Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Well, I wanted to wait a couple of days before I posted this, mostly to give people a chance to finish the book.

But, yeah, if you've not finished it yet (what the hell is wrong with you?) you may want to not read the rest of this post because it will contain all sorts of spoilers.

Wow, I'm bummed. I feel betrayed. I trusted Dumbledore, I really did. I thought HP was just being petty when he kept on about Snape. I know that in the second chapter Snape makes the unbreakable vow to Malfoy's mom, but still, I thought there was going to be some way around it. In retrospect, it does make sense. Snape is a character who will try to hang on to both sides for as long as he can and then throw his lot in with the side he stands most to gain from. I think that maybe Snape was not even sure which side he was on for the first four books, but once Voldemort became stronger, he decided to throw his lot in with the Death Eaters. Still, I must confess that, the first time I read through book six I still hoped, even after finishing, that Snape was really on the side of the good guys and that it was all part of Dumbledore's plan. The second time around, though (and after checking out some interviews with JK Rowling) I realized that it was how it appeared, and that Snape really was evil.

The bright side of all this is that, if Alan Rickman signs for snape when book six is made in to a movie, he should get a lot of screentime. Now if he would just lose some of his excess weight--he really has let himself go these past few years. I think ARs peak was Sense and Sensibility--I think that came out in the late 90s.

So, yeah, after finishing book six I was a little bummed. I spent a couple of days mopeing (well, the first mope day I was going through the book again, looking for clues that Snape hadn't really gone bad. The second mope day was because I finally came to terms with the fact that he had). But this is not the first time that a book has sent me into bummedland.

Anyway, I am reading a Laurie King book called Folly. It is not a Mary Russel mystery. It is actually quite strange--about a suicidal 52 year old woman who decides to re-build a cabin on a pacific island. Weird.

I did finally give up on Kim. Oh well.

By the way, the trailer for HP and the GOF is out now. Go to www.imdb.com to check it out.


At 12:24 PM, Blogger Margaret said...

I am overjoyed that Snape is really evil. I'm also glad that Dumbledore is dead. For being the Greatest Wizard and all, he was kind of useless. He had Harry Potter fight most of the fights, for gawd's sake. He was doomed to faliure. Plus he was a terrible judge of character.

I'm glad he's gone.

Though for Snape's sake, I was talking with somebody else and they said that Snape wasn't really evil, he didn't want to kill Dumbledore, but he did have an Unbreakable Vow on his head so he had to do what would help Draco.

That's my opinion, anyway.

At 12:05 AM, Blogger Ovonia Red said...

I do have to agree with you that Dumbledore was pretty useless for the greatest wizard of the age. I think I tended to give him too much credit. The only way I could make much sense of him doing nothing and HP saving everyone in books one, two, and three was that I told myself that D. knew that VOldemort was going to return and he was letting HP save the day as training--but the D was ready to swoop in and save the day if HP got into trouble. Book five did seem to support this view. But book six does not--it makes D look weak and makes me question my earlier assessment of D.

About Snape. I origionnally (fuck, I can't spell) agreed with your friend, but after my second time through HBP (and after checking out some of what JK says about Snape) I changed my mind. I really do think he is just an opportunist. I think that is what bugs me the most--he could not be solidly good like Hagrid or solidly bad like Lucius but instead waited to see which side would be strongest. That I find more disgusting than his betrayl.

At 9:58 AM, Blogger Margaret said...

Aw...But it makes Snape so human. So (digustingly) human, it's cool how JK was able to put such humaness down on paper. And you know Snape=General Population.

Blogger is weird and you can't directly reply to comments like every other journal I've had, so I'm just gonna fill you in on my other blog here.
It's at greatestjournal.com. You can't read it because it's friends only. Which means no one else can read it either. Which is cool because no one can hate or stalk me. So. If you make a GJ Username, I'll add you as a friend and then you can read it.

It's so worth it, lliek omigod. I'm completely random and funny, especially during the summer when I have no life. So. If you love me that much, make a username and comment on the entry you can see. The one that says 'Friends Only'. And then I'll add you. XD


At 2:02 PM, Anonymous Amy said...

I found I was quite disappointed to with Book six. well not disappointed but very bummed. Eventhough part of me expected it, anoher part of me didn't want to believe it.

