One of the biggest twists in the history of literature, especially when it comes to today’s generation, is without a doubt the main theme of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Most of the fans understand who he was, but maybe you are still wondering why!
The Half-Blood Prince is none other than Severus Snape, the very own Hogwarts Professor, mostly hated or feared by his students. He alone chose this nickname that he kept secret – he combined his blood status and his mother’s maiden name Prince in order to find a new identity. This made him feel more powerful, especially since he was abused and bullied from an early age.
To find out the answers to more questions, to learn about the meaning and importance of the Half-Blood Prince, his identity, and the book itself, keep reading because this is a special one!
Who Is The Half-Blood Prince?
Snape was born to witch Eileen Prince and Muggle Tobias Snape, making him a half-blood, so he got the name, “Half-Blood Prince”.
As mentioned in the previous novel, this is unusual for a Death Eater, though Voldemort himself had a Muggle father.
Before leaving Hogwarts to assist Dumbledore in the quest for another Horcrux – a piece of Voldemort’s soul – Harry learns from Professor Trelawney that it was Snape who overheard the prophecy and informed Voldemort, resulting in Voldemort tracking down Harry and his parents.
About this, and despite Harry’s angry concerns, Dumbledore maintains his faith in Snape.
Since Harry obtained the half-blood prince’s book, there has been speculation among the trio (Harry, Ron, and Hermione) as to who the book belonged to.
While Harry assumed it belonged to a man, Hermione suspected it belonged to a witch. She had been right all along; the book belonged to Snape’s mother.
However, Snape revealed his identity as the Half-Blood Prince without explaining why he picked such a title for himself. He had selected the title when he was a teenager. He was unnoticed, and no one seemed to like him. And so he created this alter ego.
Severus Snape was an immensely powerful and knowledgeable sorcerer who had exceptional ability and expertise in a wide range of magical disciplines.
He had encyclopedic experience and proficiency in potions was exceptionally gifted in Legilimency and Occlumency, and was the only Death Eater capable of creating a Patronus.
Despite his enthusiasm for black magic, Snape had exceptional skills and abilities in shielding himself from it.
His encyclopedic knowledge of the dark arts may have played a role in this. Snape captivated the class at N.E.W.T rank, and even Harry Potter couldn’t help but be enchanted by his experience.
Severus grew up in Spinner’s End, a run-down Cokeworth suburb.
This section of town was by a filthy river and was full of ramshackle homes, abandoned warehouses, and broken street lamps. Severus returned there while he wasn’t at school for the remainder of his childhood.
The young Severus is seen to be unwashed and dressed in ill-fitting clothes that are “so mismatched that it seemed intentional.”
Severus was abused as a child, and his parents often argued. He couldn’t wait to begin his studies at Hogwarts at the end of the summer.
Severus’ potions textbook included a few spells and curses that he was credited with inventing, including Levicorpus, which grabbed the victim by the ankle and dangled him/her upside-down, and Sectumsempra, which caused slashing bloody cuts that bled profusely.
Levicorpus managed to escape Severus’s shadow, and by the end of his fifth year at Hogwarts, he had become quite popular.
Muffliato, which filled the ears of those nearby with an unidentifiable ringing sound, and another hex that forced toenails to expand at an unnaturally quick pace, were two other curses.
In September 1996, Harry Potter came into possession of Severus’ book. Harry followed the advice of the Half-Blood Prince and was praised by that year’s Potions master, Professor Slughorn.
Harry thought the Half-Blood Prince was a better instructor than Severus, oblivious to the fact that Severus was the Prince, much to Harry’s later chagrin.
Why Is Snape The Half-Blood Prince?
Snape came up with this nickname for himself when he was about 16 years old.
Many people used a similar nickname during their adolescent yearning to be something else and to more thoroughly inhabit the notion of being someone else.
It literally refers to the point in Tom Riddle’s life that he renounced his father and took on a new identity. Snape and Riddle have lived their childhood in a state of perpetual teen torment. It didn’t go well for any of them.
Snape was half-Princess because his mother’s maiden name was Prince, and he was a half-blood because his father was a muggle.
He never seemed to use it publicly; Lily Evans never referred to him as the Half-Blood Prince, and he must have introduced it before the start of his 6th Year.
