Hermione Granger

Emily Richardson works on her version of Rowena Ravenclaw’s Diadem for the midnight release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II. Richardson and her friends are going as the “Seven Horcuxes” which are just a handful of the potential costumes that will be seen.

Photo Credit: Ryan Edwards | Daily Texan Staff

The premiere of the final Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” is tonight and perhaps you’re thinking of taking this last chance to dress for the occasion. Or maybe you’ve dressed up every year and you want a fresh costume for the grand finale. Either way, there are enough details lurking in your own closet to make your costume as affordable as it is amusing.

Having a black cloak or robe and wand is critical to most costumes and is the easiest way to distinguish yourself from Muggles in line. A black sheet, Snuggie or even an old black graduation robe will work for a robe. If those aren’t lying around, you can always pick up a few yards of inexpensive black cloth at a fabric store. If you don’t have a wand to call your own, simply find a medium-small sized stick and peel the bark off. Or, you can use one of the many online tutorials found on the-leaky-cauldron.org to make one out of a pencil.

Though the characters aren’t at school in this film, the most easily identifiable costumes are the house uniforms. Since it’s summer, opt for a plain white undershirt instead of a button-down shirt and pick up a black sweater vest at a nearby thrift store. If you’re crafty, you can use a plain shirt and some spray paint or paint pens to create a simple Hogwarts costume on a T-shirt to go with your black pants and dress shoes. It will still look good under your cloak and will help you avoid too many layers. Find a tie that has one of the house colors and use a paint pen to add stripes.

The way to really make your costume cohesive and complete, however, is through the smaller styling details and accessories. Here are some tips for the main characters.

Harry Potter
Though early on Harry has a ruffed mop of brown hair, it gets much more polished with each year, so guys can simply go as is. To imitate short hair for girls, side part your hair and use bobby pins to securely pin down hair. Pull your hair into a neat bun or low ponytail and tuck loose hair into shirt. As a Gryffindor, try to incorporate red and gold into your outfit as much as possible — socks, earrings, hair ribbons, shoelaces, etc. Pick up a pair of Potter’s signature glasses at a costume supply store and wrap a bit of tape around the nose piece if you like. For an extra touch, spray paint a golf ball gold and attach paper wings to it — then you’ll have the golden snitch to keep with you. Don’t forget the scar! Eyeliner works best.

Ron Weasley
Another Gryffindor. It is doubtful that anyone would be interested in dying their hair red for one night out. But if you don’t want to purchase a wig, a can of temporary red hairspray color would suffice. However, like any regular hairspray, these make your hair very stiff. Girls should put their hair up in the same fashion as Harry’s and spray on the color only after they are pleased with the styling. Carry around a toy rat and feel free to load up on snacks — Ron is always eating.

Hermione Granger
It’s no secret that the brightest witch of her age was a little rough in the hair department early on. Either you can channel that unruly mane by teasing your hair out with a comb, or opt for more polished waves or curls. To replicate Hermione’s Time-Turner necklace, wear a long gold necklace with a gold ball or circle pendant — if you can find one that spins, even better. If you’re planning on studying for summer school while you camp out in line, tape a fake book cover on the front with a magical title such as “Divination” or “Defense Against the Dark Arts.”

Draco Malfoy
Snake jewelry has been trending this year, so if you have any this would be the time to showcase it. Besides a sour, bratty scowl, Draco’s most distinctive quality is his bleached-blonde hair. A wig will work much better than a drastic hairstyle change or, though it won’t get quite as bright an effect, yellow-colored hairspray will do the job. Draco is a Slytherin through and through, so green and silver will be your colors of choice. Using a washable black marker, draw the dark mark on your forearm (you can find stencils online) and make yourself a small badge or pin that says “Inquisition Squad,” from Umbridge’s reign of Hogwarts in the fifth book, to wear on your chest.

Luna Lovegood
This Ravenclaw (blue and bronze) is characterized by her long, blonde, wild hair and dreamy, spacey demeanor. In the movie, Luna wears bright plaid pink high tops, so wear your favorite bright shoes. Using a tutorial online from DIY Fashion, create a pair of Spectrespecs, her kooky, pink, hand-shaped glasses. And make your own copy of The Quibbler to carry around by printing a template cover from online and pasting it over an old magazine. Feel free to spout off any weird or outlandish thoughts you have — if you’re lucky, someone might call you Loony Lovegood. If you are looking for a snack to sneak in with you, opt for your favorite flavor pudding cup.

