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27. The Lightning Struck Tower


Another script leak from IMDB shows the beginning of the "Invasion of Hogwarts"; Shots came from multiple sources.

HBP Script Leak


Harry and Dumbledore emerge from the cave. Dumbledore, pale and weak, scans the stars wearily, leans heavily on Harry.

Don't worry, sir. We're nearly there.

I am not worried, Harry. I am with you.



We HOLD on the gothic glass of the main window. Ambient light, ominous and cool, plays across its shimmering surface. Flitwick, arms flowing gracefully, conducts a group of FIFTH YEARS, looks up toward the window, eyes the pulsating light.



McGonagall stands in the courtyard as the CHOIR DRIFTS FAINTLY on the night air. She glances up to the sky, a curious expression on her face, then spies a pair of First Years straggling across the courtyard.

To your Houses. No dawdling.

As they scuttle off, McGonagall looks back to the sky. A VORTEX of CLOUDS swirls eerily in on itself.

  • Clouds

    We PULL BACK...


    ...out of the window, its glass prickling with ambient light, and find Snape standing silently, staring at the gathering storm, his expression inscrutable. The choir a murmur.


    Common Room

    Darker than usual. The fire muted. Ron and Hermione sit together. Silent. Glance toward the window, the sky beyond.

    Common Room


    Draco's face, skin glimmering with the light crawling across the ceiling above him. He stares, unblinking, swings out of the bed. Bare feet--Draco's--drop to the tiles.



    The choir echoes eerily. SIXTH YEARS, little more than SHADOWS, hang out, giggling in dark corners. Malfoy glides by in his bare feet. Unnoticed. A ghost.



    Room of Requirement

    Dense with shadow. Strange slashes of light. Malfoy, a shadow within shadows, pulls the tapestry, from the Vanishing Cabinet, steps back...

    Room of Requirement

    He stares at the monolith before him, lifts his wand and begins to CHANT eerily. The surface of the cabinet glimmers, atremble in the ambient light. Almost alive. Then he stops. Looking back, his eyes haunted, he slips away.

    Light plays within the cabinet. Movement. Shadows flicker within, coalesce. We ease up, reveal...

    Bellatrix. Greyback. And a few friends. Bellatrix steps into the light. Glances around. Grins.

  • Rachezee discussed this script leak in her appearance on PrinceWatch.

    PrinceWatch Transcript

    Scott: So -- continuing on that and the discussion of Draco -- I had a question on -- did Draco use the hand of glory or the darkness powder at all? When --

    Rachel: No.

    Scott: -- they infiltrated the castle? Ah ...

    Rachel: No. He -- he didn't. He - they -- the Death Eaters just basically came right in. (laughter) Well -- I mean -- they were in the Room of Requirement so no one knew they were there and there was no Order of the Phoenix waiting for them either so --

    Scott: Okay.

    Rachel: -- so they -- you know -- they made their way up -- I mean, Draco got up there first for some reason or another, but -- and then they came up afterward.

    Scott: The part that was in the script -- when he lets them in through the cabinet -- that's actually seen --

    Rachel: Yeah -- that was --

    Scott: -- or was that cut?

    Rachel: -- I saw that script and it was accurate. It was exactly what I saw.

    Scott: Oh, cool.

    Rachel: So -- yeah. And it's an impressive looking scene. I mean, it was -- the -- the way he takes the tapestry that he has over the cabinet off kind of looked pretty cool and stuff --

    Scott: Right.

    Rachel: So ... (laughs)

    Scott: So then -- from the end of that script -- what happens like right after that? Does it go right into Dumbledore and Harry apparate back to the Astronomy tower or is there something in between?

    Rachel: I'm not -- I can't -- you know what I can't remember is if that happened like -- I -- I think that actually happened right after they -- they were about to come back -- you know -- like -- it was assumed they were on their way back and then we see all that. But I -- I could be slightly wrong about that order. It could have happened right before we saw them at the cave. Do you know what I mean? Like they -- right after they left, but before they went in.

    Vince: Right.

    Scott: Right.

    Meesha: Right.

    Rachel: I just can't remember. So ...

    Scott: Yeah, cause in -- in the script -- it showed the very tail portion of the cave where he said, "I'm not worried", and they were about to come back and then they --

    Vince: Oh, that line.

