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Why Are All The "Harry Potter" Endings So Weird?

What is this freeze frame!?

Everyone loves the Harry Potter movies, but can I be honest? Now that I am older, can I say the closing scenes of these films are a little...strange? Weird? Odd?

Warner Bros. Pictures

I know, blasphemous, right? Let's go through this film by film:

Let's start with The Sorcerer's Stone, where Hagrid's bad influence gives Harry one more piece of advice: that his cousin Dudley doesn't need to know magic is illegal for students outside of the Wizarding World.

Hagrid waves
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He says Harry should tell Dudley that he could have a nice set of ears for his tail. You know, the pig tail Hagrid cursed upon him after breaking into their place? Yikes. I mean, he's only joking, right? Right?

I mean, look at this face!

Hagrid wide-eyed
Warner Bros. Pictures

This is one of the last "laughs" of the film before he waves goodbye to Harry, who has to go back to his miserable life under a staircase. It's not the happiest of endings, but honestly, the most cut-and-dry of the series.

It's still just a weird note to end on after a cute hug between the two characters and then a reminder that Hagrid basically broke into the Dursley's little-light-house-home...thing and took him away. Yet, Harry needs his guardians signature to go to Hogsmeade? Make it make sense! Am I rambling? Moving on!

The most heartfelt ending of the bunch, the Chamber of Secrets, ends with a Hagrid send-off that leads to a standing ovation and kids gathering around to shake Hagrid's hand.

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I'm fine with the clapping, but surrounding the poor guy that was just released from Azkaban was a little much. They were one step away from lifting him and carrying him around Rudy-style.

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Not a bad ending, just a little silly visually speaking.  

Now, onto what I think is the weirdest ending. In the Prisoner of Azkaban, the film ends with Harry getting a Firebolt as a present from Sirius Black. He proceeds to test fly it and zip into the camera frame for a freeze-frame shot appropriate for an "Ocean Man" song closeout.

Harry Potter freeze frame
Warner Bros. Pictures

Seriously, this is the final shot of the movie:

Warner Bros. Pictures

How about this...this might be the weirdest ending to any mainstream movie...ever. It's not that it isn't fun. The whole tone of the film was dark but had plenty of fun moments in it. It just felt completely detached from everything else.

The Goblet of Fire ending also has a weird tone to it. It's tough to end a film that deals with a major death for the first time, but everything about this one feels off. Remember these extras in the background:

Harry Potter talking to Hermione while a group of students stands behind them
Warner Bros. Pictures

Extras are waving goodbye to the other, visiting schools, while Hermione delivers the line "everything is going to change now, isn't it?" in the weirdest way possible. Still thinking about getting Krum's digits, I guess.

Oh, and remember those extras? They just vanished so our heroes can get their big, final shot. Just look at the kids to the right of them. No one can see you waving or clapping, kids!

Warner Bros. Pictures

They're on the inside of the school grounds and are basically waving and clapping for a wall.

Kids waving inside Hogwarts school grounds
Warner Bros. Pictures

That's why all those extras were outside in the first place! I get there are openings in front of them, but you wouldn't wave six feet away from your own window inside your home. No one can see you, kids. Just walk closer to the opening in front of you, or go out and join everyone outside!

In the Order of the Phoenix, everyone Harry cares about gathers into one shot while he hammers home the moral of the story. It's a kids movie, so nothing wrong with this part of the ending...

Harry and his friends walk in a group
Warner Bros. Pictures

... BUT this may sound petty. For some reason, this segment turns into a final, 12-second-long shot of Hogwarts before fading to black.

Warner Bros. Pictures

Are kids walking toward the school? The whole ending is a little weird and almost like they showed the school just because other movies did. Wouldn't it have been more powerful to show all the kids together as a group if that is what the point of the ending was? Symbolic of the kids that attend the school? I guess.

I liked Harry's interaction with Luna in the scene before this one better as an ending, but we need our heroes shot.  

The close-out for the Half-Blood Prince was one of the oddest bits of this whole list. Atop the same clocktower where Dumbledore had been yeeted off, Harry and Hermione discuss Horcruxes while Ron...is apparently contagious?

Warner Bros. Pictures

They have Ron, during the penultimate year for the trio, sit 10 yards away from the other two and give Harry a single look during the whole scene while they talk exposition. Maybe it plays into the next film when he bails on them, but the scene itself is still very weird. He then joins them for a final trio shot (to end a film again) after saying nothing.

To make things worse, once the exposition is over, Ron just kind of waddles over to join them for the stereotypical final trio shot.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione look out at the water
Warner Bros. Pictures

The Deathly Hallows Part I ending might be the most effective of the bunch — and it's the perfect cliffhanger for Part II. Voldemort smiles over the dead body of Dumbledore while stealing the Elder Wand. Great Stuff.

Voldemort smiles down at a tomb
Warner Bros. Pictures

But...where's the but?

BUT it was filmed in the weirdest way possible. Why all the quick cuts, the weird music that almost doesn't feel like Harry Potter music, and an unimaginative "sky beam" lightning blast to close.

Voldemort shoots a spell into the sky
Warner Bros. Pictures

Imagine how awesome and less generic if he shot a "lightning-style" version of the death eater mark? Everyone was doing the sky-beam shot in the 2000s.

What more needs to be said about the finale to the series that hasn't already been said? Years later, all the kids are older and are sending their kids off to Hogwarts. I don't think it is a terrible ending, but it felt disconnected from the story...then again, all flash-forwards in film usually do.

Harry and company, older, watching the Hogwarts Express leave
Warner Bros. Pictures

Also, who puts all three initials on their luggage? They really wanted to hammer home that "Severus" middle name.

A child with ASP on his luggage
Warner Bros. Pictures
  1. Which "Harry Potter" ending is the weirdest?

    Which "Harry Potter" ending is the weirdest?

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Which "Harry Potter" ending is the weirdest?
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    The Sorcerer's Stone
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    The Chamber of Secrets
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    The Prisoner of Azkaban
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    The Goblet of Fire
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    The Order of the Phoenix
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    The Half-Blood Prince
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    The Deathly Hallows Part 1
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    The Deathly Hallows Part 2
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    They're all perfect. You're overreacting.

Am I overreacting? These are movies meant for kids, so the obvious answer is: yes. Comment below!