If you haven’t read part 1 of this blog, click here. A lot of the issues I have with the final two movies stem from issues ignored in the previous films, which I highlighted in the first blog. In this blog, I pick apart the final two Harry Potter movies (parts 1 and 2 of the Deathly Hallows) and discuss the things they should have kept true, or at least more true, to the books.
Deathly Hallows part 1:
When Harry, Ron, and Hermione visit the Lovegood residence early in the Deathly Hallows book to learn more about said Hallows, there’s a short scene while Luna’s dad is getting more tea or something where the three look up into Luna’s room at a series of paintings. The paintings, obviously, were done by Luna, and featured the three amigos, Ginny, and Neville, and the word friends was written all around them. It was such a cute scene that gave Luna importance in the series, and, you guessed it, they skipped it during the films. Without this scene, Luna’s character is just the weird girl who says strange things at opportune moments. And that’s not who Luna is. Luna, in all her eccentricity, is the most grounded character in the series. She’s sweet and fun and completely herself. Luna is who everyone should aspire to be like. But in the movies, she’s just random “comic” relief.
In the books, after Ron uses the deluminator to track down Harry and Hermione after they’ve been separated for a few months, Hermione is justly upset with him. While she’s avoiding him, Harry and Ron have a really cute conversation about how Dumbledore knew Ron would need the deluminator.
Ron: “Dumbledore must’ve known I’d run away.”
Harry: “No, he knew you’d always want to come back.”
….Or something to that effect. Either way, it was this really touching friendship moment that was completely watered down for the film. It was only two lines of dialogue, David Yates! AUGH.
That’s about all I had wrong with the first movie…. otherwise I thought it was pretty good. *gasp* Which brings us to the crapstorm that was
Deathly Hallows part 2:
Room of Requirement:
Correct me if I’m wrong, but the entire point of that bunch of kids hiding in the Room of Requirement, where the three amigos entered Hogwarts from the pub, was that they weren’t safe anywhere else. They were what was left of Dumbledore’s army, which they resurrected for the purpose of standing up to the Carrows, two Deatheater siblings basically running Hogwarts after Dumbledore’s fall. In between attending classes taught by teachers on Harry’s side and causing general mayhem, those kids stayed in the Room for safety. The Carrows had even recruited a good number of Slytherin students to patrol the halls and torture “out of hand” kids. And guess how much of this they told us in the movie?
Oh. Hah. That’s right. NONE OF IT. The three amigos follow Neville back through that room into the castle, the kids in the room of requirement cheer because Harry’s back, and then they jump ahead to a scene that doesn’t really make any sense. But we’ll get to that in a second.
The Room of Requirement was an incredibly important plot point to include, because it basically tells us everything we need to know about the current state of Hogwarts. We’ve been with most of these characters since the first two movies- and they get absolutely no air time to explain how badass they’ve all become. Their bravery gives Harry the strength and motivation to sacrifice himself for them. Stupid David Yates.
So taking into account the aforementioned exile most of Dumbledore’s Army, why did every single one of them show up at Snape’s impromptu school meeting? That doesn’t seem very safe… especially when you further realize that Snape’s impromptu school meeting didn’t make any freaking sense. He called it because Harry was apparently seen in Hogsmeade. Oh, I’m sorry, I must have missed tha- NO I DIDN’T. The three amigos might have set off an alarm, but they certainly weren’t seen, and if they had been, they would have been captured while chatting up Aberforth. So, yeah. Way to check your continuity, David Yates.
Important deaths for important people
During the course of the battle at Hogwarts, a lot of major characters die. Colin Creevy, Fred Weasley, Lupin and Tonks, and a whole slew of other people. Guess which of those four I mentioned we got to see struck down in a really epic way? Hah. Got you again. None of them.
Granted, Colin Creevy’s death wasn’t seen in the book, but he was at least mentioned when they started counting the dead. It’s like he showed up to be annoying in the Chamber of Secrets and then completely disappears off the face of the Earth. Sigh.
Tonks and Lupin were the biggest controversy-couple in the books, and were incredibly important in Harry’s life. But they barely get any screen time during their ill-fated romance. Augh.
But my biggest qualm was with Fred’s death. Remember when George lost an ear and we spent like a half an hour on it? Fred gets, tops, 5 seconds. In the last blog, I talk about how the movies should have kept the Percy betrayal story intact, and it would have righted this absolute wrong. In the book, Percy joins his family during the battle at Hogwarts and apologizes for being an ass. His parents seem appeased, but the twins are justly still a bit angry. Then, while Fred and Percy are dueling the current minister of magic -Percy’s boss- Percy yells out something like “Oh, and by the way, Minister. I quit!” And Fred laughs and has this really sweet moment of total forgiveness of his brother, and then is magicked down.
Fred was important, and his death should have reflected that. Like Luna, the twins saw past all the BS in the world and were completely themselves. Remember their totally epic school dropout? And their joke shop that kept people laughing through the worst of times? And Fred gets 5 effing seconds?? WHAT IS WRONG WITH DAVID YATES THAT MAKES HIM WANT TO DESTROY EVERYTHING GOOD IN THE WORLD WITHOUT EXPLAINING WHY.
Release of sexual tension: Ron and Hermione’s first kiss
This is another one of those things that required a bit of work from the earlier movies- specifically, the Hogwarts kitchen scene in the fourth movie. I talked about this in my last blog, so go read it if you don’t remember what I’m talking about.
In the final book, while the teachers are evacuating the school through the Room of Requirement, the three amigos are running up one staircase or another when Ron stops. “We have to go down to the kitchens!” He cried. Hermione rolls her eyes at him. “How can you be hungry at a time like this??” “No, not for food- someone has to tell the house elves to get out of there!” Hermione blinks, and then they share their much-anticipated first kiss. That scene, while also being adorable, completely redeemed Ron of all the crap he put her through in all of the books. It humanized him, made him more than just the whiny yet hillarious sidekick.
But David Yates isn’t interested in humanizing the characters, apparently. He only has eyes for unnecessary explosions.
Harry’s Love Shield Speech:
I think I explain my issue with this failure pretty well in this video:
Which, finally, brings us to…
So Voldemort has been defeated (albeit lamely and anticlimactically) and the three amigos are walking around on a bridge mulling this victory over. At this point, Harry has been using Draco Malfoy’s wand for a few weeks, his own wand is broken in Hermione’s magic bag, and he’s won the Elder Wand. In the books, Harry uses the incredibly powerful Elder Wand to repair his own beloved wand, and then leaves the Elder Wand behind. In the movie? Harry snaps the Elder Wand dramatically and walks away. Sorry, what? So I’m supposed to believe that Harry, for the rest of his life, uses Draco Malfoy’s crappy wand instead of his own, super special and important wand? Really? Screw that, David Yates.
Harry’s wand is basically a metaphor for Harry’s new life. After 11 years of being physically and emotionally abused, Harry’s wand is what finally separates him from a world that has been so cruel to him. And not only that, but in fact, Harry’s wand is super special for another reason- the phoenix feather core is identical to, yes, Voldemort’s old wand, and that link is really important in, oh geez I don’t know, 5 MOVIES, ever since they had that weird connection at the end of the Goblet of Fire.
But no, movie Harry is totally chill giving that up for a dramatic wand snap and a lifetime with Draco effing Malfoy’s wand. Ugh.
In summation: The final movie was a complete let down, and although the filmmakers could have redeemed themselves quite easily and cheaply… they went instead for overdramatic explosions. Yeah, good choice. Good choice.