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Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 2 (spoilers)

I guess it’s about time I started reading the books.

I have now seen all the movies. I just returned from the final entry.

The final story in a cohesive series bears a huge burden. It must tie together the threads of not only its own story, but of the entire series in a satisfying way. In this case, there have been seven movies leading up to this final showdown. That’s a lot of story to tie together and a lot of weight to carry.

I haven’t quite finished processing what I think of this film yet, so I am just going to list some thoughts I have below. We’ll see where that takes us. There will be huge, massive spoilers. Don’t read any further if you don’t want to know. Seriously.

  • I enjoyed the film overall, but something felt missing. I wonder if that would improve if I watched parts 1 and 2 back to back. I admit to having forgotten some detail of part 1 in the intervening months.
  • Snape turns out to be a good guy. No surprise there. I was surprised, however, at the violence of his death – and really that he died at all. I thought he’d make it.
  • Snape had the same patronis as Harry’s mother and Harry (right?). Here I’m a little confused. Was that simply because they’d been friends for so long and he loved her, or because he was really Harry’s father? I think that distinction was a little unclear.
  • I think I need to hear the Deathly Hallows story again. Am I right in gathering that Dumbledore was the central character in that story? He certainly had possession of all three hallows.
  • What was the point of the resurrection stones? Just that he can talk to dead loved ones? I’m not sure I see why he dropped it in the woods.
  • I liked all the callbacks to previous films (mostly in revisiting key locations).
  • I’m a little confused about the timeline surrounding the Gryffendor sword and its replica.
  • I’m a little disappointed in the death of Voldemorte. It looked cool and dramatic and all, but I really don’t think it was pulled off in a way that supported the theme of all the stories (which it had to do): that love is greater than evil. As shown, Harry fought evil with power and smarts, though in the end it came down to power. I understand that I’m oversimplifying and that friendship and love did figure in, but the emphasis was really on the fact that the Elder Wand was rejecting Voldemorte. So it’s just the mechanics of magic that beat him and Harry was good enough to capitalize on that. That’s fine, but doesn’t really support the love theme very well. As I said to my wife on the way home, really all they had to do to refocus the emphasis was to show the ghosts of his loved ones standing around Harry encouraging and supporting him. That would have clearly shown that what was sustaining Harry was love. And I wouldn’t have minded seeing a little more fear – or maybe rage – on Voldemorte’s face at the end, either.

There’s more bubbling around in my head, but those are the biggest rocks tumbling around in there.

Have you seen it yet? Read the books? What did you think? Can you answer my questions?

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2 comments to Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 2 (spoilers)

  • Hannah

    I read the books but did not see the movie and i can answer your questions.
    Snape loved Harry’s mom and had the same patronus, a doe (female deer) as her. Harry’s patronus (and his dad James) was a stag (male deer). Harry looked just like his dad with the exception of having his moms eyes. Snape protects Harry b/c of his love for Harry’s mom yet despises him b/c he is a living reminder of lily’s preference of another man.
    Dumbledore never had all three at the same time. The cloak belonged to Harry. Harry didn’t have all three at the same time and left the stone in the forest b/c it is safer that way. He only used the stone to fulfill a mission that would protect others and not for selfish purposes.
    The sword of gryfindor was taken by griphook the goblin yet it can present itself to any worthy Gryfindor at any time. That is why it reappears.
    The death of voldemort does support the love is stronger theme. After Harry gives himself up to save his friends they were protected from voldemort (like he was by his moms sacrifice) they could not be touched. In the book voldemort uses Avada kedavra (killing curse) and Harry uses expelliarmus (disarming charm) and voldemorts curse rebounds because Harry was the true owner of the wand. This shows the power of good over evil.

    Reply to this comment

    Jeff says:

    Thanks, Hannah! Very helpful.

    I’m still a little confused on the Sword issue, but more specifically on when it first was put in the vault, when it disappeared from the vault, and when the replica was placed there. That was definitely not clear in the movie. Or maybe it just went by too fast for me to understand it.

    On Voldemort’s death, your answer very much supports what I subsequently found and posted in my other HP7.2 post (which, if you would like to read it, is here).

    It seems like quite a lot was lost in translation from book to movie (which isn’t that surprising, I suppose).

    Reply to this comment

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