Inspired by the new Wizarding World movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, I dived back into the world of Harry Potter desperate to find any clues as to what may be coming in the next four movies. Is anyone else as excited about this as I am?
First things first. We must discuss the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Did everyone else think this movie was as spectacular as I did? It was so fantastically done and proves, once again, that J.K. Rowling is truly a genius. The story brings us back to the Wizarding World before Harry Potter’s time when wizards were still forbidden to marry muggles and the magnificent wizard that everyone feared was Gellert Grindelwald rather than Lord Voldemort. While we only get a glimpse of his evil in this movie it leaves us at the edge of our seats, anxious to find out what happens next. For anyone who hasn’t yet seen the movie I highly recommend you take the time to check it out before the next one hits the big screen at the end of 2018, if everything stays on schedule, that is.
In rereading the entire Harry Potter Series from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone/ Philosopher’s Stone (depending on which country you read it in) all the way to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, I once again fell in love with the books that created this world rather than the movies. At a Harry Potter movie marathon with my friends I was once again that annoying person who pointed out every point where the movie skipped, diverted or disregarded the books.
My biggest issue was everything that was left out, obviously. As my friend put it, they left out all the social justice points from the books. Fluer, one of the wizards in the Tri-wizard Tournament, wasn’t as helpless as they portrayed her to be and they completely left out S.P.E.W., Hermione’s Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare which protected House Elves aka Slaves. Which, if we’re being honest, the whole world could do with more social justice. Maybe if we’re lucky, we’ll have movies completely devoted to House Elves’ struggles in the future after they’ve gained their freedom and been functioning members of society for decades, so the elite can see just how bad things really were.
Some other important social justice bits that were left out of the movies: (BEWARE: SPOILERS)
1. Firenze, the centaur Harry meets in the Forbidden Forrest, ends up teaching Divination at Hogwarts when Professor Trelawney was fired by Professor Umbridge. Professor Umbridge hated Professor Trelawney and had hoped to be able to hire her own teacher, but Dumbledore beat her to the punch and hired Firenze. Professor Umbridge saw Firenze as a lesser being because he was only half human and therefore “barbaric”. Sound familiar to anyone else? Why would you cut out this beautifully developed plot line that Rowling clearly intended to use as a teaching mechanism?
2. Lupin and Tonk’ s relationship. The entire sixth book (Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince) Tonks is in a bad mood and sad. Harry and everyone else thinks it is due to the loss of her cousin, Sirius, but it’s not. It is in fact because she is in love with Lupin, a character that Rowling has stated was represented a character with HIV/AIDS, who is a werewolf and continuously subject to prejudice (see Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban). Tonk loved Lupin so much her Patronus, a very powerful protective spell, took the shape of a wolf. She loved him throughout the entire series and Lupin told her he was too “sick” to be with her and too poor and old and that she deserved better. She didn’t care about any of this. This of course all came up after Bill Weasley was attacked by a werewolf (see Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince). Everyone assumed that because was now ugly because of the attack, Fluer, his fiance, would change her mind about marrying him. This of course was false. I won’t tell you everything that happens with these two relationships, but you would be right in assuming they both end “Happily Ever After”, kind of.
3. The fact that Voldemort was a half-blood because his mother fell in love with a muggle, gave him love potion, married him, had a child with him, and was disowned by her family for not marrying a pure blood. Oh yeah and then he spent his whole life pretending to be a pure blood, killing multiple muggles, half bloods and mud bloods while praising pure bloods. Do I really need to explain the intricacies of this aspect of the book? How could you leave this out of the movies!?
Well I could sit here all day and point out all the details and how they were better in the books, but you could also find out for yourself. If you’ve only ever watched the Harry Potter movies I implore you to take some time and read the books. The audiobooks are also brilliant.
Written by Liz Sarant
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