Whether or not the Harry Potter movies do justice to the beloved book series is a point of contention among fans of Rowling’s Potterverse. Many defend the films as the absolute best adaptation possible, and view the casualties as necessary sacrifices, while others maintain that the films over-simplified the nebulous plots of the later books, and made a total mess of what could have been something wonderful.
Personally, I love the films, but they are far from perfect and I would love to see them remade, or perhaps the series adapted for television, so that some of the greatest subplots and secondary characters who were excluded from the first round of films could finally get their shot. I really, really need to see the House Elf revolution brought to life on screen before I die. That’s all I’m saying.
So, in no particular order, here are my top five characters whose exclusion from the films breaks my heart and who deserve to be represented on screen.
Image Via Harry Potter Wikia
Okay, as a child reading the books I didn’t quite realize how dark Winky the house elf’s storyline is, or indeed how problematic the very existence and treatment of house elves is. Winky served the Crouch family, as had her mother and grandmother, until her dismissal by Bartie Crouch Senior. She was subsequently employed at Hogwarts, but did not adjust well to being a free elf and descended into alcoholism. Devastating. She was, however, on the front lines of the Battle of Hogwarts, led against the death eaters by Kreacher.
Winky’s treatment at the hands of Barty Crouch Senior was what inspired Hermione to create the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare (S.P.E.W.), which is a brilliant subplot that I would love to see included in a future adaptation. But seriously. Justice for Winky!
2. Peeves the Poltergeist
Peeves is one of the funniest characters in the books, a mischievous spirit who haunts Hogwarts wreaking havoc and mayhem wherever he goes. One of the great tragedies in the history of cinema is that Peeves was meant to be included in the films, portrayed by the hilarious Rik Mayall, an absolutely superb feat of casting. However, his scenes were left on the cutting room floor, and Mayall sadly passed away in 2014. There was even a Change.org petition (now closed) for the studio to release the footage of Mayall as Peeves.
Peeves engages in all sorts of antagonization, from dropping walking sticks on students, to writing rude things on the blackboards, no one is safe from his mischief, except for certain students whose own troublesome natures he respects, such as Fred and George Weasley.
3. The Gaunt Family
Fan art of the Gaunts in which they are, indeed, very gaunt. | Via the Harry Potter Lexicon
A pureblood family who were descendants of Salazar Slytherin. Marvolo Gaunt was Voldemort’s (Tom Marvolo Riddle’s) grandfather, and was extremely prejudiced towards muggles and muggle-born magic folk. His son Morfin lived with him and was a Parseltongue. His daughter Merope was thought to be a squib due to her emotional instability and reluctance to use magic. Her union with a muggle, Tom Riddle under the effects of a love spell, resulted in a son (Voldemort), Marvolo’s son. When he recovers from the effects of Merope’s spell, he leaves her and she dies soon after. The Gaunts are integral to fully understanding Voldemort’s backstory.
4. The Gnomes
Image Via Pottermore
The Weasely garden is home to an infestation of gnomes, which results in some hilarious ‘de-gnoming the garden’ scenes. Harry tells Ron, “Muggles have garden gnomes too, you know,” to which Ron responds “Yeah, I’ve seen those things they think are gnomes, like fat little Father Christmases with fishing rods…” Gnomes in the wizarding world are ugly little humanoid creatures, who are literally flung over the hedge and out of the Weasely’s garden, although often sneak back in as Arthur Weasley has a soft spot for them. They may be a not-so fantastic beast, but the gnome-flinging would have provided some great comic relief.
5. Charlie Weasley
Image Via The Harry Potter Lexicon
Charlie Weasley is the second oldest Weasley sibling and a dragon expert who resides in Romania for much of the series. However, Charlie first meets Harry at the Quidditch World Cup at the start of the Goblet of Fire, and later in the book assists with the handling of the dragon brought in for the task during the Tri Wizard Cup. Unlike his lanky brothers, Charlie is described as being short and stocky, with a weather beaten face from working outdoors. The more Weasleys the merrier and I’m dying to see who’d be cast.
Featured Image Via The Harry Potter Lexicon