No one was sad to see Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) go in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, especially since Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and his friends spent a whopping eight movies trying to defeat He Who Shall Not Be Named. Ultimately, the evil, noseless wizard — who murdered so many beloved characters of the wizarding world — died in a battle with The Boy Who Lived, with his skin turning to ash and dispersing in the wind. (Gross? Totally!) Now we know that wasn't the only idea for how Voldemort's death would be visualised on camera. According to a new interview with Moving Picture Company VFX supervisor Greg Butler, who worked on the final film, Voldemort could have turned into a tree.
Yep, a tree — which seems a little too innocuous for the totalitarian, even in a world where the Whomping Willows exist. According to Butler's interview with The Huffington Post, the villain would have transformed into a tree, and then turned to ash, had they used some of their original plans.
"We invented new visual stuff, and we went through a whole bunch of concept art. There’s even some crazy stuff where he becomes this blackened, charcoal-y tree shape that’s growing and then that tree turns to ash and blows away in the wind," Butler told the outlet.
Ultimately, Butler explained people were afraid that the visual wouldn't make it clear that Voldemort was no more, which is why the VFX team went for a death scene that seemed more permanent. Vanishing into thin air, as Voldemort does after being finally defeated by Harry, certainly ticks that box.
"It was quiet. It was peaceful. It was physical but also a little magical," Butler told The Huffington Post of the scene.
Voldemort's sendoff was a long time coming, so props to the VFX team for not having the franchise's worst wizard die a ficus.