Summary

  • Harry Potter TV remake has a chance to fix mistakes like Polyjuice potion voice inconsistency from Chamber of Secrets movie.
  • Polyjuice potion changes user’s voice in books, but Harry Potter movies struggled with this consistency issue throughout.
  • HBO’s Harry Potter remake must handle even the smallest details correctly to avoid criticisms like the Polyjuice potion mishap.



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The Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets movie made a mistake that hung over the series all the way through to Deathly Hallows. Of course, the Warner Bros films are deeply loved by millions all around the world, but that isn’t to say they are perfect. The wizarding world was changed in various ways throughout the movies, and there were times that this came back to bite Warner Bros in the butt. In some cases, it meant some frustrating inconsistencies throughout Harry Potter, but the upcoming HBO TV remake has the chance to set everything straight.


Little mistakes that would later put the Harry Potter movies in a bind were far easier to make in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets since Rowling’s books weren’t even close to being finished when the films were released. This is where HBO’s TV remake has a significant advantage. Harry’s story has been completed for nearly two decades, and the whole picture will allow the Harry Potter TV show to avoid continuity issues. In the case of Polyjuice potions, this will be a relief.

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HBO’s Harry Potter TV Show: Updates & Everything We Know

Harry Potter is being remade as a television show for HBO Max and every detail about the next adaptation featuring the Boy Wizard can be found here.


The Chamber Of Secrets Movie Made Polyjuice Potion Users Keep Their Own Voices

Harry & Ron Became Crabbe & Goyle But Kept Their Own Bodies In The Movie


In the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets movie, Harry, Ron, and Hermione use Polyjuice potion to attempt to impersonate Draco Malfoy’s friends and discover the identity of the Heir of Slytherin. Harry and Ron used the hairs of Vincent Crabb and Gregory Goyle (while Hermione accidentally used a cat) and successfully took on their appearance after drinking the potion. However, in the 2002 film, the two Gryffindors still had their own voices, something Harry drew attention to when he said, “We still sound like ourselves!

This wasn’t how Polyjuice potion worked in the Harry Potter books. When Ron and Harry posed as Crabb and Goyle, it’s specifically stated that they had taken on the brutish voices of the Slytherin bullies. It’s unclear why this change was made for the Chamber of Secrets movie. Perhaps director Christopher Columbus didn’t want audiences to get confused about who was who, or maybe it just seemed like more fun to dub over with Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe’s voices. Regardless, the decision certainly became a problem years later when Polyjuice potion made another appearance.


It’s challenging to make dubbing sound natural, which makes
Chamber of Secret
‘s Polyjuice potion mistake all the more jolting.

Goblet Of Fire Retconned The Polyjuice Potion Change (But Deathly Hallows Changed It Back)

The Harry Potter Movies Couldn’t Decide If A Polyjuice Potion User Would Keep Their Voice

Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody holding up his flask in Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire

Harry Potter remained Polyjuice potion-free until Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire when the brew reappeared as a significant feature of the plot. Barty Crouch Jr. used it throughout the entire school year to pretend to be Alastor “Mad-Eye” Moody and did such a good job impersonating the Auror that even Albus Dumbledore was fooled. Of course, this con wouldn’t have been possible if the Polyjuice potion hadn’t changed Crouch Jr.’s voice, so the Goblet of Fire retconned the previously established rule that a person’s voice remained the same.


Eight years after
Chamber of Secrets
,
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1
repeated the mistake.

Since Chamber of Secrets was made so early on in the Harry Potter franchise, this retcon would have been forgivable. Everyone could have moved on knowing that the early installment made a simple mistake and that Goblet of Fire set it straight. However, eight years after Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 repeated the mistake. When Harry, Ron, and Hermione use Polyjuice potion to impersonate Ministry of Magic workers, they keep their own voices—and this is again repeated when Hermione becomes Bellatrix Lestrange.

It Doesn’t Make Sense That Polyjuice Potion WOULDN’T Change The Drinker’s Voice

Polyjuice Potion Changes A Person’s Entire Body – Including Their Vocal Cords

The Seven Potters at Privet Drive in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows retconning a retcon only made the situation worse and more confusing. Polyjuice potion is supposed to be a nearly undetectable way to take over someone’s identity, which is why it is so challenging to brew. If a drinker’s voice doesn’t change, then people are bound to notice that they are an imposter, making the Polyjuice potion entirely useless. Instead, it’s supposed to change the drinker’s body in absolutely every way, which means Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s vocal cords would have been changed in Deathly Hallows as well.

An explanation about why this change was made in the Harry Potter movies has never been forthcoming. Since all instances in which the Polyjuice potion didn’t change the drinkers’ voices involved more than one person using it, the original voices were likely used so that audiences wouldn’t forget who was who. Since Barty Crouch Jr. was impersonating Mad-Eye Moody for nearly the entire Goblet of Fire movie, dubbing David Tennant’s voice over Brendan Gleeson’s would have been a nightmare. Still, HBO’s remake can avoid this whole mess from the very beginning.


HBO’s Harry Potter Remake Must Fix The Movies’ Polyjuice Potion Mistake

Even The Smallest Details Will Matter In The Harry Potter Remake

sorcerers-stone-child-actor-problem-harry-potter-remake-harder

HBO has teased a “book-faithful” adaptation of the Harry Potter TV remake, and if it hopes to deliver on this, it’s essential that even the small details are handled correctly. With a season dedicated to each of the books, Chamber of Secrets should be adapted in season 2, and it’s important that Polyjuice potion be handled correctly from the start. Though dubbing over with the original actors’ voices might help audiences know who is who, this isn’t worth creating a continuity issue for when Goblet of Fire‘s adaptation rolls around and must change the rules again.


Of course, this isn’t the only mistake that HBO will have to fix. Nearly every significant change that the Harry Potter movies made wound up biting them in the butt in later installments. For example, Dobby was cut out of every film after Chamber of Secrets until shortly before his death in Deathly Hallows. This meant that the character’s tragic end wasn’t nearly as impactful since movie audiences hadn’t seen him in years (unlike the movies). Of course, when the directors chose to cut costs and leave Dobby on the cutting room floor, they didn’t know he would be so important later.

It will be clear to HBO’s showrunners what must be included, and they can learn from some of the binds that Warner Bros films got themselves into.


Overall, the Harry Potter TV remake will have its work cut out for it correcting the mistakes of the movies, but it has the benefit of adapting a completed story. It will be clear to HBO’s showrunners what must be included, and they can learn from some of the binds that Warner Bros films got themselves into. Things like voices with Polyjuice potion and the minor appearances of a house-elf might not seem like much, but these are the details that help audiences feel immersed in the wizarding world. Without them, HBO’s Harry Potter remake will be subject to the same criticisms as movies like Chamber of Secrets.

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