Friday, May 23, 2008

The Half-Blood Prince (review)

J. K. Rowling announced in the title confirmation message that the Half-Blood Prince referred to in the book's title is neither Harry nor Voldemort.

There has been wide speculation about the identity of this character, with suggested names including Albus Dumbledore, Remus Lupin, Hagrid, Godric Gryffindor, Salazar Slytherin, Draco Malfoy, Neville Longbottom, Seamus Finnigan or even Dudley Dursley.

The character Mark Evans—mentioned briefly at the beginning of Order of the Phoenix—had been suggested, largely because Lily Potter's maiden name was "Evans" and fans could not believe that his name could be a coincidence. However a fan poll resulted in the question of his identity being settled on Rowling's website: his name is simply a coincidence and he will not play a significant part in the story (Rowling jokingly accompanied her revelation with an alleged flight to foreign parts to escape wrathful fans).

Some even suggested Tom Riddle was a candidate, arguing that he has already been referred to separately from "Voldemort" in the books. However, this was dispelled by Rowling.

Following her appearance at the Edinburgh Book Festival it was reported on Mugglenet that Rowling revealed to two separate attendees that Hagrid is not the HBP.

Such rumours are unlikely to be quelled until the publication of the book, as Rowling has indicated she will reveal no more information on the character.

Excerpt from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

J.K. Rowling revealed on her official website on August 2004 a very short passage from the book. This is the very first excerpt from the book:

"[He] looked rather like an old lion. There were streaks of grey in his mane of tawny hair and his bushy eyebrows; he had keen yellowish eyes behind a pair of wire-rimmed spectacles and a certain rangy, loping grace even though he walked with a slight limp."

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