisfying in the knowledge that Augusta Longbottom was fighting to avenge the sins committed against her son and daughter-in-law, and, gods willing, it should have earned her some screen time.

Next: Number 4: Regulus Black

4. Regulus Black

Sirius’ estranged younger brother never had the chance to physically show up in the books, let alone the movies, as he died in the first war at the age of nineteen. A Death Eater with a killer redemption arc, Regulus was clever enough to uncover Voldemort’s secret use of Horcruxes, and dedicated himself to finding and destroying them. While he only managed to steal Slytherin’s locket before dying as a result, Regulus set the stage to destroy Voldemort before Harry ever became the Chosen One.

Absolutely Regulus should have been included in the films well beyond the note from R.A.B. that Harry finds in the fake Horcrux. There are a lot of comparisons that can be made between Regulus’ and Snape’s respective situations in the First Wizarding War. Considering that the movies hand Snape every “Get Out of Jail Free” card the filmmakers could finagle, it’s only fitting that Regulus be offered the same courtesy, especially since he redeemed himself long before Snape did, and with no ulterior motive other than seeing Voldemort fall from the height of power that no one should wield. Regulus wanted Voldemort bested, defeated, even if that meant he had to sacrifice himself to that cause. As far as Regulus was concerned, the cause was more important than he was, or possibly ever would be.

Forget including him in the original Harry Potter film franchise. Give this guy his own story arc in the Marauders prequel that we’re probably never getting, but I can still dream.

Next: Number 3: Charlie Weasley

3. Charlie Weasley

While the briefly flashed family photo in Prisoner of Azkaban features all nine Weasleys, Charlie included, I’m pulling my nope card because two seconds’ worth of a photograph doesn’t do it for my Charlie Weasley fix. He’s name-dropped once or twice but, again, I slap my nope card on the table.

Why, exactly, Charlie was cut, I can’t say. Maybe another Weasley seemed redundant to the filmmakers, especially since they didn’t make enough use of the ones they already had. Maybe because, unlike Bill, Charlie doesn’t have a love interest since he’s too busy running around after dragons in Romania. (That last guess might be a bit of a stretch, but, I mean, let’s all rewatch HBP and then try to say that the series as a whole doesn’t rely heavily on romance.)

In the end, though, chances are that Charlie—like many of the characters on this list—seemed like an unnecessary addition that no one would miss enough to boycott the movies entirely. That’s true enough, but personally I still harbor a sore spot where Charlie Weasley is concerned. Like the Weasleys in general, Charlie is a treasure to the series, and every Weasley is essential in their own way. I look forward to seeing him cast in the remake when I’m seventy, or however long it takes.

Next: Number 2: Merope Gaunt

2. Merope Gaunt

You’d think that Voldemort’s mom would catch a little screen time, but no dice. She’s pivotal to the plot not only because she gave birth to the most powerful Dark wizard of all time, but also because it’s her fault that he ended up that way. As J.K. Rowling noted in a 2007 interview, “The enchantment under which Tom Riddle fathered Voldemort is important because it shows coercion, and there can’t be many more prejudicial ways to enter the world than as a result of such a union.” That’s not to say that Voldemort is literally incapable of love, as Rowling clarified, “It was a symbolic way of showing that he came from a loveless union—but of course everything would have changed if Merope had survived and raised him herself and loved him.”

While I’m certainly not blaming Merope for dying, I am blaming her for her decision to force someone into a romance with her. Perhaps the filmmakers didn’t think that Voldemort’s origins were worth explaining—he’s a powerful Dark wizard with hate in his heart, and maybe that’s all the audience needs to know. It was certainly enough information to satisfy readers until Half-Blood Prince, when we take a few strolls through Voldemort-centric memories, but Merope Gaunt’s absence from the screen remains a palpable one.

Next: Number 1: Peeves

1. Peeves

This one has been getting everyone’s goat since the first film made the rounds and Rik Mayall’s scenes were ditched, so naturally Peeves gets the No. 1 spot here.

A dastardly little poltergeist that no one seems able to get rid of, Peeves answers to no one but the Bloody Baron and, later, when Fred and George make their epic exit from Hogwarts in OOTP, he salutes Fred’s request that he “give [Umbridge] hell.” Not that Peeves ever needed encouragement in that department—he is quite capable of causing mayhem on his own, and in fact that is his entire purpose. He shuts Mrs. Norris in a suit of armor, sticks gum into keyholes, unscrews chandeliers, pelts children with water balloons, pulls rugs out from under their feet, and once he dropped a bag of tarantulas in the middle of the Great Hall during breakfast…. Dude could party.

Rowling has said of Peeves, “He is a spirit of chaos who entered the building long ago and has proved impossible to eradicate,” which, as the films prove, turns out not to be the case, as they disposed of him easily enough. It’s too bad Mr. Filch never got in touch with Warner Bros.; he would have gotten Peeves off his back in no time.

Regardless, on every anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts, I like to commemorate Peeves in a Facebook status with the victory chant he sings on that fateful night:

“We did it, we bashed them, wee Potter’s the one,
And Voldy’s gone moldy, so now let’s have fun!”