According to Why Harry Potter Rocked, J. K Rowling is called the “Queen of Characterization” by many people (Wood). J. K. Rowling is the author of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone published in 1998. Three years later in 2001, the movie Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone directed by Chris Columbus hit the theater and was based on the novel. The movie starred Daniel Radcliff, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint depicting the characters of Harry, Hermione and Ron. When comparing any novel to the movie there are always changes made for various reasons.
However, the differences between the movie and the novel of Harry Potter and Sorcerer’s Stone that involved the central aspects of the characters Malfoy, Hermione, and Ron did not get lost. Instead, the movie took different approaches, such as visuals, to highlight key aspects of those characters in order so the message of the novel was not lost in translation. One of the first differences from the movie that depicted Malfoy, was the scene at Diagon Alley where Harry first met Malfoy. The importance of this encounter between the two characters was to highlight the stark contrast between the qualities between the two characters.
My father’s next door buying my books and mother’s up in the street looking at wands,” said the boy… I think I’ll bully father into getting me one and I’ll smuggle it in somehow” (page 77 Rowling). This conversation demonstrated similarities in how Dudley reacted when he didn’t get what he wanted on his birthday. For example, the conversation between Dudley and Aunt Petunia on Dudley’s birthday reveals the parallel between Malfoy and Dudley. “All right, thirty-seven then,” said Dudley, going red in the face.
Harry, who could see a huge Dudley tantrum coming on …. Aunt Petunia obviously scented danger, too, because she said quickly, “And we’ll buy you another two presents while we’re out today. How’s that, popkin? ” (Page 21 Rowling). Therefore, this association between Malfoy and Dudley made by Harry gave the audience a reason to why Harry took a disliking to Malfoy. Since this was left out of the movie, there was a scene added that was not in the book to demonstrate the relationship between Malfoy and Harry Potter when they first arrived at Hogwarts.
More specifically this scene showed this link between the characters of Malfoy and Dudley in a different light. In the movie, Malfoy states that “Some wizarding families are better than others Potter, and you don’t want to go making friends with the wrong sort. I can help you there. ” (Columbus, 2001). This demonstrated how Malfoy wanted to be friends with Harry instead of Ron. On top of the dialogue, Malfoy carried himself in a similar way to how Dudley carried himself when he got his way, especially on his birthday, demonstrated in earlier scenes in the film.
This visual representation of how both of these characters acted could have been the reason why the movie could exclude the scene in Diagon Alley without losing important characteristics of Malfoy. There were two scenes that were left out or altered out of the movie that demonstrated how intelligent Hermione was when retrieving the Sorcerer’s Stone. The first scene that was cut from the novel, was when Hermione had to determine which potion to drink. “Brilliant,” said Hermione. “This isn’t magic—its logic—a puzzle. A lot of wizards haven’t got an ounce of logic they’d be stuck here forever. (Page 284 Rowling).
The second scene was altered and it involved how Hermione saved Ron from the Devil’s Snare, instead of saving both of them that was depicted in the novel. “The two boys felt it loosening its grip as it cringed away from the light and warmth. Wriggling and flailing, it unraveled itself form their bodies, and they were able to pull free. ” (Page 278 Rowling) These events that took place in the novel and not in the movie were crucial in demonstrating the significance of Hermione, and what qualified her to be a part of the friendship between Ron and Harry retrieving the Sorcerer’s Stone.
However, the movie there was a scene added that was not in the novel, which demonstrates how Hermione’s skills were crucial to the friendship with Ron and Harry. For example, on the train, Hermione shows off her ability by fixing Harry’s glasses by using a spell “Oculus Reparo” that neither of them knew (Columbus, 2001). This scene in addition to saving Ron’s life from the Devil’s Snare demonstrates that Hermione has an intelligence level that is above both Ron’s and Harry’s, which was validated throughout the novel. Also, without Hermione, Ron would not have been saved, and he would not have been able to play Wizard’s Chess.
So, without Hermione, Harry would have never retrieved the Sorcerer’s Stone. More importantly, the movie still demonstrated Hermione’s role but just in a different way. Another aspect of the novel was left out of the movie were certain occurrences that that depicted how much pressure Ron felt to be successful because of his brothers. “Five” said Ron. For some reason, he was looking gloomy. “I’m the sixth in our family to go to Hogwarts… Everyone expects me to do as well as the others, but if I do, it’s no big deal, they did it first. ” (Page 99 Rowlings).
Also, Ron always was stuck with the things that his brother’s did not need anymore. For example, “I’ve got Bill’s old robes, Charlie’s old wand, and Percy’s old rat. ” (page 99 Rowling). This indicated that Ron was overshadowed by his brothers, and felt the pressures of doing something remarkable to follow in their footsteps. This aspect of how Ron was held to a standard set by his brothers through dialogue was downplayed, and was demonstrated through visual representations instead. The scene on the train where Ron and Harry first met, Ron’s rat acted as if he had already passed his prime.
This visual indicated that Ron was probably not the first to have the rat. Also from context clues, the audience could draw a conclusions that since it was known that Ron had older siblings that the rat might have been passed down to him. Also, because of the scene with Ron in front of the Mirror of Erised let the audience know that Ron set himself to a high standard to prove himself worthy. For example, Ron states that “I’m head boy, holding the Quiditch cup, and bloody hell I’m Quiditch Captain too. “ (Columbus, 2001).
More significantly, the audience could come to the conclusion that Ron felt overshadowed by his brothers. Therefore, the differences between the novel and the movie were not catastrophic to the plot and end result of the first novel. Also, the character development in the movie had the central aspects to those of the novel, and was usually displayed through visuals instead of dialogue. However, the impact of small differences between the novel and in the movie might play a larger role in later movies and later novels.