One of the casualties of the Battle of Hogwarts that hit the hardest was learning that the newlywed couple Lupin and Tonks didn’t make it to the end. It really felt like the lives of these two Order of the Phoenix members was just beginning, having just had their son, Teddy Lupin, and Harry promising to be godfather. But the battle was cruel and took away as many beloved characters as it did evil ones. This fleeting moment of calm before the storm shows just how strong their union was - after nearly not getting together at all.
The Battle of Hogwarts is shrouded in darkness and muted colours throughout many of the scenes, so it’s quite a shock to the system to suddenly be plunged into bright colours and pretty greenery. This, of course, is the moment Harry enters the memories of the recently-killed Severus Snape, learning all about his secret love of his mother, Lily, and the allegiance he made with Dumbledore after her death. After seeing Snape portrayed as a villain throughout the Harry Potter stories, this visit into the Pensieve showed us his true colours.
Of course, the Harry Potter books and films have many differences, but here was a huge one that surprised fans during the Battle of Hogwarts. Neville’s starring role in the battle saw him deliver an inspiring speech and eventually destroy Nagini, one of Voldemort’s pivotal Horcruxes, but it was his sudden admission that he was crazy about Luna Lovegood that book-readers didn’t see coming.
Dedicated Potter Fans know all too well the futures of these two characters, with Luna going on to marry Rolf Scamander, Newt’s grandson, and Neville setting up a comfy life with fellow Hogwarts student Hannah Abbott. But we like the idea of Neville and Luna at least going on a date off-screen, after everything they’d been through together. This quiet, gentle moment after the battle was a welcomingly cute scene after so much tragedy.
With Hogwarts in danger, Professor McGonagall gallantly guards the castle, with the help of several protective charms and her fellow teachers. She even brings the suits of armour to life in a thrilling sequence, her memorable line, ‘I’ve always wanted to use that spell’ bringing a joyous flash of comic relief on Hogwarts’ darkest day.
This beautiful orange, flaming globe that envelops the castle is just one of the stunning special effects we saw in this final film.
As explained in Harry Potter: Page to Screen, the visual effects team even created a virtual miniature version of Hogwarts, so they could visually explore the castle further, rather than be confined to the ruined set.
After discovering that Dumbledore has left him the Resurrection Stone inside his first ever Golden Snitch, Harry uses it to be surrounded by those he has loved and lost. Having the echoes of James, Lily, Lupin and Sirius watching over him as he bravely steps towards his own ending reminded us of just how many hardships Harry had suffered by this point in the story.
Down in the Forbidden Forest, Voldemort (alongside his Death Eaters) finally seems to have cornered Harry and casts the Killing Curse once and for all. However, of all the people to go and check if the deed has been done, it is Narcissa Malfoy, Draco’s mother, who goes to check the body. Of course, Harry is still very much alive, which Narcissa swiftly realises. Nonetheless, she tells Voldemort that Harry is dead anyway.
Narcissa’s choice to lie to Lord Voldemort caused gasps among book readers and film viewers alike. Upon learning that her son is alive, Narcissa decides that the fate of her family is more important than Voldemort’s victory, despite her family being so intertwined in the Dark Arts for so long. Narcissa’s U-turn is one of many moments that changes the course of events at the Battle of Hogwarts, with Harry now able to take on one final duel with Lord Voldemort, face to face.
Harry and Lord Voldemort were always bound together ever since Harry was a baby, and every time they faced each other since, Lord Voldemort couldn’t understand that it was love that gave Harry his great power over him.
In their final duel, the pair relentlessly attack each other in a shower of red and green, with the weight of everything falling on this moment. As Harry says to Lord Voldemort (or “Tom”) himself, “let’s finish this the way we started it – together.”
In Harry Potter: Page to Screen, Production Designer Stuart Craig talked about the look the filmmakers were trying to achieve in this scene.
“The final standoff between Voldemort and Harry in the ruined courtyard in front of the school with what is essentially the sun rising behind them and the smoke seen through the walls is so emotionally effective,” he says. “It was a big challenge, but a very enjoyable one.”
But it is the look of determination on Harry’s face, barely holding on in the final embers of the fight, that just says everything about the long, overbearing struggle this character has had to endure throughout his young life. But in the end, the prophecy about Lord Voldemort turned true.
Which moment from the Battle of Hogwarts resonated the most with you?