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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Title: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Author: J.K. Rowling

Published: 16th July 2005

Genre: Children’s literature, Fantasy, Fiction

Start Date: 28th July 2022

Finish Date:  28th July 2022


The war against Voldemort is not going well; even Muggle governments are noticing. Ron scans the obituary pages of the Daily Prophet, looking for familiar names. Dumbledore is absent from Hogwarts for long stretches of time, and the Order of the Phoenix has already suffered losses.

And yet, as in all wars, life goes on. The Weasley twins expand their business. Sixth-year students learn to Apparate - and lose a few eyebrows in the process. Teenagers flirt and fight and fall in love. Classes are never straightforward, through Harry receives some extraordinary help from the mysterious Half-Blood Prince.

So it's the home front that takes center stage in the multilayered sixth installment of the story of Harry Potter. Here at Hogwarts, Harry will search for the full and complete story of the boy who became Lord Voldemort - and thereby find what may be his only vulnerability.


This is my first time since the movies come out that I have read the Harry Potter series, I have fond memories of Harry Potter.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is the sixth book in the Harry Potter series. The book starts with highlighting the effects of Voldemort’s return – even in the Muggle world. Although you-know-who makes no appearances here, his henchmen gain momentum. His past also comes to light through multiple trips via the Pensive. In addition, the Horcrux, which is perhaps Rowling’s most breath-taking invention yet, comes chillingly to the fore.

Rowling has spoken a good deal about her characters growing older. Now that the trio of Harry, Ron and Hermione are 16, their maturity is characterized by a near-oppressive awareness of their mortality. Adolescence is anything but cheerful. He learns the true impact of the prophecy set forth in the previous book. Harry also becomes aware of the importance of love as the antidote to fear. The Half-Blood Prince gives a great deal of attention to Harry’s grief over the loss of his godfather, Sirius Black. However, at times, Harry also comes across as a mature figure.

J.K Rowling spends a fair amount of time in setting the stage for the things to come. That said, she manages to pull the threads together from all the previous titles, thus preparing the readers for a well-planned finale. Old friends such as Lupin and Dobby make reappearances; love interests and subsequent tensions unfold magnificently. New characters are introduced and play a central role in casting light on Voldemort’s early days. The tension in the Half-Blood Prince is palpable and it is fairly difficult to put the book down.

Comedy has always been J.K Rowling’s defining trait. Trainee wizards ensure that the story line is replete with deliberate cock-ups and pratfalls. There are a few amusing episodes of spells gone wrong, some written with an eye on cinematic treatment. The book also has its fair share of some droll personages. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince also contains tidbits of subtle teen romance, heartbreaks and the pain that they bring.

The book serves as the perfect predecessor to the concluding title, with some major events and ground-breaking revelations along the way. The line between good and bad keeps blurring as the bad guys dither, and the good guys resort to lies and deceits. The Ministry of Magic serves as a great example of how dangerous running away from the situation can be. It perfectly illustrates how fear and denial blind people, and how closing your eyes to a problem does not solve anything. Setting the scene for the final leg of the series, the Half-Blood Prince marks the point where no one is safe. No place is secure anymore, and everyone is left to fend for themselves.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince showcases J.K. Rowling’s meticulous plot-planning. She goes back to the earliest books in the series and ties up the loose ends that readers have wondered about for years.

Looking at comparing the movie to the book; there are many aspects of the book that stands out to me, but I will tell you the ones that make a difference to me. The Spinner's End film location is inconsistent with the book. The mill referred to in the text is not a watermill or windmill, but a nineteenth-century textiles factory in a northern industrial town in the UK, most likely in Lancashire or West Yorkshire. The text references the mill chimneys (now disused) and rows of nearby houses. Terraced houses as shown in the film are typical of late nineteenth century mill-workers houses in industrial Britain. When Narcissa and Bellatrix go to meet Snape, Bellatrix does not show the intense loathing for Snape that she does in the book and does not press him to answer questions about his allegiances. Narcissa does not seem as grief stricken as one might expect—she does, however, have tears in her eyes—and is not the one who suggests the Unbreakable Vow. Her hair is a mix of blonde and dark brunette stripes, rather than being completely flaxen blonde. Snape immediately agrees to the vow in the book, while in the film, he seems rather hesitant to do so, suggesting that he was merely acting on orders, as would be revealed in the final book and film. In the book, Bellatrix and Narcissa are met at the door by Snape, who then brings them to the parlour. Peter Pettigrew is then called in to bring them drinks. He does so, and then hurries upstairs to listen by a door, which Snape says is a new habit he has taken up. In the film, it is Peter who greets Narcissa and Bellatrix, and shows them to the parlour, where Snape is waiting. Snape then uses his wand to slam the door shut, barring Pettigrew from the room. Snape already has drinks out in the film. The scene where Bellatrix kills a fox is omitted from the film. The scene is also in a different place from the book. In the book, this scene takes place directly after Fudge talks with the Prime Minister. Whereas in the film, the scene takes places after Harry has met Horace Slughorn and has travelled back to the Burrow and has reunited with Ron, Hermione, and the other Weasleys.

