Discussion: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

If you haven’t read the book, you may not want to read this either, because the discussion will be full of spoilery goodness. (I actually just made sure of that. The very first comment WILL spoil you.)


(Aside: You don’t have to use the spoiler tags in this discussion. You shouldn’t be here unless you’ve read the book and are willing to be spoiled. You Have Been Warned.)

57 replies on “Discussion: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”

  1. Dave says:

    So, let’s get the obvious right out of the way…
    Is the big D really dead? And if so, what does his death actually mean?

    There’s plenty of circumstantial evidence to support a "faking your own death" clause in here. They mentioned, early in the book, a potion that lets someone appear to be dead, and that kind of detail isn’tsomething you just casually drop in and then never do anything with… Also, every previous time someone was tagged by the Death Curse, they just kinda dropped; Dumbledore went flying back most dramatically. Maybe he got a joke wand from Fred and George and somehow slipped it to Snape.

    On the other hand, Dumbledore’s death certainly seems to have inspired Harry, and maybe Dumbledore knew, Obi-Wan style, that his death was not only inevitable but necessary.

    • zaphf says:

      Re: So, let’s get the obvious right out of the way…

      Is the big D really dead? And if so, what does his death actually mean?

      I think Dumbledore is truely dead. The various details seem to lead away from this being just a big fake out. I think the big question is who is Snape taking orders from? V or was it D himself who ordered Snape to kill him? Did D sacrifice himself so that Snape would become completely trusted by V and the Death Eaters? There is plenty of evidence in this volume that D considered himself to be expendible in the fight against V. After returning to Hogsmede D didn’t want to see the nurse, he wanted to see Snape, perhaps so that Snape would be sure of completing his unbreakable vow.

      D pretty much had to die in this volume in order to allow Harry to grow as a character. The fact that he did was of no surprise to me. His death has galvanized Harry, and possible made Snape into V’s second in command. That would be a worthy result of a sacrifice of this magnitude.

      • chad says:

        Re: Growing Up

        D pretty much had to die in this volume in order to allow Harry to grow as a character.

        When I heard from reviewers that someone “MAJOR” was going to die, I thought hard and came up with Dumbledore as the most likely person. A major underlying theme in the Harry Potter series is the journey to adulthood, and there comes a time when children separate from their parents (in Harry’s case, Dumbledore) and make their own lives. In a sense, this is a type of “death”–Rowling just made it more explicit. Now Harry will have to face his problems (e.g., Voldemort) without the guidance and protection of his “parent.” So yes, I believe his death is permanent.

      • tommyboy says:

        Re: So, let’s get the obvious right out of the way…
        Firstly: Dumbledore is dead. It would be such a weak U-turn to bring him back that JK would be the laughing stock for ever.

        As for Snape acting under D’s orders: it’s possible, but how do you explain the genuine note of ‘pleading’ in Dumbledore’s voice just before he is killed? OK he could be acting, but that robs this crucial scene of its real, and IMO quite disturbing, power. Ask yourselves too, why does D plead? We know he’s not a weak character, he would face his death stoically in terms of his own life.

        I think he wants to live so that he can help Harry in the future through what he knows will be some taxing times (4 more Horcruxes to get apart from anything else!) He knows Harry has infinitely less chance without the support of one of the greatest wizards of the age, whether or not it helps Snape get closer to Voldemort.

        Finally: the scene of Snape killing Dumbledore is the most disturbing single scene in the entire series, the fulfillment of all Harry’s worst suspicions and fears in one single, horrific act. It is such a crucial, symbolic scene that I don’t believe JK would pull the rug and turn it into a cheap narrative trick – it is, surely, as simple as it appears. Reread the final page of that chapter – how much more plainly could she have revealed Snape’s true character than using the ‘Avada Kedavra’ on Dumbledore?

    • jbrecken says:

      Re: So, let’s get the obvious right out of the way…

      Dumbledore’s death certainly seems to have inspired Harry, and maybe Dumbledore knew, Obi-Wan style, that his death was not only inevitable but necessary.

      I was expecting that we’d find out that it was Harry’s fault that Dumbledore died – that Draco was only able to fix the cabinet because of something he read in the book that Harry had hidden in it, but that revelation didn’t happen. Perhaps we’ll find it out in the next book – an owl will show up with a gloating letter, once Snape and Draco put together how it happened.

      • SamWise says:

        Re: So, let’s get the obvious right out of the way…
        Dudes,
        Dumbledore’s dead, true. But he has a horcux – it’s in his pheonex. Think about it.

        • saxjazzbenh says:

          Re: So, let’s get the obvious right out of the way…
          Dumbledore does not have a horcrux – you have to kill someone to create it, you have to give up a part of your soul, AND JKR has said, more than once, through the series that there are worse things than death.

  2. jbrecken says:

    unsatisfying
    When I got to the end of the book, I had a very disappointed feeling that I’d just read only the middle of a story, moreso than in the previous volumes. It seemed to lack any sort of a completion, merely stopping when it got to the end of the school year.

    In the other volumes, there was generally the idea of Harry fulfilling a mission or completing a quest, but in this one he is given a task that is left unfinished, and leaves too many questions unanswered.

