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All right, so I lied.

I will be setting down my more detailed, if less organised and VERY SPOILY, thoughts on Half-Blood Prince here, during lull moments at work. Feel free to discuss them, or anything else I've missed from the book itself, here.



We are now long past the point where these can really be considered strictly children's literature. Assuming they ever could. I think the publishing pace has allowed the readers to grow up with the characters - this is always the way with long series, no?

Finally, Harry seems the most grown up of the main characters, after, what, five books in which this was far from the case? That said, he's still a kid, if a kid forced to mature faster than normal because of hideous circumstances that don't get any better. He's better at picking his battles and fighting them, verbally and otherwise, and doesn't get in as much petty trouble as he used to - though "You don't need to call me sir, Professor." was still a golden line. I would have so loved to be in a class where someone had said that - I would still be talking about it years later.

Hermione's strong points, which I normally, and to no one's surprise, admire, weren't on nearly as much display this time around. Though she does make quite a delightful jealous bitch - flesh-eating canaries for the win! Still, it's a side of her I'd prefer not to see so much of. Ron didn't exactly make himself look good either, but I've never been as able to take him seriously as I have Hermione. Probably why their pairing (which looks canon now, damn the luck) has never rung true for me.

In any case, the "adventuring party of friends" plot that seems to be being set up for the last book will likely make them all look a lot better, and put a seal on their growing up. They'll all be adults then, technically. This amuses me.

I wonder, as an aside, if all the people complaining about the focus on hormonal romance plots remember quite what it was like to be 16? Besides, the trials and tribulations of "Won-Won" were a pleasant distraction from the world rapidly spiralling into Hell. *snicker*

It will surprise nobody to hear that I always thought Ginny was cute. Good for her, getting her longtime crush - and they looked so cute and happy together, you just had to grin. I continue to hope that they'll get back together in the end. Or that she'll somehow finagle her way along with the trio. Unlikely as hell, but hey, what else will she be doing next year with the school likely to close?

And so, it appears, we come to the main plot. In retrospect, I should have known it was going to be Dumbledore killed - we saw far too much of him this book, and all his best points, at that. It was great of him to finally do some exposition on Voldemort's history and motivations - all stuff we needed to know as much as Harry did.

But...oh, man, did the MANNER of the death come out of the blue. After five books worth of Snape always being under suspicion, never being entirely trusted by anyone except Dumbledore, but always turning out to be on the right side, the perfect double agent...he was a traitor all this time? The lines he pulled on Bella and Cissy (Cutest. Evil. Sister. Nicknames. Evar.) were actually the truth? It's hard to believe. Him being the Half-Blood Prince was only the ironic icing on the bitter, bitter cake.

I actually cried during Phoenix Lament, and The White Tomb. However...I am certain that all the phoenix symbolism during Dumbledore's life and his funeral was not a coincidence. I don't expect a Gandalf-esque return - that would cheapen all of this. But perhaps an Obi-Wan-esque return, as a helpful and wise ghost?

One thing I wondered - did Dumbledore know about the Unbreakable Vow? I can't remember Harry ever mentioning it to him, and I have to think that he might have revised his plans and his trust had he known. In any case...there is surely much more to the interplay between those two than either Harry or we know, and I hope that they get Snape to talk in book 7.

And as for Voldemort...even though we never hear him talk this book, there would be no point to it. He's back, and the actions of his pawns can surely speak for themselves. The sense is really conveyed of a world at war, from the random disappearances and chaos that the Ministry can't control anymore, to the police-state actions being undertaken, to the rampant worry and lack of safety anywhere. (Mrs. Weasley's clock was a nice touch in describing that feeling.)

It's weird, though - I am very, very surprised that Slughorn knew something about Horcruxes that Dumbledore didn't. And it amuses me that you could now easily call Voldemort a lich without being lynched by hundreds of angry D&D purists.


-D.

Comments

( Walk among 12 shadows — Cast a shadow )
cybermancy
Jul. 18th, 2005 07:55 pm (UTC)
What's Snape half-of, anyway? Blood-wise.

