The Characters of
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

-- List and Analysis of Selected Major Characters --


Main Characters
Dumbledore, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian

Professor Dumbledore, as he is now called, is the Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, located "somewhere in Great Britain." Once the professor of Transfiguration, he has been around for a very long time. We only know incidentally of his brother Aberforth and that, in a previous accident, he received a scar in the shape of the London underground on his knee, which he considers "very handy."
Craa…aap! To quote Dumbledore's own words: "to the well organized mind, death is nothing more than the next great adventure." And, we cannot say that both he and JKR didn't warn us by saying that there is probably no one with a more capable and organized mind than he. Nor, can we argue that the man himself didn't telegraph his final outcome to us, the first time we met him in this book, by telling Harry: "let us step out into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure." But, Craa…ap! He left so much undone! And un-taught! This was really the first year that he didn't seem to follow his here-to-fore neglectful policy of: "lets throw you all in the school and see if you can raise yourselves" philosophy of boarding school management. He ostensibly spent time for "private lessons" with Harry this year, and he did teach him about his obligation toward facing Voldemort. The time he spent with Harry, however, leaves the boy remaining with magical abilities inadequate to even defend himself against Snape. It is true that he took Harry with him to find, and try to eliminate, a Horcrux; but, he acted in silence and independently so much that Harry couldn't have gotten any instruction on how to do something similar on his own. The man seemed to be as "pure of heart" as he has labeled Harry. In his extremity, he carefully counseled Draco toward betterment, and seemed to have succeeded. It is doubtful that his death at the hand of Snape came as a surprise to him; nor, is it likely that the number of times we heard him say: "I trust Severus Snape" was just an example of how naïve and gullible he was. We are only consoled at his departure by his additional words that: "You will find that I will only truly have left this school when none here are loyal to me. And, you will also find that help will always be given at Hogwarts, to those who ask for it." His death has exponentially increased the questions we have about the saga; but, more distressingly, leaves Dumbledore as much of an enigma now, as he has always been throughout the series of books. The magical crypt containing his remains seemed a bit unusual; but, the "phoenix flying joyfully into the blue," somehow, did not - even if we didn't have a clue what it meant.
Potter, Harry James

Harry is the title character of the seven part novel by J K Rowling set in the Great Britain of the not-so-distant past. The orphaned son of James and Lilly Evans Potter he was reluctantly fostered by Petunia, Lilly's sister, and her husband Vernon Dursley, along with their son Dudley. The abusive atmosphere in which he was raised seems not to have affected him as much as one would expect. He is unassuming, unaffected, and honest; but, also has more self-assurance, courage and initiative than such abuse would normally produce.
Harry is coming to realize just how "complicated" his life, albeit here-to-fore unknown, just really is. He is just now coming to sort out the difference between "fate" and "choice" in his life. A "prophecy," that Voldemort "chose" to act on, has "taken over his life," IF he "chooses" to let it, by wanting to actually "live it." Thinking of that makes one's head spin; but, luckily, his "mentor" Dumbledore chose to actually do a little "parenting" for him this year, in the form of "lessons." He has a new-found "release" from the pain in his scar - and "Voldemort Visions" - because Voldemort is using Occlumency to prevent it. Dumbledore was, again, able to use people's feeling's about Harry's mother, [exasperatingly still unexplained], in order to obtain deference; and, we are told yet again, he "has his mother's eyes." He has developed a bit more confidence, not only in himself, but also in dealing with all-things-magical. He experienced still more of the "less-savory" aspects of living. To his great distress, and for the first time without it being an accident or self-defense, actually aided in inflicting pain on someone… Dumbledore. His core values don't seem to have changed much. He is still unpretentious, unassuming and rarely, if ever, finds fault with anyone - or joins in when others do. He chooses friends, like he has always done, by: "being able to tell who are the wrong sort for myself, thanks." He often shows compassion (still befriending Luna, despite being criticized for doing so) and, tolerates an incredible amount of nagging, judgmental, condescension from Hermione (over and above what one would expect because he needs help with homework.) Academically, he seems to be no giant; and, along with Ron, has boxed himself into a corner in their relationship with Hermione over needing her continual help with school work. His infatuation with Cho Chang seems to be a thing of the past; and, while it still may be "puppy love," has developed feelings for Ginny Weasley for much more mature reasons. Even though he understands his life's tasks better now, it doesn't make them any easier, and his stunned feelings of helplessness clouded his judgment at the end of the school year. He stated that he was going to "drop out of school" in order to get on with his life; apparently, discounting the many persons and objects residing there, which undoubtedly are critical to his success.
Voldemort, Lord

