Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
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A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince can be found here.

Still shaken by their run-in with the evil wizard Voldemort, Hogwarts students Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint), and Hermone Granger (Emma Watson) return for their sixth year of magical training. In his 'Potions' class, being taught by retired professor Horace Slughorn (Jim Broadbent), Harry is given a text that, according to the signature, once belonged to 'the Half Blood Prince' and sets out to find who it is. Meanwhile, Professor Snape (Alan Rickman) and Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) seem to be up to something together, and Professor Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) sets out to find what it is. Soon all their paths are about to cross, and the results will be disastrous.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2005) is the sixth book of the Harry Potter series written by British author J.K. Rowling. The novel was adapted for the screen by American screenwriter Steve Kloves. It was preceded by Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007) and followed by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011).

It is Professor Severus Snape. However, the movie does not explain why he calls himself as such. In the book, it is explained that he was the son of the witch Eileen Prince and of a Muggle named Tobias. Ashamed of the fact that he was not a pure-blood wizard, he tried to emphasize the fact that his mother was magical, referring to himself as the "Half-Blood Prince."

The books do not describe Lavender's appearance, and the only hint is given in the sixth book. When Harry returns from the Quidditch match, he sees Ron and Lavender (Jessie Cave) kissing and cannot fell whose hands are whose. This indicates that Ron and Lavender have the same skin tone. However, the third film was released before the sixth book, and the filmmakers were, therefore, not aware of this fact. In the third film Lavender (played by Jennifer Smith) has no lines and is never acknowledged as Lavender Brown, except in the credits.

Neither Katie (Georgina Leonidas) nor Romilda (Anna Shaffer) are shown in actual classes with Harry and his friends. As they are Gryffindors, they all eat lunch together (which is where we see Katie when she freaks out after seeing Draco), and it was established that they take Hogsmeade visits at the same time (which is where Katie was cursed). Romilda is seen in the Gryffindor common room and in the library, so it's possible that she just had a free period at the same time as Harry and Hermione. However, no explanation yet as to why Romilda is in the first session of the sixth year Potions class.

Only two memories (three, if you count Professor Slughorn's tampered and untampered-memories as separate) are shown in the film. The first one of a young Tom Riddle (Hero Fiennes-Tiffin) learning that he is a wizard, the second being the altered memory of Horace Slughorn, and the third being the real memory Slughorn provides Harry with, which has not been tampered with. The Gaunts, Hepzibah Smith and Tom Riddle's Defense Against the Dark Arts teaching post request are all omitted. They were included in the original script, but they were omitted because the director did not want to spend too much time on flashbacks as it "takes you out of the action of the movie" and stalls the movement of the plot.

In a new scene created for the movie, the Burrow is attacked by Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter) and Fenrir Greyback (Dave Legeno) during the Christmas break from Hogwarts. The scene was added in because the film's middle act would otherwise have had no action, plus it would show that there are no safe places anymore. The scene also helps develop the relationship between Harry and Ginny Weasley (Bonnie Wright) because, during the scene, Harry runs after Bellatrix and Ginny rushes to help him. Also, Remus Lupin (David Thewlis) and NymphadoraTonks (Natalia Tena) are featured in this scene, which establishes that they are a couple. Finally, the scene ends in a rather melancholic note given that the Burrow holds practically everything the Weasleys ever worked for. Since they were already quite impoverished, it adds to the darker tone of the movie.

Yes, Aragog's funeral scene is in this movie.

Dumbledore did indeed know about Voldemort's Horcruxes; he had already found two of them before he showed Harry the memory of Slughorn where Tom Riddle mentions them: the first was Tom Riddle's diary, which was already destroyed in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and the other was Riddle's black ring (which Riddle wears in that memory). Dumbledore had undoubtedly done a lot of research to find out how Voldemort could have become immortal. Since even Tom Riddle found out about Horcruxes with relative ease, it should not have been difficult for Dumbledore. So he did not need to see the memory to learn about the existence of Voldemort's Horcruxes themselves; he needed to see it so he could estimate how many Horcruxes Voldemort had made. This is suggested by Dumbledore remarking that seven was 'beyond everything he imagined'; in the book, he adds that no Wizard had ever been known to make more than two. In the memory, Riddle suggests splitting the soul in seven pieces as the best way to achieve immortality (seven being a magical number in the wizarding world); from this, Dumbledore derives that Voldemort has indeed split his soul into seven parts, and created six Horcruxes for the six parts that were split off. Another subtle hint is given when Dumbledore first meets Riddle in the orphanage; seven stones and a picture of the cave are seen in the room, as clues for Riddle's fondness of the number seven and the location.

