This Harry Potter movie ruined a crucial character moment by cutting out this challenge

The big picture

  • The Harry Potter film series had to make necessary cuts from the book series, but one scene that should not have been cut is the one in which Hermione solves the potion puzzle at the end.
    Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
  • The potion puzzle highlights Hermione's intelligence and hints at her importance in the franchise.
  • By cutting out the potion puzzle scene, Hermione was deprived of an important moment in which she could demonstrate her skills and critical thinking.

Like any adaptation, the Harry Potter film series is not quite like the books. The plot and characters have been shortened, details changed, and even some sequences added. Overall, however, the film series is a good adaptation. However, some of the changes leave something to be desired. As the first film in the series Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone has a particularly difficult task of introducing the magical world and the characters that populate it. Although it largely stays true to the story that fans already knew, some changes are worth noting, such as cutting out the poltergeist Peeves or minimizing Harry's trip to Diagon Alley. Of course, the film had to save time, but the biggest loss comes near the end, when the three young heroes desperately try to save the situation.

Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint), Hermione (Emma Watson) and the rest make the audience fall in love with the story, as the trio make it their mission to protect the ancient Philosopher's Stone, which they believe Snape (Alan Rickman) tries to steal. When they sneak into the secret hiding place where Dumbledore (Richard Harris) has hidden the artifact, Harry, Ron and Hermione face several obstacles, each placed in their path by a teacher to protect the artifact. Fortunately, they are uniquely equipped to overcome these challenges, as Ron relies on his chess skills and Harry shows off his flying skills, but the one who showcases Hermione's talents is not in the filmand robs the audience of a fascinating character moment.

Hermione should have solved the potion puzzle in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

The film features Harry, Ron and Hermione facing challenges while hunting Quirrell (Ian Hart), who is actually after the stone, although they believe it is Snape. It starts off pretty similar to the book, with them facing Fluffy the three-headed dog, escaping the Devil's Snare, catching the flying key and playing as chess pieces on a giant board, but after that it changes. The movie cut out two challenges, the first was a troll that Harry and Hermione didn't have to fight because it was already unconscious, followed by an intense potion puzzle that, if solved incorrectly, could kill her instantly.

The puzzle consists of seven bottles of liquid: three containing poison, two containing nettle wine, one that will take the drinker safely back to the precious room, and one that allows one to pass through the flames blocking the next entrance. Given the puzzle to solve, Hermione quickly and safely figures out which bottle is which, allowing her and Harry to decide what comes next. Only one of them can continue, as there isn't much potion left, which is the only reason Hermione stays behind instead of joining Harry in confronting Voldemort. Rather than including this, the film leaves Hermione behind to take care of Ron after his sacrifice. Ron is certainly in pain, but Harry faces much greater dangers on his way there, and it makes more sense to let him continue on alone when there is a legitimate reason she can't continue.


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The riddle gives an idea of ​​Hermione's importance in the Harry Potter franchise

The Potion puzzle is more than just another obstacle to reaching the final villain. It highlights Snape's role in protecting the Stone, and the level of difficulty in solving the puzzle was meant to prove that he didn't want anyone to find it. It's an early sign of his loyalty to Dumbledore, which makes it notable. But it's even more important when it comes to Hermione, because The solution to this mystery represents her role for the rest of the series. It is one of the earliest moments where Harry would have died without Hermione's rescue. The scene not only shows Hermione's intelligence, but also that Harry would never have made it this far without her. This is a recurring situation throughout the series, as Hermione finds out the truth about the basilisk, frees her from Umbridge (Imelda Staunton) and even leads them to the Deathly Hallows. Harry may be the hero, but he wouldn't have gotten very far without Hermione's support.

Hermione's character shines when she solves the nearly impossible riddle, proving her practical thinking even under extreme pressure. The film arguably still allows her to complete one of the challenges when Hermione gets the trio through the Devil's Snare. However, this only shows her ability to memorize, not her critical thinking like in the riddle. Hermione's logic is much more important. Before she solves the riddle, the book even has her say that few wizards engage in this skill. In Ron's challenge, he shows his loyalty by sacrificing himself for his friends. Not only does Harry use his talent as a Seeker, but when he comes to the Mirror of Erised, he proves his desire to do the right thing by bringing him the stone. But Hermione's handling of the Devil's Snare does not have the same significance. Cutting the Potions challenge prevented Hermione from demonstrating why she was the best person to complete the trioMany students pay more attention in class than Ron and Harry, but few, if any, are as brilliant as Hermione.

By omitting the potion puzzle, Hermione was deprived of an important moment

Hermione loses more than just a chance to show off her talent, as the trial underscores her realization that Harry must move on. Hermione is an incredibly capable and independent witch, but when the potion is only enough for one person, she has no objection to sending Harry on without her. Instead, she encourages him. Harry volunteers and Hermione realizes that he is better suited for the confrontationand puts her pride aside. In both the books and the movies, the famous line “Books and wisdom! There are more important things – friendship and bravery” is used when she and Harry part, but it means more than her wisdom just saved her.

Omitting the potion puzzle not only lost a cool scene, but also an important moment for Hermione. Her character is crucial to the story, and although the potion puzzle is just one of many examples, it perfectly demonstrates her abilities from a young age. The puzzle is designed to puzzle any wizard, but Hermione quickly figures it out because even at eleven, she's smarter than most. The film removed this, thereby omitting what should have been proof of who Hermione is and how essential she is to the trio's survival.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is available to stream on Max in the US