Wednesday, July 18, 2007

BBC: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is the darkest of the HP books thus far. Voldemort is truly back, Harry finds love, Ron is now Won-Won and a beloved character dies. *sniff* This penultimate installment is also the most informative one, providing answers to questions from HP1-5, and assuring us that the Dark Lord could be killed. But with these facts, more questions came up: Who is R.A.B.? Where are the remaining Horcruxes? Where did Fawkes go? Where can I get Amortentia? Will Harry ever survive???

Let’s begin, shall we? *g*
  • Harry and Dumbledore learn of Voldemort’s obsession with splitting his soul into six Horcruxes. While Harry and Dumbledore are fairly certain of what the first four Horcruxes are (Tom Riddle’s diary, Marvolo Gaunt’s ring, Salazar Slytherin’s locket, Helga Hufflepuff’s cup), what do you think are the remaining two?
  • Why do you think Dumbledore continues to trust Snape? Discuss which side you think Snape is really on.
  • “The Cave” is filled with a great deal of information that one needs to read again and again to analyze. What stands out for you in regards to this chapter?
  • Did Dumbledore know he’s going to die that night on the Astronomy Tower? Harry tells Ron and Hermione that he will probably not return to Hogwarts next year. What do you think lies ahead for Hogwarts?

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19 comment(s):

Anonymous Gabrielle said...

- I think the remaining horcruxes are Nagini and Harry. Maybe not Harry but its all I've got *shrug*

-I think Snape is good now! In my reread I came across something that convinced me. I was on the fence for a while but then this just shoved me along a little bit. In the bit where they are in the cave Dumbldore FORCES Harry to feed him the potion no matter what. And there is one line where it says Harry is "hating himself and repulsed by what he was doing" he continued to give the potion to Dumbledore. Then when Snape comes in the tower when everyone is there and he raises his wand and points it at Dumbledore "hatred and revulsion" was etched onto every feature of his face. I think that JKR did that deliberatly. I might be stretching it just a little bit but I think that it makes sense. Snape was told by Dumbldore to kill him. I dont know why though...
I was actually leaning towards his evilness for a while because of the way throughout book 6, Dumbldores weaknesses and mistakes kept coming up. He burnt his hand and Snape said that the duel with Voldemort at the end of book 5 affected him. Then DD said himself that his mistakes were always quite big becuase they were rare (and hes ultra smart).

-I think the whole cave scene is creepy. The Inferi, the potion, the blood offering, its just so evil. Maybe becuase we arent told much about it.
I want to know what the potion was. There is speculation but nothing specific.

-I think that Dumbledore did know. He might have planned his death. But DD was getting old :'( It's weird to think that DD doesnt know something because he always seemed to have the answers. For him to be in such a weak position is completely incomprehensible.
I dont know about Hogwarts. I think it will open. If Harry said he wasnt going back then maybe he wont.

7/18/2007 08:53:00 AM  

Blogger Vanessa said...

1. Gabrielle, I don't think Harry is a horcrux. I don't think Nagini is a horcrux either. It seems too risky to me that Voldemort would make something mortal to keep his soul, particularly when the point of doing is to keep himself immortal.

2. I don't know why DD keeps on trusting Snape. I mean, let's face it, Snape is despicable. But I do think he's working for the good side.

I agree with Gabrielle that DD might have asked Snape to kill him if it comes down to it, just so he could save Malfoy. (And Snape too, if you think about it, since he will die if he breaks the Unbreakable Vow.)

3. The whole cave scene is just freaky. The dead people on the water and the potion and the locket... And afte all that work, it was all for nothing :(

4. I think DD knew. If DD didn't know he was going to be killed that evening he wouldn't have stupified Harry. He knows Harry well enough to know he would have defended himself and DD and risked getting himself killed. Also during the whole exchange with Draco, it was DD who was in control and not Draco. If fact the line "it is my mercy and not yours that matters" (or something like that) to Draco that suggests that DD is being merciful to Draco by allowing Snape to come in and "murder" him and spare him Draco from being a murderer or rather the consequences of failing in his mission.

7/18/2007 12:09:00 PM  

Blogger Vanessa said...

I was so angry when Sirius died, it happened so fast but when DD died, I was just sad. The way Snape killed him... it seems so final. :(

7/18/2007 12:11:00 PM  

Anonymous Dreamer said...

1.I believe that Harry is one of Voldemort's horcruxes. It is mentioned that seven is a particularly powerful number in the wizard world, and therefore it seems fitting that something big should happen when Voldemort ripped that seventh piece from his soul. It would also explain how Harry received insight into Voldemort's mind in the previous books. There is, however, one significant flaw to this theory: Voldemort's been trying to finish himself, which would have been some sort of odd suicide if Harry really is a horcrux.

