Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. 1

Inciting Event: Mad Eye engineers a plan to mask Harry’s “trace” as they smuggle everyone to the Weaseleys’s Burrow for Bill and Fleur’s wedding. Along the way, everyone is betrayed and attacked by Voldemort’s Death Eaters. Mad Eye is killed.

Sometimes the early structure in later books in a series can get tricky—since the conflict has already been introduced long ago. But this is a great example of how to reintroduce the conflict right on the money structurally.

First Plot Point: At the wedding celebration, word comes that the Death Eaters have taken over the Ministry of Magic. Death Eaters attack the wedding, and everyone flees. Harry, Hermione, and Ron end up at Sirius Black’s old house. They’ve left the Normal World (such as it was) and entered the adventure world of their main conflict: on their own and trying to track down the horcruxes that must be destroyed before they can kill Voldemort.

Once again, this is an excellent example of how to pull off these elements in a late installment in the series.

First Pinch Point: They learn their old professor, Umbridge, possesses the first of the horcruxes they’re looking for. This is a decided setback, since retrieving it from the Ministry of Magic will be dangerous—and because Umbridge herself is a formidable adversary.

Midpoint: Hermione has the revelation that the sword of Griffindor will destroy the horcruxes. But Ron, negatively affected by the horcrux they’ve already found, vents his jealousy toward Harry and leaves. Harry and Hermione don’t move into decisive action right away, which is one of the weaknesses of this story: not much happens.

Second Pinch Point: On Christmas Eve, Harry and Hermione travel to Harry’s birthplace at Godric’s Hollow, looking for the sword. They find a silent old woman, whom they believe is the historian Bathilda Bagshot. However, it turns out to be Voldemort’s snake in disguise. They do battle, and, in during their escape, Harry’s wand is destroyed.

Third Plot Point: After Ron returns, saves Harry from drowning, recovers the sword of Griffindor, and uses it to destroy the horcrux, the three of them go to the Lovegoods’ home in search of answers about the Deathly Hallows symbol. They learn Voldemort is seeking the most powerful of all wands. They are betrayed by Mr. Lovegood and captured by Voldemort’s Snatchers.

Climax: The Snatchers take them to the Malfoy mansion, where Harry and Ron are imprisoned while Bellatrix tortures Hermione for information. Dobby the house elf responds to Harry’s plea for help.

Climactic Moment: Thanks to Dobby, they all escape.

Resolution: Dobby dies of the wound inflicted by Bellatrix, and they bury him. Meanwhile, Voldemort desecrates Dumbedore’s tomb and gains the powerful Elder wand he seeks.

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