The Harry Potter movies are highly commendable. It’s hard to think of another eight-film franchise that is so consistent, and for the most part, the cast and crew did a great job of adapting J.K. Rowling’s bestselling series.
But it’s impossible to adapt everything. Sometimes, you have to simplify things or cut them out altogether. With the exception of The Deathly Hallows (which was split into two parts), the later movies suffered the most due to the length of their source material. Whilst all the major plot points are still there, too many amazing chapters never made it to the screen.
Many of these chapters give us an in-depth look at certain characters, fleshing out their backstories with plenty of fascinating details that no one saw coming. Other chapters, meanwhile, have a more light-hearted tone. They feature a range of comedic moments and give the reader a break from the serious tones of the core narrative.
These chapters elevate the books to a level the movies can never match up to. Though not integral to the central plotline, they’re key to the brilliance of the original story.
10. The Other Minister (The Half-Blood Prince)
The first chapter of The Half-Blood Prince is one of the most unusual chapters in the series. Rather than opening with Harry and the Dursleys, the narrative focuses on the Muggle Prime Minister’s relationship with the Minister for Magic.
Whilst Rowling has referred to this relationship before, this chapter is the only time we get to see how it works. Starting with the Muggle Prime Minister’s first meeting with Cornelius Fudge, the chapter gives us a whistle-stop tour of all the major wizarding events in recent memory. It's a great way of reminding the reader about the previous books whilst simultaneously presenting us with something we’ve never seen before.
The two politicians discuss Sirius Black, Harry Potter, Voldemort, and the actions of the Death Eaters, including their recent escape from Azkaban. The dialogue is particularly good, and the Muggle Prime Minister’s ignorance about the wizarding world leads to plenty of humorous moments.
At the end of the chapter, Fudge also introduces us to the new Minister for Magic: Rufus Scrimgeour. As a tough, robust-looking wizard, Scrimgeour’s appearance signifies the rising sense of fear now that Voldemort’s return is common knowledge.
Despite the lack of action or plot progression, ‘The Other Minister’ is one of Rowling’s best openers.