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the "obligatory" Half-Blood Prince post - I am the fountain of affection
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clauclauclaudia
clauclauclaudia
Claudia
Mon, Jul. 18th, 2005 02:54 pm
the "obligatory" Half-Blood Prince post

Yes, I finished the book late Saturday night. No, I didn't hit LJ on the subject until today. Yes, a Firefox crash means I need to go back and re-find all the HP posts I thought I was about to read. So I'm posting first, then reading, then coming back and editing if necessary.

Oh, and I'm meta-complaining about people complaining about the phenomenon that is Harry Potter. I think it's nifty that there's a pop culture phenomenon that involves reading, yes. So there. Yes, there are better-written books out there, but so what? Sharing the reading experience with others can be fun, that's why there are book clubs.

Everything else goes behind the lj-cut.

I really really enjoyed that. So much better than Phoenix, I'm in fact surprised at the quality of it. I read that the BBC "review as you read" guy thought it rambled pointlessly, so I went in with lowered expectations and they were certainly exceeded.

What, time for a new Dark Arts instructor *again*? I'm shocked, shocked I tell you.

Dumbledore and Snape. Well, quoting Blake's 7:

Cally: My people have a saying: A man who trusts can never be betrayed, only mistaken.
Avon: Life expectancy must be fairly short among your people.


But was he mistaken? I don't think so, given the scene near the gates of Hogwarts, where Snape still hasn't stopped acting as Harry's teacher, even in his own emotional turmoil.

I sure hope there was more to Dumbledore's trust in Snape than what he told us, about Snape being (seeming) remorseful about the Potters' deaths. That's really quite thin, it is.

Anyway, in terms of the overall arc I figured Dumbledore had to die in book 6. Harry's coming-of-age wouldn't be complete without that, and Rowling wouldn't want to put that downer in book 7.

The Draco part of the story was quite satisfying for me, though. I can buy that he's not really a killer, but he's always clearly been a mama's boy, so if she were at risk, who knows what he'd manage to do.

Snape doesn't know anyone knows he killed Dumbledore, does he? Or does he? That could be interesting--but not for long with his mind-reading skills. Summer cram course in Occlumency, everyone!

I really really liked the romance stuff in this book. I wasn't invested in any 'ship other than that Harry/Hermione never seemed likely, but the way Ginny was depicted in this book I totally fell for her with Harry. I've read other fan reactions that it was all rather lame but I thought the Harry/Ginny stuff was good, while Ron was a bit predictable but then he's often a bit predictable.

No great nuggets of wisdom here. Off to read what others are saying.

EDIT 3 hours later: Ah yes, R.A.B. must surely be Regulus Black. Which leads to many intriguing things. Does Harry have the Horcrux somewhere in the estate he inherited from Sirius (or was it there but now sold off by the thieving whatsisname)? Whose help did Regulus have in getting the Horcrux, since we learned that no one person could do it? Did Snape help hide Regulus so that nobody could find him, as Dumbledore promised Draco they could do for him?

All the R.A.B. stuff ganked from georgevna and garlandgraves, though I haven't even attempted to read the comments thread at http://www.livejournal.com/users/garlandgraves/3409.html

Tags: ,

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ceo
ceo
Chip
Mon, Jul. 18th, 2005 07:19 pm (UTC)

The Tonks/Lupin thing was a nice twist, though it reminded me a bit of the ending of The Importance Of Being Earnest, a work that otherwise bears no resemblance to HP6 (other than snarky British humor).


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clauclauclaudia
clauclauclaudia
Claudia
Mon, Jul. 18th, 2005 07:22 pm (UTC)

It was cute. Apparently there are people out there who were hoping for it. I was oblivious to any hint of it. In fact, I thought that we were going to find out it had been a fake Tonks all book, transformed by Polyjuice or similar. Heh!


ReplyThread Parent
crossfire
crossfire
Jon Reid
Mon, Jul. 18th, 2005 07:59 pm (UTC)

I couldn't agree more. I keep saying in numerous places, Harry Potter isn't my thing, but I'm rather enjoying the excitement surrounding the new book. I say more power to the fans.


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arsmith
arsmith
arsmith
Mon, Jul. 18th, 2005 09:17 pm (UTC)

I have a couple of theories, specifically as regards Dumbledore/Snape.

1) Snape was in love with Lily Potter, nee Evans. This is, in fact, not my idea, but gives credibility to the idea that when Snape found out he had inadvertantly killed the one person at school who was nice to him and who he had a crush on, he decided to betray Voldemort. Rowling has managed to surprise me often enough that I'm not entirely prepared to commit to this idea, but it seems likely. It also explains why Dumbledore absolutely refuses to discuss it with anyone.

2) Dumbledore PLANNED to die this year. Like you, I half expected Dumbledore to die in this book (tell you the truth, I expected him to die in the last book. Sirius Black was a surprise) And if you and I could see the overarching coming-of-age themes, so could Albus Dumbledore. He wouldn't want Harry to be hampered in fighting Voldemort by Dumbledore as either a vulnerability or a crutch, and foricng Harry to prosecute the war on his own terms, not Dumbledores, should be a great benifit to Harry. Not to mention the fact that Albus could see that Voldemort was trying to kill him, and was probably told (by Snape) just exactly what was going on. Incidentally, this also explains why Snape allowed himself to take the Unbreakable Oath. Snape is easily clever enough to weasel his way out of that little pickle. I have a sneaking suspicion that Dumbledore extracted a similar promise from Snape. This was the cause of their quarrel that Hagrid overheard.

3) Snape might not KNOW that anyone saw him kill Dumbledore, but Potter was pretty pissed at him, and Snape is more than capable of putting two and two together. Not to mention the fact that he was seen helping the death eaters. Snape is not coming back to hogwarts, so summer occlumency lessons are a moot point.

