After All This Time? (Part One)

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, is the eagerly awaited finale of the Potter franchise, gracing the shelves in many stores worldwide in 2007, and donned the silver screen in 2 parts, first in 2010, then again in 2011. The 7 part franchise comes to a climatic end within the pages of this book. Fuelled with romance, war and death, it is no wonder that the magical world continues to live on, years after its first publication.

As I have discussed previously, every instalment left the audience and reader wanting more, and this segment is no different. We begin with a blast from the past back at 4 Privot Drive, where Ron, Hermione and fellow members of the Order of the Phoenix have gathered to escort Harry to a safe house. This scene alone stands out, because of Radcliffe’s portrayal of all the characters within the scene but yet also because Ron, Hermione, Fred, George, Bill, Fleur, Arthur, Lupin, Tonks, Hagrid, and Mundungus Fletcher all are putting their lives on the line to protect Harry, led by Auror Moody. This is something we have seen many a time before within the pages and on screen, Harry’s friends going above and beyond but as Harry points out “becoming me” is literally giving their lives for him. By now the audience should know that trouble is never too far away, and a clash with the death eaters occurs. The loss of Hedwig within this moment is a devastating blow only minutes within the first movie. The white owl represents complete innocence and merely tried to protect her owner and yet was killed in an instant. Hedwig is the only link to Harry’s somewhat normal start to magical life, and was a gift from Hagrid the one person who led him into this world. This is also a reminder that anyone or anything can be killed during a war, whether you are involved or not and without harming the rest of the story, reminds the audience just how dangerous it is outside of Harry’s close circle, even with the protection of The Order.

During the Deathly Hallows we are reminded of the underlying theme that stems all the way back to the 2nd instalment, race and heritage. Voldermort and his followers infiltrate the Ministry of Magic and it is clear that they have one main goal other than finding Harry Potter and that is to rid the magical world of anybody muggle born. We see this literally through the interrogation of a muggle born witch, when Harry, Ron and Hermione sneak into the ministry to retrieve a Horcrux. The witch is accused of stealing her wand from another, implying somebody with her background could never be magical or superior like them who are. We also see a number of staff members working on slander and propaganda flyers highlighting that the complete discrimination against anybody without magical parents is very present and if Voldermort does take over fully, will be the new way of life.

The significance of Ron’s radio is extremely important. It is the trio’s only connection to the outside world, yet it also reminds us of the sacrifices they are making. Although Harry has no immediate family, everyone he has ever known is now at risk of being captured and tortured for information about his whereabouts. This includes all of Ron’s family. For the majority of the film, whenever we do see the radio Ron is the one with it. Intensely listening to see if any of his family’s names are called out in the list of victims and hostages taken by Death Eaters. This also reminds us that Hermione’s has taken it upon herself to remove any thought of her from her parent’s memories and sending them to Australia, in an attempt to keep them safe. She knows she couldn’t have run off and left Harry and Ron to try and save the day, so she has given up her only family to try and overcome Voldermort.

The moment Ron disappears is a huge twist within this book. Ron has never actively deserted the trio like he does within the Deathly Hallows. This is probably one of the lowest points so far, the trio are far from home, no where near finding the next Horcrux and with no plan how to bring down the dark lord. A big reminder that they are only 17 after all. The mood is being bought down heavily by the locket and now the trio are no more. Followed by an uplifting moment that was not in the book, Harry asks Hermione to dance. For the duration of just one song, they allow themselves to just be teenagers and smile and be carefree. For those who have not read the books, it does open the question “Do Harry and Hermione get together?” It is also represents the innocence of the teenagers, and what they are missing out on. Most teenagers do not have to complete a mission to save the world like Ron, Harry and Hermione.

Malfoy Manor is a dark, scary place. The Malfoy’s are incredibly different to how we first meet them in the first and second books. They are somewhat defeated and weak, after Lucious’ failed mission. The house is medieval like and cold much like its occupants. All death eaters and snatchers are in dark drastic clothes representing their actions, compared to the ordinary muggle like clothing that the trio are wearing. In this scene, we are rewarded with Ron being the hero rather than Harry. He is the first to jump to Hermione’s defence and burst into the room. He is also the first to leap to grab Hermione upon the chandelier falling. All that self doubt throughout the other 6 books is completely wiped away as Ron’s courage assists in saving Hermione and this represents the true Gryffindor within him.

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows – Part One is a journey where the audience joins The Golden Trio in their attempt to overcome the darkness that has hold of the magical world. It is a thrilling ride and shows the details within the first half of the 7th book. By the time we finish part one, the audience is really asking the question whether our favourite characters survive the war.

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