    • Dave says:

      Re: unsatisfying

      When I got to the end of the book, I had a very disappointed feeling that I’d just read only the middle of a story, moreso than in the previous volumes.

      Yeah, I basically got the same feeling. There was also way too much exposition for my taste; even though we all knew we’d have to have a fair amount of it, sooner or later, it just feels a bit heavy-handed here.

      It’s rather a lot like many big genre shows and novel series. You’ll have stand-alone episodes that do relatively little to move the big story, and then you’ll have episodes that are all about the big story and if you don’t know what’s happening you’ll be lost, and that episode by itself just feels odd.

      Suppose you’d never seen The X-Files before, and the first episode you saw was, say, "Paper Clip." Lots of stuff going on but you won’t understand most of it. Even if you do know what’s happening, the episode by itself can’t really stand alone; it’s part of a bigger story and needs to be handled as such. That’s basically what’s happening with this book.

      The exposition has to show up sooner or later, and by itself it looks weird. We can only hope Ms. Rowling’s next book has enough of a payoff to forgive her for the somewhat FAQish tone of this one.

    • Eldhrin says:

      Re: unsatisfying

      When I got to the end of the book, I had a very disappointed feeling that I’d just read only the middle of a story, moreso than in the previous volumes. It seemed to lack any sort of a completion, merely stopping when it got to the end of the school year.

      In the other volumes, there was generally the idea of Harry fulfilling a mission or completing a quest, but in this one he is given a task that is left unfinished, and leaves too many questions unanswered.

      Rowling has said repeatedly that this book and book seven form a pair; it’s not supposed to wrap up neatly like the previous ones did because the situation is now very different. It only stops there because it’s the end of the school year, and that’s how she splits books up. If we were able to read it and book seven as one volume (which we can, when book seven comes out), I think we’ll find that there’s very little sense of switching books. Although there’ll probably be a slight recap at the start of book seven, in the usual style.

      • Espy says:

        Re: unsatisfying

        Rowling has said repeatedly that this book and book seven form a pair; it’s not supposed to wrap up neatly like the previous ones did because the situation is now very different. It only stops there because it’s the end of the school year, and that’s how she splits books up. If we were able to read it and book seven as one volume (which we can, when book seven comes out), I think we’ll find that there’s very little sense of switching books. Although there’ll probably be a slight recap at the start of book seven, in the usual style.

        But that doesn’t mean the ending has to be so bleak, especially the ending of a book where practically nothing happy occurs. Even in Empire Strikes Back, Luke got his new hand.

        SP

        • krilia says:

          Re: unsatisfying
          And at the end of this book we have several new happy relationships.

          Which, actually, I didn’t care for, but it is something happy. Why didn’t I care for them? It had nothing to do with the particular relationships, and everything to do with all of them happening at once.

        • Aie says:

          Re: unsatisfying
          But that doesn’t mean the ending has to be so bleak, especially the ending of a book where practically nothing happy occurs. Even in Empire Strikes Back, Luke got his new hand.

          I know what you mean. The book was great, but by Harry standards awful. Where was the plot? No stone to save or tournament to win, there was only the gathering of information and suspicions. And it didn’t have the beauty of a complecated many leveled plot like Goblet, for instance. Where was the significance of the Half Blood Prince or the Slug Club? In other books every little detail become pertinent. I was disapointed.

    • merlin28uk says:

      Re: unsatisfying
      I have to wholey agree with jbrecken about being disapointed,i still feel there
      is more to be read and cannot see how harry can complete his task ahead
      without i wouldnt say guidance but more assitance in the task of finding the
      horcruxes that are left, if they are so puzzling that Dumbledore had trouble
      finding and and solving their powers and charms and i agree as well that
      albeit being a cheesy plot if dumbldore is not dead then why did his death
      apear different to the other mentions of the avada kadavar curse, i do hope
      he isnt dead but then again the portrait is in the headmaster/mistress’s
      office, there are to many unaswered questions in this book and i feel it has
      been rushed through to quickly. I am sorry to say it but i am still feeling let
      down by this instalment after all the fuss and greatness that was abounding
      it, it is a truelly sorry tale to read, but i hope to have it all explained in the
      next book whenever that maybe, hopefully sooner than later though.

      Merlin

  3. chad says:

    Plot Summary

    Short summary available here.

    Full summary available here.

  4. chad says:

    Romance
    So who got romantic?

    • jbrecken says:

      Re: Romance

      So who got romantic?

      Myrtle, for one, although we never find out with whom.

      • zaphf says:

        Re: Romance

        So who got romantic?

        Myrtle, for one, although we never find out with whom.

        Uhm, we do find out. None other than Draco.

    • Trekkie says:

      Re: Romance

      So who got romantic?

      Ron + some disposable girl, then Ron+Hermione are ‘figuring it out’ but never actually did much.

      The big one was Harry+Ginny which I guessed would happen when I read book 2. but as I commented below he broke up with her so she wouldn’t be killed by Voldemort in retaliation for what Harry had to do.

      And as mentioned above Myrtle and Draco.

      • themann says:

        Re: Romance

        So who got romantic?

        Ron + some disposable girl, then Ron+Hermione are ‘figuring it out’ but never actually did much.

