If you are still unaware of what happens in Book 6, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and you don’t want to know…DO NOT READ THIS.
I’m not kidding, I plan on going into some detail, here, so if you want to read the book, and you get mad when people spoil the fun…DO NOT READ THIS!
I have waited a whole week to comment on it, figuring it would be unfair to readers just nosing around to suddenly get information they did not want.
But a week is enough time. While waiting to be able to write about Book 6, I’ve emailed other bloggers to death about it. Now I’ll bother you.
First off, (Again, if you have already read the book) DO go take some time to read Dave Kopel’s excellent and thoughtful comments (and links to his other Potter pieces) on HBP as he explains his belief that Severus Snape will end up being the hero of the series. I tend to concur with Dave, but I must say that while I think much of his reasoning is brilliant, I do not reach my conclusion via the same route.
I’m still betting that RAB is Regulus Black…as I recall he and Sirius had a great uncle or something named Alaric, or something like that – that could be what the A stands for. If you go back to Book 5, you’ll recall a locket is found among the items in Sirius’ house – a locket that no one can open. I don’t know why Regulus would not have destroyed it, though.
Now, of course, we will have to wonder if Mundungus fenced it somewhere, since in book 6, it’s clear he’s ransacked Sirius’ house.
Like Dave, I do believe Snape will be the hero of this series. He clearly killed Dumbledore because DD asked him to, knowing he was dying, knowing that Malfoy (more coerced than evil) would be killed for NOT killing Dumbledore and knowing (I believe) that Snape had undertaken an unbreakable vow to help Malfoy. Had Snape not killed DD, he would have died himself. With DD dying anyway, the OoftP would have been materially weakened to lose Snape.
I can’t help but wonder, though, if Snape had not also made an unbreakable vow w/ Dumbledore, long ago, about helping to protect Harry. DD suggests that Snape came to him with heavy remorse over the death of James and Lilly Potter – perhaps Dumbledore had Snape promise that he would help to protect Potter, from Voldemort. It would explain a great deal. Some would say that DD’s style is not unbreakable vows, that he worked from trust and ego-bolstering, but Snape may very well have wanted to make such a vow, himself, in atonement, or to prove his remorse and conversion.
The question, of course, is if Snape made an unbreakable vow to protect Harry from Voldemort, then the Harry-the-Horcrux theory gets very complicated. I think Snape is going to help Harry get close to Voldemort, and then when Voldemort kills Harry, Snape will kill him. Only then will Hogwarts be able to re-open – likely with Snape as headmaster, Hermione as an instructor, and Ron and Ginny as Aurors.
It is quite a tale of redemption, really. Snape, the Death Eater, finding redemption in honorable battle.
About Dumbledore: some are saying he may not have died, that since his body was found but he was not actually seen dying, he will reappear in the last book. I’m not too sure about that. Remember, when Harry went into Dumbledore’s office with Prof. McGonagle, there was already a portrait of Dumbledore (past headmaster) framed and on the wall…although…he was only sleeping…interesting. Will we see Dumbldore re-emerge, somehow, in Book 7? I can’t see him up on that wall in a picture frame…that would actually make him accessible to Harry and I think we will not see that until very near the end of 7. And I sort of dread the eventual movie…Richard Harris would have played the potion-drinking scene so incredibly well…ah, alas.
I thought the most interesting thing about the Horcruxes was their Eucharistic character – not exact, of course but it was striking to hear Dumbledore explain to Harry that the Horcruxes were “hosts” which contained part of the SOUL of LV.
Anyway, Dave has some marvelous ideas, and his links are great fun, too. If you have a quiet Sunday evening ahead of you, and you’ve finished HBP and want some puzzles to think about – he’s the go-to guy!