What is a Horcrux?

As Professor Slughorn explains to young Tom Riddle, 'The Horcrux is an object in which a person has concealed part of their soul...so that [it] can be protected should you be attacked and your body destroyed. In other words, you cannot die.' The reasoning is that, as a piece of one's soul is anchored to an Earthly object, it prevents the remaining part of the soul from leaving the world of the living after death. As such, Voldemort was forced to exist as a non-corporeal being for years after his death, his soul "ripped from his body", being "less than a Ghost" according to his own description in the book. It's believed that Voldemort has split his soul into seven pieces and hidden them all. It's been Dumbledore's aim to find and destroy them all.

How does the movie end?

Having recovered another Horcrux pendant, Dumbledore and Harry return to the Astronomy Tower at Hogwarts. Weakened by the trial, Dumbldore tells Harry to get Snape and only Snape. Suddenly, footsteps are heard approaching, so Dumbledore orders Harry to hide on the lower floor as Draco enters the room, seemingly prepared to kill Dumbledore. Even egged on by Bellatrix LeStrange, however, Draco cannot bring himself to do it, so Snape casts the Avada Kedavra spell on Dumbledore, thus fulfilling his unbreakable promise. Bellatrix then proceeds to set the Great Hall and Hagrid's hut a afire but, when she turns on Harry, Snape stops her. 'He belongs to the Dark Lord,' Snape cautions and then reveals to Harry that he is the Half-Blood Prince, meaning that Harry has been trying to use Snape's own spells on him. Harry returns to the school where staff and students are mourning Dumbledore's death. Ginny comes forth to comfort a sobbing Harry, while everyone else raises their wands in tribute. In the final scenes, Harry reveals to Hermoine that the Horcrux pendant was a fake and contains only a letter signed by R.A.B., noting that he has taken the real Horcrux and intends to use it to kill Voldemort. Harry then informs them that he does not plan to return next year to Hogwarts and instead is going to seek out R.A.B., whoever he is, and help put an end to Voldemort. Ron and Hermoine remind him that they are his friends and offer their help.

Who is R.A.B.?

The identity of R.A.B. was a hotly-debated topic after the book came out and, of course, the truth is not revealed until the final book or, in this case, the final film. Rowling's comments on the matter are just as useful for the film as for the book: with very few exceptions, all the characters who appear in the final film are characters who have been previously introduced or at least referred to. R.A.B. is no exception, so if you pay close attention, this film gives you a clue you can use to figure it out. However, if you just have to know now, R.A.B. is Regulus Arcturus Black, brother of Sirius Black. This revelation was actually guessed well in advance of the publication of the final book, largely on account of foreign language translations. Unlike the other surnames, which are largely made up by Rowling, the name and color Black exists in all languages. Readers noticed that, when R.A.B. was translated, the B was the only letter that changed, and it invariably corresponded to each language's word for 'black.'

In the memory of young Tom Riddle at the orphanage, there was a picture of the cliffside on the wall. It is shown in a very brief shot when Dumbledore is in Riddle's room. This would be an important clue as to the location of the Horcrux. As Dumbledore says in the movie, the cave has "known magic"; since there is a Horcrux hidden, he has protected the place with magic charms. Perhaps Dumbledore has some way of detecting active magic, as the Ministry of Magic can detect underage wizards performing magic outside Hogwarts: the only thing he had to do was to search for traces of magic in places along the coast. The book explains that young Tom had been there once on a field trip with the entire orphanage; he had lured two children into the cave and scared them in some unspecified way. In the book Dumbledore also mentions that the Horcruxes are hidden in places that meant something to Riddle, so the cave would be a good pick as the place where Voldemort had maybe practised his first magic.

The obvious answer to this question is of course to watch The Deathly Hallows Parts I and II. For those who have not (yet) seen the movies: keep in mind that, in adapting the books to movies, the screenwriters have shown to be quite adept in bypassing entire parts from the book, while still passing essential information in creative ways. Good example is the omission of the character Dobby from each book since The Prisoner of Azkaban; Dobby's main purpose in the books is to relay important information, which is done in other ways in the movies. It did take some deviations from the book, as David Yates said that some of the events of the seventh and eighth film had an effect on the way the sixth film was written. This may refer to the lack of information Harry has, about the four remaining Horcruxes. For those who wish to get a few hints, there are a couple of developments that enable Harry to find and locate the remaining Horcruxes: (1) Through a chance encounter, Harry eventually finds out that Bellatrix Lestrange is extremely worried that her vault at Gringotts bank has been breached. With the help of Griphook the Goblin, who works at Gringotts bank, he deduces that this worries her, because a Horcrux is also stored there and she is afraid it was also stolen. (2) Harry's telepathic connection to Lord Voldemort still works. When the Dark Lord is worrying about one of his soul fragments, Harry may be able to see these thoughts. (3) The dark magic from the Horcruxes leaves traces that enable Harry to identify them.

