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Half-Blood Prince cut Dumbledore’s funeral because “it felt wrong”

HAryy Potter and the Half-Blood Prince director David Yates revealed that Dumbledore's funeral was cut due to pacing issues within the story

Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

The Harry Potter movies took some liberties with the source material. You’d have to, considering the books only got longer as they went on. One contentious cut was the funeral of Albus Dumbledore from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Readers of the books will know the funeral was a major part of the conclusion of the novel. The Hogwarts headmaster was honoured by a huge send-off that makes for an audacious epilogue to the actual plot. The film adaptation had none of this, instead just focusing on Fawkes flying off into the sunset after the beloved Harry Potter character is murdered.

This was a conscious choice by director David Yates, who felt the fantasy movie ended naturally without it. “You would read the script and you’d get to Dumbledore’s death, and it felt climactic and moving. And then we went to the Great Hall and this austerity, it sort of felt weirdly complete,” Yates told a roundtable in 2012, per Hypable. “When you got to this grand funeral, and it felt less about the man and more about the pomp of the ceremony, and it felt oddly less connected. So just rhythmically it felt wrong.”

There was a version in the script, but it was never filmed, so don’t expect to ever get one in an extended cut. That said, seeing Fawkes fly away has always been poignant enough, even if, as a reader, you’d be puzzled as to the choices made.

Yates would go on to direct the remaining Harry Potter films, as well as all three Fantastic Beasts movies thus far. As prequels, the Fantastic Beasts series fleshes out the history behind the Boy Who Lived. They’re not based on any source material eliminating any dissonance in translation.

That said, our Jakob Barnes didn’t enjoy the last one, writing in his Fantastic Beasts 3 review: “Jude Law is a shining light in an otherwise forgettable, yet technically well-made movie”