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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: My thoughts

I went to Borders last night with Alfie to pick up her reserved copy of the book. It was a bit of a zoo. When we picked up Order of the Phoenix at Waldenbooks, we stood in a line of about thirty people, picked up the book and were probably home by 12:30. At Borders this year, we were given a number somewhere in the 500s and everyone milled around until midnight, which was when they finally started lining people up by number. We were home by about 1:45. Zonk.

Interesting, though: When we bought Order of the Phoenix, the Days were in line behind us. For book 6, it was Roommate. Albion reunion in the Harry Potter line, yo!

Alright, here's my HBP thoughts, typed up as I go along. Don't read the extended entry unless you want to be spoiled. It sucks that UK and US editions are different, and page numbers will be off, but there's nothing to be done for it!

(Caution: It's long. I ended up having something to say every three pages or so and the book is 600 pages long. HA!)

srah - Sunday, 17 July 2005 - 2:55 AM
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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: my thoughts from srah blah blah - November 5, 2010 9:28 AM

    In the past, when I've taken notes or "live-blogged" a new Harry Potter book, it's been mostly because I knew that when reading later books, I would want to look back at notes from earlier books - especially hints and clues that seemed relevant but wer... [Read More]

Comments (33)

gravatar srah - July 17, 2005 - 3:18 AM -

Further thoughts upon reading through my notes:

I just read my note on page 238 and it made my eyes tear up again. I hate you, Snape.

Did we ever get an explanation for Dumbledore's hand? One can assume it had something to do with the 7 shards of Voldemort's soul, but he didn't ever tell the story he was going to tell, did he? Maybe Harry will find it in the Penseive in the next book.

gravatar Amy - July 17, 2005 - 3:57 AM -

I think Dumbledore hurt his hand getting the Horcrux ring from the cabin. Somewhere he said it almost killed him, but Snape saved him.

Also I was furious with Snape and crying for an hour, but after pondering it for a while, I think Dumbledore was telling snape to kill him, just like Harry was under orders to do whatever Dumbledore said, even if Dumbledore died.

gravatar Jamie - July 17, 2005 - 10:09 AM -

Seek out me, seek out me. And those puffy red eyes of mine... yes, I just finished.

I don't have the nerve to type up all my feelings and thoughts I had the last few days, but... jeeeeez, JKR, what have you done to me.

And Snape? WTF? I always had a love-hate-thing with Snape, the love thing naturally being encouraged by Alan Rickman, so I have not the slightest idea what to make of this ending. I don't want him to be a Death Eater, yet I have no idea what other explanations there could be that would make this better again.

Oh, and by the way.

I love Ginny. And Hermione. Which is why I loved OotP so much. Because it had so much Ginny and Hermione and I love them both. I love Ginny. And I cried when they kissed.

gravatar srah - July 17, 2005 - 10:21 AM -

I think I just would have liked to have heard the story of Dumbledore's arm and how it got burned and saved.

I think JKR did leave some room for accountability, because of the whole oath thing. He may have taken the oath because he didn't want to arouse suspicion and he may have been reporting back to Dumbledore all along. Maybe Snape had known for a while what Draco's task was going to be and maybe he'd told Dumbledore and Dumbledore had understood that having a man close to Voldemort was more valuable than his life. It would explain why he decided to tell Harry everything he knew - he was pouring his knowledge into another vessel because he knew he wouldn't be around for long.

gravatar Howard - July 17, 2005 - 10:44 AM -

I have to agree with Amy - it was the ring but I don't recall if it was retrieving it from the cabin or trying to destroy it later. Snape did save him.

Everyone kept going on about how Dumbledore had an iron-clad guarantee about Snape's loyalty. Could he have taken that Unbreakable Vow with Snape?

For some reason I think Dumbledore's arm not healing is important. Remember in the lake when he found the boat? He said he could detect the magic that hid the chain. Would he not have suspected a curse on the ring as well? Was that really Dumbledore who died?

As for Snape - Rowlings did a great job leaving us to wonder what his true intentions are. Is he still working under Dubmledore's orders? That bit by the lake - why did he not put some minor curse on Harry (keeping him alive for Voldemort) instead of keep blocking Harry's attempts? Is Snape trying to impart a lesson to Harry about the need for silent spells? Is Snape REALLY the half-blood prince, or is his mother? Could Snape have been trying to teach Harry all along? Sure he hated James Potter but he seemed to have a soft spot for Lily.

gravatar srah - July 17, 2005 - 10:53 AM -

I like the idea that it wasn't Dumbledore - it's like when he said to Draco that it was hard for someone to kill you if you're already dead!

gravatar srah - July 17, 2005 - 10:55 AM -

Maybe Snape is Dumbledore and Dumbledore is Snape! Snape helped Draco kill "Dumbledore" by Polyjuicing himself into Dumbledore and sacrificing himself. Then his oath was fulfilled and Dumbledore was safe.

