Lit ► Why Molly Weasley Holds the Best Scene in Harry Potter



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Apr 7, 2013
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As all teenagers that grew up when the Harry Potter books were coming out, I was equally enamored with the movies that accompanied each installment. While now I may look upon them partly in disdain, the initial viewings of these films truly brought to life the spirit, if not the events, of this treasured book series.

One issue that I have taken upon the last of these films over time was something I first developed during my re-reading of the seventh book, of which there are many changes made in the movie. However, we are not here to discuss the fate of the elder wand, we are not here to nitpick little scenes, and we are not here to discuss any part of either of the two films other than a crucial part of the finale: the way that Voldemort was defeated and the reason why it happened.

What's so Special about Molly Weasley?

I think that everyone who has an affection for these books has taken a liking to Molly Weasley, a mother of 6 boys and a girl with a fiery temper and a fierce love for her children. Notable of these children is another boy, one that isn't her own but someone that she treats as her own son: Harry Potter. From the first book it is quite clear that Mrs. Weasley has an unusual relationship to Harry, an impulse to protect him over others even when it seems irrational. However, this is not only shown in her son; we see many instances of this motherly love throughout the books, from her immediate disdain for Fleur in regards to Bill's well-being to her upset packages begging Percy to come home to her grieving over Fred's body at the battle of Hogwarts.

While Molly was shown to be an excellent witch, from her intense housekeeping magic she uses at all times to her mending of George's wounds after the battle of the 7 Harry Potter's, she had never shown her capabilities until she had agreed to be part of Dumbledore's army and had shown herself to be a skilled magician in her own right. The place where she shows this the most is at the Battle of Hogwarts, where she reacts to Bellatrix's attempts to take her daughter's life with a fierce determination to protect the ones she loves.

The Battle of Hogwarts

During the battle, we see Molly grieving over the dead body of Fred, one of her own twin sons, as she realizes the horror of losing part of her family. We know that this is important to her, as it is revealed through her Boggart that her greatest fear is finding her family dead, of which Harry is included in the picture. Worst yet, Percy had only recently made up with his mother in the story, and he literally had just seen Fred again for the first time before Fred was killed in an explosion. Seeing the horror of one of her own sons dead in battle not only mirrors her fears from earlier with Ginny's involvement, but also puts her in a state of panic that this might happen to her again here. This might also be why she stays so close to her family during the battle; if you notice carefully, the Weasley's are an awfully tightly knit unit during the battle, as she does not want a single one of them to be off doing their own thing if something like that happens, even going as far as telling Ginny that she's not allowed to be there and having to be promised that Ginny would be kept in the Room of Requirement, safe from harm.

When she sees what I remember to be a death curse being narrowly dodged by her daughter (correct me if the spell is wrong), Mrs. Weasley goes into a sense of rage at the prospect of someone hurting her daughter, someone who wasn't supposed to be there. Despite the fact that Ginny wasn't supposed to be fighting, this is definitely not her concern when this happens; rather, she sees Bellatrix as an immediate threat and directly opposes her.

Before we talk about the scene going forward, the prospect of her challenging Bellatrix is preposterous to the common observer. The reason why Bellatrix was not much opposed during the battle was because she was such a powerful witch, so powerful that even Dumbledore feared her, if not for her brutality. Keep in mind that Dumbledore thought that Voldemort was a prissy b*tch, so he wouldn't say that he was afraid of Bellatrix for nothing.

At first, the movie handles this conflict reasonably well. Mrs. Weasley casts a single nonverbal spell, almost by accident, and Bellatrix laughs, launching several spells in her direction. However, what Mrs. Weasley does next is great; it should be noted that nonverbal spells are extremely hard to produce in this universe, and that one must have complete concentration to pull one off. The idea of her family being hurt was a unifying factor in Mrs. Weasley's spellcasting, which is why she was able to pull off such powerful and dangerous spells against Bellatrix. Then, of course, she delivers the final blow and eradicates Bellatrix from existence.