        The big one was Harry+Ginny which I guessed would happen when I read book 2. but as I commented below he broke up with her so she wouldn’t be killed by Voldemort in retaliation for what Harry had to do.

        And as mentioned above Myrtle and Draco.

        Don’t forget Bill Weasley and Fleur from “Goblet of Fire” fame. And Tonks and Lupin. This seemed a little weird. I’m not satisfied with Tonks’ romantic pining as a cause for her personality transformation during this book. As an auror, she faces death all the time…are we supposed to believe she gets all worked up about a guy?

  5. prem says:

    Does this mean Hogwarts will be closed
    … and we will have more than 7 HP books?
    Because if Harry need not go to Hogwarts [he seems to be dropping out either way] then the series need not be limited to the 7 years in Hogwarts?

    Or will JKR stick to the powerful number 7?

    I wouldn’t complaint if I got more than 7 HPs :D

    • Aie says:

      Re: Does this mean Hogwarts will be closed

      … and we will have more than 7 HP books?
      Because if Harry need not go to Hogwarts [he seems to be dropping out either way] then the series need not be limited to the 7 years in Hogwarts?

      Or will JKR stick to the powerful number 7?

      I wouldn’t complaint if I got more than 7 HPs :D

      I have a hard time believing Harry won’t go back to Hogwarts, but I think I’m in denial. JKR mentioned in an interview that she’d pretty much set the stage for book 7 at the end of book 6, so it seems certain that Harry will not go back to school. Which SUCKS!! what’s a Harry Potter book without hogwarts? at least Ron and Hermione are going on his ‘quest’ with him.

  6. Trekkie says:

    BAR?
    So any idea as to who is BAR?

    and Bah, why did he have to break up with Ginny? Two is more powerful
    than one, and the theme of Love is what Voldemort doesn’t have and all, but
    then again he’s always seemed to be hot & bull headed about things.
    Hopefully he’ll wake up.

    This was too much of a cliffhanger for this book, it actually reminded me of
    Empire Strikes Back. It was dark, very brooding, very depressing type ending.
    It reminded me of Han in carbonite, off with a bounty hunter, the world is lost
    type of ending.

    I can only hope the next book doesn’t take so long to get out.

    Overall I very much enjoyed the book in the two days it took me to read it.
    My wife decided to finally read the series since I basically locked myself in a
    room so I could read it and ingonored everyone. While I read books all the
    time this is the only one I made a supreme effort to read immediately vs
    ‘when I have time’ type of thing.

    The one thing that kind of annoyed me was the hype around ‘who is the half
    blood prince’ was kind of annoying, like anyone else needed a reason to read
    this book. About half way through I was geussing it was Voldemort and was
    disappointed they’d done that again and was happy to be wrong.

    I don’t know if I agree with the ‘Dumbledore asked him too’ part of his death.
    I think he made his call. The unbreakable vow could have been fulfilled
    without killing big D, but it was an important development anyway. At least
    the New D they cast for the movies will only be arounda few more movies
    then. I really miss the original Dumbledor, Richard Harris

    • Espy says:

      Re: BAR?

      So any idea as to who is RAB?

      Regulus A. Black, unless we’re getting hoodwinked again.

      SP

      • jbrecken says:

        Re: BAR?

        So any idea as to who is RAB?

        Regulus A. Black, unless we’re getting hoodwinked again.

        SP

        So the missing thing is possibly hidden in Harry’s house? Well, that will be a short quest.

        • Nickvotrobeck says:

          Re: BAR?

          So any idea as to who is RAB?

          Regulus A. Black, unless we’re getting hoodwinked again.

          SP

          So the missing thing is possibly hidden in Harry’s house? Well, that will be a short quest.

          I agree that it’s Regulus. 1) The note in the locket addressed Voldemort as the “Dark Lord”, which only his followers or ex-followers tend to do and 2) we learned earlier in the story that Regulus did not survive long after he tried to leave the Death Eaters.
          However, I think the quest for the locket may be a bit longer than a short trip to Grimmauld Place, as we learned earlier in the story that Mundungus Fletcher has been stealing things from there and selling them.

          • justanotherfan says:

            Re: BAR?
            Nice one, Nickvotrobeck!
            Admiring how open (after 6 books) JK can keep her plot, but still… I completely agree with Regulus Alphard Black … sure you guys also noticed (in HP5) that collection of Sirius’s stuff which was to be disposed of (around page 125 or so):

            “…curiously weak and sleepy, until Ginny had the sense to slam the lid shut; A HEAVY LOCKET that none of them could open; a number of ancient seals…”

            Guess this’ll have to do more with Kreacher (and thus maybe with Narcissa) than with Mundungus (who would have sold the locket if he could have laid his hands on it and would never have to break into houses…) JK has got to release Dung in HP7 to provide clues for the Gryffindor- or Ravenclaw- Horcrux already.

