And so it ends. And so we must thank those who created the Harry Potter literary and cinematic universe, starting of course with author JK Rowling.
But though today’s Warner Bros. Blu-ray and DVD release of the eighth and final Potter film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, is an ending, there’s much more for Potterheads to enjoy now, notably on Blu-ray.
Among the lavish extras to this wildly eventful and richly satisfying finale, much has been made of A Conversation With JK Rowling and Daniel Radcliffe. And I agree, their one-hour gabfest is is a treasure. (Did you know that Radcliffe was allergic to his first Harry Potter glasses?)
But let’s not overlook what’s my favorite special feature: The Women of Harry Potter. After all, Harry’s creator is a woman, yet she made a boy the star of her saga.
Or did she? Well, yes she did, but she also created some potent female characters who essentially steered the story more than Harry did. And we meet them all in this superbly edited 22-minute featurette, in choice clips from the series laced with interviews of Rowling, Emma Watson and others.
Rowling confides that she was “very insecure” and “a very plain, bookish little girl,” and she based Hermione on that, as “a role model for girls. I’m proud of Hermione,” she says.
With so much at stake, she says she was “more worried about casting Hermione than anyone else” and felt great relief when she came across Watson.
She also avows that she doesn’t like “the marginalization of women when the fights break out,” and it helped that the Potter universe didn’t often depend on super strength but rather the wits and will to cast spells with a wand. She also explains why mother love is “hugely important in the books” as a driving force of the tales.
Among other extras, a nine-minute array of brief deleted scenes largely involve incidental expansions of existing scenes but often do impress. My favorite is the final clip, when Ron and Hermione are running down a crumbling Hogwarts staircase as they’re chased by their huge snake nemesis.
Ron: There’s something I must tell you.
Hermione: I don’t want you to say anything that you wouldn’t say if you weren’t about to be killed by a giant snake. It would just ruin it.
For a film which largely eschewed humor of any kind, that would have been a richly comic moment. But I’ll take it, even in deleted scene form.
An 80-minute Maximum MovieMode also explores the film’s creation in exquisite detail, and The Goblins of Gringotts is a revealing featurette on the casting and makeup of the goblins, hosted by veteran actor Warwick Davis.
There’s more for you to explore, so rather than pine about the series’ end, get busy with these extended looks at its creation. In a wonderful way, that’s magical in itself.