Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince


caption = UK children's edition
name = Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Author= J. K. Rowling
Illustrator =Jason Cockcroft (UK)
Mary GrandPré (US)
Release date = 16 July 2005
Number in series = Six
Chapter Count = 30
Page Count = 607 (UK)
652 (US)
Sales = ~65 million (worldwide)
Dedicated to = Mackenzie, my beautiful daughter, I dedicate her ink-and-paper twin
Story timeline = 1996-1997
Preceded by = "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix"
Followed by = "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows"

"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince", released on 16 July 2005, is the sixth of seven novels in J. K. Rowling's popular "Harry Potter" series. Set during Harry Potter's sixth year at Hogwarts, the novel explores Lord Voldemort's past, and Harry's preparations for the final battle amidst emerging romantic relationships and the emotional confusions and conflict resolutions characteristic of mid-adolescence.

The book sold nine million copies in the first 24 hours after its release, a record at the time which was eventually broken by its successor, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows". [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/6912529.stm http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/6912529.stm] ]


As Voldemort and his Death Eaters openly wreak havoc throughout Britain, Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge has been forced to resign following public outcry over his mishandling the situation. Before he leaves office, he pays a visit to the Muggle Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to warn him that events occurring in the magical world are now having an effect on the Muggle world and that things are going pretty badly for the Ministry of Magic at present. The Prime Minister is then introduced to Fudge's successor, Rufus Scrimgeour. At his home in Spinner's End, Severus Snape is sworn to an Unbreakable Vow by Draco Malfoy's mother Narcissa. Although her sister, Bellatrix Lestrange, distrusts Snape, he agrees to protect Draco during his task assigned by the Dark Lord, and complete the mission should Draco fail.

During the summer, Albus Dumbledore enlists Harry Potter's unwitting help to persuade retired professor Horace Slughorn to return to his old Hogwarts post. When Albus Dumbledore comes to collect Harry, an unsuspecting Harry is told that he has inherited all of Sirius Black's (his deceased godfather) possessions, including the house, Buckbeak, and his mumbling, loyal – to his beloved wailing mistress – house-elf, Kreacher. Harry then spends the remaining holiday at the Burrow with the Weasleys and Hermione. To his family's dismay (especially Mrs. Weasley and Ginny), Bill Weasley has become engaged to Fleur Delacour, the Beauxbatons champion in the Triwizard Tournament. Harry, Ron, and Hermione receive their O.W.L. results. To become Aurors, Harry and Ron must take N.E.W.T.-Level Potions as a prerequisite, but their grades in the subject are too low for Snape's advanced class, thus ending their career ambitions. However, Harry is very pleased (and secretly smug) to discover that he was the only one out of the three of them to get an 'Outstanding' in Defence Against the Dark Arts. While in Diagon Alley, Harry, Ron and Hermione spot Draco Malfoy and follow him. At Borgin & Burkes, a dark magic shop in Knockturn Alley, Malfoy threatens Mr Borgin about repairing one item and keeping another safe. Hermione goes in after to try to find out what he was reserving. Suspecting Draco may be a Death Eater, Harry resolves to keep a close watch on him.

As school begins, Snape is unexpectedly announced as the new Defence Against the Dark Arts instructor while Slughorn replaces him as the Potions teacher. Slughorn only requires a minimum "E" grade ("Exceeds Expectations") at O.W.L. to take his N.E.W.T.-level Potion classes, making Harry and Ron eligible for the class. Slughorn lends them old Potions textbooks until they buy their own. Harry's copy is marked on the bottom of the back cover, "This book is the Property of the Half-Blood Prince". The talented former owner's notes help Harry excel in the class (as well as learn a few new spells, some even including the dark arts), but the identity of the "Half-Blood Prince" remains a mystery. As a reward for Harry's performance in Potions, Slughorn gives him a small vial of Felix Felicis, a good luck potion.

Death Eater attacks continue throughout the year and may be linked to events at Hogwarts. On the first Hogsmeade visit, Katie Bell, a Gryffindor student, is seriously injured while carrying a cursed necklace through Hogsmeade, apparently while under the Imperius Curse. In another incident, Ron accidentally drinks poisoned mead intended for Dumbledore. Harry reacts by administering the Bezoar he had submitted previously as an assignment to Slughorn. Hermione is so distraught over this that she and Ron, who were feuding mostly over Ron dating Lavender Brown and Hermione's relationship with Viktor Krum, reconcile; Ron soon breaks it off with Lavender. Meanwhile, Harry realises his true feelings for Ginny, although she is now dating Dean Thomas.

