Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone — Film vs. Book Quiz


By: Lauren Lubas

7 Min Quiz

Image: Warner Bros. Pictures / Heyday Films / 1492 Pictures

About This Quiz

Film adaptations have long left avid fans disappointment. Translating written text to film can be pretty difficult for directors and movie studios. Additionally, those who try to adapt from page to screen have unforeseen issues (like budgets and special effects capabilities) that can stir things up a bit. We all know that not everyone can make a great movie ... especially when that movie is adapted from a book series like Harry Potter. While some Potterheads love for the story started with the first movie in 2001, nearly all of them turned to the books to dive even deeper into the world that J.K. Rowling created (and for good reason). 

The "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" movie was almost a step-by-step reenactment of the book itself, but some key moments, characters and points simply disappeared or were changed. Some of these changes and exclusions were apparent to the book readers, while others were as elusive as the Golden Snitch. 

You may have even seen a few of these differences and missed a few characters when you saw the movie for the first time (or you were introduced to these things when you read the book after watching the film), but do you think you can spot 40 of them? Take this quiz to see if you can spot what we spotted along the way.

In the book, who is with Hermione, Ron and Harry when they first run into Fluffy, the three headed dog?

In the book, Neville Longbottom is actually a close part of the gang that includes Harry, Ron and Hermione. He does some pretty important stuff to help his friends along the way. However, many of these scenes aren't in the movies, and Neville's actions are given to other characters.


Which room do the Dursleys allow Harry to move into after they think they're being spied on?

In the book, Dudley has two rooms. One of those rooms holds all of his toys. The Dursleys realize that they should allow Harry to move into a proper bedroom because someone might be watching them.


Which characters visit Harry and Ron's compartment on the train in the book?

The scene before sorting, when Draco Malfoy tells Harry there are right wizards and wrong wizards, actually takes place on the train in the book. A fight even breaks out between the two groups of boys.


Can you name the poltergeist that was omitted from every film?

Peeves repeats himself, is loud and is constantly making terrible sounds and noises. He also likes to get the children in trouble. Scenes with Peeves were shot for the first film, but he never made it to the final cut.


Before they head off to the zoo, Uncle Vernon warns Harry that if there is any funny business, he will be punished. What are the differences in punishments between the book and the movie?

Throughout the book and the movie, we see Vernon Dursley deliver quite a few punishments to Harry. Harry's reactions to these punishments develop his character and show how he responds to the Dursleys in general.


In the book, this character is with Harry while he is buying his first wand. However, he is not with Harry in the movie. Who is he?

In the movie, Hagrid runs off to buy Harry a birthday present — Hedwig the owl — while Harry tests out his first wand. This gives Harry the opportunity to learn a little more about the wizarding world from Ollivander, rather than from Hagrid.


As Vernon Dursley goes crazy trying to keep Hogwarts letters from Harry, he takes the family to various places. In the book, what do they do first?

The scenes where Vernon Dursley gets frustrated and goes a little crazy about the invitations to Hogwarts were cut down in the movie. While the book spends the better part of a chapter showing his slump into madness, the movie explains it more quickly with visuals.


What does the Sorting Hat do before sorting students into their houses in the books, but not in any of the movies?

In the books, the Sorting Hat sings a song each year before sorting. The lyrics to these songs recap the previous year, and they actually give readers a little foreshadowing. However, these songs aren't heard in the movies.


What information do we find out about Hagrid in the second movie and in the first book?

We learn in the second movie, "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" (2002), that Hagrid was expelled from Hogwarts. Readers learn in the first book that he is not allowed to do magic, and we learn why.


When Vernon points a rifle at Hagrid, what does Hagrid do with it?

In the movie, Vernon pulls the trigger on the rifle, and the gun shoots up, toward the ceiling. However, in the book, Hagrid simply ties the rifle in a knot, making it completely useless.


What happens to Quirrell when Hermione tries to stop Snape from jinxing the broom in the movie and in the book?

