30 Things You Didn’t Know About Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows
Harry Potter is one of the biggest film series of all time. Adapted from the books by J.K. Rowling, eight films were released to cover material from seven books.
The last book, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, could not be done as one film. One film would not have done proper justice to the source material and would not have been a great way to end such an iconic series.
As such, it was decided to split The Deathly Hallows into two films, Part One and Two. The final film, Part Two, is the tenth highest-grossing film of all time, raking in an impressive $1,341,693,157!
We thought we’d take a look at some little-known facts about one of the best performing films of all time. Enjoy…
30. Both movies were filmed as one
Even though Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and 2 were different movies, they were filmed as one giant movie.
A scene from Part 1 would be filmed on one day, and a scene from Part 2 would be filmed on the next. This got some of the cast a bit confused, with Helena Bonham Carter saying in an interview that she couldn’t remember which film featured one of her major Bellatrix scenes.
Bonham-Carter definitely remembers the torture scene at Malfoy Manor – apparently she was so concerned that she was going over the line that Bonham-Carter kept asking Emma Watson if she was ok during filming.
Apparently the pair gave each other a big hug after the harrowing scene was over!
29. Crabbe wasn’t in the film because the actor who played him was arrested
In most of the films, during the scenes at Hogwarts, Draco Malfoy is never seen without his trusty sidekicks Crabbe and Goyle by his side.
However, in Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Crabbe was conspicuously absent. In the books, it is Crabbe who summons the Fiendfyre in the Room of Requirement, but in the film, this is Goyle and Blaise Zabini is present with them.
So where was Crabbe in the final movies? Unfortunately, Jamie Waylett, who played Crabbe throughout every other film in the franchise, was arrested and imprisoned before the release of the film.
Waylett was arrested and charged in 2011 for violent participation in the London riots. He was also charged with growing cannabis in his house. Oops!
28. Voldemort hugging Draco was improvised
If there was one scene that divided fans, it was one in which Voldemort hugs Draco Malfoy. This is very out of character for Voldemort…he would never hug anyone.
Some thought it was unsettling and menacing whilst others thought it was awkward and hilarious. It was actually improvised by Ralph Fiennes and was never in the script.
27. J.K. Rowling fought for one character to keep her scene
In the book, one of the most bad-ass things to happen is Minerva McGonagall duelling Snape in order to protect Harry and the rest of the Hogwarts students (even though Snape was a double agent and no one had anything to worry about.)
Everyone was looking forward to this playing out on screen, but it very nearly didn’t happen.
It was initially planned for Harry to duel Snape in the Great Hall instead of McGonagall, but Rowling herself fought to keep the scene true to the books and to give McGonagall the moment she deserved.
Fans of the franchise will definitely agree that we’re glad Rowling stepped in on this one!
26. Cast members were regularly searched for taking props
When filming had finished, many actors were able to keep a prop that was important to their character.
As the movies were being filmed, however, cast members were sometimes randomly searched to ensure none of them were taking props home before filming had finished.
It was a necessary security measure given that some props were essential to the film, and could not easily be replaced. Daniel Radcliffe got to take home the glasses Harry wears in the first and seventh movies.
Emma Watson took three things – her wand, the Time Turner and a cloak. Meanwhile, Rupert Grint got to take home Dumbledore’s Deluminator. He tried to steal the golden dragon egg from Goblet of Fire but security tracked him down!
25. Ralph Fiennes kept switching up Voldemort’s victory speech
Some of the actors on set had a challenging time filming with Ralph Fiennes during the final movies.
One of the most exhilarating scenes for Fiennes proved to be Voldemort’s victory speech at Hogwarts, and one of Fiennes’ fellow cast members has revealed just how many times the actor kept improvising or picking out random characters to address.
When Voldemort believes he has been victorious in killing Harry and is giving his victory speech in Hogwarts’ courtyard, Jason Isaacs has said that, “in this giant confrontation, Ralph was let loose. And he was utterly terrifying.”