As for the second remaining horcrux: the way I read HP6, I thought that Voldemort had six external horcruxes, and the seventh piece of his soul resided within himself. I could be mistaken, of course, but that's how I read it.

Of course, Nagini is also a suspect here, seeing as Dumbledore suggested her. However, in my opinion, few authors ever give such a clear answer to a question: their goal is, after all, to surprise their readers.
Or maybe it's just me who's read too many crime novels.

2. I think Snape is on Dumbledore's side. As we all know, Dumbledore was no dummy, and if he trusted him, I believe he had a good reason to do so.
The main reason why people think he's bad is that he killed Dumbledore, but he had to do that. He made the Unbreakable Vow to Draco's mother, and since Draco wasn't getting the job done, Snape was forced to do it for him.
I'm still hoping that Dumbledore will return, with some kind of ancient magic trick, a la Aslan in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

3. I never think about which chapter I'm reading, or what it's called, so this title doesn't ring a bell in my head. I'm going to leave this one open. *grin*

4. I think that Dumbledore at least suspected. If my 'theory' of Dumbledore doing an 'Aslan' is correct, then he certainly would have known, and probably even instructed Snape to kill him.

If Voldemort wins, which he probably won't, I think Hogwarts would be turned into a school of dark wizardry. If Harry wins, I think it will continue being the Hogwarts we know.

7/18/2007 01:18:00 PM  

Blogger Ra-Ra-Ra-Rachel said...

Here's my theory on the Snape issue.

I think that Dumbledore has Snape under the unbreakable vow. Why not? I would do it if I wanted to make sure that I could trust Snape to work in my school. I think that it has something to do with Harry, like ... no matter what happens or who says what ... Snape MUST keep Harry safe. I think that the "pleading" that Dumbledore did right before his death was NOT pleading not to be killed. I think that he was telling Snape to remember what needs to be done. I feel that Dumbledore KNEW that he had to be killed to fulfill possibly his own prophecy. (? Maybe?)

Just some thoughts! Can't wait!!!

7/18/2007 01:44:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

1. The first time i read HP6, i thought Harry's scar is a horcrux. But now, i'm not convinced. I mean, i think before he went to kill the Potters, he already made his horcruxes. And why would his soul be in a living thing (the same reason why i don't believe Nagini is a horcrux) when the point of it all is to make him immortal? Horcruxes shouldn't be vulnerable, something that don't die. Besides, didn't Voldy repeated tried to kill Harry?

2. Besides on HP1, i've always thought Snape is one of the "good" guys. I have to agree with Gabrielle (so you believe now, huh? :P) about that part when Snape was about to kill Dumbledore. The revulsion and the pain on his face.. Dumbledore must have ordered Snape that if it comes down between Draco and him, kill him. Did you notice the way he got so ANGRY when Harry called him a coward? No one likes to be called that but Snape's strong reaction, particularly after killing Dumbledore, that calls for some explanation.

Also, all throughout the series, Snape has been helping Harry. Little snippets/hints here and there, covered by nasty remarks. Even when Snape and Draco were fleeing Hogwarts and Harry was running after them, Snape was teaching Harry when he was blocking his spells. "Blocked again, and again, and again until you learn to keep your mouth shut and your mind closed, Potter!"

I believe Snape will be a key to Harry's success in HP7. He will help Harry to kill Voldy. And i think he'll die in the process. :/

3. Oh god, i HATE the cave scene. :S I cried about the drinking poison scene. Just awful.. *sniff* The way Harry just kept asking Dumbledore to keep drinking and calling him Professor and kept pouring and scooping for more poison.. aaah!!!

Harry's final lesson from Dumbledore happened in this scene. THat great wizards discover things simply by observing his surroundings. And then that blood thing. First Dumbledore offered it, then Harry.

4. I believe Dumbledore knew even from the beginning of the book. That's the reason for all his one and one lessons with Harry. He could have taught Harry other lessons but instead he showed him how Voldy thinks and about the horcruxes. He knew that he wasn't going to be around to destroy the remaining horcruxes and it would be up to Harry.

7/18/2007 02:07:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

I think that he was telling Snape to remember what needs to be done.

Oh, i agree.

I really hope Dumbledore will come back. Like Dreamer said, maybe he'll do an Aslan or a Gandalf. :P

7/18/2007 02:09:00 PM  

Blogger Vanessa said...

What if DD is wrong and the sword is a horcrux?

7/18/2007 04:52:00 PM  

Anonymous donna said...

I can't do this. I like the idea of the BBC and will participate in future hopefully, but I'm too much dying to read Deathly Hallows to be able to think properly.

But I do believe Snape and Dumbledore knew they were fulfilling something for the greater good.

And I wonder about Harry's wand being a horcrux.
And I would enjoy seeing all the ghosts band together to secure Hogwarts.
And I want Harry to end up on a journey w/Ron & family.

