Who Killed Albus Dumbledore?: What Really Happened in Harry Potter and the Half-
11 journalers for this copy...
okay, I hope I've included all participants now
erinacea (I love your series of journals, keep them coming!!)
back to me :O)Phew, I really need to write this journal with my takes on the theories before they can be (dis)proved NEXT WEEK!!! Less than 5 1/2 days!!!!
First off, I *love* the word interlibrum = the time between books. Granger's take on the effects of seeing and interpreting a work in progress is pretty interesting -although the long interlibrum can be pretty frustrating! Personally, I think that even the theories which are dated or even proven wrong will have their place in further analysis - because these are part of the phenomenon.
To be honest, the "Harry Potter experience" wouldn't have been the same without the long waiting periods filled with rumours, speculations, internet sites, movies... we sure are a worse crowd than those waiting for more Sherlock Holmes stories!
But it will be interesting to reflect back on all this when the work is complete- I have sat in 2 seminars about Harry Potter (one right after GoF- which was not part of the discussion then, we had one extra session devoted to it because the prof didn't want to spoil the people who hadn't read it yet), one about a year after after HBP- it's amazing which theories have evolved and been thrown away even between those 2, I'll get a real kick out of the seminar he'll start in October!
Now, on to the essays:
"Why Half-Blood Prince is the Best Harry Potter Novel: Stoppered Death, Evil Slughorn, and What Really Happened"
First off, is HBP really the best HP novel? It is definitely among my favourites, but I wouldn't say best, and that's not only because of Dumbledore's death! THe things we learn are deeeeeeeep secrets, and this whole Horcrux deal definitely is another of JK's master strokes, but as far as action and story arc go, it isn't "rounded"- as Rowling said herself, it's more as if book 6 and 7 were parts of one book, and for a stand-alone novel, I don't really like a book raising more questions than it answers- and condemning you to another 2 years' wait! Anyway, back to Granger LOL
As a student of literature, of course I know third-person narrative perspective and narrative misdirection, but I've rarely seen it cause as much havoc with the reader's perception of the story. We look through Harry's eyes, with Harry's knowledge, emotions, prejudice, errors of judgement- I firmly believe that this view is one of the main reasons for why we still don't know what the *** is up with Snape. Two things come to mind with this as well: in the books before, Harry has more or less always been proven wrong in his assumptions near the end. Here, he is disbelieved for the length of the book and then waham! proven right...apparently. Also, chapters that take another perspective are very very rare in the whole cannon- outside information is mostly included through Harry being *told* something or *reading* the newspaper or looking into the pensieve- even the beginning of GoF turns out to be Harry's dream. In HBP, we have 2! chapters (Spinner's End and the Other Minister) ...one of them about Snape....should that make us sit up and take notice? Or is that another kind of misdirection?
Stoppered Death hypothesis
In the first ever potions lesson Snape tells the kids that he can teach them all kinds of things to do with potions, among these "to stopper death". I never paid this any heed, not even when rereading everything after HBP when I already knew this first lesson was important- think bezoar- how blind can you be?
Anyway, this theory seems to be the most plausible of the whole lot. In short, Dumbie was *already* dying after the destruction of the ring, and Snape stoppered/halted this for a while, then pretended to kill him when in fact he would have died anyway. If you believe this, you have an explanation for both the "Dumbledore is in fact dead" and the "Snape is NOT an evil killer" mindset- nice idea, I wouldn't mind this being true!
Evil Slughorn however, is a theory so ridicoulous I'll dismiss it without further comment.
And while I do have a feeling that the Draught of the Living Dead might still play a role, i can't see it relating in any way to Dumbie or his death.
"The Curse of the Black Family Tree"
Another theory I like- the Blacks and their various relations like the Lestranges and Malfoys are -as a rule with very few but notable exceptions- horrible beyond words, dark, well- evil even. And the publication of the family tree hints at their importance- but what if this was not only to prepare us for RAB being Regulus Black? What if there's more to this family?