Fiennes kept everyone on their toes by constantly changing what he said between takes. He could pick on anyone at any moment and it would change every time.
24. Evanna Lynch choreographed her own wedding dance
Evanna Lynch was the perfect choice to play Luna Lovegood, chosen from hundreds of girls from an open audition.
She clearly knew the character inside and out, so casting directors snapped her up – and she gave an amazing performance as the quirky silver-haired young witch.
When Luna dances with her father, Xenophilius, at Bill and Fleur’s wedding, Evanna choreographed the moves herself, with the two flapping their arms and spinning in circles.
She looked through the wedding chapter in the book and noticed how it said that Luna was spinning and Harry thought she was batting away Wrackspurts, all of which inspired her own unique take on the dance with her father.
23. A major part of London was closed for filming
Piccadilly Circus is one of the busiest areas of London, often referred to as the Times Square of London.
In order to shoot scenes for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, Piccadilly Circus was closed off to the public for the scenes where the trio apparate to London after the wedding. Shopkeepers were asked to keep their lights on to make the scene more realistic.
22. One scene was particularly tricky to film
Where Harry retrieves the sword of Godric Gryffindor, he has to dive to the bottom of a frozen pool.
Large, thick sheets of Plexiglass with a frosty texture was used to make it look as though the lake was frozen.
Wax was then used to float on top of the water when Harry is looking up at the icy surface as the locket pulls him down.
21. Tom Felton’s girlfriend appeared as his wife
Draco Malfoy appeared in the epilogue of The Deathly Hallows with his wife, Astoria, sending their son Scorpius off to his first year at Hogwarts.
Tom Felton convinced his then girlfriend, Jade Gordon, to appear as his wife. Felton and Gordon eventually broke up, and Astoria meets an untimely death in the Harry Potter universe when she dies from a hereditary blood curse.
20. Jason Isaacs begged J.K. Rowling to write him back into the main story
Jason Isaacs nearly didn’t sign on for the Deathly Hallows movies, because he was too concerned about what would happen to his character, Lucius Malfoy.
Fans will remember that at the end of The Order of the Phoenix, Lucius is arrested and imprisoned. As a result, Isaacs was worried that he wouldn’t get much screen time and decided to go straight to the source to sort things out!
Isaacs begged J.K. Rowling to write him back in to the story…and Rowling reassured him that Malfoy would be out of prison before the end of the first chapter of Deathly Hallows.
He signed on for the movie version immediately after hearing this.
19. John Hurt reappeared in the franchise after nine years away
John Hurt appeared in the Harry Potter franchise all the way back in the first movie, when Harry first arrives at Ollivander’s to choose his wand.
Ollivander then makes an appearance in the Deathly Hallows films, and actor John Hurt was on hand once again to portray the wand salesman on-screen.
This meant that John Hurt returned to the franchise after a whopping nine year absence from the movies – the longest ever gap between appearances that any Harry Potter actor has made.
Hurt passed away not long after this performance in 2017.
18. Emma Watson demanded that changes be made to the set of the movie
In Deathly Hallows, viewers get an insight into Hermione’s other life, including a look at her childhood bedroom.
But actress Emma Watson wasn’t happy with the initial set and asked for it to be changed in order to fit the character she saw on screen.
When Watson first saw the set, she told set decorators that there needed to be more books – and in the final cut, we see a bookshelf with plenty of reading material for young Hermione to pore over.
Watson clearly had plenty of creative control over Hermione by the final films!
17. There’s a hidden reference to Daniel Radcliffe’s appearance in Equus
Did you notice this one the first time around? Even the most hardcore Harry Potter fans would be forgiven for missing this little easter egg!
After Harry, Ron and Hermione apparate to London, we see them enter a café which has plenty of seemingly random posters all over the wall.
But if you look closely, you can see a bit of clever advertising for one of Daniel Radcliffe’s side projects. It’s a poster for his play Equus!
Did you catch this? Equus is best known for its full frontal nudity…sadly we don’t see Daniel’s magic wand on the poster though.
