In 2010 and 2011, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Parts One and Two brought a much-loved magical film franchise to a close. These long-awaited films adapted the final book in JK Rowling's Harry Potter book series, to both the praise and sadness of fans. Nobody wanted the movie series to end! The production and release of the Deathly Hallows films was an emotional experience for Potter fans and the franchise's cast and crew alike. It truly marked the end of an era.
These days, Potter fans can amuse themselves with the new Fantastic Beasts films and the smash hit play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. That doesn’t stop them from revisiting the original movie series, though! It seems like every time we watch the movies, we pick up on another tiny detail that we missed before. Fans will keep on returning to these films for years to come—at least until the inevitable remakes are made.
A popular part of Potter film nostalgia is searching for behind-the-scenes photos from the movies’ sets. Not to destroy the magic for you, but the final films went through a lot of CGI and post-production! The filming process looks markedly different to what we actually see on-screen. The Deathly Hallows movies are no exception to this rule—in fact, they went through the added process of being converted into 3D! Snaps from the sets of these final films can be pretty enlightening. Here are just some of the behind-the-scenes photos that will change the way you see the Wizarding World.
25 Hagrid's Alter Ego
So, that's definitely Hagrid's body on the right... But that's not his head! In fact, Hagrid actor Robbie Coltrane is casually sat in a chair wearing a suit, seemingly stroking a Harry Potter body double's face.
Turns out that for much of the filming of the Harry Potter series, Coltrane was replaced by a stand-in, especially for full-body shots. As is often the case in movies, his body double did a lot of the legwork, while Coltrane filmed any scenes that required Hagrid's face to be shown.
24 Keep Your Friends Close...
Newsflash: Daniel Radcliffe and Helena Bonham Carter aren't actually enemies in real life! Even we know that these two are just actors, and aren't actually on opposite sides in the battle for the wizarding world, it's still weird to see them on friendly terms. In fact, it's bizarre to see Bellatrix Lestrange being on friendly terms with anyone who's not Lord Voldemort. In reality, Radcliffe and Bonham Carter are pretty good terms. Radcliffe even interviewed his co-star back in 2012!
23 On Your Brooms!
Have you ever wondered how the Harry Potter cast actually filmed all of the flying-on-broomsticks scenes? There clearly has to be some technological wizardry involved, but what kind exactly? Well, here's your answer! This photo from the set of Deathly Hallows: Part One shows the cast perched on what look to be mechanical broomsticks. They're very much attached to the ground—clearly, that bit of the contraption got edited out in post-production! It's cool to get an insight into how this works... And, honestly, it looks pretty hilarious.
22 Voldemort's Nose
There's so much going on in this photo, it's hard to know where to start. For one, Hagrid's body double has made another appearance. Yeah... That's not Robbie Coltrane. More noticeably, though, Lord Voldemort has a nose. Yes, you read that correctly.
Voldemort's usual nasal slits have been replaced by an actual nose.
Of course, that's what Voldemort actor Ralph Fiennes looks like in real life. He does, in fact, have a nose. However, this particular facial feature was removed in the post-production of the Potter movies to give the Dark Lord his signature snake-like slits.
21 The Room Of Green Screens
One of the most dramatic scenes in Deathly Hallows: Part Two takes place in the Room of Requirement. This magical room is the site of a confrontation between Harry and Draco Malfoy. Before the fight, though, we get to see the full extent of the room's contents.
It's a true Hogwarts treasure trove!
There are stacks and stacks of artefacts all over the place... Or at least, there are in the final cut. As this photo from the Room of Requirement set shows, a lot of the backdrop was added digitally thanks to the magic of green screens.
20 Just Chillin'
Even the most nefarious of evil witches need some downtime sometimes. In this shot from the set of Deathly Hallows: Part Two, Bellatrix Lestrange actress Helena Bonham Carter is chilling out on one of the tables in Hogwarts' Great Hall. Bellatrix actually meets her end in this room following a duel with Molly Weasley. Was Bonham Carter taking a break from filming her final scene? It could explain why she looks a bit morose! Either that, or she's just thinking about lunch while she stares into space. We've all been there.
19 Keeping Up With The Weasleys
Remember how we said Bellatrix Lestrange met her end in a duel with Molly Weasley? Well, this shot from the Deathly Hallows: Part Two set shows the moments before this epic fight! It's Ginny who's duelling at this moment, but her mother will soon take over. This photo gives a neat insight into what filming magical fight scenes is actually like. Even though all of the focus is on the Weasleys here, you can see extras having duels in the background. They're pretty intense choreographed fights that require a lot of practice to perfect!
