The Harry Potter series continues with the sixth instalment, ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’. ‘Half-Blood Prince’ deals with the realization that Lord Voldemort has dealt with horcruxes in a bid to cheat death and reign supreme over the wizarding world.
Along with this plot thread, we also start to see how Dumbledore is willing to use Harry and his “celebrity status” as the possible Chosen One to further his investigation into what he sees as artifacts of Voldemort’s youth.
‘Half-Blood Prince’ also gives us a final decision on the see-saw nature of Severus Snape’s allegiances, as he undertakes the Unbreakable Vow with Draco Malfoy’s mother, in order to complete Draco’s killing of Albus Dumbledore should he fail to do so himself. While very in line with his “double agent” role in the series, his story ultimately leads to the films defining moment, when Snape follows through with this on a weakened Dumbledore.
The rest of the film deals with the final realization that a young Tom Riddle used former, and now present again, Potions teacher Horace Slughorn to learn how to create Horcruxes, and how Dumbledore and Harry will need to eliminate those items in order to defeat Lord Voldemort in the end.
The second film from David Yates, ‘Half-Blood Prince’ succeeds due to the continuation of having a consistent vision from the same director as the previous film, ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’. As a result of this, ‘Half-Blood Prince’ is a stronger film than the story may have originally allowed. Essentially, this film is told to just further the story, and at times feels that is in place to just get us to the last story, which is split into two films.
Character development is a shining star in ‘Half-Blood Prince’, as Ron Weasley gets, and loses, his first girlfriend, which as a result finally forces Hermione Granger to come to terms with her feelings for Ron, something that fully plays out during the next film. We also see Dumbledore come to terms with his mortality, the way that Snape is seemingly torn by his role as a Death Eater, and that Harry is growing more and more into is role as the most important wizard of his age as he takes on more responsibility throughout the film.
In the grand scheme of things, ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’ suffers overall from its place in the series, but is saved by the continued vision of David Yates who directs the last four films in the series, and also from strong character development.
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