Narrowly escaping back to the forest, Harry and Hermione are soon reunited with Ron, who turns up just in time to save Harry from a cold, watery grave. "It's really Ron's big moment," Grint says. "He steps up and becomes the hero by believing what's in his heart and not what's in front of his eyes."
Turning their attention back to the hunt for the Horcruxes, there are new clues to piece together, specifically about the peculiar symbol that keeps cropping up--the circle within the triangle with a line through the center. It is Harry who remembers the first time they ever saw it: on a pendant worn by Xenophilius Lovegood.
The three have been focused on finding and destroying the Horcruxes, but suddenly a new mystery presents itself. They don't know if the symbol they've been seeing is somehow connected to their search, but it does appear to be significant, so Harry, Hermione and Ron set out for the Lovegood house.
Stuart Craig says that the home was patterned after Rowling's description in the book, noting, "Jo specified that the house is a black tower, so I wanted to be true to that. We gave it a deliberate taper and then made it lean, and the interior is as skewed as the exterior."
Dominating the main floor of the house is an old-fashioned printing press, with belts of paper running the length of the ceiling. Since it is also the home of Luna Lovegood, her artwork is proudly displayed on every wall. Evanna Lynch was also asked to lend her inspiration to the décor. McMillan says, "Evanna has a wonderful eye and came up with some great ideas. The end result is wonderfully eclectic, but homey."
When Harry asks Xenophilius about the symbol he wears, it turns out they had the answer with them all along. It is the sign of the Deathly Hallows from an old fable in The Tales of Beetle the Bard, the book left to Hermione by Dumbledore.
As she reads the story aloud, the symbol's meaning is revealed: the triangle is the Invisibility Cloak, to shield the wearer from Death; the circle represents the Resurrection Stone, to recall loved ones from Death; and the straight line denotes the Elder Wand, one more powerful than any other wand in existence. Two of the Deathly Hallows--the Invisibility Cloak and the Resurrection Stone--seem to have some basis in fact. So if the fable is true and the Elder Wand does exist, then Voldemort will stop at nothing to obtain it. And if he does, it might render the search for the Horcruxes meaningless.
Just as the significance of the story becomes clear, so does the danger they're in. Harry, Ron and Hermione must run for their lives, with the Snatchers, led by Scabior (Nick Moran), in close pursuit. The pulse-pounding foot chase was shot in the Swinley Forest in Berkshire, where both David Yates and Greg Powell admit they initially underestimated the athletic abilities of their young cast. The director explains, "I figured I'd have to do one take just to let them get a feel for the rough terrain before telling them they'd have to run faster. Then I called 'Action,' and, whoosh, they were gone!"
Powell echoes, "To be honest, I had told the stuntmen they would have to slow down because they would outpace the actors, but that went completely out the window on the first shot, because the three of them took off like gazelles and left my guys standing in the dust."
Filming the scene also generated some healthy competition between Daniel, Emma and Rupert, who regarded it as more of a race than a chase. "All those years of training with the stunt team finally paid off. There was no question in my mind that I could beat them...not that I'm competitive or anything," Radcliffe deadpans.
"It got quite intense," Grint adds, "especially since we were having to dodge between trees and jump over logs. It was a lot of fun though."
Watson confirms, "It was pretty funny, especially when David had to take us aside and say, 'I just want to remind you that this scene is not about which one of you can run the fastest.' But I definitely gave the boys a run for their money," she smiles.
In the instant the Snatchers are about to overtake them, Hermione flattens Harry with a Stinging Jinx to hide his identity behind extremely swollen features. Special make-up effects designer Nick Dudman and his team used a silicone material to distend Radcliffe's face. "It was tricky," Dudman says "because the only thing on Dan's face that's actually him is one eye. Every detail had to be perfect, down to his eyebrows and stubble, which had to be inserted into the make-up, one hair at a time. My people, Steve Murphy and Paula Eden, did a fantastic job. It took three hours to apply, but Dan was a trouper."
