If you haven’t already, click the following links to read the previous five #Pottermania posts: Philosopher’s Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet of Fire, and Order of the Phoenix. This edition will cover the book-to-film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, based on J.K. Rowling’s sixth book of the Harry Potter series.
The film begins by emphasizing the growing power of Lord Voldemort, as his Death Eaters attack a bridge in the muggle world and leave their Death Mark as a calling card. To make matters worse, Draco Malfoy’s mother, Narcissa, asks Snape for help as her son has been chosen by Voldemort to succeed with a secret mission when he gets back to school. As Bellatrix does not trust Snape she tags along and forces him to make the Unbreakable Vow when he agrees to help protect Draco.
Meanwhile sixteen-year-old Harry is counting down the days until his return to Hogwarts by avoiding the Dursleys at a nearby restaurant. Sadly, just after he convinces the waitress to meet him when she gets off work he is whisked away by Dumbledore. He uses Harry to convince an old Hogwarts professor, Horace Slughorn, to return to the school as there is a teaching vacancy with Umbridge back at the Ministry of Magic. After a short visit, Slughorn agrees to the proposal and Dumbledore takes Harry to the Burrow where he reunites with Ron and Hermione.
Before heading back to school, the group visits the brand new Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes joke shop. Harry notices Draco and his mother sneaking down an alley, so the trio investigate and are prevented from seeing inside Borgin & Burkes by Death Eater Fenrir Greyback. As a result, Harry assumes that Draco is now a Death Eater and attempts to spy on him on the train ride to Hogwarts. After receiving a broken nose for his eavesdropping, Harry arrives late to the feast and realizes that Slughorn will be teaching Potions, not Defence Against the Darks like he assumed.
This position will finally be taken over by Snape, which means that both Harry and Ron have good enough grades to take Potions. As the two did not know they would be taking Potions they don’t have any supplies when they arrive to class. Therefore, they are forced to borrow books from the cupboard. Harry is extremely lucky as his book is a gold mine of knowledge as it is covered in helpful notes and instructions. With the help of the book’s owner the ‘Half-Blood Prince’, Harry aces the first lesson and is awarded a lucky potion called Felix Felicis.
Soon after, Ron makes the Gryffindor Quidditch team at the Keeper position and helps the team win their first game of the season. As a result of his success, he begins a relationship with Lavender Brown, which upsets Hermione. As Harry attempts to console her, he confesses that he has feelings for Ginny and has no idea what to do about it. Out of spite, Hermione goes with Cormac McLaggen to Slughorn’s party in order to make Ron jealous. She succeeds as the tension continues to grow between the two heading into the Christmas break.
After the holidays, Ron ends up eating a box of love potion coated chocolates with Harry’s name on them. As Ron thinks he is in love with Romilda Vane, even though he has never met her, Harry concludes that he needs to bring him to Slughorn for an antidote. However, once Ron is cured from the love spell he is offered a glass of mead by Slughorn and is accidentally poisoned. The bottle of mead was intended for Dumbledore and Slughorn had no idea it was laced with poisons. As a result of his near death experience Ron and Hermione become friends again, which leads Lavender to end her relationship with him.
Harry’s suspicion of Draco’s plans continues to grow throughout the semester, so he confronts him when he comes across him alone without his goons Crabbe and Goyle. Harry uses a curse on Draco that he got from the Half-Blood Prince’s notes and ends up almost killing him. Luckily, Snape comes across the scene and saves Draco’s life. However, as the book may contain dark magic Harry and Ginny go to the Room of Requirement to hide it, which provides a nice and secretive setting for their first kiss.
During the semester, Harry has several lessons with Dumbledore where he is shown memories of Voldemort when he was young and still know as Tom Riddle. Dumbledore emphasizes that Slughorn has a memory containing information that will be crucial to defeat Voldemort. Harry uses his ‘Liquid Luck’ potion for the mission and ends up succeeding in persuading Slughorn to give it to him willingly. Dumbledore and Harry watch the memory and come to terms with the realization that Voldemort can only be killed after destroying six Horcruxes.
Dumbledore reveals that Tom Riddle’s diary and mother’s rings were two Horcruxes that have already been destroyed. Also, he knows where another might be and needs Harry’s help in obtaining it. Therefore, the pair travel to a cave from Tom Riddle’s past, and Harry has to force Dumbledore to drink a poisonous potion. Once the potion is gone Harry is attacked by Inferi when he tries to get Dumbledore some water. However, as Dumbledore is the greatest wizard of all-time he jumps into action and sets the place on fire.