Wendy Harte assumes (like most of us do, I guess) that RAB is Regulus and elaborates on how he could have come to destroy the locket- but the other things she does in this essay are far more interesting and far less commonly shared. It seems that every single one of Voldemort's tasks entrusted to the Black family has failed. Horcrux locket- replaced with a smug note. Horcrux diary: opened the Chamber of Secrets, but is now destroyed as well. The prophecy: broken into pieces before Voldie or the Deatheaters could benefit from it, again several Black relations behind the mission. Old Lucius manages to land himself in Azkaban, Draco isn't the tough guy, but cries out his heart to Myrtle!!! and in the end fails to kill Dumbie- If I were Voldie, I sure would give my important world-domination-ensuring tasks to someone else next time
Is the theory plausible? Yes, even if the RAB/Bellatrix/Horcrux bit turns out not to be true, the other failures of the Black family are well documented, it just never occured to me to connect them before this essay- and to do this gives me a great feeling of satisfaction- definitely the occasion to use the word schadenfreude in an English journal :O)
The third essay "How Dumbledore and Slughorn Used Magic – Stage Magic – and Fooled Us All"
yes, this was already proven wrong when I got my mitts on this book. I think it wouldn't have been too convincing even without the information we had by then, but it is a fascinating read. Not for one second do I believe that Dumbie and Sluggie switched places, but the similarities in their behaviour during the cave scene is astounding and freaky- could there be something else to it? Does this hint at anything? Or is it pure coincidence (do I believe in that with Rowling?)?
And I like how Gallo explains how stage magic worked (after all, that is a "magic" rooted in our own past world) and how Slughorn has parallels to a a real-life magician called Horace Goldin- sure would make for a great cultural studies paper to expand this idea :O)
"The Locket, the Cup, Nagini, Harry and the Mirror of Erised"
What the Horcruxes are is one thing I'm most excited to find out in book 7, but I think speculation is a mott point, especially with Rowling's track record of misleading clues. Now, what do I think of Teo's?
-The Mirror of Erised: is a nice idea, it is an important thing (and Rowling had said that Movie 5 included some clues, Harry sees it again in the occlumeny lessons there...) which I had already totally forgotten about, and of course the irony of Voldie already being near it in book 1 is cool- but I don't think it's very likely. I think- for too many reasons, including plain intuition, the mirror has served its role and won't turn up again as a Horcrux
-Nagini- this snake sure is weird, and Dumbie believes it to be a Horcrux, but hey, he was wrong and we were fooled before- I would loved the snake blasted to smithereens, but nope, don't believe she is really a Horcrux
-Harry's scar- I must say this is my least favourite speculation, although I could believe this to be true with the "none can live while the other survives" prophecy- the only solution to this would be Harry sacrificing himself- an ending better than Frodo Baggins, to be sure, but still...would she really do that? I don't even know what to hope for LOL
"Mourning for Her Own True Love"
Ohhhhhhhh I can't believe nobody liked Swythyv! Both her style and her theory-although indeed not a credible one- are so hilarious I found myself laughing out loud while reading this. The Remus of the HBP is Wormtail in disguise? Haha, and her comments are sooo refreshing- I took it to be ironical though, and it pretty much expresses frustration at *not knwing* and is a great caricature of fans and self-proclaimed experts trying to find clues in everything. If indeed she meant it, I want some of whatever she was smoking!
"Welcome to My Murder: Act 1"
Mhhh...there are too many things Odell discusses, too far-fetched, complicated theories, some of nwhich she admits are most likely wrong...somehow I agree with her premise that "Dumbledore is dead, but not gone" - I don't know how JK would realize that, my bet is a spirit/portrait kind of thing and not what Odell thinks tho...
Her reflections on the battle shed light on some interesting points though- the whole question around the barrier is not too badly answered with Dobby as the culprit, but still, everything about this essay rings *somehow* wrong to me...but just somehow, which is a problem in deciding whether I buy into any of it.
"Brandy and Revelations in the Library"
This is interestingly written, I can just picture the bunch of authors hanging around the library discussing, triwizard-tournament like, a great idea.
A lot of the answers were just more or less summaries of their previous articles, and as most of what's asked can only be speculated about without any solid clues to prove them, the main value was in comparing their answers and seeing their personality and other Harry beliefs reflected in them. I think that this will be more interesting when we SOOOOOOOON have the final answers and can compare them to everyone's predictions and see who was closest to the truth.
And frankly, I can't wait- *raises her pumpkin juice to Harry #7*
LET'S FIND OUT THE TRUTH!!! in ....5 days...5 hours...45 minutes!
