Sectumsempra: Where To Cut ‘Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows’?

Muggles rejoice! Magic is surely in the air with news today that “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” will be split into two feature length films, the first of which will hit theaters in November 2010.

But like an uninvited trip through somebody else’s memory (we’re looking at you, Harry), the news, while satisfying, offers up nearly as many questions as answers. If only Dumbledore was still around to help us sort it all out, right David Heyman?

“The question will be, where do you break it? And how do you make them one but two separate and distinct stories?” the “Potter” producer asked in a recent “LA Times” story. “Do you break it with a moment of suspense or one of resolution? These are the interesting challenges.”

Forgive me if it seems like I’ve taken an extra dose of draught of insanity, but what’s all the confusion about? In my mind, there can be only one ideal place to divide the two films:


The best, most logical place, to divide the two films comes with the death and funeral of Dobby the house elf, corresponding to the chapter entitled “Shell Cottage.”

Aside from the simple fact that it comes at (relatively) the book’s halfway point, the moment is also one of the most significant in the entire novel (if not the series). As J.K. Rowling told MTV News last October, Dobby’s death “woke Harry up to what he was doing.”

Indeed (and now I quote myself) Dobby’s death comes at a crucial time in Book 7, when Harry must decide whether to continue chasing Voldemort’s horcruxes, or to abandon that quest and search for the legendary “Deathly Hallows” instead. The death of Dobby “focused [Harry],” in his resolve to choose the former, Rowling insisted.

It could be called a mini-climax, where Harry finally accepts the wisdom of Dumbledore and resolves to see his quest to the end. Fine. Bu what makes it particularly intriguing as a division even beyond that is that it’s a remarkably melancholy moment sandwiched between two high-octane action sequences – the fight at Malfoy Manor before it, and the assault on Gringotts immediately after.

Everything before is search, everything after is destroy: Harry goes directly from Shell Cottage to Gringotts, from Gringotts to Hogsmeade, from Hogsmeade to the BATTLE OF HOGWARTS!!!

I can even picture the last shot of the first film – Harry, crying over Dobby’s grave, sweat pouring down his face,ready to give-up instead stands tall, his fists clenched, resolved to discover what comes next.

Just like the rest of us.

Am I crazy or does this make way too much sense? Do you have a better idea for where to divide the series? And while we’re talking “Deathly Hallows,” make sure to help us cast it here.

Sound off below.