Because why goddamn not, right?
(well, maybe because the books are right there and they’re better, did you ever think about that?)
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Christmas
What do I remember of this Christmas? Well, in the book, Ron makes a comment about turnips and he gets a maroon jumper (… sweater?) and the twins get jumpers too that have the first letters of their names on them, leading to the best joke ever:
“But we’re not stupid. We know we’re called Gred and Forge.”
And for some reason, that isn’t in the movie.
To be fair, it’s the sort of joke that is delightful and amazing while you’re reading it as a kid (and as a half-serious adult, too), but maybe it doesn’t work as well on screen.
So how’s the movie version?
To this movie’s immense credit, it includes a scene of Hagrid dragging in a huge tree.
And wizard’s chess.
This was before Steve Kloves stopped letting Ron be capable of basic human function.
Ron and Hermione are behaving like their book selves. This is the last time it will ever happen.
Ron’s jumper has an “R.” Awwww, they’re cute. They’re actually like real friends in this movie!
Ron knows what an invisibility cloak is. Amazingly, flabbergastingly, they don’t have Hermione show back up from her holiday to explain it while Ron goes, “Uhhh IDK.”
At this point, in the book, everything gets really sad, what with Harry wasting his vacation staring at his parents in the mirror until Dumbledore shows up and kindly convinces him to move on. The movie does it too, somewhat less impressively in my opinion, but it’s all there.
Well that was cute. I know this movie is a bit underwhelming, but I am pretty fond of it. At least it tried. And honestly, it’s the closest they ever got, characterization-wise.
Which is… sad.
Moving right along…
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Sugar Plums
In this one (in the book) Harry’s a pariah, right? And both Ron and Hermione stay over Christmas because they feel bad for him? Or is that another year… or is that multiple years because they’re such good friends honestly that’s all the movies needed to do right, just that one thing, and wow, did they mess it up.
This one again has lovely Christmas imagery and music.
All the Weasleys stayed? I call a foul.
Polyjuice Potion. They did that on Christmas. Savage.
They’re still letting Ron be genuinely funny, which is surprising. And this is the only scene where Hermione makes a mistake and we can all giggle at her.
Also, this thing where they still sound like themselves on the potion is so bad.
Draco: “I didn’t know you could read.”
The Slytherin common room is decorated.
Draco: “You think there’s someone here who’s WORSE than Dumbledore?”
Harry: “… Harry Potter?”
Draco: “Good one, Goyle.”
This movie is honestly amazing.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Jolly Old Saint Nick
In the book………… is that where Neville loses his slip of passwords and then Sirius breaks in and then Sir Cadogan gets fired as the replacement Fat Lady?
This is the best movie.
Hedwig brings winter in this one, which is beautiful. And this time, it’s Harry watching everyone else go to Hogsmeade. The twins feature, gifting Harry with the Maurauder’s Map.
Or course these two figured out the code to the Map was “I solemnly swear that I’m up to no good.”
Harry: “And that – no. Is that really -”
George: “In his study.”
George: “Does that a lot.”
Ron and Hermione are awkward together, which is incorrect, and then Harry terrorizes Malfoy.
Does Christmas not feature in this movie?
It does not.
Instead, Harry yells about Sirius and it’s stupid.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Christmas Pudding
Oh great, the Yule Ball.
Aww, who put up the garland in the Gryffindor common room? It’s even red and gold! (It was the House Elves, wasn’t it. I’d rather believe it was all the boys though.)
Ron and Hermione’s dynamic is absolute garbage here. It was already bad in the book (deliberately) but man, they made it so much worse.
But McGonagall is here and is great. Where is the festive thistle on her hat though?
Remember how ridiculous it is that Hermione looks no different?
Mrs Norris has red eyes. How did Ginny afford new dress robes? Oh, come on. I wanted to see some vintage Weasley women’s attire, because Ron’s outfit is actually the best one of the night. Actually I now remember something about how Ginny got new ones as a present for something. Still.
The poor Patil twins. Harry and Ron are terrible dates and should have just gone to this dance together. It would have been so much better for everyone involved, but, alas, heteronormativity.
