95 Theses on the Errors and Inaccuracies of the Conclusion
(to the Harry Potter films)
Written on Friday, July 15, 2011, between the hours of 3am and 6am
An atrocity was committed tonight. One of the highest order. Worse than the horror that was 6th movie. Dare I say worse even than the terror that Voldemort inspired? I do. It was absolutely dreadful. And how J.K. Rowling approved of this ending to her brilliant series, I will never know.
I kept a tally of the mistakes they made tonight. By my count, there were 95 of them. NINETY-FIVE! That is absolutely ridiculous. Now before I begin the list I must make note of two points. The first is that some mistakes were so atrocious that I multiply counted those for these are the ones that absolutely should not have been avoided. These are the ones that represent the spirit of the series and us, the fans. And thus by destroying them, the film has destroyed a part of us as well. The second point is that there were many minor mistakes as well. But these need not be counted for they are not the ones that matter.
Now I understand that there is a need to go for theatricality. But they could have done so and followed the books. Look at adaptations of LotR and Stephen King. Those follow the original works amazingly. And those books aren't nearly as popular as Harry Potter has become. Harry Potter is not only popular, but also a gateway. It is the start of a path for many to begin reading. And as such it deserves the utmost care and respect.
Do you know what happens when someone sees a horrible movie based off a book they haven't read? They almost always do not want to read the book. That saddens me greatly. The movies don't have to be as good the books. I'd never expect that. But they could try a hell of a lot harder. And by not trying they're effectively killing off a large portion of passionate readers, would be writers, and amazing creativity.
Worse than that though is the number of us who have essentially dedicated our lives to the series. And many of us have put so much stock in the series, that it is a huge slap in the face. No. Worse than that. It's like they've destroyed a part of our soul.
For myself at least, I identified so much so with Harry that when I first started the series, I longed for nothing more than to go to Hogwarts. To belong somewhere. To no longer be mistreated and ignored by friends and family. (For those of them that read this, yes, I was sorely mistaken about this then. But I never knew it at the time) And then strangely enough, I got my acceptance letter. I got into a college where I was accepted readily by my peers regardless of my beliefs. At college I found my Hogwarts, my Gryffindor, my Ron, my Hermione, my Neville, my Luna. And while at college, I lost my grandmother. She is my Dumbledore, even now. She guides me at every step.
Perhaps I am outrageous in my claims to many. In fact I hope that is the case because that would mean that only a few share my sad experience. Alas, I do not believe this to be the case. I think that many people connect with the books on as deep a level as I did even if perhaps they did not know why. It is to those deeper connections that I write to now. But even so, I write this for myself because my soul cannot sit idly by as a crime such as this is committed against it.
Shall we begin?
1. Right off the bat, Harry asks to speak to the goblin, not Griphook, but the goblin. This would be something an ordinary wizard would request, not the strange wizard that Harry is. And his conversation with Griphook is all wrong. Griphook says much of what Harry is supposed to say when Harry is supposed to have already learned all this. What was the point of Harry's journey if somebody else spits out the answer for him.
2. The conversation with Ollivander certainly started better. But halfway through, Harry asks him about the Hallows and Ollivander answers. Ollivander knows nothing of this and is only supposed to know of wandlore and the Elder Wand.
3. When leaving to go to Gringotts, Harry is not wearing the cloak at all. This is a huge mistake in security and they would have been immediately caught upon arrival without the cloak.
4. Once in Gringotts, things go well, until Harry has to imperius Bogrod. He sneaks around the counter and takes his wand out of the cloak to do so. Again, a huge security issue.
5. After the Thief's Downfall, Bogrod needs to be imperiused again. But this time it is Ron who does it. I may be speculating here but I don't think Ron has it in him to do it. Not because he cannot do magic as well as Harry. In that, I think they are equal. I think it is because he has not faced the darknesses Harry has faced. I also think that Harry can do it more easily because of the piece of Voldemort that resides within him.
6. Once they are in the Vault, the only curse upon the treasures is Gemino. The Flagrante curse was what actually made things difficult. It made holding onto the cup an act of will. Had there been no Flagrante curse, there would not have been much to worry about and the sword would never have been lost.
7. Upon their immediate retrieval of the cup, Griphook evilly says he never claimed he would help them out of Gringotts. Yes in the book he goes and joins the goblins claiming the kids are the thieves, but that is all. His statement in the movie makes him sound evil. In the book, he is simply trying to survive.
8. The dragon kills, or at the very least severely burns, Bogrod. There was no mention of this in the book and it is entirely unnecessary here. There is no way that the goblins nor the kids would let this happen.
9. Hermione has the idea to get on the dragon. This is crazy! Not because she is a girl, mind you. Because the idea itself is crazy. Hermione has a cool intellect and is a genius. If it had been her idea to use a dragon, that would have been their plan from the start. But in the midst of battle whilst trying to escape? No. She's much too distracted by everything else and is afraid of flying to even think about going on the dragon.
