Despite massive Hollywood budgets, even the biggest of blockbuster movies have their share of blunders. The Harry Potter franchise is no exception, and eagle-eyed viewers have caught many mistakes across the films in the series.
Ron’s Magical Trunk
In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Ron and Harry are seen heading to Platform 9 ¾ to catch the train to Hogwarts. When they crash into the wall instead of crossing through it, Ron’s trunk miraculously changes from having three cross bands to having just two. It’s a different trunk entirely!
Muggle With a Camera
A big part of movie magic involves suspending your disbelief to enter the fictional world fully. This illusion comes crashing down when you notice a cameraman among the wizards in training as was in the case in 2002’s Chamber of Secrets. The camera operator is clearly visible among the students in the scene where Harry knocks Draco Malfoy down in the Great Hall.
Hermione’s Magical Hair
If you look closely during the first flying lesson in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, you’ll notice inconsistencies in Hermione’s hair. In some shots, there are strands of hair that are very deeply crimped. In other shots, the same strands of hair are perfectly straight and not crimped at all.
With Great Power Comes Great Visibility
In 2004’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the boy wizard and Hermione go hiding in a pumpkin patch. In that scene, the outline of a power pack is clearly visible underneath both Harry’s and Hermione’s jackets.
Moving Words Indeed
What sort of wizardry is this? When Fred or George hand a note over to Ron in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the length and the position of the text change from when he passes to note to when Ron actually reads it. It starts out with four lines at the top of the page, but this inexplicably becomes three lines in the middle of the page, encouraging Ron to "get a move on or all the good ones will have gone."
Just Scratching the Surface
Harry Potter may be a powerful wizard indeed, but this strange healing ability cannot be explained. In one scene in the Goblet of Fire, Harry is clearly seen with two long, thin scratches along his right cheek with numerous smaller scratches around them. In a scene not much later, he is seen with a single shorter, deeper gouge with no other visible wounds.
As Dumbledore addresses the students in the Great Hall in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Fred and George Weasley keep appearing and disappearing from the long table. They are clearly seated near the front in one shot, only to be replaced by different students in the next.
When Harry emerged from the freezing water during the second task of the Triwizard Tournament in Goblet of Fire, Hermione gives him a towel to dry off. However, Hermione’s towel appears to change from a dark gray to white and back again in the shots that follow. It can’t be just the lighting.
Beyond the Green Screen
Green screens are a common tool in movie special effects, but it’s important to edit them out in every shot where they’re visible. That didn’t happen in Philosopher’s Stone when Harry dropped his invisibility cloak on the ground. As he runs around the corner, the green sheet can be seen.
He’s Not That Tall
This seems like it’s more than a simple matter of perspective. As Harry stands next to Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, there is a distinct difference in size between the two shots. When seen from behind, Dumbledore appears to be an absolute giant. From the front, he appears to shrink down to more realistic proportions.
In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, it’s very clear in one shot that Ron is on Hermione’s right and Harry is to her left. In another shot, it appears that Ron and Harry have swapped sides with no explanation as to how.
It’s Movie Magic
Few franchises have spanned as many movies and have captured the imagination of audiences quite like Harry Potter. Many of these mistakes went unnoticed by the vast majority of watchers, and they certainly don’t detract from the magical appeal of the wizarding world they depict.