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Among the changes: In the book, Hermione learns quickly how to be a better Bellatrix, perhaps because the Death Eater they meet on their way in, Travers, sticks around a little longer and accompanies them into the building. The objects in Bellatrix's vault multiply and burn when you touch them. (The latter wasn't mentioned in the film, which is why some moviegoers were left wondering what the trio put on their hands afterwards — essence of dittany to regrow skin.) In the film, it's Hermione's idea to use the dragon as a getaway ride, not Harry's. And in the movie it exits through the roof, not the door — definitely a more dramatic visual.
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Harry's Return to Hogwarts
Among the changes: In the book, Luna brings up the lost diadem of Ravenclaw and takes Harry to the common room to show him what it looks like on the statue of Rowena (Cho offered, but Ginny suggested Luna do it). It's there that Alecto Carrow spots Harry and touches her Dark Mark, letting Voldemort and the rest of the Death Eaters — including Snape — know she has Potter. Luna, still under Harry's Invisibility Cloak, stuns Alecto. With Harry back under the Cloak, Amycus Carrow arrives, as does Professor McGonagall. Amycus says he'll blame the false alarm on kids who made Alecto press her mark so they'll face Voldemort's wrath. When McGonagall says she won't go along with it, he spits in her face. That's when Harry pulls the Cloak off and uses the Cruciatus Curse on Amycus. McGonagall secures the Carrows' wands, binds them together, and ultimately leaves them dangling from the ceiling. Snape enters the fray, asks McGonagall if she's helping Potter, and they end up dueling. After Flitwick and Sprout make it three on one, Snape flees. In short: The Great Hall scene in the movie where Snape threatens any student or professor who withholds information about Potter during a monologue that masters the art of the pause — and Harry steps out from the ranks to announce himself and Snape's security problem (cue the cavalry!) — isn't in the book at all. In the film, McGonagall learns of Harry's return there, jumps to his defense, and manages to incapacitate the Carrows and scare off Snape on her own.
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Luna and the Diadem
Among the changes: In the movie, after the Great Hall scene, Luna tells Harry not to start looking for the diadem in the Ravenclaw common room — he's wasting his time — and she suggests if, as Cho said, no one alive today has seen the diadem, he should speak to someone who's dead. She takes him to see The Gray Lady, Rowena's daughter Helena. In the book, it's Harry's idea to seek out the ghost of Ravenclaw Tower and it's Headless Nick who points her out to him. We also find out more about Helena's history with the diadem, as well as Tom Riddle's. In the movie, the diadem is found in the Room of Hidden Things in an elegant box. In the book, it's adorning a stone bust of an old man wearing a wig. Imagine how that would have looked on screen. Good call.
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The Battle of Hogwarts Begins
Among the changes: In the book, McGonagall sends younger students, those who do not want to fight, and the untrustworthy Slytherins to the ''evacuation point'' (code for the tunnel to the Hog's Head in the Room of Requirement). In the movie, there's no mention of evacuation and she orders that the Slytherins be taken to the dungeons. Badass! A wonderful addition in the movie: McGonagall encourages Neville, Seamus, and Co. to blow up one of the bridges, which yields some levity, dead Snatchers, and more Neville awesomeness. But one thing is missing: Hagrid. In the movie, we don't see him until he's being held captive by Voldemort's Death Eaters in the Forbidden Forest. In the book, Hagrid, Grawp (his giant half-brother), and Fang (Hagrid's dog) show up at the castle to fight before Harry finds the diadem. Hagrid eventually gets caught up in a swarm of spiders retreating to the Forbidden Forest, which must be where the Death Eaters grab him. Capturing him so he'll be there to carry Harry Potter's ''dead'' body back to the castle — that's planning ahead.
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Ron Speaks Parseltongue
Among the changes: In the book, we don't see Ron and Hermione in the Chamber of Secrets fetching the basilisk fang. They tell Harry about it after the fact, and when Harry wonders how Ron could speak Parseltongue to open the Chamber, Ron tells him, ''It's what you did to open the locket. I had to have a few goes to get it right, but,'' he shrugs modestly, ''we got there in the end.'' In the movie, they tell Harry before they go, and we watch Ron speak Parseltongue. Hermione asks him how he did it, and he says Harry talks in his sleep. ''Have you ever noticed that?'' he asks her. ''Of course not,'' she says. In our mind, that's a little nod to Ron's locket-induced jealousy and that tension-filled tent scene in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1 when Harry and Hermione could have shared the same bed if they wanted to.
