Blog series · Fiction

Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince | Potterthon #6


Image from Google – Bloomsbury

It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince


Joanne Kathleen Rowling ( pen names-J.K Rowling, Robert Galbraith) is a British author who was born on 31 July, 1965 in Gloucestershire, England. Besides being an author, she is also well known as a philanthropist, producer and screenwriter. She is best known for the Harry Potter series which having sold more than 500 million copies, is the best selling book series in history. Her life as both an author and an individual is an inspiration and continues to be a beacon of hope for all. She is undoubtedly, my favourite author of all time.


Fantasy fiction, young adult fiction, drama, mystery, thriller, bildungsroman. [Courtesy of Google]

( According to Wikipedia, Bildungsroman is a literary genre that focuses on the psychological and moral growth of the protagonist from youth to adulthood in which character change is important.)


Wow, the sixth day of Potterthon! (the name sounds so weird) So, today, I’ll be reviewing the sixth book of the Harry Potter series. Given below are the links to the first five books’ reviews!

Here are a few traits common to the first 7 books:
➡Highly imaginative and vivid descriptions.
➡Sarcastic and casual language.
➡Suspenseful and captivating read.
➡In depth descriptions of each and every character.
➡Wise quotes and values making every book fit for adults and children.
➡ Every character is super sassy in their own way(or audacious, if you prefer a more formal word).

‘Yes,’ said Harry stiffly.
‘Yes, sir.’
‘There’s no need to call me “sir”, Professor.
The words had escaped him before he knew what he was saying.

In Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince, Dumbledore himself arrives to pick Harry from the Dursleys. This is where we learn of ‘apparating’ and meet Horace Slughorn, a former teacher at Hogwarts whom Dumbledore is trying to recruit with Harry’s help. It is also a moment of delight when we learn that the twins have already started a joke shop of their own. This aspect stands out against the dark and gloomy background that surrounds the story due to you-know-what (the ending of the fourth book). So, as a result, there are so many weird and dangerous happenings. We also learn that Cornelius Fudge has been fired and meet Rufeus Scrimgeour, the new minister.

It was his own grief turned magically to song.

Even though, we don’t see Fred and George at school. We see a lot of them along with Bill, Fleur(Bill’s fiancee) and Lupin when Harry visits the Weasleys. Ginny’s opinions of Fleur make for an amusing read as well.The Order is still active and we see the Ministry again, trying to convince the general public that everything is fine. We see Rufeus trying to wheedle knowledge about Dumbledore’s doings from Harry and asking Harry to work as the Ministry’s poster boy. It is a proud moment for all Potterheads when Harry replies with a firm NO and admits to being ‘Dumbledore’s man through and through.’

Dumbledore’s man through and through, aren’t you Potter?”
“Yeah I am,” said Harry. “Glad we straightened that out.”

As the story progresses, we meet very few new characters other than Slughorn, who likes associating himself with famous and prestigious students and families. His ‘Slug club’ is also a matter of great amusement. Unlike the other books, in Harry potter and the Half-blood prince, we see a huge evolution in the characters of Snape, Voldemort, Malfoy and Dumbledore, with Voldemort, Malfoy and Dumbledore in the fore. Malfoy is seen as having joined Voldemort’s fray while Dumbledore is on a journey to learn more about Voldemort; a journey in which he lets Harry accompany him. In the private classes Dumbledore gives Harry, we learn more about Voldemort’s past and realise why Voldemort is incapable of loving or feeling love. His childhood would have aroused pity in anyone if it weren’t for his unnatural inclination towards domination and cruelty. We also see that he has exceptional powers for a wizard his age. Dumbledore’s inferences from certain events in Voldemort’s life is eye opening and we begin to get answers to questions that were asked in the previous boooks. And the reason for The Defense Against Dark Arts teaching position being cursed is also attributed to Voldemort.

It is impossible to manufacture or imitate love.

In terms of school life, we see Harry rising to the post of Team Captain in Quidditch, and see Ron and Ginny as team members. Harry starts developing feelings for Ginny and Hermione for Ron. Ron’s relationship with Lavender comes across as a constant source of annoyance for both the characters and the reader. We also see more of Luna and it’s a pleasure to experience her ‘knack for embarrassing honesty.’ Without Fred and George, there is a slight drop in humour but this is made up with Harry’s performance in Potions classes and the sarcastic undertone. Harry is forced to use a used textbook owing to his lack of one, and this is where he comes across a tattered textbook that has notes written all over it. Soon he realises that the previous owner who called himself/herself ‘The Half-blood prince’ was a natural at potions with the handwritten notes being their own version of the textbook’s instructions. Harry soon starts outperforming Hermione and this makes Hermione suspicious of the so called ‘half-blood prince.’ There is a significant twist in these parts where we see an unlikely teacher teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts. We also see a lot of Dobby and Kreacher who help Harry in investigating what Malfoy is up to.

This is your copy of Advanced Potion-Making, is it, Potter?”
“Yes,” said Harry, still breathing hard.
“You’re quite sure of that, are you, Potter?”
“Yes,” said Harry, with a touch more defiance.

Draco is seen more of a mature person rather than just a bully in these books. He is often seen disappearing from the Marauder’s Map and this convinces Harry that Malfoy is indeed working on something. These suspicions added to the near death experiences that two Hogwarts students including Ron go through convinces the reader that there is indeed some dark work going on inside Hogwarts. Harry and Malfoy duel in Myrtle’s bathroom which ends up with Harry getting a detention from Snape.

Yes, it is easy to see that nearly six years of magical education have not been wasted on you, Potter. Ghosts are transparent.

As the story progresses, we see Harry ending up with Ginny and Ron and Hermione solving their conflicts. We learn why Slughorn was so important to Dumbledore and witness Aragog’s (Hagrid’s spider friend) death. This is also the book where we learn about ‘Horcruxes’ which pave the core for the this and subsequent book. Apart from school, we get to go on a few Hogsmeade visits and learn more about the world outside. Unlike the last few books, here the atmosphere inside and outside the school is one that of fear and tension. Harry’s classes with Snape are still hated, however we read instances where Snape seems to be working with Malfoy. Bellatrix(Malfoy’s aunt) and Narcissa (his mother) make brief appearances at the beginning of the story where we see them meeting up with Snape. This is where we learn that Voldemort does indeed have a sinister plan for Malfoy.

Age is foolish and forgetful when it underestimates youth.

Similar to the last two books, this book too ends on a heart wrenching moment of loss. But unlike the previous two books, here the identities of the murderer and the murdered are shocking and saddening. The ending though heartbreaking, sets the perfect backdrop for the final installment of the series and keeps anticipated readers holding their breath. What started as a fantastical magic book has now turned into an epic battle against evil with loved ones being killed remorselessly. It is indeed a story that gives cause for reflection and once again makes us question the fairness of it all, especially on Harry.

“Kill me then,’ panted Harry, who felt no fear at all, but only rage and contempt. ‘Kill me like you killed him, you coward-”


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