HP 6

Finally finished Half-Blood Prince. Spoilerish discussion follows.

1. Am I the only one to whom it’s very clear where the final piece of Voldemort’s soul must be hidden?

2. Snape was, of course, killing Dumbledore (if he did kill him) on Dumbledore’s orders. And his pleading was with Snape, that he in fact do so.

I’d have more sympathy for Harry jumping to the obvious conclusions about this if he hadn’t been hating Snape all along, in the sort of single-minded way that broadcasts that he is, in fact, wrong.

Now, if Harry had just been beginning to trust Dumbledore and believe he’d been wrong about Snape, and then Snape killed Dumbledore, and then Harry swung back around to Snape-is-evil with renewed vehemence–then I’d have sympathy for him. And, more, then I’d feel like I’d seen a believable bit of character arcing.

3. So, the message of the past six books has basically been that a wizard is more powerful if he doesn’t go it alone. It’s inherent in the DA, and in all Dumbledore’s speeches about the importance of being able to love, and in the nature of the magic-that-requires-two-people that Dumbledore and Harry fight at the end, and the fact that unlike Harry, Voldermort ultimately seems not to have any real friends.

So what does Harry do? Ditches his girlfriend, ignores the DA, and declares that he must go off and fight Voldemort alone. Reluctantly accepts the aid of Ron and Hermione, but only after they pretty much shove themselves in his face.

(Headpalm) Dude, haven’t you been listening?

But then, we know that he hasn’t, judging by how his schoolwork goes when he doesn’t have someone (Hermione, the Half-Blood Prince, whoever) whispering the answers in his ear.

ETA: Now, if Ginny set out and reorganized the DA and set out with them against Voldemort–that would rock.

4. One thing I liked: Tonks and Lupin. Very, very sweet, and convincing to boot. And much more interesting than all the other relationships, which have had large neon signs pointing at them since book one–and which, in spite of this, we never really understand the chemistry around.

But all in all, yeah, I was disappointed. The pacing, the arcing of character, the fact that after six books Harry still doesn’t seem to have even begun to learn–all frustrating. Presumably he will learn in book seven–but character change and plot both are things that need to be arced over an entire story, not crammed into its final volume.

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