It's officially Harry Potter Week. And, as you may have guessed, we're totally celebrating.
For those of us who have waited in line for countless hours to receive our copy of the latest Harry Potter book, wore our favorite house colors to a midnight movie premiere and even plastered a Harry Potter something to a wall somewhere, to say we're dedicated is an understatement.
Now that David Yates has gifted us, finally, opening day of Deathly Hallows: Part 2, (unless you were fortunate enough to see it early) we've decided to take a look back at the characters who rocked hard in the books, but who didn't receive the street/screen cred they deserved in spite of casting perfection. Well, except Cedric Diggory pre-Twilight -- he should have stupefied himself before he grew the fangs.
Oh, sure, sure. We get there's a time restriction when it comes to film. They can't all be five hours long -- although as Potter die-hards, we can safely say we wouldn't really complain provided there were ample bathroom breaks. We're just saying that we agree with the decision to cinematically nix the SPEW, but we would've been more than happy to see the exploration of other storylines.
Thus, the list you are about to read excludes ever-present Hogwarts faculty/staff members (Alan Rickman's Snape is worthy of a Wizarding Oscar) and the main witches and wizards who have been there since day one. We based our picks off those whose written characters made a huge impact, and could have made as big an impact on screen given the actor portraying them.
If you haven't read or seen books/films one through seven, there are teeny, tiny spoilers to come. But you know what? You should have read and seen them.
8. Narcissa "Cissy" Malfoy Draco Malfoy, Harry's school-aged nemesis, comes from quite the Death Eating family: Of note, his aunt is Bellatrix Lestrange and his father is Lucius Malfoy. But his saving grace -- quite literally -- is his quick-thinking mother, Narcissa.
Helen McCrory expresses Cissy's dueling personalities -- caring mother and aggressive supporter of blood purity -- with such brilliance that those recognizable and symbolic two-toned tresses aren't really even necessary (but damn, they're perfection). Earlier on, her character, who was never officially a Death Eater despite her family's alliance, is given more movement in the books than in the films; until the last few we'd really only seen her shuffling behind her creepy husband or in the midst of her asshole offspring.
Oh sure, we've gotten more of Narcissa in the final three movies, but with the drama she brings to the screen in just a glance or a wetting of the eye -- not to mention the demand of an unbreakable vow, she deserves so much more.
7. Hedwig Harry's infamous owl (and only friend through those grueling summers at the Dursley's) was his only connection at some points to the Wizarding World.
We're pretty sure that damn bird could've captivated us with her own tale of letter-carrying adventures. Hedwig was the only way he kept in touch with Sirius and even gave up her own life for Harry in Deathly Hallows Part 1. And yes, we cried, and no we're not ashamed of it, though, why her death was changed from the written version and given less screen time than deserved was equally as sad. Sure they're "kids'" movies, but come on.
In real life the snow owl's name is Gizmo and don't worry, she's still alive. As consideration went to ace casting, we gotta give credit for finding a FREAKING OWL that lived up to the written Hedwig right down to every little cock of the head or worm nibble.
6. Luna Lovegood Quirky and eccentric Luna with her curly sun-dipped hair was not introduced to the series until Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
She was one of the only people who could understand Harry's pain on a personal level because of her mother's death. She became a big contributor to Dumbledore's Army and one of Harry's best friends and yet, we only see glimpses of her (as portrayed with appropriate quirk and old-soul wisdom by Evanna Lynch) throughout the last three movies. No good reason for that far as we can tell.
5. Sirius Black Hot dog! Harry Potter's godfather was the only Black to be sorted in to Gryffindor and he was banned from the family because of it. We were introduced to Sirius in the Prisoner of Azkaban (after a very brief shout-out in the Sorcerer's Stone, just so we're clear), after some dynamic confusion, Sirius gives Harry 12 Grimmauld Place and the family love he's always wanted, and shows us all some badass action skills along the way. Why wouldn't we want to see more of any and all parts of that?
Gary Oldman was cast perfectly for this role since he has that misunderstood serial-killer way about him ... and the charismatic hotness. As he was another one of James Potter's BFFs, Sirius would be perfect for a tragic spin-off with James and Lupin (you hear that, Rowling?). It would also make up for the tragically lame way his death was handled in Order of the Phoenix.
4. Remus Lupin Lupin was one of James Potter's best friends and even takes Harry under his wing when he becomes the new Defense against the Dark Arts Professor in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
He is married to the chameleon-haired awesomeness that is Tonks, had a son named Teddy and spent a lot of time watching over Harry post-Sirius, but we'd rarely see any of the real depth to his character on screen, if it weren't for the incomparable and subtly captivating David Thewlis. He personifies the caring, tortured soul and more than a few extra scenes would've been well spent with Thewlis' Lupin in the center.
Hey, Rowling, this is one HP prequel/spin-off we'd read and watch, provided the later-years casting stayed in tact.
3. Molly Weasley Julie Walters brings Mrs. Weasley to life as the mother we all wish we had. She's loving, understanding and has a temper that would make any Irish-woman proud. And that whole magical powers thing helps a great deal as well.
Although she's been a part of the series since Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, was a huge player in the Order of the Phoenix and is plays a pivotal roll in the Deathly Hallows, we still only see her as back drop when it comes to the big screen.
Would've been nice for the strong lady character to have been given more screen time, as when it comes to holding a family, posse and Order together, it could be said she was the glue.
2. Fred and George Weasley Two men in this world who make it okay to be a ginger.
Known as Ron Weasley's brothers, the twins are the practical jokesters of the family. They open up their own shop in Diagon Alley; provide Harry with the Marauder's Map; ("I solemnly swear that I am up to no good") are major players in Dumbledore's Army and get Harry out of more jams than you can count on two hands. They are unsung heroes.
Oliver and James Phelps are sadly not redheads in real life, but we don't care -- they'll always be Fred and George to us. Their dynamic not only provides comic relief, but also builds a great deal of tension as even though they are spirited contrasts with the evil goings-on around them, they certainly prove to be two dudes you don't want to eff around with.
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1. Neville Longbottom Hello, Matthew Lewis, er, we mean Neville Longbottom! Like Harry, Ron and Hermione we've watched Neville transform (he's super hot now, and yes, that's totally legit for us to say) and grow up into an excellent wizard.
Longbottom has been in Gryffindor with the trio since the beginning (false buck teeth and all) and became a key character in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. His parents were original members of the Order who were tortured beyond insanity by Death Eater Bellatrix Lestrange among others, so his storyline is, at times, just as tragic as Harry's, if not more.
As we who read the books all know, Neville is more of a gem than any of the movies let on, and leaving that out is a crying shame. Neville, we love you.
Seriously, Rowling, where's the Longbottom series?