company? (Imagine a deep drawling voice of a grandfather beginning a fairy
tale.) The legend goes … no, sorry, not really. The Deathly Hallows consist of
three objects that will allow the owner to cheat death: the Resurrection Stone,
the Cloak of Invisibility, and the Elder Wand.
Daniel Radcliffe and company appear in the final installment of the “Harry
Potter” saga. How closely does this movie follow the beloved final book in the
epic series from J.K. Rowling? In my opinion, as a fan, pretty darn close! With
a few discrepancies, mostly minor, director David Yates and screenwriter Steve
Kloves did a fantastic job of sticking to the book. Beginning with Voldemort’s
theft of Dumbledore’s Elder Wand (The final element of the Deathly Hallows,
remember that, it’s important later!) and the gentle reminder of Dobby’s death
at the end of part one, and giving us the epic battle at Hogwarts* when all
hell breaks loose. This film did not disappoint; however, there were some
minor flaws that the discerning “Harry Potter” connoisseur would spot.
The first minor flaw we saw was at the Shell Cottage. Shell Cottage is the
home of the eldest Weasley, Bill and his new wife Fleur. (They were
married in part one!) It is also a safe destination for the Order of the Phoenix.
No discussion of Griphook, the sword and what to do. This is a good thing. It
would have disrupted the flow of action in the movie. So, yay for this flaw!
Gingotts* didn’t go right if you’re a purist. The ride through the vault area felt
condensed. If you’re a purist and you watch this movie, you’ll notice that Ron
casts the “Imperious” curse* rather than Harry. This bugged me a lot more
than it should have. It was line reassignment that was unnecessary. In the
book, Harry has the idea to ride the dragon to safety. However, in a clever line
reassignment, Hermione has the idea. It made Hermione a stronger female
lead. But, the Gringotts scene turned out better than the audience could have
All of Harry’s visions in the movie cover what couldn’t be used from the
book. This worked well to help keep the pace of the film. It also helped explain
the depth of the connection between Harry and Voldemort* for those that have
not read the book.
The final moments of everyone’s least favorite professor happen in the wrong
location. Yet, it was rather moving. We finally see Snape* issue a few kind
words to Harry, “You have your mother’s eyes.” He also demands that Harry
take his tears. Uhm, okay. It should have been gray strands of memory rather
than tears. If you’ve not read the books, here’s where we learn a few things
about Lily Evans Potter* as well as Severus Snape. Snape should have died in
the Shrieking Shack*. But hey, who wanted to see the Whomping Willow* on
screen again anyway?
“The Battle of Hogwarts” will be talked about for years to come! Well, it
would be in Harry Potter’s world. Okay, who am I kidding? Potterphiles* will
be talking about how much detail was cut, and whether or not they liked it or
loved it. However, the rest of us will be talking about how HP8 beat the pants
off The Twilight Saga: Eclipse for midnight showings. It raked in $43.5
million in just a few hours. That takes in all the midnight showings across the
country. That’s right. Just in the US alone. The figures are staggering when
we take into consideration the rest of the world! Way to go Harry!
As for me, I will be going over that epic battle in my head until it’s out on
DVD. The battle didn’t play out on the big screen as it did in the book. We
didn’t witness Percy shielding the body of Fred as the fighting raged on.
Instead, we see this afterwards in the Great Hall, which functions as the
infirmary. We see an abbreviated battle. Again, it works. The battle in the
book occasionally lagged. But, J.K. Rowling crams in so many details that it
doesn’t translate well. If we had gotten it exactly like the book, it would have
dragged the movie’s pace. Another win for Mister Kloves!
The final pieces I will make my comments on are the separation of
Voldemort from Harry, or Harry’s “death” and the death of Voldemort. Come
on, if you’re surprised that Voldemort dies then you’ll be surprised that there
won’t be any more movies!
There were several sniffles spotting the midnight showing as Harry realizes
he has to die. Now, we were expecting it right? Well, those of us that bothered
to pick up the book anyway. Great execution on the part of Mister Yates and
Mister Kloves. One hitch though… invisibility cloak*. Where was the
invisibility cloak and why did the director and screenwriter make Hagrid hold
Harry? He should’ve been on the ground. I was curious to see how the
invisible Harry attacked Voldemort. But, thanks, they cut that out.
The final battle between Harry and Voldemort was better than I expected.
The strength behind Harry’s spell shows the power he had without that tiny
part of Voldemort inside. He beat him by sheer determination. Oh, and Neville
helped, I suppose, when he killed Nagini, Voldemort’s last horcrux* and
ginormous snake. The shock on Voldemort’s face was exactly like what I, and I
think countless others, imagined it would be. “What? A boy defeated me? And
not even a Pureblood!” At least I imagine that was what went through his
This is where I will leave you. There is a bit more but I want you to enjoy
the movie as I did. For the love of all things Potter, one Muggle* to another, live
long and prosper. Oh, wait! That’s Star Trek!
*Here is your “Harry Potter” glossary (From harrypotter.scholastic.com)
Gringotts – The wizard bank in London, with vaults far below the streets, run by goblins.
Hogsmeade – The only completely magical village in Britain. Hogsmeade is not far from Hogwarts and has an array of wonderful shops including Honeyduke’s sweet shop, the Three Broomsticks pub and Zonko's joke shop.
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry – The best school of its kind in the world. Hogwarts is in a secret location somewhere in the North of Britan The four greatest witches and wizards of the age founded Hogwarts more than a thousand years ago: Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw and Salazar Slytherin. They built a remote castle, far away so that witches and wizards could train in safety. Pupils attend from age eleven for seven years of rigorous training in the art of witchcraft and wizardry. There are a hundred and forty-two staircases at Hogwarts and everything keeps moving around, so things are not always in the same place.
Horcrux – An object in which a person has concealed part of their soul.
Imperius Curse – Spell to control another person completely, using the incantation “Imperio.” One of the three Unforgivable Curses, it can be resisted only with great mental effort.
Invisibility Cloak – Magic cloak granting the wearer invisibility.
Muggle – Person totally without magical powers. Muggles live in ignorance of the world of wizards and witches. (I encourage anyone to look this word up online, UrbanDictionary.com and Dicitionary.com)
Potter, Lily – Harry's mother, born to Muggles but married a wizard. Lily is the sister of Petunia Dursley who is decidedly un-wizardly.
Shrieking Shack – Supposed to be the most haunted building in Britain. Situated in the town of Hogsmeade.
Snape, Severus – Potions master at Hogwarts. He is tall and thin with sallow skin, greasy black hair and a hooked nose. He hates Harry Potter. Head of Slytherin house.
Voldemort, Lord – Evil Wizard greatly feared by wizarding folk. His dark reputation is such that his name is hardly ever spoken out loud. Most wizards will only refer to him as He-Who-Must Not-Be-Named or You-Know-Who. Disappeared from view after the death of James and Lily Potter, following a battle that left Harry an orphan and bearing a lightning scar on his forehead. (Also known as Tom Riddle)
Whomping Willow – Large tree in the grounds of Hogwarts that hits anything that comes too close.
NOT FROM SCHOLASTIC –
Potterphiles – The media name for fans of Harry Potter, whether it is the book series or the movies. I’d rather like to think that it’s a term of affection given the fans. Sadly, I couldn’t find the outlet that first used this term!