July 7th marks the ten-year (!) anniversary of the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 film premiere in London. For many fans of the Harry Potter universe, this was the end of an era and essentially, the end of their childhoods. They had grown up alongside Harry since he first made an appearance in 1997, and with the release of the final film, many thought it would mean the end of Harry Potter altogether. While J.K. Rowling has expanded the franchise to include the Fantastic Beasts universe that takes place long before Harry’s time, Deathly Hallows will always mark the close of that universe for me.
While I very much love film adaptations of the series, I am a staunch books-over-films fan. However, I do also completely understand that not everything can be included in a two-ish-hour-long visual of a 700+ page book. Ten years after the release of Deathly Hallows Part 2, here are seven aspects of the book that I wish made it to the film.
*Disclaimer: This will not include Dudley’s redemption from Part 1. This list only focuses on the second half of the Deathly Hallows book. But trust that I will always be bitter that filmmakers did not include Dudley’s growth in the film. Also, major spoilers ahead if you haven’t read the Deathly Hallows book or seen the films. *
Let’s begin with an easy aspect of the books that many fans wish was included in the films, but they also understand why it was ultimately cut. The creation of S.P.E.W. (Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare) occurred in Goblet of Fire—several years before Deathly Hallows. The only reason why I wish this storyline was included is that it gave Hermione something else to do other than just help Harry. Not only this, but the elves play a large role in helping save the school during The Battle of Hogwarts. Realistically, Harry and his friends and allies couldn’t have saved Hogwarts on their own, and the help from these creatures is specifically ignored in the film.
2. More Screentime for Luna Lovegood
On a similar note to the elves, Luna is another of Harry’s friends who is a major help to him during the battle in the books, but she gets barely any screentime in the film. In the book, we see Luna help lead Harry throughout Hogwarts as he is laying low (and very much hidden) under the invisibility cloak. However, in the film, she lets Harry know who can help him find Ravenclaw’s Diadem…and that’s about it. Luna becomes Harry’s eyes for much of the battle in the book, so it was disappointing to see that she only played a small role in Harry’s quest to find the Horcruxes.
3. Any Explanation of the Two-Way Mirror
This one is for the fans who perhaps never read the books: how the hell did you figure out the significance of the two-way mirror that ultimately helps save the trio from Malfoy Manor? Chances are you didn’t, and maybe you just accepted this plot hole in the film. The mirror was introduced in the Order of the Phoenix book as a way for Harry to communicate with Sirius. However, Rowling herself didn’t bring it up again until it became an important part of Deathly Hallows. I understand that filmmakers didn’t want to recognize a minute aspect of the books that Rowling also practically ignored. However, someone could have made an off-hand comment about how the mirror came into Harry’s possession, and all would have been solved.
4. Harry Successfully Using the Cruciatus Curse
This is a small moment in the book, but a significant part of the franchise overall. We first see Harry attempt the Cruciatus Curse on Bellatrix in Order of the Phoenix, but it doesn’t work because (as Bellatrix later explains) the caster must “mean it” to cause harm. However, two years later, Harry has grown both as a person and as a wizard, so when he uses the Cruciatus Curse in the Deathly Hallows book against Amycus Carrow during the Battle of Hogwarts, the spell works in full force. I wish this moment was recognized in the film because Harry has already used the Imperius Curse several times during the Gringotts break-in, so by also using the Cruciatus Curse, it shows that he will go so far as to use illegal spells to save the people and places he cares for. As a reader, it also made me question if Harry is any better than the Death Eaters who are known for using the Unforgivable Curses so nonchalantly.
5. More Background on the Horcruxes
Personally, this is one of my favorite parts of the book overall: the explanation as to why Tom Riddle chose the objects that became his Horcruxes and the stories on how they came to be. For those who didn’t read the books, the lack of any explanation has created a plot hole regarding why Riddle would attach himself to these objects specifically. Although the motif of the Horcruxes is woven throughout many of the books before readers even realize its significance, the majority of the Horcruxes are recognized in the latter half of Deathly Hallows. I believe this film would have been the perfect time to give further explanation as to why Riddle chose each of these specific objects. I also find the backstories of the Horcruxes fascinating and well-thought-out.
6. The Elder Wand’s Ending
When I first saw the film in theaters, I remember thinking, “I didn’t miss something, did I? He didn’t do that in the book, right?” Spoiler alert to those who haven’t read Deathly Hallows, but Harry doesn’t break the Elder Wand at all. Instead, he hides the wand in Dumbledore’s tomb with the hope of ending its reign of terror. He hopes that by not continuing to use the wand himself (even though he is the wand’s master), people will forget about it, and it will become just another part of wizard folklore. I honestly don’t understand why this part of the book needed to be changed for the film. However, I can admit that there is some significance to Harry snapping the wand in half and throwing the pieces off a bridge.
7. Neville Longbottom as the “Chosen One”
Of Harry Potter’s other school friends, Neville certainly gets the most recognition—and therefore, screentime—during Deathly Hallows Part 2. He leads ex-Dumbledore’s Army members during the battle; he stands up to Death Eaters; he even gets his shining moment when he kills Nagini and subsequently destroys a Horcrux in the process. However, I enjoyed the alternate plotline in the Harry Potter series where Neville was the “Chosen One.” The prophecy that is introduced in Order of the Phoenix (at the time of its creation in 1980) could have applied to either Neville or Harry. It just so happened that Voldemort chose to go after the Potters. We see glimpses of Neville’s strength and bravery throughout the books, but he is often dismissed as timid and dim. However, I believe that he really is a mirror to Harry, and he deserved more recognition in the franchise overall. I wish the final film would have recognized the unspoken bond between Harry and Neville as the possible Chosen Ones.
Although I would have loved to see these scenes on the big screen, I wouldn’t change these films whatsoever. They truly are fantastic adaptations of a beloved book series.
What are some other aspects of the Harry Potter books that you wish made it to the films? Let us know in the comments!