The way Harry meets up with Dumbledore is changed. In the book, Dumbledore comes for Harry at Privet Drive as he had pre-arranged in a letter, having a cup of tea and conversing with the Dursleys (who are absent from the film) before heading off with Harry. In the film, Harry is in a station cafe when he spots a flickering light in a distant part of the station. As a train whizzes past, Dumbledore appears on the platform across the tracks. Harry then heads over to the other platform to meet him. In the film, Harry is never mentioned to have inherited Grimmauld Place or Kreacher after Sirius Black's death, as he did in the book. House-elf Kreacher and the Hippogriff Buckbeak are omitted from the film, and there is no mention of Hagrid getting Buckbeak back. There is no sign of any pamphlet showing the Safety measures issued by the Ministry.

There is no mention of how the Weasleys were able to open the store because of the winning prize of the Triwizard Tournament held two years before. Igor Karkaroff's murder is not mentioned in the film. The scene where the trio meets the Malfoys in Madam Malkin's (and promptly fight) is neither shown or mentioned. In the book, the merchandise Ron wants to buy at Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes costs three Galleons, nine Sickles, and a Knut, and when he asks his brothers for a discount, Fred and George knock one knut off the price. In the film, the merchandise costs five galleons, and when Ron asks for a discount, Fred and George double the price, making it ten galleons. The scene where Ginny asks her mother for a Pygmy Puff is omitted. However, she is later seen on the Hogwarts Express with one sitting on her shoulder, which Luna Lovegood admires and remarks that they have been known to sing on Boxing Day. Draco does not sneak off on his own and talk to Mr Borgin about fixing the cabinet, but instead goes with his mother and several Death Eaters. Harry, Ron, and Hermione do not follow him under the cloak and use extendable ears, and Hermione does not try to trick Mr Borgin into telling her what Draco is reserving. Borgin and Burkes appears with a sign without the 's' at the end of Burkes. There is a wanted poster of Fenrir Greyback in Knockturn Alley. The trio climbs the dilapidated roof of an abandoned building to witness Draco being shown one half of the pair of vanishing cabinets, instead of listening to Malfoy about wanting to fix something, from the beginning they know that the object that Draco wants is the vanishing cabinet, the cursed necklace is not mentioned nor seen. The cabinet is triangular-shaped and monolith in size. There is no mention of fake amulets, etc. being sold.

In the film, Harry, Hermione, and Ron are not seen back at the Burrow after spying on Draco. Instead, they are next seen on the train, and it is here that they discuss what Draco may have been doing at Borkin and Burkes in the film. In the book, Harry asks if he could share a compartment with Ginny on the train, but she has to go and see Dean, and Harry shares a compartment with Neville and Luna instead. In the film, he shares his compartment with Hermione and Ron, while Luna is seen in the corridor selling issues of the Quibbler to Ginny and Dean. The Slug Club's first meeting does not take place at Slughorn's compartment in the Hogwarts Express, but at Slughorn's office in Hogwarts. The Slytherin end of the Hogwarts Express is split into two sides, not compartments as had been seen in previous films. It looks like booths with a table in between them. There is no door to close as had been in previous films. The compartments where Harry, Ron, and Hermione sit are similar to what was in previous films, with the sliding doors. Since the Slug Club meets later in the film, Harry goes right to spy on Draco when leaving his compartment. In the book, Harry follows Blaise Zabini into the Slytherin's car, while under his invisibility cloak. In the film, Harry uses Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder, creating a thick, dark cloud of smoke to engulf the coach, while he climbs undetected onto the luggage rack, and remains there under his cloak for the duration of the journey, as he does in the book. Pansy Parkinson sits beside Blaise and across from Draco in the film, rather than beside Draco, stroking his hair. Very little of her as well as her relationship with Draco is seen in the film series as a whole. The Hogwarts Express is shown to have five coaches, instead of the usual four coaches as shown in the previous books. In the book, Draco criticises Professor Slughorn and his Slug Club members while with Pansy and Blaise, then talks to them about how he may not return to school for the next year, saying he has to do other things. As the Slug Club does not occur at this point in the film, Draco simply criticises the school, and the only thing he says that might suggest he will leave the school is that he tells Blaise that he will probably not be seen wasting time in Charms class.