Except I think Dumbledore is dead. I don't think he'll be back.

I don't know! So many ideas!

gravatar Jamie - July 17, 2005 - 11:07 AM -

I would like to believe that Dumbledore is still alive, but somehow I don't think so. The last two books have been too dark and depressing anyway, so I doubt that JKR would actually give in to the temptation of letting him come back.

Also, if it was Polyjuice and Snape and Dumbledore changed places than that means that Dumbledore killed Snape. And strangely enough I'd rather have an evil (or whatever) Snape kill Dumbledore than a Dumbledore kill a self-sacrificing Snape.

gravatar Jamie - July 17, 2005 - 11:10 AM -

Hey, maybe Snape was Dumbledore and Voldemort was Snape and Dumbledore was... I don't know... somewhere else. That would at least make a bit of sense.

But then Snape would both good and dead and I don't like that idea that much either.

When can I buy book 7?

gravatar srah - July 17, 2005 - 11:16 AM -

I don't mean to say that Dumbledore murdered Snape, but that they had come up with this arrangement to solve the problem. Curse of the DADA position! :)

gravatar NeighborGuy - July 17, 2005 - 11:17 AM -

I went to Meijer at 12:05am to pick up a copy. non-reserved. home at 12:20. $15. :p

gravatar Amy - July 17, 2005 - 4:24 PM -

I also wondered if Snape and Dumbledore had an unbreakable vow between them, because Dumbledore trusted Snape so implicitely, and never wavered. There had to be some reason there more than "Snape said he was sorry" that we don't know about. It is not like Dumbledore to plead with someone for his life, so I have to think that when he was pleading with Snape it was not in a "save me" sort of way.

And has anyone else been wondering if the last unknown Horcrux which is supposed to be "something of Ravenclaw or Gryffindor" is actually Harry himself?

gravatar srah - July 17, 2005 - 5:11 PM -

ACK! There's an idea!

gravatar Jamie - July 17, 2005 - 5:11 PM -

Eek. Harry a Horcrux? I wouldn't want that. Though I'd be thinking about what it could be.
At some point I thought that Harry's Potion Book would be a Horcrux, but that would have been too much like Tom Riddle's Diary, so I was happy it didn't turn out to be so.

gravatar lia - July 18, 2005 - 2:40 AM -

I haven't read anything on the extended entry or the comments have already read all 600 pages of it?! I should be getting my copy soon from Amazon UK (it annoyed me that it was almost twice as expensive to buy it here in a shop than getting it delievered by Amazon). Are the versions that different? I thought it was only the cover.

gravatar srah - July 18, 2005 - 10:25 AM -

Does that mean Harry would have to destroy himself to destroy the Horcrux???

gravatar srah - July 18, 2005 - 10:28 AM -

lia: The covers are different but the format of the books are different, too (size of page, font, size of margins, etc) - so that there are more words to each page on one of the versions, which ends up messing up the page numbering all along.

gravatar srah - July 18, 2005 - 11:19 AM -

One of the most significant lines I remember is when Dumbledore tells Draco that the best way to hide is to be dead already (or something to that effect). This makes me believe even more that R.A.B. is Regulus Black. But we shall see!

gravatar Court - July 18, 2005 - 4:53 PM -

This has good speculation on the whole Snape/Dumbledore/other stuff...I just can't give up on Alan.

And Remus and Tonks! Hooray!!

gravatar Amy - July 18, 2005 - 5:37 PM -

There's a lively discussion on the Dumbledore/Snape and Harry as a horcrux theory over here as well:

Some people have come up with stuff that I never thought of, like if R.A.B. is Regulus, is the locket from O.o.t.P the real horcrux locket?

And, I also love Alan Rickman. I think my love for Snape stems entirely from my love for Alan Rickman.

gravatar NeighborGuy - July 19, 2005 - 9:54 AM -

Having read the book now, at a much more leisurely pace than y'all, I had a couple of thoughts.

Yeah, I think Harry could be a Horcrux, but perhaps not in a good way for Voldemort. Voldemort kills Harry's parents, then tries to kill Harry, then "something weird happens" and harry lives, with a scar on his head, and Voldemort is repelled. Perhaps Lily caused part of Voldemort's soul to be captured in Harry. Harry can talk to snakes, has insight into voldemort's mind. Seems to me that is voldemort's soul fragment at work.

theory the second: Snape is still totally loyal to Dumbledore, and Snape's actions are just to win more trust with Voldemort.

Can't Dumbledore return (in a way) as both a picture in the headmaster's office, and then maybe even as a ghost wandering the halls?

Number 3 - Dumbledore's fate may have been faked. Snape may have said one thing (for audible and visual effect) and actually cast another.

