If you’ve ever seen the movie Harry Potter, then you’ll know what’s coming. The finale—which, if you’ve seen the movie, you know is one of the most pivotal moments of the series—is when Harry Potter (Robert Pattinson) faces off against the evil Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). And while the whole scene is incredibly exciting, the buildup to it is pretty incredible as well.
Pattinson, who plays one of the most beloved characters ever, has finally revealed the set of the Potter series finale, and it looks incredible.
The camera cuts back and forth between the two main characters as they duel it out. It’s a thrilling sequence that will be forever etched in the memories of fans. And, of course, it wouldn’t be a Potter scene if there weren’t a good handful of surprises in store.
The Building Of An Icon
When we thought of the Harry Potter finale, one of the first places that came to mind was the magical Burbank Studios. The set is a sight to behold, perfectly capturing the iconic British styling (think quaint English gardens and gleaming oak-paneled rooms) and the feeling of being in the middle of Hollywood. We get to see a lot of the sets inside and outside the Burbank studios, as it’s where most of the action takes place. In the above photo, for example, we can see the exterior set of the Gryffindor common room, as well as the interior of the Great Hall. The exterior of the Great Hall is also where Harry greets his schoolmates for the first time since he returned from defeating Voldemort (hence the title of the scene).
The Music Is Something To Behold
While the actual movie doesn’t show it, the soundtrack for Harry Potter is also iconic and deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as the movies themselves. The first song to be used in the series was “Saying Goodbye” by Passenger, which was featured in the film. And, even in the absence of visuals, you can still hear the song in the background as Harry prepares to leave Privet Drive for the final time. That’s how good it is. Since then, the franchise has grown and become even more popular, with more music being used and more people becoming attached to the songs. “Phoenix Down” by Massive Attack, for example, was used as the theme song for the Goblet of Fire movie, while Kings of Leon’s “Sexy Sin” was used in the films’ trailers. The list goes on. With the series finale being the culmination of the entire series, it’s only natural that the music would be part of the scene. Which is fortunate for music fans, as there are a lot of great songs to choose from.
It Features Many Surprise Moments
Surprise, surprise—even the most dedicated Potter fans might be a little bit surprised by some of the scenes that were left out of the film. We now know that many of these were cut for time, but they didn’t make it easy to narrow down the list of revelations. There’s something for everyone, from diehard Harry Potter fans to music lovers who want to hear a particular song during a pivotal scene. The list is as follows:
- The Great Hall (Exterior): The great hall is recognizable to anyone who’s seen the Harry Potter movies. And what’s more, it features a perfectly executed LEGO minifigure of Gaunt’s Greed, who was the Ravenclaw house ghost in the books. While there’s no question that this scene needed to be in the movie to keep the story moving along, it’s still incredible to see it brought to life with such accuracy and detail.
- Hogwarts Bridge (Exterior): One of the most photographed sets ever, the Hogwarts Bridge is where Harry boards the Knight Bus to begin his journey to Hogwarts. While it’s difficult to see exactly what is in the shots that weren’t used (rumors suggest many creatures not seen in the movie), it’s still an iconic photograph and one of the highlights of the set list.
- Hogwarts Castle (Interior): The interior of Hogwarts Castle is perhaps the most recognizable part of this entire set, featuring red velvet walls, butter-slicked arches, and a stunning portrait of Harry’s godfather, Albus Dumbledore.
- Gryffindor Common Room (Exterior): This is the set that started it all. The common room in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was where it all began, as Albus Dumbledore gives his famous “Harry Potter is back!” speech. The set is breathtaking and still looks as good as the day it was finished. And it even has some of the original furniture.
- Great Oak Doors (Exterior): In both the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the great oak doors are seen closing behind Albus Dumbledore after he delivers his speech, signaling the start of the Battle of Hogwarts. There wasn’t a whole lot of space in which to film the fight between Harry and Voldemort so they had to make do with what was there, resulting in some incredible fight scenes. In the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry even takes out Voldemort with a spell while sitting on the floor between the two sets of doors.
- Hogwarts Path (Exterior): It’s impossible to talk about the Hogwarts Path without mentioning the sheer number of people that walk it every day. The path is seen from a different perspective in the novel, Deathly Hallows, but it was still one of the biggest filming locations in Europe, and for good reason.
- Hogwarts Tour Bus (Exterior): Finally, let’s not forget about the Hogwarts tour bus. It’s been called a “Rolls-Royce of a Set” and a “mobile offices on wheels,” and, quite frankly, who wouldn’t want to be traveling around in such style? The tour bus is where Harry meets with Ron and Hermione to plan their Auror careers in Prisoner of Azkaban. The interior of the bus is filled with what looks like a real-life illustration of the Knight Bus from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, with the same orange and black color scheme. And, in true Potter fashion, there’s even a little troll sitting across from Ron and Hermione.
- Hogwarts Reunion (Interior): This is where it all comes together. The finale of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets sees Harry reunite with his friends, Ron and Hermione, at the Gryffindor Common Room for one final celebration, as they learn that they’ve all been selected for the Champions of the Muggle World competition, which will see them compete against their counterpart Muggles (or, as we know them, witches and wizards). The scene is filled with emotion as the characters reminisce on their time together and wish each other well. It also marks the beginning of the end as Harry prepares to depart for Hogwarts, while Ron and Hermione bid farewell to their lifelong best friends.
So, there you have it. We’ve uncovered all the secrets of the Harry Potter set. And, yes, there are many more—we could probably fill an entire blog post with them—but these are the ones that everyone knows and, quite frankly, doesn’t even think to mention. The ending of the Harry Potter series might be one of the most pivotal scenes in cinematic history, but even before then it was just another day at the office for the set decorators.