However, I didn't find Dumbledore useless through out the book. He was a great inspirational figure for many, even if he wasn't taking care of things much. In the six book, people kept on saying he wasn't what he used to be. That process of decline could have been going on for a quite awhile. But he still was a strong symbol for Harry and many others in the wizarding world and through his experience he had a vast amount of knowledge.

At 10:40 PM, Blogger STAG said...

Well, so much for my theory that Dumbledore was really Voldemort. Though that theory had a lot going for it. He kept sending a boy in to do a man's job, or if you prefer, a student in to do graduate work. He was so incompetent that he didn't even KNOW there was a chamber in the roots of the castle...or DID HE? Setting up all those traps, funny keys and malicious stone chessmen doesn't seem very responsible to me. Sending kids out into the forbidden forest at night...yup, thats resposible "in loco parentis" for ya! I would be so happy to see the racist (its in your blood Harry!), residential school just vanish, if only because it is so Rugby challenged. On the surface, it seems like an English public school, but is that a good thing? Wrenching children away from their families, having giants teaching them....how traumatic! And Harry, Dumbledore's man through and through? Well, as long as it suits him. Harry always drops the ball. Doesn't like to talk about voices only he can see (maybe understandable) and still sneaks around, breaking rules right left and centre. So he accidently comes across a book which helps him cheat his way through potions class, and doesn't think to show it to Dumbledore? Harry is a loose cannon which Dumbledore could have lashed down, but failed to do so. The order is better off without him.

At 11:21 PM, Blogger STAG said...


At 12:31 PM, Blogger Ovonia Red said...

Bill, I actually agree with a lot of what you said. My favorite character is Hermione because she is "muggle-born" but works her ass off. I don't understand why Harry is such a "better wizard" than her... but I guess that goes in to that whole "British blood" thing again. Funny that JKR openly criticizes the idea that "pure-blood" is best while at the same time she supports it uncoditionally with Harry Potter.

Oh, and after book four I was convinced that Dumbledore was evil.

Harry Potter has the whole martyr-I'm-the-only-one-who-can-save-everyone complex thing going and I really don't like it. JKR is really good at getting into the minds and perceptions of teenagers (anger, frustration, mistrust of anyone over eighteen). It leads to the question of: should she be setting up a role model for younger readers or depicting realistic teenage characters. I suppose a lot of people would argue that she is doing both, but I really don't see Harry as a role model (and not just because I am over eighteen). But then, I've always disliked martyr complexes...

At 3:13 PM, Blogger STAG said...

She also taps into the egocentricity of teen agers. As my old Sergeant used to say, "listen, leave home, get married, have kids and get a job now while you still know everything".

At 1:28 AM, Blogger STAG said...

Actually, I have a new theory. You see, that scar that Harry has on his forehead...thats one of Voldemort's horcruxes. Perfect timing....kill the parents, leave a piece of the old soul right there where no body would ever suspect. It would explain why it hurts when the big V is around, and also why Harry could speak parceltoungue...he has a lot of V in him! Also, the hat had trouble...wanted to put him into Slytheryn at first didn't it? The hat comes down over the scar, so the immediate thing is to assign him to Sly house. But the hat has second thoughts. This is unusual for a hat.... and puts HP into Griffindor. And its hard to confuse a hat! Like does this happen often?
Makes more sense than the idea that Voldemort couldn't kill Harry because in actual fact, he was Harry's father. But this is probably too biblical for JKR...{And Lo, Harry's parents could not find room at the inn....}
I can't wait for the tenth book..."There's Something about Harry".
Now if I could just figure out who R A B would be. Reuben Albus Bumbledore....naaah.

At 10:42 AM, Blogger pat d said...

RAB is Sirius' brother. Has to be.

At 7:44 AM, Blogger Ovonia Red said...

Mom... I still think you are wrong about that. Page 112 of HP and the OP Sirius talks about how his little bro joined the death eaters and was killed.

But then again, his name was Regulus. Regulus is the 25th brightest star in the sky and the name means "prince" or "heart of the lion."

So, then again, maybe you are right.

At 9:08 AM, Blogger STAG said...

He mighta snuck the locket out anytime, such behaviour would not be tolerated in a Death eater for long. (That name...death eater...what's with that? Just sounds cool or does it MEAN something?)


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