With the penultimate novel in the saga—Half-Blood Prince—we know that things must become much worse before they can become better and reach resolution in the seventh and last novel. We should thus expect that it will be chilling in unmatched fashion, and I shall argue that it’s the scariest of them all! Let’s take an eerie walk through the dark corners of Half-Blood Prince, to places seemingly devoid of light or hope . . . .
Advanced Potions / Sixth Year N.E.W.T. Potions class
buy viagrastyle=”font-size: medium”>Professor Horace Slughorn
Lesson 1- Draught of Living Death – Preparation and brewing.
I– Using your herbology text book, One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi by Phyllida Spore, read, become familiar with, and pay special attention to the cautionary remarks for the following herbs:
Herb # 124 – Asphodel
Herb # 722 – Sopophorus Bean
Herb # 836 – Valerian Root
Herb # 874 – Wormwood
II– Read the instructions for brewing the potion The Draught of Living Death in Advanced Potion-Making by Libatius Borage beginning on page 10.
III Ponder these questions for class discussion:
1– Under what circumstances would it be acceptable or unacceptable to give this potion to someone?
2– What are the rights of the person who is given a dose of this potion?
3– What are the responsibilities of the person who makes this potion in order for another to use it?
4– What are the responsibilities of the person who gives a dose to someone?
5– Consider the following, unsubstantiated, times the Draught of Living Death was used & the results.
Juliet Capulet used this potion, brewed by Friar Laurence, in order to convince her family she was dead. The plan was to run off with her new husband, Romeo Montague. Alas, the plan backfired. Romeo received news of his brides death before a messenger arrived to inform him of the plan. Romeo raced to Juliet’s tomb and committed suicide. When Juliet awoke from the potion, she found her husband dead. Juliet was so grief struck she killed herself using the same knife Romeo had used to end his own life. Friar Laurence was never punished for the parts he played in this tragic story
So, if you sit around thinking, “What’s a typical pastor do to relax after Holy Week and Easter,” I’m going to guess your answer wasn’t “Spend time researching sermon ideas for the rest of the Easter season and spending a huge chunk of time reading through Cracked Magazine Online articles.” Now, if you substituted ‘nerd’ for ‘typical’ in the question, and then came up with the answer given, then you are either my wife or a fellow nerd yourself. 😉
Anyway, in reading through old articles on Cracked, I came across this one titled “6 Questions the Last Harry Potter Book Had Better (expletive) Answer” dated July 17, 2007. Just a few days before Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released. Hard to believe with the last installment of the movies coming out this summer that the final book was released 4 years ago this summer. It’s perhaps also embarrassing to remember the insane amount of time some of us spent on speculating about what would be in the last book. Of course, for a true nerd, substitute ‘downright proud’ for ’embarrassing’ in the previous sentence.
Thanks to The Torchonline where I saw a link to this article about a crucial scene change in Deathly Hallows Part 2. It concerns the death of Severus Snape. Seeing as Snape is a somewhat paradoxically beloved character in some quarters, this might be a huge change. However, the change apparently does have Rowling’s blessing. I won’t detail the changes here as there might be spoilers but feel free to follow the link to the article & come back & comment here.
Rather than go through all the events of this chapter, which continues the events of the previous one, I’ll hit on some highlights, because I know that Severus Snape will be the biggest focus of discussion.
We have a tour down Memory Lane, with the anguished and tearful Percy laying “across Fred’s body, shielding it from further harm,” refusing to let go of it, just as Harry refused to let go of Cedric’s body when he returned it from the graveyard. The chapter also includes spiders again, this time carrying Hagrid off to the Forbidden Forest, and Dementors and Voldemort in communion with Nagini in the Shrieking Shack.
This chapter should be renamed “Severus Snape Finally Makes Another Appearance” since we haven’t seen him since “The Seven Potters”. This is to be expected of course since throughout the series with a few exceptions, the reader is following Harry. For the most part in this novel, Harry is hunting for Horcruxes with his friends while Snape is performing his duties as headmaster of Hogwarts under Voldemort’s banner. Snape’s absence is still felt on a first reading of this novel because of his prominence in the sixth novel, whose title bears the nickname he gave himself as a young student. Continue reading
Sorry for the bad Steppenwolf take-off but it just played into my thoughts as I was reading an article over at The Torchonline. The Torchonline has a regular feature called Ask the Oracle. The latest one is a Harry Potter edition! Several questions are asked, one about Shirley Henderson the actress who has played Moaning Myrtle & one on whether or not J.K. Rowling has ever done a cameo in any of the HP movies. But it’s the last question they have that interested me the most.
“Q: In Rowling’s world-view, is one “destined” to be evil? It sure seems that way, since every single person that the Sorting Hat puts in Slytherine turns out to be evil…” The Oracle has a very extensive & thoughtful answer. I encourage you to check it out. Feel free to comment both at The Torchonline & also here. Enjoy!
Some time ago, a discussion sprang out of our Half-Blood Prince read-through about Snape’s love for Lily: is it a devoted, virtuous love that moved him to courageous self-sacrifice, or some sort of unhealthy, obsessive infatuation?
I think the discussion merits its own post. I’ve looked back to try to summarize all the arguments for and against, and it’s not easy to do. A lot of excellent points were made. I’m going to post the initial comment that sparked the discussion and make a few summary points, but it’s definitely best for you to go back to the read what’s already taken place. Conversation started here and also resumed here. Continue reading