13 Thoughts While Re-Watching “Half-Blood Prince”
We’ve finally reached Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in our re-watch series. I’m Rachael, and I’ll be your host for the next two movies. If you want to read any of the first five re-watching reaction posts, you can find them here: SS, CoS, PoA, GoF, and OotP.
I’ve always had mixed feelings about Half-Blood Prince. I love how it is basically Harry Potter and the Awkward Teen Romance Stage, and that causes tons of funny moments, but so much was changed. After re-watching it, I am pleased to say that it has moved up quite a few slots in my ranking. It seems like a different perspective in a new stage of life was all I needed to look past the changes (even though they still bug me) and truly appreciate this film.
1. The Opening Sequence
The opening sequence is amazing. The stormy, gray clouds around the logo and the flashbacks set the stage for the tone of the rest of the film.
After the logo, it fades into Death Eater attacks on Diagon Alley and Muggle London. Death Eaters kidnap Ollivander and destroy the Millennium Bridge. Right away, you know that this will not be a happy movie.
2. The Music
The score for this movie is one of my favorites in the series because the music is so dark and beautiful, just like the film. “Dumbledore’s Foreboding” gives me chills every time I listen to it. Nicholas Hooper did a fantastic job, and he even received a Grammy nomination for the score.
3. Luna Lovegood
Jasmine said it perfectly in her last re-watch post. Evanna Lynch is bae. She is so perfect in all of the movies. In the books, she didn’t rescue Harry from the train, but it is one of the very few things that I am okay with them changing. I love that we got to see the Spectrespecs in action.
I love her dress for Slughorn’s Christmas party. It looks like something that I would wear.
4. Cormac McLaggen
Freddie Stroma did an amazing job as Cormac McLaggen. He is exactly what I pictured when reading the books. His scenes are hilarious. I laugh so hard every time I watch him throw up on Professor Snape. He is so smarmy, and I love it.
5. LavLav + WonWon 5 ever
If pet names and heart lockets aren’t part of your relationship then you’re doing it wrong. Look at how adorable Ron and Lavender are together. Piggyback rides in the corridor and making out in the common room are fantastic ways to develop your relationship.
Unfortunately, these two were not meant to be together. Lavender deserves someone who can appreciate how adorable she is, and Ron needs someone who won’t get hurt when he starts moaning Hermione’s name in his sleep.
We all know how you feel, Harry.
6. Horace Slughorn
Slughorn is amazing. He gave us amazing quotes like
I can remember when it was just one broomstick!
Slughorn is such a great example of the perfect Slytherin. He is sly and cunning. He can manipulate his students into joining his Slug Club and then making them feel obligated to send him gifts and give him special privileges after they become famous. I am a huge fan. Can I be him when I grow up?
7. Harry and Hermione’s Friendship
While WonWon was off snogging Lavender, Harry and Hermione were being friends, and it was adorable.
Hermione made sure that she kept Harry in line when he got too cocky.
Most importantly, they made sure that they stuck together while their crushes were off with other people.
8. No Defense Against the Dark Arts
I was disappointed that we didn’t get to see any of Snape’s Defense Against the Dark Arts classes. I was looking forward to getting another glimpse of him teaching something other than Potions, but sadly, the movie just skipped right over it.
9. Remus and Tonks
Their whole relationship seemed really off when they were on screen. In the books, Tonks was so upset that she skipped Christmas at the Burrow. In the movie, she is there, and apparently, she and Remus are together? They don’t get together until the end of HBP. I can get over the fact that they messed with the timeline a little bit, but their relationship just seemed really awkward. Tonks acted super patronizing toward Remus, and Remus seemed to be very uncomfortable. They had no chemistry. I love Remadora, but the movies handled this relationship horribly.
10. Burrow Attack?
Every time I watch this movie, I wonder where this scene came from. It was not in the books, and it doesn’t really make sense. Are we supposed to believe that the Burrow burned down, and the Weasleys managed to perfectly rebuild it for Bill and Fleur’s wedding a few months later? Where would the Weasleys get the money to rebuild their house? It feels like they just threw this scene in to add a little action and then just forgot about it.
11. Love Potion
Everyone needs to thank Romilda Vane for this scene. Yes, giving a Love Potion to your crush is not a good idea, but when his best friend consumes it instead, it is hilarious.
This GIF describes my life perfectly.
12. Felix Felicis
Best scene in the movie. Could quite possibly be the best scene in the whole series.
Not to mention the pincers.
I wish I could give some Felix Felicis to the people in my life. Then things would never be boring.
