Let's look at some more examples:
Hermione teaches that the soul survives the body. In both book and movie, Hermione explains to Ron and Harry that the bit of soul hidden in a horcrux dies when its container is destroyed, and in that way a horcrux is the opposite of our bodies.
"Look, if I picked up a sword right now, Ron, and ran you through with it, I wouldn't damage your soul at all."
"Which would be a real comfort to me, I'm sure," said Ron.
"It should be, actually! But my point is that whatever happens to your body, your soul will survive, untouched," said Hermione.
Encounters with the departed. In both book and movie, as Harry walks toward his final encounter with Voldemort, he discovers the Resurrection Stone, which can restore the dead to the presence of the living. There in the woods his parents and friends appear "less substantial than living bodies, but much more than ghosts." With this, Harry's doubts about life after death are at last resolved.
He asks, "Does it hurt?" and his godfather Sirius replies, "Dying? Not at all. Quicker and easier than falling asleep." Sleep is frequently used in the New Testament as a metaphor for death, showing that it's not an ending but a transition to a different kind of life. Harry's companions promise to remain with him till the last—echoing the experience of Christian saints and martyrs who saw at the end that they were surrounded by "a great cloud of witnesses" (Hebrews 12:1).
Repentance for salvation. In the book, but not the movie, at the very moment of their last confrontation, Harry suggests to Voldemort that he "[t]hink, and try for some remorse." Voldemort is more shocked by these words than by anything Harry has ever said. But Harry has had a glimpse of the state Voldemort is headed for after death. "It's your one last chance." Harry tells him. "I've seen what you'll be otherwise. Be a man...try.... Try for some remorse...."
In Christian theology, all sins can be forgiven; no one is beyond redemption. But you have to ask for it. You have to be sincerely repentant, humble enough admit your wrongs and accept God's love. Voldemort's pride has placed him beyond this possibility; it is even beyond his imagination.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is sure to be a hit, and would have been one whether or not it was a good movie, whether or not it was faithful to the book. At some points, the movie actually improves on the book, by thinking through better dramatic action. At others, there is a loss of emotional depth, when the shell of characters' outward behavior remains but inner reflection is missing.
Still, the biggest missing piece is the absence of the spiritual dimension J. K. Rowling herself formed for the story—the Christian belief in life after death, the transforming power of repentance, and the victory won by one who went voluntarily into death and then destroyed its power.
In the Eastern Orthodox Church, we sing hundreds of times in the weeks following Pascha (Easter), "Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tomb bestowing life!" That exultant, grateful cry is the real background music for the entire Harry Potter story. You'll understand that story better if you listen, beyond the roar of giants and dragons, for those joy-filled notes.
Frederica Mathewes-Green's latest book is The Jesus Prayer.