Deathly Hallows Deleted Scenes: The Good, the Bad, and the Completely Unnecessary
Editing a movie must be one of the most trying processes in filmmaking. You fall in love with this script, which has been labored over for countless months, shoot these scenes you’ve envisioned down to the very last detail, and then find yourself slicing and dicing your baby into pieces. It’s like the judgement of King Solomon!
That said, for a movie to be any good, you have to trim the fat. You have to take all those individual scenes and splice them together into a coherent narrative. Some scenes have to go.
The deleted scenes from Deathly Hallows: Part I were released with the DVD and I’ve linked them below (complete with German subtitles, for no reason aside from that’s how I found them).
Let’s see what we have here:
Scene 1: Mr. Weasley with Ron, repairing a radio:
This doesn’t strike me as a necessary scene. It’s easy to accept that Ron has a radio with him on his travels. If memory serves, we don’t hear all that much from the underground Potterwatch during the film. It’s never called Potterwatch, anyway. The radio adds weight to what is happening in the world outside the trio, but we don’t really need to know where it came from.
Scene 2: Aunt Petunia leaving home:
I love the opening montage of this film, where we see the Dursleys leaving, Hermione obliviating her parents, and Ron standing alone outside the Burrow. But there were a number of interesting scenes that had to be cut to accomplish this, and these would have fleshed out the characters a bit more. We don’t find out about Dumbledore’s letter to Aunt Petunia in this film and we only have a fleeting glance of her motivations as a child in the second part of Deathly Hallows. This moment with Harry, when she admits to missing her sister and truly understanding what dangerous wizards are capable of, gives her new depth. I missed it the first time I saw the film and, if there was some way to include it without disrupting the amazing opening sequence, I think it would have been a nice touch.
Scene 3: Dudley leaving home:
I loved this moment in the book and I love this deleted scene. Maybe Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon can’t be redeemed, but Dudley can. His so comedic in this otherwise heavy moment. Maybe it’s all the fat-face makeup they have piled on his face to give him the required Dudley chubbiness. And Harry saying “See ya, Big D.”? It’s a great moment.
Scene 4: Yaxley looking for the Grangers:
This one took me a moment before I figured it out. I don’t think it reads well. Not worth saving.
Scene 5: Harry and Ron in the Ministry with Mr. Weasley:
I love Harry warning Mr. Weasley that he’s being followed, but we already spend enough time in the elevator at the Ministry. The whole Ministry experience is a fantastic part of this film. It’s probably not necessary to add anything further to it.
Scene 6: Harry explains the Horcruxes to
the audience Hermione:
In case you haven’t been paying attention the last six films and/or didn’t read the books, here’s a friendly reminder of what we’re doing out here in the woods. Not really needed. If you can’t follow the plot by this point, you probably should just give up and go see something brainless like Twilight or something (Oh man, Twilight bashing is back! Haven’t had that on this blog in a while).
Scene 7: Ron and Harry piss off P.E.T.A.:
I think the point of this scene is to show Ron’s growing hostility toward Harry. It leads to his abrupt departure later in the film and is explained fully when he faces the Horcrux. But we really don’t need this to be explained. We completely get the drift when we watch Ron jealously following after Harry and Hermione on their travels. All this scene actually manages to accomplish is making me angry with Ron and Harry for chasing after a poor defenseless bunny rabbit. For shame! Though it does raise the interesting question that isn’t addressed in the film – where do they get food?
Scene 8: Ron and Hermione skipping stones: I don’t think the first part of this film is slow. A lot of people disagree with me. And you know how to make it slower? Spend a few minutes watching the main characters skip stones. You know why people skip stones? They’re bored. You know what’s awful to watch on the big screen? People being bored. It’s boring watching boredom. If ever there was a scene I’m glad didn’t make it into the final cut, this is it.
So what do you think? Would you have liked to see these scenes in the film? Are you glad they were cut?