The Forgotten Details of Philosopher’s Stone: Book vs. Movie

By now, it should be absolutely no surprise that I am a die-hard Harry Potter fan. If you’ve been following me long enough, you should be rolling your eyes by now! Astoundingly, prior to Christmas, I had only read the last two books in the seven-book series. I know, I should be ashamed, but it’s okay because I now have ALLLLL of them (see this post). I have watched the movies a ridiculous number of times, and Harry Potter movie marathons and I are no strangers, but reading the books has almost been like reading a brand new story! After finishing Philosopher’s Stone, I watched the movie (again) and noticed just how many huge details were completely left out. That’s what inspired this post and I thought I would share a few forgotten details with you.

The Day Harry Went to Live With the Dursleys

I’m almost not exaggerating when I say that 99% of chapter one is left out. I can see why it is not extremely important, but it is still very interesting to know more about Mr. Dursley, who works at Grunnings which makes drills, and the time before Harry was dropped off at number four, Privet Drive. Chapter 1 describes the very ordinary morning that the Dursleys had, with Mr. Dursley picking his most boring tie for work and baby Dudley throwing a tantrum in his high-chair. Things start to get a little more strange after Mr. Dursley leaves home for work. He notices a cat reading a map, strangely-dressed people in coats who were whispering excitedly about “the Potters” and “their son, Harry” and “You-Know-Who” and “muggles”, and a heck of a lot of owls. 

Hagrid’s Motorbike

Did you know that the motorbike Hagrid used to drop Harry off at the Dursleys was actually borrowed from “young Sirius Black“? Ooooh…

Dudley’s Birthday

Harry wasn’t meant to join the Dursleys at the zoo. In fact, Dudley had a friend, Piers, who was going with him. Harry’s babysitter backed out and they had no choice but to allow Harry to join Dudley and Piers. When Harry was speaking to the Brazilian Boa Constricor, it wasn’t Dudley who noticed the snake moving, it was Piers. Nobody got trapped behind the glass either.


The First Time Harry and Draco Meet

Oddly enough, Harry and Draco’s first meeting was completely changed in the movie. They actually met at Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions. Unsurprisingly, Draco was babbling on about racing brooms and Slytherin and “the other kind” (people with parents who are not witches and wizards) while they were both being fitted. Draco didn’t know that he was speaking to Harry Potter until much later on. They also meet again on the train to Hogwarts, where Draco tries to befriend him.

The Time Between Shopping with Hagrid and Platform 9 3/4

After Hagrid and Harry shopped for books and wands and other supplies for Hogwarts, Harry went back home to the Dursleys for a few weeks. Harry actually asked the Dursleys to drop him off at Kings Cross station, which they politely did because they knew Harry wouldn’t find Platform Nine and Three-Quarters, something that was quite amusing to them.

The Sorting Hat’s Song and the School Song

I found these two parts of the book hilarious! The Sorting Hat’s song was left out of the movie, but it was quite long and adorable to imagine. The School Song was just utterly bonkers. Dumbledore lets everyone choose their own tune, and then they proceed to sing the most bizarre song ever. I liked the little detail that J.K Rowling added with Fred and George choosing to sing to a very slow funeral march.

Peeves the Poltergeist

I cannot believe they left Peeves out of the entire movie, considering how often he was mentioned in the book. A WHOLE character completely forgotten. Anyway, Peeves is one of the ghosts at Hogwarts and he causes so much trouble. He’s like the ghost version of Fred and George, but meaner. 

Professor Binns

Another character completely left out of the movie is Professor Binns. He taught History of Magic, the only class taught by a ghost. According to the books, he died sleeping in a chair in front of the staff room fire and, when he got up in the morning to teach, he left his body behind. The students found him extremely old and boring.

The Midnight Duel

Malfoy challenged Harry to a Wizard’s duel at midnight in the trophy room after their first flying lesson. Malfoy didn’t end up arriving to the duel. Instead, he tricked them and told Filch that they would be there. Harry, Ron and Hermione escaped Filch and Mrs Norris, but they ended up in the forbidden third-floor corridor. 

Receiving the Nimbus 2000

In the book, the Nimbus 2000 arrived in the Great Hall carried by six owls. It was not to be opened in the Hall as McGonagall didn’t want the other students seeing.

The Mirror of Erised

The Mirror of Erised shows you your deepest desires. Harry didn’t know that when he first looked into it, but rather than seeing only his mother and father in the mirror, he saw generations and generations of his family standing behind him.


Harry and Hermione went through a great effort to get Norbert to the tallest tower, which happened to be the owlery. They convinced Hagrid to send the dragon away from Hogwarts and Ron wrote to Charlie, who agreed to have Norbert fetched from Hogwarts. It all went smoothly, besides the fact that they were caught lurking about the corridors at night and got detention. 

Snape’s Potions Task

In order to get to the Philosopher’s Stone, there were a series of tasks that had to be completed. Finding the key and winning the chess match were two of the tasks that had to be completed, but the movies did not include the potions riddle created by Snape. There were seven bottles: one would get you through the fire, one would take you back out, two of them were wine, and three of them were poison. They had to solve the puzzle to figure out which potions to drink, which Hermione obviously did with ease.

There are about a million more details that I could mention, but I’d be writing all day if I had to include them all. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the Philosopher’s Stone. The forgotten details made it so interesting and they actually made me laugh out loud! I particularly enjoyed reading more about Fred and George- they were extra funny in the book.

Which forgotten detail is the most interesting to you?


  1. January 24, 2018 / 10:54 AM

    As a fellow Potterhead I absolutely loved reading this.
    I’ve actually forgotten how much they left out of the movie. I’m also surprised that they left Peeves out of the book because he was quite a character.
    Great post! Hows about doing one of these comparisons on the other books too? lol!

    • January 27, 2018 / 11:09 AM

      Thank you! It’s wonderful to know you’re also a “Potterhead”. I’m definitely going to do more of these. I just finished Chamber of Secrets, so I’ll write a Book vs. Movie post some time in Feb. x

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