Now that Harry has turned 17, his mother's protective spell can no longer help him. So the trio -- Harry, Ron and Hermione -- head to a desolate hiding place to avoid pursuit and ambush by Voldemort. Also on their agenda is to find and destroy several horcruxes, which are objects that contain bits of Voldemort's soul and are therefore linked to the Dark Lord's survival.
"Ron is very discouraged over what he perceives to be a suicide mission," Bassham said. "It's cold and rainy, and they're hungry. And, as Harry and Hermione go off to strategize, Ron feels very left out."
In the book, said Bassham, there is no vision linked to Ron's despair, which is so profound that it prompts Ron to announce he's leaving. To this, Harry says "Good riddance."
Hermione, who wants to stay true to the original plan -- loyalty is an important theme -- stays.
"But Ron says to her, 'I get it, you choose him,' meaning Harry," Bassham said.
"For the movie to create a visual depiction of what Ron is going through could be an effective psychological device," said Bassham, adding that audiences might rightfully connect the vision to the evil and corrupting effects of the horcrux they've found but are unable to destroy.
"The vision that Ron has of Hermione and Harry is a projection," said Michael Vannoy Adams, a Jungian analyst in private practice in New York. "It's an inner experience that Ron projects outward onto Hermione and Harry, and what Freud calls a 'primal scene,' a sexual embrace that's intolerable. The vision has power because Ron imagines that it's all about them, when it's really only about him."
Although romantics concede that the path to true love is fraught with obstacles, will fans relish the impact of what flashes before Ron's eyes?
Travis Prinzi, a Harry Potter expert in Rochester, N.Y., who created and runs the Harry Potter discussion web site, www.thehogshead.org, said he doesn't think too many people will find fault with the vision. However, he said, those who might object would do so on the basis that, "If the author, J.K. Rowling, didn't include it, why should the movie?"
Prinzi, who also wrote "Harry Potter and Imagination: The Way between Two Worlds (Zossima, 2008)," said readers often use their imagination to create their own visuals based on the narrative.
"For some fans, seeing the movie's vision-image may diminish their own experience of 'visualizing' how Ron felt," Prinzi said. "But others may see the vision as a representation of how much Ron had to overcome and how deep his frustration was.
The director David Yates, who helmed "Deathly Hallows" as well as the previous two Harry Potter movies, "has been able to communicate a lot with only a few images," said Prinzi. "In fact, he can communicate the entire history of Ron's struggle with this image."
Will some people object to the sexual subtext of the vision?
"The Harry Potter books are not just a children's series," said Smith. "As Harry grows up, the books also grow up, with more adult material, such as violence and also sexual tension between the teenage characters. Movies need to show sexual tension through images."