13. Battle? What Battle?
Without the big battle scene at the end, the movie felt anticlimactic. The Death Eaters worked so hard to get into Hogwarts, and after they saw that Dumbledore was dead they left? All they did was break a few things and start a fire. That seems pointless and out of character. They were so eager to throw in a fight that didn’t happen earlier in the film, and now they cut one out that was actually kind of important? I’m just not sure of the reasoning behind this.
What are your thoughts after re-watching the movie? Let us know in the comments.
Since they added the Burrow scene at Christmas, I thought it would have been good if Bill had been there for the holiday and they could have shown him battling Greyback, at least that could have been the explanation as to how he got bitten.
I didn’t even think of that idea. That would have made more sense.
HBP is my least favorite film in the series due to all of the changes that were made, including the filmmakers trying to make it more of a romantic comedy. I totally agree that the Tonks/Lupin relationship really seemed like an afterthought. The “Attack on The Burrow” scene makes absolutely no sense, as you pointed out, and it still annoys me that they chose to add that battle scene, and took out the epic battle that took place in the corridors after Dumbledore’s death. That scene would have finally shown off everything that the D.A. learned from Harry in their fifth year (since the OoTP film also left out a lot of the battles in the Department of Mysteries). Speaking of Dumbledore, I wish the movie had included his funeral. In the book, the funeral showed just how widely respected Dumbledore was, even among the merpeople and centaurs, and it would have been good to include that. Another key Dumbledore scene that was missing–his meeting with the Dursleys at the beginning of the book. What a wonderful scene it was, and it would have been a great opportunity for them to infuse some natural comedy into what should have been a dark and rather humorless film. Why the filmmakers chose to replace that scene with the one of Harry in the subway station boggles my mind. And, finally, I really, REALLY wish we’d actually seen more of Voldemort’s backstory in the film, including the Gaunt family and Tom Riddle’s exploits after he left Hogwarts. Including those bit from the books would have also introduced the individual Horcruxes to the audience, instead of throwing them in at the last possible minute in the final movie. All that being said, I do agree that Evanna Lynch and Freddie Stroma were two of my favorite things about the film–Evanna’s Luna is a delight, and Freddie completely embodied Cormac McLaggen, and it was nice to see Harry and Hermione’s friendship without Ron. But other than that, I still find myself mostly disappointed when I rewatch this film, and it was the first Harry Potter film that I was truly disliked when I walked out of the theater.
I completely agree with you. After it first came out I was so upset that I didn’t re-watch it for a long time. I didn’t actually enjoy watching it until now.
Totally agree that they should have included Dumbledore’s funeral!
I actually loved Half-Blood Prince so much, I think I saw it three times in theaters. The soundtrack was a big part of it, but I also didn’t feel like the romance took over so much as enhanced the storyline. I remember that one trailer that made the movie look like an awful romance, but the humor was great, and I love Romione so much that finally seeing them acknowledge their feelings for each other was super satisfying. I also especially enjoyed Tom Felton’s performance; seeing him crying in the bathroom brought tears to my own eyes as well.
I do completely agree with you that 1) Dumbledore + Dursleys > Harry + Muggle girl, 2) end-of-book battle > the Burrow battle (I’ve always thought it was so dumb that the Burrow was set on fire. When I first watched it, I thought, “Okay… where are they going to live? What’s going to happen in the first part of the seventh movie?” and now that the last two movies have been released, it’s just like, “Okay… how did they completely rebuild it and make it look exactly the same with all their stuff in six months?” Hmmmmm), and 3) that any scene with Slughorn in it (barring the fish/Lily/”the bowl will remain empty” bit) is pretty hilarious.
I just want to mention one thing, you ask “Okay… how did they completely rebuild it and make it look exactly the same with all their stuff in six months?”, seriously, you ask this question?. . .this is your problem with he film? THEY had wands, THEY are wizards. .. ..that wasn’t the problem. . . the problem was the Burrow was protected by every protection a wizard could magic up and yet it was attacked. . . .how? Total betrayal from the story. . ..the cut 50% of the story from the book, but felt it was allowable to insert a scene that makes no sense? Yates was a hack. . ..he botched the final 3 films. .. . . and that is so regrettable . .
Magic can’t solve or create everything (exceptions to Gamp’s law), and even so, it takes time. No need to be rude.