Though no one would discourage you from dressing as your favorite character, the most economical way to go is always with your natural features. If you have billowing blonde hair, Luna Lovegood should work. Red hair (and a hand-me-down-robe)? You must be a Weasley.

Worse comes to worst, though, you can always dress as a tourist and call yourself a Muggle.

Printed on 07/14/2011 as: Costumes an easy craft for final movie

The Harry Potter movie franchise has always been flawed, both for casual viewers and die-hard, ultra-critical fans of the book. Screenwriter Steve Kloves usually manages to anger the die-hards by watering down plot points, misattributing character motivations and inventing his own uninspired dialogue where J.K. Rowling’s would have served infinitely better. At the same time, Kloves often confuses casual moviegoers by providing abysmally muddled plot exposition.

Similarly, when watching “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” — part one in a two-part volume — average viewers with little experience with the book’s intricate plot will often find themselves lost. It’s clear the filmmakers have assumed audiences are familiar enough with Harry’s story and done away with some of the trickier exposition. However, seasoned Potter fans will not only be able to follow the story, they will finally fully recognize the spirit of Rowling’s beloved characters embodied on film. For fans, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” will certainly be lauded both as the most faithful and the most stylistically stunning of the franchise.

Warner Bros.’ decision to split the final installment into two separate films is surely a factor in the noticeable increase in quality. Many cynically regard the move as a marketing ploy designed to milk as much money from the finale as possible, as it may well have been. However, splitting the film into two volumes has creatively liberated Kloves and director David Yates. No longer pressured to pack an entire book’s worth of complex plotting, intense haracterization and bewitching visuals into a single film, Yates has seized the opportunity to make part one of “Deathly Hallows” a contemplative character study.

The film is considerably more leisurely than its predecessors, which all sacrificed character development in favor of cramming in as many of Rowling’s complex plot twists as possible. As a result, most of the series’ incredibly nuanced and fully formed characters — Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, Severus Snape and yes, even the crucial figure of eminent headmaster Albus Dumbledore — are reduced to two-dimensional cardboard cutouts that merely serve to help Harry defeat whatever manifestation of Lord Voldemort faces him that year.

“Deathly Hallows” brilliantly breaks this tiresome pattern. Yates dedicates most of his generous time allotment fleshing out central characters, most notably the iconic trio of Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. It’s a brave move, considering the young actors that have portrayed the trio since before they hit puberty haven’t always delivered the most consistently convincing performances. In particular, Daniel Radcliffe as Potter sometimes appeared awkward and unnatural in his more emotional scenes, and Emma Watson had an unfortunate tendency to overact as Hermione.

Here, too, “Deathly Hallows” is a standout among past installments. Each young actor has exceeded all expectations and is finally performing on par with the adult British acting legends — Helena Bonham Carter, Gary Oldman, Bill Nighy and Alan Rickman, among others — they work alongside. “Deathly Hallows” is the first film in which all three leads truly embody their counterparts from the books. Radcliffe seems infinitely more comfortable on camera, Watson tones down her performance to great effect, and Rupert Grint as Ron has easily shed the class clown act and taken on his more serious role with grace.

“Deathly Hallows” is undeniably a road movie. The three young heroes are often adrift and aimless in the wilderness, passively buffeted along their path by various dark forces at work as they attempt to seek and destroy the elusive horcruxes, each containing a portion of Voldemort’s soul. Their destruction will render Voldemort mortal and defeatable. Adventures at Hogwarts are a thing of the past; the three don’t even step foot in the iconic castle this time around, a considerable departure from Rowling’s previous formula.

The installment cuts down on the clunky, awkwardly rushed transitions of previous films and allows for some incredibly compelling character moments. A quietly poignant scene invented by Kloves for the movie in which a hopelessly lost Harry and Hermione share an emotionally charged dance is especially affecting.

The humor of Harry Potter is also at its best here — no longer do gags feel forced as they occasionally have in the past. Comedy is juxtaposed expertly with tragedy, making “Deathly Hallows” the franchise’s most emotionally dynamic film.

As confusing as “Deathly Hallows’” plot may be for the average viewer, casual fans and super-fans alike will appreciate the film’s emotional and visual flow, outstanding performances and arresting landscapes. The tragic cliffhanger ending will leave audiences desperate for part two of “Deathly Hallows.”

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Grade: A