If you rewatch the movie and you look in the background during this scene, you can see Quirrell sitting behind Snape with his hand over his mouth. When Snape's robes catch fire, Quirrell is knocked over — but not by Hermione.


Who first comes looking for Neville's toad in the book and in the movie?

Giving one movie character the job of two book characters helps reduce film time because less time is spent on character development. For this reason, we don't see Neville looking for his toad in the movie.


Which character(s) take Harry to King's Cross Station in the book, versus the movie?

When you first watch the movie (especially if you haven't read the book), you may be a little confused as to why Hagrid simply leaves Harry stranded and wandering around looking for platform 9 3/4. But if you read the book, you realize that Vernon Dursley simply drops him off at the station and leaves him to wander around.


The book reveals Harry's inspiration for Hedwig's name. What is it?

We learn in the book that Harry chooses Hedwig's name from his "History of Magic" book. However, in the movies, we don't hear Hedwig's name until the second installment.


Which character that goes to the zoo for Dudley's birthday is cut from the movie?

Piers Polkiss is Dudley's friend who joins them at the zoo — in the book. The character doesn't make it into the movie, and the majority of his lines are either cut or given to Dudley.


In the book, who does Harry impersonate to make Peeves leave him alone when he's under the invisibility cloak?

Book readers know that the only entity who can really control Peeves is the Bloody Baron. For this reason, Harry impersonates him to help him and his gang get to the trap door without being noticed.


When Harry meets the centaur Firenze in the book, what does Firenze let him do that we don't see in the movie?

This scene in the book shows why Bane and Ronan are angry with Firenze. They don't like him meddling with humans in the first place, but allowing Harry to ride him made Firenze look like a common mule.


In the book, what happens to Norbert the dragon?

Hagrid loves dragons ... they are his favorite. However, as Norbert grows too big to handle, he must go live with his own kind. Of course, this breaks Hagrid's heart, showing the audience even more about his character.


In the book but not the movie, do you remember what book Snape takes from Harry while deducting points from Gryffindor?

Snape's character in the book is a bit darker than in the movie. This scene was cut from the movie because it simply leads to Harry learning about Snape's injury. In the movie, Harry sees Snape's injury immediately after defeating the troll.


Wizard's Chess pieces destroy each other in the movie. Do you remember what the Wizard's Chess pieces do in the book?

Ron proves himself to be a strong strategist in Wizard's Chess in both the book and the movie. However, when he plays on a life-sized board, the stakes are higher for him and his friends.


Which two centaurs are omitted from the movie scene in the Forbidden Forest?

In the Harry Potter series, centaurs don't much like humans, as humans treat centaurs rather badly. When Firenze saves Harry from Voldemort in the woods, Ronan and Bane get very upset with him, because centaurs should only be concerned with what is foretold.


How does Harry lose his invisibility cloak?

Harry has a tendency to be a little forgetful, but whoever replaces the Cloak of Invisibility knows that Harry will need it again soon. Harry finds it on his bed with a note that says, "Just in case."


In the book, how do Ron, Harry and Hermione find out about Nicolas Flamel?

In the book, Harry first learns about Nicolas Flamel when he reads the back of Dumbledore's chocolate frog card. In the movie, the friends learn about Flamel from a book. Chocolate frog cards are more fun.


When Harry, Ron and Hermione go through the trap door, which obstacle is not shown in the movie?

There is an additional obstacle set up to guard the Sorcerer's Stone. Snape has seven bottles of potion on a table. One bottle kills, another would send them back and a third would help them advance. Other bottles hold nettle wine. In the book, Hermione figures this one out.


Mr. and Mrs. Dursley don't like taking Harry anywhere. Why does he get to go to the zoo for Dudley's birthday?

If you only watch the movies, you will not see Mrs. Figg until the fifth installment, when she retrieves Harry after a Dementor attack. However, readers see her speckled throughout the book, and Harry describes her as a little weird (especially before he learns of the wizarding world).