This spell does indeed produce a green flash, as in all previous movies (and the books), but the scene in which it is used has an overall cyan cast, and this affects the appearance of the spell as well. The fact that the spell is still green, not cyan, can be more clearly seen in the IMAX version of the movie than in the 35mm version.

Yes, nearly the entire fight scene has been cut from this movie, and what hasn't been cut has been changed dramatically from the book. In the movie none of the Death Eaters, Aurors, teachers or Dumbledore's Army actually fight. This was done because the ending of The Deathly Hallows, the final novel, involves a very grandiose, epic battle at Hogwarts, and the filmmakers wanted to avoid the ending of this film being too similar to the ending of the final film.

Yes, the funeral has been cut. It was in the original drafts of the script but was eliminated. From a practical point of view, it would involve getting numerous people together including high profile actors (Imelda Staunton, Miranda Richardson etc) for a few seconds' screen time with no dialogue. The effects would be costly as Grawp, the centaurs and the mermaids feature prominently. Instead, the students are shown giving a tribute at the end and the bit afterwards with Harry, Ron and Hermione takes place in a tower. It was therefore never even filmed. David Yates told in an interview, that the funeral scene was removed as it was believed it did not fit with the rest of the film.

Unfortunately, the only sequence shown in IMAX 3D is from the beginning until Harry arrives at the Weasleys' home. After that, everything is non-3D.

Christian Coulson actually did express interest in returning to his role as Riddle. However, the filmmakers felt he was too old for the part, as he is now nearing age 30. Still, this seems kind of a strange decision as Shirley Henderson, the actress who portrays Moaning Myrtle, was 40 years old when she played the teenage character in The Goblet of Fire.

Mostly, it's things that are left out. Ever since The Prisoner of Azkaban, the films have not been showing all of Harry's classes, preferring instead to take only enough time to highlight the teacher's we haven't seen before. As the only new teacher we meet is Professor Slughorn, only his Potions class is shown.

The film leaves out the book's opening scene, with Cornelius Fudge meeting the Muggle Prime Minister (presumably Tony Blair?). Apparently, the Muggle Minister has already had several short meetings with Fudge in the past, whenever something from the wizarding world affected the Muggle world; this time, Fudge has come to announce his resignation from his post (in light of his failure to seriously assess the Voldemort threat in the previous year), and introducing the new Minister for Magic, Rufus Scrimgeour. Neither Fudge nor Scrimgeour feature in this movie; Scrimgeour (Bill Nighy) was introduced in the next film. Instead, the opening scene of the movie shows the Death Eaters raiding houses, kidnapping Ollivander and committing terrorist acts, facts that are mentioned in the book but not shown.

The scene revealing Severus Snape conspiring with Bellatrix Lestrange and Narcissa Malfoy is more or less the same in the book, but longer. Bellatrix produces many arguments for not trusting Snape, but he has many valid explanation for once betraying the Dark Lord, and turning spy for Voldemort again.

In the book, Albus Dumbledore actually visits Harry at his house at Privet Drive, which makes for a very awkward encounter between Dumbledore and the Dursleys. He announces that the magic protection Harry receives from his aunt will be wearing off, since Harry will come of age this year (as disclosed in the book, but not the movie Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, when Harry's mother sacrificed herself for him, her blood gave him the ultimate protection from death; as aunt Petunia is her sister, her blood provides the same protection as long as Harry is in her vicinity, which is why he was always sent back to the Dursleys during holidays). With Sirius dead and Harry his heir, Dumbledore claims that Sirius' old house at Grimmauld Place should now legally be Harry's. He tests this by summoning Kreacher the House Elf, who now indeed recognizes Harry as his master, making Grimmauld Place Harry's new residence for the holidays as well as the continuing headquarters for the Order of the Phoenix. Harry sends Kreacher off to Hogwarts, where he can make himself useful and the other Elves can keep an eye on him. Dumbledore and Harry then proceed to professor Slughorn's house after this.