  7. fiziko says:

    Filling in review details

    I’m just going to post some of the spoilery comments that I
    didn’t include in the review for those who wish to remain
    untainted. They are:

    • Chapter Two made the ending too predictable for me.
      Once Slughorn revealed his original intent for that bottle,
      I figured out what Malfoy had been asked to do, and that
      Snape would have to do it. If chapter two hadn’t been
      included, then I wouldn’t have known what choice Snape was
      going to make until he made it.
    • I’m sure Dumbledore’s death is the real thing. After
      seeing how easily he handled Voldemort in Order of the
      Phoenix
      , I really didn’t see how Voldemort could feel
      like a threat if Dumbledore were around. I figured he’d
      die in this book before I even started reading it, which is
      another thing that made chapter two excessive. Voldemort
      couldn’t have killed Dumbledore, given how easily
      Dumbledore had handled him, so that meant someone else
      would do the job. After chapter two, I knew it would be
      Snape’s job to do it, since Dumbledore’s trust for him
      would cause him to lower his guard.
    • They say that Slughorn would have recognized Snape’s
      writing immediately, and yet the three kids who’ve been his
      students for six years didn’t? That was weak. The book
      needed some comment at least about Snape putting notes on
      the board in class through magical means, so that there was
      a chance that they’d never actually have seen his natural
      handwriting.
    • With the romantic coupling, it was not unpredictable, but
      still nice to finally see things come together. I’d have
      liked it if Ginny, Luna, and Neville were to be significant
      members of the group in book seven, but then they’d be one
      short for the most powerful wizarding number. I’m torn
      between whether I’d want that to be filled with the
      mysterious R.A.B. (which would mean introducing a new
      character) or a reformed Malfoy, who realized that he
      didn’t really have the heart to take things as far as
      Voldemort wants him to. (That will depend on his
      punishment, I suppose, for letting Snape do a job that
      Voldemort had earmarked for him.)
    • Trekkie says:

      Re: Filling in review details
      I was dense and a brick and thought the whole time Draco was after Potter. Missed the reference to the meade going to Dumbldore the whole time.

      As far as the handwriting, if I look at my handwriting now and then, then looks a lot different to now and it was only about 15 years. But who knows.

      • merlin28uk says:

        Re: Filling in review details

        I was dense and a brick and thought the whole time Draco was after Potter.
        Missed the reference to the meade going to Dumbldore the whole time.

        As far as the handwriting, if I look at my handwriting now and then, then
        looks a lot different to now and it was only about 15 years. But who knows.

        I’d have to agree with trekkie here i to thought that malfoy was after harry, bit
        obvious now when you look back in hindesight that it wasnt harry he was
        after but i still cant imagine in a million years it been dumbldore that he was
        sent to kill.

    • jbrecken says:

      Re: Filling in review details

      With the romantic coupling, it was not unpredictable, but
      still nice to finally see things come together. I’d have
      liked it if Ginny, Luna, and Neville were to be significant
      members of the group in book seven, but then they’d be one
      short for the most powerful wizarding number.

      It’s possible the next book could switch back and forth between HR&H out in the world and the rest of the DA back at Hogwart’s tracking down clues, if it stays open. I hope Hagrid gets made head of Gryffindor, if Mac stays on as Headmistress.

      • themann says:

        Re: Filling in review details

        It’s possible the next book could switch back and forth between HR&H out in the world and the rest of the DA back at Hogwart’s tracking down clues, if it stays open. I hope Hagrid gets made head of Gryffindor, if Mac stays on as Headmistress.

        This seems like wishful thinking. I found the end of the book depressing, as it seemed to ensure 2 things in the future: a limited role for Dumbledore (though I suppose he could always wake up and talk to Harry from his portrait in the Headmistress’s office) and (I’m projecting) little future mention of the quirks and customs we have become accustomed to at Hogwarts…no more quidditch, no more forbidden forest and its inhabitants, no Filch/Peeves/Pomfrey, etc, no more of the lesser teachers, and quite possibly little to no McGonagall unless it is in the context of The Order of the Phoenix. And what about Hagrid???
        Maybe I’m way off base, because as I write this, I realize all the story lines that are left hanging (Neville/Ginny, Dobby, McLaggen, etc). Maybe JKR plans to close Hogwarts so ALL these characters will be cast into different settings, not just HR&H.

    • clutch110 says:

      Re: Filling in review details
      I also believe that Dumbledore is dead. However, I think Snape was compelled to finish him because Malfoy was there and was unable to complete the task set him by Voldermort. I think Dumbledore became afraid because it was Snape and Malfoy there and he knew what must happen with the Unbreakable Vow.

      Snape could have easily of hurt Harry in the final fight scene, but he only deflected and challenged Harry to do better, why not simply immobilize him and lord over how weak he truly was? I think Snape and Dumbledore have a plan for Harry that is still continuing and will unfold in the next book.

      Of course, this is me hoping that there is still some good left in Snape. I know Harry will have to defeat Voldermort in the next book (or maybe not if you listen to the author’s comments. However, will he have to trust someone he hates in the process to do this?

      All in all, a decent book, it was very quickly paced and I am left with a feeling of incompleteness because the book seems like a bridge to the next book and nothing of significance.

      • zaphf says:

        Re: Filling in review details

        Of course, this is me hoping that there is still some good left in Snape.

        I’ve reread the book with the focus on looking for clues that point to my pet theory that D knew and made Snape promise to kill him. The biggest one being that D appoints Snape to be Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. Something he would be reluctant to do if he hadn’t already heard from Snape about the plan to kill him and Snape’s unbreakable vow.