I also don't care much for Hagrid, but was there something more to Aragog's death? I kept wondering if there was more to it, or if it was just a device to get the Slugworth (oops, willy wonka reference) memory.

gravatar alfie - July 19, 2005 - 11:50 AM -

The Days were in FRONT of us.

And I purchased my copy of HP & HBP at 2:01, so I highly doubt we were home by 1:45, unless you were time travelling.

gravatar srah - July 19, 2005 - 12:15 PM -

Sorry - I forgot the timestamp on my camera's not adjusted for Daylight Savings Time!

gravatar jday - July 21, 2005 - 1:50 PM -

She's right- we were in front of you. And we brought family members along as entertainment, not knowing that adults would be there dressed up as witches and wizards. Making fun of them occupied a whole 15 mintues of waiting in line! Then the srahfam showed up and we had an Albionite reunion experience, which was loverly. Then we got our books and stayed up all night reading. I don't know why I had to recount that, but I did.

gravatar cris - July 22, 2005 - 1:57 AM -

cant dumbledore come bac in a kinda obi-wan kenobi fashion where in killing him it makes him stroger?

gravatar srah - July 22, 2005 - 3:06 PM -

Hmmm. Well, J.K. Rowling's said she won't bring anyone back once they're dead, but I'm sure he'll still be reachable in portrait form!

gravatar Bebe - July 23, 2005 - 2:58 PM -

Do you think Harry will die in book 7.

gravatar nance - July 23, 2005 - 9:44 PM -

Aragog started to get sick in the summer. The same time period that Dumbledore hurt his hand. There is one part, when Dumbledore and Harry first get to the Wesleys, Dumbledore took him in the broom shed and there was a spider on D's hat. He even said something like 'I'd tip my hat to you but I wouldn't want to shower you with spiders'. I think Dumbledore was dying and Snape used Aragog to postpone D's death. Then after Aragog died, Dumbledore was going to die shortly after anyway. Maybe Dumbledore killed himself by leaping off the tower in sinc with Snapes "fake" curse.

gravatar Sofie - August 1, 2005 - 3:38 PM -

Wanted to say something for this book's confusing me a lot but I'm taken aback by all the impressive comments and extrapolations. I'd better shut up, it's not my level! lol. You all should write a book with this kind of comments!

gravatar apete - August 11, 2005 - 10:49 AM -

So here is my 2 cents:

1) Before reading this I thought RAB was Borgin or his partner Burkes. I didn't know their first names. I like this idea for several reasons. They had the previous relationship with having Young Tom work with him in the shop. They also deal in crazy weird items. Finally, Malfoy was wheeling and dealing in there so he may know about them also. And after reading these comments...maybe he's trying to make his own Horcruxes (I think of the Oreo look-alike Hydrox, whenever I see this word...anyone else.)

2. I really think Dumbledores death was either staged or planned. First, I thought that he over emphasised the listen to me no matter what and so forth. Dumbledore also froze him so that he would witness whatever happened as if he wanted him to see everything and not intervene. Harry could have helped out. Finally, when Dumbledore put on the red-herring with Rosemilde (or whatever her name was) could he have known that she was under the Imperious charm. Could Trelawney have seen it all coming? I also agree that snape had to act because of his unbreakable vow.

3. OK, I wanted more Voldermort in this book. I felt ripped off that Harry didn't have a little battle with him.

4. I do want Harry to be a Animagus so I'd like to see some more of this.

5. Book 7 better take place at Hogwarts. I don't care if they aren't going to school. I love all the random stuff that happens there.

6. Anyone for Malfoy being a Horcrux? I like the idea because when Harry defeats Malfoy, he'll also take out part of Voldermorts soul.

7. Anyone think Malfoy will turn at the end a la Mr. D. Vader. Did we see a foreshadowing of this when he couldn't do in Dumbledore himself?

gravatar srah - August 11, 2005 - 11:11 AM -

I don't think we'll have to wait for the end for Malfoy to turn. I think the fact that he couldn't carry through on his task is a sign that There Is Good In Him.

gravatar srah - August 11, 2005 - 11:21 AM -

The B&B angle is interesting - and something I haven't heard speculated about before. Very clever!

gravatar Mike - August 22, 2005 - 10:36 AM -

Regarding Dumbledore's burnt hand- In the beginning, when Bellatrix and Narcissa visit Snape, Bellatrix grabs Narcissa to stop her and Narcissa pulls out her wand and burns Bellatrix's hand. Could "Bellatrix" really be Dumbledore there (polyjuice) so that when they get to Snape's house they get Narcissa thinking about the plan (using the cabinet to get the Deatheaters int Hogwarts)and Snape can use Legimency to read her mind? While they're talking about it, Snape stares out the window, then he suddenly 'knows' the plan- he claims that Voldemort told him.

This would mean that D and Snape know the plan all along. Also, the 'binder' of the unbreakable vow would have been Dumbledore- and would Snape have even been bound at all?

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