    Rachel: That would be right, yeah. That's what I thought.

    Scott: -- they went to Hogwarts and -- showing some tension or something or dark skies outside and then Draco sneaks off to the Room of Requirement and lets the Death Eaters in --

    Rachel: Yeah.


    Meesha: Ok, then we had this little tiny picture, looks like Ron and Hermione in the Gryffindor common room.

    Scott: Yeah.

    Rachel: With their backs…

    Vince: Oh, is that…

    Meesha: Yeah, with their backs to the camera.

    Vince: Is that the end of the movie?

    Rachel: I believe it was. I can’t guarantee anything that I know – but it looks like – you had the script leak and I think that was actually in the script leak, like the – they’re staring out the window.

    Vince: Right, the montage of everybody…

    Rachel: Yeah that was a slight – it was a really cool looking scene, was that whole – that whole script that you – that we were reading – I couldn’t figure out what was going on, though – like I didn’t understand why it was there, but it was really good looking, I mean the style looked amazing and it was – and it gave you a really eerie feeling. But I didn’t understand what the point was. Do you know what I mean? (laughs)

    Vince: I guess it’s just like – just like – to set up –

    Rachel: I think it’s just mood.

    Vince: – set up the mood.

    Scott: Just an ominous feeling for them entering the castle.

    Vince: It's good for racking up the tension

    Rachel: Yeah.

    Scott: Yeah.

    Rachel: Like darkness is coming – something bad is going to happen.

    Scott: Yeah

    Rachel: But it didn’t necessarily make much sense.

  • Rachezee said during her interview with PrinceWatch that although Harry and Dumbledore depart and return to the top of the Astronomy Tower, an explanation is given by Dumbledore why he can Apparate on the school grounds.

    PrinceWatch Transcript

    Rachel: Yeah. And -- and -- yeah -- 'cause Harry and -- and Draco -- I mean, Harry and Dumbledore apparate right on to the top of the tower so they're already up there.

    Scott: Huh. Okay.

    Rachel: And then --

    Scott: So no flying on the broomsticks? (laughs)

    Rachel: Yeah. No -- no broomsticks. They just go right -- they apparate -- and Dumbledore at some point says -- when -- right before they leave for the cave -- is -- he says that -- I don't remember the exact words, but he says -- you know -- that's the joy of -- that's -- you know -- the pleasure of being Minister of Magic is -- or I mean, not -- I'm sorry --

    Vince: Headmaster, yeah.

    Rachel: -- the headmaster, yeah.

    Aaron: Headmaster. (laughs)

    Vince: Headmaster.

    Rachel: -- it's like --

    Scott: Yeah.

    Rachel: -- you know -- you can do that kind of thing. So ... (laughs)

    Vince: Yeah.

    Rachel: But Harry does say it --

    Vince: Yeah. That's fine.

    Rachel: -- Harry actually does say the words -- you know -- "I thought you couldn't apparate or disapparate within the grounds of Hogwarts" so ... (laughs)

    Vince: Well, that's good. That's good.

    Rachel: Yeah. (laughs) With them, like, I felt that was --

    Vince: Yeah. At least he refers to it, yeah.

    Rachel: Yeah.

  • Stuart Craig has confirmed he built the Astronomy Tower set and says the scene is going to be powerful.

  • A Set Report Teaser from Harry Potter Fan Zone contained a brief description of the Astronomy Tower.
    We’re nearing the end of the visit when we’re given a first-hand look at the construction of the Astronomy Tower. The wooden structure is enormous. Even at a place like Leavesden it looks as if it towers above everything else. I can’t imagine what it’ll look like on film. Construction is well underway - the framework appears to be complete, and on one side the walls are being pained. This is a truly breathtaking spectacle.

  • In addition, there is a shot from the HBP Video Game (based on the film) of the Astronomy Tower interior.

Astronomy Tower

  • A change in Harry’s (and Dumbledore’s) actions has occurred, according to test screening viewers.
    Harry is not frozen by Dumbledore and is on the floor below the top of the astronomy tower looking up through floorboards at the events.

  • A test screening viewer also confirms Draco’s disarming of Dumbledore.
    Yes he [Draco] does [disarm Dumbledore], and Dumbledore looks startled.

