Harry Potter Finale

For millions of people around the globe, the Harry Potter book and film series were the closest they’d ever come to experiencing actual magic. The journey of the young wizard, from an orphan who lived under the stairs at his cruel aunt’s home into the legendary hero who defeated the world’s darkest villain, was nothing short of epic. The final installment of the story was as complex as it needed to be to wrap up seven chapters’ worth of sorcerer storytelling. So, to make sure you caught everything important at the end, let’s shed a little lumos light on what happened in the conclusion to the Harry Potter saga. “Wicked!” Snape’s true side comes through In the beginning of the final film, dementors loomed over Hogwarts.

HogwartsProfessor Snape

Professor Snape observed from on high how much devastation the Dark Lord’s looming presence had caused his school. But he had to carry on because it was all part of the plan no one else knew about. See, Snape might’ve seemed like a terrible person throughout the whole series, but his true loyalties became clear in his final moments. He was ultimately expelled from school and killed by Voldemort’s snake, just so the Dark Lord could take true ownership of the Elder Wand. Some friend Voldy was. Harry overheard everything and tried to rush in and help Snape as soon as You Know Who was gone, but it was too late. Instead, Snape used his last moments to give his least favorite student a teardrop full of memories.

In them, Harry discovered the gut-wrenching backstory of Snape’s unrequited love for Harry’s mother Lily. “After all this time?” “Always.” As it turned out, he’d been crazy about her since childhood and was also looking after Harry the whole time by feigning allegiance to the Dark Lord. The only reason he murdered Dumbledore was because the headmaster was already dying and didn’t want Draco Malfoy to be forced to do the deed. Snape’s open contempt for Harry at Hogwarts was still pretty real, since he looked so much like his dad James, but he was trying to protect Harry all the while so he could fulfill his destiny to defeat the Dark Lord. It probably didn’t hurt Snape’s feelings too much that Harry Potter was always meant to die in his big battle with Voldemort, though.


Professor Dumbledore

Speaking of which… No Resurrection Stone required There’s a reason Dumbledore had his eye on Harry Potter from day one and helped fan the flames on Harry’s “chosen one” persona in the wizarding community. He was one of the few people who knew that Harry was predestined to die in a battle against Voldemort. “You have the grim.” Harry finally realized the truth about his fate once he saw Snape’s memories and found he out he himself was the final horcrux. “A part of Voldemort lives inside him.” After Helga Hufflepuff’s cup was destroyed, and the Diadem of Rowena Ravenclaw was done for, Harry left Hermione and Ron to deal with the snake while he set off on what he knew was a suicide mission to face Voldemort in the Forbidden Forest. “So when the time comes the boy must die?” “Yes.” He didn’t exactly know what would happen after that, of course, but he trusted the late headmaster enough to follow his lead, even to his own death if necessary. “The Boy Who Lived, come to die.” Upon going gently into that good night, Harry awakened in what appeared to be a milky white vision of King’s Cross Station, where he’d hopped onto Platform 9¾ so many times before.

Dumbledore awaited him with news that he’d successfully killed off the part of Voldemort that remained inside of him in the process of dying. So, Harry had a choice to board a train back to the realm of the living or to just move on … to where, he didn’t say. Harry, knowing his battle wasn’t done, opted for the former. He left behind the scaly, tiny version of Voldemort that had infected his mind for so long, and used his perceived death to gain an advantage. Hagrid carried him back to the school just as an unknowing Voldemort started bragging about his conquest to garner new recruits — and got an unexpected surprise. The Elder Wand was his all along No matter how many horcruxes Harry and his friends successfully destroyed, Voldemort was still a more powerful wizard than all of them. So, when Harry arose from the dead to pick a final fight with the Dark Lord, he was very quickly overtaken by You-Know-Who. But Voldemort still couldn’t kill him with the wand again, even after he’d taken ownership from Snape. Why? Well, it turned out that Snape wasn’t the one who’d gained control of the Elder Wand in the first place, so it didn’t actually pass to Voldemort upon Snape’s execution.

