Jason Isaacs originally considered not returning for this film, fearing that his character's arrest and imprisonment at the end of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007) would mean very little, if any, screen time in the finale. Upon meeting J.K. Rowling, he begged to be let out of prison. She told him "You're out. Chapter one." This immediately convinced him to sign on for the film.
In the opening of the film, when Hermione is called down to tea, we can hear her parents talking about Australia along with an announcer, presumably on the television, taking about a country-side. This is a reference to the book, in which Hermione says she not only wiped herself from her parents memories, but gave them new identities and made them think that they'd love nothing more than to move to Australia, which we presume that they do.
According to David Heyman, the work print of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" was at 5.5 hours long, and the shooting script was close to 500 pages, which justified the decision to split the movie into two.
As in her previous films, Evanna Lynch designed a lot for her Luna Lovegood character, including what she wore, jewelry and things for the Lovegood's home. She even came up with their dance moves for the wedding scene, which she based on the concept of 'wafting wrackspurts away' (which is how it's said to have looked to Harry in the novel).
David Holmes, 25, Daniel Radcliffe's stunt-double, was seriously injured on the set at Leavesden Studios, near Watford, Hertfordshire. He was performing an aerial sequence when he fell to the ground following an explosion, which was part of the stunt, and sustained a serious back injury.
Warwick Davis worked a third job; aside from the two characters he plays in the franchise, Davis runs a company called Willow (1988) Personnel Management. This company helps little people to find work on film, and found the on-set stand-ins for Dobby and Kreacher.
Stanislav Ianevski did appear in his role as Viktor Krum for the wedding scene, but his scenes were cut from the final film (although promo pictures of him dancing with Emma Watson exist, as well as behind-the-scenes footage).
Harry Melling (Dudley Dursley) had lost so much weight during his one-year hiatus from the Harry Potter films, that he had to wear special face prosthetics in this film. It took the make-up department nearly six months to create the prosthetics that would look realistic enough, when viewed close up, but in the end, nearly all of his scenes ended up on the cutting room floor.
John Williams, who composed the scores to the first three films, expressed his interest in returning to score Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, but was unable to do so, due to a scheduling conflict.
Scabior's violent twist in the air when Bellatrix uses her whip on him was not in the original script. Nick Moran improvised it on the set to avoid being upstaged by Helena Bonham Carter. The filmmakers liked that touch and decided to use it. Moran was delighted, until he realized that, for it to work, that stunt would have to be repeated for several takes.
The scenes featuring Dobby and Kreacher were filmed twice. First they were played physically on set by their respective voice actors, so the other actors and animators had a guideline to work with. Then the same scene was shot without the voice actors, so the visual effects team could put in their CGI characters, in post-production.
At first, this was meant to be only one film, but due to the size of the book, and the decision that nothing could be left out, to squeeze into one movie, the producers decided to split it into this film and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011).
Nick Moran was interested in knowing how his character would appear in costume. He saw earlier renderings and was unsatisfied with some of it. He requested several items to be added, including knee-high boots that had to be laced up 'all the way and were uncomfortable while running. He had no clue he would have to be running in the forest after Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson from a good amount of takes.
Frances de la Tour reprises the role of Madame Olympe Maxime (from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)) in this film, even though the character does not appear in the book. She may be a substitute for Viktor Krum (also from the Goblet story), who appeared prominently in the same scene in the book.
The character Fenrir Greyback (Dave Legeno) is a reference to Fenris the Wolf in the Nordic mythology. In that mythology, Fenrir bit the arm of Tyr and was involved in Odin's death, triggering Ragnarok. The movie shares some similarities; in the Seven Harry's scene, Bill Weasley (Domhnall Gleeson) remarks how he got his face scarred by Fenrir in a skirmish, just as how Tyr's arm got bitten (note: this was originally mentioned at the end of Half-Blood Prince novel); A small flashback of Dumbledore's murder can be seen at the beginning - in the previous movie, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), Fenrir was among the Death Eaters involved, similar to Odin's death.
