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Mistakes That Are Hard To Ignore In Harry Potter Movies

It takes a lot of money, work, people, and computers to make the naturally-occurring magic of the Harry Potter franchise look as naturally dazzling as it does. Over the course of eight films produced across a decade, an army of technicians and special effects experts brought J.K. Rowling's characters, settings, and stories into vivid reality (and to the tune of $7.7 billion at the box office).

But hey, it's not that easy to make eight intricate movies with wall-to-wall effects and stunts. Also, people make mistakes, and there were plenty of opportunities for things to go wrong in the making of eight films. Alas, for while the Harry Potter movies are beloved landmarks of cinema, they're not perfect, technically speaking, with a handful of glaring errors that just can't be unseen. So now it's time to dispel some of that movie magic as we take a look at the mistakes in Harry Potter that are really hard to ignore.

A quidditch game that went down to the wire

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is full of firsts, including Harry Potter's first ever quidditch game. It's going as well as a game of flying wizard lacrosse can go, until Hermione notices the odious Professor Snape surreptitiously casting what seem to be spells to mess up Harry's performance, as the kid is his least favorite student. Harry nearly falls to great injury or death, and he holds onto his Nimbus 2000 broomstick for dear life. It's in this shot that we learn the magic of moviemaking is truly responsible for the magic of quidditch. The wire rods helping to hold up actor Daniel Radcliffe are quite visible, running out of his red sweater sleeves and up to the broom.

It ain't over till the Fat Lady is closed

As it's a school run by wizards, there's some kind of magical this or that literally everywhere in Hogwarts, and Harry spends most of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone getting used to that fact. For example, he and his friends can't get back into the Gryffindor tower room without first successfully navigating the "Fat Lady" painting that guards it. They make it back in, and the hole in the picture they walk through closes up behind them ... where viewers can just make out the feet of the crew members manually shutting it.

Hermione's ever-changing hairstyle in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

It should go without saying that actors can and do change their hair. After all, adopting a look that's different from what they'd go for off-screen is an easy way to "become" a new character. But adapting one's hairstyle in the middle of a scene? That's the result of different takes of one scene being shot days, weeks, or even months apart ... and a crew member in charge of continuity who isn't paying close enough attention. For example, during the sequence in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in which Hermione and Harry learn how to fly a broomstick for the first time, the former's hair changes wildly between cuts. Sometimes it's crimped, and sometimes it's straight and wavy.

That's not your line, Hermione

Emma Watson was only nine years old when she portrayed Hermione in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone — which also happened to be her first movie ever. In other words, she was really green and really eager. As she discussed on an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, she apparently learned not just her own lines, but those of the actors she was sharing scenes with. That's especially true when it came to Daniel Radcliffe's dialogue. It's noticeable a couple of times in that first Harry Potter movie, such as near the end when Hermione, Harry, and Ron go to see Hagrid after exams. When Harry speaks, pay close attention to Watson, and you'll notice that she's silently saying Radcliffe's lines.

Making mistakes during a quidditch match

In Harry Potter's world of wizards and witches, enchanted broomsticks simply fly, and it's up to their riders to hold on tight. In the real world of making Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, an elaborate rigging system, safety equipment, and CGI was required to make broomsticks soar. As such, prop masters built little seats on the broomsticks to make the shoot more comfortable for the young actors (as opposed to just wrapping their legs around them while suspended above the ground). However, during a quidditch match scene, Harry flies past the Ravenclaw tower, and his robe whips up in the wind, exposing the attached seat where actor Daniel Radcliffe rests.

Safety comes first in the wizarding world of Harry Potter

Harry Potter is only 12 years old in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, but is anyone of any age ever truly ready to wage a life-and-death battle with the basilisk — the huge, magical, evil serpent hiding out in the deepest bowels of Hogwarts? But "the Boy Who Lived" lives on, stabbing the beast through the head with the powerful sword of Godric Gryffindor. That's an extremely sharp and dangerous weapon, so sharp and dangerous that the set's weapons handlers capped it with a safety tip ... and they forgot to remove that safety tip before filming. It's visible when Harry is fighting the Basilisk from atop the giant skull in the Chamber of Secrets.

The lack of glass is transparent

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets ends the way a lot of Harry Potter movies end — with Harry in Professor Dumbledore's office, where the headmaster delivers a long speech justifying how and why he put Harry and his fellow Hogwarts student into so much danger, what with that frightening basilisk and all. During this scene, there are a lot of closeups as Dumbledore explains and Harry listens. Both characters wear glasses, and it's pretty obvious here that neither of their spectacles have lenses in them.