His essay "Why Half-Blood Prince is the Best Harry Potter Novel: Stoppered Death, Evil Slughorn, and What Really Happened" first raises 20 Questions that were not answered in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. When he later writes about his theories he manages to answer at least some of them, which is sort of proof that his theories might be valid. John Granger then talks about the special narrator's position in the books. The books aren't told from an omniscient narrator or an I-narrator. They are told from Harry's point of view, with the narrator sometimes "sitting on Harry's shoulder". There are only few exceptions to this narrator choice, e.g. HBP "Spinner's End" and I also recall a scene during one of the Quidditch matches in which a conversation is shown between Hermione, Ron, Neville and Hagrid while Harry is, obviously, flying on his broomstick and can't witness this conversation. John Granger, of course, is totally right about the narrative misdirection which Rowling uses to surprise her readers. The initial choice of narration is her most important tool to tell her story.
His next important speculation involves how Dumbledore is rescued by Snape after he has destroyed the Horcrux ring. John Granger quite nicely points out how suspicious it is that Harry's first potion lesson of book 1 is mentioned so often during Half-Blood Prince. Granger concludes that Rowling tries to keep the reader's memory fresh about one particular potion, namely "The Draught of living Death". During HBP Dumbledore is in a state between life and death. Although Harry even has to brew this potion, we still don't know the exact effects. Has Rowling deliberately omitted being very concrete about this potion? I agree with Granger who thinks that the potion is postponing a death that has already happened. "Albus Dumbledore is quite literally a dead man walking." (p.28). This theory also explains why Dumbledore all of sudden becomes so impatient with his young student, Harry. Why he is almost pestering Harry to get Slughorn's memory and takes him to the cave. I also had the feeling that Dumbledore was very much in a hurry in book 6.
Granger then continues with a theory, that I can't find that convincing in contrast to the "Stoppered Death Theory." He thinks that Slughorn is in fact Evil and working for Lord Voldemort. Granger finds it very suspicious that we don't read anything about Voldemort's current plans except Draco' task. He thinks that there must be a spy within the walls of Hogwarts, who is working for him and Granger claims that Slughorn is the best candidate for this job. Granger is right that we will probably learn about a Voldemort's actions in the background of book 6 in the last book and he is also right that there needs to be someone inside Hogwarts who kept an eye on both Snape and Draco (as Draco himself said that he had better helpers than Crabbe and Goyle). Granger lists several good points why Slughorn could be a former Death Eater, e.g. Slughorn knows how to conjure a Dark Mark and the way Harry gets his hand on the potion book and later the memory is quite sluggish. However, I seriously doubt that Dumbledore could have not notices that Slughorn is indeed part of Voldemort's people.
The second essay of this collection is also highly recommendable. Wendy Harte examines in "The Curse of the Black Family Tree" how history repeats itself if her theory turns out to be true that through the involvement of Regulus, his father and his cousin, Bellatrix, and later Lucius and Draco two Horcruxes were destroyed. Is Lord Voldemort in truth been cursed by the Black Family? The one family that has been a source for many supporters (even Barty Crouch Jr. is part of the Black relation). Harte first of all ponders about the purpose of the publication of the Black Family Tree for Rowling other than raising money for charity. What is it that the fans were supposed to learn from this tree. I think that Harte is quite right about her observations on Regulus and his direct family (i.e. father, grandfathers). I know that many people quickly recognized the Potter name on the tree and concluded that Harry is closely related to Sirius, but I think this must have been a distraction. I think that Harte might be quite right that it is suspicious that Regulus' father Orion died also in 1979 like him. Orion indeed Black died suspiciously young. Harte also mentions the Order of Merlin that one of Regulus' grandfathers received for "Special Services to the Ministry". Harte speculates that this Order might have something to do with Regulus' destiny. She thinks that highly influential Arcturus Black (Orion's father and Regulus' grandfather) somehow manages to visit Morfin after Dumbledore has used Legilimency on him and has tried to proof that Morfin was innocently imprisoned. So Arcturus finds out the truth about Lord Voldemort and about Slytherin's missing locket (he also probably remembered the charming and successful Tom Riddle Jr. from his schooldays, something one can also conclude from the Tapestry). Arcturus tells his son and later Regulus later hears about the story, too. When Regulus joins the Death Eater anyway, Orion starts asking questions about Lord Voldemort and is murdered, which makes Regulus remember the story. He will later use these details about Lord Voldemort's past and the Slytherin locket to revenge his father's death by stealing and destroying the Horcrux locket. I am not so sure about Arcturus' knowledge about Lord Voldemort, because he died in 1991. Wouldn't his life been in danger, had he known information on Lord Voldemort. He might not have kept quiet after both his son and grandson had died, too. On the other hand Harte is probably right to guess that someone of Regelus' parents or grandparents must have known Tom Riddle at Hogwarts. What I also found interesting on the Black Family Tree is that One of Regulus' uncles, Cygnus (his mother's brother) also died in 1979, which makes that year one of the worst years for the Blacks. Harte also writes about her theory of how Regulus stole the locket and wrote the note. She thinks Voldemort put Bellatrix in charge of bringing the locket to the cave and to take Regulus with her. Regulus then stole the locket at Grimauld Place when Bellatrix was perhaps busy consoling Regulus' mother. At home he would have also have had a few minutes to write the note and place it in the fake locket.
