Final ‘Potter’ not just for Potterites

Daniel Radcliffe steps into the room – I’m kidding.


Although, it would be kind of funny to have both versions of Radcliffe in a room to compare side-by-side, wouldn’t it? He was 12 years old when life granted him the role of Harry Potter (2001’s “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”). Now, with “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” Radcliffe has been able to legally drink adult beverages in the United States for a whole year (come Saturday).

Harry Potter movies, with the same cast, have been coming out for a decade. That is either really impressive or extremely depressing. Maybe both. Either way, this one is the last one. J.K. Rowling’s books have all been projected onto the big screen now, so the source material has run its course. (In theory. In reality, as I type, “Deathly Hallows: Part 2” has been out for less than a week and has already surpassed the half-a-billion dollar mark at the global box office. I’m not saying. I’m just saying.)

Me sitting here and offering up any sort of in depth analysis of “Deathly Hallows: Part 2” would be a bit like my mother breaking down the 3-4 defense on a football field for you. (Sorry, Mom. One of my favorite stories ever, though, is about watching a Monday Night Football game with my mother and listening to her express outrage at how “unfair” it was for a cornerback to jump in front of a wide receiver and intercept a pass. “He didn’t even give the other guy a chance!”) I’m no Harry Potter expert. Still, after 13 movies (no books), my grasp of Rowling’s wizardly world is better than it once was. For the record, my mom is also a much more well-informed football analyst than she once was.

Strip away all the fantasy and magic that make Potterites giggle with unabashed happiness and the structure of “Deathly Hallows: Part 2” is familiar enough. Harry is our hero. Harry’s BFF’s (best friends forever) are Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson). Harry’s elderly/dead mentor is Professor Dumbledore (Michael Gambon). His evil-but-maybe-good-deep-down rival is Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton). The villain is the guy that is missing his nose and always has a gigantic snake at his side, can’t miss him (Ralph Fiennes’ Lord Voldermort). The key ingredients to many a good story.

There was only one surprising element to this final chapter for me: Alan Rickman. Or, if it were him telling you his name: “Alan….” (One-one thousand, two-one thousand, three-one thousand…) “Rickman.” His patented, patient delivery of dialogue wasn’t surprising. His character, Professor Severus Snape, was. Rickman has portrayed Snape from film-to-film as a man that is hard to read. Is he good or bad? Does he despise Harry or have a crush on him? It was always hard to tell.

Then, finally, in this last chapter, director David Yates reveals Snape and his motives to us – mostly through flashbacks. We see that Snape is (SPOILER ALERT if you care!) a good dude; he does bad because he’s essentially the deep under-cover cop of Hogwarts. While we are learning those answers about Snape, however, other questions popped up for me. Namely, ahem, is Snape Harry’s father?

Don’t laugh. Potterites obviously already know the answer. The question seems ridiculous to them, I’m sure. But good googily! Non-Potterites like me can’t help but wonder. It is implied, really rather bluntly in my book, more than once that this might be the case.

When the final Harry Potter movie ended, complete with a “19 years later” flash forward which I’m told was also in the books, it wasn’t the battle between Harry and Voldermort that stuck with me. It wasn’t the impressive special effects that have gotten better (more expensive) from one chapter to the next. It wasn’t even the blatant two-minute stretch toward the beginning of the film when Yates seemed hell-bent on showcasing Ms. Watson’s, ah, chest-region. (Watson, FYI, was 11 in the first movie. So, yeah. It’s weird that she now has cleavage.) No, what stuck with me was one question. A question I felt goofy for even asking, yet I was genuinely curious about: Is Snape Harry’s dad?

And then a Potterite broke it down for me on my blog. No. No he is not.

Alright, fine. It was fun to wonder. Harry Potter seemed scandalous for a solid day and a half. Minus that juicy, non-existent subplot, “Deathly Hallows: Part 2” is right on par with the previous 10 movies and yes, that is a compliment.


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