Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince: Appreciating Year 6 At Hogwarts

I know Harry Potter has been out for over 20 years and there are countless reviews, criticisms, etc on it. But in preparation for my upcoming trip to Harry Potter World at Universal Studios Orlando, I have decided to re-read the series again and post about it. I have never been to Harry Potter World and as a Harry Potter fan for over half my life, I cannot put into words how excited I am to be going! So I have decided these posts aren’t going to be book reviews, but appreciation for each book. So here is the appreciation post for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince!

The first I appreciate is how we see the Muggle world and Wizarding world come together in the first chapter. For so long we believed that Muggles- except for those who have family members who are magical- were oblivious to the existence of magic and then we find out that isn’t the case. We see how the events of the wizarding world are affecting the Muggle world in a very noticeable way. True, we see glimpses of this in Sorcerer’s Stone, but we really feel it in this novel.

I appreciate how the Pensieve comes into play more in this novel. The memories we see within the Pensieve gives us more back story about Voldemort and seeing the events that defined him the most. We see another side to Voldemort through these memories, one that leads us to discovering that Voldermort is, at least for a time, as immortal as any wizard could get. Unlike Nicholas Flamel who created the Sorcerer’s Stone, Voldemort found a way to protect himself even if his body were to be destroyed. It’s evil, dark, and shows his brilliance and ambition.

Learning about the Horcruxes takes everything we thought we knew and throws it out the window. The final battle between Harry and Voldemort won’t be that simple- It will be a long and complicated process with many, many causalities along the way. Harry doesn’t just have to fight Voldermort, but he has to destroy the Horcruxes as well, giving this novel an adventure element we didn’t really have in the other novels. So I appreciate this added level of intensity and adventure to the remainder of the series.

And finally, I appreciate all the character development we see in this novel. Harry and the gang as well as Draco Malfoy and even Snape all show sides to their characters. We learn that Snape is a half-blood and sworn to protect Draco no matter what. We see that Draco is more than just some rich kid who uses money and insults to get through life- He is a young man pressured into a situation because of his father’s failures and we watch him struggle with that. We see him faced with the decision to end someone’s life and choosing not to do it, showing that Draco isn’t as evil as people would like to think he is. Finally, we see Harry and the gang struggle with their emotions as feelings are revealed, a major death rocks their world, and the fate of their world hangs over their heads. The reader is set up for the final battle between good and evil, awaiting the next novel with bated breath.

There are so many other things to appreciate about this novel that it could go on for pages and pages. This novel was intense, complex, and emotional. Almost twenty-eight year-old me still has the same feelings reading this novel as I did when I was a teenager, showing the emotional impact it has made on me and continues to make on me.

What good memories do you have associated with The Half-Blood Prince? How old were you the first time you read it? I would love to know! Have a great week everyone!

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