The Great Harry Potter Re-Read: Half-Blood Prince

Posted December 13, 2013 by LeahAdmin in Reviews / 9 Comments

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
Published by Arthur A. Levine Books on Jul. 2005
Pages: 652
Genres: Fiction
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

It’s been a great journey, but I finished my Great Harry Potter Re-Read just before Thanksgiving! However, I’ve been super lazy about writing about the last two books. I procrastinated on my write-up of the sixth book, and now that I’ve finished the whole series, I haven’t felt like going back and writing about it. I planned on just doing a combination post on the sixth and seventh books, but it turns out I have a lot more to say than I thought! So you get two posts after all, you lucky ducks!

As a reminder, the plot of the book goes something like this (spoiler spoiler spoiler):

In the sixth installment of the series, the wizarding world has been forced to accept that Voldemort has, as Harry and Dumbledore have been telling them for a year, in fact returned. At Hogwarts, a grim mood has settled over the castle as students are occasionally escorted from class to be informed that loved ones have been murdered. Each day when Hermione opens the Daily Prophet, Ron asks “Has anyone we know died?”

Now that Harry knows about the prophecy that says neither he nor Voldemort can live while the other survives, Dumbledore begins private lessons to equip him to defeat Voldemort. Together, they dive into memories about and concerning Voldemort to learn more about You-Know-Who and figure out how to destroy him.  They learn that Voldemort has created seven horcruxes, all of which must be destroyed before the man can finally be killed.

When Dumbledore tracks down one of the horcruxes, Harry accompanies him on his mission to destroy it. The attempt greatly weakens Dumbledore, and when the pair return to the castle, they find it under siege. The Death Eaters have entered the Hogwarts, and a great battle is underway. Snape kills Dumbledore and then flees with the other Death Eaters, leaving the students and staff in mourning.

I’m not entirely sure why, but this isn’t one of my favorite books of the series. It’s odd, during the first few books, I was looking forward to the darker later books, and now that I’ve gotten to them, I want the whimsy of the earlier books!

Anyway, things I loved about this book:

  • When Dumbledore says the line, “And now, Harry, let us step out into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.” I get chills and a big old smile every time I read this line!
  • Learning more about Voldemort and growing to understand him better. I loooove going back into the memories about him and his family and trying to piece together his motivations and actions.
  • Harry and Ginny fall in love! So sweet.
  • When Ron accidentally drinks the love potion Romilda Vane meant for Harry. Although funny in the book, this part in the movie is HILARIOUS.
  • Ooh, and when Harry drinks the Felix Felicis and goes off to Hagrid’s hut instead of trying to find Professor Slughorn to try to get the memory Dumbledore needs. Of course, it all works out, and the way Harry acts is pretty funny, especially in the movie.
  • Also, this passage: “You’d think people had better things to gossip about,” said Ginny as she sat on the common room floor, leaning against Harry’s legs and reading the Daily Prophet. “Three Dementor attacks in a week, and all Romilda Vane does is ask me if it’s true you’ve got a Hippogriff tattooed across your chest.”
    Ron and Hermione both roared with laughter. Harry ignored them.
    “What did you tell her?”
    “I told her it’s a Hungarian Horntail,” said Ginny, turning a page of the newspaper idly. “Much more macho.”
    “Thanks,” said Harry, grinning. “And what did you tell her Ron’s got?”
    “A Pygmy Puff, but I didn’t say where.”

Okay, so there are way more amazing moments in this book than I originally remembered. HP 6 is actually pretty great. I mean, even though it’s not one of my favorite HP books, I still love it more than A LOT of other books.

And can we talk about the movie really quick? I’ve been watching the movie adaptations after reading each book, and although I usually end up spending most of the movies telling my screen, “uhh that’s not how it happened in the book,” this adaptation is REALLY close to the book. A few things were left out or changed, but that’s bound to happen with a book this long. None of the changes or omissions bothered me, and I think this movie version is excellent — although the film’s color pallet is kind of odd; unlike the earlier movies’ realistic coloring, this film has a kind of dark, silvery/bluish look that I’m not a fan of. Other than that, though, the movie is really good!

  • I’ve just started a mini-HP re-read myself after finishing Vampire Academy. I’ve not been feeling too good so rather than try to focus on something new I took a leaf out of your book and have gone back to the very beginning of Harry Potter! Always a good re-read choice!

  • Ron’s actions in the movie after drinking the love potion get me every time too! When Ginny was talking about the tattoos, it made me like her even more – hilarious.

    • Totally agree…love the tattoo discussion…really funny. 🙂

      ~Aspen

  • One of my favorite parts of this book (when re-reading it and knowing the full story) was…

    Chapter 26 – page 571 – “Hating himself, repulsed by what he was doing, Harry forced the goblet back toward Dumbledore’s mouth and tipped it, so that Dumbledore drank the remainder of the potion inside.”
    vs.
    Chapter 27 – page 595 – “Snape gazed for a moment at Dumbledore, and there was revulsion and hatred etched in the harsh lines of his face.”

    Harry and Snape were going through the same emotions (the same type of hatred) within hours of each other and both for things they were doing to Dumbledore (that they did not want to do) because Dumbledore demanded it of them. How different things could have been if they could have seen their own feelings in the other when interpreting events.

    ~Aspen

    • I’ve never noticed that, but that’s incredible! Thanks for sharing!

  • I love Harry and Ginny. They’re one of my favorite bookish couples 🙂

  • I just spent two hours shopping for Harry Potter Christmas gifts for an 8 year old boy and ended up adding more to my wish list than his….

    • That’s dangerous territory 😛