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The Ending Of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1 Explained

Though it's technically the first half of the conclusion to the "Harry Potter" series, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1" doesn't have quite the grandiose finale one might expect. Exciting, intense events transpire for Harry Potter and his friends in this film, yet none of them really put a bow on anything. The 2010 movie feels more like connective tissue than anything else.

This makes sense, really — after all, it is just the first part of a two-part story. Still, the first halves of similarly two-part finales don't always end on such ambiguous notes as "Deathly Hallows Part 1" does. Take a look at the end of "Avengers: Infinity War" for proof: Its finale feels just as conclusive as its second half's. In contrast, the bulk of "Deathly Hallows Part 1" sets up what fans will see later on, while its ending remains loose and downbeat. In this regard, the film succeeds beautifully — and uniquely.

Deathly Hallows Part 1 has a very dark ending

It's often said that in a traditional three-act story, the midpoint is the most dire time for the protagonists. If you look at "Deathly Hallows Part 1" as a piece of the full "Deathly Hallows" story (which, obviously, it is), then this idea rings true. By the end of "Deathly Hallows Part 1," both the Ministry of Magic and Hogwarts have been almost completely taken over by Voldemort and his following. On top of that, Harry, Ron, and Hermoine have only just escaped certain death at the hands of Bellatrix Lestrange — and barely escaped at that. In the process, Harry loses one of his oldest friends in Dobby the House Elf. The group is also relatively stranded and without much of a clear way forward.

Furthermore, while Harry and crew have been running around trying to bust horcruxes, Voldemort has steadily been gaining strength. A short scene showing the Dark Lord robbing Dumbledore's grave reveals that he is now in possession of the Elder Wand, an artifact which may well make him unstoppable in face-to-face combat.

But there's still hope for our heroes

Harry's situation does have a strong silver lining, at least. After rescuing the wandmaker Ollivander and the Goblin banker Griphook from Bellatrix's clutches — as well as retrieving the Sword of Gryffindor — the group has a solid lead in destroying Voldemort's remaining horcruxes. One of them happens to be locked in the vaults of Gringotts Bank. Even when it seems like they're on their own, our heroes still have a chance of bouncing back.

At the same time, Harry also has allies working towards his benefit behind the scenes. His friends at Hogwarts and in the Order of the Phoenix still exist. This means that while the situation seems as desperate as it can get from Harry's perspective, he and his friends aren't actually the only ones resisting Voldemort. Unbeknownst to them, many things are actually lining up in their favor.

Deathly Hallows Part 1 is a prelude to something greater

Remember, "Deathly Hallows Part 1" isn't really its own story. If you look at it individually, then it seems more like a pointless tragedy than anything else. Harry and friends are stranded with very few hopes at the end of the film, and Voldemort has just become the next best thing to invincible. But, knowing that there's something else to come clues you into the strings that "Deathly Hallows Part 1" purposefully leaves dangling.

Everything is gearing up for a final conflict that fans have been waiting to see at the end of "Deathly Hallows Part 1." Of course its own conclusion isn't going to feel as grand or, well, conclusive as the next film in the lineup. What it is doing is teasing the grand finale, as it should. And considering how spectacular the events of "Deathly Hallows Part 2" are, "Part 1" does a fairly good job.