So yesterday I finished re-reading Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows (HP&DH). Damn, it's a good book. And although Rowling didn't tie up all the loose ends of the plot (I'm dying to know what happens to Umbridge, for example), she did fill us in on most of the important details. The rest she discussed in various interviews and web chats. If you want to know more, here are some of the articles that you should read:
- Finished ‘Potter’? Rowling tells what happens next
- Rowling: I wanted to kill parents
- Stop your sobbing! More Potter to come
- Confused by Potter? Author sets record straight
- Read the full Bloomsbury transcript of the webchat with J.K. Rowling on 30 July 2007
(or, if you have a low-bandwidth connection, here's the direct link)
I could talk about the book some more but, now that she herself can discuss it, Rowling has done most of the talking anyway.
By the way, if you want an incredibly concise summary of the book, check out the spoiler t-shirt at the Harry Potter Plot Enlightenment Project :)
What I can talk about, however, is what the movie version of this book will be like. If you have read HP&DH, and have also read my post on Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix (HP&OTP), you will have noticed that, of the three items missing from the movie that I was unhappy about, two of them play a rather important part in the last book. Namely the fact that Harry's tell-all article doesn't get published in the Quibbler (which feeds into the Xeno Lovegood story arc) and that, in Snape's memories, we don't see the bit where Lily defends Serverus (which is needed for the final Snape story arc; "The Price's Story" as it's called in the book). The second omission can be easily fixed since, for the final movie, they'll probably just append that bit to scene they did show in the HP&OTP movie.
The first omission, on the other hand, doesn't bode well. At least for Xeno Lovegood because I'm guessing they'll cut him out of the final movie entirely. Instead, Harry, Ron, and Hermione will figure out the Hallows-Peverell connection themselves and the whole scene will be summed up in a short dialogue between Hermione and Ron. Oh well.
They'll probably also cut out the wedding. The trio will make a run for it soon after the Minister has given them the stuff that Dumbledore left them in his will. That whole time-in-the-wilderness bit will also probably be replaced by a montage. And they might skip the whole Ron leaving and coming back story arc as well. Yes, indeed, there's lots to cut out. If I had the time, I would write down a summary of the book's plot and would chip away at it until I came up with the smallest plot threat that could tell the whole story. I would then cut it down further to see what could be done (i.e. which parts of the plot could be told) quicker. And cheaper, which fewer special effects. And then I would wait for the movie to see how my version compared with what they came up with. Yes, that would be an interesting exercise. If I had the time. Oh well.