Sunday, 17 July 2011

Harry Potter | What did they do to the end of the Deathly Hallows? | JK Rowling

I'm not going to go on an on about this. The talented and hard working individuals who made the Harry Potter movies know more than I do about turning books into film and what flies in the multiplex. But I do wish they hadn't messed with JK Rowling's ending.

It's not completely different, of course. The essential elements are there, right down to having Neville chop off the head of the snake. But the final battle did not resonate with me on screen as it did in the book. It was too focussed on Harry, Hermione and Ron. Everything was over simplified. And in the apparent rush to keep the action at breathless, breakneck speed a lot of the subtlety and even humour of Rowling's climax was sadly lost.

The films have never really done justice to Rowling's large cast of secondary characters. I can understand this -- the language of film is such that you need to concentrate on the lead. But why did they, for instance, have Snape's death scene in a hitherto unmentioned boathouse on the lake and not the far more meaningful Shrieking Shack (which Harry etc could get to via the tunnel, unseen, rather than just wander over to when all the death eaters are apparently looking the other way....)?

Why didn't Harry use his invisibility cloak in the forest and to evade the death eaters once the battle was rejoined?

In the book the battle is rejoined by the wizards and by the centaurs and the elves from the kitchen - while believing Harry is dead. It shows they are undefeated, defiant. It was far more powerful...

Why didn't Harry use the Elder wand at the end to repair his old wand?

Why not have the glorious scene in Dumbledore's office when all the portraits applaud him? Couldn't Warner Bros afford all those actors?

Why for that matter have the lame scene with Snape leading the kids into the hall, then Harry revealing himself? Rowling's version in the Ravenclaw tower was a lot better...

Oh I could go on, but you probably already think I'm a bit of an ubergeek to have said this much. Usually with Potter films I enjoy them the second time more, when I'm not too concerned about what is not there. But this one I feel got the pitch of the ending wrong. It was too grey, too joyless and you never got the sense of a great coming together of good magic to defeat the bad.

So yes, I did love it. Well done to them all. But the books are better...


  1. You've posted all the issues I had when I walked out of the cinema!

    "Why didn't Harry use his invisibility cloak..." I so agree with this point! I really hated that he didn't walk through and say his silent goodbyes to everyone. I know it would have been hard without his internal monologue, but I felt like their way just missed...something.

    I did really enjoy it but some of the changes really irked me because they seemed so nnnecessary. A great conclusion though!

  2. Yes!
    We wondered if perhaps the Warner Bros budget was being kept on a tight leash.... Hogwarts looked underpopulated for a grand finale...

  3. I wondered that as well since there seemed to be very little CGI unless they couldn't get around it. By that I mean there were a lot less magical creatures or spells that did something other than flash red or green lights.

    I also found it weird how characters just sort of appeared towards the end of the battle without really being shown much leading up to the fight, like Hagrid and a couple of others I can't think of specifically right now. Almost as if they thought "Oh no, will they get mad if we don't have Hagrid?" "Ahhh, just chuck him in near the end, it'll do."

  4. I think one of the biggest disappointments was the death of Fred. It didn't have the impact it might have had because we weren't there the moment it happened.

    It's almost impossible to do a film adaptation and please everyone, but I can't help but feel that the Harry Potters missed a couple of open goals. Extraordinary cinematic moments were missed out altogether. And then there are the subtle and not so subtle plot changes that alter Harry completely.

    The end of book/film six: when they are on the astronomy tower. In the book, Harry doesn't act because he can't. In the film it is because Snape tells him not to. Ridiculous change.

    And in DH the movie he tells Ron and Hermione that he is going to face Vold alone. Rowling is careful to make sure he doesn't do that in the book because THEY WOULDN'T HAVE LET HIM GO.

  5. You know what annoyed me about film #6? Why did Draco slave away over the cupboard if they weren't going to have a fight? It was going to be either him or Snape who killed Dumbledore, so if they didn't plan on doing a little damage around the castle or weren't afraid of the Order of the Phoenix being there patrolling why bother going to all that effort to bring the others in?

    I didn't like in this latest film the alterations they made around the elder wand. Why did they have to make it crack? Why didn't Harry fix his old wand? Why didn't he take it back to Dumbledore?

    Also the kid they got to play Harry's dad annoyed me. He was blonde and kind of chubby. For the last time, HARRY IS SUPPOSED TO LOOK LIKE HIS DAD BUT HAVE HIS MOTHER'S EYES! Sorry for the caps but my god that annoys me! Such a simple casting (or makeup in terms of D.Radcliff's blue eyes) decision, I don't know why they fought so hard against it!