16. Daniel Radcliffe’s stunt double suffered a very serious injury during filming
There’s a very sad story lurking behind the scenes of The Deathly Hallows Part 1 which involves none other than Daniel Radcliffe’s stunt double, David Holmes.
Holmes was involved in a deadly accident while filming one particular stunt and found himself slammed against a wall after being pulled violently backwards by a wire. The incident left Holmes completely paralyzed.
Poor Holmes was only 25 years old when the accident occurred, but he has tried to come to terms with what has happened, stating: “There was definitely a sense of tragedy for me, but also a sense of sheer determination to beat it and better it.”
Actors Daniel Radcliffe and Tom Felton both visited Holmes in the rehab centre where he was staying after finding out the severity of his injuries.
15. The props department put a lot of effort into those wands
The prop department went into serious overdrive on the set of the Deathly Hallows films.
Every single wand that you see on screen in the movies was created specifically for each character. No two wands were alike – instead the props department based all of their designs on descriptions from the book.
Each wand measured 13-15 inches long, and in the end over 500 wants ended up being created for the movie. They were checked in and out of the set during each day of filming.
Many of the wands were accidentally broken, meaning that they often needed to create replicas or stronger wands for the cast members to hold on to.
14. Daniel Radcliffe didn’t show a lot of respect towards the wands
Despite all of this hard work, leading man Daniel Radcliffe had a hard time trying to stop himself from messing around with his particular wand (oo err). Rumour has it that the actor ended up breaking 80 wands during filming for the final movies.
Why? He kept using them as a drumsticks in between takes. Oops!
13. Harry Melling had to wear special fat prosthetics to film the Deathly Hallows movies
Harry Melling portrayed Dudley Dursley throughout the entirety of the Harry Potter franchise.
He started off life as a genuinely chubby terror who made Harry’s life a misery, but his character gradually evolved over time. In the end, we saw a slightly softer side to Dudley.
Actor Harry Melling also went through some transformations of his own. In fact, he lost so much weight during the one-year hiatus from the Harry Potter films, that he had to wear special prosthetics during the Deathly Hallows movies.
Serves him right for losing weight and being healthy!
12. One scene took Daniel Radcliffe 90 takes to get right
Remember the scene with the seven Harrys? Of course you do…it was mind boggling!
Well this one scene turned out to be so complex that it once took Daniel Radcliffe 90 takes to do a single shot. Yikes…
11. M. Night Shyamalan wanted to direct the movies
The king of twists, M. Night Shyamalan, was reportedly eager to direct the first of the Deathly Hallows movies.
However, he didn’t end up getting the job, so Harry Potter fans were saved the trauma of finding out that the whole story of Voldemort and Hogwarts had just been a nightmare that Harry had one night.
Instead David Yates was brought in for directing duties and helped to make the movie the third highest-grossing film of 2010.
He has since gone on to direct The Legend of Tarzan, as well as the Fantastic Beasts franchise.
10. The Room of Requirement was filled with props from previous movies
Remember that scene with the Room of Requirement in the final films?
We see the three heroes of the story running through it at one point, and it’s filled to the brim with plenty of fascinating objects, from Chinese lanterns to mini statues to…lots and lots of chairs.
In fact, this set was very easy for the prop department to put together, because it was made entirely out of props from all of the previous Harry Potter movies.
Seventy two containers worth of items were used – some of the most recognisable props include the knight that Ron rode on in The Sorcerer’s Stone, as well as the Cornish Pixies that Gilderoy Lockhart lets loose in The Chamber of Secrets. What a nostalgia trip!
9. Emma Watson and Helena Bonham-Carter worked together on the Polyjuice potion scenes
Preparing for the scenes where Hermione disguises herself as Bellatrix actually took a lot of work on the part of Helena Bonham-Carter.
In order to help her out, Emma Watson first acted out the scene at Gringotts for Bonham-Carter, so that she could study her movements and see how Hermione would act in that exact same situation.