        I also think that the Snape character hasn’t been developed throughout the series as the traitor and I find it very unlikely that he would have turned before we find out WHY D has always trusted him despite his questionable actions. If Snape truely turned on D there would have been more gloating at the murder scene as Snape stood triumphantly over the man he had fooled for so many years. As it was, I believe D was pleading with Snape to actually go through with the plan (killing him). Snape’s little tussle with Harry adds to that theory, as not only does he refrain from even doing a crucio, he stops other death eaters from harming him.

        • justanotherfan says:

          Re: Filling in review details
          Guess you are right with your pet-theory. In chapter 2 (spinners end), Snape replied on Bellatrix’s Question: “Why did you stop the Dark Lord procuring the Sorcerer’s Stone?” with: “He did not dare reveal himself to a former ally if that ally might turn him over to Dumbledore or the Ministry.” and pretended he didn’t know that it was Voldy trying to get the stone, although he did. (In HP1 he asked Quirell to think over his “loyalities”.) Thus he lied to Bellatrix (and likely also to Voldy, Snape being an excellent Occlumens).
          I believe D was going to snuff it anyway, because the Horcrux ring-curse was finishing him off slowly, also there’s the fact that he did drink that poisonous potion. He would not have been that reckless as leader of the Phoenix lot. Moreover, I don’t think the reason for Snape’s early change of sides (V->D) is already revealed, but may involve his mother (JK introduced her character somewhat lamely, she or her editor would have cut that clue out if she could have, I suppose). The twists and turns you can produce as an author in the 7th book of a (amazingly intrinsically logical) saga are limited, but this could be one.

        • merlin28uk says:

          Re: Filling in review details

          Of course, this is me hoping that there is still some good left in Snape.

          I’ve reread the book with the focus on looking for clues that point to my pet
          theory that D knew and made Snape promise to kill him. The biggest one
          being that D appoints Snape to be Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher.
          Something he would be reluctant to do if he hadn’t already heard from Snape
          about the plan to kill him and Snape’s unbreakable vow.

          I also think that the Snape character hasn’t been developed throughout the
          series as the traitor and I find it very unlikely that he would have turned
          before we find out WHY D has always trusted him despite his questionable
          actions. If Snape truely turned on D there would have been more gloating at
          the murder scene as Snape stood triumphantly over the man he had fooled
          for so many years. As it was, I believe D was pleading with Snape to actually
          go through with the plan (killing him). Snape’s little tussle with Harry adds to
          that theory, as not only does he refrain from even doing a crucio, he stops
          other death eaters from harming him.

          Snape stopped anyone even himself from harming harry because as he said in
          the book voldermort wanted to finish him off, or words to that effect, i had
          not thought of dumbledores pleading with snape to actually fulfill his
          unbreakable vow there are still things that are unanswered and i feel should
          have been answered in this book, like why did dumbledore trust snape so
          much, and why did he give snape the defence against the dark arts after so
          many years of withholding the position from him,.

      • tommyboy says:

        Re: Filling in review details

        I also believe that Dumbledore is dead. However, I think Snape was compelled to finish him because Malfoy was there and was unable to complete the task set him by Voldermort. I think Dumbledore became afraid because it was Snape and Malfoy there and he knew what must happen with the Unbreakable Vow.

        So you’re assuming Snape and Dumbledore were working together – but why did Snape HAVE to make the Unbreakable Vow? Was it to convince Bellatrix Lestrange, whose doubt in the second scene was too dangerous for Snape to keep playing the double agent? I’m not convinced. Also, why wouldn’t he have kept Dumbledore in the know about Malfoy’s activities? To be frank, I really can’t believe Snape is going to turn out to be good after all – you’ve had your climactic ‘Avada Kedavra’ scene with Snape killing Dumbledore and that’s it. He’s bad, Dumbledore’s dead, get over it!!

        As for all the talk about Book 7 moving out of Hogwarts – we’ve had SIX BOOKS of Hogwarts and all its charming quirks and I for one have had my fill; I don’t think it outstayed its welcome but six is quite enough! Personally I think it’s much more exciting for JK to completely vary the routine with the final book, even if we’ll all miss the comfortable familiarity of the usual formula (Hogwarts Express, comic misadventures in classes, fun in the dormitories, etc.) Like Harry, we should be bold and excited about moving into a new post-Hogwarts world.

