The Tale of the Three Brothers from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One

My Favorite Scene: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1 (2010) “The Three Brothers”

With the triumphant return of The Wizarding World in the wake of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (the sequel for which is set for a November 2018 release), we’re running back through the Harry Potter series, examining the best of each in one “My Favorite Scene” column a month.  We come at last to the beginning of the end and the seventh film: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One

The seventh and final book in the Harry Potter series is split over two films and, unlike every other adaptation that has tried to milk extra box office cash from extending franchises, this choice is absolutely necessary to give an appropriate adaptation of the finale.  Deathly Hallows picks up on the dark tone from Dumbledore’s death at the end of Half-Blood Prince, and never lets you forget this is life or death; absolute war between Voldemort’s forces and the Wizarding World.  Rather than return to Hogwarts for his final year, Harry decides to continue Dumbledore’s work, uncovering and destroying the Horcruxes that hold the pieces of Voldemort’s soul and give him a form of immortality.  The tone is set from the very opening scene, which ends with one of the most heartbreaking moments of the series: Hermione erasing any memory of her existence from her parents to keep them safe from what she knows is coming.

Deathly Hallows is unlike any of the other movies or novels.  Part one takes place almost entirely out of Hogwarts.  It’s a quest.  First, to find and destroy the Horcruxes, but soon, as they learn in the beautifully told and animated “Tale of the Three Brothers”, to also keep Voldemort from The Deathly Hallows.  The Hallows, which had a quick cameo in the first Fantastic Beasts film, are going to be a large part of that series’ future installments.  They are what obsessed Dumbledore and Grindelwald as young men, and the pursuit of them eventually lead to their falling out and a great deal of tragedy.  The scene in which Luna’s father tells Harry, Ron, and Hermione of the Hallows is an example of the brilliant mini-tales that exist within the Wizarding World.  If you haven’t read her Tale of Beedle the Bard, it’s a similar sort of spellbinding (pun alert) tale.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One

Part One takes our trio all over England, to locations familiar (Godric’s Hollow where Harry’s parents were murdered), deep woods, and dangerous encounters.  Voldemort’s forces are openly attacking both wizards and muggles alike, and the realization that many of our friends made over these last several thousand pages may not survive is hammered home early on, when two beloved characters fall when Harry is moved for his own safety.  An initially comedic scene as the Order of the Phoenix turns into a gaggle of Daniel Radcliffes, turns horribly wrong as the Order is ambushed and not everyone reaches their destination.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One

I’m so glad WB split this book and allowed Rowling’s finale to be fully explored.  The kids are truly adults now.  We not only get all of the events (save for Dumbledore’s full origin story, which I wonder if she was saving for Fantastic Beasts even then) of the book’s first half, ending in Dobby, of all characters, making us cry and the dark cliffhanger of Voldemort obtaining The Elder Wand, but several character building moments that aren’t in the book.  There’s a beautiful little scene where Harry dances with Hermione to raise her spirits when Ron’s been split from the group and things are bleak that isn’t in the book, but it works perfectly in the film.

Ralph Fiennes in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One

Great Snape 7 of 8
To honor Severus Snape and the late Alan Rickman we, as always, have our Great Snape Moment of the film.  In The Deathly Hallows, most of Snape’s pay-off moments take place in Part Two, but there’s a scene early in the film that both illustrates the horror of Voldemort’s movement, but also shows how alone Severus is now.  With Dumbledore dead, no one knows he’s working for the Order undercover and he’s forced to sit through this ghastly display of Voldemort’s contempt for both his enemies and his own followers.

We’ll finish our journey thought the series next month with the eighth and final film: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two (to read Sorcerer’s Stone click here Chamber of Secrets click here; Prisoner of Azkaban here; The Goblet of Fire here; and The Order of the Phoenix here; and The Half-Blood Prince here if you want to catch up).

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One Poster

5 thoughts on “My Favorite Scene: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1 (2010) “The Three Brothers””

  1. Watch that animated segment, and tell me that Harry Potter would not have worked beautifully as an animated film. I really do hope they remake the saga as a series of animated movies one day, because I really do believe that the existing films, while wildly entertaining, could have been handled better at the screenplay stage.

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    1. Well, who knows? Harry Potter is one of those enduring stories that is going to be around 100 years (without exaggeration). Obviously, the short term is the four following Fantastic Beasts films, then the inevitable attempt to throw enough money at Radcliffe, Watson (whom they may be able to afford again then), and Grint to come and do an adaptation of the eighth book/stage play: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. By the time the Fantastic Beasts saga finishes, the trio will be exactly the age of the characters in book 8. That one, I don’t know will ever happen. Draco is also a huge part of book 8 and Tom Felton, who is now part of the cast of The Flash, is already looking weathered. Rowling says she’s done with Potter, but the Wizarding World? I think that’s her life’s work, not to mention her other fiction isn’t very good. There’s a reason the branding from WB has shifted to “Wizarding World”, and I’m fine with that. The detail and scope that Fantastic Beasts informs that world is well worth that franchise and I was very skeptical. The movies are a kind of miracle given that they pre-cast these kids at ages 10 and 11 who became wonderful actors, that they were able to get them all done on time, and that the series was still being written as it went. You can see HOW much of a miracle when it’s compared to Game of Thrones where under much the same circumstances the author cracked, and the TV show will define that story now whether Martin ever finishes it or now (and I don’t think he will to be honest). This sequence explaining the Deathly Hallows was pure brilliance as a choice by David Yates and the animation is stunning. It reminds me of the prologue from Hellboy II. You just want to see a whole movie in that style, and-who knows-one day maybe we will. An animated series could incorporate so much of the books that was cut, but it’s 20 years away at the earliest if then.

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  2. End of GOT coming up. Do you think it’s done a good job of staying the course? Will it end on a satisfying note, in your opinion? I don’t watch shows anymore until they are over (the new Twin Peaks being the sole exception) because I don’t want to get burned. For example, if Sense8 does not get a movie to tie things up, I made a good move not investing my time, even though the first episode was incredible. I’m really looking forward to a GOT binge.

    Upon reflection, Harry Potter has become a brand name, like SW and ST, so I don’t think the original films will ever be remade, any more than the original trilogy will ever be made, or the prequels. They’ll just keep adding to the cannon.

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    1. Martin told the show runners the end several seasons ago so they could write toward it. It’s one of the reasons I don’t think he’ll finish the two huge novels left in his plan because it will already be resolved by HBO. I think they’re doing a brilliant job. It’s different from the books in a lot of ways but never so much that it’s not still GoT and last season, which was the first totally comprised of new material was probably the best. I like they’re taking the Breaking Bad approach and making sure they finish correctly with two small seasons instead of rushing, because they know this is the ultimate edition of this story. I used to feel sorry for Martin, but he’s done two or three side GoT books, edited a dozen anthologies and mucked about with other projects instead of just FINISHING IT. He knew as soon as the first season was a hit, he had a clock ticking and he couldn’t manage it. I have absolutely no pity for him losing his own creation. GoT season 7’s debut is just another thing to look forward to in July. I don’t think I’m going to see another film in the theater until Spider-Man. At least June gave us Wonder Woman, and that was a huge present. If you had told me that my two top films for 2017 at the halfway point were Get Out and Wonder Woman, I would have been quite terribly surprised.

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