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Film: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

This is beyond anything I have imagined.
Albus Dumbledore

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is the sixth Harry Potter film, released in 2009.

The Ministry has finally accepted that Voldemort is back, but that's not really making the situation any better. With everyone terrified, obviously unjustifiable arrests, and misinformation still being printed, just in the other way, and events play out to show that the Ministry can't really stop Voldemort in its current form.

But while those events linger over the plot, the action stays fully grounded at Hogwarts. Harry learns more about Voldemort's Back Story, becomes increasingly suspicious of Snape's loyalty and discovers an old potions textbook annotated with powerful spells and useful notes from its previous owner who identifies himself only as "The Half-Blood Prince". Draco Malfoy is tasked with something by Voldemort himself; and wacky romantic hijinks ensue for everyone.

It is notably the first movie since POA to be rated PG, which is very strange, considering Dumbledore dies in the movie. However, its rating didn't stop it from becoming yet another critical and commercial success, achieving several Academy Award nominations and becoming the second highest-grossing movie of the year (behind Avatar). Hell, even the soundtrack got praise and was even up for a Grammy Award.

Followed by the final story, which was split into two films: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, parts 1 and 2.

Tropes exclusive to this film:

  • Adaptation Explanation Extrication: Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge is never shown to be directly dismissed. The Minister of Magic makes no appearance in the sixth movie and the seventh just puts a new Minister in office without explanation, except for the small fact that one of the headlines seen at the end of the fifth film reads "Minister to resign?"
    • The scene where Dumbledore explains what the Horcruxes might be is cut.
  • Almost Kiss: Harry and Ginny in The Burrow, before the Death Eater attack.
  • Artistic License - History / Artistic License - Geography: Despite being set in 1996-97, they manage to destroy the Millennium Bridge, which wasn't started until 1998.
  • Ascended Extra: Ginny, who goes from minor character to a rather vital person in Harry's life. A common complaint of the book is that this happens too much in a "tell, don't show" manner, so the film tries to temper this by giving her more individual scenes with Harry.
  • Big "Shut Up!": Harry tries to call a Quidditch tryout to order. He isn't quite loud enough, so Ginny intervenes with a very helpful "SHUT IT!"
  • Captain Obvious:
    Ron: It's just... you can't break an Unbreakable Vow!
    Harry: I worked that part out myself, funnily enough.
  • Converse with the Unconscious: Played with hilariously. When Ron is unconscious from a poisoning, Lavender Brown (who he had been dating) rushes to his bedside. She starts to call his name, which causes him to stir...and croak out Hermione's name. Cue Lavender running away in tears, while Hermione takes her place sitting by Ron. After Ron recovers, he thinks that this was just a dream and has no idea why Lavender is angry with him.
  • Creator Cameo: Early on in the movie - the knitting magazine Dumbledore asks Slughorn he can keep for the knitting patterns - that's J. K. Rowling on the cover.
  • Creepy Child: Tom Riddle, but especially so in the movie (which works really well, seeing it's the nephew of the guy who plays him as an adult!). A good example - in both the book and the movie Dumbledore sets Tom's collection of trophies he's stolen from the other orphans on fire to both show him he's not lying and (attempt to) teach him a lesson. Book Tom's reaction to a bonfire erupting in his room is awed shock and a bit of fake apology. Movie's Tom's reaction is an undeniably giddy smile. <shudder>
  • Demoted to Extra: Tonks and Lupin only appear in one scene despite having a sub-plot in the book.
  • Dramatic Curtain Toss: Every time Draco goes to the wardrobe. It gets silly after a while.
  • Everyone Can See It: Ron and Hermione, even more so than in the book. Ginny lampshades it in the infirmary scene when leaving Ron and Hermione alone and says, "About time, don't you think?", which also doubles as a huge hint from herself to Harry.
  • Fingertip Drug Analysis: Dumbledore checking the blood at Slughorn's house.
