For those of you who haven’t read the Harry Potter books and don’t want to be spoiled for the upcoming movie, be forewarned – there are MAJOR SPOILERS ahoy.

As with all of the Harry Potter film adaptations, changes have to be made from page to screen for a variety of reasons: time issues, medium differences, drama maximization, etc. Rarely, however, have the filmmakers altered anything so important as a major character’s death scene. Now, with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, it seems they have, and with the blessing of J.K. Rowling herself.

One last time, for those hard of hearing – there are MAJOR, MAJOR SPOILERS ahead. If you want to go into Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 completely unaware of what’s going to occur onscreen, exit your browser, turn off your monitor, and back away from your computer. Go watch television or something.

For everybody else…

In the seventh Harry Potter book, Voldemort believes that Snape is the rightful owner of the Elder Wand – a wand he who shall not be named thinks is his only magical means to slay Harry Potter. Because Snape killed Dumbledore in book number six, thus making the wand his, Voldemort believes he must, in turn, kill Snape to once again transfer ownership. As such, he sets Nagini, his giant, evil snake, upon Snape, and voila – no more Severus Snape.

How exactly does the film differ? According to the art director, Andrew Ackland-Snow:

“We wanted to change a bit where Snape dies. In the book, he dies on the Shrieking Shack, and we wanted to get him out from, not a conventional interior, but from that kind of box, to do it in a more dramatic atmosphere. We asked J.K. if she agreed for that to happen in there, because we hadn’t really seen it before. We made a crystal house, and you can see what happens in the boathouse from there – Are you listening Harry? – but also the school is in flames…and she loved it. Besides, it’s a very romantic place to die. Snape dies in a extremely good way, I gotta say.”

I remember after reading the sixth book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, all anybody ever wanted to talk about was: Did Dumbledore order Snape to kill him, or is Snape actually a bad guy? Then we all had to wait two horrifically long years to learn the truth.

As I waited impatiently, I expected/hoped/prayed that something like 40% of the book would deal with Snape and the ‘good or bad’ plot thread. When 40% instead dealt with Harry, Ron, and Hermione trekking through the woods, and only something like…10% dealt with Snape, I was disappointed. Sure, it was great to learn that Snape was a good guy, but I wanted more. I wanted his death, and the ‘he was good all along!’ reveal, to be more climactic.

What I’m trying to say here is: I’m happy to hear that Snape’s ending has been changed for the big screen, at least in part. Snape is the tragic hero in the story of Harry Potter – he deserves a more fitting end. Perhaps his ending won’t be as drastically different as I hoped, but it’s still good to read things like “he dies in an extremely good way,”

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 hits theaters July 15th, 2011 in (sigh) 3D.

Source: Cine Premiere Mexico [via HPANA]