Harry is 100% in love with Ron in this book though. It’s easy to forget because the movie flubs it entirely, but he is so in love with him. As friends, sure, but it’s serious love. And they more or less do go together. They walk around dejected in the rose garden and hide in a bush and eavesdrop on Hagrid together.
I like how in the book, Hermione screams at Ron, gets the last word in, and makes him feel stupid, but in the movie he just makes her cry and then walks off with Harry calling her “scary.”
Oh good, it’s over.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Carol of the Bells
In the book, Harry attacks/saves Arthur, and then goes to Grimmauld Place for Christmas and feels really guilty about everything. I think this time, the movie does it justice.
Let’s see, then.
Ew, Harry kisses Cho and then tells Ron and Hermione about it. I hate it it’s so awkward.
Christmas the First in Which Nagini Features. She will return. And how.
This is one of the few (movie) parts that does Snape justice, too.
OK the Blacks wouldn’t live among Muggles, would they?
And I love Arthur’s crown.
Ron and Hermione are legitimately cute in this scene – separately, as an eventual couple… they’re just cute.
This scene does an excellent job of examining how Harry doesn’t have a family that he can take for granted, and Sirius doesn’t either, and that’s part of why Sirius is so important to him. It’s annoying that this is the first time Harry learns that Sirius’s family owns this house. But it works apart from that.
Christmas is always a good time to highlight how sad it all is, like in the first one with Harry and the Mirror of Erised. It’s an excellent foil, especially with the Weasleys just in the next room.
And Sirius’s speech about morality and grey areas and choice is good.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Reindeer
This is the worst movie. (But Hedwig went to the Weasleys’ for Christmas, and that’s adorable.)
In the book……… I can’t remember. I think Ron and Hermione were fighting. Did Hermione go skiing?
This movie treats Lavender Brown atrociously. The actress is very entertaining but it’s so hateful.
The book version is, admittedly, a little hateful too, but it’s nowhere near as bad as this. Guys, apart from the actress’s obvious talent, this isn’t funny.
Ron knows what an Unbreakable Vow is, though, so, that’s something.
Ugggggggggggggggggggggggggh Harry and Ginny. It is so awkward. Even if it had gone well, without Ron being clueless, it’s so bad. It’s not cute, it’s not romantic or quirky or anything, it’s just bad.
This is some next-level awful. Why did they write it like this? They must be sadists.
And it only gets worse.
But then the Death Eaters show up, thankfully.
Yeah, this sequence is bad.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Ghost of Christmas Future
This one, in both the book and film, is burned into my brain.
You are wrong.
I don’t like this either.
NO SHE ISN’T.
IT’S SO OBVIOUS OH NO.
HERMONE IS ALWAYS RIGHT, LISTEN TO HER.
THERE ARE FLY SOUNDS.
JESUS CHRIST RUN.
HARRY YOU’RE SPEAKING PARSELTONGUE PLEASE NOTICE.
WHAT IS THIS NO.
I FORGOT ABOUT THE FLY ROOM.
OK IT’S LESS SCARY NOW
BUT WHAT IS THIS WHITE NURSERY, WHY DID THEY INCLUDE IT, IT’S STUPID.
I THINK WE’RE SUPPOSED TO FEEL BAD THAT SHE HAD A KID WHO DIED WHEN CLEARLY SHE WAS SINGLE AND FINE ABOUT IT, WHY CAN’T SHE JUST HAVE BEEN CHILDLESS, GO AWAY MOVIE WRITERS.
IT’S A CREEPY IMAGE, I’LL ADMIT.
OK THAT WAS THE GREATEST POTTER CHRISTMAS EVER.
NO MATTER HOW IRRITATING OR PERHAPS, BUT HOPEFULLY NOT, SORROWFUL YOUR CHRISTMAS IS, AT THE VERY LEAST YOU’RE NOT GOING TO TALK TO A SNAKE PRETENDING TO BE BATHILDA BAGSHOT BY LIVING INSIDE THE CORPSE OF BATHILDA BAGSHOT.
The end. Harry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.