  • Foreshadowing: Harry has a brief reaction to the ring foreshadowing the fact that Harry himself is a Horcrux. This, and other subtle hints towards the events of Deathly Hallows, are due to the fact that this was the first script written where the writers knew how the series ended.
    • When the trio sit down at the Three Broomsticks, Hermione orders three butterbeers "And put a little ginger in mine".
  • For the Evulz: Presumably the only reason the Death Eaters torch the Burrow.
  • Gilligan Cut: Played for laughs when Harry and Hermione are discussing their date choices to Slughorn's Christmas party:
    Harry: I'll invite someone I like. Someone cool.
    (cut to Luna Lovegood waiting for Harry in her Jane Jetson dress)
  • Hide Your Pregnancy: Helena Bonham-Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange) was pregnant, but it would have thrown a major wrench into the plot for Bellatrix to appear pregnant. So she spends the film wearing a loose costume and hiding behind the furniture, especially in the Unbreakable Vow scene.
  • Intoxication Ensues
    • Harry, after imbibing some Felix Felicis
    • Hermione seemed to be feeling some effects from drinking butterbeer in the Three Broomsticks.
    • Ron on love potion.
  • Karma Houdini: Harry, just in the movie. In the book, Harry gets detention for the rest of the year for casting sectumsempra on Draco. In the film, there is no punishment, despite Harry getting in trouble for comparatively minor things in previous movies.
    • Fridge Brilliance: Because it changes his motivation for getting rid of the Half-Blood Prince's book. In the book, it's the selfish motivation of not wanting Snape to confiscate it, in the movie, however, it's the far more noble reason of not wanting anyone (not even himself) to be tempted by the dark magic in the book.
  • Last Minute Hookup: A carry-over from the novel; the movie rectifies this a bit by expanding Ginny's screen time and giving her more scenes alone with Harry, but in the end it can still come across as this.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Not very villainous, but Slughorn's stubbornness about handing over the memory is fixed by the fact that he awarded Harry the Felix Felicis.
  • No Ontological Inertia: In a brilliant bit of Adaptation Expansion, the movie uses this to discuss Slughorn's relationship with Lily Potter.
    Slughorn: I once had a fish... Francis. He was very dear to me. One afternoon, I came downstairs and... it vanished. Poof.
    Harry: Poof.
    Slughorn: It was a student who gave me Francis. One day I came down to my office, and there was a bowl with only a few inches of clear water in it. And there was a flower petal floating on the water. Before my eyes it started to sink, and just before it hit the bottom, it transformed into a wee fish. It was a beautiful piece of magic, wondrous to behold. The flower petal was from a lily. The day Francis disappeared was the day your mother... (starts crying)
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Trust Luna to attend a Christmas party in a dress that looks like the lovechild of a Christmas tree and a wedding cake.
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: Of a sort. This marks the first time Bonnie Wright is listed in the main credits instead of just on the list of cast members. Funnily enough, she's still listed among other actors in a list while Timothy Spall's name gets the screen to himself for a while despite only being in the film for six seconds.
  • Red Herring: The girl who hits on Harry in the diner. This was just put in for the movie, and has no relevance on the plot.
  • The Reveal: By Snape, oddly enough.
    Snape: You dare use my early spells against me, Potter? Yes... I'm the Half-Blood Prince.
  • Rule of Funny: For much of the film, theaters were cracking up — at least until the final scenes.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Dumbledore apparates with Harry from the top of the astronomy tower, something it was repeatedly pointed out in the books was impossible.
    Harry: But, Sir - I thought we weren't allowed to apparate on Hogwarts' grounds.
    Dumbledore: Well, being me...has its privileges.
    • In the book, Harry and Dumbledore walk into Hogsmeade, passing the Three Broomsticks as they go. There are book-only plot ramifications for this, but that plot ( Draco has the barmaid Rosmerta under the imperious curse - she passed the necklace to Katie, poisoned the mead intended for Dumbledore, and alerted Draco that Dumbledore had left Hogwarts that night,) was dropped from the film.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: At one point, Cormac is shown leaning down out of camera shot and vomiting on Snape's shoes.

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