Movie Reviews

25 Things Even Potterheads Completely Missed In The Harry Potter Movies

Summary

  • Harry Potter
    movies are filled with hidden Easter eggs and details that pay homage to the novels and foreshadow future events.
  • The directors of the films included many Easter eggs for dedicated fans to discover, showcasing their attention to the source material.
  • Even the most devoted fans may have missed certain hidden Harry Potter details in the movies, highlighting the level of detail put into each film.



There are many Harry Potter Easter eggs in the movies, with some paying tribute to the novels and others foreshadowing events in the canon. The Harry Potter movies were an enormous success, drawing in even more fans to the wizarding world and making the magical tale one of the biggest movie franchises ever made. Every movie was made with attention to design and detail. Viewers can catch new and exciting background details, Harry Potter Easter eggs, and other interesting tidbits each time they watch.

While there have been complaints that the Harry Potter movies left out too much, the hidden details prove that more diligence was paid to the source material than seems at first glance. Many fans hope the upcoming Max Harry Potter series will add many beloved scenes that never made it to the movies. However, while many were left out of the films, directors included many Easter eggs for eagle-eyed viewers. Even the most devoted fans may have missed some hidden Harry Potter details in the movies.


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25 The Trophy Case

Professor McGonagall Was A Quidditch Champion


Harry’s Quidditch skills are recognized very early as a Hogwarts student, and it’s Professor Minerva McGonagall, head of Gryffindor House, who spots them when he takes off on a broom against the teacher’s instructions to help Neville retrieve his Remembrall. Director Chris Columbus placed one of the easiest-to-miss Harry Potter Easter eggs in the movie to indicate that McGonagall had Quidditch skills of her own.

When Harry expresses anxieties over his playing skills in the first movie, Hermione insists he’ll be good at the game because it’s in his blood. She then brings Harry and Ron to Hogwarts’ trophy display, where she points out that Harry’s father, James, was also on the Gryffindor team when he was a student. A smaller plaque to the right of James Potter’s name reveals that McGonagall herself was also a player on the team in 1971.

24 Neville’s Remembrall

Neville Forgot To Wear His Cloak

Nveille holding a rememberall in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.


After Harry gets settled at Hogwarts, a scene depicts owls flying through the castle, dropping off their mail. The possible Chosen One, Neville Longbottom, is gifted a Rememberall, a magical item that fills with red smoke when the user has forgotten something. The only problem, as Neville points out, is that he can’t remember what it is that he’s forgotten. Eagle-eyed viewers may be able to pinpoint exactly what Neville can’t seem to remember.

Every student in the scene wears a black cloak, but Neville is not. This was a fun Harry Potter Easter egg in the form of character development for Neville on a small level. Neville’s possibility as the Chosen One is a big plot point in the books, although it is a red herring as Harry is always the Chosen One. However, adding this small scene showed the young man’s quirkiness and awkward nature, which could have set him up for a bigger role as the franchise rolled on.


23 Newt Scamander and The Prisoner of Azkaban

Newt Visited Hogwarts While Harry Potter Was A Student

Warner Bros. tried to continue the Harry Potter franchise with the 2016 movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which followed Newt Scamander as he travels across the Atlantic to America and tracks down his lost beasts. However, this was Scamander’s second appearance in a Harry Potter movie. However, unlike many characters who made small cameo appearances, Newt was never in the movie as a physical form, although he was at Hogwarts visiting during Harry’s time there.


When Fred and George Weasley gift Harry the infamous Marauder’s Map and show Harry how to operate it, the map reveals the whereabouts of every witch and wizard in Hogwarts. Newt Scamander’s name is seen walking the halls of the wizarding school on the map in the center-right area. This means that Newt Scamander visited Hogwarts while Harry was a student during the events of the Prisoner of Azkaban.

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22 The Mirror Of Erised Decoded

The Mirror’s Name Is ‘Desire’ Spelled Out Backward

The mirror of Erised in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.


In a heartbreaking scene in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry sees his mother and father in the mirror, standing next to him, smiling proudly. Thinking the mirror is the key to communicating with his parents, he rushes to tell his friend Ron, but when Ron is brought to the mirror, he sees completely different images. Dumbledore later explains to the confused young Potter that he sees his parents because the mirror shows an individual’s deepest and most personal desires.

When Harry first discovers the Mirror of Erised, the camera pans around the border of the magical object to show that the gold frame has some words carved into it. At first glance, the words appear to be complete gibberish since they aren’t from any recognizable language. However, they do have some significance. The words framing the mirror are spelled backward. It spells out, “I show not your face but your heart’s desire.”


