I just spent the last week re-reading the five books, (Ah, teacher’s summer vacation!) as well as listening to audio files of four books. And I have a whole SLEW of questions and speculations… if anyone cares to share?
Whatever happened to Harry’s maternal grandparents? According to Aunt Petunia, both her parents were still alive when Lily was accepted into Hogwarts and were ‘very proud’ of her. Yet by the time Harry was born, they were dead, and Harry had no other living relatives. (Which is a real shame, since they seem very supportive of Lily.) This also raises questions about James Potter’s wizarding parents. Are all these (apparent) deaths somehow significant? Somehow linked?
My guess is that the “Half-blood prince” is a not an established character, but a brand new personality, since every title introduces new things, events, organizations we’ve not seen before. (So, no Hagrid as prince. But I’d be delighted to be wrong!)
There was a throwaway line in OotP that when the breakout at Alkaban occurred, it was so dangerous a situation that Muggle authorities had to be alerted that Dark wizards were on the loose in England. It seems that the highest levels of Muggle government are aware of the existence of the wizarding world. It might also be true that the monarchy knows of wizards, too, and that the half-blood prince is of British royalty - maybe even a fictional pastiche of prince William or something.
My hope is the prince is a vampire – vampires being the only major magical creatures not really discussed yet in the series. It seems dumb to omit them.
Assuming it IS an established character, my three guess is that the 'half-blood prince" is:
[spoiler]1) The Bloody Baron. You can be a titular baron and actually BE a prince. Besides the obvious “blood” connection, think about it: why is it that Slytherin’s ghost remains the only supporting character we’ve not really heard from directly? Everything we know about the Baron comes from Nearly Headless Nick, who holds him in high regard. The Baron seems to be the Top Ghost at Hogwarts. Obviously he must be fairly formidable if he can control Peeves the poltergeist. What’s his relationship with Draco Malfoy and the other Slytherins? What was his relationship to Voldemort when the Dark Lord was in school?
Albus Dumbledore. No, he doesn’t seem like nobility, but let’s face it: I’ve read ‘Good-bye Mr. Chiops’ and he doesn’t seem like an English Boarding School Headmaster either. Plus we have little idea what nobility means to the wizarding world. But the half-blood thing is interesting, Doesn’t it strike anyone odd that two of the most powerful wizards we’ve seen so far: (Harry and Voldemort) are actually half-blood wizards? So why not Dumbledore?
Peeves. here’s a whacked out theory: Peeves is actually Prince Peeves, that he died a violent death thousand of years ago. Hogwarts is actually his castle, which he lent to Ravenclaw, Griffendor, Slytherin and Hufflepuff in the days of yore to build the school. It’s his ancient contribution that explains why no one can get rid of him. It’s Peeves’ half-Muggle ancestry that helped shaped Slytherin’s low opinion of Muggles.[/spoiler]
Speculation that Petunia Evans Dursley is a squib and thet Dudley is a half-bllod prince seem to be unfounded. I think she and Mr. Dursley are profoundly Muggle. I am curious however, how much exposure she’s had to the wizarding world --whether she’s ever been to Diagon Alley with Harry’s mother, shopping for school supplies, for example.
Exactly how old is the wandmaker, Mr. Ollivander? How do you suppose he got ahold of Fawkes’ feathers to make the cores of Voldemort’s and Harry’s wands?
The growing attraction between Hermione and Ron becomes a lot more apparent when you pay close attention to their interactions over the last five books, and see their bickering for what it is: hormonal adolescent flirting. Ron, above else, is awed by her intelligence and likes her looks. I don’t quite get the attraction Hermione has for Ron, though… although he’s clearly the tallest and funniest of the three with the strongest family ties (Percy notwithstanding), he’s awfully self-pitying at times. Hermione seems amused Ron has no clue how to deal with girls.
There was a thread not too long ago where we were debating whether wizards NEEDED their wands to do magic. I cited the Weasly’s twins prank charms as seemingly wandless magic, but other Dopers weren’t as convinced. But it was established by Professor Snape back in the first book that the creation of potions rarely needed a magic wand, and we learn in GoF that non-human magical creatures are prevented from using wands – that would seem to imply ghosts, goblins, house-elves, giants, dementors and whatever, too. So I was wondering – Is it societal disapproval because he didn’t finish Hogwarts, or wizarding law because he’s half-giant, that prevents Hagrid from practicing magic with his wand?
If I have any complaint about the series as a whole, it’s that J.K. Rowling has given Hermione the most short shift of the three lead chartacters when it comes to developing her Muggle home life and family background. Hermione’s parents – on the two occassions I’ve seen them referenced – don’t interact with anyone outside of maybe the Weasleys and that happens decidedly off-page. They don’t even have dialogue. When (if ever) do we get to see Hermione’s home life? Her Muggle home? How do they interact with other Muggles, explaining Hermione’s absences and abilities? How do they react to wizards? I’d love for Harry and Ron to visit, if only so Harry can see what a supportive Muggle home life is like. (Mr. Weasley would get a kick out of that, too.)