In regard to the Malfoys, Harte also points out that Draco doesn't show Borgin a Dark Mark on his arm or a werewolf bite, no she speculates that Draco in fact shows Borgin the old destroyed Horcrux Diary which still has Tom Riddle written on it. Borgin takes the diary as payment because it's still worth something. Harte has me quite convinced of this Return of the Diary Theory because I also doubt that Draco is a true Death Eater and I never speculated that Draco was bitten by a werewolf. I realized something else about the Regulus/Draco parallel: in case Draco turned now against Lord Voldemort it might come as a surprise to Lord Voldemort especially if Draco manages to commit a successful act of revenge if perhaps one of his parents is killed by Lord Voldemort. Lord Voldemort has probably never found out about Regulus act of revenge of stealing the Horcrux. His motivation was to revenge his father's murder. I think by the end of Deathly Hallows Voldemort will have to realize again how he always underestimated the power of love. And in these cases it is the love of a child for his parents something that is even more strange Lord Voldemort.
The third essay "How Dumbledore and Slughorn Used Magic – Stage Magic – and Fooled Us All" written by Sally Gallo could be dismissed without pondering too deeply about it because it was written before Rowling said in an interview in 2006 that Dumbledore was definitely dead. Gallo, however, argues that Harry enters the Cave not with Dumbledore but with Horace Slughorn in disguise. Her most fascinating *evidence* is the way Dumbledore talks in that scene. It so reminds of Slughorn. I never realized this but find it very intriguing. But the rest of her theory about neither Slughorn or Dumbledore actually dying wasn't that convincing.
Daniela Teo's essay "The Locket, the Cup, Nagini, Harry and the Mirror of Erised" is about possible objects for Horcruxes. Even though this isn't my favourite area of speculations for the last Harry Potter book I must say that I really enjoyed reading this essay as well. I have never thought about the Mirror of Erised really again let alone thought it to be a Horcrux. Teo points out the irony of Lord Voldemort first hiding part of his soul inside the Mirror and later looking for the Philosopher's Stone in it. She speculates that Voldemort might have had access to Hogwarts and the Mirror when he had left school through the vanishing cabinets. Teo also gives many points why the Mirror could be an heirloom of Ravenclaw. However one shouldn't forget that Dumbledore might have mentioned this to Harry if the Mirror were an old heirloom of Ravenclaw but he hasn't. And a Horcrux involves evil, dark magic. Wouldn't Dumbledore have felt dark magic around the Mirror especially when he put the Stone into it in book 1? Teo later examines the possibility of Harry's scar being a Horcrux. Again even though I am not a big fan of speculations in that direction I can see thanks to this essay that they become very likely (unfortunately, *sigh*...). Harry's strange connection to Voldemort must be explained a bit further also I liked Teo's argumentation that it might give Harry an advantage over Voldemort. He must be given some kind of unforeseeable advantage to make his victory over this so powerful wizard plausible. He might really end up using Legilimency on Lord Voldemort, Also the veil could come into play again. Perhaps Harry must walk through it. Teo speculates that Harry could be killed and because of his blood connection to Voldemort will be able to revived. Although I must say that this scenario sounds a bit cheesy (and it reminds me of Buffy).
The last two essays aren't that interesting to me.
"Mourning for Her Own True Love" is written by an anonymous blogger and lacks of quality. Swythyv finds Nymphadora and also Lupin very suspicious in Half-Blood Prince. She argues that Lupin might be Wormtail in disguise. Well since I didn't find this article not that interesting and didn't have the patience to read the discussions that follow the essay in the book, I won't go into detail about it.
