By BHHS Librarian Letty Nardone
The following is a comparison of the Battle of Winterfell (Game of Thrones, S8, ep3) to the Battle of Hogwarts (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2) If you have not seen GoT but plan to, then please stop reading because SPOILERS are everywhere. Additionally same warning if you have not see HP and the Deathly Hallows.
After watching the Battle of Winterfell multiple times, I have noticed that there are many striking similarities to the final battle in the Harry Potter series played out in the last movie.
Each battle takes place at a castle at night: Winterfell and Hogwarts. The opposing forces (the bad guys) are strong, plentiful and seemingly unbeatable: Night King and his Wights and Wight Walkers (GoT); Voldemort and his Death Eaters (HP). The warriors carry similar weapons: Winterfell has swords, Hogwarts has wands. The battles end at dawn. Both castles are utterly destroyed. The survivors in both cases are the heroes: House Stark and Hogwarts. However in both cases sub-leading characters fall during battle. Winterfell: Theon, Jorah, Beric, Edd, Lyanna. Hogwarts: Fred, Lavender, Tonks, Lupin, Snape (and yes, Snape is a good man.)
Voldemort has supernatural creatures and/or mystical beings: giants, spiders and a zombie dragon. House Stark has two dragons, Melisandre’s magic, and Beric’s flaming sword.
Evil is destroyed by a young unlikely hero: Night King is defeated by Arya; Voldemort is defeated by Harry. Both villains expire in similar fashion: Night King explodes into millions of shards of ice; Voldemort disintegrates slowing into millions of fragments. Arya and Harry are similar as well: they are close in age; they do not presume to be a hero; they seek to defend the innocent; they want to save their home and those they love.
There are a few instances when we think we are about to lose a major character. At Winterfell this happens frequently with many scenes appearing a favorite character is going down fighting: Jamie, Brienne, Grey Worm, Podrick. At Hogwarts: Ron and Hermione running from Nagini; Neville running away from Death Eaters as he falls from the bridge; Harry in a death spiral with Voldemort. Both battles have giants stomping the castle grounds wacking away at whoever comes towards it.
Both battles have a ‘crowd cheering’ moment: Arya plunging the Valyrian steel dagger into the Night king and Neville slicing off the head of Nagini with the Sword of Gryffindor. In both cases the weapon had to be special. Only Valyrian steel would work against the Night King. Only a sword with basilisk venom would defeat a horcrux. And both weapons, with their long histories, had to be at the right place with the right user for a single purpose.
A brief romantic (or at least tender) moment happens in the Winterfell crypts when Tyrion kisses Sansa’s hand just before they leave to fight the undead Starks. Similarly, Harry kisses Ginny while the battle rages and they too sprint towards the fighting.