I bet you all thought I’d forgotten about this, hadn’t you.
Yes, we’re finally returning to the well of magic and mystery. We’ve had a good long time to let the previous article sink in, and now we’re on the homestretch, especially as I’m doing parts one and two at the same time!
With that out the way, let’s get back onto the main story. We see Hermione erasing her parents’ memories, and leaving her house. This is all well and good, until you realise she erased their memories, not alter them. In the books, Hermione sets up a nice little cover story that means her parents will be happy regardless of the trio’s success. In the films she uses a simple “obliviate” charm, thus removing any trace of her from their memories, yet still leaving various aspects of her in their life. Her bedroom still looks like it may have been recently lived in, and someone is probably going to be having an awkward conversation when they discover an item of clothing that didn’t fit Hermione, so she left it behind. I’m unsure on how the memory erasing charm works, but it is implied to be near permanent too, meaning that she has given up her children ever knowing their grandparents too. It’s never brought up again, so we can hope this isn’t the case, but at least the books gave the glimmer of hope that she could track them down and reverse the charm.
During the escape from Privet Drive, Moody refers to the Weasley household (the final destination) as The Burrows, despite the fact that there is only one. It wouldn’t have been too hard to alter the audio in post production to make it the correct pronunciation. It’s a minor point, but after seven films, you would expect something like that to be picked up and corrected.
Following the chase sequence, Lupin tests Harry’s authenticity by asking him which creature was above Lupin’s desk during his third year at Hogwarts. However, there were no creatures (at least none that could be seen) above Lupin’s desk. Are we now entering an alternate universe, where Harry WAS replaced by a Death Eater, who then had a change of heart and chose to continue living out the real Harry’s life and defeat Voldemort? No. That would be stupid, it makes more sense that we could have been shown a random creature in a tank during the third film and it got cut due to budget constraints.
Staying with the tracking of our heroic trio, it’s never explained as to how the Death Eaters ever discover where Harry, Ron and Hermione are hiding. It’s explained in the books that a jinx has been placed on Voldemort’s name, admittedly later in the tale, but it’s never brought up in the films. This makes the Death Eaters either incredibly lucky, and they just happen to be where the three friends show up, or they have fantastic tracking skills and choose to hunt Harry on their own to be able to brag about taking him down (ignoring the fact that Voldemort would almost certainly torture them for stealing his kill).
During the infiltration of the Ministry, by Harry, Ron and Hermione, Harry’s polyjuice potion wears off first, despite the three of them taking it at the same time. I’m still not entirely certain on timings for the potion, since its introduction in the second book where it was just an hour, but it does seem to have kept that time frame. It may be the concentration, the amount that was made or a whole host of other factors, but it would be reckless to give the three of them differing amounts of potion, especially when the smallest amount is given to Public Enemy Number One. It would have been easy to fix this by adding in a line about how it is the last of the potion (it never gets used again in the films) and it becomes more unstable the longer it is left unused. This then explains why Harry is the first to transform so long before the other two.
After the three friends are captured and imprisoned in Malfoy Manor, Ron and Harry are locked in the basement, whilst Hermione is tortured upstairs. This will sound rather callous and potentially disturbing, but it should be implied that Hermione is being tortured more than she is. The book goes into detail with regards to the pain that she’s put through, and Ron’s response helps to show how much he cares for her. The scene was probably toned down to achieve a lower rating from the film classification board, but it feels like Ron and Harry don’t care so much for what is happening. They obviously do, but without the screams of their friend, they seem a little less eager to escape.
Finally, for the first film at least. The final scene, where we see Voldemort desecrating Dumbledore’s tomb should be placed as an Avengers style post-credits scene, as a little teaser for what we’ll be expecting in the next film, especially as it’s repeated at the beginning of part two.
Into one of the most heavily guarded places in the wizarding world.
Where Harry is Public Enemy Number One.
Nothing can go wrong!
Instead of blatantly appearing in Diagon Alley, they should have Harry hide underneath the invisibility cloak immediately. It doesn’t change the film in any way, but it makes me feel safer with the story knowing that the Chosen One isn’t holding an Idiot Ball and flashing his mug wherever he goes. Hell, it would make production costs cheaper, as all you’d have to do was dub in Harry’s lines during post-production and have the other characters pretend he was there. The stealthy apparition problem happens again later when they go to Hogsmeade. Instead of apparating under the cloak, they choose to go completely undisguised and then put the cloak on when they get there, despite the fact that they could have bumped into anyone; Death Eater, Voldemort, random member of the public who’s so scared for their life that they’ll snitch on anyone just to save themselves... When you think about it, Harry, Ron and Hermione got very lucky.
Voldemort’s usage of the Elder Wand shows it cracking under the strain, no other wand appears to do this. The only wands we see get damaged or destroyed are Harry’s and Ron’s, and that was more down to outside influences than anything they had done. Showing it breaking implies that it isn’t the all-powerful weapon that it’s purported to be until now, instead it shows a potentially weak wand that has had a large legend built around it. This belief is also suggested when Harry snaps it in two easily. He also does it without fixing his old wand. Leaving him defenceless (ok, Voldemort’s been killed, but that doesn’t mean that there couldn’t be a sneaky Death Eater hiding to take a pot-shot at his nemesis. The whole point of Harry’s destruction of the Elder Wand was meant to be symbolic of him being undefeated and depowering the legend that surrounded the wand. It also links into the themes of loyalty, where he retains his old, reliable wand.