Week 11 of EW’s 2011 Summer Movie Body Count continues with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2. We expected this to reignite the debate over whether a certain someone technically dies, but we didn’t anticipate how difficult it would be to count the dead at the Battle of Hogwarts with the variety of curses, quick camera shots, and changes from the book. To be added to our list of casualties, you must die onscreen or have your lifeless body displayed. Let’s discuss, but keep it civil. Warning: SPOILERS AHEAD!
Gringrotts: Though the dragon blew fire multiple times, the only goblin we know its flames engulfed was poor, formerly Imperiused Bogrod. I counted at least three Gringrott workers falling to their deaths when the dragon destroyed the track their cart was riding on. Maybe they were the lucky ones: Judging by the roughly 20 bodies of guards and goblins, including Griphook, shown slain in Voldemort’s rage or lying on the ground after he arrived to verify that Helga Hufflepuff’s Cup horcrux had been stolen from Bellatrix’s vault, he hadn’t been in a merciful mood.
The Great Hall: Tricky. Those who remember the book know that in it, unlike the movie, Snape never holds the student assembly in the Great Hall, where Harry Potter reveals himself and Professor McGonagall steps out to defend him against the headmaster and his disciplinarians, the Carrows. Did McGonagall kill the Carrows in the film? Since we don’t hear her give instructions to take their bodies to the dungeons with the Slytherins — who, in the book, were given the kinder option of using the tunnel to Hogsmeade — I think movie McGonagall is more of a badass than book McGonagall. Still, since she wasn’t using the Killing Curse, I guess we have to say no? In the book, Luna stuns Alecto in the Ravenclaw common room and Harry reveals himself from underneath his invisibility cloak to use a Crucio (torture) curse on Amycus after Amycus spits in McGonagall’s face. McGonagall uses Imperio on Amycus to get him to give her their wands, then she ropes them together (and ultimately puts a silver net around them and hangs them from the ceiling). McGonagall ends up throwing a lasso of fire at Snape, then daggers. She, Flitwick, and Sprout duel with Snape until he flees.
The bridge: An invisible shield that zap you luck a bug? Awesome! Three Snatchers slammed into it before the army of others led by Scabior slowed up. The issue here is whether the Snatchers who were on the bridge when it blew were smart enough to use the Cushioning Charm Hermione had in Gringotts. Harry seemed impressed by that, so let’s give Hermione some credit and say, the, what, 100 Snatchers on the bridge at the time chasing Neville (including Scabior) fell to their death. I’ll miss you, Scabior. You were kind of hot. (Since we don’t see the Snatchers again, and their number was surprisingly large, I think 100 is a reasonable death toll. Did the surviving Snatchers not rejoin the fight? Maybe they bolted, as tons of Voldemort’s Death Eaters must have before the end of the battle.)
Room of Hidden Things: Now this was an unfortunate turn of events for Goyle. It should have been Draco’s buddy Crabbe (Jamie Waylett) who died in the Fiendfyre, per the book, but since Waylett confessed to growing pot in 2009 and didn’t return for the film, Goyle (Josh Herdman) had to be the one to succumb to the flames because it would have meant next to nothing if the random Slytherin Draco had grabbed along with Goyle bit it. Wah waaaah, Goyle. You still sucked.
Death Eater with bad timing: Safe bet: Don’t speak to Voldemort. Ever. Avada Kedavra!
Lavender Brown: With werewolf Fenrir Greyback gnawing on her neck before Hermione cast a spell to get him off of her, I’m going to say Lavender didn’t make it and was the girl Trelawney pronounced dead in the Great Hall. (Hermione didn’t use the Killing Curse on him in the book, and we didn’t technically see him die onscreen, so unfortunately, we can’t add him to the body count.)
Fred: In the book, he’s killed when a side of the castle is blown and Harry, Hermione, Ron, and Percy (where was he in the movie?) are with him when it happens. In the movie, Ron, Harry, and Hermione don’t find out about his death until they see his body in the Great Hall.
Lupin and Tonks: In the film, we see them reaching for each other’s hands as the invisible shield comes tumbling down but not quite touching. Their bodies are shown the same way in the Great Hall. In that situation, it really is the thought that counts. We also see three stretchers being carried in the Great Hall before Harry goes to the Pensieve.