        • justanotherfan says:

          Re: Filling in review details
          Don’t think he HAD to make the Unbreakable Vow, but since DD was going to die as I believe (Hermione: “But there are some injuries you can’t cure… old curses and there are poisons without antidotes”) and Snape was meant to kill him anyway “in the end”, why not make the cover waterproof? Snape lied repeatedly to the Death Eaters, also for the reason of DD’s lack of vitality (“the fight with the Dark Lord…has weakened him greatly”) He brewed and administered DD some sort of antidote himself (“Had it not been…for my own prodigious skill, and for Professor Snape… I might not have lived to tell the tale.”) If Snape wanted DD killed and stay in Hogwarts, he would just have let him die directly after the ring-curse. Furthermore, the Death Eaters were completely unaware of the real reason for his weakness, excluding that Snape has informed them later. (“What happened to you then, Dumby?”) Another reason for a Snape-DD-kill-me-deal is plot-driven: If Voldy knew, that DD knew, that he’s got Horcruxes, it would be impossible for Harry to get to them without making the story intrinsically unlogical- Voldy, most powerful wizard in the world- would just protect them better (and would have protected the Cave better). It’s all about keeping that secret (not even McGonagall was to know about the Horcruxes). Third, it’s laid down in the character of DD that he would sacrifice himself if necessary (HP1 “death is but the next great adventure”). For Harry not returning to Hogwarts… I guess one of the Horcruxes might be there (which would partially explain why Voldy wanted to come back to HgWts).

    • karateyid says:

      Re: Filling in review details

    • They say that Slughorn would have recognized Snape’s
      writing immediately, and yet the three kids who’ve been his
      students for six years didn’t? That was weak. The book
      needed some comment at least about Snape putting notes on
      the board in class through magical means, so that there was
      a chance that they’d never actually have seen his natural
      handwriting.
    • Actually, she does mention a couple of times that Snape (sorry, Professor Snape) uses his wand to have things appear on the blackboard…

  • Aie says:

    Re: Filling in review details

    I completely disagree that Chapter Two was excessive. It was neccessary to take Harry’s suspicions of Malfoy seriously (because he often has unwarranted suspicions) and also to spur the conflict of what side Snape is on. That chapter was crucial to a book with an already weak plot.

    • oaks-of-mamre says:

      Re: Filling in review details

      I completely disagree that Chapter Two was excessive. It was neccessary

      IMHO, chapter two was indeed necessary, mainly because it made me re-evaluate everything I had ever thought about Snape up to that point. I, like so many others, trusted Dumbledore’s word that Snape was trustworthy. Chapter two called that entirely into question.

  • collybugg says:

    Trusting Snape
    Ok, so where Snape is concerned we are left with the fact that Dumbledore trusted Snape but we dont know why.

    My Theory, things arent what they seem. The only way Snape could have given Dumbledore proof he was on the Order’s side would be, imho, is the unbreakable vow. Now I dont think the vow he made to Dumbledore was for a side, I believe it was to protect Harry and help him to survive, much like the vow he made to draco’s mom, which he still has done. In the face of it all, Snape never used a hex,jinx, or curse at Harry the whole time he was trying to get Draco out of the school. He just BLOCKED harry’s attempts. And if memory surves me correctly he hasnt laid one hair on harry’s head unless it was to show him how to use it properly. Nor has he done to anyother student. If he indeed was on Voldemort’s side he would have killed Prof. Flitwick, Hermonie and Luna not distract them.

    Also making the unbreakable vow to draco’s mom would not imprede on his vow to dumbledore seeing as how draco would NEVER be the one to kill Harry…only the dark lord. I believe there could be a way for Snape to save Harry ,making up for what he did to James, and saving Draco all at once.

    So killing dumbledore didnt break a vow and killing voldemort wouldnt break the other vow. What is everyone else’s theories.

    Also, my husband thinks Sirius just went through some sort of door and isnt really dead. I also think Fawlks will become Harry’s. Maybe?

    Collene

    • fiziko says:

      Re: Trusting Snape

      Ok, so where Snape is concerned we are left with the fact
      that Dumbledore trusted Snape but we dont know why.

      Don’t forget, Snape heard the prophecy. He knew Voldemort
      wanted Harry for himself (and said so), and that nobody but
      Voldemort will be able to kill Harry. I also think that
      Dumbledore’s comment that, since he is cleverer than most,
      his mistakes are huger than most, was an indication to the
      reader that it had always been a mistake to trust Snape.

  • cmhbytehead says:

    I’ve been thinking…
    and that’s dangerous!

    I lost access to the book I was reading (my 15 yo is now reading it, I got it read and finished before he came home from his friend’s…), but didn’t Harry ask Dumbledore about the Half Blood Prince? Surely Dumbledore would have known it was Snape.

    Which makes me wonder if Dumbledore is actually dead. I’m still unsure.

    And the actions of Snape at the end still make me wonder about who’s side he is actually on. And just what are his true feelings about Potter? Was he being mean and nasty to Potter just to continue his ruse with the Death Eaters, or was it because he was truly fed up with Potter’s father? Either fits with what we know right now.

    And why the heck didn’t Snape write his own Potions book, since he seemed to have a much finer touch with it.

  • dancingrobot says:

    wait a second….
    hey does anyone remember in book 4?

    when harry returned from the graveyard wasnt there a little line about how there seemed to be a gleam in dumbledores eye? something about harry didnt know if he imagined it but for a split second….

    does anyonehave any ideas as to what that may have meant? could that mean that D had an idea of what was going to happen in book 6????

    • Monday says:

      Re: wait a second….

      hey does anyone remember in book 4?

      when harry returned from the graveyard wasnt there a
      little line about how there seemed to be a gleam in
      dumbledores eye? something about harry didnt know if
      he imagined it but for a split second….

