J. K. Rowling gave us all the feels the other day when she took to Twitter on the anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts, an event that marked the finale of the Harry Potter wizarding extravaganza with a blinding blast eighteen years ago.
Indeed, it was the epic showdown that changed everything, as well as the storyline that mercilessly tore away from us some of our most beloved characters. Without further hesitation, dive your Muggle-self into some of the most notable events from the tumultuous night in question:
However, as familiar as we may be with the cinematic adaptation of the Battle, some of us may still be wondering why exactly certain elements were changed from the book-version in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Thankfully, director David Yates and screen-writer Steve Kloves have already spilled the magic beans about why they chose to make certain adjustments to the original storyline. Here's exactly what they had to say:
The Great Hall Battle
Yates rightly noted that in the book, Harry and Voldemort circle each other in The Great Hall in front of many students. However, he continued:
"I wanted to extend it across the school, I thought it was a great visual opportunity to see those two figures fighting amongst the rubble, through different parts of the school."
He went on to explain his decision:
"Two guys fighting all the time kind of gets exhausting after awhile. I came up with this notion of Harry just looking at Voldemort while they're on this precipice, and pulling him over. [...] And I thought that could be really beautiful, these two figures just tumbling into the abyss and then conjoining in this weird way. It would be quite haunting and expressive."
Turning to Kloves, the director asked him to write in a moment in which Voldemort actually also looked right into Harry's eye, warranting a direct response to his question. If you remember correctly, the Dark Lord turns to the boy and says "Why do you live?" to which Harry replies, "Because I have something to live for!"
Yet, unfortunately it did not have the desired effect:
"And of course when I put it in the movie, and the reason that Steve didn't write it in the first place was because, Voldemort would just kill Harry. They wouldn't stop and have a conversation. It was in the movie and you had this slightly longer sequence of them fighting. When you pull it out of the trailer it looks quite cool, but in context it felt slightly belabored and a little self conscious. So we kind of lost it."
Another scene with Snape in The Great Hall was added
In particular, Kloves praised one moment in The Great Hall that was included, touching on the importance of evolving the original script. It was the scene in which Harry sees Snape standing where Dumbledore would usually stand. Angrily he says:
"How dare you stand there, where he stood?"
The emotion that overcomes Harry at seeing Snape defile Hogwarts by killing the silver-bearded headmaster is overwhelming. Kloves continues:
"That was the best way to express that visual. That's a good example. To me that's a good move, for us."
See if you agree by re-watching the above-mentioned scene here:
Do you think it's right to slightly alter the books?
Although many fervent Potter fans would argue that any change to the novels is a travesty and a disrespect to the original narrative, others also understand that alterations are necessary to adapt such a colossal storyline. Kloves argues that in the case of these movies, the production team's ability to merge the literary and the visual is highly commendable. He says:
"That's what we tried to do in Potter, rather than always be in lockstep with the book, although emotionally we're absolutely in lockstep with the books. Which was always our guide."
And thankfully, director Yates promised to keep all of the scenes that were deleted from the final cut too. He claims that many of these are included on the DVD release for our viewing pleasure. He says:
"There's a version of Aberforth and Harry — a longer version of it that we got. There's an extended scene on the beach with Ron disguised (before he gets to the bank, there's a lovely little interchange with him and Bellatrix Lestrange). There are a number of things that we have for the DVD."
Better go and pick yourself up a copy right now then!
Can you think of anything else that was not included and should have been?