Behind the scenes: the look of the Deathly Hallows

They’re three of the most important artefacts in the history of the wizarding world – and one of them’s usually invisible – so the props department definitely had their work cut out when trying to bring them alive.

The Resurrection Stone emerging from the first Snitch Harry ever caught
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

Extracted from Harry Potter Page Film Wizardry.

The first of the Deathly Hallows to appear in the films was the Invisibility Cloak, given to Harry by Dumbledore in Philosopher’s Stone. Several versions of the cloak were created using a velvet fabric embossed with planetary and alchemical symbols.

One of these versions was lined with a green screen material. For scenes where Harry was supposed to disappear, Daniel Radcliffe would flip the green-screened cloak over as he put it on, allowing his body to be blended into the background by visual effects.

The ring that cost Dumbledore his hand – and ultimately his life in Half-Blood Prince – contained the Resurrection Stone, the second of the Hallows revealed to the audience. Fortunately for the prop designers, the last book came out before their work needed to be finished, allowing them to integrate a crucial detail into the final design.

As Hattie Storey remembers, ‘We learned it needed the symbol for the Deathly Hallows etched on it.’ In Deathly Hallows – Part 2, the stone comes into Harry’s custody, concealed inside the first Golden Snitch he caught, a prop that opens via a practical mechanism.

The last of the Deathly Hallows was the Elder Wand, which turned out to be in Dumbledore’s possession. This was another case where the prop makers found out something they had designed previously would take on added significance.

Luckily, Dumbledore’s wand was already quite distinct. The prop is made of English oak, with a bone inlay inscribed with runes. ‘What makes it very recognisable,’ says prop man Pierre Bohanna, ‘are the outcroppings of nodules every two or three inches.’

‘Harry Potter Film Wizardry'

Extracted from
‘Harry Potter: Film Wizardry'