The portion of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows that’s been adapted in the final installment of the film series accounts for one-third of the pages and approximately 90 percent of the action in the book. So it stands to reason that the eighth Harry Potter movie is going to be a barnburner (castleburner?), centering on a breathless 24 hours in the lives of Harry, Ron, and Hermione that covers a daring heist, a narrow escape, and the biggest magical battle in wizarding history. (Plus some other weird shit that takes place in a misty otherworld.) Glimpses of all that and more are present in the first full trailer for Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Pt. 2, which starts out gentle, with a pretty music-box rendition of “Hedwig’s Theme” and lots of close-ups of eyes and hands and horcruxes, then builds to a crescendo of dragon-fire, battling suits of armor, and lots of explosions. (Not to mention a pretty spoiler-y glimpse of a major-ish death—don’t look too close if you haven’t read the book.)
When the film is released on July 15, it will be almost a full decade since the first Harry Potter film hit theaters, during which time the onscreen world of Harry Potter evolved from a twinkly, Chris Columbus-directed kiddie dreamworld into something much darker, more complex, and relentlessly blue-tinted. Gone are the enchanted hats, butterbeer, and cute owl sidekicks (RIP) of the early films; in their place are epic, world-changing battles and discussions of fate, duty, and death… lots and lots of death. But all things must come to an end, be they an evil snake-faced sorcerer, a plucky boy wizard, or a multi-billion-dollar book and film franchise that’s been causing nerdgasms for nearly 15 years. The end is nigh, my fellow Potterheads; watch this trailer and stare into the vast, empty abyss that awaits us come July 16.