Blog Your Blessings: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

"That was the best one yet," my daughter said before the credits started to roll at the end of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on Wednesday night.

"Yeah? But there wasn't as much action. You really think so?" Me. I don't speak Potterese. For years, I just didn't get it--and it never helped that I only half watched the videos from the comfort of home. In the theatre, I usually benefit from the commentary of my 10-year-old nephew Alex, who remembers exactly everything he reads and defines the terms and summarizes the plot as we go.

This time he sat next to Adella, and every time he filled in the gaps for her she'd say, "I know." Two seats away, I thought, "Yeah, but I don't!"

Except that I did this time. Once I got used to the idea I was not on a fantasy roller-coaster through the lands of Wizards or Muggles, I was in. It's a story about doing the right thing, about putting your own interest aside for the benefit of others, of making sacrifices. Of keeping on. The action takes place inside the characters, and they take us there, even with the special effects.

Talking about Half-Blood Prince with my daughter, she was able to talk about Snape the traitor; Dumbledore the firm but kind taskmaster; Malfoy the confused and cruel coward; Ginny, Harry's love. The death-eaters? Awful bullies.

As the death-eaters pull the pins out of both the Muggles' and the Wizards' worlds, the aged, wise, and benevolent Dumbledore guides the adolescent Harry on the right road. He's got a job to do, and he must do it. The well-being of his world and ours is at stake.

Before embarking on their mission, Dumbledore tells Harry he must stay the course even if he, Dumbledore, should suffer as a result. Even if he, Dumbledore, should suffer in such a way that his own judgment is impaired. In short, you know what you have to do, Harry. You know what is right. So do it. At all costs.

Harry pulls through even if he doesn't exactly vanquish evil this time around. It's a tough ending. Harry's closing lines acknowledge that his challenges are no less, his work is not done. Hermoine reminds him that he can't go it alone; his friends, because they are friends, will be with him.

"Best one ever," the young girl said. It's about doing the right thing.

Comments

  1. Okay... I have never read or seen a Harry Potter story. I've never had even the least desire to do so. That is, until now. You managed to peak my interest in Harry in a way that no-one else has ever been able to do. And believe, me they have tried.

    Perhaps I better take my twelve year old grandson along to interpret and bring me up to speed, though...

    You're amazing, Sandy! You manage to pack so much into your life!

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  2. I never understood the whole craze myself. But if it's teaching good lessons, then I'm for it. We could sure use more of that.

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  3. Although we have no children, or even near by relatives who are children, my husband and I started reading the books about the time that the third book came out and were instantly hooked. Although we love the movies and would never miss one, the books are the true treasure.

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  4. David Yates (director) did a superb job just magnificent to watch, may be Alfonso Cuarón would have made them ROCK. I am a great fan of Harry Potter series. My favorite still remains HP3: Prisoner of Azkaban. But Half Blood was simply outstanding on levels. I'll be seeing it again Saturday on IMAX which will be even better as it's one of the original IMAX screens that loom up and over the audience as opposed to newer screens that are just big.
    Being a great fan I have collected a list of good sites and articles (may be around 200) related to Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (movie information, movie schedule, movie reviews, books, games, news, wallpapers and many more). If you are interested take a look at the below link

    http://markthispage.blogspot.com/2009/07/all-you-want-to-know-about-harry-potter.html

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  5. We just came in from the movie. It was a good one. I haven't read the books but I am tempted to read the last one just to see what happens. It is kind of fun watching the young actors growing up to match their parts. I wonder what will capture everyones interest when the Potter movies are finished.

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  6. the stories in the series are good. Some of the lessons are even better. I am so glad that you got to experience it Dell and the Boys.

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  7. It was great that your daughter got it. I personally think the Harry Potter series has been wonderful for youngsters.

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  8. i love the movies... but i love the books even more... you really should read them they are fantastically written and absolutely will enrapture you as long as you keep in mind it is entertainment and let all the hoopla go that surrounded these books... they did not deserve the negative stuff...
    just be sure to start with book one.... and have the other 6 close by because you wont want to put them down.

