Friday, May 3, 2013

Dumbledore's man through and through

Happy Harry Potter Friday! We've just finished Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince and shit is getting serious. As with every week, Alice, you kick ass for hosting this readalong and there are spoilers below so beware.

Ron's poisoning was a little "OMG HE'S GOING TO DIE...nope never mind, he's fine. Look, not even any damage." Not that I want Ron hurt, but just felt like a fake-out. I don't appreciate the manipulation.

How bad did you feel when Dumbledore is all disappointed in Harry for not getting Slughorn's memory? Disappointed Dumbles is SO MUCH WORSE than angry Snape.

I wonder how Harry is going to finally get the memory from Slughorn. I bet he'll come up with something really clever and...oh he'll just get him drunk and use his parents' death to guilt him into it. Right. Well. There you go.

Oh look, Harry and Ginny are officially going out. And again...
It still feels forced. Harry's crush on Cho didn't feel forced. It was adorable. This just feels like "Oh we're almost at the end of the series and Harry doesn't have a love interest, so let's fix that." But Ginny continues to kick ass, so I'm cool with seeing more of her.

Most of this book is its own story. However, from the time Harry gets the final summons from Dumbledore to the end of the book is pretty much Deathly Hallows: The Prologue. The other books obviously lead into each other, but they were all stand alone books. This one doesn't wrap up. It doesn't even end with Harry back at the Dursleys. It ends with H/R/Hr still at Hogwarts, planning to start their fetch quest that is the next book. I like the raising of the stakes and whatnot, but I sorta wish this had more of the wrap up the other books had.

We do learn the answer to a question I was very curious about back when we read Chamber of Secrets. What was Lucius hoping to accomplish by sneaking Tom Riddle's diary into Ginny's bag and did he know what it actually was? Dumbles tells us that no, he didn't know it was part of Voldie's soul, which is why he was so careless with it. However, he did know it would open the Chamber and was totally cool with murdering a bunch of children in order to get a wizard fired. Really, the fact that Malfoy had so much trouble murdering Dumbles is pretty admirable considering he was raised by someone who is pretty blase about killing. Of course maybe this is just because Malfoy had to come face to face with his victim while Lucius would have been pretty far removed, but still.

So Dumbledore is dead. Was I sad about this? Of course because I am human and have a soul. Was I as sad as I was with Sirius's death? Nope. Dumbles death for me:
Less this

More this
I'm still not sure why this is. Maybe because there's so much downtime to really let Sirius's death sink in, and that's when the sads really got to me. Dumbledore's death is surrounded by so much craziness and fighting that there isn't time to catch your breath and really wallow in the grief. I was less in shock this time around cos, you know, I knew it was coming. That said, Dumbles had all the answers and you knew things were ultimately going to be OK while he was around. Now he's not and now things are unknown and shit. I'm sure Dumbles is still Dumbling where ever he is.
Even into the beyond

Before this readalong, I didn't realize I was all for defending Fleur. To be honest, the only thing I really remembered about her in this book is she's bratty and says stuck up things, but then all is forgiven because she'll still marry Bill even though he's not as handsome anymore. But this time around I feel so bad for her. Does she still say bratty and stuck up things when she's at the Weasley's? Yup. Though given she's just learning English, I do give her some leeway because English is hard and she may not mean things to come out quite the way they do. Hermione and Ginny are talking about her behind her back and calling her names, which isn't that much better than calling her things to her face, and also doesn't mean she doesn't know about it. The Burrow isn't the biggest house and it wouldn't be too surprising if she had overheard them. We see that Mrs. Weasley didn't even make her a holiday sweater after making them for EVERYONE ELSE. So the ladies of HP, who I normally luuurve are acting really catty and this did not make me happy. Fleur's understandably hurt when Mrs. Weasley suggests Fleur won't want to marry Bill after his attack. She makes it clear that she knows, and has known, Mrs. Weasley doesn't want her to marry Bill. But she does it without insulting Mrs. Weasley, without pointing out how mean they've all been to her. Fleur's proud (she does push Mrs. Weasley out of the way, after all), but she's not cruel. She's far from my favorite character, but there's more to her than I thought the first time around. Go J.K. for putting so much into this minor character.

I can't believe we're almost done with this readalong. Next up The Tales of Beedle the Bard which I haven't actually read before so EXCITEMENT. Oh and to get us ready for the final book, here's a Cracked list (of course): 6 Questions The Last Harry Potter Book Had Better F#@king Answer

Title quote from page 765

Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince. Bloomsbury, 2005