Professor Dumbledore
Professor Dumbledore

Draco Malfoy

While Snape had indeed killed Dumbledore and taken possession of the wand in Half-Blood Prince, it was Draco who’d originally disarmed Dumbledore, and thus received the allegiance of the Elder Wand. Then, when Harry disarmed him in their subsequent duel, it was Harry who’d laid claim to the Elder Wand. So, while the Elder Wand was successfully used to strike its master down in the forest — when Harry had surrendered himself to the Dark Lord — he still wasn’t disarmed of the wand in that battle. It remained loyal to Harry, instead of Voldemort. And it wasn’t the only magical instrument that came into play to take ol’ Snakeface down. A key weapon presented itself The Sword of Gryffindor had been an instrumental tool in destroying horcruxes throughout Harry Potter lore.

Dumbledore used it to destroy the Gaunt family ring. Harry retrieved it from the frozen lake, and Ron used it to destroy the locket that was causing his buddy so much mental anguish. Despite knowing its powers, Harry offered the sword to Griphook in exchange for his help to get them into Bellatrix Lestrange’s vault at Gringotts. Griphook returned to villainy soon after, though, and left Harry and his friends in the lurch by abandoning them in the vault caverns with no promise to get them out. Hermione, always with a clever idea up her sleeve, led the trio to ride a dungeon-bound dragon out of the bank, with Griphook perishing in the fiery skirmish that ensued. “That’s unfortunate.” The sword then disappeared from his grip, to present itself to a more worthy pair of hands.

Draco Malroy

Hermione and Ron

“That was brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.” Later on, when Hermione and Ron were back at Hogwarts trying to lure Nagini away, the Sword presented itself to Neville Longbottom so he could slice the snake’s head off and deal Voldemort one last crucial blow as he fought his ultimate battle with Harry. Unlike other similar weapons in the Harry Potter-verse, the Sword knew no master, and simply chose whoever was worthiest at the time. And few were more worthy than Neville. “People die every day!” “He didn’t die in vain. But you will.” After that, the Elder Wand returned to Harry and left Voldemort falling to pieces. Literally. The Deathly Hallows come together at last There was an interesting Easter egg contained in Harry’s first shot of the last film. As he mourned Dobby’s beachfront grave, he looked in a triangular fragment of a mirror the elf had possessed.

Thanks to the circular nature of his glasses, it created the symbol of the Deathly Hallows in the reflection as a wink to how all three elements would eventually be his. As explained in The Tale of the Three Brothers in the second-to-last movie, the Deathly Hallows consisted of the Elder Wand, the Cloak of Invisibility, and the Resurrection Stone. When combined, they gave a wizard untold power, the ability to disappear from Death’s purview, and a means to bring back lost souls. Voldemort got his hands on one — the Elder Wand — while Harry had been casually given the cloak in his earliest days at Hogwarts, not knowing its strength. He eventually recovered the Stone, too, after kissing his Snitch goodbye with the intention of sacrificing himself. Unlike Voldemort, however, Harry didn’t aim to use these items for world domination once he came into possession of all three. Instead, he snapped the Elder Wand in half and dropped the Resurrection Stone in the Forbidden Forest to be trampled into the dirt by a centaur. He did keep the cloak for himself because, it had once belonged to his late father — and who’d give up an invisibility cloak? He’d later pass the Cloak down to his own son, James Sirius Potter — and James’ younger brother, Albus Severus, who would later swipe it in the events of The Cursed Child.

Hermine Ron

Happy Ending?

Speaking of which … The next generation In the 19-years-ahead epilogue to Deathly Hallows, we met Harry Potter’s trio of children with Ginny Weasley. Particular attention was paid to Albus Severus Potter, his second son, as he prepared to board the Hogwarts Express for his start at the school. The boy was contending with the possibility that he might not make it into Gryffindor, and Harry consoled him as best he could. “Let’s just say that I am.” “Then Slytherin house will have gained a wonderful young wizard.” Little did we know at the time of this movie’s release release, but this was ushering in a new generation of wizarding journeys, which plays out on the stage in Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Was it all in his head? There’s a popular fan theory that everything that happened to Harry Potter outside of Privet Drive was a mental making of his young, abused mind, and Deathly Hallows did little to dispel that theory. In fact, the movies seemed to give a wink to that possibility by having Harry ask his late Professor if his crazy adventure was all just happening in his head. “Of course it’s happening inside your head Harry. Why should that mean that it’s not real?” So, was the entirety of the Harry Potter universe fiction coming from the imagination of a desperate boy who lived under the stairs and who wished for something more? “Actually if I think about it, it doesn’t seem curious at all.”