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Ron and Hermione's Kiss
Among the changes: In the movie, Ron and Hermione kiss when they're alone in the Chamber of Secrets, after they destroy Helga Hufflepuff's Cup Horcrux and survive a tidal wave. In the book, Hermione kisses Ron in front of Harry afterwards, when Ron suggests they tell the house-elves in the kitchen to get out while they can. ''There was a clatter as the basilisk fangs cascaded out of Hermione's arms. Running at Ron, she flung them around his neck and kissed him full on the mouth,'' Rowling wrote. ''Ron threw away the fangs and broomstick he was holding and responded with such enthusiasm that he lifted Hermione off her feet. 'Is this the moment?' Harry asked weakly....'' In the film, if Harry hadn't caught Ron yelling that Hermione was his girlfriend as he ran off to avenge the Killing Curse shot her way in the Room of Hidden Things, he wouldn't have known they were together until the battle was over and they walked into the room hand in hand. Surprise! And smile.
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Among the changes: In the book, Ministry of Magic employee Percy Weasley returns to his family and joins them in battle. ''Hello, Minister!'' he says, dueling his boss Pius Thicknesse and turning him into what looks like some form of a sea urchin. ''Did I mention I'm resigning?'' ''You're joking, Perce!'' Fred says. ''You actually are joking, Perce... I don't think I've heard you joke since you were --'' and then it happens. An explosion that blows away the side of the castle kills Fred — and Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Percy witness it. Percy tries to cover the body as the battle continues, then helps Harry move him. In the movie, Fred's death happens off screen and it appears Ron, Harry, and Hermione learn of it only when they see the Weasley family crowded around his dead body in the Great Hall. Percy is not in the film at all.
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Ron vs. Draco
Among the changes: In the book, there is no time for Ron to grieve Fred following his death. As the battle rages, the trio continues the Horcrux hunt. In the Room of Hidden Things scene, Ron gets to keep his line about how he'd kill Harry if they died saving Draco and his Slytherin buddies. Draco scurries off and is pretty much AWOL until Voldemort arrives at Hogwarts in person and Draco's parents tell him to join them. In the book, however, after Fred's death, Harry, Hermione, and Ron are under the Invisibility Cloak when they see Draco pleading with a Death Eater and reminding him that he's on their side. Harry stuns the Death Eater as they pass and Ron punches Draco from under the Cloak. ''Malfoy fell backward on top of the Death Eater, his mouth bleeding, utterly bemused,'' Rowling wrote. 'And that's the second time we've saved your life tonight, you two-faced bastard!' Ron yelled.'' Perhaps it would have played a little slapsticky in the film, but I wouldn't have minded seeing Ron clock Draco the way Hermione did in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
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Among the changes: In the book, after the main trio witnesses Fred's death, Hagrid heading into the forest with the spiders, Lavender Brown being munched on by Fenrir Greyback, and Grawp trying to crush people on the upper floors, they feel the dementors coming. Ron and Hermione's Patronuses flicker and fade. Harry can't even try to make one at first. Luckily, Luna, Ernie, and Seamus are there to produce theirs. Luna tells Harry to think of something happy — they're all still there fighting — and it's the triumphant addition of Harry's stag that makes the dementors retreat. In the film, it's Aberforth Dumbledore who casts the mighty Patronus, confirming that despite what he'd told Harry earlier in the movie, he hasn't given up.
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Among the changes: In the book, it takes place in the Shrieking Shack, where Voldemort has Nagini encased in an enchanted sphere floating unsupported in midair. When he tells her to ''kill,'' Nagini's protective sphere surrounds Snape's head and shoulders and she sinks her fangs into his neck. In the film, sans sphere, Nagini slithers up to Snape in the Boathouse and repeatedly strikes him after Voldemort slits his throat and brings him to the floor. In the movie, Snape's memories look like tears; in the book, they come out of his mouth and ears as well as his eyes. ''Look at me,'' Snape says in both scenes. But in the film, he adds, ''You have your mother's eyes.'' When Harry watches the memories in Pensieve — obviously far lengthier in the book — he sees that those eyes are what made Snape agree to help Dumbledore keep Harry safe after Lily had died.