Joyce Odell's essay "Welcome to My Murder: Act 1" doesn't seem that great to me either. I didn't finish reading it because I found it hard to follow her stream of thoughts. I have also tried to read some essays on her website redhen something but always gave up after a few lines. Perhaps it's just me, because she seems to have many devoted readers.
In the very last chapter of the book "Brandy and Revelations in the Library" asks three (Wendy Harte, Daniela Teo and John Granger) of the Harry Potter Experts of this book short interview-style questions about their speculations. That's quite fun to read because these experts are giving their opinions about details that weren't part of their long essays before. Some of John Granger's remarks are a bit boring, even though he tried to be funny.
One interesting Questions with interesting answer is the one about the significance of Harry's and Lily's eyes. Wendy Harte expresses that they are merely mirrors into Harry's soul where deep inside he can always find his parents. Daniela Teo connects them to Harry's magical capabilities and speculates that he will use Legilimency. Another question is about a possible witness in Godric's Hallow. All three experts speculate it to be Peter Pettigrew. This would explain how Voldemort's wand was returned to him when Peter went to look for him.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
I am sending this book today to erinacea. Enjoy :-)
Just the day before yesterday I finished Warum Nabokov Harry Potter gemocht hätte and I spent yesterday and today's reading time finally continuing with Goblet of Fire.
I'm really looking forward to reading this impressive-looking book. So far I especially like the sparkling cover and the Clue-derived icons, though I've yet to figure out the first one. (Yes, I'm judging the book by its cover, so what? :p)
soleille, I believe there are a few more BCers hoping to take part in this ring. Could you please include the list of participants? Thanks in any case.
EDIT: Only now, after scanning the cover, do I notice the little figure on the ground. Cute, albeit in a somewhat morbid way! ;)
Anyway, on to John Granger's Why HALF-BLOOD PRINCE is the Best Harry Potter Novel! Granger covers a few interesting theories here, most of which I've heard before. I'm ever so much grateful to him because now I finally understood what's really behind the "stoppered death" theory. (Before I've always mistranslated it as either "stop death" or "fill death into a bottle" (i.e. poison), and that didn't make a lot of sense.) I always figured that Snape became DADA teacher because of the Vow, and that he made the Vow because he knew Dumbledore was dying anyway (because of the Horcrux), but that bit about stoppering death fills all the remaining holes in that theory. A few of the references to the first Potions lesson are probably there to give hints about the identity of the half-blood prince, though.
A related theory deals with the Draught of the Living Dead which sounds a bit like the reverse of stoppering death (stoppering life, so to say), and it's usually used to argue Dumbledore still being alive, even though that is most definitely not the case (as Rowling herself has said). In my mind I always call it the Romeo & Juliet Potion.
What was completely new to me was evil!Slughorn. When I read that suggestion in the introduction I all but laughed out loud. Slughorn evil... ridiculous! Well, this extremely well-written essay (and hilarious too! :D) shook my certainty about that quite a bit, smashed it to pieces in fact.
My biggest counter argument remains "But she can't have all the Slytherins be evil!" (Geegal, you probably remember my insistence about that. ;) ) Then I remember my belief that Snape is, if not strictly "good", at least not on the side of evil, and he's most definitely a Slytherin, couldn't be anything but. It would be a wonderful twist if the long-suspected Head of Slytherin finally flees only to be replaced by the real traitor. True, I'd prefer a Gryffindor (unlikely), Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw to be the rat, but... ah, well, we already got Pettigrew. Things I'd wondered about include Slughorn's non-reaction at mention of the Dark Mark, his insistence to show himself as flawless in his faked memory, and that he certainly tries to avoid any Slug Club connection with Snape (even though he praises Lily into the sky). This sure is confusing!
Granger seems to be undecided himself whether Slughorn should be truly evil or rather a DE supporter akin to Pettigrew. I agree with him that the latter would be more interesting.