21 The Novels Appear In One Of The Movies

The Books Are In A Window Display In Knockturn Alley

Harry and Hagrid in Diagon Ally in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the Weasley family uses a Floo network to magically transport themselves to Diagon Alley by way of their fireplace. However, Harry fumbles with the pronunciation of Diagon Alley before teleporting, causing him to arrive in the shady Knockturn Alley. Fortunately, Hagrid quickly rescues him. While returning to Diagon Alley, Harry and Hagrid pass a bookstore with an interesting display.


Those who look closely may notice that the Harry Potter novels are in the store’s window. Harry certainly could have gained quite a bit of insight about his formative years had he popped in and given them a look. Of course, he wouldn’t get very far. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets came out in 2002, and there were still three books yet to be published, with Order of the Phoenix in 2003, Half-Blood Prince in 2005, and Deathly Hallows in 2007.

20 Lucius Malfoy’s Curse at Harry

Lucius Almost Cast An Unforgivable Curse

One of the most despicable villains in Harry Potter is Lucius Malfoy. He makes his first appearance in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and is the catalyst for the movie’s events, planting Tom Riddle’s diary in Ginny Weasley’s cauldron at the beginning of the story. When Harry confronts him about the dark deed at the end of the movie, Malfoy denies he did it, and grows angrier as Harry pushes the issue. Draco’s father finally loses it when Harry tricks him into giving Dobby a sock, freeing the house elf from Malfoy’s service.


Lucius Malfoy becomes so angry during this confrontation that he pulls out his wand and threatens Harry with it, actually going so far as to begin to say a curse before he is interrupted by Dobby. Keen listeners can hear the evil Malfoy saying, “Avada, meaning that he was actually about to deliver the “Avada Kedavra” spell, which is one of the three Unforgivable Curses.

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19 The Millennium Bridge Mystery

A Continuity Error In Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince

London's Millenium Bridge in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.


By the Potter franchise’s sixth movie, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, things in Rowling’s wizarding world had descended into chaos. Voldemort was back and stronger than ever, ready to take over and exact revenge on Harry Potter. As one of the darkest movies of the entire franchise, The Half-Blood Prince opens with a group of Voldemort’s followers descending on London and wreaking havoc, destroying one of the city’s most iconic landmarks, the Millennium Bridge, in the process.

As thrilling as the sequence is, there’s one problem with this scene. The events of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince are set in the late 1990s. Yet, London’s famous Millennium Bridge opened in 2000, meaning that the bridge didn’t exist when The Half-Blood Prince took place. While not also much of a Harry Potter Easter egg, this was just the case of the movies not keeping track of the actual timeline of events in the real world.


18 The Marauder’s Map Misspelling

The Name Moony Is Misspelled

The Marauder's Map as seen in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Fred and George Weasley give Harry the Marauder’s Map, a magical item that tracks the movements of every being in Hogwarts castle. When Harry is first given the map, a shot shows the front cover of the map with the nicknames of all the creators — Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs — but the name “Moony” is misspelled “Mooney.”

According to IMDb, this is done on purpose. Filmmakers had some fun slipping in a reference to the movie’s visual effects supervisor, Karl Mooney. The visual effects supervisor had a nice Hollywood career, but Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was the last film he ever worked on (he also worked on Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone). He also earned a Primetime Emmy nomination for his special visual effects work on the HBO series Band of Brothers in 2002.


17 The Goblet of Fire’s End Credits

No Dragons Were Harmed In Making Of The Movie

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Rowling’s storyline offers some critique and commentary on the treatment of animals in the entertainment industry. The night before the first Triwizard Tournament event, the dragons are shown in small cages being poked and proddedby their handlers before being exploited for wizarding entertainmentthe next day.

However, director Mike Newell wanted to assure audiences they had treated their fantastical creatures right. If viewers have the patience to wait until the very end of The Goblet of Fire, they can catch an amusing detail that Newell and his team snuck into the credits. There’s a line in the end credits that assures Potter fans that “no dragons were harmed in the making of this movie.This is just a funny little line added by the crew that plays off the assurances that real animals aren’t harmed making movies as well.


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16 Wizard Breakfast Foods

The Harry Potter World Invented Its Own Food Brands

The Harry Potter novels and films are famed for their dedication to world-building, and one of the best examples comes from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The huge set built for Hogwarts’ dining hall is impressive in its own right, but it’s the small details that make it special. Not only is all the food viewers see on screen real, but filmmakers invented brands of food that could be bought in the wizarding world.


