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Harry Potter’s Mad-Eye Moody original design is absolutely terrifying

Mad Eye Moody, Harry's Defence Against the Dark Arts professor during his fourth year at Hogwarts, was originally designed to look a lot more horrifying.

Of all the Defence Against the Dark Arts professors we meet in the Harry Potter movies (and let’s face it, there’s been a lot), our favorite is Mad-Eye Moody.

In the Harry Potter books, Mad-Eye is depicted as pretty grizzled and beat up, with a chunk of his nose missing, heavy scarring, and wild grey hair. As we know, the best movies based on books are ones that (for the most part) honor the source material. So, the Warner Bros’ art department went through many concepts before deciding how best to present the Harry Potter character on-screen.

Mad-Eye may well have been the most difficult character to bring on-screen, with the studio relying on makeup and prosthetics as opposed to CGI. But nothing is more horrifying than some of the earlier concept art for him.



The character’s age is never explicitly mentioned in the book, but in this concept art, they decided to make the character on the older side. This makes Mad-Eye seem more frail than intimidating, while some of the scarring and the gouged-out nose look like more recent wounds.

But as well as looking pretty gross and distracting, these fresh-looking wounds wouldn’t really match up with the character. It’s said he got his scars from various battles over the years, so they should be much more healed over than this concept art suggests.

And if no one else is going to say it, then I will: having the eye as a blue crystal with a dilating pupil is just massively creepy. It also doesn’t fit with Mad Eye’s character to have something like a diamond in his eye socket. He seems too down-to-earth and practical to consider something like that.

Fortunately, the studio decided to go with an aged-down and much more subtle approach by choosing Brendan Gleeson to join the Harry Potter cast. He still has the scars and that infamous roaming eye, but it’s clear that the character’s look is a lot more understated in comparison to the concept art.

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Ultimately, we’re glad they decided to deviate from the concept art. It’s way too gory for a PG-13, and would probably distract from the film way too much. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is one of the best movies in the franchise, and a huge reason for that is the balance they struck with creative decisions like this.

For more on the world of Harry Potter, check out our articles detailing the best Harry Potter villains, the Harry Potter TV series release date, and everything we know about the potential new movie, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Or, if you’re more Evermore High than Hogwarts, here’s what we know about Wednesday season 2.