Harry's stay in the Weasley's home is longer in the book, because Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour are there as well, preparing for their wedding (which will occur in the next book and movie). Mrs Weasley, Ginny and Hermione are quite annoyed by Fleur's constant presence and continuous nagging about the marriage, going as far as referring to her as 'Phlegm'.

During the visit to Diagon Alley, Harry, Ron and Hermione have a very grim run-in with Draco Malfoy and his mother, which almost ends in a duel. They follow Draco to the Borgins and Burke's store in Knockturn Alley, where they notice Draco showing the shopkeeper something (hidden from their view) that greatly terrifies the shopkeeper. Hermione tries to find out what Draco was interested in, but she gets thrown out of the shop. Harry is convinced that Draco had a Dark Mark on his arm which frightened the shopkeeper, meaning he has taken his father's place as Death Eater in Lord Voldemort's service. Harry voices this suspicion to his friends and Mr. Weasley, but no one seems to be particularly convinced.

During the train ride to Hogwarts, Horace Slughorn already organises one of his Slug Club meetings in the train (in the movie, this meeting is held later on, in Hogwarts). In the book it is actually Nymphadora Tonks, being stationed at Hogwarts to protect the students, who finds Harry's paralysed body inside the train and fixes his nose, not Luna Lovegood. While escorting Harry to the school, she sends out a Patronus as a messenger. Harry is then taken into the school by professor Snape (who deducts points from Gryffindor house for Harry being late), who notes that Tonk's Patronus has changed form after her grief over Sirius Black's death (a detail explained in the next book).

The most drastic change from the book concerns a lengthier subplot where Harry and Dumbledore have private sessions, in which they speculate about Voldemort's complete past and immortality. The book features several more 'flashback scenes' with the Pensieve than shown in the movie. The first one is a memory from Bob Ogden, a Ministery of Magic official, and his run-in with an empoverished wizard called Marvolo Gaunt. Marvolo lived in a dilapitated shack with his son Morfin and daughter Merope. He was very proud of his pure-blood ancestry, which went all the way back to Salazar Slytherin, a fact he loudly boasted with a black ring (which Voldemort later used as Horcrux). Merope is revealed to be Voldemort's future mother; she had taken a liking to a young Muggle living nearby, Tom Riddle Sr. Enraged by this, Marvolo and Morfin attacked her, which earned them both a sentence in Azkaban. Dumbledore speculates that Merope, freed from her family's tyranny, used a love potion on Riddle, married him and got pregnant.

The character of Mundungus Fletcher, a petty low-life criminal, who was introduced in the previous novel as a member of the Order, was also written out of this adaptation (he is introduced in the next movie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 instead). Harry catches him in Hogsmeade as he is stealing heirlooms from Sirius' old house, but Fletcher quickly Disapparates.

During Harry's second session with Dumbledore, he shows him two memories. The first is from Caractacus Burke (one of the founders of the Borgins and Burkes store), showing Merope Gaunt pregnant and desperate for money, selling one of her heirlooms, the Slytherin locket (also seen later), for a bargain price. Dumbledore surmises that she made the mistake to think that Riddle Sr. would still love her without the love potion; but as soon as the enchantment was over, Riddle left her and his unborn son and returned to his parents' home. The second memory is Dumbledore's own, from when he visited the orphanage (which is in the movie); Dumbledore's talk with the director is much longer, revealing much more about the circumstances of Voldemort's birth. Harry learns that Merope gave birth to Tom Riddle Jr. and died within the hour, having lost the will to live after Riddle Sr. left her.

In the movie, Ron gets to play Quidditch for the first time, whereas in the book, he has already been playing it since last year and Harry has become Quidditch captain (the subplot of Ron's introduction into Quidditch was carried over from the previous book). However, Ron suffers major performance issues over the course of the book, when he starts to clash with Hermione over their respective relationships, and with his sister Ginny, who is openly dating Dean Thomas. This latter part also greatly affects Harry, as he finds out that his feelings for Ginny are getting stronger.

A scene only in the movie is the Death Eater attack on the Burrow, the Weasley's home. The book features a scene where Harry is enjoying the Christmas holidays at the Burrow, when he gets a visit from Scrimgeour. Scrimgeour requests that Harry works together with the Ministery of Magic to boost morale in the wizarding world. However, Harry refuses, given the way the Ministery treated him the year before, and because they are making random arrests in their search for Death Eaters.