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Among the changes: In the book, as Harry?s leaving the castle for the forest, he stops to talk to Neville and tell him to kill Nagini. He doesn?t want any goodbyes — he thinks Ron and Hermione would try to stop him from going alone, and he doesn?t want their attempts to waste valuable time. He ends up seeing Ginny while under his invisibility cloak, but he never sees Ron and Hermione. ''He felt he would have given all the time remaining to him for just one last look at them; but then would he ever have the strength to stop looking? It was better like this,'' Rowling wrote. In the movie, Harry doesn?t talk to Neville, nor does he see Ginny. But he runs into Ron and Hermione, who are sitting together grieving Fred?s death. Harry tells them he?s headed to the forest, and while they protest at first, Hermione knows Harry has learned something — which she'd probably guessed at: There's a reason he can speak Parseltongue. A part of Voldemort lives in him. For Voldemort to die, that part of Harry must die too. ''I?ll go with you,'' Hermione says, crying. And they hug. Some fans are upset about this change because, unless another conversation happened off screen, Harry never told Neville about the snake. (More on that later.) But if Rowling believed that Harry seeing his friends and having the option of their company would test his will to sacrifice himself, then wouldn?t Steve Kloves? script make him look even stronger? It?s because Daniel Radcliffe stays dry-eyed that some of our eyes get wet.
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Dead Harry Walking
Among the changes: In the book, after Harry uses the Resurrection Stone to see his parents, Lupin, and Sirius, Rowling describes them walking beside him until right before he announces his arrival to Voldemort. In the book, that?s when Harry drops the Resurrection Stone and they disappear even to him. In the movie, he drops the Resurrection Stone before he begins that unseen final walk, which, you could argue, makes more sense ? better to drop the Stone as far away from the eyes of a Death Eater as possible. Plus, Harry?s mother had told him that they?d never left him, so he knows he's not alone even if he can't see them. Perhaps it makes him look even braver to drop the Stone right away, but some fans might have liked that exquisite torture of seeing Harry flanked by the quartet to last longer.
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Lupin and Tonks
Among the changes: In the book, Lupin stops by Shell Cottage to tell Harry about the birth of his son and to ask him to be the baby?s godfather. Lupin arrives at Hogwarts solo, and Tonks joins him later after taking their son to her mother?s and realizing she cannot stay away. When she gets there, Ginny tells her she last saw Remus fighting Dolohov (who Rowling has confirmed kills him). In the movie, however, we see Lupin and Tonks together, reaching for each other?s hands but not quite touching as the protective shield over the castle begins to fall and the wand-to-wand combat is about to begin. As in the book, Harry finds out about their deaths only when he sees their bodies in the Great Hall. Again, their hands are almost touching. (Rowling has confirmed Tonks was killed by Bellatrix). In the movie, there?s no mention of them having a baby until Harry expresses his regret to Lupin in the Resurrection Stone circle that Lupin's son will grow up without parents. In the book, Lupin shows up at Shell Cottage before the Gringotts break-in to announce the birth and ask Harry to be Teddy?s godfather.
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Among the changes: In the book, when Harry comes to after Voldemort uses the Avada Kedavra curse on him, he's naked. Rather quickly, he wishes he were clothed and robes appear. In the movie, he?s always clothed — in a T-shirt and jeans. We don?t have a problem with this. We?re just pointing it out.
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Neville and the Sorting Hat
Among the changes: In the movie, Neville finds the smoking Sorting Hat in the wreckage as Voldemort and his Death Eaters are arriving at the castle with Harry?s ''dead'' body in tow. When Voldemort asks who will join him now, Neville gives a moving speech about how even though Harry is gone, he?s still with them — that Harry didn?t die in vain like Voldemort will. Neville pulls out the sword, and Voldemort knocks him back. Harry drops from the arms of Hagrid and shocks everyone by being alive. In the book, the Sorting Hat is retrieved by Voldemort from inside the castle with a flick of his wand after Neville delivers his lesser speech (''I?ll join you when hell freezes over. Dumbledore?s Army!''). He places it on Neville?s head and sets it ablaze because there will be no need for Sorting at Hogwarts now. Since help was on its way for Neville, Harry, who has been placed at Voldemort?s feet, uses the chaos to put on his Invisibility Cloak. Neville breaks free of the Body-Bind Curse upon him, and the flaming hat falls off him. He draws the Sword of Gryffindor from it and slices off Nagini?s head (which, in the book, Harry had told him to do before heading to the Forbidden Forest). In the movie, a recovered Neville ends up beheading Nagini as she?s about to strike Ron and Hermione. So even if he doesn't know Nagini is a Horcrux, he knows she has to die at that moment.
