Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Movie vs. Book – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s (Philosopher’s) Stone Chapter 14: Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback

Most of what’s important in this chapter makes it into the film, although Norbert the dragon spends more time with Hagrid before he’s found out.

Quirrell, however, must have been braver than they’d thought. In the weeks that followed he did seem to be getting paler and thinner, but it didn’t look as though he’d cracked yet.

They still have the perspective that Snape is trying to force Quirrell to get to the Sorcerer’s Stone. Looking back, we now know that housing one of Voldemort’s horcruxes was taking its toll on Quirrell.

The kids get time to just be kids. Ron and Harry keep checking to see that the three-headed dog is still there, while Hermoine is planning out studying for final exams.

“What am I studying for? Are you crazy? You realize we need to pass these exams to get into the second year? They’re very important, I should have started studying a month ago, I don’t know what’s gotten into me…”

Harry and Ron spend their time in the library with her, trying to get through the work they have, although not really feeling it. One day when they are there Hagrid comes in. They’ve never seen him in the library before and don’t know what he’s there for. He tells them to come see him later that day to talk, because they let him know that they know about the Sorcerer’s Stone.

“I’m going to see what section he was in,” said Ron, who’d had enough of working. He came back a minute later with a pile of books in his arms and slammed them down on the table. “Dragons!” he whispered. “Hagrid was looking up stuff about dragons! Look at these: Dragon Species of Great Britain and Ireland; From Egg to Inferno, A Dragon Keeper’s Guide. ”

It turns out there are wild dragons all over the place, and the Ministry of Magic spends a lot of time trying to keep them hidden from Muggles.

The scene is Hagrid’s plays out close to how it’s seen in the film. There’s more conversation about the Sorcerer’s Stone and who and what is guarding it. It seems that nearly all of the teachers at Hogwarts did something to help protect the Stone. Hagrid assures them that Snape helped to protect the Stone so he’s not about to steal it.

The dragon egg Hagrid has doesn’t hatch that evening. The three of them know he has it, but can’t/won’t say anything to anyone. One morning at breakfast they get a note from him: It’s hatching. They have to wait until after their lessons to go to Hagrid’s and Draco Malfoy overhears some of their conversation about it.

This scene of the dragon egg hatching is attached to the previous scene in the films in Hagrid’s hut. Malfoy is spying on them and catches a glimpse of the three of them with Hagrid and the baby dragon. However, he doesn’t tell anyone right away. Several weeks go by and they manage to convince Hagrid to send an owl to Ron’s brother Charlie, who works with dragons in Romania. While they wait for an answer, they help Hagrid care for Norbert.

“It bit me!” he (Ron) said, showing them his hand, which was wrapped in a bloody handkerchief. “I’m not going to be able to hold a quill for a week. I tell you, that dragon’s the most horrible animal I’ve ever met, but the way Hagrid goes on about it, you’d think it was a fluffy little bunny rabbit. When it bit me he told me off for frightening it. And when I left, he was singing it a lullaby.”

Charlie agrees to take the dragon, but even getting it to him presents a problem as people can’t travel with a dragon. He has friends coming to visit him the next week, so he asks them to bring the baby dragon to the tallest tower and meet them. Unfortunately, Draco finds out about the plan when he visits Ron in the Hospital Wing. Too late to change plans, they must forge ahead.

“He’s got lots o’ rats an’ some brandy fer the journey,” said Hagrid in a muffled voice. “An’ I’ve packed his teddy bear in case he gets lonely.”
From inside the crate came ripping noises that sounded to Harry as though the teddy was having his head torn off.

As Harry and Hermoine use the Invisibility Cloak to get Norbert’s crate up into the highest tower, they run into Professor McGonagall dragging a protesting Draco Malfoy by the ear to Professor Snape.

They are so happy to finally be rid of Norbert and Draco getting detention that they forget the invisibility cloak when they descend the stairs from the tower and run right into Filch.

I think the way the film handled the situation was fine. It condensed the story of the dragon egg into the time allowed and had Dumbledore tell Hagrid he had to send Norbert to Romania, rather than it being a covert operation by Harry, Ron, and Hermoine. Both ways work well, there’s just more detail and adventure in the book version.


Previous chapter (link): Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s (Philosopher’s) Stone Chapter 13: Nicholas Flamel

Next chapter (link): Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s (Philosopher’s) Stone Chapter 15: The Forbidden Forest


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