Monday, July 25, 2005

Half-baked thoughts on the Half-Blood Prince

Okay, so I am not a speed reader, but I finished it yesterday. I'll kindly warn anyone who cares, that there are spoilers and so forth, so read with your discretion.

I am yet another one of those who likes to dally in the world of make believe. On the one hand I am overly sentimental of Harry's world. And maybe because of it, I have very high expectations for the development of the story. (And in case any of you are wondering, my Harry is not inspired by Potter. My Harry is a Harrison, a tribute to my all time favorite characters, Han Solo and Indiana Jones. I do remember the early rumblings of Harrymania and thought that it would take away the weird factor of me wanting refer to Harrison as Harry. Which it did.

Overall, I found the story rather bloated. The first couple chapters were irrelavent and made to book slow to develop. They could have introduced Scrimgeour through Weasley Sr or in the Daily Prophet. I have to say, that I was rooting for Snape. I think that is partially because I am such a huge Alan Rickman fan. So, Snape's true colours have been revealed. This, might bend up offering us a twist in the final book. Having Dumbledore trust Snape so uncritically weakens his character. Maybe kids will not make the jump to question his other decisions and choices. I supppose it makes sense in a way to make him a fallible character. I also developed some sympathy for Snape. After learning about being bullied by James Potter, Sirius Black and Remus Lupin, I felt bad for the guy. I don't have nearly as much attachment to other staple characters such as McGonagle and Dumbledore. So, I am interested in how his storyline is going to develop in the final segement. Come to think of it, it is Snape, next to Harry that has the most character development. Maybe I am just Snapecentric.

I did not like the way Rowling develop or did not develop the character of Lavender Brown. Essentially, she was Ron's floozie. She had no personality, and I suppose this was done so characters would eventually root for their break-up. Still, I don't think she needed to be a cardboard cut-out. We all know what is coming for Ron and Herminone in the last book, do we not?

I hate the term Death-Eater. Not inventive enough. My humble opinion.

And here is a weird thing. Professor Slughorn refer to Ron as "Rupert" - obviously a way of suggesting how irrelevant Ron is to Slughorn, but why choose the name Rupert? (And in case you are really wondering, Rupert Grint plays Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter films). What is that all about?

I admit I was fooled throught most of the story - I was convinced that the Half-Blood Prince was Voldemort. I liked the twist, makes perfect sense when you think about it.

As Far as Dumbledore - well I am not all the surprised that he was the sacrificial lamb in this series. We were not given enough history to really care deeply about him. He was desribed as wise and powerful, but I wanted to know a little more about who he was. Maybe those are some of the storylines that authors have to sacrifice in their storytelling. Sounds like a Prequel waiting to be told/sold eh? I heard rumblings that Hagrid might go. I'm glad that didn't pan out.

And the chapter with the Inferi in the lake was waaaay to Deadmarshes. But there isn't a soul writing fanatasy fiction these days who is not influenced by Tolkien in some way or another. Maybe this was a tip of the hat to Tolkien. Who knows.

Predictions: The Gryiffindor's horcrux talisman is going to be Harry's scar.


Kim said...

Ohhh, clever prediction. I like that!

Litany said...

I was thinking too about Harry being a Horcrux, as soon as they mentioned that a living creature could be one.

This book seemed to be all backstory, and not a lot really happens.

I wonder if Rowling is trying to make up for lost time, and dumping a lot of history on us at one time.

If she re-edited the books, would she spread it out a bit more? Probably.

Not that Rowling should be worried about the movie versions as she writes the book, but I don't know that this book will make a very exciting movie.

Unlike Goblet of Fire, which is the best book and will be the best movie!!

Vicarious Living said...

Yep, this book was one big infodump. But, if she was gonna do it, at least she had a unique way.

As a fellow Snape lover, I cannot wait to find out what happens to him, perhaps even more so than Harry. I liked the chapter that took Snape out of school, and essentially out of character.

I can't decide if Rowling just doesn't like romance, or if some better scenes hit the trash bin on her desktop, but Lavender Brown, not to mention Ginny/Harry, was very lacking.

Book 3 is my favorite, but I am intrigued by the Horcruxes. Too bad Harry didn't get back to the Black ancestral home in this one.

Mary P. said...

Can't comment. Can't read the post. Can't even read the other comments. Because I bought the book for my daughter and she HASN'T FINISHED IT YET!!! Argh. This is calling for desperate measures.

hotboy said...

I got her to sign some six copies of the first book when she was hardly famous. Saw her walking around Waterstone's in Princes Street on a wet Tuesday afternoon. The assistant said:she wrote the book. I got her to sign then and thought: If I was going to be a millionaire, would I be in here on a wet Tuesday afternoon? I think Irvine Welsh buggered off to Amsterdam for a bit. Different genre of course! Hotboy
p.s. The books were all lost to borrowers who wouldn't know how valuable they are now!

robmcj said...

Heather, well done finishing the book. I have never got beyond the third page of any of them, ditto the Lord of the Rings books/films. Too busy reading blogs.