Hermione is packing in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban finds the franchise's primary trio of Harry, Ron, and Hermione acting and looking less like children and more like teens. That means they had to update their look, largely ditching the robes and house colored-scarves in favor of mid-2000s teen fashions, like shirts with other shirts worn over them (for Harry and Ron) and a pink, zip-up hooded sweatshirt for Hermione. The Prisoner of Azkaban also features a lot of fast-paced, outdoor action sequences, necessitating the use of battery-powered microphone packs to capture audio. Hermione's sweatshirt is functional, not just fashionable, as it's meant to conceal actress Emma Watson's mic pack ... except that it doesn't. In several shots, a bulky rectangle is clearly visible on Watson's back.

Malfoy got hurt before he got hurt

Lovable Hogwarts groundskeeper Hagrid takes over as the Care for Magical Creatures teacher in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, qualified as he is with his penchant for acquiring and raising massive beasts. He introduces his students to a beautiful hippogriff (part eagle, part horse) named Buckbeak, and for the most part, the students approach Buckbeak with calmness and respect, except for nasty Draco Malfoy, who purposely tries to get a rise out of the creature. As a result, things don't end all that well between the two. However, you can see some of the damage from Buckbeak's attack on Draco's sleeve before the hippogriff actually attacks. In fairness, the crew had to put the devastation in beforehand, because a CGI griffin can't actually hurt anybody.

While Lupin reflects, so does a camera operator

By the end of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the true nature of Defense Against the Dark Arts professor Remus Lupin has been absolutely revealed. The man (whose last name literally means "wolf") is a werewolf. And so, fearing the onslaught of owl-delivered messages from Hogwarts parents upset that the school employs a potentially dangerous and deadly lycanthrope, Lupin resigns before he can be forced out of a job. Harry Potter learns this when he goes to visit Professor Lupin in his office. During this scene, the professor packs up his things and walks past a glass door cabinet full of skulls. And if you pay close attention, you'll notice a boom mic appearing in the cabinet's reflective surface for a few seconds.

The magical towel in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

The centerpiece of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the Triwizard Tournament, a three-part magic contest between representatives from Europe's three biggest magic schools: Hogwarts, Beauxbatons, and Durmstrang. The second task of the tournament is a dangerous one, involving the underwater rescue of the competitors' loved ones. Harry Potter rescues his person, Ron, as well as the little sister of Beauxbatons' representative, Fleur Delacour. He barely makes it out of the Great Lake alive, and Hermione helpfully and affectionately drapes a towel over his neck when he emerges. But then the camera cuts to a different angle, and the towel is around Hermione's neck. Then it's back on Harry again. But hey, maybe it's just a magical towel that likes flying from person to person.

Harry's scar changes form

Harry Potter goes through a lot in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Not only does he nearly die in the Triwizard Tournament's dangerous challenges, but he survives an encounter with Voldemort (who kills Harry's schoolmate Cedric Diggory right in front of him). Harry is left mentally and physically scarred, with a small scratch on his left cheek. Well, that's what's on his face when he makes his end-of-the-year goodbyes with Professor Dumbledore, but when he bids farewell to Ron and Hermione later on, the scratch has somehow transformed into an array of multiple cuts.

When did Dudley change his shorts?

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix opens on Harry's non-Hogwarts life, in a British suburb with his hostile, adoptive family, the Dursleys. Young Dudley Dursley has evolved from spoiled brat into bully and an up-and-coming criminal, and he and his little gang threaten a maudlin Harry on the playground. In that moment, Dudley wears a pair of loud, black and white print shorts. But when Dementors descend and momentarily turn the world dark and scary, Harry and Dudley seek cover. Apparently during the chaos, Dudley had time to change clothes into a completely different pair of loud, print shorts.

Lord Voldemort had a hole in more than his soul

Lord Voldemort was born as Tom Riddle in 1920s England, a time before metal fillings to treat tooth cavities were commonplace. Of course, that's not the case for Ralph Fiennes, who was born into the 1960s and a world where a trip to the dentist was no big deal. But after Voldemort takes on his final, monstrous form with a brand new body in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, a part of the actor shines through the character's elaborate makeup and prosthetics. When the Dark Lord opens his mouth wide to maniacally cackle during a duel with Dumbledore, a filling in an upper molar is visible. 

