When I first read J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, it struck me as a “bridge” book — a crossover between the fantastic fifth book and the finale of the series. I enjoyed it, but it was by no means my favorite. But, once I started digging a little deeper into it, I discovered that the sixth novel offers the riches of human relationships. Of course it also reveals the tragic background of Voldemort’s family (without making that an excuse for Voldermort’s horrific actions).
I spent much of Wednesday looking through my notes of the novel and writing an essay about its central theme, which is, simply and profoundly, love. Here is the opening paragraph:
J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, soon to be released as a blockbuster movie, is often a grim and frightening book, filled with episodes of murder and mayhem. From Dumbledore, Harry learns the secrets of Lord Voldemort’s dark past. And yet, despite all the suffering and the rise of evil, the strongest theme of the book is love. Love for family and friends. Romantic love. It is in contrast with Voldemort’s loveless and despicable life that the value of love shines through the story.