The Burrow: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Characters That Might be the HBP

by Prash Wate

Finally, the title of the Book 6 is announced. I had gone through the door and seen it as many of you have. The title in itself must hold something important in the plot of Book 6, but it does create some questions now: who this Half Blood Prince is? We know of one thing though:

1.) The Prince is not Harry or Voldemort. (JKR herself gave the clue on her site). 2.) The person must be man. (Obviously, because it says Prince). 3.) He must be a half-blood. (Another obvious thing).

Now let us look at some possible characters that would fit into the Half Blood Prince role. These are just speculations with some reasoning into it tough, so take them with a pinch of salt. Only JKR will know the actual truth.

Tom Marvolo Riddle: Now I know JKR mentioned that Half Blood Prince is neither Harry Potter nor Voldemort. But before Voldemort became who he is, he was Tom Riddle.

Now look at it from this point of view. When Dobby warns Harry in CoS not to go to Hogwarts because something bad is being plotted against him, Harry asks if this has anything to do with Voldemort. Dobby says no. At the end in fact it turns out be Voldemort’s past (i.e. Tom Riddle). Dobby explains Harry that was a clue- The Dark Lord, before he changed his name, could be freely named. Maybe JKR is also giving us a clue through Dobby. Well, we also know that Tom Riddle is the only remaining Heir of Slytherin, so he could be a prince of the Slytherin lineage or empire. He was already using Voldemort with his most trusted friends. Maybe in school he used to also refer to himself as the HBP with his most close friends.

Also, if you read the conversation Tom has with Headmaster Dippet in his memory (Page 182 of CoS UK edition)- Dippet asks whether he is Muggle-born, Tom replies Half-blood, Muggle father, witch mother. Correct me if I am wrong, this is the first time the term half-blood is used in the Harry Potter series. I don’t have the PS/SS copy with me so I cannot check if it is used there.

Tom looks like a Prince (an Evil Prince) to me. And Harry used Godric Gryffindor’s sword to kill the beast of the Heir of Slytherin (the basilisk). Moreover, JKR herself had said, “I was delighted to see that a hard core of super-bright fans knew that the real title was once, in the long distant past, a possibility for ‘Chamber of Secrets’, and from that deduced that it was genuine.” Which means HBP was the possible title of the Chamber of Secrets, but she went for CoS for her second book. Well if she intended to call CoS as HBP, then there is only one person that could be HBP in CoS – Tom Marvolo Riddle (We exclude Harry). Voldemort had two identities: one as the half-blood Tom Riddle and the other as the Dark Lord Voldemort. Harry does not have two such identities.

Maybe in Book six we will know a lot more about the Riddle family.

But when JKR says, “HBP [Half Blood Prince] is neither Harry nor Voldermort”, does it imply the past self of Voldemort also (i.e. Tom Riddle)? If it is true, then we got few other characters that might fit the role.

New Character/Person: Finally, Rowling may introduce a different character, a new character or possibly one that she may have introduced earlier but not given much importance yet. In Book 6, this person would turn out to be the HBP. This character could have been in CoS first draft but she might have dropped it for book six. That will explain why she wanted to name Book 2 as HBP, but after dropping the character, she called the second book Chamber of Secrets. It is just speculation, there are no facts or theories to confirm this.

James Potter: Now James Potter looks like a character that could be a Half Blood Prince. JK Rowling has not mentioned whether this Prince is living or dead, so we can only guess. Again we don’t know much about James’s family background. He could be a half blood, and most importantly looks like a Prince.

Albus Dumbledore: Again, we don’t have anything of Dumbledore’s background, whether he is half-blood or pure-blood. Also, he looks more like a king or an old advisor/minister/councilor than a prince. Just another possibility though!

Severus Snape: Now many people will not agree, but this also is a character whose background we do not know for sure. Now we can only guess Snape was a half-blood .It is not mentioned anywhere that he is a pure-blood. This character also looks unlikely as the Half-Blood Prince.

For me the most probable characters being HBP are Tom Riddle and James Potter tough JKR might introduce this new character to be the HBP.

Also, there are other characters (however, unlikely) who could be the HBP. Dean Thomas (On JKR’s site there is a lot about this character, but she has also said that that will not feature in future books). Nicholas Flamel, Remus Lupin or some other Harry Potter classmates might also be HBP.

Finally, for some curiosity –

Pure-Blood = Those born from witch and wizard. Half-Blood = Those born whose either parent is a Muggle and other is witch or wizard. Mud-Blood = Those born to Muggle parents – Muggle born.

By this definition, Harry Potter would be called pure-blood, as both his parents are witch and wizard. Tom Riddle is obviously half-blood, but throughout the Harry Potter series it is mentioned that Harry is Half-Blood. Maybe for pure-blood, you should be born in a family whose line have never faltered i.e. none in the family line have been married to a Muggle.