Gawd, please excuse my rambling. I'll probably have to rework this text (and shorten it!) tomorrow or sometime. I really shouldn't write anything resembling half-baked theories or interpretations thereof when I'm all but falling asleep on the keyboard... Zzzzzzzzzzz
R.A.B.'s identity is pretty much a given, esp. with Rowling having confirmed it. I really like Harte's suggestion that Regulus did not enter the cave with the purpose to exchange the lockets. (At Harte's derisive comment about that I had a vivid image of Regulus and friends orchestrating a secret mission along the lines of Ocean's Eleven. :D) I'm not sure about her detailed description of what happened when (or why) but it does make an awful lot of sense for Bellatrix to have been entrusted to do this - she does brag about important tasks she'd done, as Harte does point out - and for Regulus being involved somehow, and using that opportunity. Again, I'm uncertain about her killing Regulus during or after the task but a) it does "mirror" (ha!) Sirius' death perfectly, and b) Harry did see that wizard among the Inferi - could have been anyone, though.
Harte also has a point about Malfoy being responsible for the diary horcrux to be lost, but to pin it all down on the Blacks seems a bit farfetched to me. The way I see it, they just happen to be an old pureblood family with connections with almost everyone in the wizarding world. Yes, the Necklace could be a Horcrux, but I also think it was a genuine curse that was placed on it, not some invention of Tom Riddle.
See, that was much shorter! :)
The connection to Horace Goldin (the stage magician) surely is no coincidence. Rather it seems a conscious decision of Rowling's (down to his looks, admiration of Lily, and staged death). I doubt that _any_ trick would be effective enough to protect against AK, though - it's unblockable, period. At first I thought Gallo meant Snape was in on the plan and that the spell wasn't what it appeared to be, but I must have misunderstood that as it doesn't turn up again.
I disagree with Gallo's thesis that Slughorn must be left-handed just because if they're making the same (wand) moves they don't have to mirror them to be identical (I think). The changes in description of Dumbledore are astounding and not all of them can be attributed to the potion (on my first read I was esp. taken aback by the Slughorn typical "Oho!") but I've no idea how to explain them. Still, in my opinion a lot of Gallo's cited examples are not qualified as a useful comparison, because we've only seen Dumbledore in a similar situation once before.
The next chapter promises to be interesting.
Because HP is, after all, a classic hero's tale, I think Harry will have to locate three Horcruxes before his showdown with Voldemort. Unfortunately, things are still more than a bit hazy: if the locket has been disabled already it might not count into the three, and the same is true for the opal necklace that Wendy B. Harte suggested. Of course, if Harry himself should somehow be involved in this, he/his scar could be either the third or a fourth missing Horcrux. Daniela Teo makes a valid point about the turban references but her theories about how a piece of Voldemort's soul could have ended up in Harry don't really jive with me. His scar's one of a kind because he survived the killing curse, that's unique enough for me. On the other hand, I happen to think that Nagini is a red herring that might just be there to show that living Horcruxes are possible, so... *sighs* I still don't have to like the implications.
I had little patience with Granger spouting technical philosophical terms that flew clear above my head. Teo, on the other hand, gave a good insight into Lupin's character. As she also happens to think this theory is bogus, of course I agree with everything she says. Hers was a collection of very well-written rebuttals.
Oh, and I've looked up who else has shown interest in this book, and it's inkling1, amelievontordai, DA-Cameron and blups25. I'll just be asking inkling for her or his address and hope that's all right with you. (Yes, I know there are two more essays - I just want to have the address when I'm finished, is all.)
To me, the last two remaining parts weren't half as interesting as the ones before, but I'll probably find loads to comment on, anyway. ;)
Personally, I found Joyce Odell's Welcome to My Murder: Act I much too long (yeah, please forgive my hypocrisy) compared to the little information it contained. What I found most interesting about this essay is that apparently it started out with the goal of "proving" that Dumbledore is still very much alive, which was shot down with Rowling's comment that he was "definitely dead". Odell then reworked her essay to explain the stageing of the death, because even if the death was real that doesn't change the fact (she says, and I agree) that the death came across as a) no surprise to Dumbledore, and b) very dramatic, with loads of witnesses and everything rather complicated. Basically Odell explains what I've thought all along (having read similar essays before), namely that Snape had to be proved to Voldemort as a loyal follower, that Dumbledore was dying anyway, and that Harry didn't see what he thought he saw. The suggestions about who else might have been involved (ranging from Nicholas Flamel to Hagrid) seem a bit too complicated to me, but I found the idea intriguing that Dobby might have been responsible for that barrier (he did that before, at King's Cross, remember?). Not that I even noticed the barrier when reading HBP...