In a scene where Harry, Ron, and Hermione are walking down the Great Hall, a box of “Cheeri-Owls” can be seen to the left with Luna Lovegood and Cho Chang. The brand that supposedly makes “Cheeri-Owls,” Lunfrey, can even be seen on the box as well. This is, of course, a reference to the real breakfast cereal Cheerios and it is a fun pun and a play on words by the filmmakers.

15 The Ministry of Magic’s Access Code

The Code Spells Out MAGIC

Harry and Mr. Weasley in the Ministry of Magic telephone booth.

As Harry and Arthur Weasley make their way to the Ministry of Magic in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Mr. Weasley marvels at all the different muggle innovations, such as underground public transport and bicycles, as Harry helps him navigate the normal side of London. However, once they reach a certain telephone booth, it’s Mr. Weasley’s turn to shock Harry with a different type of innovation.


As it turns out, this particular iconic red telephone booth in London is the visitor’s entrance to the Ministry of Magic. To access the entrance, Mr. Weasley puts in some money and quickly dials 6-2-4-4-2. This spells out m-a-g-i-c on a telephonenumber pad. As expected, this is just a fun little Harry Potter Easter egg that is just a nod to the magic of the world and something just for eagle-eyed people watching the movie. It is also a very poor passcode for anyone who knows magic.

14 Harry’s Quidditch Captain Number

The Number “7” Is A Foreshadowing Of Things To Come

Harry and Ginny playing Quidditch in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince


With Harry’s talent in the game and his father’s own established skills, Quidditch is a big deal in the Harry Potter franchise. So, it’s an exciting plot point when Harry finally becomes Gryffindor’s Quidditch Team Captain in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The significance of the moment was not wasted by the filmmakers, who slipped in some foreshadowing through Harry’s costuming. Harry’s number as Quidditch Captain is 7.

This can be taken as a detail foreshadowing his role as the seventh of Voldemort’s Horcruxes. It could also just be a number, but there are many of these small details throughout the Harry Potter movies that actually end up meaning something when it comes to foreshadowing the future (or referencing the past). It could also have other meanings based on Harry’s place in the story, as it is the highest single-digit prime number. There were also seven Harry Potter books in the series.


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13 Gilderoy Lockhart’s Baldness

Lockhart Even Lied About His Hair

One of the most entertaining performances throughout the Harry Potter movie series is Kenneth Branagh’s portrayal of Harry’s second-year Defense Against the Dark Arts professor Gilderoy Lockhart in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Though Lockhart is a wizard famed for his extravagant exploits and adventures around the world, he is exposed as a fraud when tasked with saving Ginny Weasley in the Chamber of Secrets and is caught by Harry and his friend Ron trying to flee the wizarding school.


Director Chris Columbus wanted to add even more depth and detail to Lockhart’s lies. He and his set designers added some subtle hints in Lockhart’s office to visually suggest to audience members that Lockhart is telling even more lies. An example of this lies on Lockhart’s desk. If viewers look to the left of the screen when Harry and Ron confront and corner their Defense Against the Dark Arts professor in his office, they can catch a luxurious blonde wig sitting on display on Lockhart’s desk.

12 Stephen Hawking in the Wizarding World

Even Wizards Are Interested In Hawking’s Theories

A wizard reading Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time in a Harry Potter movie.


In the Harry Potter movies, witches and wizards are rarely seen interacting with muggle objects, and when they are — such as in the case of Arthur Weasley — they are typically fascinated by the simple and baffling technologies muggles invented to navigate their daily lives. However, it would appear that some wizards indulge in muggle literature and read the books non-magic people have to offer. This is proven in the beginning of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

After Harry runs away from the Dursleys, he goes to The Leaky Cauldron. To make the pub more authentic, director Alfonso Cuarón included some footage portraying some of the things patrons might catch daily at The Leaky Cauldron. This includes awizard nonchalantly reading Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time. Maybe this is important since science and magic are closely related, so Hawking, in the world of Harry Potter, could have something to do with alchemy as well.


11 Professor Slughorn’s Wand

Slughorn’s Wand Design Matches Him Perfectly

In the Harry Potter mythos, it is always stressed that a wand reflects its witch or wizard and deeply ties to its owner’s personality, character, and spirit. This is certainly true for Professor Slughorn, whose wand captures exactly how such an instrument can function in this way and how much time the artists behind the Harry Potter franchise put into even the smallest of details.

