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- In general: the sheer level of Serial Escalation in this book is an Awesome Moment in and of itself, building on the climaxes of each previous installment for a Grand Finale of truly epic proportions. That undead Dark Wizard who Harry fought in the first book? Now he rules Britain with an iron fist! That soul-corrupting Artifact of Doom from the second book? Now there are seven of them! Those soul-sucking phantoms from the third book? Now there's a whole army of them! Those Death Eaters who made their triumphant return in the fourth book? Now they're patrolling the streets of London! That secret society that Harry and his friends formed in the fifth book? Now they're a full-blown military resistance! And the enigmatic "Half-Blood Prince" from the sixth book? Now he's the Headmaster of Hogwarts!
- The former Dark Lord, Grindelwald, taunts Voldemort before the latter kills him, not telling him about where the Elder Wand is even at the face of certain death... which is something Voldemort could never do, as death was his biggest fear.
Grindelwald: "Kill me then Voldemort, I welcome death! But my death will not bring you what you seek. There is so much you do not understand."
- Posthumously, of course, but Regulus taking on Voldemort's patented torture potion at seventeen. Not to mention that because Kreacher never mentioned being told to make him drink, he must have forced it all down of his own volition. Even Dumbledore only got through three and a half cups. Out of eleven. And his note! "I know I will be dead long before you read this... I face death in the hope that when you meet your match, you will be mortal once more."
- Harry, Ron, and Hermione breaking into Gringotts, stealing something from a high security vault, and riding a dragon to escape. If that's not awesome, I don't know what is.
- In a meta sense, that scene is especially awesome. Way back in the first book (as well as various promotional materials released alongside the first movie), it was mentioned that there were in-universe rumors of dragons living in the depths of Gringotts. Readers who, for years, had been silently hoping for an eventual appearance by one of these dragons finally received a most satisfying payoff.
- The Trio breaking into the Ministry, in general. This is the center of power of all of Wizarding Britain, now controlled by the Death Eaters who are using its power to round up and imprison or kill Muggle-borns and rule the country with an iron fist. As Hermione points out, there's no place in the world more dangerous for Harry Potter and his two known accomplices (who are also a Muggle-born and a blood traitor) than a government building full of people who want them dead and can legally make it happen. And these three seventeen-year-olds infiltrate the place, steal an object owned by one of its highest-ranking officials, set free almost a dozen Muggle-borns and warn them all to get out of the country with their families, and are only discovered as they're fleeing the place. And they make it out alive, along with all of the Muggle-borns they've rescued, and Harry basically flips the bird to its corrupt power structure yet another time before he leaves. The whole concept is just awesome.
- Neville killing Nagini with the sword of Godric Gryffindor while being on fire. Right after he pulled a Shut Up, Hannibal! right at Voldemort, just when it looks like their last hope is dead. Remember that he's the sole resistance leader when Harry arrives. He shows no care about his severe injuries, he's goddamn pissed when Harry tries to stop them from engaging in an open fight with Voldemort and reacts to Harry's request to take on Nagini with barely any emotion.
- Not to mention that by drawing the sword of Godric Gryffindor, he finally proved himself to be a true Gryffindor, something that has been doubted during all of his school years. It's even more epic when he tells Voldemort off in front of his army and the remaining survivors of Hogwarts, proving just how brave he has become during his time at Hogwarts.
- It really shows that Neville really is just as much The Chosen One as Harry is.
- Not to mention that by drawing the sword of Godric Gryffindor, he finally proved himself to be a true Gryffindor, something that has been doubted during all of his school years. It's even more epic when he tells Voldemort off in front of his army and the remaining survivors of Hogwarts, proving just how brave he has become during his time at Hogwarts.
- If there's anything good that came from this war, it's that it forced Neville to grow up and take a level in badass. In a way, even what Voldemort says to Neville is a CMOA. The boy has been seen as a joke and a loser for years, and now the dark lord, the wizard that people are afraid to speak of by name, obviously respects Neville both as a worthy opponent and potential ally.
- A moment of awesome has to go to Neville's grandmother, Augusta Longbottom, even though it's only spoken of and not shown. When a wizard tries to resist the Death Eaters, Death Eaters kidnap any family members they can use to force compliance. When Neville starts up a rebellion at Hogwarts, Death Eaters go after his gran. It doesn't end well for them. "Little old witch, living alone... they probably didn't think they had to send anyone particularly powerful. Anyway, Dawlish is still in St. Mungo's and Gran's on the run." Bear in mind, Dawlish was a top Auror with "Outstanding" in all of his N.E.W.T.s. Also bear in mind that this woman probably hasn't had to do any actual fighting since Voldemort fell; she's had sixteen years of peace and is still able to unleash the ever loving shit onto Dawlish and, on top of it all, she manages to run away into hiding, inform Neville of her location through letter and, get to Hogsmeade, avoid the alarms, fight in the battle and live.
- Well, Neville got it from his parents; Frank had to get it from somewhere. Augusta is where.
- Even Kreacher and the House Elves get a moment of awesome.
- Kreacher: "Fight! Fight! Fight for my Master, defender of house elves! Fight the Dark Lord, in the name of brave Regulus! Fight!"
- Kreacher got one earlier. "Perhaps once again, Master Harry, just for luck?"
- Harry, curb-stomping Amycus Carrow for insulting McGonagall. "You shouldn't have done that." As well as his simple response to his reasoning. "He spat at you."
- The reason why this is so awesome is that when Harry attempted the Cruciatus on Bellatrix in Order of the Phoenix, he didn't have the heart for it. Bellatrix explained that righteous anger wouldn't get the job done, only genuine hatred and sadism would. So imagine how Harry must've felt seeing Amycus spit on McGonagall.
- In the middle of Deathly Hallows, Dobby gets one by teleporting Ron, Harry, and Hermione from right in front of Bellatrix. Unfortunately, it also ends in his death, which was one of the most poignant scenes in the series. Especially his reply to Bellatrix's:
Bellatrix: How dare you defy your masters?!
Dobby: Dobby has no master! Dobby is a free elf!
- This exchange:
Ron: So Dumbledore left me his Deluminator because he knew I'd leave you?
Harry: No — it was because he knew you would come back.
- Hagrid producing a brick wall from the motorbike.
