Monday, June 28, 2010

The Half-Blood Prince

I should probably wait to write this until tomorrow when I'm a little less wound up and a little less weepy, but to hell with it. Such are the effects of the sixth Harry Potter installment. While The Half-Blood Prince is a brilliant novel through and through, the ending is a bit of a downer. I feel like there is a dementor lurking over me. It's most disconcerting.

What I find most fascinating (and MAJOR SPOILERS TO FOLLOW) is that despite the fact that I have read this book multiple times, watched the movie, read the last book and have all the answers to why these events occurred, it doesn't ease the reading. If anything, it makes it more intense and even, dare I say it, slightly more painful.

When reading Book Six I feel several emotions - giddiness, anger, and a deep and terrible sadness. Perhaps inquisitiveness should be thrown in there as well.

Let's just dive right in there shall we?

1. Dumbledore. There's no way to deny it so I just want to get it over with. I was deeply affected by Dumbledore's death. The first time I read it in '05 I sobbed uncontrollably for a good half an hour. And despite the time elapsed it still gets to me. My tears well up a little when I see him hit my Avada Kedavra. I legitimately cried during the funeral. It's partially the sadness of losing such an influential and interesting character, but mostly it's the genius that is J. K. Rowling. Her writing is what does it. Harry's anguish is tangible. And I can't help but relate. I've grown up these past years with Dumbledore too. After six-plus years of his guidance, it didn't surprise me that I was devastated by his death. It was worst of all because it was just when he was truly opening up to Harry. Sharing crucial information and letting us a little deeper inside that brilliant mind. Shame it had to end that way, but as we can see later, there was no other way.

2. Snape. On my first reading in '05 I was FURIOUS with Snape. I could not be convinced otherwise. Snape was a dirty, rotten coward that betrayed everyone including Dumbledore, Harry and his parents. I loathed him. How could he DO such a thing? People muttered things like Dumbledore wouldn't have begged for mercy and he must have had his reasons. After reading the last book, reading the sixth is torturous when it comes to Severus Snape. I am happy to admit I was very wrong about him, but knowing the truth makes the events that occur more difficult to endure. Harry calls him a coward, but Snape was anything but. Everyone denounces him and deems up a betrayer, and yet he was the most loyal of all. More on that later. I have so much to say about Snape but it's gonna have to wait for Book Seven.

In other Snape related news, the Half-Blood Prince. The interaction of the book with Harry and the reveal at the end is brilliant. It sets up such a nice juxtaposition. The book upon which he relied so heavily was penned by the man he comes to hate above all others. It's beautiful.

3. Horcruxes. The splitting of one's soul through murder and encasing the bit in an object. Brilliant stuff. I love how the term horcrux has become iconic. Well, at least to the people who matter. Hahaha... Kind of. Anyway, the whole idea is incredibly disturbing but fits so well. So very well. Voldemort is just so inhuman. Of course he has no soul. I appreciate that Riddle's Diary comes back into play here. It just shows how perfectly constructed Rowling's world is.

4. On a happier note, Couples.

Ron and Hermione. In all the other books there were hints, particularly with the Yule Ball fiasco. But in this one, there is overwhelming evidence. Ron's reaction to Hermione's invitation to Slughorn's party and Harry's musings about the two of them confirm it. Not that it wasn't abundantly clear. I mean, c'mon. They are meant to be together. Then the business with Lavender Brown. I don't blame Hermione for being furious. I would have sent conjured birds after him too. He deserved it. He clearly cared about Hermione and was just going against his better nature. Ron being poisoned was the best thing that ever happened for them. I felt about Ron's near fatal accident the same way I felt in the fourth book about the first task. I wanted to get it over with so things could go back to normal. Besides, Lavender Brown is appalling. Isn't that right Won-Won? Yeesh.

Harry and Ginny. YES! YES! YESYESYES! This is what we needed folks. Harry's jealousy of Dean Thomas was beautiful. Just wonderful in every way. I loved the monster inside threatening to rip Thomas limb from limb. But mostly, I loved Harry's desperate desire to deny it. Ginny or Ron? Harry's arguments with himself (He's my best mate. She's Ron's SISTER!) were highly amusing and enjoyable. One of my favorite portions of the book. So light hearted. It shows that despite being The Chosen One, Harry's still just a sixteen-year-old boy. Even The Chosen One can fall in love. I knew Ron would approve. I mean, Harry's way better than any of the guys Ginny dated and man, she got around...
Though I knew it had to happen, Harry's nobility at the end is heart breaking. The whole "I don't want to lose you, so I can't see you" bit. (Additionally check out the Harry and the Potters song Save Ginny Weasley from Dean Thomas. It's bloody brilliant and hilarious to boot) Oh Harry. Sigh.

5. Felix Felicis. Hilarious. Wonderful. Wish I had some. Man, what I would do with a bottle of felix. Additionally, felix is the Latin root for luck and felicis is related to the world for happiness. Oh, clever Jo. She knows her Latin. See! It's USEFUL. I will never regret taking four years of Latin. Though, nearly two years out of practice and I'm getting a little rusty. I would just like to add that the Felix bit in the film version makes me irreversibly happy.

Finally, slightly unrelated but Luna Lovegood is great and I'm glad Harry takes her to Slughorn's party.

Until next time.


No comments:

Post a Comment