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Archive for the ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ Category

Here’s an update on the episodes of The Secrets of Harry Potter podcast that you may have missed.

SHP079 Astronomy in Harry Potter http://harrypotter.sqpn.com/2012/05/04/shp079-astronomy-in-harry-potter/

In this episode, recorded live during the 2012 SQPN podcast marathon, the team of The Secrets of Harry Potter discussed the connection between the Black Family tree and astronomy. We also discussed the star-gazing centaur prophets both in Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia.

Some links discussed during the show:

  • The Harry Potter Lexicon by Steve Vander Ark
  • J.K. Rowling announced her new book for adults, The Casual Vacancy, will be released worldwide on 27 September 2012. Click here to read more about it.
  • Pottermore is now open. All of us are on Pottermore, and if you want to add us, please click here to know our Pottermore usernames. Also, please let us know what you think of your Pottermore experience!
  • For fans of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, check out the upcoming movie, The Lion Awakes. You can also follow them on Twitter: @thelionawakes
  • We’re being promoted on a Tumblr blog, Harry Potter Celebration. We were featured the first week in April. Find them on Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter.

SHP078 An Interview with John Granger http://harrypotter.sqpn.com/2012/02/08/shp078-an-interview-with-john-granger/

Ari, Jim, Lyn, and I interviewed the “Hogwarts Professor” John Granger in this episode. We discussed Christian symbolism in Harry Potter, how John became a Harry Potter fan, the Christian culture war over Harry Potter, alchemical symbolism in the Harry Potter series, the ring structure of the Harry Potter series, alchemical symbolism in the works of C. S. Lewis, Charles Williams, Charles Dickens, and Shakespeare, the structure and symbolism of Harry Potter as compared to Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, the “eye” symbols in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the cyclical nature of the Harry Potter series compared to the cyclical nature of the Church Year, the four layers of literary meaning, and much more. (We also discuss Twilight and The Hunger Games.) This is one of my favorite episodes of The Secrets of Harry Potter. Don’t miss it!

SHP077 Numbers in the Harry Potter World http://harrypotter.sqpn.com/2011/12/21/shp077-numbers-in-the-harry-potter-world/

In this episode, Jim, Bob, Lyn, Ari, and I discussed number symbolism in the Harry Potter universe. We compared the symbolism of the numbers 3, 7, and 12 in the Bible, Catholic Tradition, and in the Harry Potter series.

SHP076 Is Harry Potter a Christ/Messianic Figure? http://harrypotter.sqpn.com/2011/11/12/shp076-is-harry-potter-a-christmessianic-figure/

This is a controversial topic In Harry Potter scholarship. Listen to our debate/discussion and let us know what you think. Is Harry Potter a Christ Figure?

Many of the arguments that I presented in this episode can be found in my book The Lord of the Hallows: Christian Symbolism and Themes in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter which can be purchased here: http://www.amazon.com/The-Lord-Hallows-Christian-Symbolism/dp/1432741128.

Please leave feedback on each episode that you listen to in the comments section of the SHP blog. (The links for each episode are in this blog post.) We may read your feedback on an upcoming episode of our show.

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The latest episodes of “The Secrets of Harry Potter” podcast are #70 “Harry Potter and the Bestiary of Christ Part One” and #71 “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 Movie Review.”

You may want to refer to this blog post about the symbolism of the Four Houses of Hogwarts when listening to Episode #70: https://phoenixweasley.wordpress.com/2011/06/19/harry-potter-and-the-bestiary-of-christ-part-one/.  This podcast is a discussion of the symbolism of the lion, eagle, griffin, badger, serpent, and basilisk. This one is definitely one of my favorite episodes that we have recorded this year. 🙂

The movie review (Episode #71) has a spoiler-free overview followed by a spoiler-filled discussion of our  likes, dislikes, and in-depth analysis of their favorite scenes, actors and actresses, and  Alexandre Desplat’s music. It is a really long and very detailed episode.

Listen to “The Secrets of Harry Potter” podcast here: http://harrypotter.sqpn.com/

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I’ll be leaving shortly for a midnight screening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, but before I go I wanted to post this.

