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Dumbledore is dead... again

by David Haber

Almost exactly 4 years ago, as we all read the end of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince together for the first time, we experienced the death of Dumbledore, and this site became into being, as it was originally known as And now, with the release of the movie, we're reliving it, all over again.

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Reader Comments: (Page 3)

Um, did anyone else think Harry was acting a bit drunk in the Aragog scene? I mean, "Not to mention the pincers tic tic tic"? Can anybody tell me why?

Posted by aranel on July 22, 2009 6:16 PM

Aranel: Harry was supposed to be under the influence of the the felix felicis potion which made him feel really good like he could do no wrong, a little full of himself, lol. That's why he acted that way. I thought that was one of the funniest parts of the movie!

Posted by sm from usa on July 22, 2009 8:29 PM

Thanks again to all contributors for thoughtful input. I was also reminded of the LOTR comparison for the films. You have to enjoy the film as a film as the director can only include parts of the novel and has to interpret. On the whole I loved it; Ron's love potion scene was brilliant and so were the wardrobe scenes in the Room of Requirement. They illustrate a big difference between the book and the film and between people who have read the book and those who haven't: if you have read the book you wonder why the director would give away how the Eaters were going to get into Hogwarts, when in the book you don't really know what Malfoy has been repairing. I think there are two reasons for this: firstly, the books are from Harry's viewpoint which enabled Rowling to hide loads of stuff from the reader to create suspense and sympathy for Harry, secondly, those scenes were a gift to film maker as they tell the story through pictures insted of dialogue.

However, I could not see the point of the cafe scene or burning down the burrow. One aspect I don't think was given full weight was Harry's anger and hatred of Snape. Every other character tells him to trust Snape and he intervenes several times in the book to help although Harry complains but not being clear about why Harry hates Snape so much makes Harry seem like a child with a pointless grudge against a nasty teacher.
I can't understand why they left Harry unpetrified and missed out the fight scene at the end but as for giving away the ending, my companion, who has not read the books had one question at the end," So, is Snape good or bad then?" I think the director has done his job.

Posted by handmaid from Birmingham UK on July 23, 2009 01:20 AM

In this movie, it made me happy that Quidditch is back. Harry the captain, Ron and Ginny and the others were so good. But I still don't understand why they had to add the Burrow-attack scene when they cut out more important scenes like Horcrux discussion, Harry's potion book hiding, Dobby and Kreacher, Dumbledore's etc.
But it is to be said that I really enjoyed the movie, though the of Dumbledore was a great shock.

Posted by Arman from Bangladesh on July 23, 2009 01:57 AM

I think I speak for everyone here that I believe that Dumbledore's was rushed.
Apart from the fact that they missed vital parts from the book, such as Voldemort's need to collect trophies, which make it a bit confusing when Harry suddenly knows what Voldemort's horcruxes are sealed in, I did not feel the same way about Dumbledore's as I did in the book.

Plus, there are a couple of movie mistakes. Take apparating inside hogwarts walls for example, the only excuse there is for this is that being Dumbledore has its advantages. I believe the only reason they did this was to save valuable time and as a result, they have missed out the vital bits of information that be crucial if people wish to understand the final 2 films.

Posted by Craig Edwards from Telford on July 23, 2009 02:11 AM

It was awesom. The sixth year of Harry in Hogwarts, has focused again by the film. The actors were better than ever. I liked Daniel, Rupert and Emma. Tom Felton was not bad like previous films. Michael Gambon was just like a real Albus Dumbledore, described in the book. Jessie Cave and Bonnie Wright also did well. And Alan Rickman was great. Well, 'alf-Blood Prince is the best film I've ever seen.

Posted by Eunus Al Jakaria from Thanchi, Bangladesh on July 23, 2009 06:58 AM

Thanks,sm. That makes sense.

Posted by aranel on July 23, 2009 10:15 AM

Thank you Dave for giving us the opportunity to talk about the film and the books in depth with people who really know what they are talking about!

