Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

From Academic Kids

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is the soon-to-be-released sixth installment in the Harry Potter book series written by J. K. Rowling.



Bloomsbury (United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada etc)
Scholastic (United States etc)


A hidden letter placed on Rowling's web site on 20 December 2004 revealed that the latest book has been completed and that her publishers would announce the release date. On 21 December 2004, Bloomsbury and Scholastic jointly announced in a press conference that the book would be published in the United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States, Canada, Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand on 16 July 2005.

Here is the transcript of Rowling's announcement:

I know you all expected this to happen on Christmas day, but I was sure that those of you who celebrate Christmas have better things to do on the day itself than to fight your way into my study, whereas those of you who DON'T celebrate Christmas would definitely prefer not to wait until the twenty fifth so…
"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" is COMPLETED and has been delivered to my English language publishers, who hope to announce the publication date within 24 hours.
Although I have joked about HP&THBP racing my third baby into the world, I have in fact had all the time I needed to tinker with the manuscript to my satisfaction and I am as happy as I have ever been with the end result. I only hope you feel that it was worth the wait when you finally read it!

Known details of content

From J. K. Rowling's official website (August 16, 2004):

[He] looked rather like an old lion. There were streaks of grey in his mane of tawny hair and his bushy eyebrows; he had keen yellowish eyes behind a pair of wire-rimmed spectacles and a certain rangy, loping grace even though he walked with a slight limp. [1] (http://www.mugglenet.com/jkrcom/jkrdooropening2.shtml)

Rowling also released three chapter titles on her official website on October 31, 2004: Chapters two, six, and fourteen will be called "Spinners End", "Draco's Detour", and "Felix Felicis", respectively. She has not yet explained the meaning or significance of these chapters. [2] (http://www.mugglenet.com/jkrcom/jkrdooropening3.shtml)

Rowling has also said on her website that throughout the novel, Harry will be pondering Neville's relation to the prophecy. The conclusion will be that destiny is still down to choices.


On jkrowling.com (http://www.jkrowling.com) from June 2004, the author of the series responded to many recurrent rumours, creating a clearer picture for fans of where the series will not go in the next two books.

The Half-Blood Prince

J. K. Rowling announced in the title confirmation message that the Half-Blood Prince referred to in the book's title is neither Harry nor Voldemort. As J. K. Rowling's notorious for playing with words, some even suggested Tom Riddle was a candidate, arguing that he has already been referred to separately from "Voldemort" in the books. However, this was dispelled by Rowling.

There has been wide speculation about the identity of this character, with suggested names including every male character of any significance whatsoever in the books. Another rumour is that the Half-Blood Prince is Felix Felicis, one of the chapter titles that Rowling announced on her website.

The character Mark Evans—mentioned briefly at the beginning of Order of the Phoenix—had also been suggested, largely because Lily Potter's maiden name was "Evans" and fans could not believe that his name could be a coincidence. Rowling responded to this (http://www.jkrowling.com/textonly/faq_view.cfm?id=49) by saying his name is simply a coincidence and he will not play a significant part in the story.

Following her appearance at the Edinburgh Book Festival it was reported on Mugglenet that Rowling revealed to two separate attendees that Hagrid is not the HBP.

Such rumours are unlikely to be quelled until the publication of the book, as Rowling has indicated she will reveal no more information on the character.

Assistant Professor of Defence Against the Dark Arts

A rumour was that Dumbledore will make Harry Assistant Professor of Defence Against the Dark Arts, infuriating Snape. Malfoy is maybe even more furious, since it was Harry who put his father in prison.

Rowling responded: "I'm not sure I see Harry in an academic career, he's seen so much action."

New Minister for Magic

Rowling has said that there will be a new Minister for Magic. The most popular candidate among fans was Arthur Weasley until she contradicted this possibility in her Web site. After this dismissal most fans believe that Amelia Bones will become the next Minister.

Romance for Harry

Missing image
Valentine teaser image from Bloomsbury's site

On February 14th (Valentine's Day), a secret teaser image appeared in Bloomsbury's site's Harry Potter section [3] (http://bloomsbury.com/harrypotter/). It was accessible by clicking on the "14" tab in the site's calendar graphic, and depicted a heart with an arrow going through it, Harry's name on one side and a concealed name on the other side.

This obviously suggests romance for Harry, and, naturally, fans are curious as to the identity of the shadowed person. As the issue of Harry's eventual girlfriend is heavily speculated about and discussed as it is, the speculation resulting from this teaser was essentially nothing new—suggesting mostly the three girls most commonly theorised to fill that role (Ginny, Hermione, and Luna).

Missing image
The same image, brightened and contrasted by means of a graphic editor

Determined to figure the image out, some persistent fans have used graphic software to maximize the image's brightness and contrast, revealing the leftmost part of the overshadowed text to be a curve. It could reasonably belong to any of several letters, or perhaps a question mark.

This did little to identify the mysterious hidden text, or even to rule out any candidates, since all theories are dependent on how the names are represented. The meaning of the image presently remains unclear. This fits in with another common theory—that the image was released for the sole purpose of stirring up speculation and hype. To this end, the shadow may even hide something completely trivial (such as a question mark, or the name of Cho Chang).

Other information

  • This book, Rowling has stated, will be almost part one of a two-part book, with the second half being book seven. The war has begun and the saga is now moving toward the ultimate confrontation. However, this does not mean that the book will not be a complete story in and of itself.
  • There will be a new character called McClaggan; role and occupancy remain unknown. He might be the new Minister of Magic, new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, etc. Or, he may have a very insignificant role; no one besides Rowling and the editors from the publishers know at this time. (However, she has stated that she had heard the name and decided that she needed to incorporate it, which, considering that she has had the entire series planned out before-hand, points to his being a minor character, possibly a random student.)
  • Grawp, Hagrid's giant half brother, will be more controllable, as revealed by Rowling.
  • There will be a Hogwarts graveyard that will play an important part in the story, as Alfonso Cuarón mentions [4] (http://www.halfbloodprince.info/story/graveyard.cfm)
  • A Bloombury insider has recently given information that the excerpt that was revealed on JKR's website is in the chapter Felix Felicis, also something that was revealed to Potter fans as a chapter title.
  • It can be assumed that Harry will make it into Advanced Potions somehow, since the newly released adult cover has a book on it titled Advanced Potion Making.
  • On the complete childrens cover various pictures are displayed including a ring, boat, fountain and two people with their hands locked together in an arm wrestling stance.
  • The first printing by Scholastic for the sixth installment was reported to be 10.8 million. As of June of 2005, Amazon.com had already sold 620,620 pre-orders for the book, and Amazon.co.uk 260,000.

Rumours (Possible Spoilers)

  • On May 24, 2005, news sources reported that one particular character may die in the book. This rumour came about when in Bungay—where the book is being printed—there were a large number of £50 bets that that character would die in the next book. This BBC article (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/northamptonshire/4608999.stm) about a leaked copy of the book also mentions this rumour. There are also rumours that another particular character may die in this book.

External links

J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series:
Harry Potter and the ...
Philosopher's Stone book movie game
Chamber of Secrets book movie game
Prisoner of Azkaban book movie game
Goblet of Fire book movie  
Order of the Phoenix book movie  
Half-Blood Prince book    
Book Seven (as yet untitled) book    
Characters - Places - Translations - Related articles

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them | Quidditch Through the Ages | Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup

de:Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

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