Monday, July 25, 2005

Harry Potter and the Half Baked Theories


Okay, time for my general thoughts and reviews (and, yes, P@ypical way-off theories) about Harry Potter #6 - and beyond!

Spoilers follow. To read them, wave your wand and say "Spoilers revelio!"
[begin spoilers for Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince]

It's difficult to believe that this was the penultimate Harry Potter book!

So many things were left for #7 that I could easily see another two or three books before it is satisfactorily concluded. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's talk about this book, first, shall we?


Thoughts and reviews: I liked this book, as I enjoy all of them. Although I must admit that Dumbledore struck me as being out of character in the beginning while at the Dursleys. Maybe that's simply because we generally see Dumbledore in his Hogwarts setting, not dealing with Muggles. Or maybe it was because I haven't visited the Harry Potter books in a while and it took some readjusting. I dunno. Anyway, that was a minor nitpick, so just forget I said anything.

I loved the first two chapters. Chapter 2, in particular, should probably be reread in order to glean some more hints and whatnot.  I've just read a fascinating theory regarding that particular chapter that I will get to in my theory section.

Some themes I noticed: Cheating. Or, well, that might be too strong a word. Not playing by the rules? Using other people's work to accomplish one's desires?
Whatever you want to call it, it was there. A lot.
Harry and the Half Blood Prince's notes, of course. Hermione was indignant about Harry using the notes left in the book, and I actually agreed with her. It was ironic of her, though, because of her jinxing of ...crap. I don't remember his name, and i don't have the book in front of me. But when she jinxed the guy who was trying out for Quidditch. Another incidence of out of characterness. And another example of cheating.
Speaking of quidditch, the chapter "Felix Felicis" was yet another case of Harry 'cheating'. Even though he didn't really give Ron the potion - so I guess that would be cheating at cheating. Heh. But when he did use the potion, to obtain Slughorn's memory...more cheating.
And Slughorn's sucking up to Hagrid in order to get Aragog's venom. Another case of cheating. Or lying, rather. Although none of it was outright lying...all of it did bother me. ..But wait. A few more instances first before I get on my high horse.

Love potions - the one meant for Harry (and comically eaten by Ron), AND the fact that Merope (heeeeee! Hi, Beth!) used one to nab Tom Riddle - both more instances of duplicity.

And then there's Tom Riddle Jr. (aka Voldemort) himself, framing Morfin and the house-elf for his first murders.

And lastly we have the Ministry of Magic, which, being a government bureaucracy, is of course going to be well versed in lying and presenting false information for it's own benefits.  By arresting  someone that is NOT a Death Eater (again, the name escapes me [ahh. Stan Shunpike. Right.]) so that it appears they are accomplishing something, and then, additionally, when Harry is asked to appear as part of the Coalition. (heh.) Interesting how when the Ministry lies to further their advances, it's a bad thing, but when Harry or Hermione does - no big deal.

So, yeah. The cheating motif bothered me. Which is odd, considering how much I despise rules, and consider doing your own thing a good way to live. I've wondered about this, and I think that it's because I've been spoon fed stories where if the protagonist(s) do something considered immoral, they are to be punished. That didn't happen in Harry Potter #6. It doesn't happen in real life, either. So kudos for that, Ms. Rowling! [yeah, I know she reads my blog [rolleyes]]
But I do fear that this immoral behavior - and the not having immediate (or any?) negative consequences - will give more fuel to the Anti-Harry Potter Religious Folk. We'll see, I guess. I haven't heard anything in the news, other than a brief bit about the Pope bashing Potter, and who listens to the Pope anyway?

Lest all this 'complaining' lead you to believe that I did not enjoy the book, please think otherwise. I simply found the overabundance of neglect for the 'rules' to be ...observable.

Okay, I still have to get to the theory section, and this is going on way too long, so briefly:

Parts that made me squirm: The mention of Inferi. (Zombies!!)
The fight between Draco and Harry in the bathroom, where Harry "killed" Draco. Dude. I seriously thought that Harry was going to be charged with manslaughter. Granted, it was self-defense, but for a few seconds I feared that Draco was going to be the "major character death" that I had heard was going to happen.
The trip to the caves. And specifically when Harry had to give Dumbledore the drink, despite his protests. Man, that was some creepy stuff. Filmmakers, leave that stuff out, please. Or, at least, I'll be covering my eyes during those scenes.
Of course, Dumbledore's death and funeral. [frown]

Stuff that made me laugh:
Luna's quidditch commentary.
"No need to call me 'sir', professor."

