Blog #3B: Deathly Hallows, Part I (With Spoilers)

“HERE LIES DOBBY, A FREE ELF”

I’m tearing up, just typing it.  In the last thirty hours, I’ve seen Deathly Hallows, Part I (DH.1) three times, and if anything, I cried more each time I’ve seen it.  I’m getting ahead of myself though.  Let’s start at the beginning.  I may have a few things out of order since I’m doing it from memory.

The opening scene in Malfoy Manor was chilling.  Ralph Fiennes was brilliant, and you can feel the fear in the room when he speaks.  Jason Isaacs is playing a shadow of a once proud man, broken and afraid.  Lucius is downright terrified of Voldemort the way he’s probably never been afraid of anyone in his life.

Then there’s Alan Rickman.  I was holding my breath as Snape sat there, staring blankly at Charity Burbage as she begs him to help her and reminds him that they were friends just before Voldemort murders her.  It was chilling.

The following montage perfectly illustrated that Harry, Ron, and Hermione were saying goodbye to their old lives.  I heard a lot of talk before the movie came out about Hermione erasing her parents’ memories, and that was wonderful, but I was even more moved by the departure of the Dursley’s.  Harry watched them go, and you could tell that on some level, he was going to miss them.  Even with everything they had done to him, they were still his family.  Just perfect.

The Seven Potters scene was expertly filmed.  Dan really did an amazing job taking on the persona of each of the other characters he was playing.  Of note in the scene, Tonks tried to tell him about the baby, but Mad Eye put a stop to that.

I usually like dramatic moments, but I was glad they didn’t have a “Harry and Hedwig” scene.  They certainly could have had a moment when he tells her to be careful and to meet them at the burrow, but they didn’t.  Harry just walks outside with her on his arm, and she flies away.  I know he death in the book had a lot of deeper meaning, but I really like the way this was all done in the movie.  The escape from Privet Drive was chaotic and frenzied and exciting, just the way it should have been.  I really liked that it was Hedwig instead of the Expelliarmus that gave Harry away, and that Hedwig got to go out heroically instead of senselessly.

I’ve heard a lot of people call the Harry/Ginny scenes awkward.  They don’t seem that way to me.  I thought the kiss in Half-Blood Prince was perfect, though I must admit I was disappointed that it didn’t happen the way it did in the book.  I thought it was fine.  We’ll have to see what happens later with them, but I really don’t see why so many people don’t like their scenes together.

I loved the will reading scene, and think it works better for the Sword of Gryffindor to be “missing”.  Bill Nighy did a fine job, but I had hoped Patrick Stewart would play Rufus Scrimgeour.  I think he would have been perfect.

The wedding scene was nice, but accept for a few things Harry learned, there really wasn’t much important to the plot.  I was kind of hoping Harry and Ginny would dance, or maybe even Harry and Hermione, fueling Ron’s jealousy, but unfortunately no.

The cafe scene was a perfect example of the well-timed humor.  While the trio is fighting for their lives, we cut to a shot of the waitress with her earphones in, oblivious to what’s happening.  I also loved angry Ron.  That should feed right into Fred’s death in DH.2.

I liked the added scene on the train, even though the only reason they did it was to give Neville and some of the other secondary characters a scene in the movie.  I had actually hoped they’d do the scene where Neville, Ginny, and Luna try to steal the sword, but I think they must have wanted to not do any scenes at Hogwarts.  I will say, this scene set Neville up to be the bad ass.  “Hey Losers!  He isn’t here!”

I loved the Ministry scene.  One of the things from the book that I was a little disappointed with was that Umbridge really didn’t get what was coming to her for everything she had done.  I still don’t think she got what she deserved, but I loved Harry’s line about not telling lines.

Emma was brilliant in the splinching scene.  I love toward the end when she starts to cast the protective charms.  The look on her face said more than any lines of dialogue ever could.

All I can say about the scene when Ron left is that if they don’t give Rupert a “Best Supporting Actor” nomination, then they should just cancel the Oscars.

Harry and Hermione’s dance was perfect.  Not much more to say about it.

While the Godric’s Hollow scene was great, touching early on, and then so exciting as they fought Nagini, a few things did disappoint me.  I would have liked to see the statue of Harry and his parents, but even more, I wanted to see the magical sign at his parents’ home with note from well wishers.  It’s too bad they didn’t put that in.

I really loved the scene with Harry and Hermione after Godric’s Hollow, when Hermione talked about her parents.  There were several subtle mentions of Hermione’s parents in the film.  After the wedding she took them to the street where they used to go to the theater.  She took them to the Forest of Dean where they had vacationed.  (I think I’m forgetting another.)  They didn’t have a big scene where Hermione breaks down over her family like Ron did, but they kept reminding the audience.  I liked that.

The silver doe scene was just as I imagined it.  What I never imagined was the destroying of the locket.  Emma Watson was amazing as evil Hermione for lack of a better name.  It was like she was a completely different person.  I would really like to see Emma play a villain in a movie someday.  That scene was so intense, and they pulled out all the stops for that kiss.  I’m a little surprised they got away with that with a PG-13 rating.  Even though nothing was visible, it was pretty clear they were meant to be naked behind that shroud of mist.

Now, here I do have two problems with this part of the film.  First, what made Harry suddenly decide that they needed to open the locket before they could destroy it?  Why didn’t it occur to him before to open it?  I may have missed something.  I’ll have to watch for it again next time I see it.