Snape: Instead of in the Shrieking Shack as in the book, Snape dies in the Boathouse in the film. Voldemort believes the Elder Wand won’t fully work for him until Snape is dead, since Snape is the one who killed its last owner, Dumbledore. (Of course, Voldemort doesn’t know that it’s Draco who disarmed Dumbledore that night, so the wand’s allegiance was to Draco even though Draco didn’t possess it. That is, until Harry took Draco’s wand.) Voldemort slashed Snape’s neck and let Nagini do the rest as Harry, Hermione, and Ron saw Snape’s silhouette being bitten multiple times. I liked what screenwriter Steve Kloves did here: He didn’t have the silvery-blue coming out of Snape’s eyes, mouth, and ears as in the book. It was just Snape’s eyes, so it was — or at least looked like — a memory-filled tear that Harry was able to capture and take to the Pensieve. He also gave Snape the line, “Look at me… You have your mother’s eyes.”
Note: We’re not going to count Lily and James.
Horcrux in Harry: How is that for a compromise? While some would argue that Harry technically died in the Forbidden Forest, J.K. Rowling isn’t one of them. In the FAQ on her website, she writes, “When Voldemort attacks Harry, they both fall temporarily unconscious, and both their souls — Harry’s undamaged and healthy, Voldemort’s stunted and maimed — appear in the limbo where Harry meets Dumbledore.” She goes on to explain, “Voldemort is also using the Elder Wand — the wand that is really Harry’s. It does not work properly against its true owner; no curse Voldemort casts on Harry functions properly; neither the Cruciatus curse nor the Killing Curse. The Avada Kedavra curse, however, is so powerful that it does hurt Harry, and also succeeds in killing the part of him that is not truly him, in other words, the fragment of Voldemort’s own soul still clinging to his. The curse also disables Harry severely enough that he could have succumbed to death if he had chosen that path (again, Dumbledore says he has a choice whether or not to wake up). But Harry does decide to struggle back to consciousness, capitalises on Lily’s ‘escape route’, and pulls himself back to the realm of the living.” So while Harry was prepared to die and thought that’s what he was doing, he didn’t. The part of Voldemort’s soul that lived in Harry and turned him into the Horcrux Voldemort never intended to make, did. In cleaner-than-King’s Cross limbo, that was the bloody baby-sized creature Dumbledore said they could do nothing for now.
Giant: Voldemort moves one dead troll out-of-the-way on the bridge as he and his Death Eaters march with Harry’s body.
Battle resumes: I counted seven bodies on the ground as Harry and Voldemort began their battle, then four bodies on the staircase when Hermione faces Nagini, and at least three people succumbing to the Killing Curse behind Neville as he came to.
Bellatrix: “Not my daughter, you bitch!” That Molly Weasley line got a big laugh in all three showings I saw over the weekend. When Bellatrix turns her wand on Ginny, Mrs. Weasley steps in, does battle, and wins. Bellatrix goes boom! (There was applause in one of my showings.) It’s a little different from the book — we don’t get to see Voldemort’s reaction in the movie, and Harry, who everyone already knows is alive in the film, doesn’t cast a Shield Charm to save Molly from Voldemort’s wand and reveal himself then.
Nagini: I’m going to count Nagini because she had a piece of Voldemort’s soul in her, and because I hate that snake, which, in the movie, Neville beheads with the sword of Gryffindor as it’s about to attack Ron and Hermione. (Filmmakers needed an excuse for Neville to go after it, unless Harry had that talk with Neville about Nagini that’s in the book offscreen.)
Voldemort: In the book, Harry talks a lot so Voldemort (and the crowd surrounding them) understands why the Elder Wand fails him and jumps to Harry. Killed by the rebounding Killing Curse, Voldemort’s body is taken into the castle and placed in a chamber off the Great Hall away from the bodies of those who fought against him. In the movie, Voldemort and Harry are alone — save about 15 dead bodies lying on the ground during their last stand. Voldemort dies and his body disintegrates into tiny pieces that drift into the air and, if you’re watching in 3-D, off the screen toward you. For me, this, along with Harry breaking the Elder Wand instead of promising to return it to Dumbeldore’s grave, puts a definitive end to the tale. You won’t see Harry Potter and the Unauthorized Resurrection of Voldemort.
All together, that’s a very loose estimate of 168 dead. In the book, J.K. Rowling describes how Voldemort’s body was kept separate from the bodies of “Fred, Tonks, Lupin, Colin Creevey [did anyone notice him in the movie?], and fifty others who had died fighting him.” I didn’t catch her estimating the casualties on the other side. What do you think: Did more die offscreen, or did most of Voldemort’s followers abandon him like some of his most loyal Death Eaters did once Harry Potter survived the Killing Curse a second time?