11 Books Characters That Were Portrayed in Movies in A Completely Different Light

Cinema and literature have wonderful ways of taking us into new worlds, both give us unique experiences through their characters, and each one does it in its own way. The book describes some details that give us space for imagination while the cinema shows us the exact details. But what happens to the characters when the movie adapts them to the big screen?
Well, nothing is more upsetting than seeing your favorite book characters portrayed in a different way in the film. But in fact, even famous movies like "The Hunger Games" or "Harry Potter" include this egregious misstep! Indeed, if you read "The Hunger Games" books, you will find that Peeta is stronger, both mentally and physically than he is shown on the big screen. Or, Rowling's Ron is described as a clumsy yet brave boy in the novel. However, in the "Harry Potter" film series, many of his traits are given to Hermione.
Surprisingly, we’ve found many other book characters and historical figures who were depicted in movies in a completely different light. Keep reading for more details!

#1 Conan, Conan the Barbarian

Books Characters, Conan the Barbarian, Conan the barbarian quotesSource: © Conan the Barbarian / Millenium Films and co-producers

Conan became famous after Arnold Schwarzenegger portrayed him. Later, Jason Momoa took on this character. In this movie, Conan is shown to be more powerful and proficient in swordsmanship rather than strategic thinking. But in Robert E. Howard’s books, this character is far from being simple or stupid. Conan is remarkably erudite and eloquent.

#2 Cleopatra in the movie of the same name

Books Characters, Cleopatra in the movie of the same nameSource: © Cleopatra / Twentieth Century Fox and co-producers

Though in the iconic Hollywood picture or the comedy about Asterix and Obelix, Cleopatra appears as an incredibly attractive woman. Thanks to these movies, the audience got the impression that the Egyptian queen seduced all men with her splendid appearance. But in fact, it wasn't exactly that way. Most of the images of her that have remained show her to be an ordinary-looking woman. Therefore, she most likely won the hearts of men with her intelligence rather than her beauty.

#3 Tarzan in the movie of the same name

Books Characters, Tarzan in the movie of the same nameSource: © Tarzan / Walt Disney Pictures and co-producers

The series about Tarzan, including 24 novels, tells the story of a man raised in the jungle. This story has been adapted to the screen many times, so it is not surprising that this character, who we know from movies and cartoons, is not very related to the character in the book. In some films, instead of being the ruler of the jungle, Tarzan is often shown as a member of an African tribe. And it all began with a 1999 Disney animation in which Tarzan was more humorous and kid-friendly while receiving wisdom from his animal mentors. But in the literature, Tarzan is a self-sufficient man who doesn’t need anyone’s advice.

#4 Dandelion, The Witcher

Books Characters, Dandelion, The WitcherSource: © The Witcher / Netflix and co-producers

The game series about the Witcher is one of the best because the story in the game is kept extremely similar to the originals—Andrzej Sapkowski's books. However, in the TV series, this character is portrayed quite differently. First, Geralt and Dandelion are close friends in the novels, but in the films, their relationship is not as solid since Dandelion often annoys him. Both in the books and the series, Dandelion is a ladies’ man. However, the character in the book graduated from college and sometimes teaches there.

#5 Captain Nemo, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

Books Characters, Captain Nemo, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the SeaSource: © 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea / Walt Disney Productions and co-producers

In Jules Verne's novels, Nemo is a complex character. He was born an Indian prince but was forced to escape and hide. Nemo is a very well-educated, wise, funny, and generous man but he can be cruel sometimes. But in most Hollywood movies, he was portrayed as a selfish pirate who only sought power.

#6 Frankenstein’s monster, Bride of Frankenstein

Books CharactersSource: © Bride of Frankenstein / Universal Pictures and co-producers

Frankenstein's monster from the novel is not a clumsy creature that walks and speaks slowly, unlike his cinematic version. In the book, the doctor’s creation can have long dialogues, speak many languages, and generally has a deep personality.

#7 Forrest Gump in the movie of the same name

Books Characters, Forrest Gump in the movie of the same nameSource: © Forrest Gump / Paramount Pictures and co-producers

Though "Forrest Gump" holds 11th place according to IMD, not many people know that the movie is different from the book. Gump is portrayed in the book as being unkind, somewhat cruel, and likes to curse. Additionally, despite his stupidity, he has a startling aptitude for arithmetic and physics.

#8 Hercule Poirot, Murder on the Orient Express

Books Characters, Hercule Poirot, Murder on the Orient ExpressSource: © Murder on the Orient Express / Twentieth Century Fox and co-producers

Playing Hercule Poirot is challenging because he is very sophisticated and multifaceted. In the 2017 film "Murder on the Orient Express", he suddenly took on a complicated and sorrowful vibe stemming from his background. He also looks comical and self-assured. And like an action movie hero, he saves other characters with his cane and his gun. In contrast, the detective in the book prefers to solve problems with words and is not that tough.

#9 Serena in the movie of the same name

Books Characters, Serena in the movie of the same nameSource: © Serena / 2929 Productions and co-producers

Serena in the movie is too charming, contrary to the character in the novel. In Ron Rash's book, she is portrayed as a cold, calculating woman who manages her husband's career and personal life. In the film, the weaker Serena makes the plot less interesting.

#10 Peeta Mellark, The Hunger Games

Books Characters, Peeta Mellark, The Hunger GamesSource: © The Hunger Games / Lionsgate and co-producers

Both in the novels and the movies, Peeta is very kind. And thanks to his kindness and courage, he and Katniss become victors. But moviegoers get the impression that he's nothing without Katniss, who actually has to carry him on his shoulders throughout the story. In the books, Peeta is stronger, both mentally and physically and he is not as simple as he seems.

#11 Ron Weasley, Harry Potter film series

Books Characters, Ron Weasley, Harry Potter film seriesSource: © Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire / Warner Bros. and co-producers© Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I / Warner Bros. and co-producers

Although Rupert Grint plays Ron very well, the character is nothing like his book character. And the problem lies in the script: they omitted some essential elements of the main characters’ relationships! In the books, Ron is a bit clumsy but courageous, but the filmmakers put many of his traits into Hermione. In the movie "Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone", Ron helps Hermione calm down and figure out how to escape the trap. And in "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban", he protected Harry and Hermione from the possibly deadly Sirius Black, even though he was injured.
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