Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II opened last night on July 15, and I was there to see it. I must begin by stating there will be some spoilers in here and that I have read every Harry Potter Book by J.K. Rowling book at least twice. If you are a real Potter fan, you will enjoy reading this and comparing it to your own take on this last movie of the series.
The movie began predictably, Harry is trying to find the location of the remaining horcruxes and destroy them so that Voldemort will be unable to be reborn ever again. He will break into the vault of Bellatrix Lestrange and find the Cup of Slytherin. After a daring escape, he will go on to Hogwarts to find the last two horcruxes. This is with great adversity as Snape is now the headmaster and everyone is looking for Harry.
Voldemort is beginning to discover that Harry is destroying horcruxes and is desperately trying to master the Elder Wand. He is keenly aware that the wand does not seem to properly respond to him as he wishes. He also demonstrates fear for the first time in the series as he comes to grips with the destruction of his horcruxes. He does believe that the Elder Wand will help him to kill Harry once and for all.
Once Harry is assisted by Abeforth in Hogsmeade he, Hermonie and Ron are ready to search Hogwarts for the relic from the Ravenclaw house that will prove to be the second to last horcrux. The conditions at Hogwarts under Snape are eluded to, but not emphasized as much as the book. The Carrows who enforce the rules are merely mentioned, where in the book they play a larger role. Luna ultimately leads Harry to those who can help him find the lost diadem of Ravenclaw. Ron and Hermoine enter the Chamber of Secrets to destroy the Cup of Slytherin with a Basalisk fang and to collect some for the last remaining horcruxes.
As the cup is destroyed, Harry comes to realize the last horcrux is indeed Nagini, the monstrous snake that is never more than a step away from Voldemort. He locates the lost diadem and destroys it. As this occurs, Voldemort and the Death Eaters break the defenses of Hogwarts and the Battle for Hogwarts begins. Some of the highlights of the battle seems are omitted from the movie. It was disappointing for them to leave Percy Weasley out of the fight. They also do not show how one of the Weasely twins was killed. The movie also leaves out the presence of the many who come from the town of Hogsmeade. One of these was none other than Neville Longbottom’s grandmother, which really would have made for some comedic screenplay if she had been a part of the battle.
Snape is destroyed by Voldemort on the outskirts of the castle. Voldemort does this because he believes the true master of the Elder Wand is the person who killed Dumbledore. What Voldemort fails to realize is the master of the Elder Wand is the individual who disarmed Dumbledore (Draco Malfoy, and then Harry), not who killed him. Nonetheless, Snape is killed by Nagini under the orders of the Dark Lord. As he lays dying, Harry (who in the book should be under his Cloak of Invisibility with Snape’s knowledge) is given a memory by Snape.
Harry takes Snapes memory after his death to the headmaster’s chamber. Through this memory, Harry comes to realize the love that Severus Snape had for his mother, Lily. He is filled with a love for the Severus Snape he never knew, and a new respect. He also learns that indeed his scar does contain a piece of Voldemort’s soul and is in fact the last horcrux. The only way to destroy this horcrux would be for Harry to die. Harry then trudges off to face his enemy and his death. Before leaving, he reveals to Neville that Nagini is the last horcrux and implores him to destroy the snake the minute he has an opportunity.
As Harry approaches the forest he discovers the true nature of the golden snitch he had been carrying that was willed to him by Dumbledore. He looks at the snitch and tells it that he is ready to die and kisses it. The snitch opens to reveal the Resurrection Stone (the second Deathly Hallow). Harry’s parents, Sirius and Lupin appear and give him the strength to prepare for his death. A major piece left out in the moive was how Harry would use the Resurrection Stone to come back to life. It is simply dropped in the forest which does not explain how Harry is able to come back from the dead.
When Voldemort sees him, Harry offers no resistance and is killed by the killing curse. He then goes to King’s Cross Station to speak with Dumbledore who offers him advice and explains more to Harry. The happen upon the last part of Voldemort’s soul, a beastly thing that is clearly suffering. Harry feels sorry for it, but is unable to comfort it. Harry then returns to the world of the living.
The last part of the saga is rather confusing. In the book, it is well explained that if the Elder Wand is used for evil and not by its true master, it will start to destroy the user a little at a time. The movie eludes to this as the Dark Lord appears to suffer when he uses the wand to great extravagance and when he kills Harry. The other piece missing is Harry’s sympathy for Voldemore and his offer to allow him to repent.
That being said, Neville does indeed kill the snake Nagini, and with it the last horcrux. Harry surprises the Death Eaters and Voldemort in front of all in the courtyard of Hogwarts and they duel. Harry and Voldemort’s wand are still locked but as Voldemort pushes harder he begins to weaken. He eventually dies trying to kill Harry again. Harry then takes the Elder wand.
Overall, this was the very best of the Harry Potter movies. It is action packed and did a good job of revealing a great deal of the story line without confusing those who never read the books. I do hope, as do millions of others that J.K. Rowling will write more books. Perhaps even a prequel that shows the history leading up to Harry’s birth when the original Order of the Phoenix was formed to fight Voldemort the first time.