Ron's dialogue is a little messy in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Among some pretty dark Voldemort-related events in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Ron Weasley becomes the keeper on the Gryffindor house quidditch team. But before he can do that (and win a big game and enjoy chants of "Weasley is our king!"), Ron has to get his head in the game. In one scene he remarks to Harry, "Quidditch trials coming up. I need to practice." At least that's what audiences hear Ron say. On-screen, his lips utter a completely different sentence that doesn't match up at all.

When Dumbledore went off the rails

Major spoiler alert for those who haven't seen Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. For reasons that are complicated and ultimately explained, Professor Snape kills Professor Dumbledore, casting a deadly "Avada Kedavra" curse on his boss which sends him plunging to his doom from atop the Hogwarts Astronomy Tower. It wasn't a safe place to begin with, though, which is why it had a safety railing installed. However, when audiences see Snape killing Dumbledore from Harry's point of view, that safety railing is no longer there, allowing for Dumbledore to take a much quicker tumble.

Drawing from other sources

In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1, Harry and his friends learn that some of the magical objects they've encountered over the past six years all have greater significance than they could've ever imagined. They meet with Xenophilius Lovegood — magic historian, publisher of wizarding alt-weekly The Quibbler, and father of the loopy Luna Lovegood — who draws the symbol of the three deathly hallows combined, which would make the one person who finds them a "master of death," i.e. super powerful. Lovegood draws each part of the hallows to form the logo, and that involves sketching out the Elder Wand, the Resurrection Stone, and the Invisibility Cloak. He uses an old piece of smuggled paper, but when that sheet with the drawing is held up and examined later on, it's with different handwriting and the smudges have changed locations.

Give the boy his glasses

While hiding out in the woods from Voldemort during Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1, Hermione and Harry make their presence known to the Dark Lord's Snatchers after breaking a Taboo on his name. In order to disguise Harry — Voldemort's true rival — Hermione casts a spell upon him called a "Stinging Jinx," a painfully disfiguring dark charm that renders Harry face swollen and virtually unrecognizable. As an added measure, she removes his trademark glasses. However, Harry later gets separated from Hermione, recognized and captured by Peter Pettigrew ... and then he somehow gets his glasses back.

So what's this place called?

By the time Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 (the penultimate film in the series) rolled around, you'd think the cast and crew of the Potter franchise would've known what every little thing in its magical universe was called. And yet numerous characters in the movie — with the exception of Harry Potter — can't seem to remember the affectionate nickname for the sprawling, teetering Weasley countryside residence. It's properly called "the Burrow," which is what Harry says, but he's the only character among the lot who doesn't call it "the Burrows."

Snape's mistaken memories of Lily Potter

In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, audiences finally get to witness the devastating tragedy where the whole saga began: the orphaning of baby Harry. "Mommy loves you. Daddy loves you. Harry be safe. Harry be strong," adult Lily Potter softly coos to her baby amidst her destroyed home. Then Voldemort delivers the death blow of the "Avada Kedavra" curse, and she's gone. This is all presented as a memory of Snape, who would've had to have been present at the death of Lily Potter, his best friend and true love. But nowhere in the Harry Potter books or movies is it said that Snape was at the Potter home when the murders occurred. 

However, there's more than one goof involved here. When Snape cradles the dead body of Lily Potter in his arms, she's wearing a blue shirt ... as opposed to the red sweater she literally just died in.

Harry doesn't have his mother's eyes

Snape, the Harry-hating, supposedly Dark Lord-serving wizard, gets his redemption and a hero's ending in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2. He dies in service of the good guys and in protecting Harry Potter, son of his childhood friend Lily, a woman for whom he's harbored an unrequited, lifelong love. As Snape lays dying, Harry tries to provide him comfort, and Snape looks up at the boy and says, "You have your mother's eyes." It's a statement that Harry has heard numerous times, including from Professors Slughorn and Lupin. But here's the thing. The eyes of the actor who plays Harry, Daniel Radcliffe, look nothing like the eyes of Ellie May Darcey-Alden, the actress who plays young Lily Potter. Her eyes are much darker than his.

Hey, where'd that snake come from?

Toward the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, all hope seems lost for the protagonists. Three tough battles are going down simultaneously, with Harry fighting Voldemort, Molly Weasley fighting Bellatrix Lestrange, and Ron and Hermione nearly falling to Voldemort's vicious pet snake, Nagini. When the creature attacks, it lunges from the middle of a Hogwarts staircase and below an archway. After a quick cut away to Harry and Voldemort's skirmish, Nagini is shown attacking, but somehow, she's striking from flat ground, not the stairs. So yeah, we're not exactly sure what's going on with this snake.