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Harry's 'I'm alive!' reveal
Among the changes: In the movie, after Harry reveals he?s alive by falling out of Hagrid?s arms, the battle begins again. In the book, this involves centaurs, giants, thestrals, Buckbeak the hippogriff, the families of students who?d stayed at Hogwarts to fight, and even the house-elves. Harry, still under his Invisibility Cloak, fires curses at every Death Eater he sees and Shield Charms at his friends. Death Eaters are falling (Ron and Neville bring down Fenrir Greyback, for instance), and McGonagall, Slughorn, and Kingsley are battling Voldemort, while Bellatrix faces Hermione, Ginny, and Luna. It?s only after Molly Weasley kills Bellatrix (which is in the movie with the same ''Not my daughter, you bitch!'') — and Harry shoots a Shield Charm at Molly to save her from Voldemort's rage — that Harry takes off his Invisibility Cloak and reveals himself to be alive to Voldemort and everyone else.
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The Final Duel
Among the changes: The biggest change is that in the book, even though Harry says it must come down to the two of them, the fight takes place in view of everyone. In the movie, Harry tells Voldemort that they should end it the way it started, together, and after they zoom around Hogwarts clinging to one another, they land in front of only lifeless bodies. In the book, Harry builds the suspense by talking more, making sure Voldemort knows that his spells won?t stick to those Harry was willing to die for, that he?s protected them just as his mother protected him. He tells Voldemort that he?ll win because he knows more not only about love but also about magic. The crowd gets to hear as Harry details how Dumbledore, not Voldemort, planned the headmaster?s death, and how Snape had betrayed the Dark Lord. In the book, once the spells are cast, it?s over quickly. The Elder Wand knows Harry disarmed Draco, and that Draco had disarmed Dumbledore before Snape killed him, so its allegiance is to Harry and it goes to him. In the movie, it?s drawn out as we slowly watch Voldemort?s Killing Curse rebound. In the book, there?s a second of silence, then cheers.
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Among the changes: In the movie, Voldemort?s body disintegrates into tiny pieces that float into the air — and, if you?re seeing it in 3-D, out at you. In the book, his body remains and is laid in a chamber off the Great Hall, away from all those who had died fighting him. It?s more final the movie way, isn?t it? Less of a chance of seeing Harry Potter and the Unauthorized Resurrection.
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Harry and the Proof That He Is Not Power-hungry
Among the changes: In the book, after the battle is won, Harry, Hermione, and Ron go to the headmaster?s study to see the portrait of Dumbledore. Harry tells him where he dropped the Resurrection Stone and that he won?t be looking for it again. He says he?s going to keep his Invisibility Cloak. And then he holds up the Elder Wand. Harry says he doesn?t want it. He was happier with his old, broken wand. He uses the Elder Wand to repair it, and he tells Dumbledore that he?s returning the Elder Wand to where it came from. If Harry dies a natural death, its power will be broken. In the movie, Harry, Hermione, and Ron?s post-victory walk leads them not to the study but outside the castle. Harry breaks the Elder Wand in two and tosses it. (That does seem more final, doesn?t it?) The climatic shot (save the Epilogue) is of the three of them standing together, Hermione in the middle holding Harry's and Ron's hands, looking out into the distance and then fighting back tears.
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Among the changes: Of course, it's condensed. But why make a subtle change like this? In the book, when Harry?s son Albus Severus asks what will happen if he?s put in Slytherin, Harry tells him the Sorting Hat takes your choice into account. ''Really?'' the boy asks. ''It did for me,'' Harry answers. It's the first time he?s admitted that to any of his children, Rowling makes a point of saying. In the movie, the exchange is simply, ''Really?'' ''Really.'' Why? Maybe so Harry doesn?t look like he plays favorites with his kids. Maybe because ''Really'' is the natural response to ''Really?'' Maybe so there?s no confusion — we all get to choose our path, not just Harry.
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