“If you’ve read the book, you know what happens,” or so claims self-described hardcore Harry Potter fan Chelsea Leinberger.
But, even if you know, you also forget. Memories fade, details get fuzzy, and without a good Pensieve, your mind gets a wee bit stretched — which is why even Chelsea, as well as many of her fellow Potter fans, professed wonder and amazement upon seeing the new full trailer for “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” which debuted on Tuesday. “As I was watching the trailer, I started realizing everything I had forgotten, since I read the book two years ago,” Chelsea said. “I was like, ’Oh, yeah! This is the one where Harry starts to teach the other kids!”
“Phoenix,” of course, will be more than just that. But where the previous teaser trailer out last fall alluded to certain key points — Voldemort’s back, Harry wants to fight — this one fleshed them out a bit more, giving the sense that this fifth film of the series will be even darker and more action-packed (see ” ’Phoenix’ Trailer Reveals A Harry Potter Who’s Ready To Fight — And Kiss” ). “Each film gets better than the last and watching the trailer, this one is definitely more intense,” said 24-year-old Alvaro Vasquez. “The effects are astounding, and it looks like they’re more involved with witchcraft. It looks over the top. I’m more or less holding out for a huge showdown with Voldemort. I want to see a lot of Voldemort.”
And see the Dark Lord you shall — along with his Death Eaters, centaurs, thestrals, and a whole host of what 19-year-old fan Eric Carafello called “new and exciting characters,” among them Dolores Umbridge, a Ministry of Magic-planted teacher (and later headmistress) at Hogwarts who makes the students’ lives miserable (she’s played by Imelda Staunton).
“I was surprised to see Umbridge, because she’s described differently in the book,” said 22-year-old Jinelle Craig. “I was expecting her to be short, fat, and toad-like. But she was more attractive, not ugly, which almost makes you like her. Almost.”
“She’s drawing a line between herself and Harry,” Leinberger said of the confrontation in the trailer, where Umbridge, in mock soothing tones, tells the class, “You have been told that a certain dark wizard is at large. This is a lie.” Harry, of course, blurts out, “It’s not a lie! I saw it!” “It’s all about, who’s going to have control? Who are you going to believe? Whose side are you on?” Leinberger said.
Umbridge not only sets out to discredit Harry’s witnessing the return of evil Lord Voldemort (which is where the fourth film, “Goblet of Fire,” left off), but she makes her Defense Against the Dark Arts classes devoid of any meaning, at a time when those lessons are most needed. “She completely bans the use of magic and doesn’t teach us how to defend ourselves,” said Rupert Grint, who plays Ron Weasley, “so we set up this secret organization, Dumbledore’s Army, where Harry teaches us instead.” As Harry tells his fellow students, “Every great wizard in history has started out as nothing more than what we are now. If they can do it, why not us?”
“Harry’s fight is a more silent, underground fight this time,” said Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Harry Potter. “He’s more aware that a war is about to happen, and he’s setting up a group of people to help fight it.”
“Harry’s taking on huge things,” Leinberger said. “Not that they weren’t huge before, but they were just events. Now they’re groups of people — the Ministry, the Death Eaters.”
Aiding Harry’s fight, of course, are those mentioned in the title of the film and book — the Order of the Phoenix themselves, Dumbledore’s newly re-formed anti-evil-wizard league, who are barely glimpsed in the trailer. But not everything can be revealed right away — otherwise, there wouldn’t be a need for a Department of Mysteries, now would there? Anticipation has to come from somewhere, and for these fans, it comes from what’s been jogged of their memories and what has yet to be revealed. “I have so many questions!” Carafello said. “I can’t wait to see it.”
“As a Harry Potter fan, I have high standards,” said 18-year-old Cassie Franklin. “I mean, ’Goblet of Fire’ disappointed me, because the chronological order was off. But this looked impressive.”
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