Example of my brain being...wrong: I thought that the note at the end was firstly written by Dumbledore, and that the Horcrux was indeed a real one, but that Dumbledore wrote the note, because he intended to put a fake one back in it's place. The problem being, when would Dumbledore have had time to write that note, and why would he sign it R.A.B.? My brain is weird sometimes.

[mischief...I mean spoilers managed]

[begin more spoilers for Harry Potter #6 and theories for #7]

Snape won't be evil. There's a billion reasons why, and they've been said by people smarter than I, so I won't address them here. But, yeah, Snape - not evil. A few possible reasons why Dumbledore trusted Snape? Well...I was thinking maybe he and Dumbledore exchanged an Unbreakable Vow years ago? Or something LIKE that spell, since I doubt that Rowling would want to repeat ideas.

And perhaps the spell - if it is a spell - had to be remained (remeant?) a secret, otherwise it would be broken. Which would explain why Dumbledore didn't tell anyone his reason for trusting Snape. (well, that and the plot, of course. [wink] But I'm betting magic is involved as to why Dumbledore never fully explained himself. It's the only explanation that makes sense.)

Yesterday I was all, "OH!! Maybe Dumbledore is Snape's father!!" but then Steph reminded me that, no, Snape's dad was a Muggle. And I was bummed.

R.A.B. - Yeah, it's probably Regulus Black.

Unless it isn't.

Other possibilities?
-Someone we've not yet met.

- Burkes. Of Borgin and Burkes. This one makes a lot of sense to me. Mr. Borgin is still alive, we've seen him. But we've not met Burkes. This person was Voldemort's employer, and we know that Borgin and Burkes carries Dark Items.
Um. Crap. I just found out that Burkes' first name is
Caractacus. Which is not R. or A. Damn it.
Hmm. What about Borgin? Granted, he's still alive, but the note said, "I will most likely be dead"

-Amelia Bones. Maybe.

-Amy Benson. Doubtful, but bear me out. Amy Benson is a muggle who attended the same orphanage as Tom Riddle. She appears in Chapter 13 - which, in the past has always contained a cameo of the "villain" of the book. Granted, Half Blood Prince is unlike any other Harry Potter book, but perhaps that's important. In chapter 13, Tom Riddle says to Dumbledore, "I didn't do anything to Amy Benson or [some other kid]! Ask them, they'll tell you!"
We never find out what exactly he did to Amy, but she survived, obviously.
Now, wouldnt' it be interesting to discover that a muggle that young Voldemort picked on had all along known of his plans, and helped to disrupt them? Like I said, highly doubtful, but you never know.

-Ron's Auror Buddy. Hee. Just me being dumb.

The theory that I stumbled upon earlier today - that Snape in Chapter 2 is actually Dumbledore having had some polyjuice potion. This is pretty intriguing. It would explain his charred hand. And how Dumbledore knew that Draco was planning on murdering him. I don't know. I'll have to reread that chapter. But it is an intriguing theory.

Book 7 is going to be different, no doubt about it. I don't know that Harry won't be in Hogwarts, despite what he says at the end of book 6. I just can't see it happening. Although the idea of the hero being a high school drop out is quite amusing.

Also, wouldn't it be interesting if, since Dumbledore is dead, the protection over the Dursleys house was gone...and Voldemort went after them? Maybe the Dursleys will have to be rescued by Harry. That would be a twist.

And of course, there's the idea that Harry will end up not killing Voldemort at all. Neville will.

[end spoiler]

Whew. I feel better. Okay, so it goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway - if you're avoiding HP6 spoilers, you should probably not read the comments. That being said - thoughts?


Annika said...

Snape says something in chapter 2 that implies that Dumbledore's hand was already injured, between the fight at the monistry and chapter 2.

Annika said...

Er...the fight was at the MINISTRY. Sorry.