All eight Harry Potter films are loaded with miniscule details you’d have to pause to notice. But here’s one from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001) that really amused. During the scene where Neville is telling Harry and co. about his Remembrall (the magical object that glows red upon forgetting something), Neville wonders why his is glowing on that occasion. Looking at the scene again reveals why – Neville is the only character not wearing his Hogwarts robes. In the books, we didn’t get this little nuance, and it’s one of many moments that the film-makers hid in plain sight, ready for us to spot!
For those who enjoy a healthy game of Harry Potter movie bingo, a recommended check box would be to spot all the glorious knitwear. We know Hogwarts is based somewhere in Scotland, so everyone is freezing at all times, but once you notice all the cardigans, jumpers, cardigans over jumpers and Neville’s fetching sweater vests, you can’t stop noticing them. In fact, we wrote about our favourite woolly fashion here.
In the fourth Harry Potter adventure, a lot of the male characters have opted for the same hairstyle. Harry, Ron, Neville and the Weasley twins are all rocking a Beatles-style mop top we remember quite well from our own teenage days. Then, in Order of the Phoenix, everyone’s clearly got it out of their system and had a haircut. Ah, to be young.
Just like in the books, there are many instances of the number seven scattered throughout the films, alluding to Voldemort’s comment that seven is the most magical number. In the end, there are seven Horcruxes. But there are smaller mentions too; Harry’s Quidditch uniform is splayed with the number seven. In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, (2009), during the orphanage scene, a young Tom Riddle even has seven rocks on his windowsill.
This theme is true in the books too. Seven Hogwarts years. Seven Weasley children. Seven socks owned by Dobby... the list goes on.
The Harry Potter films are famously extremely loyal to their book counterparts, but sometimes, unexpected joys pop up that us book-readers weren’t expecting. One example of this? Lovely, completely random, Nigel. A helpful young student who first crops up in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2004). He’s a lad of few words, but his adorably endearing presence made quite the statement.
Another moment from the films not in the books was this sucker-punch line from Sirius, just before we lost him. When Harry’s duelling skills impress Sirius, he says, ‘Nice one, James’ just before being hit by Bellatrix’s deadly curse.
The line reminds us of the argument Molly and Sirius have in the book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, where Molly accuses Sirius of seeing Harry as his old best friend, James, not Harry himself. This line seems to allude to that – in a subtle, devastating fashion.
Francis the fish! How on earth could we forget Francis the fish?! In the film, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), Professor Slughorn tells us the story of Francis, created from a clever charm that Harry’s mother, Lily, had performed, in which she turned a flower (a lily, in fact) into a ‘wee fish’. This sweet story turns into something far more poignant when Slughorn reveals that the fish disappeared on the day Lily died.
In the final instalment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011), we all remember the thrilling sequences of the Battle of Hogwarts, the tragic deaths and the shocking twists. But book-readers who haven’t seen the last film since its release may have forgotten a passing remark from Neville Longbottom, where he suddenly reveals he’s crazy about Luna – and goes off to find her. In the books, no such admission is made at all, leaving book-readers collectively surprised, confused, overjoyed or outraged depending on preference.
Whether or not Luna and Neville ever made a go at it has not been revealed, but we do know that Neville eventually goes on to marry Hannah Abbott and works at Hogwarts as Herbology Professor many years later, while Luna marries Newt Scamander’s grandson, Rolf. What could have been!
Again, it’s the little things that we love realising about the Harry Potter films the most. Take the very opening seconds of each film, emblazoned with the Warner Bros. logo. When you re-watch, you’ll spot that the logo gets darker and becomes covered in cracks and blemishing as the film series goes on. As the adventures get more and more dark and dangerous, it’s only fair that the Warner Bros. logo follows suit!
The Harry Potter films are currently playing back-to-back in the US during the Thanksgiving weekend. Check your local TV listings to see exactly when and where, from 28th November to the 30th. There’s always time for another rewatch!