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The Real Reason Harry Potter Doesn't Have Green Eyes in the Movies Like He Does in the Books

LONDON - NOVEMBER 4:  British author J.K. Rowling, creator of the Harry Potter children's books, and 11 year old Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter in the film version) attend the world film premiere of 'Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone' at the Odeon Leicester Square cinema in London on November 4, 2001. The movie is titled 'Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone' for it's U.S. release. (Photo by Gareth Davies/Getty Images)
Gareth Davies

Serious fans of the Harry Potter series have without a doubt noticed a discrepancy between the books and the movies in terms of Harry's appearance.

In the books, "The Boy Who Lived" is described as having "bright green" eyes--but actor Daniel Radcliffe's naturally blue eyes are seen in all of the movies. Why did J.K. Rowling and the movie's production team decide to ignore this major detail about the character?

As it turns out, Harry's specific eye color was not as important of a detail as some fans may think. Rowling only asked that Harry's eyes be the same color as Lily's, but that color did not have to be green. So, long as Harry and Lily's eyes were the same color, the author did not care what color they both had.

This must have been great news for Radcliffe, who had adverse reactions to the green contacts the team originally tried to use to make his eyes true to the books. And in fact, Radcliffe's natural eye color was an important part of his character from the moment director Chris Columbus met him.

“There sitting behind me was this boy with these big blue eyes. It was Dan Radcliffe," the director said of the first time he met Radcliffe at the theater, after which he convinced the then-young boy and his parents to audition for the role.

Harry's connection to Lily through their eyes is an important fixture in the books--and we're glad the director kept this part of the storyline without risking Radcliffe's health!