Dumbledore privately tutors Harry using his Pensieve to view collected memories about Voldemort's past. Dumbledore speculates that Voldemort splintered his soul into six fragments called Horcruxes to attain immortality, while leaving a seventh piece in his body. Two Horcruxes have been destroyed (Tom Riddle's diary by HarryHP2 and Marvolo Gaunt's ring by Dumbledore).

When Harry finds Malfoy sobbing in Moaning Myrtle's bathroom, they hurl curses at each other. Harry casts "Sectumsempra" inflicting huge gashes across Malfoy's body. Snape arrives and saves Malfoy. He attempts to re-possess the Half-Blood Prince's Potions book, but Harry hands him "Roonil Wazlib's" (a.k.a. Ron's) copy. Harry receives detention, causing him to miss the Quidditch finals. Nonetheless, Gryffindor wins the Cup, and during the victory celebration, Harry's suppressed feelings for Ginny are revealed when he spontaneously kisses her; Ginny has just broken up with Dean Thomas, and she and Harry begin dating.

Harry reports Malfoy's suspicious behaviour to a seemingly unconcerned Dumbledore. He reassures Harry that he trusts Severus in keeping a lookout. Soon after, Harry learns from Professor Trelawney that it was Snape who passed a prophecy to Voldemort that ultimately led to James and Lily Potter's deaths. Enraged, Harry confronts Dumbledore, but he affirms Snape's loyalty. Dumbledore, meanwhile, has located another Horcrux and asks Harry to accompany him in retrieving it. Distrusting Malfoy and Snape, Harry asks Ron, Hermione, Luna Lovegood, Neville Longbottom and Ginny to patrol the halls while he and Dumbledore are gone and gives them the remaining Felix Felicis potion for luck. Harry and Dumbledore apparate to a secret cave. They aim to retrieve the Horcrux (Salazar Slytherin's locket), by advancing past Voldemort's defences. Dumbledore, however, has been greatly weakened due to the mysterious liquid he had to drink in order to acquire the locket.

Returning to Hogsmeade, Harry and Dumbledore see Lord Voldemort's Dark Mark hovering over Hogwarts. They fly to the Astronomy Tower on borrowed broomsticks and are ambushed by Draco Malfoy. Dumbledore paralyses Harry, who is under his Invisibility Cloak, just before Draco disarms Dumbledore. Draco admits he was behind the school attacks and has helped Death Eaters secretly enter Hogwarts via the pair of Vanishing Cabinets, although Dumbledore discerns that Voldemort has coerced the obviously frightened boy.

As members of the Order and the few from the DA battle Voldemort's followers in the castle below, Death Eaters appear in the tower and urge Draco to fulfil his mission—killing Dumbledore—but Draco hesitates. Snape arrives and a weakened Dumbledore entreats him with an ambiguous plea; Snape casts Avada Kedavra which hits Dumbledore squarely in the chest. The impact hurls his body over the tower wall. Upon Dumbledore's death, Harry is released from the paralysing spell. Harry pursues Snape and Malfoy, as their only way of escape would be to disapparate outside the boundaries of Hogwarts. Malfoy escapes as Snape duels Harry. During the duel, Snape reveals that he is the Half-Blood Prince. Though instructive, the duel was ended by Buckbeak's intervention. Snape disapparates and escapes. Harry recovers the locket from Dumbledore's body, only to discover it is a fake. Inside is a note from someone with the initials R. A. B. who has stolen the real Horcrux.

The school year ends abruptly with Dumbledore's funeral. Professor McGonagall is appointed Hogwarts's interim headmistress and Professor Slughorn replaces Snape as the head of Slytherin House. Hogwarts is rumoured to close down due to the murder of Dumbledore. Harry decides to leave school in search for the remaining Horcruxes. Ron and Hermione vow to accompany him, while Harry ends his relationship with Ginny to protect her from Voldemort. The book concludes as Harry looks forward to Bill and Fleur's wedding and being comforted that "...there was still one last golden day of peace left to enjoy with Ron and Hermione."

Pre-release history

The record-breaking publication of "Half-Blood Prince" was accompanied by controversy. In May 2005 bookmakers in the UK suspended bets on which main character would die in the book amid fears of insider knowledge. A number of high value bets were made on the death of Albus Dumbledore, many coming from the town of Bungay where, it was believed, the books were being printed at the time. Betting was later reopened. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/arts/4578463.stm "Bets reopen on Dumbledore death"] from the BBC] Other controversies included the "right to read" Potter books inadvertently sold before the release date, environmental concerns over the source of the paper used in the printing of millions of books, and fan reactions to the plot developments and revelations of the novel.

Right to read controversy

In early July 2005, a Real Canadian Superstore in Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada, accidentally sold fourteen copies of "The Half-Blood Prince" before the authorised release date. The Canadian publisher, Raincoast Books, obtained an injunction from the Supreme Court of British Columbia prohibiting the purchasers from reading the books before the official release date or from discussing the contents. Purchasers were offered a Harry Potter T-shirt and an autographed copy of the book if they returned their copies before 16 July.

