Friday, July 29, 2016

Harry Potter Reread: The Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6) 

Potter fever is ramping up this year thanks to two exciting new projects: the eighth story, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, will be debuting in London's West End on July 30 and the first in a new movie trilogy, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, will hit theaters in November. In preparation, I decided to revisit my most beloved series and blog about it. (Besides, I don't really need an excuse to reread Harry Potter.)

Origin Story

I honestly cannot remember where I bought Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince when it first came out. Was it from a bookstore or a supermarket? I know for a fact that I didn't read it right away because I remember being spoiled (yet again) about the big death at the end. 

I know this is a pretty lame origin story compared to the first few books in the series. Just wait. My Deathly Hallows origin story is even worse.


Things I Noticed This Time Around

p.257- An 11-year old Tom Riddle expresses the belief that his mother 'cant've been magic or she wouldn't have died.' We know that Voldemort's mother was, in fact, a witch but this particular belief seems to be an early manifestation of Voldemort's obsession with immortality. Voldemort seems to think that those who succumb to death are weak. He sees himself as the most powerful sorcerer of all time and so, in his mind, he should be immune to death.  This is why he goes to such great lengths to create the Horcruxes and stay alive at all costs, even if it means ripping his soul apart.

p.418- Dumbledore tells Harry that 'we have never been able to keep a Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher for longer than a year since I refused the post to Voldemort.' Is it possible Voldemort placed an actual curse on Hogwarts? Maybe he was so bitter about Dumbledore refusing him that he wanted to ensure no one else would be able to keep the job for any long stretch of time. Or was this an unconscious bit of magic?

p.578- Hermione is explaining to everyone what happened after Snape killed Dumbledore:

 " 'We went into his office to see if we could help Professor Flitwick and found him unconscious on the floor...and, oh, it's so obvious now, Snape must have Stupefied Flitwick, but we didn't realise, we just let Snape go!'
     'It's not your fault,' said Lupin firmly. 'Hermione, had you not obeyed Snape and got out of the way, he would probably gave killed you and Luna.' " 

Now that we know that Snape was really a good guy all along (relatively speaking), my theory is that Snape stunned Flitwick and told Hermione and Luna to look after him so that they would be safe from the Death Eaters invading the castle.

Favorite Parts/Lines

p.113-When Harry and co. go and visit Fred and George's joke shop:

"The right-hand window was covered in a gigantic poster, purple like those of the Ministry, but emblazoned with flashing yellow letters:

Why Are You Worrying About You-Know-Who?
You SHOULD Be Worrying About 
the Constipation Sensation That's Gripping the Nation!

Harry started to laugh. He heard a weak sort of moan beside him and looked round to see Mrs Weasley gazing, dumbfounded, at the poster. Her lips moved, silently mouthing the name, U-No-Poo.' 

p.529-When Dumbledore and Harry are in the cave looking for the Horcrux and Harry sees the Inferi:

" 'There is nothing to be feared from a body, Harry, any more than there is anything to be feared from the darkness. Lord Voldemort, who of course secretly fears both, disagrees. But once again he reveals his own lack of wisdom. It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.' "

Concluding Thoughts

The end of Half-Blood Prince is truly mind-blowing because Snape finally reveals his true colours...or at least, we think he does. I remember when I read it for the first time, I actually thought that Snape might still be a good guy. I think I predicted that Snape only killed Dumbledore because Dumbledore told him to. Of course, I could be just conjuring up this memory in retrospect but I think I always knew, even after Half-Blood Prince, that there was a lot more to Snape than met the eye. (I know my posts are always very pro-Snape but I can't help it! He's still my favorite character! #sorrynotsorry

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