      That’s been bugging me too! That was after
      Harry
      told D
      that Voldy used his blood…

      • Radish03 says:

        Re: wait a second….

        hey does anyone remember in book 4?

        when harry returned from the graveyard wasnt there a
        little line about how there seemed to be a gleam in
        dumbledores eye? something about harry didnt know if
        he imagined it but for a split second….

        That’s been bugging me too! That was after
        Harry
        told D
        that Voldy used his blood…

        I just finished reading about an hour ago, and something that’s bugging me is how harry just happened to cut his arm to smear his blood on the rock wall in the cave instead of cutting dumbledore again, that feels rather significant.

        And some thoughts I had about something that hasn’t really bee discussed here much, the last horcrux that they had no idea about.. It feels a lot to me like it’s Harry’s scar. How easier to explain Harry inheriting some of V’s powers than to have a piece of his soul stuck to his forehead. The (what seemeed like a sort of bing jump to conclusion) suggestion of V using the snake as a horcrux felt like it was introduced in big part to add basis for using a living creature as a horcrux. V, when realizing he was unable to kill Harry, could have marked Harry (who had now become deeply connected to V through the prophecy) as a horcrux (possibly simultaneously using his ‘murder’ of himself as the catalyst for its creation). Being sure that Harry would be the only one capable of killing him, this would make an excellent backup plan in case he somehow failed. As long as Harry is alive, V is safe. If V were to kill Harry, losing this horcux would be irrelevant. He knows there would exist no one else capable of killing him. And if Harry manages to kill V in his corporeal form, V has one last backup where no one expects. Some things don’t feel right to me, but the general idea fits, I think. It doesn’t feel right to me to have the last horcux be some other random item to be introduced in book 7, at least.

        • msmeggie007 says:

          Re: wait a second….

          hey does anyone remember in book 4?

          when harry returned from the graveyard wasnt there a
          little line about how there seemed to be a gleam in
          dumbledores eye? something about harry didnt know if
          he imagined it but for a split second….

          That’s been bugging me too! That was after
          Harry
          told D
          that Voldy used his blood…

          I just finished reading about an hour ago, and something that’s bugging me is how harry just happened to cut his arm to smear his blood on the rock wall in the cave instead of cutting dumbledore again, that feels rather significant.

          And some thoughts I had about something that hasn’t really bee discussed here much, the last horcrux that they had no idea about.. It feels a lot to me like it’s Harry’s scar. How easier to explain Harry inheriting some of V’s powers than to have a piece of his soul stuck to his forehead. The (what seemeed like a sort of bing jump to conclusion) suggestion of V using the snake as a horcrux felt like it was introduced in big part to add basis for using a living creature as a horcrux. V, when realizing he was unable to kill Harry, could have marked Harry (who had now become deeply connected to V through the prophecy) as a horcrux (possibly simultaneously using his ‘murder’ of himself as the catalyst for its creation). Being sure that Harry would be the only one capable of killing him, this would make an excellent backup plan in case he somehow failed. As long as Harry is alive, V is safe. If V were to kill Harry, losing this horcux would be irrelevant. He knows there would exist no one else capable of killing him. And if Harry manages to kill V in his corporeal form, V has one last backup where no one expects. Some things don’t feel right to me, but the general idea fits, I think. It doesn’t feel right to me to have the last horcux be some other random item to be introduced in book 7, at least.

          I was definately just thinking that same exact thing, and had all the same reasoning as you. Only, although it is possible that it is his scar, I really think it to be him himself. What a clever man Voldy is…if it’s true of course.

        • flowerbaby says:

          Re: wait a second….

          And some thoughts I had about something that hasn’t really bee discussed here much, the last horcrux that they had no idea about.. It feels a lot to me like it’s Harry’s scar. How easier to explain Harry inheriting some of V’s powers than to have a piece of his soul stuck to his forehead. The (what seemeed like a sort of bing jump to conclusion) suggestion of V using the snake as a horcrux felt like it was introduced in big part to add basis for using a living creature as a horcrux. V, when realizing he was unable to kill Harry, could have marked Harry (who had now become deeply connected to V through the prophecy) as a horcrux (possibly simultaneously using his ‘murder’ of himself as the catalyst for its creation). Being sure that Harry would be the only one capable of killing him, this would make an excellent backup plan in case he somehow failed. As long as Harry is alive, V is safe. If V were to kill Harry, losing this horcux would be irrelevant. He knows there would exist no one else capable of killing him. And if Harry manages to kill V in his corporeal form, V has one last backup where no one expects. Some things don’t feel right to me, but the general idea fits, I think. It doesn’t feel right to me to have the last horcux be some other random item to be introduced in book 7, at least.

          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          wow – that’s a fascinating theory …. does seem to be a fit with how there’s one horcrux unaccounted for….

      • flowerbaby says:

        Re: wait a second….
        hey does anyone remember in book 4?

        when harry returned from the graveyard wasnt there a
        little line about how there seemed to be a gleam in
        dumbledores eye? something about harry didnt know if
        he imagined it but for a split second….

        ***It said that Harry thought he saw something like triumph gleam in Dumbledore’s eyes when he said that Voldemort had regained his body, and that Harry’s blood caused it.

