“Somewhere out in the darkness, a phoenix was singing in a way Harry had never heard before: a stricken lament of terrible beauty. And Harry felt, as he had felt about phoenix song before, that the music was inside him, not without: It was his own grief turned magically to song that echoed across the grounds and through the castle windows.”
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Page 614-615
*BEWARE: Spoilers Lie Ahead*
And so the magic continues.
This book was a refreshing read, because it was the first time I could disconnect from the movie since the two are, in my opinion, so different.
I think the movie did a wonderful job of bringing scenes that were at times only mentioned in the book to life, such as the destruction of Ollivander’s Wand Shop, the bridge’s destruction, the scenes of Draco with the vanishing cabinet, the scene with Bellatrix tempting Harry at the Burrow in the field, and the tale of Slughorn’s Francis the fish (a beautiful way of revealing more of Lily Potter’s good nature, both as a person and as a witch).
The book was a fun read, because it brought a whole new look to the world. Both the book and the movie gave the world and its characters a new and refreshing image. No matter which you read or see first, you get something different. Both enlighten you about different aspects of characters and the plot itself. I think for that reason alone, it’s one of my favorites in the series.
With that said, it’s not my top favorite, and I’ll explain why in a moment.
Harry has certainly grown up in many ways, what with the unfortunate death of his godfather and the raging hormones of a teenage boy who is eager for some, as the British say, snogging.
He still has a lot of maturing to do, though. The biggest evidence of this is his obsession with Draco Malfoy. He lets it completely consume him, distracting him from the things he cares about deeply like Quidditch.
I do think the fact that people discredit his theories so often only feeds his obsession, and the fact that he was right all alone makes it seem like it shouldn’t be a matter of maturing, but I saw his obsession as an obstacle. If he weren’t so obsessed, perhaps he could’ve thought more clearly and actually have caught Malfoy in the act.
I also found it kind of ironic that there was this subtle battle in his head of being a Gryffindor or a Slytherin. I agree with the Sorting Hat; he certainly has many aspects of being a Slytherin. The obsession shows this, which is a characteristic I’ve noticed some, if not most, Slytherins have.
With all that said, I thought it was a great way to show his character. It showed his determination, even if it came across as borderline stubbornness. The book did an excellent job of developing Harry’s character with this obsession.
Something that really bothered me in the movie was that it seemed his relationship with Ginny came out of nowhere. Out of the blue, Harry suddenly smiles at seeing Ginny, something we’ve never seen before.
So, it was a tad disappointing to see the same thing happen in the book. Out of nowhere, the creature in Harry’s stomach bursts out at the sound of Ginny’s name. It almost irritated me that it came out of nowhere, but the book saved itself.
Eventually, this crush becomes special with Ginny’s interest in Quidditch and their inside joke of lovely Phlegm, the newest member of the Weasley family. I eventually became very excited about the new couple, and I admit, I squealed at Harry’s bravery for kissing Ginny in front of the whole lot of Gryffindor house. I became a fan of these two, truly.
My real disappointment in the book came with something that is only seen in the movie: Harry and Hermione’s relationship.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who thought at some point that Hermione and Harry were going to get together. However, it would’ve been too easy, too cliche for J.K. Rowling to do this, so I’m actually quite glad she didn’t.
When this movie came along, and we saw this relationship between these two grow due to Ron’s new love interest, Lavender Brown, and their place in the Slug Club, it was clear they were never going to be. Never once did I feel their relationship to be a romantic one. They grew closer in a way that transcended being best friends; they were family, willing to be the shoulder to cry on or the punching bag if needed.
This wonderful growth in their friendship was nowhere to be seen in the books. Actually, at some parts, I thought Harry was almost mean to Hermione or worse, indifferent. I was really upset by this, because this development is what made me fall in love with this movie. I was really hoping for an extended version of this in the book, but it was nowhere to be found. If there were signs of it, they were very insignificant.
For this reason, it’s not my favorite book. I’m almost ready to say for this reason the movie is far better than the book. However, as I mentioned earlier, the book and movie are different views of the story and for that reason, I shall keep them separate and not condemn one because of the other.
I’ve always thought this, but the book just reaffirmed my belief: horcruxes are brilliant. I don’t think my imagination would be bold enough to come up with such a brilliant idea. What I love most about them is that they really tie the whole story together. It seems like ages ago since the Chamber of Secrets and yet here we are with the sixth book still talking about it.
Well done, J.K. Rowling. Well done.
Professor Slughorn shed some light on Slytherin house. I really enjoyed him as a professor. He had so many unique qualities to him like his obsession with collections, his manner of speaking, his love for his Slug Club. Whether I would be a favorite of his or not, I think I’d enjoy a class with him.
Draco Malfoy. For the first time, we see another side to the little bully. We see him vulnerable, and I think there is no better way to remove someone from his own shadows than through vulnerability.
He has a heart of stone to want to commit murder for the sake of his family, even if a major part of that desire is stemmed from fear. He is, however, not capable of doing it, no matter how many times he tells himself he can.
I don’t think it’s from fear of being a murderer. I think with the Dark Lord breathing down your neck, you’d have no problem carrying out his deed.
No, I believe he couldn’t do it because he knew it was wrong. He realized at the moment he raised his wand to Dumbledore that the dark arts were not a joking matter and that he wanted nothing to do with them.
He is not a murderer, and he didn’t want to be. He hesitated, and I believe that was a sign of his bravery.
The ending to this book was the only time I ever wished I hadn’t seen the movies. I could tell I’d be just as furious and confused as the others with the revelation of Snape’s “true” allegiance to Lord Voldemort. Frankly, that’s all I have to say on Snape other than I loved the detail of why he was named the Half Blood Prince. It was a loose end from the movie that I never realized was a loose end until I read about Eileen Prince.
Dumbledore’s death is always sad, but I did not cry about it with the book as I did with the movie. Sometimes, emotion is far more powerful with silence.
Reading about his death and his funeral was heart-breaking, yes. However, the film conveyed the darkest form of depression even more with his passing. The raised wands, his sleeping portrait, the emptiness of his office, the silence along with it all; I have seen the movie too many times to count, and yet every time, heartstrings are pulled, and the tears come flying down.
Let the phoenix song ring through the clouds and sky as we reach the conclusion of this epic tale.