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Reflections on the Half Blood Prince

August 30, 2005

Finished Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince yesterday when I got home from work.  Since I think I’m the last person in my circle of "Harry Potter liking" friends I’m gonna go ahead and talk candidly about it.  If you haven’t read it yet, you should stop reading now and check out today’s Get Fuzzy.

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The thing that struck me most as I closed the book was Dumbledore’s "inexcusable trust."  Reminded me a lot of Frodo trusting Gollum despite Samwise’s pleas to the contrary.  Obviously the inexcusable trust was Big D’s downfall.  But even then, there’s a small part of me that wonders if Dumbledore didn’t previously ask Snape to do that should he be severely weakened.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, I still think Snape is the second most vile character in the series now, but there is still a small part of me that wonders… it’s Dumbledore, how could he be so wrong?  In LotR it was pity, here, belief in true repentance.  But both grand stories including this inexcusable trust ulitmately come down to the belief that a person (or creature as the case may be) can change.  Belief that a person can be redeemed from the evil he once was.  Where do I fall on that scale?  Am I a Frodo/Albus type or a Samwise/Harry type?  I face the question right now thinking of multiple people, at least one I’m still working on forgiving.  Who knew Rowling’s writings would make me think about my own life?  As one of God’s own, still in process, where should I fall on that scale?  Innocent as a dove, shrewd as a serpent?  Looking to be always the minister of reconciliation?  Where do we fall?

Some other questions/thoughts about the book:

  • So Ginny isn’t coming with then?
  • If Hogwarts does open up the next year, who do you s’pose would be headmaster?
  • R.A.B. — Thoughts as to who that might be???  Whoever it is, musta been a burly wizard or as one website theorized, in on Lord V’s good side.
  • I still think book four is the most "entertaining" (can’t wait for the movie to come out).  But this one definitely had the feel of book five.  Very much a continuation of 5, whereas 2-4 all felt like they had definitive separation from the one prior.  Me thinks book seven is gonna be action-packed.
  • When does book seven come out?  🙂
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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Greg permalink
    August 30, 2005 10:06 am

    I’m with you Hutch, I can’t bring myself to believe that Dumbledore was that wrong about Snape. I wonder if 7 is going to fill in the gap and explain some super secret plan that was worked out, even though it meant Dumbledore’s death. It will be strange not having the setting of book 7 solely at Hogwarts.

  2. August 30, 2005 10:14 am

    Totally with you on both counts.

  3. Tamara permalink
    August 30, 2005 11:57 am

    Hey Al,

    So I saw an Entertainment Weekly mag on Harry Potter the other day and picked it up. They had a lot of info on theories people came up with regarding Snape’s true Character and who RAB is. I can’t stand it! They all make sense to some degree and it just gave me more ideas. Dang! I hate that. I don’t think the next book comes out until 2007. Why does she cause us such pain….

    tam

  4. August 30, 2005 12:27 pm

    Tam,

    Wikipedia also has quite the article on R.A.B.

    Wikipedia article on R.A.B.

  5. August 30, 2005 1:07 pm

    R.A.B.- http://www.hp-lexicon.org/wizards/regulus.html

    You’re comments are exactly what I mean when I say that the Harry Potter books are Christian…

  6. Slothboy permalink
    August 30, 2005 3:11 pm

    1. I think they will have a hard time keeping Ginny away. She will be there, she will be important.

    2. McGonagall will be Headmaster.

    3. I gotta go with Regalus too, the evidence seems to support it pretty well. It’s either him or a character we haven’t met.

    4. This was The Two Towers of the series. Cool stuff happened, but ultimately it is setting the stage for the 7th and final book. “The board is set, the pieces are moving.” Shut up Gandalf, nobody asked you.

    5. Not soon enough.

    I have to grudgingly say that Snape is still good. When he took the unbreakable vow, it was to (paraphrase) help Draco and complete the task for him if he was unable. There aren’t any loopholes as far as I can tell, as long as Draco’s task was actually to kill Dumbledore. If Draco’s task was just to get death eaters into hogwarts then that leaves us all kinds of possibilities for faked deaths and so on.

    Snape was still trying to teach Harry even as he was fleeing Hogwarts. He was forcing Harry to use inaudible spells and he didn’t do any more than block harry’s attacks. He claimed they weren’t allowed to kill Harry, but he could have easily paralized him. Instead, he allowed harry to continue to try and hurt him for the purpose of teaching. The question I have is, what can Snape contribute that would be worth more than the life of Dumbledore, if in fact D is dead? Yes, he’s a well-positioned spy but that doesn’t seem to amount to much especially considering that nobody in the order is likely to listen to snape now anyway.

    Where did Fawkes go? Will dumbledore rise from the ashes like his familiar the phoenix? How will he accomplish that if he does so?

    And most importantly, how will Neville save the day? He will you know. A sack of galleons says so.

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