  • A test screening viewer describes the tower scene.
    They then apparate back to the top of the astronomy tower. There is no dark mark in the sky. But as Dumbledore says he needs Severus not Madame Pomfrey they hear a commotion and Dumbledore orders Harry to go and hide and not come out or interfere. A command the book Harry would never have followed, but that the movie Harry would obey. Harry goes underneath the wooden floor of the tower where Dumbledore is standing where he can see everything through large gaps between the wood slates. Draco arrives and Tom does a brilliant job as a boy trying to be fierce and terrified at the same time. Some lines from the book are rather butchered by Dumbledore saying things like "Draco, you are not an assassin." Then the deatheaters arrive all in masks except Bellatrix and Greyback. Bellatrix urges Draco to do it though his wand lowers slightly.

    Meanwhile under the floor Harry who is watching terrified with his wand at the ready is sneaked up on by Snape, whose wand is also out and puts his finger to his lips to make sure Harry stays quiet. My description does not quite capture that scene well enough, but I was surprised to find my heart ripping, perhaps because I knew what was going to happen when Snape appeared there. Snape quietly appears above, and Dumbledore, with far too much strength says "Severus Please."

    And Snape does the avada kadavra, and Bellatrix is ecstatic. The scene with Dumbledore being lifted into the air was unfortunately unfinished because we see him up in the air and then apparently falling down the side of the tower, but there was no motion yet. He is stationary in both scenes. I am sure more special effects will be added later. Then Bellatrix casts the Dark Mark (another amazing updated special effect with a black smoke skull and snake tongue).

  • Shots of this scene came from the third trailer, released November, the Japanese TV trailer from January, and the Behind the Scenes Featurette from February.

Astronomy Tower

Astronomy Tower


Astronomy Tower

Astronomy Tower

Astronomy Tower

Astronomy Tower

Astronomy Tower

Astronomy Tower

  • Test screening viewers note that the film is basically finished once Dumbledore dies.
    there’s maybe 5-8 min after his death.
  • Rachezee discussed the Lightning Struck Tower scene during her interview with PrinceWatch.
    PrinceWatch Interview

    Rachel: I talked a little bit about the tower scene and -- with Draco and -- and Harry watching from underneath and snake -- stape -- Snape comes --

    Vince: Snape, yeah.

    Rachel: -- but it in -- like people are really, I think, worried about that scene. But when Snape showed up, I mean, it gave -- it actually gave me chills and that --

    Vince: Oh.

    Rachel: -- and I wasn't expecting that at all because I was -- I was -- I was still -- I was really caught up in the fact that it wasn't --

    Scott: Hmm.

    Rachel: -- you know, on how they interpreted it. I knew -- I knew they weren't going to do the invisibility cloak. I -- I had a big feeling about that, but I was cur -- you know, I thought it was kind of weird that Harry wasn't doing anything, and -- but Snape turned up just in time. It looked like Harry was just about to do something and --

    Vince: How long is that scene before Snape shows up?

    Rachel: It's not super long --

    Vince: Like how long --

    Rachel: -- but it's not -- it's not terribly -- it's not -- it seemed perfect to me. Like it seemed like he was just starting to gather, you know -- he -- it looked like -- the Death Eaters had just shown up and that -- you could tell that Harry was realizing this is not a -- this is not a joke. It -- you know --

    Vince: Yeah.

    Rachel: -- Draco is -- Draco might not be doing something, but those Death Eaters will. And so -- and that's when Snape showed up and he had his fingers to his lips and, you know -- and it was -- and Harry kind of is startled by him, but is scare -- you know -- and then turns really quickly back to look up, you know what I mean? And --

    Scott: Right.

    Rachel: -- and then Snape disappears and ru --goes up to the top. So ... (laughs)

    Vince: Wow.

    Scott: So we had a question about that scene on like the dialog from the book -- how much was that kept intact between --

    Vince: Yeah, like Draco and Dumbledore.

    Scott: -- Dumbledore, Draco, and the Death Eaters? Did Dumbledore refer to any of the Death Eaters by name or did they all have --

    Rachel: He said something like --

    Scott: -- their masks on?