- That's got nothing on the dragon flame that he used as a turbo booster.
- Narcissa Malfoy in Deathly Hallows saving Harry's ass by lying to Voldemort's face — but only when she was sure that Draco was still alive. Especially when one considers that Voldemort is especially talented at Legilimency, which means that he has very little trouble finding out if his followers are lying to him. The only way to block it is through Occlumency, which Order of the Phoenix established took a lot of control over one's emotions. Which means that Narcissa, while scared and shaken and desperate to find her son, discovers that Harry survived and that Draco is still alive, and is able to remain sufficiently emotionally neutral to prevent Voldemort from suspecting or realizing what was up. "Do not lie to Lord Voldemort. He knows. He always knows." Not this time, you noseless bastard.
- In this exchange:
Aberforth: Why didn't he [Dumbledore] tell him to hide, then? Why didn't he say to him, 'Take care of yourself, here's how to survive'?Harry: Because...sometimes you've got to think about more than your own safety! Sometimes you've got to think about the greater good! This is war!Aberforth: You're seventeen, boy!Harry: I'm of age, and I'm going to keep fighting even if you've given up!
- Second to last chapter in the final book: "Of course it is happening inside your head, but why on earth should that mean that it isn't real?"
- Right after Harry curses Carrow, McGonagall demands to know what Harry's doing at Hogwarts and generally reverting to the stern Deputy Headmistress from the previous books. But as soon as Harry states he's "acting on Dumbledore's orders", she immediately stops lecturing and sets to work preparing the castle for the coming siege.
- Damn near everything McGonagall does in Deathly Hallows — CHARGE!
Amycus: He can punish them. Couple of kids more or less, what's the difference?
- To clarify, Harry almost gets flattened by a whole army of transfigured desks, McGonagall running after them shouting, hair undone and a massive cut on her cheek, clearly so into the battle that she doesn't even see him.
- No, seriously, everything she does. The moment she steps into Ravenclaw tower, McGonagall just defines this trope. She doesn't take crap. She doesn't take nonsense. War is coming, and by Merlin, the teachers and body will be armed, the school will be evacuated. You stand in her way — you don't stand a chance. Everything she does reveals the incredible bravery, loyalty, and love she has for Hogwarts.
- Her defiance of the evil Carrows is also awesome.
McGonagall: Only the difference between truth and lies, courage and cowardice. A difference, in short, which you and your sister seem unable to appreciate. But let me make one thing very clear. You are not going to pass off your many ineptitudes on the students of Hogwarts. I shall not permit it.
Slughorn: My word! What a to-do! I'm not at all sure whether this is wise, Minerva. He is bound to find a way in, you know, and anyone who has tried to delay him will be in most grievous peril—
- And if you know McGonagall, you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that come hell or high water, she is NOT going to permit it. And this is before Harry appeared; as far as she knew at that moment, if it had come to a fight, she would have stood alone. Woman is badass.
- McGonagall agreeing to defend the school against Voldemort himself. "We teachers are rather good at magic, you see."
- Also, her fight with Snape where she demonstrates just how a Transfiguration master fights.
- Add to that when McGonagall straight up told Slughorn that treason is not an option.
McGonagall: I shall expect you and the Slytherins in the Great Hall in twenty minutes, also. If you wish to leave with your students, we shall not stop you. But if any of you attempt to sabotage our resistance or take up arms against us within this castle, then Horace, we duel to kill.
Slughorn: (aghast) Minerva!
McGonagall: The time has come for Slytherin House to decide upon its loyalties. Go and wake your students, Horace.
- "Our headmaster is taking a short break", said McGonagall, pointing to a Snape-shaped hole in the window. Even better was what she said to the student body: "He has, to use the common phrase, done a bunk."
- The brief clash between McGonagall, Snape and Flitwick is really underrated as truly the finest example of a Wizard Duel in the entire series (after Dumbledore vs. Voldemort duel in Order of the Phoenix). Most duels are fairly shallow affairs involving throwing various curses at each other and hoping to block or dodge the enemy's ones. In this duel, McGonagall opens with a lightning-fast offensive spell that Snape blocks, then draws a lasso of flame from a nearby torch and hurls it at him, only for Snape to transform the flames into a black serpent and send it back at her. McGonagall blasts the serpent to ash, then transforms the ash into a swarm of daggers which Snape blocks by dragging a suit of armour in front of himself. Then Flitwick intervenes and animates the armour to try and grab Snape forcing him to send it flying back at his opponents before fleeing. The description of the scene is so fast-paced that you can just imagine the spells flying back and forth as two masters of the art use every trick they know to try and kill each other.
- Flitwick gets his own Crowning Moment of Awesome in this scene, right before saving McGonagall (and kicking Snape's ass): "NO! You'll do no more murder at Hogwarts!" It just ties in so well with the teachers' Let's Get Dangerous! moment.
- Hermione doing a memory charm on Xenophilius Lovegood right before she blew the floor away and disapparated (teleported away) in mid-air with both Ron and Harry to cover up Ron's presence.
- Hermione managing to come up with a good lie while being horribly tortured was pretty cool — as well as the fact she managed to save the Magical Bag of Awesome from the Death Eaters by stuffing it down her sock.
- Also, after that, when Hermione tells Griphook they targeted her because she's a Mudblood, and when Ron mutters she shouldn't call herself that, she says she's a "Mudblood, and proud of it!"
- The revelation of Dumbledore's past definitely qualifies as awesome writing. Up until now, he's been a kid story version of Gandalf. Now, he gets deconstructed, and we see Dumbledore as a flawed human. While this does put him on a Broken Pedestal, it also makes him far more relatable as a character.
- Horace Slughorn leading the Slytherins and probably everyone in Hogsmeade back to the final battle, where he then proceeds to attack Voldemort himself head-on. People who have always been brave and strong doing brave and strong things? Awesome. A geriatric hedonist finding the strength to overcome his deepest fears in the eleventh hour? Running headfirst into battle with the MOST POWERFUL DARK WIZARD OF ALL TIME!!?? CROWNING MOMENT of Awesome.
- There's something even more awesome about that scene. It means a large number of Slytherins, many of who are pureblood supremacists themselves, are finally putting their foot down and admitting that, yes, Voldemort and the Death Eaters have gone too far and MUST BE STOPPED.
