Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Themes

Themes

Honor and Dignity
In this book, Harry is now older and beginning to become wiser. Although he is no stranger to death, having lost his parents at a young age, he does not remember their deaths and is somewhat removed from the situation. However, when Dumbledore dies, he realizes that no one is immortal, not even the powerful wizard Albus Dumbledore. At the same time, while Harry learns that loss is part of life, he also learns that to fight with dignity and honor is better than not fighting at all. Dumbledore dies with dignity, for an honorable cause, in order to defeat Voldemort and protect his students. The Order of the Phoenix exists in order to protect and uphold good, similar to the Knights of the Round Table. Their cause is rooted in the very concept of honor.

As Dumbledore aptly explains, Trelawney’s prophecy that “neither can live while the other survives” is only applicable because Voldemort believed it, and thus acted on it. Harry feels he must also act to fulfill the prophecy, not because of the fact of the prophecy itself, but because he is honorable and good. Harry realizes that there is “the difference between being dragged into the arena to face a battle to the death and walking into the arena with your head held high." Harry will act with dignity, and that is the difference between him and Voldemort.

Friendship
As in all of the Harry Potter books, friendship is a prevailing theme. Harry’s friends are instrumental in helping him, and he in turn helps them. They always stick together and support one another. Harry worries that Ron and Hermione’s growing interest in each other will drive their threesome apart and ruin the friendship. He also hates being in the middle when Ron and Hermione have their falling out. At times there is a tenuous hold on the friendship, and Harry is worried that the friendship will suffer; however, Ron and Hermione manage to work through their issues and...

(The entire section is 762 words.)