As much as we love the Harry Potter movies, there are definitely issues with some of them. We could have done with less teen angst in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and a lot less hair in Goblet of Fire. No, we won’t stop going on about the hair. Someone needed to get the Harry Potter cast a massive pair of scissors.
When you watch the Harry Potter movies in order, you’ll find problems with even the best movies in the franchise. And as much as we like to defend Deathly Hallows Part One – never call it “the one with the camping” around us – we can’t deny that it has its issues. And even director David Yates is well aware of them.
Speaking to Collider this week, Yates spoke openly about the challenges of the two-part Potter finale and giving an appropriate pay-off to all of the best Harry Potter characters. Splitting the final book in half created a particular structural problem.
“The great challenge of that film was it didn’t actually have a third act,” said Yates. “It kind of ran out of steam halfway through, and Mark [Day, the editor] and I would often sit there kind of figuring it out and saying: ‘This movie doesn’t have a third act. How are we gonna…? Hang on, this is crazy. It doesn’t have a third act’.”
Of course, the first Deathly Hallows ultimately ended on a double gut-punch. We saw the death of beloved house elf Dobby, followed by the sinister scene of Voldemort finally wielding the Elder Wand after stealing it from Dumbledore‘s tomb.
Apologies for this video. We’re still hurting too.
Yates said it took a lot of work in the edit to make the final moments of Deathly Hallows Part One feel like a genuine conclusion, rather than simply a prelude to one of the best fantasy movies in the franchise.
“We noodled Part One to bits to try and feel that the end of the movie had an escalation when, in fact, it’s jazz hands. There’s not much going on at the end in the second half of the movie, and I say that with great … People still say to me: ‘My favorite film is Hallows Part One, mate. That was so amazing. It felt like a European road movie’. And I’m going: ‘Yeah, but the work we did in the edit was unbelievable’.”
So even Yates isn’t totally sure about the movie, more than a decade later. But we think he did a solid job, and then blew us out of the park with the bombastic conclusion a year later. Even still, we can’t forgive the finale’s massive Harry Potter book change. Sorry.
For more from the Wizarding World, find out why this Harry Potter monster was too terrifying for the movies and why the most heart-breaking Harry Potter scene wasn’t in the movies. We’ve also listed the best Harry Potter spells and fascinating facts about Hagrid and Sirius Black.
Elsewhere, look ahead to new movies and TV with our guides to the Harry Potter TV series release date, the Fantastic Beasts 4 release date, and the possible Harry Potter and the Cursed Child release date.