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  9. I've never seen one film of the Harry Potter series but, as George says, I think it's very nice for youngsters.

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  10. Never felt any compulsion to read the Harry Potter books or go to the films, but I suppose that if they about doing the right thing, that its a is very important message!

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  11. Anonymous3:45 AM

    I always thought the same myself about the Potter mania..:)
    Yeah, I understand that it's not the magic or the characters that influence our generation alone, but it is also the invisible teachings that are absorbed by our young ones...
    We understand mentor ship, friendship, doing and identifying the right and the wrong, we learn about love and feelings, we learn about fear and death... all these are the actual elements of one's life and here we have an illusion, the Harry Potter series that educates them on all...!!!
    A'ways hoping you enjoyed the movie with your nephew!!! How was it???

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  12. Interesting! Me not an HP fan though!

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  13. I am a Potter buff. I took up the series years ago in order to keep in touch with nieces and nephews who were engaged with it, and one or two of my own children.

    My attention waned as my younger relatives lost some interest, because that's what teenagers do.

    It is refreshing to see an honest review, and so I will continue half-bloodedly.

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  14. I have yet to read any of the books or watch the movies but I'm not opposed to the thought - just haven't got there yet!

    Love to read a review done by a writer. Definitely appreciate your perspective.

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  15. Sandy: I have enjoyed this series and will get to see this one soon. I have read (listen to on CD) all the books.

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  16. I agree with caryn, you almost persuade me to go see or read a hp book.

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  17. I think each one has had less of a story than the one before, and there's less and less of an effort to bring people in who may not know what came before, you know? I promised my daughter I'd take her this weekend... yikes!

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  18. I love the HP books, and feel lucky to have a daughter who's Harry's age, so she grew with him through the series. I love the way the friends stuck together even when they hurt or seemed to betray each other; I love watching them learn that even their enemies have backstories and feelings and reasons for being the way they are. I love lots about it; but have never seen any of the films after the first one. Just like the books better for some reason.

    I like your daughter's taste: character over adventure every time, for me!

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  19. My middle daughter grew up with Harry :) It is wonderful how children all over the world fell in love with books, and reading because of HP. Cannot wait to see this latest in the film series :)

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  20. It is an amazing world-wide phenomenon. Two years ago we were in Canada when one of the books came out, and from Vancouver airport right through to the music workshop our children attended, young people and old were reading the latest HP book. We even saw a brother and sister reading the same book at the same time - one of them was a chapter or two ahead of the other, so they were reading sideways so that neither of them needed to lose their momentum.

    JK Rowling lives just down the street from my kids' school. But nobody local bothers her. She does have a very nice house, tho!

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  21. More than anything, the greatest gift of life is to find the true magic that surrounds us.

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  22. My kids and I have read all the books and have seen all the movies. We are total fans. I saw the movie last night and enjoyed it a lot. I appreciate more inner action than outer action in most movies. We'll be adding the DVD to our collection when it comes out.

    I agree with David, the greatest gift is finding the magic around us.

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  23. I've not yet seen this latest film but I have read the series and fully intend to view it ... if not at the theater then on DVD. The lessons are powerful messages indeed ;--)
    Hugs and blessings,

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  24. David Yates (director) did a superb job just magnificent to watch, may be Alfonso Cuarón would have made them ROCK. I am a great fan of Harry Potter series. My favorite still remains HP3: Prisoner of Azkaban. But Half Blood was simply outstanding on levels.
    Being a great fan I have collected a list of good sites and articles (may be around 200) related to Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (movie information, movie schedule, movie reviews, books, games, news, wallpapers and many more). If you are interested take a look at the below link

    http://markthispage.blogspot.com/2009/07/all-you-want-to-know-about-harry-potter.html

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  25. I saw one of those movies on TV and never read any of the books. I guess I am just not interested in this genre but I am glad you enjoyed it with your daughter.

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