The one feature the Stinging Jinx cannot mask is Harry's lightning scar, which, while distorted, is still barely visible. Believing they may have caught the ultimate prize, the Snatchers deliver their quarry to Malfoy Manor.
The design for the outside of the house was inspired by Hardwick Hall, a Tudor-era mansion that Craig has long admired. He elaborates, "It has these enormous windows, which, especially at night, have a mysterious, slightly threatening, and magical quality to them--huge areas of glass with seemingly nothing but darkness behind them. So the exterior was terrific, and then we invented an interior to match."
At the manor, Bellatrix Lestrange and the Malfoys are waiting. Now the only thing standing between Harry and certain death is his Hogwarts nemesis, Draco, who is faced with a life-altering choice between identifying his former classmate and thereby restoring his family's standing with the Dark Lord, or restoring his own soul.
Radcliffe observes, "What's great about the story is the complexity of good versus evil. It isn't always a clear split between the characters. Even Harry is obviously connected to Voldemort, so there are people we have always seen as evil who have good in them and good people who are seriously flawed."
It turns out that Harry, Hermione and Ron are not the only ones imprisoned at Malfoy Manor. The Death Eaters are also holding Luna Lovegood, the goblin Griphook (Warwick Davis), and the wand maker, Ollivander. A possible rescue comes from an unlikely source...but only at a great sacrifice.
The last house seen in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1" stands in stark contrast to the grandeur of Malfoy Manor: a cottage that appears to be made entirely out of shells. Prefabricated in workshops at Leavesden, the house was then constructed on a beach in Pembrokeshire, Wales. Craig recalls, "We chose that beach because it had great sand dunes and also because David wanted white water and the sound of crashing waves. But those waves came at a price because the beach had incredibly high winds. The entire structure had to be heavily fortified and weighted down with giant water bottles that were several tons each just to keep the whole thing stabilized and stop it from blowing over."
David Heyman remarks, "Being out on location for this film provided a sense of scale and verisimilitude, especially since the story takes us away from the familiar setting of Hogwarts and puts us on the road with Harry, Ron and Hermione."
Composer Alexandre Desplat, who created his first Harry Potter score for "The Deathly Hallows - Part 1," agrees. "Our heroes are constantly in motion, so I wanted the music to follow the thread of their journey, and find just the right balance between the action, suspense and emotion."
"Alexandre's music expresses so many different colors and emotions," says Heyman. "His score has scale and intimacy, darkness and light."
"My goal was to give the film an original musical imprint," Desplat continues. "At the same time, I wanted to carry on the rich musical tradition of the composers who have scored the previous Harry Potter films in keeping with the series' great heritage."
David Barron reflects, "That is what makes these films so incredible to work on--that they have a rock solid foundation, which began with Jo's books. The most important thing to us was to make a film fitting the material she created."
"It all begins and ends with Jo; we wouldn't be here without her," Heyman states. "I feel privileged to have worked on Harry Potter for more than a decade. It has been inspiring, challenging and an awful lot of fun."
Yates says, "I'm particularly thrilled and proud that I'm the director who gets to bring the climax of her great story to the audience. That's what I'm looking forward to."
To be continued...
See Also: Sneak Previews For Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows - Part 1, Jonah Hex, A Nightmare On Elm Street, The Losers & The Book Of Eli - Release Dates! / Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince (2009)(Warner Bros) / Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix (2007)(Warner Bros) / Hogwarts Yearbook - Actor Profile - Daniel Radcliffe / Hogwarts Yearbook - Actress Profile - Emma Watson / Hogwarts Yearbook - Actor Profile - Rupert Grint / Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince - Young Love Spawning New Problems At Hogwarts / Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince - Quidditch As You Have Never Seen It Before / Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince - Lord Voldemort's Chosen One / Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince - Looking Backward To Move Forward / The New Harry Potter Makes Its North American Premiere July 9th / The Night Harry Potter Made London Stand Still / Potter Star Radcliffe Shows A Different Side In Details Magazine Interview / Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Release Pushed Back Until The Summer Of 2009 /Sex And Drugs In The New Harry Potter Movie!?