Not Fully Behind the Half Blood Prince

*Arresto Momentum, which is wizard code for “stop a moment”, there’ll be spoilers*

harry potter review

So I’m going to do this review slightly differently, because while I have some significant philosophical differences with this book, I did actually enjoy it. That’s why, before I start, I’m giving it:

Rating: 4/5 bananas


harry potter and the half blood princeI found it so much more gripping than the last one and whizzed through it. I actually loved opening, both the part with Snape and with the muggle PM, because they were both good for context. I also liked a number of the subplots, including the Slug Club and I have to admit reading this without exam stress was much more relaxing.

I can also forgive it for not being as dark as I wanted it to be when I was a teen. I wasn’t particularly sated by a few bridges collapsing, because it didn’t feel all that scary to me. I mentioned in my complicated relationship with Harry Potter post that I had wanted it to be darker back when I was a child, yet now as an adult I feel freer to like it for what it is. I simultaneously like the lighter touch and, with the theme of death and presence of inferi, I do see it as somewhat more grim.

I also liked that Harry is less of an idiot in this one- since he’s bang on the money when it comes to Malfoy. It would be infuriating that no one listens to him… except that he’s cried Death Eater so many times, so it makes complete sense.

Speaking of people I didn’t expect to feel sympathy for, I think it’s rather remarkable what Rowling does with Malfoy’s storyline. I do like how the mystery of what he’s up to is built up and it feels more “classic Potter” in comparison to Order of the Phoenix. I can even grudgingly admit that I could see where Dumbledore is coming from when he holds back specific information– especially as he no longer feels the need to keep Harry in the dark about everything and there are particular points he doesn’t have permission to tell. Also with regards to the mysteries posed, I very much liked cracking the RAB code in between books when I was younger.

But what were those aforementioned philosophical differences I had with it? Well, this is the book that explores Voldy’s backstory. And while I did like getting this part of the story, I had some issues with it. Particularly in that it makes villainy here a question of nurture vs nature- coming down heavily on the nurture side and forgoing choices altogether. While Tom Riddle Jr doesn’t like to be seen as ordinary, hinting and pride and resentment, a combination of in text clues and Rowling’s view that him being conceived with love potion made him incapable of love, implies that Voldemort is bad natured from the start. I’m especially perturbed that this is a result of who his parents are (ie Harry has nice parents and therefore even though he’s brought up in an abusive household is inherently good; meanwhile Tom Riddle Jr comes from bad stock and is effectively the product of date rape, therefore is bad). It’s also worrying that Dumbledore, seeing the disturbing behaviour of Tom as a child, never acted on that knowledge, merely acted prejudicially and never gave him an opportunity to redeem himself- if nothing else, this is irresponsible. It seems that he too believes that someone can simply be born wicked. This is the crux of my issue with the depiction of Voldemort and I have to admit, I have always been disappointed that a series that started out as being about choices (as clearly defined in book 2) became so definitive in its characterisation of evil.

The reason I did not on balance dock loads of bananas for this was because, while I’m not pleased with this choice, it could be viewed as a somewhat accurate portrayal of a psychopath, particularly in regard to his torture of animals and inability to love. Of course, rather obvious disclaimer here: not every psychopath is a killer and this still does not line up with the reality that “Ordinary Men” are capable of doing terrible things (as described in my review yesterday).

Regardless, I did not find Voldemort the most psychologically interesting baddie in the series. I would have preferred far more complexity or, barring that, for it to have been left ambiguous, because for me the answer to this particular mystery was unsatisfying. Villains, in my view, should provide an insight into humanity and this did not work for me on that front. However, ignoring the notion of Harry’s noble lineage, I think the line “Voldemort himself created his own worst enemy, just as tyrants everywhere do” provided an excellent link to the hero’s journey. Also, this nice little hint at Voldy’s hubris is a part of his characterisation I can get behind.

