'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 2': Burning questions answered for the casual fan
If the last time you read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was the weekend it hit bookstores, you may have scratched your head a few times while watching Deathly Hallows — Part 2. Here, a few burning questions answered.
1. Who was Ron supposed to be when they broke into Gringotts? In the book, it’s made clear that they only have enough Polyjuice Potion for one person. Therefore, Hermione simply reworks some of Ron’s features, which is why he’s still recognizable. Had he introduced himself in the film, he’d have been fictional foreigner Dragomir Despard, a Dark Lord sympathizer who doesn’t speak much English and traveled from Transylvania.
2. What was the lotion/potion Hermione put on their hands when they emerged from the water after using the dragon as their getaway ride? In the book, there are two curses on the objects in Bellatrix’s vault. If you touch them they multiply — and they burn you. She uses essence of dittany to regrow skin on their hands. They didn’t mention heat in the movie, perhaps because if their hands were blistered, their faces would have been, too, and no one wants that.
3. What’s the story with the Dumbledore sister Ariana again? They didn’t go into details about what happened between the Dumbledore brothers in the movie (Harry said he had no interest in it — he trusted Albus). Aberforth only said Albus sacrificed many things on his quest for power and gave their Ariana everything but time. In the book, we learn Ariana was attacked by three Muggle boys while doing magic when she was six. It destroyed her. She wouldn’t use magic again, but she couldn’t get rid of it — “it turned inward and drove her mad.” Their father went after the boys and got locked up in Azkaban. He couldn’t say why he did it, because the Ministry would have considered unstable Ariana a threat to the International Statute of Secrecy. Their mother and Aberforth took care of her while Albus focused on his magic. At 14, Ariana killed her mother in an accident. Albus became head of the family. But then Grindelwald entered the picture and became Albus’ partner in the search for the Hallows and creating a new Wizarding order. Aberforth was due to return to Hogwarts, and a fight broke out when he tried to explain to his brother that Albus wouldn’t be able to care for Ariana on his adventures. Grindelwald didn’t like that. He and Aberforth drew their wands. Albus tried to stop Grindelwald and all three dueled. Ariana, who couldn’t handle the lights and bangs, tried to help, and one of their wands killed her.
4. Where was Draco’s buddy Crabbe? Why wasn’t he the third wheel when Goyle and Draco went into the Room of Hidden Things? The actor who played Crabbe, Jamie Waylett, confessed to growing pot in 2009 and didn’t return for the film. Therefore, Goyle (Josh Herdman) had to be the one to succumb to the flames, instead of Crabbe (as in the book), because it would have meant next to nothing if the Other Slytherin Draco had grabbed along with Goyle died. (Per our readers, that Other Slytherin is Blaise Zabini, played by Louis Cordice.)
5. What’s the difference between the Room of Requirement and the Room of Hidden Things? They are one in the same, really. In the book, everyone must be out of the Room of Requirement (where Dumbeldore’s Army had made its makeshift barracks) before it can transform into the Room of Hidden Things.
6. How did Hagrid get with Voldemort and the Death Eaters? In the movie, we don’t see Hagrid 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. He 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 some planning!
7. If I say, “Technically, Harry died,” am I wrong? Allow me to just copy and paste my dissertation from our Summer Movie Body Count update. 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, capitalizes 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.
8. What kind of charm was on Harry’s glasses so they didn’t get one scratch during the Battle of Hogwarts, and yet, there was blood around his eyes behind them? I suspect a combination of the Impervius charm Hermione once used on Harry’s glasses to make them water-repellent and a lot of silent Oculus Reparos.
If you have a burning question, ask it in the comments. Others are happy to help/debate.