What is the major difference between the end of the book and the end of the movie?

In the book, Quirrell dies because Voldemort leaves his head. In the movie, however, Harry turns Quirrell to ash by touching him. This change in the ending helps portray Harry's powers over Voldemort.


Do you remember what Harry is doing in the book when Quirrell dies?

Young Harry doesn't watch Quirrell die in the book. This actually resolves a major plot hole with the Thestrals in the fifth movie, as one would wonder why he couldn't see them sooner since he killed Quirrell (and watched him die).


In the book, what item do Hermione, Ron and Harry bring with them to put Fluffy to sleep?

Harry, Ron and Hermione learn that the only way to calm Fluffy down is with music. Though we see him snoozing to a magicked harp in the movie, the children bring a flute with them in the book.


Who does Harry see in the Mirror of Erised?

It is important to remember that the Mirror of Erised gives us neither knowledge or truth. Harry's grandparents aren't mentioned in the movie, so they aren't represented in Harry's reflection either.


How many broomsticks are available in the room with winged keys?

In the movie, each of the friends' skills is highlighted with a challenge — Harry's skill being his Quidditch ability. However, the book is a little more subtle with it, and there are multiple broomsticks in the room with the winged keys.


In the movie, we see Harry, Ron, Hermione and Draco serving detention in the Forbidden Forest. Which four children had to serve detention in the Forbidden Forest in the book?

Although there are plenty of comic relief moments where we see Neville getting into trouble, there are plenty more in the book that help us understand his character better. Never forget the wacky broomstick and Neville's toad jumping in front of McGonagall.


Where does Hagrid give Harry the photos of his family?

While we see the album in both the book and the movie, it was delivered at different places. No matter where Harry receives the photos, it's an important moment between him and Hagrid.


How does Quirrell stop Harry from running away?

Special effects in 2001 were a little different than they are now. The decision to make a wall of fire rather than magicked ropes was a budget issue, as pyrotechnics were cheaper than slithering ropes back then.


Where did Hagrid get Fluffy?

All Potterheads know that Hagrid is a lover of animals and he thinks he can train them all. Hagrid accidentally tells the kids and Quirrell that the easiest way to calm Fluffy down is to play some music.


In the book, after Harry meets Hagrid and gets his school supplies, how long does Harry have to stay with the Dursleys before going to Hogwarts?

In the book, Harry has to go back and live with the Dursleys for another month before school starts. When we see Harry return to the Dursley's, we learn how Dudley will get his tail removed in a rant from Uncle Vernon.


At what point after battling Voldemort does Harry see Ron and Hermione again?

This minor change gives Dumbledore and Harry a little privacy in the movie, and it creates a bigger dramatic moment when Harry finally sees his friends again. Harry asks them how they're doing.


In the movie, Harry meets Draco Malfoy at Hogwarts. Where does Harry meet Malfoy in the book?

Draco Malfoy's distaste for Muggle-born witches and wizards attending Hogwarts is made clear in the first book. This is Harry's first experience with prejudice in the wizarding world.


The book starts off a little less mysterious than the movie. Which character do we see first in the book?

The first chapter of the first book really has a lot of voice. We learn a little bit of background about the Dursley family, and (from Vernon's perspective) we see some oddly-dressed people hanging around. It turns out that they're witches and wizards who are happy about the death of Voldemort.


In the book, what is Ron's theory on who let the troll in?

Because the poltergeist Peeves was omitted from the movie, Ron instead says that someone is playing a joke by letting the troll in. However, in the book, Ron blames the poltergeist, who is known for playing pranks.


How is the full name of N.F., the maker of the Philosopher's Stone, spelled in the book and the movie?

This change in spelling is so minor that even the biggest Potterheads may have missed it, because the writing is only shown on screen for a moment. Small changes like this are commonly seen in movies adapted from novels.


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