Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: Book vs. Movie

If you’ve only seen the Harry Potter movies and haven’t read the books, than there a few things that you might not know… These differences are more pronounced as the books grow larger and the story more complex, but let’s start with the first one: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Book vs. Movie

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Book vs. Movie

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Book vs. Movie


  • In the book, Vernon Dursley encounters many references to the wizarding world on the day of Voldemort’s downfall, prior to the arrival of Harry Potter to his home, such as noticing Professor McGonagall in her Animagus form reading a map, people dressed in s strange fashion celebrating the Potters and the end of a dark era and the owls everywhere, reported even on the news.
  • The Dursleys don’t want Harry to accompany them to the zoo, but end up having to take him because Ms. Figg and other alternatives were unavailable, so the Dursleys, Dudley and Piers Polkiss (Dudley’s friend) all go to the zoo.
  • The glass never comes back, so Dudley isn’t trapped inside the tank. Also, in the book, the snake is a Boa Constrictor from Brazil, where it’s headed after it’s escape, thanking Harry “Thanks, amigo”.


  • Harry gets Dudley’s second room, where he stores the toys he no longer uses. Then, to get away from the letters, they go to a random hotel, where they receive an enormous amount of them, and only then Vernon Dursley decides to go to the hut, which they reach using a rowboat.
  • Hagrid knows right away how Harry is and never confuses him with Dudley. Apart from the birthday cake, Hagrid cooks sausages, makes tea, etc, while he and Harry begin talking about the reason he’s there. Hagrid also spends the night at the hut, gives his coat to Harry to keep him warm and get the paper in the morning through owl.
  • The whole conversation about Harry’s parents and Voldemort takes place still in the hut on the island in the sea. Hagrid also tells Harry that he has been expelled from Hogwarts but Dumbledore allowed him to stay in the school as game keeper, and for that he’s not supposed to do magic.
  • The first time Harry meets Quirrell in the Leaky Cauldron, he still doesn’t have his turban on, indicating that at this time, Voldemort is not yet in his body. Voldemort possesses Quirrell’s body after his failed attempt to steal the stone from Gringotts.


  • While buying his robes for Hogwarts, Harry meets Draco Malfoy for the first time and it’s also the first time he hears about Quidditch. In the book, Harry is also with Hagrid when he buys him Hedwig, and they both go to Ollivanders to get his wand. Before finding the right wand for him, Mr Ollivander makes him try a lot (really a lot) of wands, prior to settling on the  11 inch holly wand with a phoenix feather core.
  • Given that Hagrid arrives on Harry’s birthday (31st July) and the Hogwarts express is on the 1st of September, the timeline is off on the movie – also, Hagrid would never disappear on Harry like he did in the movie! Instead, after his visit to Diagon Alley, Harry returns to the Dursleys for several weeks and Uncle Vernon drives Harry to Kings Cross, sure that no platform 9 3/4 exists and that Harry will be left stranded.


  • On Dumbledore’s chocolate frogs card, it’s mention is relationship to Nicholas Flamel.
  • Ron and Harry meet Neville for the first time on the train. It’s also there that Malfoy realizes who Potter is and advises him to keep better company, to which Harry responds that he’s quite capable of telling who the wrong kind of company is.


  • The movies never show the Sorting Hat singing, but he does so before each sorting, and is always a different song, about the school founders and the characteristics of each house. Also, the sorting isn’t random, but done alphabetically. All the conversation done by the hat is only heard inside each of the students head.


  • James Potter played in the Gryffindor Quidditch team when he was at Hogwarts as a Chaser, and not as a Seeker as mention in the movie. Also, Harry learns about this through Professor McGonagall and not through Hermione.
  • Malfoy challenged Harry to a duel at night, but it was a trick to have him caught by Filch. Harry goes with Ron to meet Malfoy, and both of them together with Hermione and Neville end up running away from Filch and getting into to the third floor where they find Fluffy.
  • In the book, Harry receives his Nimbus 2000 before his first training session with Oliver Wood and before his encounter with the troll, in the movie however, he receives his broom after these two events occur.
  • In the book, Harry and Ron go to find Hermione when they hear about the troll see the troll going into a room and decide to lock it inside, not realizing it’s the girl’s bathroom, until they hear Hermione screaming and realize they’ve locked the troll in with her in the bathroom.


  • When Hermione tries to stop Snape from jinxing Harry’s broom, she accidentally knocks Quirrell over as she runs by him. In the film, when the other wizards near Snape see that he is on fire, one of them shoves Quirrell to the ground, breaking his eye contact.
  • The Hogwarts librarian, Irma Pince, is omitted from the movie.
  • Christmas morning, Harry receives a wooden flute from Hagrid, a fifty pence piece from his Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia, a jumper from Molly Weasley, a large pack of Chocolate Frogs from Hermione and the Invisibility Cloak from Dumbledore, which Ron recognizes immediately as such.
  • When looking in the Mirror of Erised, Harry sees his parents, grandparents and a lot of others family members.


  • Snape referees the second Quidditch match between Hufflepuff and Gryffindor (in order to prevent any other attempts of Harry’s life). It’s also after this game that Harry follows a hooded figure into the forest and finds Snape talking to Quirrell.
  • Also during the match, Ron and Neville get into a fistfight with Malfoy Crabbe and Goyle in the stands.
  • Harry and Hermione manage to deliver Norbert, the Norwegian Ridgeback, to Charlie Weasley’s friends, who take it to the Dragon colony in Romania. So, when Malfoy babbles about the dragon Hagrid has, nobody is able to prove that and Hagrid does not get in trouble. After getting Norbert up the stairs, Harry and Hermione forget the Invisibility Cloak in the Astronomy tower and were caught by Filch. Neville also gets detention for being out of bed because he was trying to warn Harry about Malfoy. Ron however, is not with any of them through this because he’s in the hospital wing recovering from a bite from Norbert.


  • After each of them loses 50 points, the others Gryffindors, Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws are extremely upset with them.
  • Firenze is not the only centaur to make an appearance. Ronan and Bane are the first centaurs they meet, and are the most determined not to meddle in the wizard’s lives and problems.


  • In the book, the three of them have to play the flute in order to put Fluffy to sleep. They get through the Devil’s Snare because Hermione conjures the bluebell flames and Devil’s Snare does not like heat. Also, Hermione is the one who panics when trapped in the plant and Ron is the one who calms her down.
  • On the way to the Philosopher’s Stone, each obstacle was created by a teacher, in the film however, Quirrell’s second mountain troll and Snape’s Potion Riddle are omitted.


  • In the book, Voldemort kills Quirrell by leaving his head, causing him to die. In the film, Harry kills Quirrell by grabbing his face, causing him to turn to dust. In the book, when Harry touched Quirrell, Quirrell’s skin only blistered wherever Harry touched.
  • Hagrid gives Harry a photo album of his family at the hospital and not while he’s about to board the Hogwarts Express.

11 thoughts on “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: Book vs. Movie

  1. aspenlinmer says:

    What a great list! And what a huge task you have taken on!

    I agree that the books have way more detail than the movies and the intricacies in plot, character, and metaphors are so much more profound (and pronounced) in the books. I have trouble watching the later movies because I feel like so much is lost.

    Thank you for such an extensive list. 🙂


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