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Like the other Harry Potter movies, a majority of Order of the Phoenix is set at good ol' Hogwarts. This is Harry's home away from home. Well, actually his main home since we don't count the house he lives at on Privet Drive during the summer as much of a home. No one nails embroidered "Home Sweet Home" samplers above the doors of tiny under-stairs rooms.
So, in Order of the Phoenix, we get the usual Hogwarts magic…but we also spend about a third of the movie in some new wizarding locales. Let's explore, shall we?
The Black family home becomes the headquarters for the Order of the Phoenix and a mysterious stop on Harry's journey to Hogwarts.
The inside of the house is dark, dirty, and cramped. The place is filled with old-looking artifacts, skulls, and family portraits all covered in cobwebs. Harry finds out the reason why the place is so dusty—it's all being looked after by one ancient-looking house elf named Kreacher. Guess no one bothered to give him a sock.
Sirius reveals that this is the house he grew up in along with his parents who were obsessed with their own pure-blood wizarding ancestry. He and Harry explore the Black family tree—a huge tapestry that covers the walls of an entire room.
The Black family tree that you see in the movie actually came straight from J.K. Rowling. The production crew asked for help visualizing what the Black family would look like up on the wall and "fifteen minutes later a fax came through with the entire Black family tree which had the family crest, their motto, with eight generations of Blacks with all their names." (Source)
Dang. J.K. does not mess around.
This is our first visit to the governmental hub of the wizarding world. Harry and Mr. Weasley take the visitor's entrance, which is on Whitehall (a road in London that just so happens to be home to various Muggle government ministries). Cute.
The inside of the Ministry is pretty epic. The place is enormous and decorated in black and green ceramic tile with gold detailing. There are huge multi-story windows and a fountain with golden wizard statues in it. People are appearing out of fireplaces courtesy of the Floo Network and folks are selling newspapers and talking business all around us. In short, this place is very big and very busy.
The final battles are staged at the Ministry of Magic, so you know these sets had to be completely epic. The set in the Hall of Prophecies was done completely digitally because the crew was worried about lighting issue with all the little orbs and having to reset all that broken glass in between takes. We feel their pain. (Source)
The atrium in the Ministry of Magic was the most expensive Potter set to date and ended up being 220 feet in length. (Source) It was inspired by classic London locations such as the London Underground and even a BurgerKing on Tottenham Road with a Victorian façade. Who says fast food can't be inspirational?
What's different this year at Hogwarts? Well, Harry and friends find the Room of Requirement, which is a pretty massive stroke of luck.
HERMIONE GRANGER: You've done it, Neville. You found the Room of Requirement.
NEVILLE LONGBOTTOM: The what?
HERMIONE GRANGER: It's also known as the Come and Go Room. The Room of Requirement only appears when a person has real need of it. And it's always equipped for the seeker's needs[…]
HARRY POTTER: It's brilliant. It's like Hogwarts wants us to fight back.
The design for this room is all about fighting. There are huge Death Eater statues for casting curses and big mirrors all around the room for checking out your form while jinxing. Sure, the floor could use a few cushions. Getting stupefied looks like it hurts a bit.
We also would be shirking our duty is we didn't mention how amazing Umbridge's office is. It's decorated in pink with all kinds of little frills and doilies all over the place. There are fluffy cushions and adorable tea cups and sweet little kittens mewing softly from little plates on the walls. It's a-dorable.
But this office is all about masking the fact that Dolores Umbridge is a monster. She's got a torture quill. And one of those kitten plates? It's a spy. Umbridge might look like a mild-mannered lady who just loves floral arrangements, but she's actually a cruel, scheming, bureaucrat who will stop at nothing to shore up her own personal power.
Care for some sugar in your tea?
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