Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Guest Post

Posted October 27, 2016 by shooting in Uncategorized / 7 Comments

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince guest post by Dana
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Choosing a favorite Harry Potter book is hardly an easy task.
While I can easily narrow it down to my favorite 4, I feel incredibly guilty
leaving the others out (except for Chamber of Secrets, I just can’t seem to
love it). After much internal debate, I decided to choose Harry Potter and the
Half Blood Prince for this post. It may not be my “you can only pick one Harry
Potter book to read for the rest of your life” favorite but it has some of my
FAVORITE and most memorable scenes in it.

I remember when it first came out and I devoured it in the
wee early morning of July 16, 2005. I recall the thrill of trying to figure out
who the Half Blood Prince was and the devastation of Dumbledore’s death. I’m
fairly certain I cried for the entire day and it took me about 2 hours to read
the final 3 chapters because of the tears.

With every subsequent reading as time went on, I began to
realize how insignificant the entire plot line of Harry’s previously used
Potions book. What is always most memorable to me are Harry’s “lessons” with
Dumbledore in which we get to dive into the pensieve along with them to
discover the secrets of Tom Marvolo Riddle’s history.

Through these memories the readers meet Marvolo Gaunt
(Voldemort’s Grandfather) and his children Morfin and Merope. The family has a ring
with the Peverall coat of arms engraved on it and a locket that belonged to
Salazar Slytherin, whom they are descended from. Merope yearns over Tom Riddle,
a muggle who lives down the way. When Morfin and Marvolo are sent to Azkaban, she
concocts a love potion which she gives to Tom. They run off together and
eventually she believed that his love was real enough that she stops giving him
the potion. Tom returned to his home and left Merope alone and with child. The
locket is the only possession she has of any value and she sells it to Borgin
for far less than it was worth. It is believed that she then stopped using
magic and died after giving birth to Tom. Later, Dumbledore visits the
orphanage where Tom resides and offers him a place at Hogwarts. When talking
with Dumbledore, Tom is suspicious and then overjoyed that he’s different from
most people. He tells how he can make animals do things and bad things happen
to people. He also has a tendency to take souvenirs from others.

Tom excels at Hogwarts and gathers loyal followers. He is
obsessed with his parentage and tracks down his uncle and father during one of
his summer breaks. Tom kills his father and muggle grandparents and then
modified Morfin’s memories so that he believes he was the one who did it. Also
at Hogwarts, Tom uses Professor Slughorn to gather information about Horcruxes
and how they’re made. Once finished with his schooling, Tom goes to work at
Borgin and Burkes after his request to remain at Hogwarts as a teacher is denied.
His job involves the acquisition of items for the shop. On one such trip, he
visited multiple times with Hepzibah Smith in the hopes of procuring goblin
made armor. Because he is so charming, Hepzibah shows Tom her most treasured
items: a golden cup that is said to possess special powers and belonged to
Helga Hufflepuff and a locket that once belongs to Slytherin. She died two days
later and the items were missing from her home. He resigned from his job and
that was the last time Tom Riddle was seen for a while.

About ten years later, Tom returns to Hogwarts to again
request a job as Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. By this time, he is
known as Voldemort and has recruited his loyal Death Eaters. He tells
Dumbledore how he has been experimenting with magic but it is to no avail.
Dumbledore refuses Tom a job, saying that they both know that he doesn’t really
want to teach. From then on, Hogwarts had never been able to keep a DADA
professor for more than a year.

I just love these glimpses into the past so much, perhaps
it’s the history major in me! The fact that they omitted some of these scenes
is my biggest disappointment with the movie version. These bits of the book
explain so much about Voldemort and what’s to come for Harry. Dumbledore,
knowing his end is coming, gives Harry practically everything he can to help
him for when the time comes that he can’t be there.

At the end when Dumbledore is laid to rest and a wizard is
saying a few words, Harry recalls with a smile what Dumbledore’s idea of a few
words was.

“Nitwit. Blubber. Oddment. Tweak.”

7 responses to “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Guest Post

  1. I loved the pensieve moments. I can never have enough backstory on ANY of the HP characters. The death in this book pissed me off SO BAD THOUGH. I voraciously read this book the day it came out and then I got to the death scene and I threw my book across the room. PISSED!!! I've gotten over it, but at the time I was so mad that JK Rowling had taken away yet ANOTHER father figure from Harry. I didn't read "after" chapters until a full 2 weeks after I threw that book. LOL I definitely had a major tantrum about it 🙂

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