For one brief, incredible moment they had me: I thought I was about to witness the ballsiest act in movie franchise history – because I don’t read much fantasy, I know nothing about where it would fit in fantasy franchise history – and I was in the process of being blown away when, of course, they revealed that wasn’t going to happen.
And, in retrospect, I should have known better. Not only would it be possibly the most deliberately fan-alienating move ever – at least in terms of blockbuster films – the internet would have broken back in 2011, even without twitter having the prominence it does now, and such an ending would have already been ruined for me, because nobody would have been able to keep it a secret.
But I must respect the con as they got me, they really got me, and the way Rowling saved herself from that was at least well-done – the device had been inserted into the story at the beginning of this “book” we must assume.
And I have to say that, on the whole, I really enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would. I was expecting a valedictory / celebratory good smiting evil kind of thing, and though that was there – accompanied by a really lame mini-speech by Neville – there was also a whole lot of death; I feared the cavalry would show up and they did, but then they got mauled.
Given how the series started, and given its initial audience, and given how inevitable this whole ending was, I am impressed that it was handled so grimly (for the most part). And I must say that the reveal for the whole series, which should have been unbelievably awkward, was actually handled quite well, using a device that had been introduced back in an earlier movie (I don’t remember whether it was the first, second or third).
Colour me impressed. (But not quite as impressed as I would have been had she done it. Alas, she is too smart a marketer.)