One of the things I have really enjoyed as a kind of side line to reading the books has been learning how books are turned into films. The books are so long and detailed that it's not possible to put everything into the films so part of it is down to interpretation by the film-makers. Having said this I have some issues with the film! (Interesting to read Jack from London who seems to have inside information on which scenes have been filmed but not included and why. I can see that putting Dumbledore's at the beginning of DH1 would work. I can also see why the battle at the end of HBP has been left out.)

I wondered why there was the long delay in releasing the film of HBP and whether is was because they had to modify things in light of the way events turned out at the end of ly Hallows? Does anyone know? It seems to me that there are too many clues (foreshadowings) in this film for my liking. To me, one of the most shocking events in DH was learning that Harry definitely was a horcrux and we didn't know this until right at the last minute. In the film, having the ring react in the way it does when Harry touches it and Dumbledore looking significantly at Harry gives far too much away I think.

I agree with Craig when he says there's not enough reference to Tom Riddle collecting significant objects. THis could have been remed with one line when instead Dumbledore suggests the horcruxes are likely to be everyday objects...this is misleading...they could but they weren't in Voldemort's case.

The other part of the film that troubles me is the scene at the top of the astronomy tower. Harry needs to be immobilised because otherwise he would not stand by..and also it is key that no-one else knew that Harry was at the top of the tower (though it's possible Snape put two and two together in the book if he noticed the second broomstick). Does the way the scene is portrayed in the film cause a problem for the whole business of the elder wand at the end of DH? If Dumbledore allows Draco to disarm him (as he does in the film) rather than it being a consequence of him being busy immobilising Harry (as in the book) has Draco truly WON the elder wand? This is I think the reason why not having Harry immobilised in the film is really problematic. THough I'm sure the film makers gloss over this.

The other problem with this scene is that Harry not knowing which side Snape is on is absolutely core to DH. Snape telling Harry to shhh before he goes up to Dumbledore gives too much away about which side Snape is on. Dumbledore was adamant that Harry should not know just incase Voldemort used occlumency on him....

The other crucial bit which was left out was Harry calling Snape a coward at the end of the book. In the film it is Bellatrix who calls him a coward during the Spinners End Scene. Surely it would have been possible to include that crucial line?

Apart from these quibbles I have to say I think the film is excellent and agree with Anonymous. I think they have all improved greatly as actors and Tom Felton is fantastic...he really makes the film work. Dumbledore is really believe his relationship with Harry. I disagree with Siena...Harry doesn't begin to mistrust/question Dumbledore until DH after reading Rita Skeeta his trust of Dumbledore in the film is ok.
I love the way Harry's relationship with Ginny is developed and contrasted with Ron and Lavender. I think the Quidditch scene is very well done (my son thought it was the best bit of the film!), also the scene when Harry takes the Felix Felicis. (though what's with the whole fish business? totally not necessary.) I love the passing reference to Lupin and Tonk's relationship. Spinners end is done very well. I love the thing they do with Tom Riddle's voice in the memory scenes...overtones of snake! very clever.

But....I think they must be going to leave out Dobby in DH and this worries me as Harry's burial of Dobby is another absolutely key part of DH and I think Harry burying Kreacher simply not have the same resonance...unless they really do the bit about Kreacher and Regulus well (this is one of Rowlings absolutely best bits of the whole series). Also, I can't see how they do the wedding unless they make it Tonks and Lupin's instead of Bill and Fleurs...then it won't matter that the Burrow has been burnt down (what was that about?)

Posted by Joe from England on July 23, 2009 10:38 AM

It's interesting you bring up the point of the filmmakers modifying things for DH, Joe. I know Warner Brothers said they wanted to be guaranteed of a major summer blockbuster in 2009 because of the writers' strike. (They had The Dark Knight for 2008.) I think they thought HBP would make more money if it were released around the same time in the summer as The Dark Knight. David Yates did mention tweaking things, though, but I think that's usual if they have more time, since they claim HBP was ready for November. Maybe the foreshadowing for DH was already in place for November, but I know they did have to make some changes. There was originally a scene where Harry takes Dumbledore's wand to keep - of course this wouldn't work for DH, so it had to be cut. I actually like the fact that Harry twitches his neck. I don't think it's too obvious a clue, especially to people who haven't read the books.