Bruno Delbonnel declined to return for the final two films, saying that "I think I was scared of repeating myself." Subsequently, the filmmakers hired fellow French-Portuguese cinematographer Eduardo Serra.
Features the only appearance of Mundungus Fletcher (Andy Linden) in the film franchise. In the books, Fletcher has appeared in every installment since Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and he is briefly mentioned in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Harry Potter and the Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone, but he was always written out of the respective movie adaptations.
Cast members John Hurt and Bill Nighy have both played prominent roles in adaptations of another well-known fantasy series, The Lord of the Rings. Hurt was the voice of Aragorn in Ralph Bakshi's 1978 film The Lord of the Rings (1978). Nighy was the voice of Sam Gamgee in the BBC Radio broadcast.
Chris Columbus, the director of the first two Harry Potter films, was amazed how beautifully Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint matured over the series, compared to some child actors, who start out adorable, and then either lose that, or become bad actors as they grow older.
Caio Cesar, a prominent Brazilian voice actor, who dubbed Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, and in other films, was also a military cop, and died at the age of 27 in 2015, after being shot in his neck, at the Complexo do Alemão slums, in Rio de Janeiro.
Near the start of the film Hermione is in her bedroom reading the Daily Prophet. This mirrors the book version where Harry is in his room at Privet Drive reading the Prophet about the past of Dumbledore.
In Carry on Camping (1969), the character Harriet Potter refers to herself, in a later scene, as Harry Potter. Later, J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter goes camping in this film. It's not been confirmed if J.K. Rowling is a fan of the "Carry On" films, but it's a huge coincidence regardless.
Young Sherlock Holmes (1985) foreshadows the Harry Potter series; the teenage Watson resembles Harry Potter; school experiments; Holmes has a rivalry with another student Dudley, similar to Harry's with Draco Malfoy; Dudley and Malfoy both come from rich parents; cavernous libraries; sweets; train stations; the Holmes's novelization uses the word potty/Potter; students being injured and needing to see the school nurse; teachers and students eating in the Great Hall; Holmes and Watson solving mysteries while at school and Harry, Ron and Hermione doing the same at Hogwarts; staircases; Harry/Holmes and Watson creeping through a school library at night; both Watson and Hagrid say "sorry about that"; the end of school term; the threat of expulsion; no family for Harry to return to, even at Christmas; Harry has a scar on his forehead while Holmes has a scar on his cheek; seemingly innocent teaching staff exposed as the opposite; head boys, etc.
Freddie (Cormac McLaggen Stromas's line, "My father WILL hear about this!" (on the "Hogwarts Express", in the 7th "Harry Potter" movie is reminiscent of Tom (Draco Malfoy) Felton's statements in the 1st, 3rd and 4th movies in the series (in the "Dark Forest"/Detention scene, the "Care of Magical Creatures" lesson scene, and near the end of the "ferret" scene, respectively).
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
Having Bellatrix carve "mudblood" into Hermione's arm, during the torture scene, was not in the original script, but it was an idea that both Emma Watson and Helena Bonham Carter came up with together, on the spur of the moment, during filming.
Filming the torture scene, where Bellatrix is torturing Hermione, at the Malfoy's Manor, at the climax, proved to be very intense for the actresses involved (most of the scene was cut to avoid an R rating in the U.S. and a 15 rating in the UK). It was so intense and brutal, that Helena Bonham Carter approached Emma Watson right afterward, to make sure they were still on good terms.
Both parts of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows were filmed at the same time, and the final scene filmed for the entire franchise, was the scene in Part 1, where Harry, Ron, and Hermione escape from the Ministry of Magic, being pursued by Yaxley. The shoot was followed by a celebratory barbecue, with music from a Mariachi band, and ice cream supplied by Rupert Grint, from the ice cream truck he purchased with his earnings from the films.
