Ghosts of Our Past: The Resurrection Stone
Within the final minutes of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Harry finds out he is the missing horcrux, piece of Voldemort’s soul, and must die in order to bring down the villainous wizard. On his way to meet Voldemort and after accepting the fact the he has to die, Harry closes his eyes and unintentionally uses the Resurrection Stone, a powerful magical object that has the ability to bring back dead loved ones. When he opens his eyes, Harry sees the apparitions of his parents, James and Lily Potter, godfather, Sirius Black, and family friend/professor, Remus Lupin. The superb creation of the ghost like images of Harry’s loved ones, through the use of special effects, makes this one of the most emotional scenes in the movie.
Back in the summer of 2011, when the movie arrived, I saw Deathly Hallows Part 2 twice, the first time for the midnight premiere with my friends and the second time was the very next day with my family; on both occasions, when the Resurrection Stone scene came on, the whole entire audience just started crying and bawling in tears, myself included. The pathos, emotion, in that particular scene alone is so powerful with Harry seeing his family, moments before he is going to die. Whether you’re a fan of Harry Potter or not, you can feel chills go down your spine as soon as you see Harry run to his mother, his hand slip through hers, and hear him say, “I’m sorry, I didn’t want any of you to die for me.” Harry’s situation is so bone chilling because it features his first ever encounter with his parents; just like any parent would for their child, his family only gave up their lives so he could live his. According to Andrea Lunsford’s, Everything’s an Argument, “…emotions connect…that you understand their experiences,” (33). So much emotion had been invested into that one scene; not just into the story but also with fans knowing that the journey of their beloved hero is about to reach an end.
For many Harry Potter fans, myself included, seeing the ghosts of James and Lily Potter, Sirius Black, and Remus Lupin, only strengthens our connections to them and Harry. Louis Giannetti points out, “The mythology of stardom usually emphasizes the glamour of movie stars, lifting them above the mundane concerns of ordinary mortals,” (257). This not the case at all, for relationships between fans and characters, only escalates to a higher degree in comparison to the last decade of reading the books and watching the movies of the Harry Potter series. The ethos surrounding the Harry Potter franchise is unparalleled. When we see the appearances of James, Lily, Sirius, and Remus, we know that our relationships with them are eternal. We have grown attached to these characters and can identify ourselves with Harry, and are just as astonished when we see the apparitions of Harry’s family. Our relationship with Harry continues to strengthen when his mother, Lily says, “We never left.” Even though they are dead, this scene is crucial with Harry’s incredible journey and seeing that his family is always with him and us. While the special effects of ghosts of Harry’s past show that love and bonds last forever, it also proves that every story has an end.
The encounter with Harry and his family is logically a perfect ending, as it tells us that our journey with Harry is about to reach a conclusion. The logos with the Resurrection Stone is the fact that Harry must, of course, have one last meeting with the people that were huge influences in his life. Sirius, Harry’s godfather, was his source of guidance and legally his last line of family. Remus, Harry’s old Defense against the Dark Arts professor, taught him how to be courageous and how to find happiness. Lastly, Harry's parents, James and Lily; after 17 years, Harry is finally able to meet the man and woman that gave up their lives for him. The special effects of Harry’s family, act as a sense of closure and satisfaction by knowing that Harry will not finish his journey alone. As James puts it, “Until the end.”
The scene involving the Resurrection Stone and Harry’s family is by far one of the most compelling scenes in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. The fact is the special effects of the ghosts were able to capture people’s hearts and shows how prevalent this scene truly is. The apparitions of Harry’s parents, godfather, and professor truly captivate the meaning of unconditional love.