This is my favorite book of the HP series because of the amazing skills of the author, who managed to weave the entire series together, explain it all, and still leave the wonderful Wizarding World open to her readers in this novel.
So much comes together in Deathly Hallows– so many complex story lines and foreshadowing events are finally understood, and it blows me away to think that JK Rowling had this story inside of her for years. Of course, as I’ve been pointing out along the way as I’ve reviewed the series in comparison to the movies, so many of these intricate details have been left out for the sake of screen time. I understand this- time is money- and as I’m sure you know, the final book was split into two movies to help preserve as much detail as possible, but it just makes me appreciate the books even more because I could spend hours (days!) lost in them. So please forgive me as I’ve noted a bunch of discrepancies from both movies, so this will be a long one. Here we go:
- In the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (DHP1) movie, the Dursleys pack up and leave rather quickly, without a word to Harry. In the book however, Dudley actually shows some respect to Harry by saying “I don’t think you’re a waste of space” and “You saved my life.” It’s not much, but the readers know just how much of an impact that made. Dudley Dursley everybody- not a complete jerk! (Also, I’ve been doing some post-Hallows research; Harry and Dudley do keep in contact after the Battle of Hogwarts.)
- In DHP1, the Battle of Seven Potters (as I heard it called) does a decent job of relaying the action scene, but a few details made it even better in the books. The most important detail left out of the movie was how the Death Eaters knew which Potter was the real one. In the movie, Harry claims it was Hedwig trying to protect him, but in the book, Hedwig is stuck and hit by the killing curse in her cage. What really gave him away was that instead of attacking Stan Shunpike (Prisoner of Azkaban knight bus conductor turned Death Eater) he tries to disarm him with Expelliarmus, which as pointed out by Lupin, seems like Harry’s trademark spell. Also unnoticed in the movie battle- Harry is still underage, and the Trace wasn’t broken yet, so all the spells he cast during the fight are technically illegal underage magic. However, as pointed out later on in the book, the Ministry probably didn’t want to tell the public that Voldemort attacked Harry again. And one more thing- the seven Potters were all to go to a different safe location and then take a port key to the Burrow in the book. This is where we are introduced to the Tonks’, Ted and Andromeda, who are unmentioned in the movie. This is why the concern about timing in the movie about who was supposed to be back first doesn’t make much sense.
- In the book, Hermione manages to Accio a pile of books about Horcruxes from Dumbledore’s office before they left Hogwarts. So, they (Harry, Ron, and Hermione) actually knew quite a bit about them before they set off hunting them, such as how to kill them- though they didn’t figure out the Sword and basilisk venom connection at first. In the movie, they appeared unenlightened and catch on much later, figuring things out as they go.
- Harry attends Bill and Fleur’s wedding disguised via polyjuice potion in the book. This protects both him and the wedding guests if any interrogation were to occur. There at the wedding, he runs into unsuspecting Viktor Krum, who points out the deathly hallows symbol on Xeno Lovegood, which aids in trio in the future. In the movie, Harry goes as himself, doesn’t see Krum, and again, the ignorance goes on. Oh, and while on this subject, the wedding occurs AFTER Harry’s birthday in the book, not on the same day as noted in the movie. The birthday actually takes place on the same day they receive the contents of Dumbledore’s will. And while on the topic, Scrimgeour is more overly suspicious in the book than in the movie, and gives the trio a hard time as he relays the will contents, thinking they know more about the reasoning behind the items than they do. The only thing they figure out faster in the book than in the movie is the Snitch’s flesh memory.
- Kreacher, again. DHP1 does show the importance of the interaction with Kreacher, but the details of how they knew for sure that Sirius’s brother Regulus was indeed the RAB from the note in the fake locket was overlooked. In the book Kreacher told them the whole story, and they started to respect Kreacher and elf magic. When they gave Kreacher the fake locket, it changed the relationship between him and Harry as his new master for the better. And because this was left out of the movie, the audience never got to witness what the readers did during the Battle of Hogwarts:
“The house-elves of Hogwarts swarmed into the entrance hall, screaming and waving carving knives and cleavers, and at their head, the locket of Regulus Black bouncing on his chest, was Kreacher…”Fight! Fight! Fight for my Master, defender of house-elves! Fight the Dark Lord, in the name of brave Regulus! Fight!”“
- Lupin tried to persuade Harry to allow him to assist in the hunt for horcurxes, ditch Tonks in the books. We learn that he is regretting their marriage, worried about her pregnancy and thinks that Tonks and the baby would be better off without him, but Harry harshly reminds him that this isn’t true. Eventually, the harsh words are forgiven and Lupin is proud of his family, despite the werewolf stigma, and honors Harry by making him Teddy’s godfather. In the movie, we can tell their is some discomfort but Lupin never made the offer, and only at the end of the movie do we learn that Tonks and Remus even had a son, let alone that they named him after Tonks’ father.
- The break-in to the Ministry of Magic in DHP1 differs from the book in a few ways, but I’m willing to let most of them pass. What bothers me the most is the way the escape happens. In the movie, the polyjuice potion is wearing off on Harry, he attacks Umbridge, Hermione gets the locket, the trio and Mrs. Cattermole run into the elevator, Harry fends off the dementors, and then they fight off Yaxley as they apparate out the ministry in the Floo Network grates. That’s fine for the movie audience, but as a reader, I wish I had seen the book version. Harry sneaks into the courtroom under the invisibility cloak as Runcorn, stuns Umbridge and Yaxley out cold, unchains Mrs. Cattermole, and he and Hermione aide the muggle-borns awaiting trial escape the courtrooms. They run into Ron by the elevators, who tells them that the ministry is aware of intruders. Harry does some quick thinking, everyone makes it to the Atrium, and as Runcorn he intimidates the ministry workers into keeping the Floo Network grates open. As confusion takes over, Yaxley catches up, and then he apparates with the trio.
- In DHP1, they use the radio as the source of information from day one while on the hunt for the horcruxes- again, probably due to time restrictions. In the novel, the radio comes later on, after Ron comes back to Harry and Hermione, and information is gathered by other means including those traveling as they go into hiding (ie. Ted Tonks, Dean Thomas, and Griphook) and the photo of old Hogwarts headmaster Phineas Nigellus Black (who helped Snape to pass on the sword). When Ron does come back, that’s how they learn about Potterwatch and who hosts the show, what ‘snatchers’ are, and how they learn about the Taboo of using Voldemort’s name. When Harry accidentally says ‘Voldemort’, that’s how they end up surrounded by snatchers and hauled off to Malfoy Manor.
Again, sorry this is so long. I got this far and decided it would probably be more reader-friendly if I broke the comparison review into two parts instead. I’ll get the rest of it to you tomorrow, my followers!