Sunday, July 17, 2005

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - Major spoiler warning!

At precisely 9:01 am on July 16, the first box containing copies of the latest Harry Potter was opened and distributed to fans here in Melbourne who have been awaiting the said book's release. I was one of them!

I have finished reading the book. Please stop reading this post if you don't want to know or have not read the book yet and planning to soon because there are major spoilers here!!!

So first question, was it worth the wait?

My answer, hell yes!

I only wished it was longer. It seems like 607 pages of Harry Potter is not enough for me.

The joys...

Harry seemed to have matured immensely since Order of the Phoenix. His loyalty to Dumbledore was remarkable, and he was rather proud of the new Minister of Magic calling him "Dumbledore's man through and through." I thought it was really sweet when Harry told Dumbledore about this and that he also believed that he is Dumbledore's man. Dumbledore was touched that he became a bit teary-eyed.

The background story of Voldemort was very interesting. A lot of pieces of the puzzle was falling into place, and I can understand why Dumbledore thought it was essential for Harry to know this in order to defeat him. Dumbledore and Harry's relationship has improved considerably and there is a huge amount of trust in each other.

Ron and Hermione's relationship, while it's obvious that there is something more than friendship there, remain stubborn and maintain their platonic relationship. It was rather interesting to see Ron's jealousy over the possibility of Hermione snogging Viktor Krum back in Goblet of Fire (duh! of course they snogged!). This made Ron have a "snoggging relationship" with Lavender Brown. I thought Lavender calling Ron "Won-Won" was hilarious!

Harry wasn't left behind in the love-stakes of course. The fact that he stuck to his guns and maintained that Voldemort was indeed alive and creating havoc, the fact that he faced Voldemort more than once and got away, the fact that he shot up a foot-taller than the year before, and that he became Gryffindor's Quidditch Captain, made him in Hermione's words, "fanciable." He had a bevy of girls chasing after him, one in particular was so determined to get him she was putting love potions on chocolates!

The most exciting part of Harry's lovelife - Harry finally noticed Ginny. When Ginny and Dean were going out, Harry felt, in his words, "a creature in chest" that suddenly appeared when he and Ron saw them kissing in an empty corridor. In the end, Harry got the nerve and kissed Ginny in the common room while they celebrated winning the Quidditch cup. Harry and Ginny got together! Yay! Yay! Yay!

(All Harry/Ginny shippers jumping and celebrating in unison)

AND... Harry kissed Ginny first, not the other way around like Cho Chang did! Yay! Yay! Yay!

Remus and Tonks got together as well (I could here all the Remus/Tonks shippers jumping for joy as well). The way they got together was rather interesting.

Oh, and Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour are getting married!

Also, it seems like Draco Malfoy has a conscience... read below to find out why!

The sorrows...

Who is the Half-Blood Prince? Severus Snape!

Please read the book for the full explanation... I refuse to explain all the details here.

Why did I put this bit of information in this section? Well, because it was the half-blood prince who committed the murder of one of the most beloved characters in the book...

Who died? Albus Dumbledore!

I know, I know... I cried big time when I came across this chapter. The way he was killed was a shock. I have my own theories as to why Snape killed Dumbledore. Please share your thoughts once you've read the book!

Voldemort actually hired Draco Malfoy to do this task. Since Lucius Malfoy got himself jailed in Azkaban back in Order of the Phoenix, Voldemort thought that the best punishment was to get his son to kill the only wizard he feared. Narcissa, Draco's mother, asked Snape to perform the Unbreakable vow, that if Draco does not succeed in his seemingly impossible mission, he will help out.

Draco proved to be gutless. He couldn't do it. Harry caught him crying in Moaning Myrtle's bathroom, with Myrtle consoling him... gasp!

Harry and Ginny broke up in the end. Harry explained that he couldn't stand it if something happened to her because of their relationship. This shows that Harry really cared for her. This may turn out to be a joy in the seventh book, when they get back together (all H/G shippers down on their knees praying...)

Memorable quotes/moments...

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

- From a gigantive poster advertising the new product "U-No-Poo" outside Fred and George's joke shop in Hogsmeade, Weasley's Wizard Wheezes

Rufus Scrimgeour: Dumbledore's man through and through, aren't you Potter?
Harry: Yeah, I am. Glad we straightened that out.

- when the Minister of Magic was asking Harry where Dumbledore was constantly disappearing to. Harry, of course, refused to disclose such information.

I am a wizard, not a baboon brandishing a stick.

- the line Professor Flitwick made Seamus write out as punishment when he made an error with a charm, ending in getting Flitwick sprayed with jets of water coming out of Seamus's wand

The drowsing creature in Harry's chest suddenly raised its head, sniffing the air hopefully.

- upon hearing news from Hermione that Ginny and Dean had a row.


JK Rowling's style of writing has changed quite a bit as the years passed. I could only guess that because Harry is already a 16-year old in this book, the narrative style was so much more mature than let's say, the Philosopher's stone when Harry was just 11. I understand why so many adults such as myself have fallen in love with Harry and the other characters that Rowling had magically created.

Please, please, please read the book! I can't wait for the final book... hopefully it will be out in a couple of years!

5 stars out of 5!!!