        I think Dumbledore was happy because Voldemort regaining his body means he’s slowly regaining his mortality – which means he can be killed. Harry’s blood – which contains his mother’s love – is slowly bringing about Voldemort’s eventual death.

        Just my .02***

        • flowerbaby says:

          Re: wait a second….

          hey does anyone remember in book 4?

          when harry returned from the graveyard wasnt there a
          little line about how there seemed to be a gleam in
          dumbledores eye? something about harry didnt know if
          he imagined it but for a split second….
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

          ***It said that Harry thought he saw something like triumph gleam in Dumbledore’s eyes when he said that Voldemort had regained his body, and that Harry’s blood caused it.

          I think Dumbledore was happy because Voldemort regaining his body means he’s slowly regaining his mortality – which means he can be killed. Harry’s blood – which contains his mother’s love – is slowly bringing about Voldemort’s eventual death.

          Just my .02***

  • weasleyisourking says:

    Open ended
    Things I learnt and was disappointed by, or things I just didn’t buy:
    1. Prophecies don’t come true: After all the talk about the rare and real prophecies; the section in the Ministry dedicated to prophecies etc – Dumbledore calmly tells Harry that prophecies do not necessarily come true
    2. The ministry/professors at Hogwarts/Aurors/Order of the Phoenix folk claim to have secured Hogwarts -> no communication, objects, people can get through. Yet there are so many loopholes. The one especially disturbing is the button Malfoy used. Aren’t the guardians of the castle intelligent enough to know that such cheap easy ways of getting around their security measures exist?
    3. If Dumbledore suspected that there were multiple horcruxes, why did he wait all these years to investigate his hunches and Slughorn’s memory? All Harry had to help him was some liquor and the felix potion – surely these are trivial tools available to the great Dumbledore.

    Other observations
    a) Since Dumbledore had several enhantments on the school – these should all be gone if he’s dead. Since he lifted and replaced the no-aparating-within-the-hall rule – students should now be able to apparate there
    b) More to come . . .
    Your comments and feedback are appreciated! Nick

  • jayegg says:

    Ds death
    I think that D had to die to protect Harry. He knew that Harry’s mother’s “protection” was no longer working (from end of Goblet), so he had to make the same sacrifice she did to re-protect Harry with the same magic of love and sacrifice.
    Whaddya think?

    • jayegg says:

      Re: Ds death

      I think that D had to die to protect Harry. He knew that Harry’s mother’s “protection” was no longer working (from end of Goblet), so he had to make the same sacrifice she did to re-protect Harry with the same magic of love and sacrifice.
      Whaddya think?

      This, by the way, would explain what Snape had promised to do that he did not want to do anymore (from Hagrid’s overheard conversation between D and Snape).

  • Slughorn 101 says:

    Hogworts Future
    Does anyone besides me think Horace Slughorn will stay at his post as Potions Master Despite telling Harry that he would oonly serve one year during Half-Blood Prince???

    Also I believe that McGonagall will remain Head of Hogwarts and the school will remain open for the reason their has to be a new Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher (As in Every book that has been written so far)…

    I also believe Flitwick will become deputy head of Hogwarts School. My option also is that Hagrid will become head of Gryffindor House. (As McGonagall will be head of the school.)

    I think the new Defense Against the Dark arts teacher will be a member of the order… (Such as Tonks, Kingsley Shacklebolt , or Charlie Weasly?)

    Their is a way as I see it to keep on eye on Hogwarts as they did with Dolores Umbridge. For the Minister to coax McGonagall into giving the job to an aurour or another Ministry official. (It’s Possible but not likely)

    • oaks-of-mamre says:

      Re: Hogworts Future

      Does anyone besides me think Horace Slughorn will stay at his post as Potions Master Despite telling Harry that he would oonly serve one year during Half-Blood Prince???

      Also I believe that McGonagall will remain Head of Hogwarts and the school will remain open for the reason their has to be a new Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher (As in Every book that has been written so far)…

      I think the new Defense Against the Dark arts teacher will be a member of the order… (Such as Tonks, Kingsley Shacklebolt , or Charlie Weasly?)

      I think the next Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher will be . . . Harry Potter. I’m serious. There’s no one else remotely qualified for the job. The question of just exactly how Hogwarts will remain open is an interesting one — perhaps clandestinely??? — but I can’t imagine that “Year 7 at Hogwarts” wouldn’t be at Hogwarts. We still have the unanswered question of why Voldemort kept trying to stay at Hogwarts himself. There is more to Hogwarts that we haven’t learned yet.

      So . . . imagine Harry getting an owl, or something, from McGonagall, telling him that she wants him to train students in Defense Against the Dark Arts. Perhaps it will only be a small handful of people remaining at Hogwarts; perhaps many parents will refuse to send their children to the school. We also have the S.P.E.W. subplot unresolved, and Dobby and Kreacher at each other’s throats in the Hogwarts kitchen. For a satisfying conclusion, back to Hogwarts I think we have to go, and it will be time for the school’s next Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher to arrive . . . Harry Potter.

  • MagicalMe says:

    The scene at the top of the Astronomy Tower
    Why did Dumbledore immobilize Harry? It seems to give credence to the theory that Dumbledore did not want Snape stopped, for whatever reason.

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