Discussion about choosing subjects and questioning of Professor McGonagall were also not included in the film. Simply Professor McGonagall is seen in the corridor giving class schedules to students and then chastising Harry and Ron for laughing at the newer students. She then instructs Harry to take Potions lesson and to bring Ron with him. In the film, when Harry and Ron entered the Potions class, they are both late, but Slughorn does not seem to have started the lessons yet. The two informed Professor Slughorn that they do not have the required book, so Slughorn instructs them to get a book from the cabinet inside the room. When they see that there is only one new book left, they both grab for the new version of the book, titled Advanced Potion-Making. Ron successfully got the new book while Harry is left with the older copy, formerly property of the Half-Blood Prince. In the book both Ron and Harry get an old copy (both handed by Slughorn), with Ron's even having what he described as looking like a vomit stain.

In the book, Harry, Ron, and Hermione are the only Gryffindor students to take Slughorn's N.E.W.T. Potions class. In the film, many other students are present in Slughorn's class as well, including Dean Thomas, Seamus Finnigan, Neville Longbottom, Padma Patil, Lavender Brown, Romilda Vane, and Katie Bell, despite Romilda and Katie not even being in the same year as Harry and the others. In the film, Crabbe and Goyle are in the class as well, despite the book specifically stating that they were not. Pansy Parkinson also appears, although in the novel there was one unspecified Slytherin student in the class with Draco Malfoy, Blaise Zabini, and Theodore Nott.

In the book, the Felix Felicis is gold. In the film, it is clear. In the book, Professor Slughorn says that one bottle of Felix Felicis lasts for twelve hours, and that the one who takes it will be lucky at every endeavour from dusk to dawn. In the film, he says that the one who takes it will succeed at every endeavour until its effects wear off, with no mention made of exactly how long it lasts.

During the Gryffindor Quidditch tryouts, instead of having each position try out separately (like in the book), Harry has all the positions play together, making it like an actual match without a Seeker. In the book, Harry, Hermione, and Ron had seen very little of Hagrid for some time. He had not been attending meals, and was not seen around the school very much, and whenever they did see Hagrid, he would fail to acknowledge them. Finally, the three visit Hagrid at his hut, and notice he has a barrel of foot-long maggots, which he tells them is food for Aragog. Hagrid goes on to tell Harry, Hermione, and Ron that Aragog got sick over the summer and was not getting any better, and Hagrid fears Aragog may be dying. In the film, Hagrid is only seen in the background, if at all, between taking Katie to the castle and Aragog's funeral, and no mention of Aragog, his health or otherwise, is made prior to his death

The discussion between Harry and Hermione inside the Hogwarts Library is included. Romilda Vane was introduced but she does not speak. Madam Pinceis not present in the film.In the book, Harry invites Luna to Slughorn's party as friends. In the film, he makes the same offer to Hermione, who likes the idea but has already arranged to go with McLaggen (in order to annoy Ron). Harry says he'll find another date and the scene cuts to him meeting Luna. Professor Trelawney is not present, Eldred Worple, Sanguini and other guests were not introduced by Prof. Slughorn but Filch's interruption holding Draco and telling everyone he is gatecrashing is included. There is much less conversation between Draco and Snape. Snape only mentions to Draco that he has made an Unbreakable Vow, then Draco emphasised that he doesn't need protection. Harry eavesdrops on the conversation, like in the book, but rather than using his Invisibility Cloak, he just hides around a corner.

There are no Apparition lessons or examination taught by Wilkie Twycross. In the book, Ron and Lavender break up due to Lavender seeing Ron and Hermione coming down from the boys' dormitory (not seeing Harry due to him hiding under his invisibility cloak) and assumes they were together. When Ron eats the chocolates, which had the love potion and was intended for Harry, becoming lovestruck, and ultimately falls prey to Slughorn's poisoned meade, was changed. In the book, this was all on his birthday, and Slughorn, Harry, and Ron toast to Ron's birthday, wishing him to have many more memorable birthdays. In the film, the events happened on Valentine's day, and the toast was "To life!" During the scene where Ron is in Slughorn's office, Ron accidentally mistakes Slughorn for Romilda and hugs him. In the book, Ron is aware of who Slughorn is and is trying to shove him away to get to Romilda in the doorway.

The scene where Harry notices Malfoy disappearing from the Marauder's Map when he enters the Room of Requirement is omitted from the film, but it is featured as a deleted scene on the DVD releases. There is no mention of Crabbe and Goyle using Polyjuice Potion and standing guard for Malfoy outside of the Room of Requirement. Draco is seen testing an apple on the vanishing cabinet. It comes back with a bite taken out. He then tests a white songbird in the cabinet, and it comes back dead. Draco's desperation and fear in this scene are palpable. It is likely that he was repeatedly testing to see if it would work correctly, and became more frightened the more the tests failed, as everything he sent through except for the black songbird came back damaged in some way. It is also possible that the white and black songbirds and their respective failure and success may be an act of symbolism or foreshadowing, as well as demonstrating the cabinets' tempermental nature. Tonks does not appear inside Hogwarts looking for Professor Dumbledore.