- Especially awesome is that this is Slughorn's way of repentance for unwittingly teaching Riddle about the risks of Horcruxes, which allowed him to make the decision to split his soul.
- Ron destroying the Slytherin Locket.
- Also, Ron saving Harry from drowning and then yelling at him for being an idiot once they're on dry ground.
- And Ron losing it and disarming Bellatrix when he hears her about to kill Hermione.
- Harry's "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Voldemort. Made even better by the fact it's an allusion to an equally awesome speech of the same nature given by Dumbeldore.
- The best part of this speech? "I know things you DON'T, Tom Riddle!" A majority of the witches and wizards watching probably had no clue of Voldemort's real identity until this point.
- Snape giving Detention to Ginny and Co. It doesn't sound awesome at first, but think about it: instead of leaving them to the Carrows (where they would surely be tortured), he sends them into the Forest with their friend Hagrid. And he still maintains his cover as Voldemort's right-hand man.
- Hell, just the actions of the students in general during the Death Eater regime. Many of the DA members willingly suffer torture and beatings from the Carrows and their supporters rather than submit to them. Seamus in particular was tortured and maimed so badly Harry didn't even recognize him until he spoke, and the kid still had the strength to fight in the Battle of Hogwarts. That's Oireland for you.
- This exchange:
McGonagall: Prefects, when I give the word, you will organize your House and take your charges in orderly fashion to the evacuation point.Ernie Macmillan: (stands up from the Hufflepuff table) And what if we want to stay and fight?cue applause
- The Battle of Hogwarts. FULL. STOP.
- Just before Harry gets his Big Damn Heroes / Only Mostly Dead moment after his supposed first death, the other good guys are kicking every named Death Eater's ass, and due to the fact that at one point the writing gets delightfully vague (e.g. "Dolohov fell with a scream at Flitwick's hands"), if you imagine bare-handed asskicking in the place of wands, it can get even more awesome, mostly from the sheer thought that these sadistic, morally-bankrupt assholes are literally getting the shit beaten out of them.
- The fact that Sybil Trelawney, who was almost a complete Joke Character, started dropping crystal balls on the Death Eaters' heads and the first person she took out was Fenrir Greyback, the most dangerous, powerful, and vicious werewolf alive. And note that this is the same werewolf who turned Remus Lupin into a werewolf and singlehandedly took down Bill Weasley, who was a professional cursebreaker, making him a very powerful wizard. Bill couldn't take him down with all the jinxes and hexes at his disposal, but Trelawney took him down with, of all spells, Wingardium Leviosa.
Trelawney: I have more for anyone who wants!
- Even more awesome is that all of her predictions are technically NEVER wrong. Voldemort returns (Prophesized in book 3. Comes into play in the next book), Harry 'Dies' (Starts predicting this in book 3 and is used as a running gag for subsequent books until book 7), Lavender Brown has to beware the Red-Headed man (Book 3, again, Ends up being Ron in book 6), and Voldemort is 'killed by his own spell (First shown at the end of book 5, finally happens at the end of book 7), How does this tie into the final Battle? Easy, everything that happens during the battle happened because of a small group of people who took what she said seriously, even if it wasn't to the letter.
- Added awesome about her assault of Greyback: why was she so viciously going after him? He's after Lavender Brown and Pavarti Patil, her two favorite students. Not those two on her watch...
- Fridge Brilliance dictates that Neville was fighting the entire second-half of the battle only with the Sword of Gryffindor. Remember, his wand got thrown away and he wouldn't have had the time nor the inclination to pick up another one. This that retroactively doubles the amount of awesome right there which makes it the second time Neville had gone into battle without usable magic.
- Now, remember that Harry used the sword to stab the Basilisk in the Chamber of Secrets. Basilisk venom is deadly. Remember Hermione said the sword was Goblin-made and only takes in what makes it stronger. Therefore, Neville was fighting the entire second-half of the battle with a sword imbibed with Basilisk venom.
- Sprout weaponizing her plants was also epic.
Neville:(Preparing to throw a mandrake out the window) They're not going to like this.
- Keep in mind, given the time frame, those Mandrakes were probably full-grown specimens that they had been raising since the start of the school year. Screaming full-grown mandrakes + unprotected ears = INSTANT DEATH.
- Speaking of plants, Peeves of all entities gleefully swoops in to drop seeds on Death Eaters, which promptly sprout and become giant tentacles that constrict the enemies swiftly.
- McGonagall awakening the statues of Hogwarts.
- Percy hexing the Imperius'd Minister of Magic.
- "NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!" CMOA of the entire series. When you read this sentence, you know that Bellatrix will die just like the bitch she is.
- In context, this scene gets better. People talk about Andromeda Tonks and how much she lost as an innocent bystander, but what about Molly Weasley? Over the past 3 years, she watched helplessly as her husband and not one, but TWO of her sons (Bill and George) almost get killed. She spent the entire year fearing for the lives of Harry, Ron, and Hermione after being completely cut off in the aftermath of The Fall of the Ministry. She's watched close comrades die. Every day, it seems like her worst fear (The death of her family) might finally come true. and then, on the very same day that her estranged son Percy finally returns and apologizes for being an idiot, Fred is killed in the Battle of Hogwarts. SHE WAS ALREADY IN MOURNING. And on top of all this, Voldemort returns from the Forbidden Forest triumphantly with Harry dead in Hagrid's arms. As far as she's concerned, she's lost another son. So for Bellatrix to go after her youngest child, (her ONLY DAUGHTER, by the way) after she lost so much not just in 24 hours, but over the entire course of the war? With all that pent up rage and sorrow, there was no way anyone could have won a duel with Molly Weasley at that moment.
- Word of God went into a bit more detail on this scene, which, if anything, made it even more awesome than it already was. Specifically, it was clarified that the curse Molly used was not, in fact, the Killing Curse but rather an exceptionally-powerful Stunner that caused Bella to have a heart attack. On paper this doesn't sound as badass as the Killing Curse, but then you remember we have actually seen something like this before, in the fifth book, when four of Umbridge's henchmen Stunned and critically wounded McGonagall. Thing is, that was four trained Aurors versus an unarmed target, and even then, McGonnagal didn't die. In Deathly Hallows, however, we find one dumpy housewife versus the second most powerful Death Eater, and she comes away with a kill. Just how powerful is Molly, anyway?