During the third session, Harry learns from Dumbledore that Voldemort had gathered a group of students during his time in Hogwarts, who shared his views on pure-blood wizardry and would become his Death Eaters later on. Voldemort had used the holidays from Hogwarts to trace his maternal family, and had visited his uncle Morfin, the only one alive at the time. Morfin, however, had a different recollection from what really happened, so Dumbledore visited him just prior to his death, and through some complicated Legimency, he was able to piece together what had happened exactly: Morfin had told Tom Riddle Jr. that Tom Riddle Sr. was a Muggle, making Voldemort a half-blood wizard. Enraged by this and his father's abandonment, Voldemort had gone out to kill Riddle Sr. and his Muggle grandparents. He had then stunned Morfin and modified his memory, making Morfin believe that he himself committed the murders. Voldemort also took the Gaunt ring, made it into a Horcrux, and hid it inside the house (where Dumbledore found it). Morfin went to Azkaban for life, but died before Dumbledore could get him released. The second memory shown to Harry is the modified memory from Slughorn, where young Voldemort inquires about Horcruxes. In the movie, the course of the events was simply altered and the word 'Horcrux' muted, while in the book, the memory becomes foggy and Slughorn has inserted an alternate voice-over by himself where he had made the modifications.

Dobby the House Elf has actually appeared in every book since The Chamber of Secrets, with the exception of Prisoner of Azkaban. Harry's suspicion of Draco Malfoy leads him to task Dobby and Kreacher, the Elf he inherited from Sirius, with spying on Malfoy.

Harry has a fourth lesson with Dumbledore, where he is forced to admit that he still has not retrieved Slughorn's unaltered memory. Dumbledore reaffirms the importance of the complete memory, and shows Harry two more memories. The first is from the House Elf of a woman called Hepzibah Smith, who showed Voldemort the Slytherin locket, previously owned by his mother, and a cup owned by Helga Hufflepuff. According to Dumbledore, Voldemort stole both items, killed Smith and framed the murder on her House Elf. The next memory is from Dumbledore himself, showing the adult Voldemort applying for the job of Defence Against The Dark Arts teacher. However, as Dumbledore expected that Voldemort only wanted this job to recruit more followers to his dark cause at the school, he refused, after which an angry Voldemort left. Dumbledore implies to Harry that Voldemort cursed the post of Defence Against The Dark Arts teacher; no one has been able to keep the position for more than a year since then.

Harry receives a letter from Hagrid in the morning, announcing Aragog's funeral. Harry needs to be a bit more persuasive in getting Slughorn to give him the untampered memory than in the movie, as Slughorn is quite unwilling; in the movie, Slughorn spontaneously relates the story of how he received a pet fish from Lily Potter (not in the book), and guilt-ridden, he gives Harry the memory.

The fifth lesson involves Slughorn's untampered memory, as shown in the film as well. Afterwards, Dumbledore and Harry discuss the former Horcruxes; Tom Riddle's diary and the black ring of Marvolo Gaunt. The diary had been given in the care of Lucius Malfoy just before Voldemort was beaten the first time, and Malfoy, unknowing it was a Horcrux, later used it carelessly to get the Chamber of Secrets opened in the second movie and book. The black ring had another curse on it; when Dumbledore destroyed it, it poisened him, and professor Snape was just able to contain this spreading curse in Dumbledore's hand. Dumbledore mentions that four Horcruxes remain, assuming the Hufflepuff cup and the Slytherin locket are among them; the third may be an object that once belonged to Rowena Ravenclaw; Voldemort's snake Nagini is a likely option for the fourth Horcrux. None of this speculation is in the movie, so in the final two movies, Harry has no clue what the Horcruxes may be or what they look like beforehand.

Upon learning that Ginny and Dean split up, Harry is relieved; however, having seen Ron's reaction to Ginny's flirt with Dean, he is afraid to make a move, fearing it may cost him Ron's friendship.

After Harry wounds Draco in the bathroom, Snape uses Legimency on Harry, to find out that his Potions book is the source of the Sectumsempra curse. He orders Harry to bring to him all his school books. Harry quickly hides the Half-Blood Prince's book in the Room of Requirement, where he also sees a silver diadem (which plays a role in the next book), and gives Snape Ron's copy instead. Snape, however, knows Harry is trying to trick him, and gives him detention every Saturday until the end of the year, causing Harry to miss the Quidditch finale. However, Gryffindor team unexpectedly wins the match. In the heat of the celebration, Harry and Ginny kiss, and Ron seems to be fine with it.