On 15 July, less than twelve hours before the book went on sale in the Eastern time zone, Raincoast warned "The Globe and Mail" newspaper that publishing a review from a Canada-based writer at midnight, as the paper had promised, would be seen as a violation of the trade secret injunction. The injunction sparked a number of news articles alleging that the injunction had restricted fundamental rights. Canadian law professor Michael Geist posted commentary on his blog; [ [http://michaelgeist.ca/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=889 "The Harry Potter Injunction"] by Michael Geist] Richard Stallman called for a boycott, requesting that the publisher issue an apology. [ [http://stallman.org/harry-potter.html "Don't Buy Harry Potter Books"] by Richard Stallman] "The Globe and Mail" published a review from two UK-based writers in its 16 July edition and posted the Canadian writer's review on its website at 9 a.m. that morning. [ [http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20050716.POTTERNOTE16/TPStory "Much Ado As Harry Potter Hits the Shelves"] by "The Globe and Mail"] Commentary was also provided on the Raincoast website. [ [http://www.raincoast.com/harrypotter/injunction-commentary.html http://www.raincoast.com/harrypotter/injunction-commentary.html] "Raincoast.com" Retrieved on 04-24-07 ]


The plot detail "Snape kills Dumbledore," along with a list of chapter titles, were leaked on the Usenet group alt.fan.harrypotter as early as 14 July 2005 — two days before the official release date. Weeks earlier, betting patterns on the website "Blue Square" recorded an unusual surge in bets originating in a town where the book was being printed (as pointed out in the Guardian newspaper 24 May 2005). [ [http://books.guardian.co.uk/harrypotter/story/0,10761,1491128,00.html http://books.guardian.co.uk/harrypotter/story/0,10761,1491128,00.html] "Books.guardian.co.uk" Retrieved on 04-24-07 ]


Rowling became pregnant with her third child during the writing of this book, and often joked about them racing each other into the world. For this reason, the book has this dedication:

: "To Mackenzie,": "my beautiful daughter,": "I dedicate": "her ink and paper twin"


Box Office Mojo reports that the movie based on the sixth book is scheduled to be released on 17 July 2009.cite web|url=http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/harry-potter-half-blood-prince-moves/story.aspx?guid={F4F52B7F-D1B1-4DC0-BF8A-AD0D9252BE7A}&dist=hppr|title=Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince] The screenplay was written by Steve Kloves, and David Yates directed the film.cite web|url=http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0417741/|title=Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (IMdB)]

Text changes

As with "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone", the United States version of the novel has slightly changed text from the British version. One particular section has been remarked upon, where the alteration makes the nature of Dumbledore's offer to Draco Malfoy before Snape kills Dumbledore in the "Half-Blood Prince" explicit. The reason for the editing of the following text has not been explained on the author's webpage, but the British edition is more ambiguous. The text can be found in chapter 27, "The Lightning-Struck Tower". The U.S. text was changed to match the UK version with the publication of the paperback edition. [cite web |url=http://www.hp-lexicon.org/about/books/hbp/changes_hbp.html |title=Differences between US and UK editions|publisher=HP=Lexicon|accessdate=2007-05-08] The parts added in the United States version have been highlighted in bold, below:

" […] He told me to do it or he'll kill me. I've got no choice.""He cannot kill you if you are already dead. Come over to the right side Draco, and we can hide you more completely than you can possibly imagine. What is more, I can send members of the Order to your mother tonight to hide her likewise. Nobody would be surprised that you had died in your attempt to kill me — forgive me, but Lord Voldemort probably expects it. Nor would the Death Eaters be surprised that we had captured and killed your mother — it is what they would do themselves, after all. Your father is safe at the moment in Azkaban […] "
(U.S. Edition p. 591)(CND Edition p. 552) HP6



; Bloomsbury (United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, etc.)
* ISBN 0-7475-8108-8 Hardcover
* ISBN 0-7475-8468-0 Paperback
* ISBN 0-7475-8110-X Hardcover (adult edition)
* ISBN 0-7475-8466-4 Paperback (adult edition); Scholastic (United States, etc.)
* ISBN 0-439-78454-9 Hardcover
* ISBN 0-439-78596-0 Paperback
* ISBN 0-439-79132-4 Deluxe Edition; Raincoast (Canada, etc.)
* ISBN 1-55192-756-X Hardcover
* ISBN 1-55192-760-8 Hardcover (adult edition) (Different cover and binding, same text)
* ISBN 0-7475-8152-5 Hardcover (large print edition)


External links

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