18 Hanging Out With Death Eaters
Turns out even Death Eaters need direction sometimes. In this photo, though, it's not Lord Voldemort giving them orders—it's Deathly Hallows director David Yates! This behind-the-scenes shot shows all too well that even when just a few characters are on screen, scores of crew members are doing their jobs in the background. There are camera operators getting up close and personal with the cast, directors and producers calling the shots... It's an intense process! Lucius and Draco Malfoy actors Jason Isaacs and Tom Felton seem to be coping just fine here, though.
17 A Ron And Hermione Moment
Ah, Ron and Hermione: one of the most passionately shipped couples in the Harry Potter franchise. It may have taken them six-and-a-bit movies to even slightly admit their feelings for each other, but never mind.
They got there in the end!
This shot from the Deathly Hallows set shows Rupert Grint and Emma Watson having a deep chat about something or other. They became good friends while working on the Potter movies, and were both close to Daniel Radcliffe too. You've gotta love being on good terms with your co-workers!
16 And... Cut!
Boy, is that one large clapperboard. Poor Daniel Radcliffe seems to be struggling with it a bit, while Emma Watson looks on laughing! There must be something pretty satisfying about snapping a clapperboard shut, though. This shot was taken pretty early on in the filming process for the Deathly Hallows movies. Both films were shot back-to-back, before being divided in the post-production process. The final reshoots took place in December 2010, and after that, the Harry Potter film series concluded for good. No, you're crying!
15 After The Battle
Filming a destructive battle sequence must take a lot of work, especially when there's magic involved. You've got to simulate spells being cast, explosions, people flying through the air...
And then, of course, there's the aftermath.
This shot shows a pretty despondent-looking Harry wandering through the Great Hall after the first half of the Battle of Hogwarts. You can't help but feel a bit sorry for the extras who have to lie there pretending to be dead or injured. Staying still for that long must be a challenge!
14 The Blue Dots Of Doom
We've already talked about the fact that Voldemort actor Ralph Fiennes does actually have a nose in real life. As it happens, he looks quite a bit different to his evil character. This snap from the filming of the final fight scene between Harry and Voldemort gives an insight into how Fiennes is transformed into the Dark Lord. See those blue dots on the back of his head? Well, they're placed all over his face, too, and for a very good reason. They allow CGI manipulation of Fiennes' face to take place. They're the key to his on-screen transformation!
13 A Realistic Set
Considering the Harry Potter movies are set in a fictional wizarding world, it's perhaps unsurprising that some of the more unrealistic magical buildings we see on screen are actually sets. It's not like there was an actual Hogwarts sitting up in the Scottish Highlands that the filmmakers could have used! One of the many sets built for the Deathly Hallows was a mock-up of the Burrow, home to the Weasley family. As you can see from this behind-the-scenes snap, this purpose-built cottage looks pretty realistic! It could be sat in the English countryside and nobody would be surprised...
12 Keeping Warm
As anyone who's ever visited the UK can testify, the weather over there isn't always great. It's rainy, cold, and generally unpleasant for large portions of the year. Of course, this poses a bit of a problem for actors who have to film outdoors. You can't exactly wear a giant coat all of the time if you're filming a scene that's set in summer! In this behind-the-scenes photo from Deathly Hallows, the main trio of actors are struggling to keep warm. Emma Watson is even trying to warm Rupert Grint up with a hug!
11 A Windy Day Of Filming
Speaking of inclement weather, the cast of Deathly Hallows: Part Two seems to be powering through a windy day of filming in this snap! Poor Helena Bonham Carter must have struggled to cope in those conditions with her long, bushy Bellatrix hair! In case you were wondering, you didn't miss a fight between Harry and Bellatrix Lestrange on a beach. This shot comes from the filming of the Polyjuice Potion scene, in which Ron and Hermione are transformed into Death Eaters. Helena Bonham Carter had to play Hermione playing Bellatrix... Talk about good acting!
10 Last-Minute Tips
It's never too late for actors to get last-minute tips from their directors on-set. This photo from the filming of Deathly Hallows: Part Two shows that Rupert Grint and Emma Watson are no exception to this rule! They're about to film a pretty emotional scene in which Ron and Hermione realize that Harry has to die for Voldemort to be defeated. No wonder David Yates wants to get the scene just right! Also, check out all of that fake rubble. The props department must have had to work overtime in preparation for the Battle of Hogwarts!
