Here we are. The end of the Harry Potter movie saga. I watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as one long movie. So my blog entry will be on both of them as well.
Throughout Pt. 1 & 2, Harry, Ron and Hermione set out to find and destroy the Horcruxes, those mystical objects that Voldemort divided his soul into to help himself stay immortal.
After an attack at the wedding of Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour, the trio disapparate to London. They go to the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix. There, they learn that one of the Horcruxes is a locket that is now in the possession of Umbridge at the Ministry of Magic. Using Polyjuice potion to disguise themselves, infiltrate the Ministry and escape with the locket. In the process, however, Ron is injured. He cannot disapparate again until he heals. They take turns wearing the locket, hoping to dilute its power. But it overpowers Ron to the point he storms off after a falling out with Harry and Hermione.
Harry and Hermione then go to Godric’s Hollow to visit the grave of Harry’s parents. Afterwards, Harry and Hermione see a Patronus in the form of a doe. It leads them to a frozen pond where the sword of Gryffindor is buried beneath the ice. Harry breaks through the ice and retrieves the sword.
Ron then shows up and helps Harry destroy the locket. The trio makes peace and goes to visit Luna Lovegood’s father to inquire about a symbol he was wearing around his neck on a necklace at the wedding.
The symbol is the Deathly Hallows, three magical objects that combine to make a wizard a master of death. The trio then try to leave, but Mr. Lovegood plans to exchange Harry for Luna, who is being held prisoner by the Death Eaters. Harry, Ron and Hermione escape to the woods. But then they are grabbed by the Snatchers. The Snatchers turn them over to the Death Eaters, who plan to torture them for information. Dobby manages to help all the prisoners escape. But, in saving everyone, Dobby is killed. The first movie ends with Voldemort breaking into Dumbledore’s coffin and stealing the Elder Wand (one of the Deathly Hallows).
As Pt. 2 begins, Harry, Ron and Hermione ask the goblin Griphook to help them break into Bellatrix Lestrange’s vault at Gringotts. Griphook agrees, in exchange for the sword of Gryffindor. After getting into the vault, they discover the Horcrux. It’s Helga Hufflepuff’s cup. Once Harry gets the cup, Griphook snatched the sword and abandons them. The trio escapes by releasing the dragon that serves as the Gringotts guard and riding on its back.
Harry then has a vision that the next Horcrux is related to Rowena Ravenclaw. Through Dumbledore’s brother Aberforth and Neville Longbottom, the trio takes a secret passage into Hogwarts. Snape, now Hogwarts headmaster, warns students and staff about aiding Harry Potter. When McGonagall challenges Snape to a duel following Harry’s arrival in the castle, Snape flees. McGonagall then gathers the Hogwarts community for battle.
Luna Lovegood insists Harry speak to Helena Ravenclaw’s ghost about the lost diadem of her mother Rowena Ravenclaw. Harry figures out from Helena that the diadem is in the Room of Requirement. Meanwhile, Ron and Hermione go into the Chamber of Secrets to destroy Hufflepuff’s cup with a Basilisk fang. Then the trio uses fang to destroy the diadem.
Voldemort’s army attacks. In the chaos, Harry has a vision where he learns that Nagini (Voldemort’s snake) is a Horcrux. They head toward the boathouse where they overhear Voldemort tell Snape that the Elder Wand will not serve him while Snape lives. Voldemort has Nagini kill Snape. Before Snape breathes his last breath, he has Harry take his tears and put them in the Pensieve.
From Snape’s memories, Harry learns that Snape despised Harry’s father (who bullied him), but loved his mother Lily. After Harry’s parents are murdered, Snape worked with Dumbledore to protect Harry from Voldemort because of Snape’s love for Lily. It is also revealed that Dumbledore was dying and asked Snape to kill him.
The Patronus that led Harry and Hermione to the sword of Gryffindor was conjured by Snape. But, there’s one more vital bit of information in Snape’s memories. Harry is also a Horcrux. The scar on his forehead was put there when the killing curse rebounded the night Harry’s parents were killed.
Harry turns himself over to Voldemort in the Forbidden Forest. Voldemort attacks him with the killing curse. Harry then lies in limbo. While in the spirit world, Harry meets Dumbledore. Dumbledore informs him that the part of Voldemort inside him is now destroyed. Harry then goes back into his body to defeat Voldemort.
Voldemort announces Harry’s death to the crowd at Hogwarts. As Neville makes a defiant speech and pulls the sword from the Sorting Hat, Harry reveals he’s still alive. Neville slays Nagini with the sword, making Voldemort mortal and Harry kills Voldemort.
There’s then an epilogue with the characters 19 years later sending their kids to Hogwarts.
I was skeptical at first of Deathly Hallows being split into two movies. But, having watched them as one long movie, the decision makes sense. The extra time allows us to fully appreciate the emotional weight of what happens to every character. As one movie, it would have felt rushed and ended the series on a sour note.
There’s a lot to love about these final movies. One of them is the fact that they use CGI and pyrotechnics, but intelligently. They never overshadow the human drama.
Speaking of human drama, I want to recognize two characters that really stood out in the last part. One is Neville Longbottom. As brilliantly played by Matthew Lewis, Neville comes full circle. He’s not the geeky kid everybody picked on in the first movie anymore. By the end he’s become one of the fiercest warriors at Hogwarts and a natural leader. His arc is just as satisfying as it was in the books.
And then there’s Alan Rickman. I’ve praised him before in my look back at this series. But he outdoes himself here. Learning Snape’s backstory and realizing the emotional burden he’s carried throughout the previous 6 movies, you really can’t help but marvel at Rickman’s acting chops. He reveals to the audience exactly what they need to know and when. It’s a brilliant performance that really solidifies what a brilliant actor he was. His passing was a great loss.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is a satisfying ending to the blockbuster franchise. Everyone that worked on the series deserves a round of applause. It was a massive undertaking and they pulled it off beautifully.