See I told you, 7/21 just can't get here fast enough.

7/19/2007 02:18:00 AM  

Anonymous Gabrielle said...

Donna, I know what you mean. I'm trying to divert my attention away from Harry Potter becuase I think I'm going to go crazy :S

New York Times apparently released an early review of it and there are HEAPS of spoilers. Biggest fear is that when I go to pick up my copy people are going to be talking about spoilers..

7/19/2007 04:07:00 AM  

Blogger Danielle De Barbarac said...

Gabrielle, Donna, I'm with you two. I'm staying away from any thing that might give me spoilers.

As for Snape, I believe he's good. I'm with those people who believe he had feelings for Lily. I believe everything that happened was planned by Dumbledore. Although I don't think he knew he was going to die that night at the Astronomy Tower. He was prepared though because there were plans to kill him.

7/19/2007 07:43:00 AM  

Anonymous donna said...

Hooray! Just got my shipping confirmation for Deathly Hallows!!!

7/19/2007 12:08:00 PM  

Blogger Jordis Juice said...

1. I agree with the others that it's Harry's scar and Nagini. I don't think Gryffindor's sword could be a horcrux. It's always been in the Headmaster's offirce. I can't see how Voldemort could give Dumbledore the slip and put his soul into the sword.

2. Rachel, that's a good theory about Dumbledore having Snaoe under the Unbreakable Vow. It makes sense.

3. When Harry was feeding Dumbledore that potion, I kept cringing. That cave scene is one of the most awful scenes I've ever read.

Did you notice when Dumbledore was drinking the potion, he was talking about some things like "it was his fault" and such. What was that about?

4. I think Dumbledore knew. And all that time when he was talking to Draco, he was the one in control. I kept thinking though that, all of it could have been prevented if, instead of Snape guiding Draco, Snape and Dumbledore could have talked to Draco and persuaded him that if they join the "right" side, as Dumbledore put it, the Order of the Phoenix could protect him and his family.

7/19/2007 07:22:00 PM  

Blogger Jordis Juice said...

I have to say I was surprised about Lupin and Tonks. I didn't see that one! And then Lupin says "I'm too poor, too old" or something like that (I don't have the book with me) and then Tonks goes like "but I don't care!"... My, how romantic. :P

7/19/2007 07:25:00 PM  

Blogger Lily Moon said...

I believe that Snape is loyal to Dumbledore but I think what happened was Snape didn't expect Narcissa to throw in the bit about killing Dumbledore if Draco failed (thus the subtle hand-twitch). Then he immediately went to Dumbledore, who basically decided that: (1) he's old, and death is but the next great adventure! and
(2) Snape's inside info was more important than Dumbledore (not that I think that, but I think that was the conclusion Dumbledore came to). Therefore Dumbledore told Snape when the moment came, he would have to die.

A friend of mine said that perhaps the Avada Kadevra did not really killed Dumbledore, as this would require not justifiable motives (as Bella explained) but actual hatred, which, if the Snape-is-good faction is correct, would be impossible. Jo always emphasized that Snape is excellent at unspoken spells and maybe... maybe to the point that he could SAY "AK" but CAST a different spell with similar green effects, but also move Dumbledore's body. I'm not sure about this theory but there you go.

7/19/2007 09:18:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Lily, hmm.. i think Dumbledore is really dead. Unlike Sirius, there was a body, which they buried, or that Phoenix flame thingy did something). Also, i don't think Dumbledore's portrait would appear in the Headmaster's office if he's not dead. Not to mention the repeated way JKR said "Dumbledore is dead! Dead i tell you! Dead! DEEEAAAAD!" Okay, that's just me exagerating :P but you know she did say something like that. :/

I love that Lupin and Tonks bit! :D I never suspected Lupin, that sly dog LOL. I thought Tonks was guilt-striken because of Sirius and all that thing with Mrs. Weasley was only because she really didn't want Fleur LOL.

7/20/2007 06:01:00 AM  

Blogger Harlot said...

There's this line in HP6 that I think sum it all up for Harry:

And Harry saw very clearly, as he sat there under the hot sun, how people who cared about him... had stood in front of him one by one.

*sniff* It's too true, and too harsh. From his parents, to Sirius, to Dumbledore... all of them died because they loved him. And it's not like he has a choice: finish Voldy off or die too. :(

7/20/2007 06:06:00 AM  

Blogger Ladybug said...

I am going to the Harry Potter party!!! So excited!

7/20/2007 01:55:00 PM  

Blogger Vanessa said...

Just mere hours and I'll be reading book 7! Jesus, I can't wait. I don't know if it's just my excitement but there is this feeling in the air that EVERYONE is anxiously awaiting for Harry, preparing to read Harry etc etc...

7/20/2007 06:10:00 PM