One last thing I had trouble with in this book, which will probably get me in more trouble than my view of Voldy, was that I did not buy Hermione and Ron’s relationship. And while I did think it was cute when Ginny and Harry got together, lines like the “monster in his chest purred” were… well I’d rather hang out with a Blast Ended Skrewt than Harry in a romantic mood. And since we’re on the topic, I may as well go in for a sickle in for a galleon, I was meh about Tonks and Lupin. For some reason, the sweetest relationship that I saw was Fleur/Bill.

So what do you think of Harry Potter 6? Are you a fan of Voldy’s characterisation? Let me know in the comments!


67 thoughts on “Not Fully Behind the Half Blood Prince

  1. Sarah says:

    I didn’t buy Hermione’s and Ron’s relationship either!!! I thought I was the only one who didn’t!!! 😂
    Also had some troubles with Voldy’s portrait but never really thought about what it was that nudged me – so thanks! I think you’re spot on! 😄💕

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Captain's Quarters says:

    Ahoy there! I certainly enjoyed this look at the book. I be enjoying yer look at the series mightily. It is fascinating to get yer viewpoint as an adult and ye raise extremely valid points. I never thought of nature vs. nurture or that Voldy was bad because of his parents. I haven’t re-read these books in about a decade and do wonder what I would think now. The first mate and I have always loved these books but believed they are flawed. Like S.P.E.W. We wished that would have been removed from the books altogether. Anyways, I look forward to the next.
    x The Captain

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Thank you so much! That’s really kind of you to say!! And that’s fair enough. I’m glad I’m not the only one- I also love them, but don’t think they’re perfect. And yeah i totally get that about SPEW. I could’ve done without that part too. Thank you very much!! x


  3. Samantha Duffy says:

    1) Ron and Hermione never made sense to me, ever, but we’ve talked about that.
    2) YES about really not wanting to be around Harry in a romantic mood *Bleck*
    3) I never really thought about Voldemort’s characterization and how JK basically made it seem like if you were born under a bad roof, you were born to be bad- though that does upset me now. I guess the exception would be Sirius, his family was notoriously negative-minded and he still ended up as the one of the series’s biggest heroes.
    4)I agree with you about not really seeing Voldemort as compelling as other villains- the potential to make him either seriously EVIL (like Umbridge) or complex was there and yet it was kind of just blah
    5)I love/hated my sympathy for Malfoy starting to grow. I had forgotten what a horrible person he was in the first couple of books (mostly because I feel the movies make him likable from early on whereas the books show him as loathsome up until this point). And now that you are getting that “other look” at him, I don’t know, I just felt so badly for him.
    6)How did I never think about the fact that Dumbledore knew something was off about Tom Riddle and did nothing about it? That is seriously disturbing.

    This was great (as were all the other ones thus far). I CANNOT WAIT FOR THE LAST INSTALLMENT. Truthfully, I am probably going to compile all of these reviews and print them out for my Harry Potter collection. You have done such a wonderful job with these, I have been looking forward to each and every one of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Thank you so much!
      1) I’m so glad that I’m not the only one that feels that way about Ron/Hermione.
      2) hehehe yes!
      3) And yeah that’s true about Sirius- it’s funny cos I don’t think the whole series teaches this (at least not a lot of it- especially in the early books it seems to have a look more at choices, so you raise a good point about sirius), but some of it definitely leaned in that direction, especially with reference to Harry/Voldy, which I thought was a pity.
      4) and yeah I definitely saw him as more blah, especially in comparison to Umbridge.
      5) yeah I totally agree- it’s kind of surprising to get this sympathetic view of Malfoy- and yet I really appreciate that and definitely ended up feeling sorry for him
      6) Yeah I know right?! I don’t get that at all.

      Thank you so much!! I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying these reviews- that means so much to me!! And that comment absolutely made my day!! 😀 Thank you! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. daleydowning says:

    I TOTALLY agree about Malfoy – the way you could almost feel sorry for him, after all the crap he’d pulled, was a really wonderful way to write it.