The query of who this Prince was lingered and perplexed the reader.
Who was this Half-and-Half student, and what was his enigmatic name? Lupin informed us that aristocracy didn’t even exist in the magical world.
This was better for the reader than discovering the Philosopher’s Stone because we already understood what it was. Of Tom Riddle’s diary, which exposed itself, and maybe we readers were subjected to the same.
After rejoining Potions at the last minute of his N.E.W.T. year, Harry ended up with the second-hand Advanced Potion-Making copy.
Still, as Harry went on to claim, not many Death Eaters brag about their half-blood status. Or, for that matter, those who are in love with a Muggle-born.
Snape’s intricate title reflects his mixed feelings about wizarding heritage and the pure-bloodedness so beloved by Voldemort.
He still appeared to be on the fence between good and evil.
Why Is The Half-Blood Prince Important?
The writing in the potions books never revealed whether the Half-Blood Prince was evil or good.
It wasn’t as magical or as frightening as Tom Riddle’s Diary. It has an effect on Harry’s schoolwork as well. It didn’t help that Dumbledore was teaching Harry private “classes” this year.
We may have assumed that Dumbledore was the Half-Blood Prince as well. But Harry never got around to questioning Dumbledore.
The reader can recall that Harry never asked about Dumbledore’s personal life and that while Dumbledore was around, the attention was still on Harry.
In a sense, the potion being brewed foreshadows the much later exploration of personal chemistry between Lily and Snape.
The meaning, though, lies in the notion that neither Harry’s kin, let alone Snape, are ideal human beings. Midway into Book 5, Harry had already discovered Snape’s injured nature.
Snape accepts a job that is as lucrative and co-conspiratorial as anything he received from the Marauders.
While a romanticized Lily flits in and out of the frame, we see that she, too, had a dark confidant, and one who was not only formidable but also heroic in Snape. Harry’s relationship with the Half-Blood Prince is almost as significant as his friendship with Sirius.
Harry would remain perplexed and shaken after discovering that the mysterious Prince he had loved, and whose potions book had helped Harry succeed during his final year at Hogwarts, was also the one who sent Albus Dumbledore over the castle walls of the Astronomy Tower to the headmaster’s death.
Harry felt conflicted about his performance, which had come as a result of the inadvertent and indirect orders of the individual he despised the most in the world.
It would all come to an end with Harry’s final plunge into the Pensieve, where he would discover Snape’s undying love for Lily.
It would have such an effect on Harry’s perception of the Half-Blood Prince that he would later call one of his children Severus.
Why Is The Book Called The Half-Blood Prince?
However, Severus Snape’s character is one of the most powerful and fascinating in the game. Obviously, in The Philosopher’s Stone, you presume he’s the bad guy for the most part, but it turns out he’s been on Harry’s side the whole time.
After that, there are a few moments where his loyalty is called into question, but the truth of The Philosopher’s Stone holds you, Hermione, and even Harry and Ron happy.
Then, in The Goblet of Fire, you hear he was a Death Eater, and, of course, there’s Spinner’s End, which leaves a lot of questions unanswered.
Then he kills Dumbledore, and all seems to be confirmed. You are disgusted by him. It centers around determining who the Half-Blood Prince is.
Harry is getting so good at potions, and he’s learning from a stranger in a novel, when Tom Riddle may have improved a lot there.
We are always advised not to judge a book by its title, but in this case, many did.
Since we know their blood status as Half-Bloods, the audience truly believed Harry or Lord Voldemort is the Half-Blood Prince.
The Dark Lord’s status as the Half-Blood Prince was heavily influenced by his renowned ancestor Salazar Slytherin. Most assumed that anyone who entered Slytherin House would mark him as such.
J.K. Rowling was working on another huge reveal, which still makes us a little disappointed with her when you wonder at the end of the book if this is actually happening!
So, Lord Voldemort is latched behind Prof. Quirrel’s head, Tom Riddle is Lord Voldemort, and the Heir of Salazar Slytherin, Wormtail has been with us the whole time as Ron’s rat, and Sirius is innocent. Lord Voldemort returns to his body while Barty Crouch Jr. has been posing as Mad-Eye Moody the whole year, Dumbledore has been ignoring Harry since.