10-12. Shortly after landing, Harry sees that Voldemort knows they know. He also sees that the last Horcrux is somewhere at Hogwarts. They immediately disapparate to Hogsmeade without the cloak. Then they hide behind some furniture, run to an alley, and Aberforth lets them in. Where to start with this one? First, no cloak AGAIN. This is bad for multiple reasons. The Death Eaters would have found them easily if they lacked the cloak and this scene also demonstrated the cloak was in fact a Hallow. Second, no dementors. Which means no patronuses. The patronus was the only reason Aberforth let them in the bar. He had no reason to otherwise.
13-17. In the bar now. And this one's huge. Hmmm... There was something important. Oh right. DUMBLEDORE's BACKSTORY!!! Need I say more? Oh and Harry mentions Horcruxes directly to Aberforth. Though I'd totally have forgiven it if we'd gotten to hear the backstory. Plus the mirror on the wall and Harry's shard clearly fit together. The books as you may recall had two separate mirrors.
18. Neville brings the gang along the passage to the Room of Requirement. Here he is supposed to tell them all about Hogwarts goings on. Instead it is merely a brief mention. Had there actually been that little going on, no one would have been desperate to help Harry, no one would have been expecting a revolt. It might even have been that there would be no passage to the school at all.
19-20. Harry tells everyone that their help is needed. They make this out to be a scene to laugh at. It is a very serious scene in the books. Had this actually been the case, I think many people would have turned their backs on him then.
21-22. More people start to come through the passage now. But their is no Weasley reunion and no Lupin to announce the successful birth of his son. This symbolizes the dire times that they are in. It being so dire, that always-by-the-book Percy has decided to leave the Ministry to fight. It also shows exactly what they're fighting for, the future, Lupin's son and others like him.
23-30. We now skip the entire scene in Ravenclaw Tower and instead go straight to the Great Hall, where Snape knows Harry has arrived, Harry reveals himself, and then Snape flees. For one, Ravenclaw Tower is extremely cool with the way you enter and would have taken little time for them to do. Two, seeing the statue of Ravenclaw is part of what gets Harry to realize where the diadem is when he goes through his memories again. Three, Luna gets to show off her witchy skills. Four, Harry gets to spit in a Death Eater's face as a way of saying hello to McGonagall, which is way cooler and more appropriate than their hello in the film. Five, it is here that Snape and McGonagall duel, which they didn't even bother with the cool effects for. Six, Snape flies off as a bat. And seven, this is when Harry tells McGonagall he's on a mission and asks for help. Then we finally would get to the Great Hall scene.
31-33. Now the professors start the defenses on the castle. One, they skipped dividing up the troops. Instead they all congregate to the one area. This is a horrible battle plan, even if they do split up right afterward. Two, McGonagall would have practiced Piertotum Locomotor for years, that would not have been her first use. Powerful magic requires great practice. Third, as cool as it was to have Mrs. Weasley casting enchantments to protect Hogwarts, she would not have been taught these and would be better off doing something else.
34. Luna goes off after Harry to help him find the diadem. Not only is this unnecessary, I feel it also makes Harry appear to be stupid. They could easily have had some internal dialogue going. Plus we don't get to see Sir Nicholas again.
35-40. The Grey Lady. A minor point is she doesn't look or move like the ghosts in the previous films. More to the point, she doesn't like to be called the Grey Lady? There's no reason for that remark. Next, she makes as if her and Luna have a connection. There's no reason this couldn't be the case, but it is certainly not the reason she would tell Harry anything. Nor it would it allow Harry to realize what he needs to. Third, the claim is made that Voldemort wished to destroy the diadem. Clearly not, for what use it would it have been to him, if it had been destroyed? And the Grey Lady makes no claims of wanting its destruction. Fourth, Helena does not know where the diadem is anymore. Harry is supposed to figure that out based on his one true secret with Tom.
40-43. Meanwhile, Ron and Hermione go to the Chamber of Secrets and destroy the cup Horcrux. First, I remember the Parseltongue phrase from movie 2 and it was much shorter than that, and there's no need for Harry to have talked in his sleep. Second, they only grab the one fang and after stabbing the cup, they kiss down there. This completely robs us of the amazing moment in the Room of Requirement where the fangs clang to the floor and Harry says, "Is this this the moment?" Absolutely brilliant and the time would have been the same. Third and fourth, the Horcrux would put up a fight but not one that epic and certainly not after it was killed.
44-49. Harry goes to the Room of Requirement to find the diadem followed by Draco, Crabbe, and some other guy (NOT Goyle, so that's one right there). Second, Crabbe is supposed to basically take charge here which is what leads to all the stupidity and Fiendfyre. Yes the Fiendfyre is still cast but there's not much of a reason behind it. Third and fourth, Hermione should be on Ron's broom because if they each had their own brooms, all three bad guys would likely have been saved. Fifth and sixth, a fang is used to destroy the diadem Horcrux, when it's supposed to be the fire, and the once thrown in the fire, the fire becomes Voldemort which would again be impossible after it's dead.