    And I thought – maybe I’m wrong – that it showed where the editors started to interfere a bit, because my view on Voldemort’s nature vs nurture discussion probably could’ve gone deeper into looking concretely at is he actually a psychopath, vs the very simple “he had bad genes.” It’s just something that I could see an author wanting to go deeper and more complex, and an editor saying no. (This is all speculation, by the way.)

    I felt it was so obvious that Dumbledore *knew* he’d messed up, and he was trying to make amends *forever* regarding Voldemort. I kind of wish she’d gotten a bit more in your face (for the reader) about it, though – again, is that another editorial decision? Just a thought.

    And I also wasn’t sold on Ron with Hermione! I always thought Hermione and someone like Neville, or maybe Seamus, could’ve worked very well! On the other hand, though, I SHIPPED Harry and Ginny like there was no tomorrow! lol! And in those days I was not a shipper! 🙂

    And, yes, all your discussions in this vein have been a lot of fun to read!

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Yes! Especially this time round, I was so impressed with that aspect!!

      It’s possible that it was done to the editors, because earlier she hinted more that he made bad choices (but sadly when it came down to it I couldn’t see the fact that there were choices)

      And yeah there was that aspect to an extent that Dumbledore knew he messed up… and yet it also felt a bit like a) he was disgusted with a child and b) had a bit of an “I told you so” attitude cos he picked up on something no other teacher did. So I just wasn’t that sympathetic to him.

      And I’m glad I wasn’t the only one with Ron/Hermione. Yeah she could have been with literally anyone else. I totally shipped Ginny and Harry in the books though!

      Thank you so much!! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • daleydowning says:

        It’s interesting, because while I don’t *hate* Ron and Hermione together, it was a surprising match for me! Partly because I thought there was some real chemistry between Hermione and Viktor Krum, and since it turned out he wasn’t really evil, just enchanted, I thought that could’ve been a neat pairing!

        We’ll probably never know for sure where the editors might’ve had too much influence…and it’s an interesting debate to have, as many authors *do* have major issues with their editors changing *too* much and altering the overall vision of the work… We know it happens pretty frequently, and it makes me wonder if there will come a time when it doesn’t!

        Liked by 1 person

        • theorangutanlibrarian says:

          Ah fair enough! I don’t hate it, I just didn’t feel it- and I actually agree about how Krum/Hermione had some real chemistry- it’s just a pity it was written out of the story.

          Yeah that’s an interesting perspective- I would just tend to judge the final product, unless I have some evidence that something else was written first (like with Great Expectations). Yeah it’s an interesting discussion to have!

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Beth (Reading Every Night) says:

    Great review for this book, and I love how you included the rating first, I guess this way people can see how much you liked it before reading your review right? 🙂
    I am glad you enjoyed this one more than book five, and more than when you were younger. It’s great that you were able to take the darkness in Half Blood Prince as it is now (so not as dark as you’d hoped when you were a teen). I guess in some aspects this is a series that gets better with age.
    Again great review. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Thank you so much!! hehe yes! 😉
      I definitely did like it more- it was actually hard to rate because my enjoyment and my thoughts about it aren’t in total alignment. And yeah I’m glad I preferred the darkness this time round- that was a massive improvement 😀 It definitely is!
      Thank you!! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. elissa says:

    This is my favorite HP review of yours yet… probably because of your discussion about Voldy’s wickedness. I accepted all of the nature vs. nurture bs when I was younger, but after growing up a bit I also started questioning what JK was doing there. Loved your analysis.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lily @ Sprinkles of Dreams says:

    “It would be infuriating that no one listens to [Harry] … except that he’s cried Death Eater so many times, so it makes complete sense.” – I love this, and it’s so true.

    Your analysis of Voldemort’s portrayal is so interesting, and I’m definitely going to pay closer attention to it, since I’m re-reading the series as well. And I completely agree with you on Hermione and Ron’s relationship, it never felt particularly organic or believable to me.

