Anyone who knows me knows that Harry Potter is my favourite anything of all time, that I’m a bigger fan of the books than the movies and that I have LOT of opinions on the subject (see previous Potter Worship posts for reference).
I’ve noticed that there are some Harry Potter quotes that are absolute gems, that for reasons beyond my comprehension were not included in the movies and as a result do not often show up in favourite quotes roundups found across the internet. I thought I’d shed some light on these beauties.
So, without further ado, I bring you the seven most underappreciated Harry Potter quotes of all time (in my opinion anyway). Also it probably goes without saying, but there are spoilers all over the rest of this post.
From Book 1: Hermione forgets she’s a witch
When Harry, Ron and Hermione go through the trap door to try and get to the Philosopher’s Stone, the second obstacle they encounter is a large bed of the deadly plant Devil’s Snare. At the risk of being strangled and suffocated, the trio is in desperate need of a plan. It’s of course Hermione who remembers that the way to combat Devil’s Snare is heat. When Harry suggests she light a fire, she panics:
‘Yes – of course – but there’s no wood!’ Hermione cried, wringing her hands
‘HAVE YOU GONE MAD?’ Ron bellowed. ‘ARE YOU A WITCH OR NOT?’
As an added bonus, this line is delightfully paralleled at the very end of the series. In Dealthy Hallows when Harry, Ron and Hermione are about to enter the Shrieking Shack to try and get to Nagini and Voldemort, Ron contemplates how to get past the Womping Willow.
‘How – how’re we going to get in?’ panted Ron. ‘I can – see the place – if we just had – Crookshanks again.’
‘Crookshanks?’ wheezed Hermione, bent double, clutching her chest, ‘Are you a wizard, or what?’
Ron then uses Wingardium Leviosa to get past the Womping Willow, which is of course a spell that Hermione taught him in their first year.
From Book 2: Ron’s sage words
When Harry and Ron crash-land Ron’s dad’s flying car in the grounds of Hogwarts in Chamber of Secrets, they’re afraid they’re going to be expelled. Upon learning that their only punishment will be detention, they gleefully eat sandwiches that were brought to them in Snape’s office. Harry laments however that he wishes they could have gone up to the feast. Ron explains:
‘(McGonagall) didn’t want us showing off,’ said Ron sagely. ‘Doesn’t want people to think it’s clever, arriving by flying car.’
Something about the description of Ron saying something “sagely” strikes me as perfect comedy. Harry and Ron have just made a very stupid mistake (as McGonagall points out when she asks why they didn’t send a letter to Hogwarts with Hedwig when they couldn’t get on the train), but there’s something in this line that suggests that Ron might be at least trying to learn his lesson. Ron is also making a good point about McGonagall’s logic to not send them up to the feast – it makes me think that he’s probably seen his mother use a similar tactic when Fred and George have gotten into trouble.
From Book 3: Fred and George are VIPs
When Harry is staying at the Leaky Cauldron at the end of the summer in Prisoner of Azkaban he’s a bit taken aback that Head Boyship has made Percy even more pompous. Harry describes shaking Percy’s hand as ‘rather like being introduced the to the mayor.’ Fred and George notice this as well and promptly seize the opportunity to take the piss out of their brother.
‘Harry!’ said Fred, elbowing Percy out of the way and bowing deeply. ‘Simply splendid to see you, old boy.’
‘Marvellous,’ said George, pushing Fred aside and seizing Harry’s hand in turn. ‘Absolutely spiffing.’
…And after being told off by his mother, Fred tests her limits.
‘Mum!’ said Fred, as though he’d only just spotted her, and seized her hand, too. ‘How really corking it is to see you.’
This scene reads like an excerpt from a social farce. Bless.
From Book 4: Ginny’s sass
I have nothing against Bonnie Wright, but Ginny’s character in the movies was horribly two dimensional. So many of us Potterheads wished for the movies to showcase the feisty shade-thrower that Ginny becomes in the back-half of the book series.
We first see the beginning of sassy Ginny in Goblet of Fire, when Ron and Harry are laughing at Ginny after learning that she’s going to the Yule Ball with Neville, having both just suffered embarrassing rejections themselves. Hermione then comes in and asks the boys why they weren’t at dinner.
‘Because – oh, shut up laughing, you two – because they’ve both just been turned down by girls they asked to the ball!’ said Ginny.
That shut Harry and Ron up.
I mean… WHERE WAS THIS GINNY WHEN WE NEEDED HER IN THE MOVIES?!
Also I feel this so hard.
From Book 5: Hermione has no time for Harry’s BS
Speaking of female characters in the movies that could have been more developed, I will forever wish for a more ‘Hermione-ish’ movie-Hermione. Emma Watson did a reasonably good job playing the character, but there was so much more to her that we could have been showcased. Hermione’s character in the books gives me life… could not the movies have at least included S.P.E.W?! (but that’s a rant for another time).
After Mr. Weasley only barely survives being bitten by Nagini, 15-year-old Harry promptly sulks and decides to make everything about himself, locking himself up in the attic of 12 Grimmauld Place. Hermione cuts her Christmas vacation with her parents short, lies to them and says that she’s going back to Hogwarts early, promptly takes a solo Knight Bus trip to Grimmauld Place and immediately points out what an idiot Harry is being.
‘Oh, stop feeling all misunderstood,’ said Hermione sharply.
There. There it is. The line we all want to throw at self-absorbed Harry throughout the entire fifth book. Thank you Hermione ❤️.
From Book 6: The transfer of care
Here’s a sentimental one – and another beautiful Rowling reprise. When Dumbledore comes to get Harry from Privet Drive in Half-Blood Prince, Harry wonders aloud if he and Dumbledore are likely to be attacked, Dumbledore explains that he does not think it likely because,
‘You are with me,’ said Dumbledore simply.
At the end of the book, Harry finds himself dragging a barely-conscious Dumbledore out of the Horcrux-cave, preparing to Apparate them back to Hogwarts. Harry, terrified, reassures Dumbledore that he has nothing to worry about.
‘I am not worried, Harry,’ said Dumbledore, his voice a little stronger despite the freezing water. ‘I am with you.’
MY HEART. The role-reversal of care that those with ageing loved-ones have experienced, the sincerity of the line from Dumbledore (who knows he’s about to die), the two lines framing the story…. P E R F E C T I O N.
From Book 7: Wandwork
One gift that Rowling offers readers at the beginning of the seventh book is one of the only sexual innuendos, and certainly one of the racier ones (though that isn’t saying much). It’s easy to miss, but it’s there, right as Harry opens his birthday present from Ron, which Ron explains is ‘not for my mother’s eyes.’
‘A book?’ said Harry, as he took the rectangular parcel. ‘Bit of a departure from tradition, isn’t it?’
‘This isn’t your average book,’ said Ron, ‘It’s pure gold: Twelve Fail-Safe Ways to Charm Witches. Explains everything you need to know about girls… You’d be surprised, it’s not all wandwork either.’
Sounds like Harry’s birthday present will teach him a few charm-tactics, and maybe a spell or two as well.
So when do we get a teen comedy version of the films?