I also think that book 6 was not a children's book anymore. Book 5 was just barely, we're into the realm of young adult to adult fiction.


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clauclauclaudia
clauclauclaudia
Claudia
Mon, Jul. 18th, 2005 09:48 pm (UTC)

Hey you! I'm sorry I keep failing to e-mail you.

1) I think you're right. I've thought Snape liked Lily since "Snape's Worst Memory". Also, as someone observed somewhere on LJ in the last couple days ;-), everyone says Snape was jealous of James and yet Snape seems unlikely to be jealous of, say, his quidditch abilities.

2) Hm, well, I'm not sure Dumbledore would have given his life for overarching coming-of-age themes. But I think you're absolutely correct about the essence of what Hagrid overheard.

3) Yes, definitely young adult rather than children's fiction. The books are aging with the original child readers, approximately. Which led, again, someone somewhere on LJ to speculate about how they will read for future kids after they're all published. I think they may actually be books kids will contine to read in a staggered series, with year or more gaps between.

Oh! I forgot to add the R.A.B. speculation. *edits original post*


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arsmith
arsmith
arsmith
Tue, Jul. 19th, 2005 07:51 pm (UTC)

*laugh* *smooch*

Okay, I'm not entirely convinced R.A.B. is Regulus Black. Maybe. And that would surely fit in with Rowling's habit of using trivial asides for SOMETHING, but still...I'm not sure. R.A.B. is (or, more likely, was) a wizard of some ability but not a lot of fame, who probably died of something that doesn't look at all related to Voldemort. At least, that's where I would start looking.

I'd also ask myself just which murders V considered "special" to make his horcruxes with. That's, if I was Harry. 'Course, if I was harry things would have gone differently back in book I.


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emmacrew
emmacrew
Emma
Tue, Jul. 19th, 2005 08:13 am (UTC)

1. I totally agree that Snape had a thing for Lily.

2. I think Dumbledore wanted to be sure Snape did it, too. So that Voldie will trust him, so at the final confrontation, Harry will have an unexpected ally.

3. Well, he knows at least five people saw it happen. Also, Harry tells Snape "kill me like you killed him, you coward," so between that and legilemens ability, yeah, he knows Harry knows, too.


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arsmith
arsmith
arsmith
Tue, Jul. 19th, 2005 07:55 pm (UTC)

I'm really not sure snape was legelimensing Harry. On the other hand, he did spot the grab-by-the-ankle spell which is a nonverbal, but he might have just known that was coming, considering how often it happened to him.

If I was Snape I would have just assumed someone figured out what happened. On the other hand, the wizarding world and forensic science only have a very nodding aquaintance with each other.

If Dumbledore's plan was for Snape to be Harry's unexpected ally, Snape is going to have to be a LOT more clever than I think he is to be able to do anything useful.


ReplyThread Parent
emmacrew
emmacrew
Emma
Tue, Jul. 19th, 2005 10:40 pm (UTC)

"Blocked again and again and again until you learn to keep your mouth shut and your mind closed, Potter!" sneered Snape, deflecting the curse once more. (italics mine, page 603 of the US edition)

He might not be poking around deeply, but he's definitely aware of the surface. And I think he's trying to give Harry advice for the final battle, too.

I think of Snape as being absurdly clever, but this might be because I read too much fanfiction.


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mightymutt
technopup
Thu, Jul. 21st, 2005 08:33 am (UTC)

My own half-baked theory is that Snape is in fact still on Dumbledore's side. He (in my mind) confided his unbreakable oath taking to Dumbledore, who removed it, causing the death of his arm. Snape only appeared to use Avada Kedavra on Dumbledore and knew Harry was there (there were two brooms atop the tower and Snape must have noticed that). Also, the heavy emphasis on non-verbal spellcasting ties in nicely with the big fight scene in Phoenix, but might not it also mean that a person could conceivably cast one spell while mouthing another? Snape also saved Harry's life later ("No! he's for the Dark Lord.)

Also, at the funeral, there's a phoenix seen speeding away from the table Dumbledore is lying atop just before it becomes a tomb.

If this theory is correct (and that's a big if) it explains the death of Sirius in the last book being permanent, because of course, now everyone expects that Dumbledore really *is* dead, since JKR will obviously kill off important characters. Harry has to be the one to face V., and so Dumbledore had to do something to step out of the way. Faking his death brings the prophecy closer to fruition, and it also sets up V. for a big fall.

As to who stole the Horcrux, I didn't have any thoughts on that, but Regulus Black seems as good as guess as any.

As for JKR's writing, I find it continues to improve and I have no idea whether she's actually a good enough writer to do that on purpose as her audience matures along with the characters and the story line, or if it's simply a product of having written more. I've liked each book more in the series more than its predecessors.


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mightymutt
technopup
Thu, Jul. 21st, 2005 08:37 am (UTC)

Oh! And, of course, if Snape really were remorseful about the Potters' deaths, as D. believed, you'd think he would have taken more pity on Harry. While obviously some of his animosity for Harry has been substantiated through the legilimens lessons, I'm willing to bet most of it is an act put on for Malfoy's (and the offspring of other Death Eaters) benefit.


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skreeky
skreeky
Kriss
Thu, Jul. 21st, 2005 03:47 pm (UTC)

I had the impression that the death of his arm was from destroying the ring somehow, but I've already lent my copy of the book out to a friend, so I can't check. Hmmm.


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mightymutt
technopup
Thu, Jul. 21st, 2005 06:19 pm (UTC)

i'm just starting my second read, and it turns out that Snape knew of a serious injury incurred by D. when Bellatrix and Narcissa visited him, so that blackened arm part of my theory looks to be completely implausible.


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