Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Harry Potter - Half Blood Prince

The premier showing of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is taking place as I write this. I didn't look up how many theaters here in Springfield, Illinois are showing Order of the Phoenix, but I'm sure they're all packed. The movie started just after midnight. I've talked with several fans of the Potter series today, and all expressed a keen desire to show up for the first showing, but none said they could attend - that's what happens when you get old I guess.

Despite not attending tonight I am hoping to catch the movie this weekend.

This post, however, is about Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. I ran out to Barnes & Noble tonight and purchased Half Blood Prince. Thanks to my brother and sister in law who gave me a Barnes and Noble gift card for Christmas I have the money to purchase the books.

I also reserved a copy of the upcoming, and final Harry Potter book which will arrive on bookshelves in less than two weeks!

So far I've read the very first chapter of Half Blood Prince, and it definitely picks up where Order of the Phoenix ends. I've been reading in the press lately how author J.K. Rowling has been coming under increasing pressure from fans to not let Harry Potter die. I too am feeling a bit concerned. It's such a nice series, but I know something has to give - either Potter or the Dark Lord - He Who Must Not Be Named - must die, and I suspect Harry Potter will not survive.

But what does that mean? How will Harry Potter die? Certainly he can not die in the sense that the Dark Lord prevails, but at the same time we know that the Potter series is coming to a definite ending. There must be some ultimate act of self sacrifice on the part of our hero. Everything seems to be pointing to Harry Potter not being able to defeat the Dark Lord through magic alone. Yet we know Harry Potter is the one person who can defeat him. So it is something else about Harry that can defeat He Who Must Not Be Named. Most speculation I've read suggest it is Harry Potter's ability to love. That love in some way will overcome hate.

How J. K. Rowling spins the final chapter of the final book in this series is something hundreds of millions of Harry Potter fans around the world expect to find out in less than a fortnight. I can hardly wait. This is why I decided to read Half Blood Prince now instead of waiting. Reading the last three books in rapid succession, and taking in the fifth movie is certainly helping to define the color of this summer of 2007.

Movie Reviewer Makes Mistake - I Point It Out to Him

Oh yes, here's an email which I sent to San Francisco movie reviewer, Mick LaSalle who incorrectly identified one of the magical creatures in his Order of the Phoenix movie review.

You stated, "A flight across the Thames at night on broomsticks is a beautiful thing to see. A similar flight, later in the film, on centaurs is almost equally satisfying", however, the winged creatures to which you refer are actually Thestrals.

Some Potter Mythology

Centaurs are a proud race of creatures not the servants of man for goodness sake. They'd probably shoot arrows at you if you ever venture into the forbidden magical forest outside Hogwarts for suggesting that they would help Harry and his crew. Although a Centaur saved Harry Potter's life by giving him a ride in an earlier book that Centaur, a friend of Dumbledore's, is now under a threat of death from the other Centaurs, and is banned from ever returning to the magical forest when he agreed to teach at Hogwarts).

Thestrals, winged reptilian horselike creatures, have a keen sense of direction, can only be seen by those who have witnessed death, and may give a ride if you can attract one with say, a lick of Giant's blood, or perhaps some fresh kill.

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