I had wondered whether Voldemort knows about the Diary, so I was very pleased about Odell's exciting summary of what happened when he did learn about its destroyal. It all makes perfect sense. Her conviction that Dumbledore "may be dead, but not gone", on the other hand... I'm rather doubtful about that.
The last part (Brandy and Revelations in the Library) mainly had me wondering what Swythyv had been smoking when s/he wrote that
As Harte, Teo and Granger each try to guess the twists, death toll and outcome of Deathly Hallows (at that time, unnamed) I thought I'd predict some of the deaths in DH, as well. *pulls out bangles and goggles, then peers deeply into a foggy crystal ball and intones* At least one Weasley will die... possibly two (most likely Percy and/or Charlie), one or more will be in danger of dying (Ron, obviously, and probably at least one of the twins). All of the trio will survive, as will Luna, Ginny and Neville, but Hagrid will die. Remus won't die but it will be a close call... Pettigrew will die, and at least one of Draco Malfoy and Severus Snape. Voldemort, too, if he possibly can - maybe he'll disappear in another fashion. *reappears out of trance and takes a deep breath*
The other questions are either meaningless (Snape's Patronus, "Happily ever after" for X/Y) or I've answered them in one of my previous JEs. The "third task" is a bit more interesting with the three of them giving their take on some of the key questions of HBP. Oh, one more thing: there was a question or comment about Dementors somewhere that made me think that _if_ Harry is a Horcrux Dementors might be involved in the destruction of that particular piece of soul. (No, the lightning shape of his scar is not relevant, nor are Harry's eyes a plot point.)
Well, folks, that's it. I had a lot of fun giving my running commentary on these essays, even the bad ones, so I give the book 8 out of 10. I've learned a number of new things about HP and got new insights into Halfblood Prince especially, but also into Goblet of Fire, which I've been reading in parallel. (Sure makes for interesting reading as there are a lot of things one could have noticed on first reading, but didn't.) My new knowledge will hopefully come in useful once I get around to tackling HBP again.
Thanks a lot for this wonderful ring, soleille! :) I'm reconsidering now whether it makes sense to join some of my JEs - wouldn't make them any shorter, after all.
I've got inkling's adress and the book will be travelling along shortly.
Thanks very much for sending him along
special thanks to soleille for this BC-birthday gift
"Why Half-Blood Prince is the Best Harry Potter Novel"J.Granger
I confess, in terms of J.Granger I'm a "hardcore-reader"- not liking Harry very much and therefore questioning everything like Hermione would do.
I would still like the story even if Rowling would have decided to have Potter killed in the end.
So I liked and enjoyed the theories of Granger very much - just as speculation âbout possibilities.
I agree with him that there are so many clues, that "A theory able to cover all the bases is somethinglike the elusive "Unified Field Theory" of physics in being a "theory of everything".
Since we are in fiction, everything is possible.
The curse of the black family tree
was only partially convincing; I doubt that Voldemort would have sent two people letting them place the horcrux in this special place.
The idea of Draco bartering the Riddle diary for the necklace and bringing it to Hogsmeade has some charm (;-)) Assumed (as published and speculated in "mugglenet" ) that McGonagall is a Voldemort-Spy, it could be possible, that Draco's Alibi being in detention with McGonagall is worth nothing. It would make Harte's efforts to bring the necklace to Hogsmeade easier. With McGonagall being on Voldemorts side and claiming that he is in detention, Draco could have brought it to Rosmerta himself.
How Dumbledore and Slughorn used stage-magic
This essay contains some interesting thoughts, even if I think the theory of Dumbledore and Slughorn changing roles is a bit far-fetched.
What, if the similarity of behaviour and his "change to the lefthand" is just an inaccuracy of Rowling?
"The bits of gold, even failed theories contain" are certainly the reference to Horace Goldin, who gave Slughorn shape and habits and the origin of his name coming from the "slug-horn" being blown in this Browning Poem.
I enjoyed reading the various theories very much as some sort of "parallel universe of possibilities".
The theory of Joyce Odell appeals to me - I think there is a good chance to have the series ended like his (edit:ups,when reading soleilles journal entry, I noticed that Joyce is female- I had James Joyce in mind presumably ;-))so HER proposal.
Many thanks that I had the chance to read this book.