Hagrid relates to Harry a conversation he overheard between Dumbledore and Snape, where Snape mentions that he "doesn't want to do this anymore." In the movie, it is Harry himself who witnesses this conversation on the astronomy tower before he departs with Dumbledore on the Horcrux quest.

Just before Harry meets up with Dumbledore to go in search of Horcruxes, he meets professor Trelawney. In a moment of liquor-induced candor, she admits that while she was making the prophecy about Harry and Voldemort to Dumbledore 16 years ago, it was partially overheard by Severus Snape. Harry quickly concludes that it must have been Snape who had warned Voldemort, who in turn killed Harry's parents. Harry angrily berates Dumbledore for withholding such important information, but Dumbledore assures Harry that Snape felt immense remorse for his act; knowing that Voldemort would go after Harry's mother, he immediately abandonned the Death Eaters and has been a trusted member of the Order since. With Dumbledore unwilling to listen to any of Harry's suspicions about both Snape and Malfoy, Harry warns Ron and Hermione before leaving Hogwarts for the Horcrux search, that Malfoy may take advantage of the headmaster's absence to make a move, and gives them the rest of his Felix Felicis and the Marauder's Map.

Dumbledore takes Harry to Hogsmeade before Apparating out, since Hogwarts and its grounds are magically protected from directly Apparating and Disapparating. In the movie, Dumbledore states that the Headmaster enjoys special privileges that allow him to Apparate in and out of Hogwarts.

After retrieving the (fake) locket, Harry and Dumbledore apparate back to Hogsmeade, where they see the Dark Mark over Hogwarts. Madam Rosemertha gives them broomsticks with which they fly to Hogwarts. A weakened Dumbledore needs to make a couple of spells to cancel the magical protection that normally prevents people from flying in.

After Disarming Dumbledore, Draco admits that he had used the Imperius Curse on Madam Rosemerta so that she would deliver the cursed necklace, and poison the wine meant for Dumbledore. Snape is not present in the book prior to the departure of Harry and Dumbledore, and Harry is hidden under his invisibility cloak upon their return, so Snape does not encounter him at either time. Harry is unable to aid Dumbledore because Dumbledore himself paralyzes Harry with a Stunning spell. Dumbledore's death releases Harry's stun. In the movie, Snape sees Harry underneath the top floor and quiets him, before going upstairs to kill Dumbledore.

The climax of the film has also been altered: Bellatrix Lestrange leads the Death Eaters into Hogwarts, while in the book, she only appears during the scene in which Snape takes his Unbreakable Vow (possibly she was included as she is the only Death Eater, other than Lucius Malfoy, that audiences would be familiar with. Her presence also makes sense, given that Draco is her nephew). Several more Death Eaters enter Hogwarts in the book, but they meet with heavy resistance from teachers, members of the Order, and the students who had been member of Dumbledore's Army in Order of the Phoenix. The Death Eaters try to stun Hagrid, only to find out that magic spells have hardly any effect on him (since he is massive and half-Giant). Together the Death Eaters are driven out of the castle (this entire battle was omitted as Deathly Hallows part II has a similar climax).

The book describes the aftermath of the battle; one Death Eater was killed, and Bill Weasley, Ron's oldest brother, has been permanently scarred by werewolf Fenrhir Greyback, though since Greyback was in Human form when he attacked Bill, Bill will not become a full werewolf despite gaining some werewolf traits. Fleur says she will love him anyway, and refuses to delay her wedding. Ginny, Ron and Hermione were miraculously spared from harm due to drinking Harry's Felix Felicis. Dumbledore's pet Phoenix, Fawkes, is heard singing a last lament before leaving Hogwarts forever. McGonagall asks Harry what he and Dumbledore had been doing, but as promised to Dumbledore, he cannot reveal it.

Hermione discovers why Snape calls himself "The Half-Blood Prince" when she finds an article about Snape's mother, Eileen Prince, who was a witch. Since Snape's father was a Muggle, he called himself the Half-Blood Prince, as he was, in fact, a half-blood wizard.

Dumbledore is buried in a white tomb on Hogwarts' grounds in the presence of a massive crowd of wizards and witches, many of them old acquaintances from previous books. Afterwards, Harry breaks up his relationship with Ginny, citing that he is a target by the Death eaters and would only endanger her; she understands. Harry once again meets Scrimgeour, but again refuses to cooperate with the Ministery; he tells Ron and Hermione that he does not intend to return to Hogwarts next year, instead going on a search for the remaining Horcruxes. Ron and Hermione agree to go with him.

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