It’s hard for any adaptation to live up to a series as beloved as J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, but the film adaptations fared reasonably well in the attempt. The earlier films, like Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets stayed true to Rowling’s books, and even the later movies, which deviated a bit, managed to keep the main points of her story intact.
Regardless of the differences between the books and films, the movies brought J.K. Rowling’s world to life in ways that weren’t fully imaginable prior to their creation. They gave readers a tangible image of the magical locations throughout the wizarding world—from Hogwarts, to Diagon Alley, to Hogsmeade—and they also gave fans a visual when it came to Rowling’s collection of magical creatures.
The casting of the Harry Potter movies was also spot on—so much so that many readers automatically associate Rowling’s characters with the actors and actresses who portrayed them in the adaptations. Indeed, it’s difficult to imagine the trio as anyone other than Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint. And we certainly won’t be associating Severus Snape with anyone who isn’t Alan Rickman any time soon.
But the casting would mean nothing without the chemistry between the characters, which is something the actors and actresses in the Harry Potter films also achieved impressively. Rowling’s lessons about love and friendship were conveyed just as strongly onscreen, and much of that has to do with how well the actors and actresses got on with one another.
So, while the Harry Potter films are by no means a perfect duplication of Rowling’s book series, they’ve done far more good for the books than bad. And in spite of their flaws, the films are beloved among the fandom—that must count for something, right?