Monday, July 07, 2014

From Page To Screen (72) Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

This week on From Page To Screen I'll be tackling Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling.

First let's discuss the book. 
Here is a bit of back story in case some of you aren't familiar with the novel. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is written by Author J.K. Rowling. The book was originally released July 16, 2005 by Scholastic (US) and Bloomsbury (UK). Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince follows Harry in his sixth year at Hogwarts.

Fun Fact: When The Half Blood Prince was released it was averaging 250,000 sales an hour making it the fastest selling book in history.


Let's take a look at some of the characters

Main Protagonists
Harry Potter- A 16 year old boy in his 6th year at Hogwarts. Even though Harry was famous before he even knew he was a wizard, He steers clear of special treatment, flattery, and praise. Harry strives to live a normal wizard's life even amongst the chaos his life as The Boy Who Lived brings. Harry is very loyal to Dumbledore and also his friends. He also is courageous which sometimes leads him into difficult situations.

Ron Weasley- Ron is the youngest brother of the Weasley clan. Although Ron grew up poor he was deeply loved by his family. However his poverty is a source of contention and he is prone to outbursts of anger when teased about his tattered robes and hand me downs. Ron is a pure blood but doesn't let that status go to his head. Like Harry, Ron is also very loyal to his friends and family. 

Hermione Granger- Hermione is a Muggle born wizard yet despite this she is top of her class at Hogwarts. Hermione is very self confident and loves to learn, her hand perpetually in the air during class. In addition to being highly intelligent, Hermione is also the more cautious of Harry’s friends, constantly challenging his quick thinking and lack of foresight.  While Hermione doesn't always approve Ron and Harry's actions she always stands by them out of love and loyalty.

Other Noteworthy Characters
Horace SlughornThe newly recruited Professor of Potions at Hogwarts. Slughorn is obsessed with making the acquaintance of potentially powerful and influential young wizards. He hosts weekly parties in his room, inviting only select students known as the “Slug Club.”Although Slughorn’s intentions are usually good, and his behavior is almost always harmless, he has extreme difficulty seeing past his own needs and desires.   

Albus Dumbledore - Headmaster of Hogwarts, Dumbledore is an extraordinarily powerful, wise and trusting wizard. Dumbledore is openly dedicated to using his powers to serve the greater good and will readily risk his own life to preserve the happiness of others, especially that of Harry.

Main Antagonist
Bellatrix Lestrange - Blood-thirsty and a fiercely loyal servant to Lord Voldemort, Bellatrix Lestrange is a deranged, deadly witch.

Now let's discuss the movie
In case some of you aren't familiar with the film, here is a bit of back story. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince was directed by David Yates and was released July 6, 2009 by Warner Bros. Pictures. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince cost $250 million to create and went on to make over $930 million worldwide making it one of the Highest Grossing films of all time. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince was received very well by Critics and viewers alike. At the time Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince  broke the then-record for biggest midnight showings, making $22.2 million in 3,000 cinemas, until the new record was held by The Twilight Saga: New Moon with $26.3 million.

Fun Fact: Apart from the point at which Harry and Dumbledore first arrive and the island formation on which everything inside the cave happens, the set is entirely virtual, designed in the computer.


