Ah, the wonder that is Harry Potter. Can it be over? Really? Is this possible? So last night at midnight I was sitting with Sara and Nemo in a movie theater, grinning as everyone cheered as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 began. Excitement filled the (rather hot) room. (Apparently the air conditioning was on the fritz. Seriously, people, I think they should have planned for the hundreds of movie-goers who were flooding the theater last night. Air conditioning is a must.) I was eating junior mints and sour-patch kids and the moment was perfect. I do have to tell you, though, I think I may have been the only pregnant woman there. My Harry Potter T-shirt was stretched over my belly. When Sara first walked up to me in the lobby, I asked her, “Tell me truth. Does this shirt make me look fat?” 🙂
So, the movie was great. I really liked it. I think, however, for someone who loved the books as much as I did, I’m always going to wish they stayed closer to the original storyline. I can understand small things changing for clarity and pacing (like deleting the part about Ariana, and Ollivander knowing about the Deathly Hallows, and the Ravenclaw ghost telling Harry where the diadem was instead of him figuring it out on his own, and Ron and Hermione kissing in the Chamber of Secrets instead of when he mentions the house elves–who were never mentioned at all)–all those changes flowed well and probably were necessary for timing. Still, there are things I missed. The pacing was super fast and that was cool, but I wish we could have had a few more snippets of moments with Hagrid, Remus and Tonks, Ginny, and Mr. Weasley. Also, Fred’s death is a huge moment in the book and we only see him after the fact in the movie. I wish they had shown that scene. Luna and Neville don’t end up together in the book, so I wasn’t sure what the purpose was in going in that direction. I also wish they’d stayed closer to the book when it came to Neville killing Nagini (the hat and the flames and all that) and showing more of Lily and Snape when they were in high school instead of them as children and then jumping to Lily being with James. I missed Harry and Voldemort fighting in front of a huge audience, and Harry having that opportunity to explain more to Voldemort about why he was the true master of the elder wand. I missed Harry going to see Dumbledore’s portrait afterward and that rather light-hearted moment at the very end of the book where Harry’s just happy it’s over and tired and hoping Kreacher will bring him a sandwich. Also, I never feel like they do Harry and Ron’s relationship justice. He’s always hugging Hermione and having these heartfelt moments with her, but, truly, Ron is his best friend and like family to him, so I wish they’d have made that just as evident and strong as they did Harry and Hermione’s friendship. I felt that way about the last movie as well.
So–there were some departures from the book I wasn’t crazy about–on the other hand, there were moments I thought were great. Like the Gringotts section at the beginning and Hermione pretending to be Bellatrix. All of that was so fun and so well done. The dragon escaping was very cool. The wizard fights and the wizards protecting Hogwarts were super fun to see. It was nice to have a few moments of Professor McGonagall taking charge–she’s awesome. I loved Harry’s reaction to first seeing Ginny back at Hogwarts–just adorable. The fight between Mrs. Weasley and Bellatrix. Snape’s death was done very well–he’s just such an incredible character.The King’s Cross Station scene felt a bit rushed to me, but I was so glad to see Dumbledore again. I loved the final scene with Harry talking to his son. So sweet.
It’s just such an amazing series. Really. J.K. Rowling is basically a genius. She created such memorable characters and such an incredible story. I know I can’t wait until the day that Ashtyn’s old enough for us to read the books together. I think this series will join the classics. And while I was sad that this was the final movie, so it’s over in a way–I’m still super excited to plan a trip to the Wizarding World and to go through the series all over again with my own children. So to me–it’s like the way you might feel about books like Anne of Green Gables or the Wizard of Oz. They’re never really over. That world and those characters are always there, available for you to escape to for a little while. And Harry Potter is just like that. Always sitting comfortably on my bookshelf, ready whenever I need a little magic.