One of my favorite tracks from the CD of Alexandre Desplat’s score for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 is “Ron’s Speech.” You can listen to it here:

When the “Ron and Hermione in the Chamber of Secrets” scene was leaked on YouTube, I’ll admit I couldn’t resist watching it. I noticed that “Ron’s Speech” is the basis for the musical theme which accompanies their long-awaited kiss. Listen to it at this link, but only if you want to be spoiled.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KrbLB6MN38&feature=player_embedded

You won’t hear the complete theme, but a shorter variation of it. The tempo and rhythm have been altered, but it is definitely based on “Ron’s Speech.” Desplat does what John Williams was famous for writing in his highly-acclaimed Star Wars scores. He is using a shorter variant of a complete theme as a leitmotif. (This German musical term refers to a recurring melody, chord progression, or chord which is associated with a particular person, place, or idea in an opera, or in this case, a film score. You will encounter this term if you study the music of the German Romantic period composer Richard Wagner, who was the undisputed master of the sublime use of leitmotifs in his music dramas.) I have listened to the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 soundtrack CD, and I didn’t hear many other new examples of this theme, but I will be listening for it at the cinema tonight. There is one example of it on the CD that I’ll mention later in this blog post, which was so subtle that I missed it the first time I heard it. The music for the Ron and Hermione kissing scene wasn’t on the new DH2 CD, so I am wondering what other musical surprises are in store for us tonight. If you haven’t listened to the new soundtrack CD yet, I can honestly say I was very impressed with it. Desplat does use variations of John Williams’ “Hedwig’s Theme” most effectively throughout the score, as well as bringing back some of the more memorable themes he composed for DH1. Of the new melodies Desplat introduces, Lily’s Theme is one of the most haunting. Listen for it during Severus’ death scene (“Snape’s Demise” on the CD) and at other key moments in which Lily’s love plays an important role, such as during the “Resurrection Stone” scene. In this audio example, you will hear the theme introduced by a lone female vocalist, followed by a texturally fuller presentation of the theme by the string section. The female vocal rendition reminds me of plainchant, specifically the chants composed by the German saint and mystic, St. Hildegard von Bingen, a great female composer of the Medieval Period.

Listen for a pianissimo variant of “Hedwig’s Theme” and and a vocalization of “Lily’s Theme” during the track called “Snape’s Demise.”

This track is “Harry’s Sacrifice.” You will hear the “heroic” thematic material that Desplat introduced at the very beginning Deathly Hallows Part One and fragments of “Hedwig’s Theme,” which in my opinion ought to be renamed “Harry’s Theme” because that is how it has functioned throughout the entire film series. What stunned me the most about it is that during this track you hear a very subtle and sorrowful rendition of the Ron/Hermione love theme at the beginning and again, starting around 1:13. Pure genius!

Another one of my favorite tracks on the new CD is “Dragon Flight” in which you can hear a bold statement of “Hedwig’s Theme” made by the trumpet section, which is followed by a absolutely triumphal presentation of Lily’s Theme by the violins. This one gave me the chills! 🙂

I may have more to say about the score after I have seen the film. Now I’m off to the Midnight screening!

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Mr. Roeper, I applaud you! This is a wonderful review.

Some of the highlights of this review:

*Alan Rickman deserves a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination.

*Watson and Grint are nearly flawless.

*The love stories are beautiful and touching.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is a rousing, thrilling, funny, moving, and inspirational final stop in one of the great cinematic journeys of our time. I give it an A+”–Richard Roeper

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Rupert or Ronpert?

Emma:

Emma again. Listen to 1:48–“He still blushes” (when asked about the kiss). Watch Emma’s reaction to this remark. 😀 She insists that Rupert is really shy.

Alternate endings for the Malfoys and Epilogue re-shoot?! (How much of this will be on the DVD?) Also, Steve Kloves talks about Draco’s relationship with his mother.

Here’s a link to a blog where you can vote for the “Most Epic Couple”–is it Edward and Bella from Twilight or Ron and Hermione from Harry Potter? Go vote!

http://www.nextmovie.com/blog/ron-and-hermione-better-than-edward-and-bella/

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In a previous blog post, I have written about my disappointment with the way the final cut of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 downplays the religious symbolism which is present both in the novel and  in some of the film’s unused set design elements. (You can read about it in this blog post: https://phoenixweasley.wordpress.com/2010/11/27/christian-imagery-in-harry-potter-and-the-deathly-hallows-part-one/) Although there are some Christian images in the theatrical cut of DH1, there are not enough in comparison to the novel. (I really missed Harry and Hermione’s discussion of 1 Corinthians 15:26 in the Godric’s Hollow graveyard scene.)  I certainly don’t expect DH2 to be any better in that regard, but apparently some critics are seeing something with regards to Christian symbolism in the plot and themes of the film. Of course, I have not yet seen Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. It will be released on July 15, 2011 in the United States, so I don’t know exactly what it is that these film critics are seeing. Here are some of the quotes from the latest reviews for consideration:

