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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the epic finale of the Harry Potter movie saga is the deadliest, most intense, and most touching installment of the lot. Because the majority of the movie is an all-out battle between Voldemort and his army against Harry and his allies at Hogwarts, there's an extremely high body count -- including the deaths of several beloved supporting characters. Most happen off camera, but several bodies are shown. In a few scenes, everyone is bloodied and injured or dead, and it's brutal to watch (a shot of dead goblins is particularly gruesome, and one character's death at the fangs of an evil snake gets pretty gory). Despite the raging battle, Ron and Hermione at last find a moment to snog and spend most of the movie holding on to each other; Harry and Ginny also share a quick kiss. And in the end, it's not the violence that viewers will take away, but the idea that every hero, no matter how brave, needs loyal friends to defeat evil and that love lives on even in the face of death. Note: For the first time, a Harry Potter movie is being shown in 3-D in some theaters, making some of the action sequences even more intense.
  • Families can talk about whether this final Harry Potter installment is age-appropriate for young kids, even if they've already read the books or are familiar with the characters. How does the tone and subject matter of the series change over time?
  • Which characters reveal different parts of themselves in this movie? Why did they make the choices they made? How do those decisions affect Harry?
  • How does the development of Ron and Hermione's relationship contrast to most other teen love stories? Is a slow-burning romance as believable or exciting to watch as love at first sight?
  • Did the final movie live up to your expectations? Are there any other book sagas you'd be as excited to see turned into movies, or do you think it's unlikely another franchise would hold as much magical appeal?
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