    Great review!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. OlaG says:

    Yeah, Ron and Hermione just didn’t click for me either – but Harry and Ginny seemed like a forced solution as well. I always felt like Rowling was going along the lines of least resistance here. I agree with you on Voldemort characterization – his backstory was disappointing much like Hannibal Lecter’s story 😛 When someone tries to explain evil they usually end up trivializing it.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Matthew Wright says:

    I felt Rowling never quite came to grips with the issues of puberty in ‘Half Blood Prince’. Like you I also felt Voldemort could have been given a more compelling back-story – one perhaps with a full adult level that kids might miss but then re-read the book and have an ‘aha’ moment. I think Ralph Fiennes did a pretty good job of fleshing out that side of it in the movies (I would have said ‘nosed his way into it’, but you know…). I guess the fact that the book largely didn’t have that subtext reflected the overall schtik of the series – that the books would ‘grow up’ with as the readers did, which to me never did quite work – to me the better angle in that sense is Ursula Le Guin’s ‘Earthsea’ series, which were of pretty consistent tone with child and adult levels. Of course I’m a fan of the Potter books & series nonetheless!

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Fair enough- I did think it was better in that respect that Order of the Phoenix tbh. And I’m glad I’m not the only one that thinks that with regard to Voldemort. Fiennes was great in the role though. hahaha! I do agree with you that I didn’t feel like these books were as good in the “growing up” with readers department. Me too!


  10. Krysta says:

    This has always been my least favorite in the series. It moves rather slowly and has too many flashbacks. Also, as you note, the reason for Voldemort’s choices is sloppily done. At some times the story suggests he turns evil because he wasn’t loved at all–as if a foster parent or a mentor might have saved him. But because Harry grows up with the Dursleys, the ultimate suggestion is that he was evil because of his parents. Really, Rowling?

    At any rate, neither suggestion is palatable since, as you say, his free will is ignored. I don’t buy that he was evil because of how he was conceived, nor am I convinced that he could have been loved into being a good person. Some parents are very loving and do all the “right” things and their children still go astray. They may have issues that need to be addressed with more than love or maybe they just made poor choices. Let’s not blame their parents for not loving them enough!

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Ah fair enough- I didn’t have as many issues with the pacing (possibly cos I’d just finished book 5) but I really didn’t like Voldy’s portrayal. And yeah- I thought that was so weird- especially because there’s an early comparison between Harry and Riddle coming from similar unhappy homes and Harry making different choices (which I thought was excellent) but here it’s basically an argument that parentage matters… which, yeesh, I do not agree with at all.

      And yes, I really dislike the fact that this disregards his free will. I do think it’s a fair interpretation (even if I don’t like it either) and also think that it people with loving parents can do bad things too (even in the series the Malfoys love each other for instance and make plenty of bad choices/some people go off the rails despite having good parents). So yeah, I think things like that can act as an explanation to an extent, but don’t ever justify bad choices.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Bookstooge says:

    Not being one who really cares about relationships in books, I was perfectly fine with Ron/Hermione and Harry/Ginny. I think I “would” have had a problem with Hermione/Harry because it would have felt like Rowling was just pairing up the main characters “just because”.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. shalini says:

    That is one relationship which is unbelievable even in the movies Ron and Hermione. Loved your review. Great analysis. When the book released, I remember enjoying it… But now I realize you are spot on in yours


  13. Cindy says:

    I’m loving you reviews! I’m in such a mood for a reread of this series haha. There are so many points you’re making that I didn’t get the last time I read it, so I want to reread it even more. I definitely agree I didn’t like Hermione and Ron at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. katsobservations says:

    I also didn’t really like the way Voldemort was presented. Not only where he came from and who his parents are, but also the tendencies he had as a student at hogwarts that were overlooked. Voldemort is just the stereotypical character of someone who had a rough childhood and did creepy things and than “naturally” became a psychopathic killer. Rowling should have provided a greater justification for what Voldemort had become.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Ria Das Mukherjee says:

    Love your reviews…makes me wanna go back and read the entire series again 🙂 I also felt that maybe Ron and Hermione’s relationship was a bit too forced in order to please certain fan theories and also Rowling could have explored the character of Voldemort more psychologically… waiting for more reviews..