    Rachel: -- I -- I know that it's -- a little bit was -- he didn't name any of the Death Eaters that were there. I -- it was obvious Bellatrix and Greyback were there, but that was about it. But the -- he didn't name like the Carrows or anyone else who was supposed to be up there. But he did say the Draco things like -- like -- I -- you know, it caught my -- I think -- "Draco you are not an assassin" and I thought, you know couldn't they just say killer? You know? (laughs)

    Vince: Yeah.


    Rachel: He's like -- [inaudible]

    Vince: I know.

    Rachel: But --

    Vince: Yeah, murderer would be power -- more powerful.

    Rachel: Yeah -- or something like that -- I --

    Vince: Yeah, it would.

    Rachel: -- assassin sounded strange to me, but -- but -- but it was - that's what they said. But -- or what -- what, you know, Gam -- Dumbledore says, but -- but it was similar. It was just -- you -- they had to leave everything out that was just not relevant to the movie so ... (laughs)

    Scott: So a lot of those witty things were cut then -- like where he was talking to them as if they were being invited to a tea party and was like, "Oh, you brought Alecto too".

    Vince: (laughs) Yeah.

    Rachel: No, because Gambon doesn't know how to do that. I mean, (laughter) it -- you -- I think he could have done it, but it was -- it -- it didn't come off that way because it -- it -- that's -- that's all about the acting and the directing and they have to know --

    Scott: Right.

    Rachel: -- to do that and I don't think they knew that. But it wasn't bad -- it wasn't poorly done either. It was -- he -- even Harry says at some point later that it looked like Draco was dropping his wand. He wasn't going to do it.

    Vince: Oh, he says it? He says it --

    Rachel: Yeah. He does say that.

    Vince: -- later on? Ah ...

    Meesha: Oh, that's good.

    Rachel: Yeah. I don't remember exactly where he says it, but I do remember him saying he was gonna drop -- he was dropping his wand. And I remember thinking --

    Vince: What --

    Rachel: -- I don't even remember seeing that, but I -- I'm glad he said that, you know what I mean? (laughs)

    Meesha: Yeah.

    Rachel: So ...

    Vince: What is Draco's reaction when Snape does the deed?

    Rachel: They -- he -- they turn and run really quick -- he's stunned.

    Vince: Ah ...

    Rachel: He was -- he was -- he was so, you know, destroyed pretty much anyway that he -- I don't -- I think he was relieved and scared and, you know -- and disappointed --

    Vince: Oh.

    Rachel: - and -- he looked right for the pa -- I mean -- he looked exactly what I would think you should -- he --

    Scott: Right.

    Rachel: -- but they run so quickly that it's not -- it's hard to capture that too quickly, you know?

    Vince: Bellatrix laughs, right -- or something when -- when it happens?

    Rachel: Yeah, she laughs. She laughs and then, you know, like that, you know -- crazy --

    Vince: She cast the Dark Mark, right?

    Rachel: Yeah.

    Vince: She cast -- yeah.

    Rachel: And that -- that was really cool. I don't think that that was the same as the last -- as the --

    Vince: Oh, so it --

    Scott: Goblet of Fire.

    Rachel: Yeah.

    Vince: -- was a different effect?

    Rachel: Yeah. That was a finished effect. It was really good.

    Vince: Okay.

    Scott: All right.

    Vince: Cool.


    Aaron: Going all the way back to when Snape tells Harry to be quiet on the tower -- do you think that can be viewed in both the perspectives of Harry -- of Snape is good and both --

    Vince: Good question.

    Aaron: -- that Snape is bad?

    Rachel: Well, I think it was just -- I think this is about -- I think that -- that what they were trying to show is -- is that -- whether or not Harry trusted Snape at that point. And it was obvious because of his -- you know, that he wasn't trusting Snape through some of this movie, but it wasn't super, you know -- it wasn't -- it wasn't -- it wasn't pushed as much as I thought it could be, but it was -- it was definitely there, like -- the idea that Harry did not trust Snape. It really seemed as though, you know, Harry, who -- wasn't -- didn't seem to trust Snape throughout the movie, actually decided to trust Snape at the last minute there and -- and then was totally betrayed, you know, when -- when Snape killed Dumbledore. So ... and that -- that was -- that seemed to be portrayed well enough to bring it into Deathly Hallows as Snape being a bad guy. You know what I mean? (laughs)

    Vince: Yes.

    Meesha: Yeah.

«  July 2019  »

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