A new Talisman board game based around the Harry Potter franchise is great news for fans, but there are many ways that it will differ from the books.
Fans of The Boy Who Lived can now get their hands on Talisman: Harry Potter, a new board game that will allow them to revisit the magical Wizarding World of Hogwarts with Harry and Dumbledore. However, despite being a game under the Wizarding World brand, there are a lot of differences between this latest Talisman board game and the events in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books.
But while Harry Potter: Talisman will still be a fun pass time for many while they wait for Hogwarts: Legacy’s release date, there are some big deviations from the books that may take some by surprise. The most obvious one is that players of Talisman: Harry Potter do not necessarily have to be on the good side. Should they feel so inclined, they can play the game as a Death Eater and prove their unwavering allegiance to He Who Must Not Be Named. This will offer Harry Potter fans an interesting change of pace. After years of playing alongside the Order of the Phoenix and the DA in previous video games and board game adaptations, the chance to side with Voldemort and his followers may be just the twist that longtime fans crave. However, this isn’t where the differences between the Harry Potter books and Talisman: Harry Potter board game end.
Talisman: Harry Potter – Characters & Timeline
The premise of Talisman: Harry Potter is that players must either try and stop Lord Voldemort or aid him. At the start of the game, players must place the Lord Voldemort character model in the middle of the board. In the case of Talisman: Harry Potter, the Great Hall in Hogwarts acts as the board’s center. With Voldemort taking his place unapologetically out in the open in the middle of Hogwarts school, this makes it easy to surmise that the events of the board game take place during The Deathly Hallows, the 7th Harry Potter book. More specifically, during the book’s epic Battle of Hogwarts finale.
However, despite the events of Talisman: Harry Potter most likely taking place during the Battle of Hogwarts, there are some key playable characters missing from the book’s depiction of the same event. Most notably, and most jarringly, is that neither Ron Weasley nor Hermione Granger is present as playable characters in the board game. The same goes for other members of Harry’s inner circle such as Neville Longbottom, Luna Lovegood, and Ginny Weasley. Instead, they will be able to be obtained (and discarded) as ‘Followers’ as players progress through the game. It is a big change to see such prominent characters taking a side-lined role in the board game when they were such a key focus of these same events within J.K Rowling’s books.
But while these characters are absent (at least as playable figures), there are others in Talisman: Harry Potter who are present, despite them not being around at all during the events of the Battle of Hogwarts. Should players choose to join the forces of the Death Eaters, they have the option to play as Peter Pettigrew aka Wormtail. However, within the books, Wormtail is strangled by the silver hand that was gifted to him by Lord Voldemort. This strangulation happens at Malfoy Manor soon after Wormtail hesitates to kill Harry, weeks before the Battle of Hogwarts takes place.
Another notable playable character within Talisman: Harry Potter is that of Albus Dumbledore, the wise and imposing headmaster of Hogwarts. However, much like with Pettigrew, Dumbledore’s death in the Harry Potter books and films are prior to the Battle of Hogwarts. In both the book and film adaptations, Dumbledore is killed by Potions master Severus Snape at the top of the astronomy tower in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
Harry Potter: Talisman – Battle Prowess & Magic Of Characters
Within Harry Potter: Talisman, players will need to battle against their opposing forces to progress. This is done by either using magic or might. While the playable Order of the Phoenix characters of Harry Potter, Minerva McGonagall, and Albus Dumbledore are depicted as being incredibly competent magic users within the books, they are not usually shown to have any real athletic prowess. Likewise, Rubeus Hagrid (who is the fourth Order of the Phoenix member that players can choose to play as in Harry Potter: Talisman) is regularly described as being incredibly strong in the books thanks to his giant heritage, but he is rather lacking when it comes to magical skill.
Despite this, if fans are playing as Hagrid in Talisman: Harry Potter, they will need to use magic whenever they come across a character from an opposing alignment. Equally, if players are playing as Minerva McGonagall and are confronted by one of the game’s enemy cards (which will include dragons and other magical creatures) with a ‘might’ skill bar, they will need to use their own might skill levels plus the roll of a die to beat their attacker. This differs from the books, as J.K Rowling’s literary heroes would always opt to play to their strengths when faced with adversity, regardless of it being a beast of might or a magic-user.