    Liked by 1 person

  16. lucindablogs says:

    How did I miss the love potion/Voldemort conception? I think that by this point in the series I was pretty much speed reading to find out what happened! Great point about the characterisation of Voldys evilness being innate – I always thought that the reason Dumbledore called him Tom was to try to remind him that he was just an ordinary person.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. bookbeachbunny says:

    I so loved Fleur/ Bill. I wish they had done more with them in the movies! Agree about sympathy for Malfoy. While I wasn’t really aware of Dumbledores past when reading the first time (not sure it was talked about yet) I do wonder a bit now how much the stuff with Grindelwald might have kept him so hands off with Tom Riddle. I go back and forth with Dumbledore but he’s such a flawed mentor exploring his past more is my number one excitement for the Fantastic Beasts movies 🙂 As always great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Yeah I do agree with you there- it’s so sweet in the books! and yes! Oh yeah that’s a fantastic point (kind of torn after you said that, cos I get where he’s coming from in that case, but argh it still doesn’t make it right) He really is a very flawed but interesting character. Thank you so much! 😀


  18. Amanda Hurych says:

    Would you have preferred it if Harry and Hermione ended up together instead?

    I have to admit, I didn’t give as much in-depth thought to Voldemort’s villainy the way you have. I always just accepted the black and white ideal that bad was bad and good was good. Which is stupid now that I think about it, since Malfoy clearly shows in this book that this is not the case.

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      hehe oh gosh no! I’m definitely not a Harry/Hermione shipper! (although other people are free to be)

      Fair enough- I don’t think it’s stupid, I just wish that there was more to Voldy in this respect, and yes, especially as it’s definitely demonstrated with other characters like Malfoy!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Christopher says:

    There’s so much to ponder here, and something I never considered was that, even though a recurring theme through the books, and one that really comes through in the last book (sorry for skipping ahead a bit) is that almost no one is beyond redemption. I say “almost” because you raise a really good point: was Voldemort fated to be evil? In light of your previous review it seems fitting to quote W.H. Auden, “Those to whom evil is done/Do evil in return.”
    Clearly this isn’t always the case, and that raises the question of whether Tom Riddle could have chosen, or been helped to choose, a different path. Although another recurring theme throughout the books is sometimes even the most brilliant minds make the wrong choice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      No worries- I definitely agree that there is that question posed- and I *loved* that in the last book.
      It’s an interesting question for sure- I just wish it had been teased out in the book.
      And yes you’re right about even brilliant minds making the wrong choice.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Beware Of The Reader says:

    Hahaha yes I love Harry Potter but now reading through your eyes I kind of spot all the flaws LOL But I am still a die hard fan even if yes Dumbledore not acting etc was really disappointing 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  21. pajamapopcorn says:

    I dunno, I always liked Ron and Hermione together. It seemed like they fit to me, but I didn’t know why Harry and Ginny really fit. Being a middle child, I kind of get where Ron is coming from with certain things, so I’ve always related to him a little. Plus, I’ve always related to Hermione because she’s sort of the outcast. I guess Harry is too sometimes! 🙂 Anyway, I remember liking this story, but not completely loving it. I didn’t like how Dumbledore knew so much and never told Harry! But, I guess adults know a lot of things that they never tell kids or teens. I still don’t think Dumbledore can be fully forgiven for a few things he’s done. I think he would say the same. That’s part of why he’s a good character. Voldemort, oh, how I love to hate him just like Malfoy. Except, in this book, it’s Malfoy that I feel bad for some of the time (just as you said). Voldemort–I don’t feel that bad for him. I do feel like his mother possibly loved him. There’s no way of knowing she did or didn’t, as she died at such a young age. Perhaps if she had lived, he would’ve been different. Perhaps not. I tend to agree with you on the psychopath thing. He was exhibiting the early signs we see on TV and in other books. Hurting people, killing animals, etc. However, the last time I read it was a few years back, I thought Dumbledore talked to him more, tried to be a good teacher to him. I certainly don’t feel like he’s the most psychotic villain in the series (that title belongs to Ms. Umbridge), but I do think he’s the most power-hungry. Ultimately, Dumbledore is just human and can only change people so much. It’s up to them to do the rest. I think Voldemort was unwilling or perhaps, unable, to change his power-hungry habits. Snape and other characters like Malfoy are different. It just proves you can grow up in similar situations (no parents, bad parenting, all going to Hogwarts) and still turn out five hundred different ways. I hope this makes sense. It kind of all looks like rambling now. lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Fair enough! And yeah I’m also a middle child- funnily enough this time round I did see where he was coming from more because I do have a lot in common- but at the same time that also made me hypercritical of him as well haha! 😉 And yeah I definitely relate to Hermione. That’s totally fair. And that makes sense about Dumbledore. And yeah for sure. Yeah it is possible. Oh yeah Umbridge is definitely the best (most evil) villain. And that’s a fair point. Absolutely- hehe, no worries, it makes sense!
      Thank you so much for your comment! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Nel says:

    I’m gonna jump right in and say the relationship parings for me were just a no all the way around. Didn’t like Harry and Ginny together from the jump especially in the movies and Ron and Hermonie were just awkward. I think I glazed over the relationship parts in general cause it made my teenager self uncomfortable at the time.
    I totally don’t even remember the bit about Tom Riddle and his parents story. I was probably to set on hating the guy that I didn’t want to sympathize in anyway though it was portrayed really we in the films imo. I get that Harry has to be protrayed as an all around good guy cause of his past and all that but his parents weren’t exactly perfect either even though they’re always shown that way. And then you think about Snape and the way he was treated his whole life and he was seen as evil but as we find out later, he wasn’t evil at all he just played the part really well. Aaah! Can’t wait for your next review!


  23. Sophia Ismaa Writes says:

    Agree with all points except for the Ron & Hermione and Tonks & Lupin relationship…. I think maybe it’s a matter of preference because we all have different personalities so we like different romances. I’ve seen many R & M and Tonks & Lupin relationships so I quite enjoyed them… the Tonks’ of the world usually love the Lupins of the world, same for Ron for Hermione… but not all Hermione’s love Rons tbh. Definitely agree about Bill and Fleur, Fleur is such an under-rated character which is annoying because she hasn’t really done anything wrong other than be feminine and attractive… she reminds me a little of Sansa (love her). She’s pretty normal as well, tbh.


  24. Antics of a bibliophile says:

    Hello! Good review! I would like to share my views on some of the points you mentioned in your post. 😃 While the character of Voldemort is depicted as if he is born evil, there are other characters who differ. Sirius was born and raised in a muggle-hating, staunch pure blood family but he turned out to be the exact opposite of them. Neville, although born to extremely brave parents, grows up as a timid boy, under the influence of his very strict grandmother. James Potter was a bully in school, although he changed his ways later and fought against Dark wizards. Harry never showed any inclination to bully anyone. Harry was subjected to a terrible amount of abuse in his childhood, but still grew up to be a great person. I think Rowling does not at all intend to say that evil people are born evil. A person’s character is shaped based on both genetic and environmental influences; the relative proportion varies. Even Tom Riddle did not exactly have a good childhood. We do not know how he would have turned out if he had been brought up in a nurturing family, although my money would be on him turning evil either way. 😉 About Ron and Hermione, I was expecting that from book 4, so not a big surprise. At the end of the day, I love the sixth book because this is where we learn almost everything about Voldy, and that helps us understand the character better. Agreed, he is not the most complex villain ever, but then, HP was originally intended to be a children’s series. 😃


  25. Stories So Wild says:

    Hi there! While I do agree with some parts of the review, there are others that I don’t agree with.

    For one, I don’t think Dumbledore was prejudiced against Riddle. It was more the case of “I’ll give him another chance to change and wait for the miracle to happen, because I believe even the worst can change.”

    This attitude is what gets Dumbledore into trouble throughout the series. His belief that change can be affected if we just let people know what they’re doing is wrong (without actually lending a helping hand to effect said change) led to his fall in the first place.