I don't think it's out of character for Harry when he isn't immobilized, but still doesn't intervene during the tower scene. Dumbledore told him to trust him - Harry doesn't want to, but ultimately decides to. He later feels horrible for not acting. I think they still could have made it that Draco took Dumbledore by surprise, with his being in such a weak state, and managed to disarm him against his , but as you said, Dumbledore seems to intend it too happen. I'm not sure why. Draco still have to be the master, since the power of the wand can't with Dumbledore, but I agree the filmmakers might just ignore the fact that if Dumbledore intended to be disarmed, Draco shouldn't win the wand.

The film might hint more heavily than the book that Snape is Dumbledore's man, but I don't think it's completely obvious either. Harry believes at the end of the film that Snape betrayed Dumbledore. Harry decides to trust him on the tower, because he trusts Dumbledore, but by the end Harry feels betrayed to. He yells at Snape: "He trusted you!" Now I'm forgetting - Harry yells "Fight back you coward!" in all the trailers, but is it in the film? I thought it was, but since I can't exactly remember, it might have been cut. Snape's "It's over" was cut, so I don't know maybe Im imagining I heard it.

Maybe the Burrow might be repaired? (I thought this attack would be a good idea, but it looked silly in the film.) Bill has been cast, but I don't know if his wedding be in DH. I don't like the idea of Kreacher being the one . Is this confirmed?

Posted by Anonymous from Arizona on July 23, 2009 3:40 PM

The problem is created by the film makers. In GoF they cut Dobby. And it was done again in the OotP and HBP. Dobby's role was obviously important in the three books. But in the films, he was absent and his role was played by Neville. And I wonder who play the role of Dobby in DH. If it is Kreacher? And can anyone tell me where was the problem to keep Dobby in the previous films?

Posted by Julius from Cox's Bazar on July 23, 2009 10:39 PM

I really like the idea of Lupin and Tonks getting married instead because they make a referance to their wedding in the book anyway. And as well the aunce who havent read the books have never seen Bill before and they have seen Fleur for only breif parts of GoF. This is the same with Dobby as ive explained before. PEOPLE WHO HAVE NOT READ THE BOOKS HAVE ONLY EVER SEEN DOBBY IN ONE MOVIE MEANING THEY WILL NOT HAVE THE SAME SORT OF CONNECTION AS WE DO WITH HIM. Whereas if they give Kreacher a more leading role in DH they could him off instead of Dobby at what would be Lupins and Tonk's house.

Posted by Jack from London on July 24, 2009 02:52 AM

Joe and Anonymous: Harry does shout out: "Fight back you coward" to Snape - it's just that Snape doesn't yell back. It's interesting what you said, however, when or where did Snape say: "It's over"? After he ed Dumbledore? i obviously missed out on some trailers...
Anyway, Joe, I think Harry definately started questioning Dumbledore in HBP, after he has learnt from Trelawney about Snape's part in delivering the prophesy to Voldemort, remember? Harry is livid and even yells and shouts at Dumbledore in his office - and in The Order of the Phoenix he destroys a number of Dumbledore's trophies in his rage. There is definately conflict there about whether to trust Snape or not, since Dumbledore promised to Snape not to reveal his secret. This just isn't shown at all in the film. Okay, as you said, Anonymous, they included the scene with Lupin at the Burrows arguing his case or rather pledge that they have no other choice really than to trust Dumbledore. David Thewlis really delivered - but still, I would have liked to see more emphasis on the point.
Someone earlier on in this thread said he/she didn't like the emphasis on Draco and the Vanishing Cabinet - but I must say I really liked how they did it with the apple returning damaged and the bird - it clearly referred back to what Mr Weasley said earlier on about Vanishing cabinets being rather tricky objects.

Posted by Siena from Nottingham, UK on July 24, 2009 08:09 AM

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