Second, in the book, after the locket is destroyed, Harry tells Ron that he loves Hermione lie a sister.  I thought that line was really important.  I don’t recall Harry ever saying “I love you” to anyone in the entire series, which is interesting since his ability to love is the cornerstone of his character.  I felt like that was a really important moment even though he didn’t say it to Hermione.  Maybe I’m making a lot more out of that than there really is.

What can be said about Emma’s performance when Ron returned?  It was incredible, and Ron’s story, as cheesy as it sounded, was great.

The scene with Xenophilius Lovegood was good, but the best part was the animation of The Tale of the Three Brothers.  I loved it, and Emma narrated it perfectly.  She has a wonderful voice.  She voiced the Princess in The Tale of Despereaux.  I would love to see…err…hear her do more voice work in the future.

I could go on fro hours about the Malfoy Manor scene, but let me just hit a few points.  I had forgotten that we didn’t know where Harry got the mirror shard until Luna mentioned that it was an odd place to keep it in his sock.  I’m guessing we’ll get some back-story in the next movie about the shard, maybe when they finally meet Aberforth.  I loved the Hermione and Bellatrix torture scene, and I’m a little conflicted on not killing Wormtail.  More on both those items later.  Not once, but twice, Lucius got nailed, I loved that.  Tom Felton in limited scenes and with very few lines made the most of his screen time.  The conflict on his face when they want him to identify Harry was great.

Then there’s Dobby, the true hero of this movie.

“Dobby never meant to kill!  Dobby only meant to maim or…seriously injure.” – Dobby, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I (Movie)

Just the perfect bit of humor before everything goes wrong.  Such a wonderful line.

“Dobby has no master!  Dobby is a free elf and Dobby has come to save Harry Potter…and his friends.” – Dobby, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I (Movie)

When they first announced that DH would be split into two, I wanted the split to come at the silver doe.  I wanted a cliffhanger ending with Harry in the water being strangled by the Horcrux.  I thought that was the way to go.  Instead, they went with Dobby’s death, and it is so perfect.  Dobby is the real hero of this movie, and his sacrifice was the perfect place to end it just as Voldemort has acquired the Elder Wand.

“Such a beautiful place…to be with friends.  Dobby is happy to be with his friend…Harry Potter.” – Dobby, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I (Movie)

If you’ve looked at my favorite quotes, you probably saw that I really like the last words of fictional characters.  In the book, Dobby just said Harry’s name, and that was okay.  This, well…this was epic.  Not to long ago I read Mockingjay, the final book in the Hunger Games series.  Not to give it away, but I was all ready for a character to get great last words, and then there was nothing.  I was really disappointed, because I was so sure a great line was coming, and then nothing.  I assumed Dobby would say Harry’s name just like in the book, and I was so surprised to hear such epic last words from Dobby.  He deserved it.

Rest in peace, Dobby.

I’m crying again.  Oh well.  Anyway, yeah…the movie was awesome.  Not much more to say than that.  However, we’ve got exactly eight months left to speculate on Harry Potter things.  After that, unless JKR decides to write more books, there will be nothing more to speculate on.  It will truly be over.  And now I’m crying again.

But, while we do have eight months left to speculate, her are some of my theories on what will happen in DH.2.

Someone is going to want to heal Hermione’s arm, and she won’t let them.  She will wear the word “Mudblood” like a badge of honor through the second movie.  This torture was much more personal than just using the Cruciatus Curse.  I think it will be Hermione and not Molly that kills Bellatrix at the end.  I think they will give Hermione that big moment at the end, and Molly has played a much smaller roll in the movies than the books.  Maybe they’ll even have Bellatrix about to kill Ron and Hermione yell, “Get away from my boyfriend, you bitch!”  That would be even more epic than Molly’s line.

I think I know why they didn’t kill Wormtail in Malfoy Manor.  Like Molly, Narcissa’s roll in the movies has been smaller than in the books.  I think they will use Wormtail instead of Narcissa in the forest to see if Harry’s dead.  He will lie like Narcissa did in the book, and when Voldemort finds out, Wormtail’s silver hand will strangle him.  That would also make his death far more meaningful.

I think we will get an explanation for the mirror.  It may be something as simple as when we meet Aberforth, Harry tells the story about Sirius’s mirror.  They might have something different in mind for where it came from, but I don’t have a clue what else it could be.

A couple of things were left out of DH.1.  I didn’t see anything to indicate that Harry has started to think that Dumbledore isn’t the man he thought he was.  They hardly talked about Rita Skeeter’s book.  The letter to Grindelwald was mentioned, but nothing was said to indicate that Dumbledore and he were friends.  I assume all that ahs to come up relatively quickly in the next movie.

They never had a chance to make the connection between Harry’s cloak and the Deathly Hallows.  Obviously that has to come up in part two.

I’ve seen a lot of speculation that most of the second movie will be the battle of Hogwarts, but I think there is a lot of other stuff to come before that.  I think we’ll be at Shell Cottage for a while at the beginning while Harry learns more about Dumbledore.

Well, that’s about it.  I’ll probably see it one more time this week, if I get any other thought’s, I’ll put them in next week’s blog.

Thanks for reading!

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About lmb3

I’m 36 years old, and I work in network tech support for a public school system. I am a huge fan of Star Trek, Transformers, Harry Potter, and Marvel Comics as well as numerous other fandoms. I’m a big sports fan, especially the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots. I collect toys (mostly Transformers but other stuff too), comic books, and Red Sox baseball cards. I watch an obscene amount of television and love going to the movies. I am hopelessly addicted to Wizard Rock and I write Harry Potter Fanfiction, though these days I am working on a couple of different original YA novels.
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