    I wouldn’t call that prejudice, just an insanely optimistic view of humanity.

    Second, (this is a question) – did you really like the Ginny-Harry pairing? Why? This was the most bizarre pairing in the series.

    Honestly, this was a consequence of Harry’s limited exposure to women. The only two ladies he actually interacted with extensively were Hermoine and Ginny. He viewed Hermoine as a sister and that left him with Ginny.

    The only other ladies he interacted with occasionally were the Patil twins (who he had no particular affinity to), Luna (who he viewed as a friend) and Fleur (who, well doesn’t count because her relationship with Bill is amazing).


    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Hi! hehe that’s okay, you’re entitled to disagree 🙂

      I will say that when it comes to Dumbledore, my biggest issue (as stated) is that he sees Riddle’s disturbing behaviour and does nothing about it. Optimistic or not (and I don’t doubt you’re right there) one can’t expect that sort of behaviour would change of its own accord and while I know that the wizarding world is not great on mental health, that’s just downright irresponsible. It’s not a smart way to deal with a problem of that kind. It actually comes back to his non-interfering attitude (which may work on people who aren’t completely off the rails, but once someone’s anti-social enough that they’re torturing other kids in a cave, it’s time to intervene). However, given that he’s decided to do nothing about any of that, I find it strange that he holds onto the feeling that there’s something wrong with him (which, you know, he’s right… but then that comes back to the question: why not act on that knowledge?!) Judging him in this situation would not have been such a bad thing- my issue is that he doesn’t do anything about it.

      hehe as for my view of Ginny/Harry, you’re entitled to disagree, but I think that’s just a matter of taste. It is true that there aren’t that many options for him when it comes to romance in the series (perhaps if the series had gone on longer than his schooling career he’d have had a nice opportunity to meet someone else 😉 ) But I’m glad you agree about Fleur/Bill- their relationship is amazing!


      • Nisha Prakash says:

        I agree with your view of Dumbledore being irresponsible. As a teacher, there is a moral responsibility to address sensitive situations involving a child’s mental health.

        If you think about it, they don’t show any of the teachers particularly bothered about Riddle’s behaviour. It makes you wonder if it’s because such behaviour becomes normalised, given the nature of their world (although that still doesn’t excuse them from being apathetic to the child’s behaviour and issues).

        As for Harry and Ginny; yes, harry might have found a better partner if the series had gone on longer. But I’m glad it didn’t. I already feel The Cursed Child is a black mark on the series.

        But of course, that’s a discussion for another day. I’m sure I’ll be opening a Pandora’s box with that conversation ;p

        Liked by 1 person

  26. Nicole says:

    I didn’t like the way Voldy was “just born bad” either, but the thing that bugged me most was that Draco *did* become a Death Eater. It felt like a cop out in a way. Harry had been wrongly accusing him for so long that it kinda made me (upon re-reads only, mind you) wonder if Harry helped push Draco to it. Yeah, he was a little git in the early books, but he was your average everyday bully then. He wasn’t really a bad guy until after Harry kept needling him. Would he have turned evil anyway? Maybe. But this felt to me almost like Harry was creating his own enemy just like Voldemort did, and yet that was never discussed. Again — look at the Malfoys. It’s implied that Draco was born bad. And yet we know from Sirius that good people can come from bad families, too. I would have loved to see something different with Draco here. Oh well. I guess this is just one more note I need to make for when I write my own books.


  27. Winged Cynic says:

    I’m personally not behind ANY of teenage relationships in this series (I prefer the adult ones), so no surprise that you didn’t enjoy Ron and Hermione. And I totally agree; I hate the fact that Voldy’s not as complex as he can be (like the fact Rowling chose nature over nurture argument), and the only way I’ve somewhat justified this was by seeing him as a psychopath, but as you say, not all psychopaths are murderers, and it’s a huge plot hole that Dumbledore treated Voldy like one from the start. *sighs*

    Terrific review! I personally loved this book because it was a return to form after book 5 (which was uncharacteristically depressing), but I agree it’s got its flaws. 😉


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