- It's easy to miss, but according to the narration the fight got so intense the floor started to heat up and crack around their feet.
- Dean Thomas gets two in the final battle. For starters, charging into battle without a wand of his own, and followed later when he was shown battling with a wand he had won for himself, clearly meaning that he, an unarmed teenager, either managed to wrestle an armed, trained-to-kill Death Eater's wand away and made it his own, which he was now putting to good use of it or he took it up off of a fallen comrade and was using it to exact vengeance for their death.
- Before the battle, all of the Hogwarts students are called into the Great Hall, where McGonagall informs them of what's happening and what they'll do about it. Before the school starts evacuating, Voldemort speaks to them from the Shrieking Shack, saying that he won't harm anyone in the school if they give him Harry, saying they have one hour to comply. After the message, Pansy Parkinson decides to be a typical Slytherin and stands up, pointing at Harry and shrieking "IT'S POTTER! HE'S RIGHT THERE! SOMEBODY GET HIM!" Nobody moves towards Harry. Instead, the other three tables all stand up in unison, draw their wands, and point them at the Slytherins, ready to curse them into oblivion if any of them DARES make a move towards Harry.
- As Harry proceeds toward Voldemort under his Invisibility Cloak for the final confrontation in the Great Hall, he witnesses the defeats of the supporting villains. As the scenes are very short and most of the characters involved are minor, this sequence is easy to forget, but man is it awesome:
- Walden Macnair: In his civilian identity he was the Ministry of Magic's executioner, and you may remember him as the man who very nearly got to kill Buckbeak. Naturally, his defeat goes to Hagrid, who stops being a Gentle Giant long enough the throw Macnair into a wall so hard he's knocked unconscious.
- Antonin Dolohov: After Bellatrix and Voldemort himself, Dolohov is probably the Death Eater with the best combat record, injuring Hermione in the fifth book and killing Lupin offscreen. Who finally halts his rampage? Flitwick, finally displaying his long-hinted skill at dueling.
- Fenrir Greyback: Greyback is the world's most vicious werewolf and the Death Eaters' go-to Psycho for Hire. His opponents are Ron and Neville, the two main characters used for comic relief most often. Ron and Neville win (with the help of Professor Trelawney, of all people!).
- Yaxley: George and Lee Jordan, barely older than teenagers, take on the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement and come away victorious.
- *Punch* "And that's the second time we've saved your life tonight, you two-faced bastard!" In one action and fourteen words, Ron (who arguably suffered the most from him) pays back Malfoy for all the crap he's taken from him over the years.
- Lee Jordan and Kingsley Shacklebolt using Potterwatch to ask listeners to look after their Muggle neighbors.
Royal (Kingsley Shacklebolt): We continue to hear truly inspirational stories of wizards and witches risking their own safety to protect Muggle friends and neighbours, often without the Muggles' knowledge. I'd like to appeal to all our listeners to emulate their example, perhaps by casting a protective charm over any Muggle dwellings in your street. Many lives could be saved if such simple measures are taken.
River (Lee Jordan): And what would you say, Royal, to those listeners who reply that in these dangerous times, it should be "wizards first?"
Kingsley Shacklebolt: I'd say that it's one short step from "wizards first" to "pure-bloods first", and then to "Death Eaters". We're all human, aren't we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving.
- The Circling Monologue in the final battle. "So it all comes down to this, doesn't it? Does the wand in your hand know its last master was Disarmed? Because if it does... I am the true master of the Elder Wand."
- Students call each other by their last names, so when Harry calls him "Riddle," he's treating him like a fellow student: a complete equal.
Voldemort: You dare—
Harry: YES I DARE!
- When the Dementors attacked Harry, Ron, and Hermione when they were going to the Shrieking Shack. Both Ron and Hermione cast their Patronuses to try and repel them to no effect, while Harry can't even bring himself to try. Before the Dementors come to them, three Patronuses rescue them. Who is it that sent them? Not teachers, Aurors, or members of the Order; it's Seamus Finnegan, Ernie Macmillan, and Luna Lovegood, using what they learned under Harry in Dumbledore's Army. This gives Harry the hope he needs to summon his own Patronus. Particularly awesome when you realize that the trio who saved them represent the three Hogwarts Houses who were allowed to stay and fight against Voldemort. Not to mention the way Luna coaches Harry through the Patronus, reminding him that they're still alive and fighting, which gives him the strength to execute the spell.
- Just before the final duel between Harry and Voldemort, when everyone thinks Harry is dead. Harry sneaks through the battle, under his Invisibility Cloak, saving half a dozen people without fanfare. When he finally reaches where the main battle is being fought, he sees Voldemort blast back McGonagall, Kingsley, and Slughorn and start to turn his wand towards Molly Weasley. Harry casts a Shield Charm, saving her, and throws off his cloak, appearing alive in front of all his friends.
- When, towards the end of the Battle, even the creatures living in the castle and its grounds join in; the Thestrals (led by Buckbeak), Grawp, the centaurs (who were previously neutral), the house-elves...
- Snape's reply to Dumbledore telling him that he wants Snape to kill him:
- Also, his What the Hell, Hero? speech to Dumbledore upon the revelation that Harry, whom Snape has been protecting throughout the entire series, must die in order to defeat Voldemort. It takes balls to call someone out. It takes strong, plentiful, titanium-coated balls to do it to the most powerful, respected wizard of the age.
- A subtle one, but Harry after Dobby's funeral finally completing his Character Development and growing from a rash, angsty teenager who lets his emotions get away with him into a mature, effective leader who makes careful, informed decisions. It's just so very satisfying to finally feel like we can trust our hero to not screw up.