The only thing I love from that film is FelixFelicis!Harry. Otherwise, the film is a complete mess and IMO an insult to the book
I can’t get over the fact that sixth film completely cast aside Remus and Tonks’ relationship!!! I absolutely love them as a couple and how JRK wrote their relationship is so heartbreaking and beautiful. What makes me so sad that we don’t see it in the films and even the actors were disappointed. David and Nat were perfect as Remus and Tonks for me and I think they had brilliant chemistry so all I can say is WHY their story was cut off!?! :((((
Text corrections: JKR of course. 🙂 And I meant actors were disappointed because their parts were cut/changed compared to the books.
i was very disappointed in the sixth film there was alot of crucial parts missing like for ex the potions book was just throwen aside in the film but in the book harry placed it specificly not to mention all the stuff people have already stated the funeral
Lets face it, OotP, HBP and DH were horribly botched movies. . . .. Yates should have been fired after OotP, or better yet, during the filming. . . rehashing a badly told story isn’t really worth the time- so I won’t list my problems with this particular film . . . the books deserved a lot better. . .also, Slughorn was not cast correctly . . . he was nothing like who I pictured from the books. . . . they spent almost a $ BILLION making the final 3 films and it was a colossal waste of time. . . . I regret having to post this.
I agree your comment with Yates (and partly the screenwriter too), because I cannot forgive him for how he downsided two of my fav. characters completely. It’s not that I expected them to be in a big role of the films, of course not, it’s how they’re showed in them.
Indeed secondary character are important in Jo’s books. I think that’s what makes HP so popular is that everyone can find a character whether its major or small part and immerse into their lives in Jo’s created world.
As for Slughorn I personally liked Jim’s performance as him. 🙂 In general I’ve always thought that casting, sets, costumes etc. were brilliantly done in all Potter films… directing and scripts in films 5-7 is another story.
While I dont love the films and the way it tells well everything, I do kinda like that the Burrow Burning gives Mrs. Weasly’s a personal reason for well killing Bellatrix in the movie canon…
The one scene you forgot was Spinners End. That scene was so important to the whole book because it seemed to set an ominous tone. I kind of feel it was botched horribly. And poor Narcissa and that disgusting hair.
First time I saw HBP, I felt the same way most fans seem to do, that they missed out so much and it strayed too much from the book. However, I re-read the series this summer and re-watched the movies one by one as I progressed, and I think I see it now. They did the best they could, they couldn’t possibly please the HP fans entirely, so they seem to have chosen to give up that ambition and just done their own thing. They focused on making an entertaining movie, and I think I’m okay with that. Now, the books is one story for me, and the movies is another.
I personally think there was no point in cutting out Merope’s story. A large part of the book was concerned with figuring out the tale of Tom Riddle through memories. The movies completely skipped Riddle’s story and there was almost no explanation for his motives behind chasing immortality. How did he transform from Tom Riddle to Voldemort? Merope’s story was fantastic and I actually thought that they would extend it in film. The scene when Voldemort met Dumbledore in his office asking for an appointment as a DADA teacher was a very very iconic scene of the entire series. It showed Voldemort and Dumbledore – Pure evil and the only person standing in his way – in discussion regarding Voldemort’s career path. But these iconic plot points were simply missing from the movies.
The lack of a battle makes me irrationally angry. It’s my least favorite of the films.
RON RON RON RON RON RONNNNNNN. And his ARMS. RAWR.
He was such an idiot with Lavender, and I wish that the movie had at least allowed him to explain why he was being such an idiot – that he was embarrassed and angry that everyone else was making out with each other and being all hormonal – or at least kept Ginny’s lines in the movie, when she yelled at Ron for being such a prudish prude.
But still. My god, Rupert looks TASTY in HBP.
(Also – I v much liked this recap! Your ability to find the perfect gifs and Slughorn memes are top notch.)
I read somewhere that they skip the battle at the end because it would be monotone (or thats what they thought) to include a battle in this movie and in the folling movie(s) :/
Personally I enjoy it more than OOTP (No hate please)
And to be honest, HBP is the one with the trailer that gave me the biggest chills when i saw it. 😀
*following movie(s) xD
I hated the movie – hated, hated, hated, hated what they did to the books. What was the reason for changing the story so drastically? I mean I can understand when you make a book into a movie, you have to make changes but in this complete series, they have made Harry into an absolute wimp – WHY? If you hate the main character so much, don’t make this book into a movie.
Snape: “Oh yeah btw I’m the Half Blood Prince lol. No big deal, it’s only the fucking title of the book.”
I love the movies, because well they’re the HP movies. But I was left wanting especially in HBP because the book had such amazing back stories and really dove into the minds of tons of the characters, but we barely saw anything played out on screen. It was very much “skimming the top” of the book.