In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, the following exchange occurs:

Neville Longbottom: Are you really giving us permission to do this?
Minerva McGonagall: Yes, Longbottom.
Neville Longbottom: Blow it up? Boom?
Minerva McGonagall: BOOM!
Minerva McGonagall: Why don't you confer with Mr. Finnigan? As I recall, he has a particular proclivity for pyrotechnics.
Seamus Finnigan: I can bring it down!
Minerva McGonagall: That's the spirit, now away you go.

Is it ever made clear what McGonagall is giving them permission to blow up?

  • 9
    You mean like shortly after, when they blow something up?
    – OrangeDog
    Oct 18, 2016 at 12:47

2 Answers 2


I thought it was fairly obvious that they were talking about the bridge where Neville taunts the werewolves and closely escapes death. Any reason to assume otherwise?

  • 3
    Werevolves? I thought they were bounty hunters.
    – Kareen
    Sep 6, 2011 at 22:53
  • 2
    One of which is a werewolf; Fenrir Greyback meets his fate in the movie at that bridge, while in the book his fate is uncertain.
    – KeithS
    Oct 19, 2011 at 23:58
  • 2
    that was a snatcher that died on bridge not greyback. same fellow in the woods who smelled hermoines perfume.
    – user3548
    Nov 27, 2011 at 4:57
  • 1
    Greyback is alive after the bridge scene, when he chows down on lavender. Nom nom nom
    – user4844
    Feb 19, 2012 at 19:24

The film's screenplay makes it pretty clear that Neville and co. were speaking about blowing up the wooden bridge, the rearward entrance to Hogwarts Castle.

PROFESSOR McGONAGALL: Why don't you confer with Mr. Finnegan? As I recall, he has a particular proclivity for pyrotechnics.

Neville and Ginny glance back at Seamus.

SEAMUS: I can bring 'er down.

PROFESSOR McGONAGALL: That's the spirit. Now off you go.

In the following scene, they're doing precisely that, setting charges onto the wooden bridge. Note that this the screen direction is "continuous action" indicating that they've not been anywhere else since we last saw them, followed by "moments later".

235B - EXT. WOODEN BRIDGE - CONTINUOUS ACTION - NIGHT Further on, small as ants from this vantage, Neville, Ginny, Seamus and half a dozen DA members approach the WOODEN BRIDGE.



Neville limps into our FIELD OF VIEW and peers outward, marveling at the bombardment above.

SEAMUS: That's it. I want a charge on each and every joist.

Neville peers below. Down amongst the pilings, Seamus directs KATIE BELL, CHO and NIGEL in placing magical "charges" (spells) on key pressure points.

NEVILLE: You do know what you're doing, don't you, Seamus?

Seamus winks, gives a thumbs-up — he seems to be enjoying himself, perhaps inordinately so. Neville exhales, shakes his head.



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