- Harry sees Snape die a nasty death, blood and memories leaking everywhere, and Snape get his last CMOA — "Look at me." So, depressed, weary, and tired, he drops Ron and Hermione off to mourn over Fred, who just died. Then, he goes to Dumbledore's office and discovers Snape loved his mom, Snape just died without any recognition for being a hero, and now, oh yeah, Harry has to die. After going through all this, the battle, the mourning, and memories, the pain, the shock, he gets up and manages enough sanity to walk out, all alone, without any comfort but his deceased family, and find Voldemort. He has no idea how badly, or even if, Voldemort will torture him. He doesn't know anything else, but just trusts Dumbledore, that Voldemort'll be mortal. He doesn't know if Neville will get Nagini in the end, (which he does, ON FIRE), and he doesn't know if any'll bring Voldemort down in the end. He stands there, silently saying goodbye to Ron, Hermione, and Ginny, and is completely willing to die, on his own. Made even worse by the song "Open at the Close" by Oliver Boyd and the Remembralls. If there's a Crowning Moment of Tearjerking, that song makes it.
- Quite a lot of Snape's better moments count as these. But in particular there's his sheer nerve and force of will in obeying Voldemort, playing the loyal servant and even managing to stay in the same room as him, not only concealing his triple agent status but also the unimaginable hatred he must have felt towards the person who murdered Lily. The man must have had a backbone made of adamantium.
- Especially remembering that Occlumency requires emotional control. To be able to control those feelings while staring Lily's murderer in the face...
- Damn, Harry names his SON after him, stating Snape was the bravest man he ever met, and that is including people like Neville (killing Nagini while on fire, with a SWORD) and Dumbledore (who orchestrated his own death).
- "Sometimes, I think we sort too soon" - Dumbledore would have agreed with Harry. Did, in fact, when he implied it was a tragedy for Snape to have been sorted into Slytherin because he was a Gryffindor at heart.
- And as much effort as he put into it all, when him and the other Death Eaters were chasing the seven Harrys, he tried to cut off a fellow Death Eater's wand hand. He risked his pretty tight and useful position to stop another Death Eater. If that curse hadn't accidentally cut George's ear off, Snape would have died that night. Not to mention on the night of the final battle, when Voldemort calls him, he insists on looking for Harry: no doubt to try and explain everything to him before the end.
- While the Battle of Hogwarts was amazing and all, Harry's rescue of all those Muggleborn witches and wizards in the Ministry was a shining moment for him.
"Their blood is pure," said Harry (as Runcorn), as his deep voice echoed impressively through the hall. "Purer than many of yours, I dare say!"
- Draco gets a small one early on in the book, when Harry and the others have been captured. Hermione's just thrown a jinx at him, messing up his face horribly, and the Death Eaters need Draco to identify him. What does Draco, who not too long ago wanted Harry dead and is under incredible pressure from the likes of his desperate mother and father, not to mention Bellatrix and Greyback, do?
"I can't- I can't be sure." Then, after being hassled by his father to check again. "I don't know."
- Hermione erasing all her parents' memories of her. Every. Last. One. Granted, she was planning on bringing them back but still! Not only did that show her caring for them, but it also shows her courage. That action pretty much sums up why Hermione is a Gryffindor and not a Ravenclaw; her plan to restore her parents' memories wasn't "granted" at all — she could only do it if she lived long enough to find them, and one of the reasons that she erased the memories in the first place was so that if she was killed, or Voldemort won and she had to spend the rest of her life on the run/in hiding, her parents could be happy in their ignorance. You'd want to spare your parents that kind of grief, wouldn't you? Word of God later stated that, after Voldemort's death, Hermione managed to find her parents and restore their memories.
- In the chapter The Prince's Tale, Dumbledore verbally trapping Snape into exposing his hypocrisy of only valuing certain innocent lives, then point-blank telling Snape that he finds him 'disgusting' with, according to Harry, more contempt than he has ever had in his voice before.
Dumbledore: If Lily means so much to you, surely Lord Voldemort will spare her? Could you not ask for mercy for the mother, in exchange for the son?
Snape: I have - I have asked him
Dumbledore: You disgust me. (Snape seemed to shrink a little.) You do not care, then, about the deaths of her husband and child? They can die, as long as you have what you want?
- On the night of Lily Potter's death, Dumbledore taunts a grieving Snape by bringing to mind the image of Lily's eyes. Serves as a What the Hell, Hero? against Dumbledore at first, until you realize that it's completely Snape's fault that Lily died in the first place, that Snape has no remorse for the other innocent life that was lost in that attack, and that Snape, as a Death Eater, has surely taken part in tearing apart many other families without a second thought. It haunts him seventeen years later, however, when he finally realises that, when Snape did finally feel remorse, the raw wounds remained raw right to the bitter end. As someone who knows what it's like to live with the power of love, guilt and remorse, it's no wonder Dumbledore was in tears when he saw the doe.
- During the final confrontation, both Big Bad Voldemort and The Dragon Bellatrix each take on three opponents at once. Voldemort faces off with McGonagall, Slughorn and Kingsley, but the really awesome moment here is Hermione, Ginny and Luna teaming up against Bellatrix - bearing in mind that all three of them are barely of age, and haven't completed their schooling, but still manage to hold their own, at least until Molly Weasley's immortal moment detailed above.
- A minor one, but nevertheless: Arthur Weasley stopping Polyjuiced Harry!Rumcorn in the elevator, and all but threatening him. To reiterate: Arthur Weasley, in a hostile environment at best, already a known blood-traitor and thus under suspicion by pretty much everybody around him, stops a high-ranking Ministry-employee and crony of Voldemort's and intimidates him. It being a polyjuiced Harry notwithstanding, it must be noted that he seems entirely confident that Runcorn would, in fact, be intimidated. This speaks absolute volumes about Mr. Weasley.
- This is, admittedly, a villainous one, but putting a Taboo on Voldemort's name is actually a brilliant move. The only people who use his real name are the members of La Résistance, especially Harry, so putting a spell on it that locates and identifies anyone who says the name is a great way of breaking through the security measures the Order & the Golden Trio has been putting together for such a long time.
- Harry calling Scrimgeour out again. The entire scene.
Harry: Interesting theory. Has anyone ever tried sticking a sword in Voldemort? Maybe the Ministry should put some people onto that instead of stripping down Deluminators or covering up breakouts from Azkaban. So this is what you've been doing, Minister, shut up in your office, trying to break open a Snitch? People are dying- I was nearly one of them- Voldemort chased me across three counties, he killed Mad Eye Moody, but there's been no word about any of that from the Ministry, has there? And you still expect us to cooperate with you!