This was just another big twist, crucial to the rest of the story.
Snape’s persona has once been that of the “bad professor.”
Well, he was a secret agent who couldn’t be trusted, but she hadn’t really gone in-depth with the character until the fifth novel.
He turns out to be a crucial figure in the overall story, and the sixth book is meant to be a build-up to that.
Harry and Snape have always had a link. Mostly made with hatred. In the sixth novel, Harry unknowingly begins to believe the Half-Blood Prince simply because the book has aided him.
He goes from fearing Snape to trusting the Half-Blood Prince, learning of Snape telling Voldemort the prophecy, seeing him murder Dumbledore, and then discovering Snape was the Half-Blood Prince.
The sixth book focuses on Harry’s transition into a world without Sirius while learning as best as he can about Voldemort.
It is a unique account of Harry and Dumbledore’s friendship. And Dumbledore is the only one who knows the truth about Severus Snape, while Harry is obsessed with proving Snape is a traitor.
Dumbledore has also tasked Snape with a seemingly unwelcome and unbearable task: to assassinate Dumbledore.
At the conclusion of the season, it is discovered that it was just part of a larger plan to put things right. The sixth book is the point at which Snape becomes involved in the main storyline. He is the latest pivotal figure.
The only other new important character except Snape is Draco Malfoy. She could have named the book around him, but as they tell us in the book, Voldemort doesn’t even expect Draco to be able to kill Dumbledore. He is just a pawn.
What Is The Point Of The Half-Blood Prince?
In Half-Blood Prince, the fact is described entirely by interpretation rather than facts. This can be both a positive and a negative thing.
For example, when it comes to self-confidence, the influence of intuition may be beneficial: since Ron knows he drank the Felix Felicis and believes he is fortunate, he plays Quidditch like a champion.
In another example, we see how illusion will dangerously overwhelm the facts by love potions: Voldemort’s mother offering his father a love potion, Romilda trying to give Harry a love potion that Ron accidentally drinks.
The potency of such a potion is more sinister than it seems on the table.
When Snape murders Dumbledore, we see a huge example of interpretation distorting reality.
As readers, we view life through Harry’s eyes, and what Harry sees is Snape killing Dumbledore coldly. It also seems to Harry that Dumbledore begs him not to.
And when Harry discovers that the locket is false, it appears that his and Dumbledore’s efforts have been in vain.
That Dumbledore died in vain. Harry, on the other hand, has a narrow understanding of truth.
He is unaware of Snape’s Unbreakable Vow made to defend Malfoy. And, as we learn in Deathly Hallows, Snape’s murder of Dumbledore was just part of the scheme. Nothing is as it seems, particularly in Half-Blood Prince.
The idea of overcoming one’s history is central to Half-Blood Prince.
Characters in the series always suppress their memories out of guilt, anxiety, or pain. Harry has also suffered the loss of his parents, godfather, and even Cedric.
Harry is motivated to discourage the deaths of any more of his loved ones in the future by his acceptance of their deaths. Slughorn, on the other hand, reflects the pitfalls of avoiding the past, no matter how gloomy it might be.
Slughorn is set back by embarrassment. So he erases the recollection from his mind because he does not want to deal with those issues. He also leaves it invisible to Harry and Dumbledore. Harry has little chance of defeating Voldemort without this knowledge.
Half-Blood Prince differs from its counterparts in terms of both darkness and coming-of-age material. Moving past immaturity in both positive and negative forms is a recurring theme in the novel.
Although all of the characters struggle with love and the future, Harry’s lack of puberty is largely catalyzed by the presence of war.
Harry witnesses the death of the greatest sorcerer known to man, confronts the deadliest sort of sorcery in life, and learns his true destiny: to search and kill Voldemort’s Horcruxes.
In light of all of this, Harry learns who he is and what his intention is, which most adults cannot tell.
Meanwhile, Harry takes the requisite precautions to shield everyone he cares for by breaking his friendship with Ginny so that she does not become a trap for Voldemort.
Harry, more than anybody else, transforms from a furious, touchy youth in Order of the Phoenix to a man by the end of this novel, a transformation that would not have happened if the Wizarding World were at peace.
Such events will rob people of their youth, converting them into adults even earlier than predicted.