Bill Nighy’s Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 character met a sticky end. Here’s how Minister of Magic Rufus Scrimgeour died.
Bill Nighy’s Harry Potter character met a sticky end at the hands of an infamous villain – here’s Rufus Scrimgeour’s death explained. Actor Bill Nighy became the latest iconic British thespian to appear in the Harry Potter franchise when he made his debut as Rufus Scrimgeour – the newly appointed Minister of Magic – in Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1. The movie opened with Scrimgeour delivering a speech that recognized the threat Lord Voldemort’s (Ralph Fiennes) return posed to the wizarding world, and he later met with Harry, Ron and Hermione to pass on the items Dumbledore had left them in his will.
Unfortunately, Bill Nighy’s Harry Potter screen time was limited because Rufus Scrimgeour played a much smaller role in the movies than he did in the books. In J.K. Rowling’s source material, Scrimgeour was an improvement on his Minister of Magic predecessor Cornelius Fudge but still had his faults as he was more focused on giving the wizarding world a false sense of security than properly preparing for Voldemort’s impending war. Scrimgeour’s efforts to persuade Harry to become the Ministry of Magic’s mascot also meant he and the boy wizard had a contentious relationship.
Rufus Scrimgeour’s death in Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 plays out in much the same way as it does in the book – that is, off-screen. While Harry and company are attending Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour’s wedding, they’re informed Bill Nighy's Rufus Scrimgeour has been killed and the Ministry of Magic has fallen into Lord Voldemort’s hands. Whereas the film version doesn’t elaborate any further on the circumstances surrounding Scrimgeour’s death, the book offers a few more details about how he met his demise.
In the Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows book, Remus Lupin reveals that rumor has it Scrimgeour was tortured by Voldemort and his cohorts in an attempt to get him to reveal the whereabouts of Harry and was killed by Voldemort after refusing to talk. Despite his faults, Scrimgeour did Harry a favor in his last moments and the boy wizard came to respect the slain Minister of Magic for his sacrifice.
It’s a shame that Bill Nighy’s Harry Potter character wasn’t given more screentime so the actor could exercise his impressive, award-winning range. That way, Rufus Scrimgeour’s Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows demise could’ve had a great impact despite it happening offscreen. Unfortunately, Scrimgeour’s more fleshed-out role was one of the many casualties of transferring the tale of Harry Potter from page to screen.