The revelation that R.A.B. was Sirius Black's brother Regulus, was correctly guessed by book readers, soon after Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was published, and a good two years before Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Of all the surnames that J.K. Rowling came up with for the series, Black is the only one that readily translates into other languages. In foreign language editions of the book, in which this surname is translated, RAB was similarly altered, such that the B always matched the first letter of the word for black. For example, Dutch editions translated Sirius Black as Sirius Zwarts, and R.A.B. to R.A.Z. Finnish editions used Sirius Musta and R.A.M.
It had been reported that the film would contain a few scenes of Daniel Radcliffe in the nude, leading to speculation among fans that the film would earn a more strict rating. This turned out not to be the case. Although the scene, in which visions of Harry and Hermione kissing appear to try to deter Ron, give the illusion that Radcliffe and Emma Watson are both nude. In reality, both actors wore jeans, and Watson was provided with a strapless bra, so she would not have to be completely topless. David Yates said that complete nudity was not necessary, as the characters would be partially obscured by fog.
When Harry, Ron, and Hermione use Polyjuice potion to transform into ministry workers, while searching for Slytherins locket (which was in the possession of Dolores Umbridge), Hermione transforms into a woman named Mafalda Hopkirk. Mafalda Hopkirk is the witch, who sent Harry the letter informing him of his expulsion from Hogwarts, after he used the Patronus Charm in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007).
While it is clearly implied that Harry is descended from Ignotus (Ignatius) Peverell, the third and youngest of the three brothers referred in the Hallows story in the Tales of Beedle the Bard, the explanation of how Harry comes into possession of the Invisibility Cloak was not elaborated further when the book and film were released. In September 2015, J.K. Rowling shed some details of the matter above: - One of Harry's ancestors was an eccentric wizard by the name of Linfred of Stinchcombe, nicknamed "The Potterer" hence the surname Potter, corrupt in time, who is known of creating various remedies from plants and herbs including the Skelegro-potion seen in the second film. Linfred's eldest son, Hardwin, married a beautiful witch from Godric's Hollow, Iolanthe (Yolanda) Peverell, Ignotus' granddaughter. Since there were no male heirs in her generation, she, being the eldest, inherited the cloak. When she married Hardwin, her only wish and stipulation was how the cloak and heirloom came into her family's possession remains a secret, a fact that Hardwin agreed and respected. From that on until now, the cloak is passed down to the eldest of each new generation until it passed to his father James prior to Harry.
The unnamed characters in the Deathly Hallows story each have a parallel character in the film. The three brothers each receive a gift from Death. Voldemort, like the first brother, seeks the wand that will win any duel. Voldemort ultimately ends up seeking the same Elder Wand spoken of in the story. Another brother wants the Resurrection Stone to bring back to life a woman he loved. Snape loved Lily Potter, and seeks through the series to redeem himself for having caused her death. The third brother seeks only to hide from death with the Invisibility Cloak, which he ultimately gives up to accept his own mortality, and he and Death meet as old friends. Harry inherits an invisibility cloak from his father, but ultimately gives himself up to be killed voluntarily. At the crossroads between life and death, Harry meets Dumbledore, who is certainly an old friend. Dumbledore himself, like Death, has at one point been in possession of all three hallows. Xenophilius Lovegood speculates that the three brothers in the story were actually, or at least based on, the three Peverell brothers. In the book, both Harry and Voldemort are revealed to be descended from two of the brothers. Harry's Invisibility Cloak is in fact the very one spoken of in the tale, and the Resurrection Stone is set inside a ring which is a family heirloom, which Voldemort stole from his uncle Morfin after killing his father, grandmother and grandfather.
This film features the only on-screen appearance of Professor Charity Burbage (Carolyn Pickles). She is mentioned briefly in the book Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, when Hermione takes her class, and says she is "fascinated with the idea of learning about muggles from a witch." Nowhere else in the film franchise was she seen, or mentioned, until now, when she is murdered by Lord Voldemort in the opening scene.