The "Harry Potter" film series has become the most successful movie franchise of all time, with a combined worldwide box-office total of over $6.3 billion worldwide. So it should be no surprise that the eighth and final installment, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2" will be going out with a bang. But if you pay close attention to the just-released trailer -- and you haven't read the book -- you could be in for a big shock.
Take a look at the video below, then keep reading to see what giant revelation is given away.
SPOILER WARNING: if you haven't read the book and don't want to know what happens, don't scroll down past the video player.
When the filmmakers decided to divide "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" -- the final installment in J.K. Rowling's phenomenal series -- into two movies, they made a conscious choice to not to just split it down the middle. They wanted to craft separate films where each had its own style and tone. "Part 1," which hit theaters in November of 2010, was fundamentally a road movie with Harry, Hermoine and Ron on a quest out in the world. "Part 2," on the other hand, will be an all-out action flick, as Lord Voldemort leads his Death Eaters in an assault on Hogwarts with the fate of the world at stake.
By the looks of the trailer, the movie is going to be epic indeed. It's got dragons, knights, snakes, plumes of fire, collapsing bridges, and, of course, massive armies of battling wizards. But there are also shots of some of the pain and heartbreak in the final chapter as well. As readers of the novel know, beloved characters -- even some who have been part of the story since the very beginning -- do not survive the massive battle. And if you're quick enough to catch it, you can see one in the preview.
At the 1:02 mark, there is a shot of Ron Weasley (played by Rupert Grint) and his mother Molly (Julie Walters) in tears. They are huddled over a fallen body, and upon close inspection you can tell that it is Ron's brother Fred (James Phelps), one half of the Weasley twins.
In the book, Fred and his other brother Percy are defending Hogwarts from Death Eaters invading through secret passageways. There is an explosion, and Fred's body is later discovered in the rubble. It's a devastating loss, both because Fred is only 20 years old, but also because of the impact it has on his twin brother George.
Certainly, this doesn't come as a surprise to readers of the novel, and there are plenty of those. "Deathly Hallows" broke sales records when it hit shelves in 2007, selling eight million copies in the U.S. in just the first 24 hours. It's gone on to sell over 400 million copies worldwide. Still, there are plenty of fans of the movie series who have read a single one of the books.
But even for the most ardent fans of the book, there should still be some surprises in the last movie. The biggest may be in the very last scene, which takes place 20 years later. Originally, the last scene was shot on location at King's Cross station in London, and some paparazzi photos did catch the cast made up to look decades older. But Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson confirmed to HitFix last November that they were going back to shoot more footage for the film's epilogue.
We'll all get to see the final product when "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2" opens on July 15.
you haven't read the book and don't want to know what happens, don't scroll down past the video player.