Which is: breakfast before the first Quidditch match
Time Spent: 59.55 hours
Pages Remaining: 422 (90% complete)
Estimated Completion: Fri 20th July
Favourite Character: Ron
Cool Moment: anything with Ron and Hermione’s mutual jealousy-fest
Funny Quote: ‘You’ve never been more interesting and, frankly, you’ve never been more fanciable.’ Ron gagged on a large piece of kipper.
Fascinating Quote: the Prince had proved a much more effective teacher than Snape so far.
Well, the pages remaining is steadily decreasing but then so is the lead. Which is ok in one way – it should equal 0 by friday when I finish right? Except that if it gets too close to that before then – i.e. tonight and tomorrow – it’ll mean more reading than I really want to do since the lead was based on 175 pages (3 hours) a day. So I’ll do my best to increase it a little tonight.Actually I had a bit of a distraction last night – but I think I’ll tell you about that some other time.
I’m really enjoying Half-Blood Prince. I think it’s pitched exactly at my inner teenager. I mean I am on record as liking teen/young romcoms and this is the right age, kinda sweetly romantic and funny. Whereas in previous books, without at all disliking them, I could count real laugh out loud moments on the fingers of one hand, here they seem to come along pretty regularly. You’ve got the Ron-Hermione stuff I allude to in my funny quote above. You’ve also got Harry and Ginny. There’s some funny dialogue, including internal dialogue, but also some great sight gags. If the producers of the movies – who I think have done best at realising humour in the films – don’t make the most of moments like when Ron turfs a first-year out of a seat by the fire in the common room only to be turfed out immediately by Hermione who offers it back to the first-year, or the moment when they’re bickering, with barely concealed jealousy about who’s taking who to Slughorn’s Christmas party, whilst Harry’s battling man-eating plants – actually grateful for the distraction – well these are gifts for cinema I think.
My fascinating quote above jumped out at me because of course I now know the Prince is Snape. It’s not fully formed but it’s lead me to a sort-of theory about Harry and Snape. It’s interesting that Harry really learns something from Snape, as the Prince, that he is fascinated by what he’s got to say. Without the usual enmity being expressed between them some common ground, common personality traits even, are exposed. Harry not only learns from but likes the Prince. He appreciates his direct, no-nonsense approach (‘just stick a bezoar down his throat’). I’m also reminded of Snape’s speech about the Dark Arts in his first lesson – afterwards Harry tells Ron and Hermione how disgusted he is that Snape seems to love the DAs, and Hermione remarks that he reminded her of Harry when teaching DADA himself.
So what if there’s more than a passing similarity between the two. Harry may perhaps be like his father and perhaps his father was quite similar to Severus Snape. Certainly the cruel bullying behaviour James Potter displays is not at all un-Snape-like. What if that was one reason they never got on? What if Snape is the road-less-travelled/dark-side version of James? The Faith to his Buffy? If that’s so, then Snape – who has been a real Death-Eater once, whether or not he is now – might model, rather than simply growing out of some bad behaviour, embracing it, revelling in it, but ultimately repenting of and reforming from it. Perhaps that will be important to Harry?
I read people say Harry will need to forgive Snape in the final book, I think he may need to learn from him too. Perhaps we’ll see – temporarily – Harry’s darker side, given a full reign.
Failing that we’ve always got Ron and Hermione to make us laugh.