- Harry calling Scrimgeour out for wasting time combing over the things Dumbledore willed the Golden Trio, instead of going after Voldemort after the Minister grills him about Dumbledore leaving Harry the Sword of Gryffindor:
Harry:It's time you earned it.
- After Harry stops Ron from attacking the Minister after Scrimgeour singes Harry with his wand, Scrimgeour goes into a lengthy rant about how Harry should show him respect. Harry shuts him up with one sentence:
Scrimgeour: You seem to think that the ministry does not desire what Dumbledore desired. We ought to be working together.Harry: I don't like your methods Minister, remember? (Harry shows Scrimgeour his "I Must Not Tell Lies scar" again.)
- And to cap it off, we get a call back to the last time the two met:
- The fact Ron, impulsive or not, was ready to attack the freaking Minnister of Magic to protect Harry. Keep in mind, we are not talking about the old Fudge anymore, who never seemed like a threathening wizard at all, but the former leader of the Auror, someone who was specifically put in charge because of his fighting abilities, and with still an intimidating presence despite his age. This is someone who spent his life fighting dark wizards, but Ron would have attacked him nontheless.
- Taking the above into account, Scrimgeour refusing to tell the Death Eaters where Harry was before dying. In death, Scrimgeour finally did something worthy of Harry's respect and of his station.
- At the very end of the book, Harry becomes - so far as we know - the only Wizard in history ever to win the Elder Wand and refuse to wield it. He casts exactly one spell with it: using "Reparo" to rejoin the two halves of his old wand, so that he can go back to using it. Remember that even Dumbledore, of all people, succumbed to the temptation of the Hallows; he carried the Elder Wand until the day he died, and he died because he couldn't resist the temptation to put on the ring that bore the Resurrection Stone. Depending on how you see it, refusing the Elder Wand is arguably an even more momentous accomplishment than defeating Voldemort. Any powerful Wizard can defeat another in single combat, but it takes real strength of character to turn down the most coveted wand ever crafted.
- Just the fact that during Grindelwald's reign the one thing that kept his influence out of Britain was Dumbledore. Basically Dumbledore struck fear in the hearts of both of the most powerful Dark Wizards in history! Also to note that Grindelwald possessed the Elder Wand during this time which was believed to grant its owner invincibility, in other words Grindelwald believed himself to be invincible and STILL dreaded the idea of facing Dumbledore.
- Also the fact that Dumbledore was able to defeat Grindelwald while the latter possessed the Elder Wand. Dumbledore was able to defeat a wizard roughly as powerful (if only very slightly weaker) than himself while the latter possessed the most powerful wand in existence. Once again, there's a REASON why Grindelwald never tried to invade Britain!
- In a bit of dark and twisted way, the ways the Horcrux Locket attempted to resist destruction were both... intriguing and terrifying. First, as soon as Harry laid a single touch on Gryffindor's sword in the lake, the locket was able to detect the thing that was intended to destroy it, so it immediately attempted to choke Harry to death. Then there's its Mind Rape on Ron in an attempt to make him too terrified and hesitant to destroy it.
- In a nut shell, this is one of the Horcruxes (besides Nagini) which is so determined to resist its destruction from its enemies. Riddle's Diary is dangerous and lethal, but it is immediately vulnerable by the Basilisk's Fang's single stab. Gaunt's Ring has a deadly curse to protect it, but the curse is only activated when someone wears it and it's also immediately vulnerable to Gryffindor's sword from Dumbledore. Neither Hufflepuff's Cup nor Ravenclaw's Diadem show any protective curses and they are destroyed pretty fast (while it's unknown in the book as it's not shown, in the film the Cup doesn't even attempt to resist its destruction. The Diadem isn't easily destroyed, but only because Malfoy's gang disturb the heroes before they destroy it).
- Possible fridge awesomeness: Hufflepuff's Cup and Ravenclaw's Diadem show no protective curses. Is it possible that they realize they've turned into Horcruxes and somehow expect someone to destroy them?
- Harry's sacrifice is awesome anyway, but the fact that his sacrifice protects every single person who was currently fighting Voldemort from him being able to kill them is even more awesome. It's his mother's protection charm Up to Eleven.
- Bill, the best-looking Weasley son, is permanently disfigured in The Great Battle. His mother Molly worries that his beautiful fiancee Fleur, whom she has never liked, will now find an excuse to dump him. Instead Fleur gives an indignant speech saying that she is “good-looking enough for two people”. Understandably, Molly’s heart melts.
Movie Part 1
- Unlike in the book, here Hedwig isn't killed by some stray shot — she comes to her master's aid and rams several Death Eaters before getting killed. Sure, she inadvertently clued them about the genuine Potter, but that doesn't diminish the awesomeness.
- During the trailer for the film, Voldemort asks, "Why do you live?", glaring into Harry's face. The response? "Because I have something to live for."
- After having a magic fight with two Death Eaters in the diner, each member of the group splits up and takes care of clean up. Ron kills the lights with the deluminator, one of them begins methodically shutting the blinds, and they discuss what to do with their two incapacitated enemies. Think about this. If you examine their actions, they're doing WET WORK. They've gotten a lot more professional over the last six years.
- And during the fight, all four remaining contestants are still hiding... then the Death Eater gets out of cover. Harry, Ron, and Hermione all cast spells at the exact same time, only fractions off, showcasing how in-tune they are with each other. And when that stunned him enough, Hermione put him down with Petrificus Totalus.
- Dobby in Malfoy Manor:
Bellatrix: You could have killed me!
Dobby: Dobby did not mean to kill — just to... maim, or... seriously injure. (shrugs)
- The above also counts as a Crowning Moment of Funny.
- Dobby telling Bellatrix after he rescues Harry and his friends that he is a "free elf!"
- This line, just after defeating Wormtail.
- Death Eaters stop the Hogwarts Express to search it. They get to the back, and Neville stands up and says to their faces, "Hey, losers. He isn't here." Death Eaters, meet Augusta Longbottom's grandson, Neville, and his balls.
- After Harry (in disguise) witnesses Umbridge falsely accuse a woman on trial of possessing a stolen wand, he subjects her to possibly the most cheer-worthy Oh, Crap! moment of the series.