Then Bonham-Carter herself acted out the same scenes, while pretending to be Hermione as Bellatrix. Basically, we’re watching Bonham-Carter act like Watson acting like Hermione acting like Bellatrix.
Talk about confusing! Bonham-Carter nailed the performance though (as usual).
8. The film contains Julie Walter’s favourite line from the entire franchise
The final Deathly Hallows scene features one of Julie Walters’ favourite lines in the entire franchise. Right before Molly kills Bellatrix, we hear her utter the line “Not my daughter, you bitch!”.
The actress has since stated that this was her favourite moment as Molly Weasley.
7. That infamous forehead scar ended up being applied a record number of times
Harry’s lightning scar is one of the most iconic things about the Harry Potter universe, both in the films and the books.
And it’s safe to say that the make-up department had a lot of practice in applying that scar to people’s foreheads. It’s been estimated that by the end of the last movies, the scar had been applied approximately 5800 times.
The scar appeared on Radcliffe’s head for every scene he was in, plus all of his stunt doubles and stand-ins too. There were also a lot of prop glasses used in the movies.
By the time filming officially wrapped, Radcliffe had worn over 160 pairs of fake glasses.
6. Part 2 basically takes place within the space of 24 hours
Fans might not realise that the second film technically took inspiration from Kiefer Sutherland and 24 (as well as the books written by a certain J.K. Rowling).
The events of the second Deathly Hallows movie, from the dramatic raid on Gringotts, right up to the climactic Battle of Hogwarts, basically take place over the course of 24 hours.
5. The props department made special casts of Emma Watson and Rupert Grint’s buttocks
In order to make those broomsticks a bit more comfortable to ride, the prop department decided to make casts of Rupert Grint and Emma Watson’s buttocks.
They then attached the casts onto the broomsticks that you see in the movie so that the actors had their own custom seats to perch on. Nice!
4. Part 2 lost its highest-grossing opener record to an Avengers film
When the second Deathly Hallows movie came out, it broke the record for highest-grossing opening weekend ever.
As the last instalment in the Harry Potter franchise, it’s no surprise that the movie managed to rake in $169.2 million over one weekend. In the process, it beat The Dark Knight and smashed box office records everywhere.
However, the movie lost this record only ten months later when The Avengers came out. Still, it didn’t do too badly over all…
Did you know that the second Deathly Hallows is the eighth highest-grossing film of all time.
3. The Harry Potter franchise has never won a single Academy Award
Like it or loathe it, Harry Potter has never won an Oscar. And sadly this record didn’t change with the release of the final two movies.
They were nominated for three Oscars but failed to win a single one. However, another spin-off from the Harry Potter franchise had a bit more luck when it came to golden statuettes.
One of the Fantastic Beasts films recently won an Academy Award for Best Costume Design. Colleen Atwood (pictured below) ended up a winner and helped to break the curse.
We’re sure Harry Potter film executives aren’t too bothered though, especially after all those millions of dollars started piling up in their bank accounts.
2. Kate Winslet’s agent rejected the part of Helena Ravenclaw for her
Kate Winslet is probably the only British actor we can think of who hasn’t appeared in the Harry Potter franchise.
OK, that might be a bit of a stretch but still, this feat isn’t through a lack of trying on the part of Warner Bros executives. Winslet was actually approached to play the role of Helena Ravenclaw in the final movies.
However, Winslet’s agent rejected the part before the actress event got a chance to see it, explaining that she believed Winslet would not want to “follow suit with every actor in Britain by being a part of Harry Potter.”
Instead, Scottish actress Kelly Macdonald (pictured below) agreed to play the role.
1. Rupert Grint gave Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe a trumpet each as a parting gift
On the very last day of filming, Rupert Grint decided to give his longtime co-stars Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson a parting gift. He presented each of them with a trumpet.
If you’re assuming there was a secret reason behind this present – there wasn’t. Rupert Grint is just a very random guy!
Did you enjoy all of these facts about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows? Let us know in the comments section!