Attention, Potterheads: What follows is vital, 100% necessary information. Kristin Lai over at MoviePilot has compiled a list of Harry Potter edits that will blow your mind. JK Rowling created a rich, vivid world in the seven books of the series (and in her supplemental books and essays and in tidbits she’s divulged in interviews — there’s no such thing as too much knowledge of the HP universe), but here are five incredible tidbits that almost made it into the books, only to be edited out along the way.

Dean Thomas was a bigger, more developed character.

Dean Thomas is one of those minor Potter-verse characters that we always wished got more attention. It turns out, JK Rowling felt the same way.

Fun facts about Dean’s would-be development:

  • He was originally named Gary in early drafts of the first book (so, thank you to whichever editor suggested he get a cool name makeover).
  • He was supposed to have more background in Chamber of Secrets, but Neville’s backstory preempted it. Obviously, we’d never sacrifice the awesomeness that is Neville Longbottom (excuse us while we Google GIFs of him killing Nagini in Deathly Hallows — Pt. 2).
  • JK Rowling made sure Dean’s race was represented correctly on film. “When it came to the casting on the film version of ‘Philosopher’s Stone,’ however, I told the director, Chris, that Dean was a black Londoner. In fact, I think Chris was slightly taken aback by the amount of information I had on this peripheral character. I had a lot of background on Dean, though I had never found the right place to use it,” she said.

Malfoy almost had a heart (kind of).

In early drafts of Chamber of Secrets and Goblet of Fire, there was a scene that took readers into the Malfoy Manor and gave them a glimpse of Malfoy interacting with someone he actually considered an equal (he doesn’t seem to see anyone at Hogwarts, except maybe Professor Snape, as such). The scene was cut from both books and would have taken place with Theodore Nott, the pureblood son of a Death Eater, who would have visited the Malfoys and chatted with Draco.

Nearly-Headless Nick’s death scene was described in gory, lyrical detail.

Nearly-Headless Nick is a bit of gruesome comic relief, when you really think about it. Yes, we all loved him and yes, he was played brilliantly by John Cleese in the movies, but Nick’s backstory is really rather gory. It was almost even more so. The following ballad describing Nick’s demise was cut from Chamber of Secrets:

A Slytherin Weasley would have been Hermione 2.0.

One of the biggest, juiciest edits came from Goblet of Fire, which would have introduced a character named Malfada, a Weasley cousin who defied the family’s House history and landed herself in Slytherin. She was ultimately written out because gossipy journalist Rita Skeeter better fulfilled her purpose (to get info about the Death Eaters to Harry, Ron and Hermione), but she sounds amazing. Here’s why:

  • A Weasley in Slytherin. That alone is fascinating enough to get our brains going.
  • JK Rowling described her as a match for Hermione. Once you get the sound of a record scratch out of your ears, read why, in Rowling’s own words: “The best thing about Mafalda was that she was a match for Hermione. To the latter’s horror, Mafalda was highly gifted and a real show-off, so that Hermione was torn between deploring the rule-breaking and longing to join in and beat her.”

This character defies everything we thought we knew about the Potter-verse and we kind of wish we’d met her.

Harry and Hermione were almost childhood friends.

OK, not exactly, but they had the potential to be. In some of the earliest drafts of Sorcerer’s Stone, the Potter residence was a far cry from Godric’s Hallow. Originally, Rowling had the Potter family living on an island and the Grangers were the ones who found Lily and James’ dead bodies.


This could have been huge in changing the plot. Would Harry and Hermione have met sooner and been childhood BFFs? Would Hermione have known of her witchy future sooner and had even longer to prepare before entering Hogwarts for academic domination? Would Harry have spent breaks with the Grangers instead of the Weasleys? Would we have lost the delightful descriptions of the Weasley home? SO. MANY. QUESTIONS.

Obviously, we adore the way the books turned out, but we can’t help but get lost in some mental spirals (and fancasting black holes) thinking about this Potter stories that almost were.

(Images via Warner Bros. and here.)