Edit: now, being on page 176 of HP7, I realize that having read all the essays (including Michael Maar's)did the trick to read the book in a different way, many details I thought having been invented to "decorate" the story turn out to be essential.
Thanks again for this ring
edit: sorry, ich war etwas vorschnell, Missvertsändnis hat sich geklärt:
das Buch geht wie geplant morgen an amelievontordai
Albie arrived safely and I'm very looking forward to reading it (well, I'll start right now ;)). It's not much time left until the last HP is published, so I'll try to finish the book as fast as I can to give DA-Cameron the chance to read it before as well.
Thank you very, very much, soleille (for the ring itself) and inkling1 (for sending it to me so fast although there could have been a little inscriptum-charm on it *laugh*)!
Thanks again for having been able to take part (right grammar? Well, who cares...)!
2. 8. 2007:
I did not enjoy this book as much as I had assumed - perhaps reading it immediately after "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" was not so clever...
Introduction: I, too, like the word interlibrum = the time between books. Ans I enjoyed Granger's thoughts on the HP series and Rowlinng's way of writing.
Why Half-Blood Prince is the Best Harry Potter Novel: Stoppered Death, Evil Slughorn, and What Really Happened:
My favourite - because the guesses in this chapter come close to my own. :-) At least as far as Snape and the "stoppered death" are concerned; I was less sure about Evil!Slughorn.
However, I cannot say whether I consider the "Prisoner of Azkamab", the "Half-Blood Prince" or the "Deathly Halows" the best of the series; these books have to share that title.
The Curse of the Black Family Tree:
Sort of far-fetched, if you ask me... I understood the arguments, but I was not convinced.
How Dumbledore and Slughorn Used Magic – Stage Magic – and Fooled Us All:
Same as the previous chapter. I have, while reading the "Half-Blood Prince", found not the slightest hint at Dumbledore and Slughorn switching places...
The Locket, the Cup, Nagini, Harry and the Mirror of Erised:
Nice read. :-) Up to that essay, I had never considered the mirror odf Erised to be a horcrux, but without having read the "Deathly Hallows" in advance, I could have been convinced.
Mourning for Her Own True Love:
Rather far-fetched, if you ask me... I understood the arguments, but I was even less convinced than by the "Curse of the Black Family Tree".
Welcome to My Murder: Act 1:
A nice reading, and it reveals some points I would not have noticed without.
Brandy and Revelations in the Library:
A good read, with interesting speculations not all covered by the prvious essays.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Das Buch ist unterwegs zur nächsten Station. Viel Spaß beim Lesen! :-)
11.10.: Nun, seit ein paar Tagen lese ich die Theorien über HP6 und denke ebenfalls, dass das Buch ziemlich überflüssig ist, sobald man das Finale kennt. Ich lese dementsprechend mit wenig Enthusiasmus und damit recht langsam. Es kann sich also nur um Wochen handeln, bis ich entweder entnervt aufgebe (das erste Essay war grausam, der Typ verweist in penetrantester Art - nämlich in Klammern IM TEXT - auf seine diversen anderen Bücher) oder doch fertig werde. Mal sehen, wie der Rest der Texte wird...
04.12.: Ich glaub, ich schaff es nicht mehr, dieses Buch fertig zu lesen. Habe soeben erneut angefangen, in die noch ausstehenden Essays reinzublättern, aber fesseln tun sie mich absolut nicht. Da ich es sicher nicht schaffe, Harry 1-6 vor April (oder so) nochmal zu lesen, macht das Essaybuch für mich keinen rechten Sinn und kann eigentlich weiterreisen. Ich frag mal die nächste Adresse an. Schade, denn VOR Band 7 (und außerhalb des Prüfungsstresses - halb-wissenschaftliche Essays lesen sich viel schwerer, wenn man eh schon ständig wissenschaftliche Texte lesen muss) hätte ich es vermutlich verschlungen (aus diesem Grund möchte ich auch keine Bewertung abgeben, sie würde vermutlich schlechter ausfallen, als das Buch zur rechten Zeit gewesen wäre)
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
wieder auf Reisen
I read some parts of it but if you read HP7 it is not so exiting to read this book afterwards.
Now it is still on my TBR Tower and waiting for me.
I went through the book again now that I know HP7 half by heart :O) and marked up the guesses that were right or wrong, and couldn't help being surprised at how many of those I thought implausible proved true, and vice versa.
Thank you very much for the wishlist-book! :)