Why the Harry Potter movie epilogue never had a chance

It does not work on the screen. But this is not the fault of the hairdressing or makeup departments. Indeed, there is probably nothing the production team could have done, other than recognize that the scene should not be included at all. The issues with the epilogue go much deeper than aging bad makeup or weird hair. It is not the execution of the scene but the scene itself that does not work. After building an entire magical world from scratch, JK Rowling locks the characters into a strictly conservative future, fundamentally disregarding and actively avoiding the logical path she herself took to the characters in their teenage years.

The story’s logical ending point is the day after the Battle of Hogwarts, and Rowling herself admitted in an interview that the main reason she was so eager to include the epilogue had nothing to do with it. with the main cast of the characters, but rather because she was eager for readers to know that poor orphaned Teddy Lupine, son of Remus and Tonks, would be fine in the end. This sentimental instinct would eventually undermine the growth of each of its main characters.

Let’s review. On the surface, this epilogue positions itself as Harry Potter‘s ultimate happy ending. The boy who grew up alone and unloved now has his own warm, close-knit family (and as if that wasn’t enough, his two best friends are conveniently part of that biological family!) But it’s important to remember that Harry is passing by. the whole series completely overwhelmed by the past. The most important event of his young life occurs in his very early stages, when he survives Lord Voldemort’s curse. Throughout the books and movies, he constantly looks back: leaning over old photographs of his parents, physically exploring memories of their time at Hogwarts, ruminating on the life and history of Tom Riddle. In one of the last books, he had the opportunity to have a career orientation with Professor McGonagall, and he is completely bewildered: the idea of ​​life after the urgency of his battle with Voldemort hardly seems to him. to have come to mind.

There is never the opportunity to face the future; it is always about solving the problems of the past. And although in this epilogue he is, literally, in the future, he nevertheless reveals that he has never ceased to be indebted to the past. The proof is in the names of his children: James Sirius, Albus Severus, Lily Luna. With the exception of Luna, he used his sons and daughter to serve as a living mausoleum for the long dead. The only conversation we hear from Harry to his son Albus is about the legacy, honoring the memory of former mentors. Rowling clearly intends this view of Harry to be positive, but it seems sadder than anything: He’s still so overwhelmed by the past.

Then we come to Ron and Hermione, their relationship a disappointment for him and a tragedy for her. Hermione Granger, the brightest witch of her age, intelligent and fiercely ambitious, is always with her high school boyfriend who never really liked her. Ron is smart in his own way, but not in the same way Hermione is, and she has prepared herself for a life never to be intellectually stimulated by her husband. They make sense as teen flirtatious, close friends who fall between camaraderie and romance, but it’s hard to imagine a grown-up relationship between the two of them where Hermione isn’t dissatisfied and Ron is hopelessly insecure.

And finally, there’s Ginny, who may be mostly betrayed. Her character is one of the biggest surprises on the show, as she emerges from non-entity status as Ron’s little sister to become a whole person, a funny, powerful, and totally self-assured person. Consistently underestimated by everyone, she does things her own way and, unlike many love interests on the big screen, seems to have a life that doesn’t revolve around her boyfriend alone. But then she shows up in the epilogue, and it’s almost like she’s been lobotomized. Resplendent with aggressively ugly mommy’s hair, she walks a step behind her husband and smiles weakly, never say a word. Firecracker Ginny, who once daringly scolded her hypocritical brother for trying to shame him, is turned into human wallpaper.

In the Harry Potter epilogue, JK Rowling’s tendency to stubbornly cling to “traditional” cultural norms, a trend that has developed into transphobic vocal behavior in recent years, is fully on display. She’s doing her characters a disservice, apparently because she can’t imagine a happier ending for them than being in a heterosexual marriage to their high school sweetheart, leaving the kids in school. After a whole series of magical detours and rediscovered family, this return to normality seems quite disheartening. When we look Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, it’s easy to blame production issues for why the epilogue is so disappointing. But the truth is, it doesn’t work because he’s trying too hard to fit Rowling’s rigid definition of a happy ending, regardless of the characters’ logical trajectory. A decade later, this is one of the major narrative failures of the incredibly relevant film series.

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