(I haven't read anything passed the third book).
paleshadow
Jul. 18th, 2005 08:06 pm (UTC)
He's a half-blood wizard - his mother was a pureblood by the name of Eileen Prince, his father a Muggle-born by the name of Tobias Snape. Thus, a half-blood Prince.

There was much head-slapping at that.

-D.
opendestiny
Jul. 19th, 2005 12:27 am (UTC)
The only good thing about Snape being HBP, is that people will finally stop trying to tell me that it is Hagrid. Hello, people, Hagrid is NOT a full-blooded wizard, and therefore cannot qualify as a "half-blood". Anyone who'd use the term "half-blood" in any kind of serious manner (ie Mouldemort and his DEs, Umbridge, the like) would most certainly be calling Hagrid a "half-breed". Kind of ironic, isn't it?

Also, wasn't Snape's father a muggle, not a muggle-born? :)

Feel free to curse me and my nit-picking Harry Potter ways.

Also, clever, Jo is, not putting Regulus Black's middle name on the Tapestry of the Ancient and Most Noble House of Black.
paleshadow
Jul. 19th, 2005 01:55 am (UTC)
Mouldemort? *snerk*
Maybe it's alanis Morissette ironic.

As for Tobias Snape, I shall defer to your superior Potterverse knowledge (which is a polite way of saying I just got home from work and can't be arsed to check. :)).

Clever she is, but leaving out the middle name (where I assume that pretty much everyone else on the tapestry has one listed) - is much the same as government officials saying they can't confirm or deny something - everyone just assumes it's true anyway.

-D.
(Anonymous)
Jul. 19th, 2005 02:37 am (UTC)
But where does the llama fit into all of that?

-N
paleshadow
Jul. 19th, 2005 02:45 am (UTC)
Peruvian Instant Darkness powder is actually vaporised llama shit?

-D.
sobitus
Jul. 20th, 2005 12:47 am (UTC)
I don't know, I was kind of disappointed with the book. The whole thing felt rushed and the ending came sort of suddenly. Plus Ginny and Harry is about the most predictable and fanfic-like pairing ever and just... bleh. Sometimes I get the feeling Rowling doesn't actually know what's going to happen in the next book and just kind of makes it up as she goes along.

Oh well. Maybe I'll enjoy it more on the second read, or the next book will be better.
tabloidman
Jul. 21st, 2005 12:08 am (UTC)
I picked up on the lich thing right away--I almost laughed at the thought, but with all his many and varied Hoarcruxes, he's like some kind of super-lich with lots and lots of phylacteries.

And Dumbledore's not completely gone, I suppose... he can still chat it up with Harry from his painting in the Headmistress's tower....
euph0ra
Jul. 21st, 2005 04:48 am (UTC)
*grins*
though "You don't need to call me sir, Professor." was still a golden line. I would have so loved to be in a class where someone had said that - I would still be talking about it years later.

After I was done choking on my diet soda and laughing til I was red in the face and I managed to utter out loud "Chigbo must have _loved_ that." Its comforting to know that despite the distance, we still manage to know one another fairly well.

Mind you EVERYBODY has been talking about this one line. *laughs* Rowling definitely left a memorable mark there.

Well written thoughts and as always a pleasure and delight to read. I shall pick your brain further about Harry Potter geekery later.
khendon
Jul. 25th, 2005 07:05 pm (UTC)
Oh, spoilers
Yay!

Gnnnnnggg.
khendon
Jul. 25th, 2005 07:44 pm (UTC)
Re: Oh, spoilers
(I know you had a cut, but that doesn't work with RSS. Not your fault, but... gnnn)
paleshadow
Jul. 25th, 2005 08:37 pm (UTC)
Re: Oh, spoilers
Ooops. Sorry - I hadn't anticipated that people would actually be reading me through RSS. :) I find this oddly flattering - perhaps I'm strange.

-D.
( Walk among 12 shadows — Cast a shadow )