9 So Many Fake Injuries
Real talk: the makeup artists who have to apply fake blood to actors in battle scenes deserve some real respect. Just look at all of those fake injuries on Neville Longbottom actor Matthew Lewis. It may look like he's just had a pot of ketchup thrown at his head, but there's real artistry involved! Lewis will have had to have the blood splatter frequently checked and topped up to make sure it doesn't fade away. On each day of filming, his injuries will have had to be meticulously reapplied in an identical fashion. Talk about hard work!
8 Getting The Right Angle
As anyone who's ever taken a selfie knows, getting the right camera angle is everything. The same is the case when shooting a movie if this photo from the Deathly Hallows: Part Two set is anything to go by! Getting a close up of Alan Rickman's Severus Snape was crucial in this scene, hence the long arm of the camera. Note the pretty prominent microphone stood next to Rickman, too. There's so much about movie-making that we don't get to see in the final film, and for good reason. Muggle cameras and microphones wouldn't work in Hogwarts!
7 See, Snape CAN Smile!
Well, here's a sight we never thought we'd see. Severus Snape—otherwise known as the most miserable man at Hogwarts—is actually cracking a smile!
Well, his actor is, at least.
In this shot from behind-the-scenes of Deathly Hallows: Part Two, Alan Rickman and Remus Lupin actor David Thewlis seem to be getting a standing ovation. Was it their last day of filming on the Potter franchise, perhaps? Whatever the case, Thewlis looks pretty pleased with the situation—as does director David Yates.
6 Fake Dobby
As we all know, the Dobby the House Elf that we saw in the Harry Potter films was almost entirely a CGI creation. He had to have a stand-in on the movies' set, though... And this photo shows the said stand-in in all of its ridiculous glory.
No wonder Rupert Grint is laughing.
That model of Dobby looks partly creepy and partly hilarious. To give whoever made it credit, it looks pretty faithful to the character, if he'd had all of the colour drained out of him! The cast must have found it hard not to get the giggles mid-scene, though.
5 The Ron/Hermione Kiss
That's right, Romione shippers: it's the moment you've all been waiting for. In Deathly Hallows: Part Two, we finally got to see these two characters share a kiss. It was a long time coming, that's for sure! Emma Watson and Rupert Grint have both spoken about how weird it was to kiss each other. They were basically like brother and sister at that point! The whole experience was probably made even more off-putting by the fact that they were surrounded by green screens at the time. Talk about distracting!
4 Chilling In London
In Deathly Hallows: Part One, Harry, Ron and Hermione are pursued through the streets of London by some rogue Death Eaters. This is one part of the movie that wasn't filmed on a set—the cast and crew really did take over London for a while to shoot the scenes! As we've already noted, it can get a bit chilly out there in England, so it's not much of a surprise that the main trio are all wrapped up in coats in their moment of downtime. Classic UK weather!
3 Keeping Harry Safe
Out of all of the Harry Potter movies, Deathly Hallows: Part Two has to have some of the most intense fight scenes of all. Besides anything else, it features the huge final showdown between Harry and Voldemort! While all of the most dangerous parts of this sequence were filmed using stunt doubles, some moments required Daniel Radcliffe and Ralph Fiennes to be present. To keep them safe, lots of soft and spongy mattresses were placed around the set to break any falls they might have. Obviously, these safety requirements were edited out in post-production!
2 Living His Best Life
Speaking of Ralph Fiennes, this legendary actor was clearly living his best life on the Harry Potter set. In real life, he's nowhere near as miserable, serious, and evil as his character. In fact, if this photo is anything to go by, he's a bit of a joker!
Well, actors have to pass the time somehow.
In this instance, Fiennes is clearly goofing around with a member of the crew. That hammer is dangerously close to the actor's head, but what does it matter to him? He's the Dark Lord, after all!
1 Draco's Unhappy Broom Ride
Oh dear... Poor Draco Malfoy. He's not exactly having the best broom ride ever with Harry, is he? This behind-the-scenes shot was taken during the filming of the dramatic Room of Requirement sequence in Deathly Hallows: Part Two. Harry is actually saving Draco's life—the room is currently up in flames. Of course, all of that fiery doom was added in post-production, and these two are actually riding a mechanical broom model. Tom Felton is clearly a good actor if he can pull such a convincing terrified face while he's still technically on the ground!