50. Where's Fred and Percy's scene? Yep, they scrapped that too
51-52. Voldemort has Snape come to him in the boathouse (I'm not sure what it is but it's near the castle and on the lake so that's what I'm going with. It's definitely not the Shrieking Shack). This makes no sense. Why is Voldemort so near the castle? And second, when Snape dies, memories are supposed to flow out of him like blood, yet I can barely see any.
53-67. Ah finally. A scene they couldn't possibly screw up seeing as how impor--Oh wait they did. Yes, one of the most important chapters in the whole book (and probably the series) and they messed it up. One, names? Who are these kids? Yes most people have read the book and know. But still it feels weird that they didn't properly introduce them. Two, Petunia is immediately seen calling her a freak. This would not be the case until after she is rejected from Hogwarts. Three and four, they skip out on Snape telling Lily about Hogwarts and magic, and Lily being concerned about Severus' home life. Five, they skipped the train where they meet James. Six, they skip Lily criticizing Snape's friends and him criticizing James. Seven, they skip Snape calling Lily a Mudblood and trying to apologize. Eight and nine, Snape begs Albus to save her life and is then seen holding her dead body. That's just creepy. Why would he have been right there? Ten through thirteen are just fadings of what happened when Harry was at Hogwarts up to year six. Fourteen, you barely see that Snape's Patronus is a doe. I saw it for like one second.
68-69. Harry and Hermione are shown to have "known for a while" that Harry was a Horcrux and would have to die for it. Really? As pointed out in the book, Harry had to wait to know otherwise, he either wouldn't have done it at all, or taken much longer to do it.
70. We skip straight to Harry in the forest. Which of course means he doesn't tell Neville to kill the snake. Hmmm... That seems wrong.
71-78. He opens the Snitch and sees his parents, Sirius, and Lupin there. Then he goes to meet Voldemort, who kills him. So far, we're good. Then he wakes up in King's Cross. For one, he's fully clothed. Now I'm not saying by any means that I want to see him naked, but the nakedness is part of it being the crossing between life and death. They could have easily implied it with the lack of a shirt. Second and third, neither Harry nor Dumbledore make mention of his being dead, nor do they mention how it is he could return to life. Both of these are important. The one is why the extra soul piece dies, and the other is an important reminder of the power of love and sacrifice. Fifth and sixth, they skip out on their souls being connected, which of course means they skip out on why Riddle is even looking for another wand. Seventh, there's no mention of Harry's past or the Hallows, which of course is needed for Harry to understand, for him to forgive Dumbledore.
79-84. First they skip the torturing of Harry's body which is quite important in demonstrating that evil has seemingly triumphed over good. Second, only Ginny screams when Harry is proclaimed dead. He's loved by so many, yet only she screams? Third, Draco is awkwardly invited over by his parents. Fourth, Voldemort knows not of Neville, and thus we lose the extremely cool scene of the Sorting Hat providing him the sword with which he kills Nagini. Fifth, that killing is what allows Harry to escape from Hagrid and disappear momentarily.
85. Neville, Hermione, and Ron all attempt to kill the snake. Yes, we still see Neville kill the snake but with this scene it seems a lot more like luck than the sheer awesomeness that it was supposed to be.
86-87. Meanwhile, Harry and Tom have a battle chase scene across Hogwarts. One, the chase overrides the chance for us to hear the all important explanation of why Voldemort will lose, and a chance at remorse for the Chief Death Eater. Two, they touch. No way. We've seen on multiple times what happens when they touch. There's no way Voldemort would allow that.
88. Well Riddle's now dead and we see Harry walk amongst the Great Hall. Realistically, anyone who could have gone to him would have, which is why Luna had to provide the distraction in the book.
89-91. Now we go to the three at the bridge and guess what Harry does with the Elder Wand. He snaps it in half. Bull. One, a wand that powerful isn't going to be breakable by human hands. Minorly, we don't get to see all the previous Headmasters and Headmistresses clapping at Harry's awesomeness. Two, Harry doesn't repair his own wand. That's kind of important. And three, we hear nothing of the morals that Harry's learned on the journey.
92-95. The Epilogue. Again, straightforward. Yet still a failure. All they had to do was copy straight from the book. But no. One, no Teddy snogging Victoire. Two, there was no prompting that led to the "What if I'm Slytherin?" conversation. Three, there was no joking rivalry with the Malfoys. Four, there was no commentary about the scar. These might seem minor but they all demonstrate the one thing that we wanted to see. That everything turned out alright. That even with evil in their lives, they managed to not only conquer it, but successfully move on to build a future.
So that's all 95 big mistakes they made. And there's probably another hundred or more minor ones. But those can be left for another to find.
If you've made it this far, I commend you and thank you for reading this. And if you'd like to tell me what you thought of this or the movie, email me at TheWarlock77241 at-sign live.com.
Mike 'Merlin' Patterson