Harry: You're lying, Dolores... (as his disguise begins to fade) And one mustn't tell lies! Stupefy!
(He then casts the spell, knocking her out)
- What makes the film version even more impressive is that he stuns her... but leaves her at the "mercy" of the Dementors... the same creatures that she sic'd on Harry in Order of the Phoenix.
- A smaller moment: As we read in the book, during the flying ambush, Voldemort gets the drop on Harry, but Harry's own wand reacts for him. In the movie though, we get a much more visually-satisfying version of this: Harry's wand moves for him, reacting to the presence of Voldemort. At first, they're stuck in Priori Incantatem... but as we pan closer, Harry's spell morphs into gold flames, overpowering Lucius's borrowed wand, even splitting it right down the middle. And topping it off is the close-up This Cannot Be! look from Voldemort.
- Daniel Radcliffe deserves a nod here; when the Order goes to move Harry from the Dursleys' house to safety, everyon except Moody and Hagrid get a sip of polyjuice potion to change into Harry lookalikes. Daniel basically has to impersonate all of them, including Fleur and Hermione. He Really Can Act is in full effect here.
Movie Part 2
- This entire movie was a Crowning Moment of Awesome. The perfect way to end the most celebrated series of all time. And we still have Pottermore.
- Harry's entrance to the castle. "It appears you have a security problem, Professor." Cue a good chunk of the remaining Order of the Phoenix walking in.
- Also, a bit earlier in that scene, the way Harry reveals himself to Snape and the Carrows, practically hiding in plain sight, and then the way he proceeds to utterly own Snape by calling him out for his actions.
"How dare you stand where [Dumbledore] stood. Tell them how it happened that night! Tell them, how you looked him in the eye, a man who trusted you, and killed him! Tell them!"
- The fact that he does this while wearing a Hogwarts robe over his plain clothes is also brilliant. First, it's a nice little nod to the books (where the uniform was just a cloak over normal clothes), second, it's a clever way for him to blend in with the other students and finally, it show that even though he had been gone for a year, he's still a part of Hogwarts. Until this point, he hadn't worn the official uniform since the sixth movie, so having him wear a cloak again, even if only for a few moments was so awesome, it's actually kind of disappointing that he ditched it so quickly.
- The entire castle preparing for the Battle of Hogwarts. Starting with Professor McGonagall saying Voldemort's name when Flitwick refers to him as "You-Know-Who":
"And his name is Voldemort, Filius! You might as well use it; he's going to try to kill you either way."
- Molly Weasley and her Mama Bear attack on Bellatrix after she nearly kills Ginny. In the book, it's said that she merely kills her with a curse. In the film, however, she obliterates her. Literally. To be a little more specific, Molly gives Bella the Winnie Sanderson treatment: Taken for Granite immediately followed by Made of Explodium.
- Every single scene that McGonagall is in, especially when she defends Harry against Snape. Note that in this scene, Snape cleverly takes out the Carrows, who are flanking him, by redirecting some of McGonagall's attacks at them — thus staying under cover while striking a blow against Voldermort. Snape deserves a lot of cred for that scene, even if McGonagall stole the show. Notice how neither he nor McGonagall had any injuries walking (*cough* flying) out of that duel. Try to guess who was pulling the strings there. Pay extremely close attention to that scene, and another layer of awesome becomes apparent: Snape never returned fire. He was deflecting McGonagall's spells to the sides, including hitting the Carrows with the deflected spells before he left through the window. Snape puts on the illusion of fighting McGonagall without doing a thing to hurt her, manages to take out two dangerous Death Eaters while maintaining his Double Agent cover, and vacates before anyone important can get hurt. That, dear friends, is what awesome is all about. Also, notice that, even if Snape was thought to be the Death Eather who took down Dumbledore and had oppressed them for a whole year, only when McGonagall enters the fight the students actually take a step back. Yes, her fury scared them more than that of a powerful dark wizard. It's hard to notice, but once you do its sheer awesomeness.
- Neville in this movie is a Badass from beginning to end. Not only did he basically tell an entire battalion of snatchers to suck his nuts, but then he followed it up with collapsing an entire bridge full of them, and living to tell the tale. Neville fully cemented himself in this film as a Supporting Leader and Hero of Another Story.
- Some credit should go to Seamus, as well. After years of accidentally having spells blow up in his face, McGonagall tells him to use his skills and help Neville rig the bridge to blow. Neville may have stood up to the Death Eaters, but Seamus helped make sure it exploded spectacularly.
- Aberforth's incredible Patronus that drives off all the dementors.
- The entire final battle between Harry and Voldemort, which is turned from Voldemort's wand backfiring a spell on him to a couple Beam-O-War matches and some impressive back and forth before Harry defeats the dark lord, takes the wand back, and Voldemort falls to pieces. It gets even better, as this is preceded by Harry grabbing Voldemort and jumping off one of Hogwarts' towers. The two then proceed to apparate all over the castle, and are shown to still be fighting each other in mid-air while doing so.
Harry: Come on, Tom. Let's finish this the way we started it. (grabs Voldemort's shoulders) Together! (jumps and drags Voldemort with him)
- Aside from contributing to Harry's victory by falesly saying he's dead, there's the way Narcissa Malfoy just grabs Draco's hand and calmly walks across the Hogwarts battlements, not bothering to look back, even as her own husband flounders uselessly behind them. It was like she was saying, "Sorry buddy, you brought us in too deep and now I'm getting us out of it. You can come if you want but either way, I don't give a damn." It has to be stressed that, at this point, other Death Eaters were also fleeing in terror, but they had the good sense to apparate out. Narcissa just grabs Draco's hand and walks out, in full view of Voldemort. That's practically giving him the finger. And they get away with it.
- When Harry "comes back from the dead" and at least half of the Death Eaters flee in fear. Look out, it's a seventeen-year-old boy! Well, it makes sense, considering you basically are seeing someone get hit with the Avada Kedevra and come back to life, after he had already survived it once before. And add to the fact that the Dark Lord is the one who did it twice and failed, well...
