We now come to the second-to-last book in the series. For many Potter fans, including myself, this one was a whopper.
The first item I want to talk about concerns Harry discovering a book that inscribed “Property of the Half-Blood Prince”. Hermione is rightly concerned about the book. After all, the last time they found a mysterious book, it possessed Ginny with a remnant of Voldemort. If that weren’t enough, the book seems to have dark secrets in it. But Harry seems to give it up, because it’s been helping him in Snape’s class. In this book, Snape has finally achieved his dream–he is now the new Defense Against the Dark Arts instructor. We also discover that he is a double agent, working for both Dumbledore and Voldemort. Hermione actually has the right idea–we should never trust anything that seems to go against our conscience.
We finally learn Voldemort’s childhood. He was the son of a witch and a Muggle. His mother continuously gave his father love potions to keep their marriage alive, meaning that it actually was not built on love. When they had a child, Tom Riddle (Voldemort’s real name), his mother thought that would mean the love would come naturally and stopped using the potion. Sadly, it never did, and only hatred came instead. Tom was later found by Dumbledore in an orphanage. He never forgave Muggles for the way his father treated him. This is another of the contentions I have against the claims that Harry Potter is evil: The idea that children need love to survive is a basic teaching of Christianity. Harry is strengthened by the relationships he shares with his friends. Perhaps the best example is Ron’s mother. Ron has a huge family, yet his mother treats Harry as if he were a long-lost son and becomes a sort of surrogate mother to the boy. And considering the actual surrogate family Harry has, that’s a good thing. I have often doubted that those who oppose Harry Potter books have even read the books critically or at least with an open mind.
And finally, we have Dumbledore’s death. Looking back, I guess this was necessary. In many quest-based stories, the mentor has to die so that the hero can own the story: Star Wars, The Lion King, and numerous others often has this moment. Without it, Harry is not forced to continue. Now the deck is stacked even greater, as he has one less ally to rely on.