Major Differences Between The Book Film
BookFilm
Dumbledore comes for Harry at Privet Drive as he had pre-arranged in a letter, having a cup of tea and conversing with the Dursleys.Harry spots Dumbledore waiting outside a train station for him. The Dursley's do not appear.
The attack on Diagon Alley is mentioned only briefly in passing wherein we learn Ollivander and Florean Fortescue were kidnapped by Death Eaters.The attack is shown in full  but only Ollivander is seen captured. It was confirmed later by PotterCast that Florean Fortescue was murdered offscreen.
Corneleus Fudge is seen discussing all the murders, hurricanes, and bridge collapses that have been going on to the Muggle Prime Minister. We also see him stepping down as Minister of Magic and being replaced by Rufus Scrimgeour.Much of this was omitted although we do see mention of the appointment of Rufus Scrimgeour briefly in a copy of the Daily Prophet.
When Harry is petrified on the train by Draco Malfoy it is Nymphadora Tonks who rescues him. Luna finds Harry petrified on the train using her Spectrespecs.
Harry, Ron, and Hermione are the only Gryffindor students shown taking Slughorn's N.E.W.T. Potions class.Dean Thomas, Seamus Finnigan, Neville Longbottom, Padma Patil, Lavender Brown, Romilda Vane and Katie Bell are seen as well.
Slughorn mentions that the Felix Felicis potion lasts for twelve hours, and that the one who takes it will be lucky at every endeavor from dusk to dawn. .Slughorn mentions that the one who takes it will succeed at every endeavor until its effects wear off, with no mention made of exactly how long it lasts.
While in Honeydukes, Slughorn chastises Harry for missin his "Slug Club supper parties. Slughorn invites him to an upcoming one but Harry declines saying he needs to meet Dumbledore that day. Since Dumbledore wants Harry to become acquainted with Slughorn, Harry readily accepts the Invitation to his supper party once offered.
During Christmas, Percy arrives at the Burrow with Rufus Scrimgeour. This is omitted.
We learn Dobby works in the kitchen of Hogwarts and that him and Kreacher have been keeping track of Draco's movements for Harry.This information is omitted.
Lavendar sees Hermione and Ron descending the boys dormitory staircase together and assumes they'd been together (Harry was present but under the Invisibility cloak). This is how Lavendar and Ron breakup. Ron mutters Hermione's name while unconscious at the hospital wing with Harry, Hermione, Lavender, Ginny, Dumbledore, McGonagall, Pomfrey, Slughorn, and Snape present, and Lavender runs off in tears.
After Harry uses Sectumsempra on Draco, Snape gives Harry detention for it.This is omitted.
Harry (hidden under the invisibility cloak) and Dumbledore walk till they reach the Hog's Head in the village of Hogsmeade, from there they Disapparate to the cave. Harry and Dumbledore disapparate from the Astronomy Tower in Hogwarts..
After swimming from the rock they arrive on to the cave entrance; Dumbledore sits and ponders how to access the hideout.After reaching the cave entrance Dumbledore promptly cuts himself and tells Harry that payment must be made to enter.
When returning from the cave, Harry and Dumbledore appear on High Street in Hogsmeade, where they encounter Madam Rosmerta(absent from the film), who warns them that the Dark Mark has appeared over the Astronomy Tower. Harry and Dumbledore borrow her broomsticks and head up there. Harry and Dumbledore Apparate directly back to Hogwarts. There is a dark, uneasily tranquil feeling conveyed as views of various parts of the school are shown, as though something bad would happen at any moment. However, the Dark Mark is not cast over the school until later.
After Dumbledore falls we see Bellatrix and other Death Eaters battling against students and staff. After Dumbledore falls we see Bellatrix gleefully smashing windows and other glass objects in the Great Hall. The castle appears to be deserted except for one Auror on duty, who Snape jinxes out of the way.
Snape reveals that he is in fact the Half Blood Prince. He called himself this because his mother was a muggle, and her maiden name was Prince. So he was a half wizard half muggle by the name of Prince.This is boiled down to one line wherein Snape says, "I am the Half Blood Prince".

Well that about wraps up this weeks From Page To Screen. I'm sure I could easily nitpick the differences but instead chose to focus on those which were most noticeable to me when viewing the film. So which do I prefer? You know, I love the film, it's brilliantly shot, superbly acted and of course seeing certain events on screen really hit me in the feels and yet, I think I like the book just a smidgen more. So many details were omitted for time and while normally I don't mind this, I think the book would've been better served cut into 2 parts to cover them all instead of missing some really great moments for times sake. Definitely check out the film if you haven't seen it already and of course read the book, it is brilliant!

Still not convinced? Check out the trailer below!
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Well that about wraps up this weeks From Page To Screen. Have a recommendation for an upcoming From Page To Screen, let me know in the comments below!

Have you read the book or watched the film? 
Which did you like better? Why? 
What is your favorite quote or scene from The Half Blood Prince?

Leave your answers in the comments below, I love to read your responses. Like what you see? Please share!

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