by Pete Happens
Every person that has searched for the half-blood prince’s identity has had their own specific way of searching. Personally, I thought that looking for “royalty” or “nobility” references would be the best bet at finding a clue. I started my pursuit as I reread the first five books, and what I came upon was shocking.
The most blatant clue stood out at me in the fifth book. Not only did it figuratively stand out, it literally did. It was in bold, it was large, and it was a chapter title: “The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black.” JKR does not just give any old phrase the honor of being a chapter title, so this must be important. However, this was not the only mention of nobility in the chapter. If one graces there eyes on pg. 116 (of the American edition) they will find that Sirius destroyed a silver “spider” with a book entitled Nature’s Nobility, A Wizard Genealogy. Plus, for the icing on the cake, the actual word “royal” is used with Sirius saying, “My parents, with their pureblood mania, convinced that to be a Black made you practically royal.”
Other, non-word references continue to appear that the Black family was noble and royal. They obviously had a lot of gold. They were obsessed with genealogy (their tapestry) and keeping their family line pure. Their tree goes back to the middle ages (the era of royals and royalty). They had servants and the father put security on the house. They refer to themselves as “The House of Black,” much like “The House of Windsor” or “The House of York.” These are all characteristics of nobility and royalty!
But, what family member was JKR trying to lead us towards? Well, I looked towards another one of JKR’s clue-giving techniques — name meanings. After looking up the meaning of Regulus (Sirius’ brother), one will find that it means “Little King.” Little King? Little King! The royalty references keep piling up!
Now, one can make the conclusion that Regulus Black, being the most referenced character to royalty, has something to do with the half-blood prince. But, now that I’ve answered why he could be, it becomes necessary to answer how he could be. First it must be noted that he cannot be the half-blood prince himself, because he is pureblood. But, he could be the father of the half-blood prince, with him being the little king and the little prince being his son, the half-blood prince.
But, the question that needs to be answered is, “Why would a pure-blood maniac marry a Muggle or a Muggleborn?” While it does not appear he was a pure-blood fanatic, Sirius calls him “my idiot brother, soft enough to believe them” with “them” referring to his parents. He didn’t refer to him like he referred to his parents. He didn’t call him evil or a fanatic. He called him simply, stupid. Regulus was only a stupid youth who joined the Death Eaters only to please his parents.
But, another fact standing in the way is that he died. Well, I doubt he died “some 15 years ago.” JKR rarely devotes two whole pages of writing to dead people (aside from James and Lily, of course). Remember the last few dead people who got more than one reference devoted to them? Crouch Jr. and Wormtail turned out to be alive. I doubt that those two were the only fakers of the whole series. Also, Sirius only refers to the facts as “from what I found out after he died.” This is not very definitive. First, he found out after the fact and second, no one can trust non-first hand accounts. There is still a good chance that Regulus pulled a Wormtail, and faked his death.
Sirius states that Regulus “got in so far [into the Death Eaters], then panicked about what he was being asked to do, and tried to back out.” Perhaps he fell in love with a Muggle/Muggleborn and “what he was being asked to do” was to kill her. He said “no,” and faked his death, and ran into hiding with his love, and conceived a son, the half-blood prince.
Most likely, there is more to the story of Regulus. Based on the fact that references point to him as royal and as a king, plus the fact that his death is mysterious, leads to a theory that he could be the father of the half-blood prince. And judging by timing, its most likely that his son (if conceived soon after his fake death) is attending Hogwarts. This theory may be right or may not, but one thing that is known, is that we havn’t haerd the last from Regulus.