It’s difficult to catch, but Slughorn’s wand has some interesting and revealing details. The tip of the handle comes out in two round prong shapes, which can be interpreted either as a slug head or a pair of horns. Additionally, Slughorn’s wand has some interesting decorations. It’s encased in metal and painted with black and silver, reflecting his surface-level fixations on luxury. Slughorn is a very flamboyant wizard, and it is obvious that his wand would be much more than a regular wizard’s wand.


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10 The Beauxbaton’s Dance Skills

The Witches Dance The Macarena

Beauxbaton students in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Students of the Bauxbatons Academy of Magic, a wizarding school in the Pyrenees mountain range in Europe, are known for their magic skills, intelligence, and grace. Their elegant introduction in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is one of the most memorable scenes of the entire movie, and the students’ delicate dancing captures the attention of all Hogwarts students as the Bauxbatons skip into the Great Hall.


However, these impressive European witches are caught dancing a far less elegant routine later on in the movie. Near the climax of The Goblet of Fire, as the contestants are prepping for the third and final event of the Triwizard Tournament, students from all three schools gather around the entrance of the hedge maze to cheer on the contenders. These European students are dancing a stylized version of the muggle dance, the Macarena. This is probably the last dance anyone would expect stylish witches to perform.

9 A Chess Game’s Foreshadowing

This Scene Foreshadows A Climactic Battle In The Franchise


There’s a great deal of foreshadowing throughout the Harry Potter franchise, and filmmakers use visuals to hint at what is to come from the start. One example of this is associated with the wizard’s chess in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. A good portion of this movie sees Harry learning about different aspects of the wizarding lifestyle. His friend Ron Weasley helps him learn different things, one of which includes how wizards spend their leisure time.

At one point in the movie, Ron teaches Harry the violent board game of wizard’s chess in which the chess pieces destroy each other when one side is defeated. During this game, Ron’s queen captures one of Harry’s knights. This seemingly minor scene foreshadows one of the climax scenes of the movie later on. One of the tasks Ron, Harry, and Hermione must complete to retrieve the Sorcerer’s Stone involves a life-sized game of wizard’s chess.


8 The Deathly Hallows’ Early Appearance

An Early Foreshadowing Of The Final Two Movies

Albus Dumbledore in an early movie in the Harry Potter franchise.

While many instances of foreshadowing through the Harry Potter franchise occur to hint towards later events in the same movie, there is one instance where an early film hints towards a crucial element of the final two movies. It occurs in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire when Dumbledore counsels Harry on the truth behind Barty Crouch, Jr. before the Triwizard Tournament’s final event.

The two are in Dumbledore’s office. In one shot, Dumbledore turns to face a glass display case with various magical objects. To the left of the frame, a pyramid with a circle in the middle can be seen, which is the insignia for the Deathly Hallows that becomes so crucial later on in the franchise. It takes eagle-eyed fans to catch this Harry Potter Easter egg, but it was clearly added to the scene to foreshadow what was to come for Harry.


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7 A Mic Mistake

The Mic Packs Are Visible In One Scene In Prisoner Of AzkabanHarry Potter outside of Hagrid's hut in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Producing the sound design for feature movies is difficult. It is often hard for filmmakers to capture all the sound they need on set on the days of shooting, so many directors opt for ADR in post. However, this is also expensive. To cut down on costs, some filmmakers are innovative. One such director is Alfonso Cuarón, who decided to use microphone packs on his actors in certain scenes of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban to cut down on post-production costs.


Even the best directors make mistakes. While many consider The Prisoner of Azkaban to be among the best of the Harry Potter film franchise, the movie does include one little mistake. In the scene where Hermione and Harry use the Time Turner to go back in time and save Buckbeak from his unfortunate fate, both actors’ microphone packs can be seen under their shirts on their backsas they creep around Hagrid’s pumpkin garden and attempt to get Buckbeak untied.

6 Tom Felton’s Girlfriend

Draco’s Wife Had A Strong Connection To Tom Felton

Malfoy with his family at the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.

The final sequence of the entire Harry Potter franchise features Harry, Ginny, Hermione, and Ron sending their young children to Hogwarts at King’s Cross Station in London. A brief glimpse of Draco Malfoy, his wife, and his son can also be seen in this sequence. There’s a special story behind Malfoy’s wife in this scene. The character is played by Tom Felton’s real-life girlfriend at the time, Jade Olivia Gordon.


Olivia was a stunt assistant in the Harry Potter movies and had been dating Felton before they filmed the final installment of the franchise. The couple ended up dating from 2008 through 2016. Since they broke up, Felton has been dating South African jewelry designer Roxanne Danya Plit. As for Jade Olivia Gordon, she got some huge jobs after breaking up with Felton as she served as the assistant to Elizabeth Olsen on Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.

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