So, just so you know, there will be movie and book spoilers ahead. I’m not sure how anyone could think otherwise, but there you go.
We went on Saturday to the matinée in some super old movie theatre on Amelia Island. It was already crowded, so we sat near the back. I could barely conceal my excitement. We had to sit through a ton of shitty previews, before the real thing finally started up. But once it did, it was glorious.
In the beginning, we got another remembrance of Dobby with his headstone: “Here lies Dobby, a free elf.” We immediately go inside Shell Cottage and have two much condensed talks with Griphook and Olivander. We end up missing a lot of the time at the cottage, but it didn’t feel all that missing.
On we went to Gringotts. Okay, is it me or were the goblins look a lot less like they came out of a Dickens novel the first time we went with Harry in his first year? Carter did an excellent job of looking shy and unsure as she was supposed to be Hermione inside. Ron’s disguise was quite nice. That ride to the vault and escape from the dragon is BEGGING for a Universal ride. I know they had to ride a dragon out, but that escape looked a lot easier than it seemed in the book.
So, next thing, we’re heading to Hogsmeade. We meet Aberforth finally and they sort of explain the mirror. We don’t get any of the Albus background that makes him such a complex character that we get in the book. Finally, it’s time to go back to Hogwarts. The painting swings open and there’s Neville! /cheer! It’s no secret that he’s my favorite. Can I take a moment to say how hot Lewis has gotten? He’s had some serious orthodontia work done! The last pictures I’d seen of him before this premiere, he was still hot, but his teeth were still a bit messed up. But look at him now:
Bloody hell! /fans self Anyway, Neville takes them to Hogwarts. They completely did away with the explaining that they aren’t there for a big fight to take back Hogwarts and the awkwardness that all had. There are several lines that allude to the fact that Neville’s calling in the remaining DA and the Order once he knew Harry was there. There is no sneaking off to Ravenclaw with Luna. They simply sneak into a big assembly with Snape and announce themselves. Instead of filtering the Slytherins out through the room of requirement, they put them in the dungeon (much better idea), but only leave Filch to escort them (idiot idea).
We get several nice McGonnagal moments, but we miss a lot of the back and forth we got in the book. Though, there was quite a bit of detail to the battle. In the movie, Voldy comes in and gives them an hour to hand over Harry, instead of there being fighting and then giving them an hour. They throw up their defenses and fight. We don’t get any Grawp and Hagrid’s missing until the forest scene. Ron and Hermione go get the basilisk fangs and finally kiss after she destroys the cup. Luna yells at Harry for not listening to her (FINALLY! Some emotion from Luna!) and he goes to see Helena Ravenclaw. She leaves him with a riddled phrase to tell him where the diadem is that he immediately sees through. He runs to the Room of Requirement but instead of finding it on a bust, it’s locked in a box and he can sense them. Also, in this movie? Suddenly Harry can sense the horcruxes because he is one and suddenly Voldy can feel it when they’re destroyed. Hrm. Anyway, he finds it and Malfoy, Goyle, and Blaize (playing the part of the disgraced Crabbe) are after him. They don’t explain the fire (Was it call fiend fire? I forget), but you can see Goyle trying to get it to stop coming from his wand. They rescue Malfoy and Blaize (Was it Blaize or Goyle? I forget) and destroy the diadem outside the room, and not with the fire like the book.
The trio make their way to Snape and Voldy in some glass house that doesn’t look like the school greenhouses, but is definitely not the Shrieking Shack and we see Voldy kill Snape. Instead of getting Snape’s memories like usual, Harry takes his tears. The fighting ceases and Voldy tells his people to retreat. He instructs them to bury their dead and if Harry comes to him, no one else needs to die. So, we see Harry coming into the great hall where we see that Fred is dead, along with Tonks and Remus. Do we see Lavender Brown dead here too? Or was that in battle we saw that? Anyway, Harry takes the tears to the pensieve in the headmaster’s office and checks them out. We see a much abbreviated version of what happened in the book. Watching these, I was unsure if someone who hadn’t read the books would get the full gist of what was going on exactly through a lot of the book, but specifically here. Anyway, Harry comes out knowing he’s got to die. He finds Hermione consoling Ron on the staircase alone. They half-heartedly try and get him to not go to Voldy, but off he goes. He tells THEM to take care of the snake instead of sneaking out under the invisibility cloak and giving the job to Neville. Since I’m such a Neville fan, I didn’t care for that part so much, but it’s a small thing. Speaking of Neville, there’s a part right in here somewhere where Neville sees Harry and asks if he’s seen Luna. Harry’s a bit confused as to why he wants her and he tells Harry he’s mad for her and now’s as good a time as any to tell her. I LOVED that Neville at least liked Luna at this point and in my mind, he ends up with her instead of snarly Hannah Abbot, tyvm.
Harry makes his way to the edge of the forest where the snitch comes out. The words appear without him sticking it in his mouth (?) but once he licks it or kisses it or whatever, it opens and the stone comes out. We get a brief convo with the elder Potters, Black, and Lupin and off he goes. He does not go under the cloak. Hagrid, it appears, has been here in chains the entire time. We get Mama Malfoy doing her thing just like the book and they head back to the castle. Neville makes his stand, but it’s not very well written, imho. Instead of him killing the snake here, Voldy blasts him back to the great hall, where he wakes up a bit later looking dazed and very 1st year Neville-like and utterly disappointing. Anyway, after Neville’s blasted back, Harry shows himself and runs off before any fighting starts. Despite the fact that Voldy needs to keep Nagini with him, he doesn’t. It chases Ron and Hermione and Neville kills it. Yay, except it looked more like an attack of opportunity rather than any real skill, so I was a bit disappointed in that. Harry and Voldy are all over the castle in a bunch of stuff that didn’t happen in the book. Molly kills Belatrix and says her awesome line. Harry ends up killing Voldy in the courtyard with no one else around. He explains the wand thing to him. The end of the battle sees the trio on the bridge (which we hadn’t seen until this movie) where Harry breaks the wand and throws it away, NOT using it to mend his old wand and then putting the Elder Wand away so it will “die with him.”
Fast forward 19 years to King’s Cross. Harry looks very much the same, but with stuffier clothing. Jenny’s got a mom hairdo. Hermione looks much the same. Ron has a belly and looks a bit odd. We see a passing Draco who looks badly made up to be older. Who did he marry? Do we know her? Harry consoles his youngest, but we don’t get the brotherly stuff we got in the book. We also don’t get anything with Ron and Hermione’s girl of the same age going with him. We don’t get a “give our love to your Uncle Neville” thing.
So, overall, there were only a few small things that I didn’t care for. Most of the stuff they left out, I understood why they made that decision. Overall, I LOVED it. I think it might be my favorite. I felt like they did a great job. There was a Neville hero moment for this Neville fangirl, there was the Ron/Hermione kisses and hand-holding that appeased me. There was another tribute to Dobby in the beginning. I loved the Harry saving Draco moment. I totally cried over Fred’s death and Snape’s stuff. I’m glad they gave some explanation for that mirror that made no sense in the movies. Snape was amazing. So, yeah. I’m totally a fan. I think we’re all gonna go see it again this weekend. And I’ll probably take Em to see it again next week. So, there ya go. My (long, drawn out) thoughts on the movie.