Now, this is where the movie ended, and that's where it disappointed me so much. In the book, the concept of Molly taking on Voldemort's right hand woman was explored much more, and brought me to tears with the meaning it held to the story. So, without further ado, take it away, the original story!

The Housewife versus The Dark Lord

So, when Molly kills Bellatrix, Voldemort immediately senses this. Voldemort, in his blind rage, shoots powerful spells at Molly, which are only shielded by Harry himself. Now, this is when it gets interesting. This is where we learn of Harry's sacrifice for Hogwarts, as he rips off his invisibility cloak he's been using to shield himself and confronts Voldemort once and for all, letting him know every single detail of Dumbledore and Snape's plan to sabotage Voldemort from the inside.

And this is why this scene is so much more powerful than any other scene from the books or movies, in my opinion. Molly is a person who had seven children, yet found unexpected joy in a boy who wasn't even hers that she considered her son as much as anyone else. She had practically raised Harry since she first met him at King's Cross Station, and seeing him grow into her family is shown by her fear of his death as much as anyone else's. Through killing Bellatrix and protecting her only daughter, whom would later marry Harry, she had enraged the most powerful dark wizard in history, and caused his wrath. Harry knew that he had to be shielded when many people fell in the battle. He knew that his protection would lead to eventual victory, yet when he saw Molly being threatened by Voldemort he had snapped and decided to end the battle there.

The battle that followed was a Sherlock Holmes-esque deconstruction of Voldemort's plan. Someone once said brilliantly that the Harry Potter movies were mystery novels dressed up as fantasy novels, and this is shown perfectly here. More than that, though, the books here mirror themselves in a peculiar way, almost in a way defying what Harry previously conceived of the ideas of family and replacing it with the family he had established himself.

In the first movie, when Harry looks into the mirror of Erised, he sees his heart's deepest desire: to have a family again. Dumbledore warned him here that the mirror will drive him to madness, towards an impossible goal, and that it was best to abandon the mirror. While Harry initially longed for his parents, it appeared that in the fourth story he had mostly let go, with the final story giving us some insight into his family and what they want for him. On top of this, Harry's greatest fear through the Boggart has always been represented through the sound of the dementor, where he would hear his mother's dying moments vividly.

Looking into how this "mirrors" Mrs. Weasley, we know through her desires that her greatest asset is her family, and she lives through the love and support of all of her children. Her greatest fear, as discussed earlier, is the death of her family, and this is where we can begin to see why this scene is so important.

Harry confronting Voldemort here isn't only important because Mrs. Weasley was threatened by him, but because she is essentially his mother, as proven time and time again. Harry's greatest fear, up until his one and only use of the resurrection stone, was his loneliness, independence, and the knowledge knowing that his parents died for him, and he wanted more than anything to have a real family. I think it was here where Harry made the choice as to what Mrs. Weasley meant to him; she was a cherished family member, his mother, and a figure that had been there for him ever since they first met, and Voldemort's threat of death against this woman - the woman to whom he is the most graceful - was the straw that broke the camel's back.

The Aftermath - Why does no one talk about this?

I hardly hear anyone ever talk about this scene, and it absolutely baffles me. This scene is nearly perfect storytelling in my eyes, and seeing the once confident Mrs. Weasley taking on the dangerous Bellatrix LeStrange to immediately being on the brink of death by Voldemort itself was literary whiplash, to say the least.

The way he went out in the book was nothing like when he went out here; he left without hardly a whiff of what Snape and Dumbledore had known about him, had less of a connection to Harry in the final battle, and had just laser-whipped against Harry until he was defeated unlike the tense, interrogative way that he went out in the books. It was less calculated, it was less unique, and it took away one of the best interactions I have ever seen in the series; Harry making sure that the woman he considers his mother isn't taken by Voldemort this time, almost in a sense undoing his own tragic past.


Let me know what you think of my analysis of the final battle down below! Do you see the same thing in the books? Has this scene ever stood out to you before? Whatever it is, comment below and let me know ^w^