Sunday, July 18, 2004

Half Blood Prince

While in Morocco, I heard that the next Harry Potter book would be called Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. This was the original title for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets before JKR decided to hold back some information until Book 6. So what might we learn from this?

Unlike in some series, the titles of the Harry Potter books have all referred to the core element in the plot. So in this case, the "Half Blood Prince" must be something originally more important than the Chamber of Secrets, which does appear extremely late in that book, or the Chamber of Secrets must have been added to fill the plot holes caused by removing the princely aspects to the original plot. In either case, because the purpose of CoS within the overall story arc seems to be introducing the wizarding world's social divisions, HBP probably refers to someone with mixed muggle/wizard blood rather than human/non-human.

Beyond that much, we probably can't say. JKR has also talked up the importance of information in CoS for the final resolution of the series, and indicated that key information was divided between CoS and HBP. Now a lot of the information in CoS is historical, so its possible the HBP is a key historical figure of some kind with an important legacy or associated artifacts. Certainly royalty hasn't played into the modern world of the books so far. Another intriguing aspect to CoS is the ending, where faith in Dumbledore plays a key role as the means of calling on Fawkes for aid. Is there a lot more to Dumbledore than we now know? This possibility may be unlikely, but it is a possibility. The most boring option would be if some half-wizard prince starts attending Hogwarts.

Finally, on an unrelated note, I just reread CoS, and noticed that the diary is still out there, and that Voldemort put some of his spirit and/or abilities into Harry when he tried to kill him. Whether either of these notes will become more prominent is anyone's guess.

UPDATE: This piece suggests that "Half Blood Prince" refers to Godric Gryffindor. There's certainly a lot we don't know about the Hogwarts founders. But when considered with the events of CoS, that possibility tracks. Boy, does it track.


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