- Consider the knowledge the Death Eaters have about Harry through knowing of his encounters with Voldemort. Survived the Killing Curse as a baby. Fought off Professor Quirrel and stopped Voldemort. Defeated a Basilisk and survived its poison. Escaped from several attacks by Voldemort. Broke into the Ministry of Magic at the height of Voldemort's power and escaped unharmed. Broke into GRINGOTT'Snote . And now, he's hit with the Killing Curse a second time and SURVIVES. I'd run too if I had to go up against the seemingly-invincible Harry Potter.
- The entire film series accomplishing the seemingly impossible task of adapting the entirety of Harry Potter to film, keeping all the same cast members except for one who died through the whole thing. (And Crabbe, whose actor got busted for drugs. But honestly, does anyone really care?)
- It was genuinely satisfying to see that Ukrainian Ironbelly claw its way out of Gringotts and sit in the fresh air. When you consider that it had been tortured and its wings had basically atrophied by that point, watching it scramble up the rocks to escape and finally take flight is pretty inspiring.
- Before that, there's a scene where the dragon looks longingly at the distant light and immediately starts climbing up to it. Bear in mind, this is a creature that has been trapped in a small room for all its life and is blind. Once it realizes that it's mere seconds away from freedom, it hauls itself up to the light through what appears to be sheer willpower alone.
- Ron asking Harry what he's going to do with the Elder Wand, the most powerful wand in existence, and Harry nonchalantly snaps it in two and throws away the pieces.
- A piece of acting awesome: Helena Bonham Carter as Hermione as Bellatrix. She literally becomes Emma Watson's character, so that at times you actually forget which actress you're seeing.
- The Ron and Hermione movie kiss may not seem awesome until you put it into context. You have a muggleborn and a bloodtraitor... making out in the Chamber of Secrets. There is not a snog in the world able to top that.
- Destroying the diadem deserves special mention. Harry and the others flee out of the Room of Requirement on broomsticks, trying to escape Goyle's wall of Fiendfyre. Once they do, Hermione tosses Harry a Basilisk fang and in one swift motion, Harry plunges it in. Then he gets out of the way so Ron can drop kick the diadem BACK into the Fiendfyre to be destroyed for sure. No Kill Like Overkill indeed!
- Neville's big speech, where he rallies support from his troops right in front of Voldemort. After being the resident Butt Monkey through most of the series, he displays the sort of balls normally used to destroy buildings, and it's supremely awesome.
Neville: [Harry and the others] didn't die in vain. (To Voldemort) But you will. Because you're wrong! Harry's heart did beat for us! For all of us! (Pulls The Sword of Gryffindor from the Sorting Hat) This is not over!
- When Neville regains consciousness after Voldemort blows him back into the Great Hall — look behind him as he sits up, and you'll see a Death Eater, flying through the air, on fire.
- "Lightning has struck! Lightning has struck!" Cue chills of awesome.
- Hermione gives Greyback exactly what he deserves.
- In the last part of the battle, after Harry's resurrection and Voldemort's gleeful descent into complete batshit insanity, Nagini's on the loose in Hogwarts and something hits her on the head — a rock. She slithers over to the staircase to see a bedraggled, injured Hermione standing below her, ready to chuck another rock at the snake. Hermione smiles... Nagini, meet Hermione's balls.
- The part after Snape leaves the castle. The scene plays one of John Williams' old themes for the first two films, the torches in the Great Hall light up, and it gives a feel that things are finally going to get under control and something epic is ahead.
- The film took the book's climax and made it more intense so it would be better-suited for the big picture. The result? Nagini chases Hermione and Ron through the castle, destroys their basilisk fangs, and is about to kill them when Neville comes just in time to destroy her. And Harry's and Voldemort's final confrontation gets turned into an epic chase scene through the school rather than a "The Reason You Suck" Speech like in the book. The book version was awesome in its own way, but it wouldn't suit the big screen very well.
- The cinematography of that particular 10-second sequence surpasses almost anything else in the entire 8-film series. Everything is in slo-mo with Ron and Herminone stumbling away from Nagini, Ron's curse dissipating harmlessly from the snake's protective magics, the two of them shrinking helplessly back against the rubble as Nagini launches herself at them and while she's in actual midair, fangs bared, suddenly Neville is just there, giving a mighty war cry as he swings the Sword of Gryffindor up with both hands and blowing the snake into ash!
- J.K. commented on the McGonagall vs. Snape showdown in the film, telling us how she had to make sure it stayed the same as in the book, saying she didn't like the "marginalization of women when the fighting breaks out".
- PIERTOTUM LOCOMOTOR! Even better than in the book version. After giving that line, she turns to Molly Weasley, grins like a giddy first-year, and says "I've always wanted to use that spell!"
- That scene is accompanied by one of the most chillingly awesome scores of music in film history.
- Probably just as awesome is the fact that, as each statue falls from their plinths, they land seemingly on every downbeat of the BGM.
- "Hogwarts is threatened! Man the boundaries! Protect us! Do your duty to our school!"
- Immediately after this scene, the professors create a dome of protective energy around the school so powerful that it take Voldemort a few tries to take it down. Even so, the attempt cracks the Elder Wand and leaves him absolutely exhausted
- Kingsley gets a brief and quick one: During the battle of Hogwarts, he actually kills a Death Eater mid-Apparation. As in, he turns to a window, somehow realizes that a Death Eater is going to Apparate through it in about a second, and throws a curse killing the guy before his feet ever touch the ground. Guess who ends up in charge of Wizarding Britain when the dust settles?
- Kingsley is also able to hold off the entire army of charging Death Eaters, led by Voldemort himself, with his shield charms to cover Hogwarts' retreat.
- It's a subtle one, and could easily be chalked to his Took a Level in Badass, but directly after Harry stabs Horcrux!Ravenclaw's diadem with a basilisk fang - in the middle of running - Ron kicks it back into the Room of Requirement, which is still being devoured by Fiendfyre. This one move not only cements his protectiveness for his friends (having experience with the dying aftermath), but he's making DAMN SURE the thing dies..
- The Death Eaters charging Hogwarts once the shield has been taken down. It's scary, but freaking awesome to see hundreds of Death Eaters charging the castle, screaming loud war cries and a swarm Apparating overhead. Several of Gologomath's giants are also among the charging horde.
- The statues fighting off the giants through sheer strength in numbers, and even deflecting a few Death Eaters' Killing Curses back at them.