The trio didn't receive a letter from Hagrid informing them that Aragog was dead in the film. Instead, Harry simply mentioned that he wants to go to Hagrid's place after drinking the Felix Felicis. Instead of taking a few drops of the Felix Felicis, Harry drains the entire bottle. Slughorn is seen stealing tentacula leaves, rather than working WITH Professor Sprout to obtain potions ingredients. Aragog's size appears smaller than described and shown in both the books and the second film adaptation. Slughorn also asks Hagrid for the venom directly rather than sneaking a couple bottles as he does in the book. Harry doesn't talk about Lily and James death to Slughorn to the extent that he does in the book. In the film, Slughorn talks about a present that Harry's mother, Lily Evans once gave him. The present was a bowl with a few inches of clear water.Slughorn, Hagrid, Harry and fang mourning Aragog. There was a petal, floating on the surface, which gradually sank and turned into a fish just as it reached the bottom. The fish was named Francis. Slughorn discovered that the fish disappeared the day Lily Evans died. In the book, however, there is no mention of the present; Harry brings up the topic of his parents' death after Hagrid mentions them just before falling asleep. Harry, Slughorn, and Hagrid sing a song while drinking after mourning Aragog. In the film, this scene is shortened, and only the final verse is heard.

When returning from the cave, Harry and Dumbledore appear on High Street in Hogsmeade, where they encounter Madam Rosmerta(absent from the film), who warns them that the Dark Mark has appeared over the Astronomy Tower. Harry and Dumbledore borrow her broomsticks and head up there. In the film, Harry and Dumbledore Apparate there directly. There is a dark, uneasily tranquil feeling conveyed as views of various parts of the school are shown, as though something bad would happen at any moment. However, the Dark Mark is not cast over the school until after Dumbledore's death. Harry is not frozen by Dumbledore as in the book, rather, Dumbledore instructs Harry to go and hide below, and not to speak or be seen by anyone. Harry hesitantly obliges and goes down to the floor below the top of the astronomy tower looking up through floorboards at the events. In the book, he remains unnoticed the whole time, while in the film, Snape catches Harry in the tower, and persuades him to stay silent, before going upstairs to kill Dumbledore. In the book, Amycus Carrow finds Draco with Dumbledore, and he pressures Draco to kill Dumbledore. In the film, while Amycus is still present, it is Bellatrix Lestrange, who is not among the Death Eaters present in the book, encountering Draco and pressuring him to kill Dumbledore.

Harry and Dumbledore apparating to the Astronomy Tower. The scenes in which the moniker "Half-Blood Prince" are explained in detail are whittled down to a single line in which Snape states "I am the Half-Blood Prince," and walks off into the night. The meaning behind the title of the book and film is cut. It isn't found out why Snape was the Half-Blood Prince (He is half-blood and his mother's maiden name was Prince) In the film, Draco shows Dumbledore that he has been branded with the Dark Mark, whereas in the book this is only an assumption by Harry, with no solid proof. In the book, it is said that Dumbledore appeared frozen in the sky (although this was in Harry's perspective, for the sake of drama). In the film Dumbledore immediately falls over the railing and down towards the ground. In the book, it says that a bright green light hit Dumbledore (Avada Kedavra), while in the film, its more of a cyan colour.

The ensuing battle between Hogwarts staff and students against Death Eaters has been significantly reduced to a rampage through Hogwarts; with Bellatrix Lestrange shattering the windows and other glass objects in the Great Hall. The castle appears to be deserted except for one Auror on duty, who Snape jinxes out of the way. The battle was so reduced because the film's producer felt it was too similar to the battle that would occur in the final film. Bill Weasley does not appear in the film, much less get bitten by Fenrir Greyback as he does in the book. However, in the next film, he is shown bearing scars from being attacked by Greyback. This creates a plot hole in the next film since it is unknown where, how and when the scarring happened. Furthermore, the role of Bellatrix Lestrange has been greatly expanded in the film. In the book, she does not fight in the Battle of the Astronomy Tower or witness Dumbledore's Death. Upon witnessing it in the film, she reacts by destroying everything with sadistic glee and delight. In the film, Draco's reluctance to go with the Death Eaters is much more obvious. In the book, Snape reacts with livid emotion when Harry calls him a coward. However in the film, although Harry hurls this same insult at Snape, he does not react. In the film, Harry doesn't try to use the Cruciatus Curse on Snape.

The entire funeral scene is cut, and the last scene is the trio watching Fawkes flying away through the blue sky. In this scene Hermione mentions to Harry that Ron does not mind him being with Ginny, but they should still keep their snogging minimal whenever Ron is around. It is inferred that Ginny and Harry's relationship is still going strong, although in the book they split up on Harry's insistence that it's not safe for her to be close to him.



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