Once they apparate back to the school, Dumbledore tells Harry to hide as they hear someone coming. Draco appears and Voldemort’s secret mission finally is revealed. Dumbledore does not fight back, but with the crowd of Death Eaters surrounding him Draco still fails to kill him. Sadly, Snape does not falter and he is the one who casts the Avada Kedavra curse. Harry runs after Snape and attempts to curse him but fails, so Snape uses the opportunity to reveal that he is the Half-Blood Prince. Once Snape is gone Harry walks back to the base of the tower in order to mourn the death of Dumbledore with the rest of the students and teachers.
Soon after, Harry tells Ron and Hermione that the Horcrux is a fake as the locket contains a note. There is a message signed by ‘R.A.B.’, intended for the Dark Lord, that states he has the real Horcrux and will stop at nothing to destroy it. Harry says that he won’t be coming back to Hogwarts next year and that he will try his best to let the pair know where he is when he can. Hermione argues that Ron and her will be coming with him, so they all vow to hunt down and destroy the remaining four Horcruxes.
Favourite Parts of the Film
- I always love scenes with Bellatrix because Helena Bonham Carter is an excellent actress when portraying dark characters. Therefore, I thought the ‘Unbreakable Vow’ scene with her, Snape, and Narcissa was excellent.
- The Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes scenes were great because it was exciting to finally see the joke shop come to life on screen. The outside of the shop was great, but the inside was amazing as it was full of colours, people trying out the items, and my favourite redheaded twins.
- Ron’s tryout for Quidditch keeper was hilarious, and his nervousness before the match was precious. But, his performance once he thought he drank the lucky potion was pretty cool in the end with all the stunts he ended up doing.
- Ron under the love potion was hilarious and Harry drinking the lucky potion was brilliant. Also, I thought it was great that Slughorn was in all of those scenes to react awkwardly in response to both of their shenanigans.
Plot Changes from the Book
- They cut the first chapter of content with the British Prime Minister and Minister of Magic from the film. I enjoyed reading about it in the book, but I agree that it made sense regarding the time crunch of the film.
- I like that Luna found Harry on the train instead of Tonks. Using her glasses to find him and fixing his nose with no previous practice was adorable.
- In the book, Harry spent more time with Dumbledore reviewing memories of Voldemort’s family history. For instance, he learned about who Voldemort’s mother was and how she tricked a nearby muggle to marry her. I understand that they needed to cut scenes for time, but I’m happy they still included a couple memories from Voldemort’s past.
- Lastly, the Order of the Phoenix members were supposed to be helping to protect the castle. Therefore, when Harry left with Dumbledore to find the Horcrux they were supposed to come back to a battle. As a result, Snape’s escape after killing Dumbledore was a tad anti-climatic.
Top 10 Quotes
1) “Seriously misunderstood creatures, spiders are. It’s the eyes, I reckon, they unnerve some folk.” – Hagrid “Not to mention the pincers …” – Harry Potter
2) “Her … my … nee. Hermione …” – Ron Weasley [Hermione takes Ron’s hand. Lavender runs out, sobbing.] “Oh, to be found and to feel love’s keen sting.” – Albus Dumbledore
3) “You probably feared I was Professor Sprout!” – Harry Potter “Yes, I did actually! What made you think that?” – Horace Slughorn “Oh, well, just the general behaviour, sir – the sneaking around, jumping when you saw me.” – Harry Potter
4) “Will you stop eating? Your best friend is missing!” – Hermione Granger
5) “Why is it, when something happens, it is always, you three?” – Professor McGonagall “Believe me, Professor. I’ve been asking myself the same question for six years.” – Ron Weasley
6) “Hey! She’s only interested in you because she thinks you’re the Chosen One.” – Hermione Granger “But, I am the Chosen One.” – Harry Potter [Hermione smacks him on the head with the newspaper]
7) “Be brave, Professor. Be brave like my mother … Otherwise, you disgrace her. Otherwise, she died for nothing. Otherwise, the bowl will remain empty … forever.” – Harry Potter
8) “How much for me?” – Ron “5 galleons.” – Fred & George “I’m your brother!” – Ron “10 galleons.” Fred & George
9) “Horace, do you mind if I take this? I do love knitting patterns.” – Albus Dumbledore
10) “Potter, take Weasley with you. He looks far too happy over there.” – Professor McGonagall
As usual, I have added a couple bonus items for the hardcore Harry Potter fans that want a little extra. Check out Dan Dalton’s sixth Buzzfeed Article covering him watching the film for the first time in adulthood. Also, click the video link below for all the deleted scenes of the sixth film of the series.