“These quests pit treachery and self-interest against steadfastness and sacrifice, a fundamental series conflict that’s embodied by Harry and Voldemort, the Christ and Satan at the center of Rowling’s coming-of-age saga. Still, the propulsive film (penned, like all but one of its predecessors, by Steve Kloves) remains interested in such religious notions of martyrdom, fate, and rebirth only insofar as they reflect the story’s overriding celebration of friendship as an unbreakable bond even under the greatest of strains.”

http://www.villagevoice.com/2011-07-13/film/harry-potter-s-final-destination/

“The final film is heavy on what can now be seen as the series’ Big Themes: mercy, self-sacrifice, forgiveness. In the way the overarching narrative eventually plays out, Rowling’s novels – and the ensuing films – seem deeply indebted to another literary fantasy series from a British author: C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia. Both use fantastical tales to get at deep truths.”

http://www.larsenonfilm.com/index.php?Page=SoloReview&ReviewID=2011

“Ultimately, though, the heart of the story is simple: a version of the messianic  myth, perhaps, or an allegory of growing up and mustering courage, loyalty, and  a belief in human decency in the face of evil and death.”

http://thephoenix.com/Boston/movies/123738-review-harry-potter-and-the-deathly-hallows-part/

This review has a lot of commentary on the performances given by the various actors and actresses in the film. Be warned that it is filled with spoilers!

http://www.thevine.com.au/entertainment/movie-reviews/harry-potter-and-the-deathly-hallows-part-2-_-movie-review20110712.aspx

In addition to the religious symbolism and all of the deeper layers of meaning that the Harry Potter novels contain, I am enamoured with the character development of Rowling’s heroes, young and old, and I adore the blossoming romance between Harry’s sidekicks, Ron and Hermione. All of these reviews have comments that the Ron/Hermione shippers will appreciate:

“As with all finales, people are getting it on left, right and centre. The long-awaited kiss between Ron and Hermione isn’t a letdown, its sweetness reminding us of their true age and experience. With the maturity they’ve been playing with over the last couple of films, it’s nice to be brought back to something as simple as first love and awkward first kisses.”

http://www.moviereviews.co.uk/reviews/harry-potter-and-deathly-hallows-part-2-review

“Watson and Grint shine in their few scenes including that long-awaited kiss, and both sob convincingly as their teenage wizards come to terms with the enormity of their loss.” This reviewer is one of many who sees similarities between the war in DH2 and the epic battles in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings: “There are echoes of The Battle of Helm’s Deep in The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers as the forces of darkness breach the school’s walls with horrific intent.”

http://www.hertfordshiremercury.co.uk/Whats-On-Leisure/Movies/Harry-Potter-11072011.htm

“The feeling that Voldemort and his dark minions are close on Harry’s heels is palpable, making small moments of intimacy (Ron and Hermione kiss like adults — then giggle with surprise like children) all the more precious.”

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20483133_20488634,00.html

“As the crucial battle against good and evil approaches, the simmering sexual tension between our young heroes is also broken and several romances blossom, with a passionate kiss between Ron and  Hermione prompting whoops of delight and applause from the auditorium.”

http://www.newsshopper.co.uk/freetime/latest/9133274.MOVIE_REVIEW__Harry_Potter_and_the_Deathly_Hallows__Part_2_____/

I have indeed read reports from fans around the world that there were “whoops of delight and applause from the auditorium” when Ron and Hermione have their big moment. I am looking forward to seeing that scene in the theater and hearing the audience’s reaction to it, as well as hearing the audience’s response to Neville’s heroism, the Molly’s duel with Bellatrix, Harry’s self-sacrifice and final battle with Lord Voldemort, and most of all, Alan Rickman’s critically acclaimed performance of Severus Snape. Is it July 15th yet? 😉

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Here are some pictures of my favorite moments from the premiere. Daniel, Emma, Rupert, and J. K. Rowling gave very emotional speeches which brought all of them (and all of fandom) to tears. Rupert and Emma were just too cute during all of this!

Rupert Grint: "I love you. I really do."

You can see videos of these speeches here: https://phoenixweasley.wordpress.com/2011/07/07/harry-potter-and-the-deathly-hallows-world-premiere-in-london/.

“No story lives unless someone wants to listen. The stories we love best do live in us forever. So, whether you come back page by page or by the big screen,
Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.” -JK Rowling

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