An orphan born of a Witch mother and Muggle father, he was once the boy known as Tom Riddle who attended Hogwarts during the time of Armando Dippet, Headmaster, and is now known as "he who must not be named." He fears no man, except Albus Dumbledore, and speaks of himself as "Lord Voldemort."
Although he doesn't actually appear in book six, he remains the main source of antagonism and evil. He has openly declared war against… well, everyone! He is back to intimidation, threats, blackmail, killing and every form of evil that he used prior to his fateful "near-demise." Much more of his, and his families, background is now apparent. He is a direct descendant of Salazar Slytherin through Marvolo Gaunt and his mother Merope. Tom Riddle, his father, was a muggle who Merope bewitched into marriage - making him a Half-Blood. His mother sold a prized relic to try and survive but ended up leaving her newborn an orphan in London. Although he didn't know how he was doing it, Tom used magic to intimidate and bully other orphans and became friendless and tyrannical even then. Dumbledore retrieved him, at the appropriate time, and although tried to counsel and mentor him was unable to prevent the boy's clandestine activities while at school. Tom was a member of the "Slug Club" and from Slughorn learned more about creating Horcruxes, a method of channeling his evil into a sort of "pseudo-immortality." He identified his parentage; then, blamed his murder of his father and grandparents on his uncle, Morfin Gaunt. He began stealing important artifacts to use in the creation of his Horcruxes, until his Avarda Kedavra curse rebounded from the baby Harry and stripped him of his body; but, not killing him due to his many Horcruxes.

Supporting Characters
Granger, Hermonie Jean

She is a curly haired, know-it-all, who was born to a Muggle family of dentists. She is self-assured, if not self-centered, and bossy which hides her true feelings of inadequacy. She has an inordinately developed compulsion for academic success; but, is never satisfied with her accomplishments. [JKR has said the character is based upon herself]
Her bossiness and criticism, although tolerated by Ron and Harry due to their dependence on her for help with schoolwork, wore thin this school year. She wasn't satisfied with the fact she got one grade short of perfect on 50% more classes than everyone else took; and, was actually incapacitated until Ron and Harry chastised her back into reality. It is difficult for her to see alternatives, other than her own; and, frankly, only rarely ever agrees with Harry's assessments. She has a volatile temper and, although rarely physical, is not above what she justifies as retribution. Her jealousy over Ron's attention to another girl exploded into snide comments, rejection, a magical attack with birds, and hurtful belittling; then, she claimed being the martyr when Ron got angry back. (Ron was not without his own relationship issues however) She refused to "bend" from her inadequate school book's instructions, and asked Harry how he was doing it better. When he told her, however, she refused the help and began belittling Harry. Her opinion of herself doesn't allow for anyone to succeed more, or be better than, her. She has a condescending attitude toward Harry and Ron's abilities and seems to have felt "vindicated" when her withdrawal of homework assistance made it difficult for them. Incredibly, her jealousy of Harry's "getting credit where he didn't deserve" caused her to overlook that Harry only narrowly missed receiving an "unforgivable curse." Finally, it was Ginny Weasley who had to put her in her place. Like Ron, she demanded to be included in Harry's quest against Voldemort next year; but, with her jealousy and intolerance, it is less certain to us, why.
Hagrid, Rubeus

Hagrid, as he is known to- well, everybody, is the "keeper of the keys and grounds at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry" where he has lived since he attended there at eleven. Almost "too big to be allowed," his heart matches his enormous stature, even if his countenance is often- "unexpected."
Hagrid had a terrible year this year. His two best friends in all the world died and he was largely "forgotten" by his favorite students. Through it all, however, he maintained unswerving loyalty to those he cared about; and, seemed to always know what needed to be done and how to accomplish it. Despite his somewhat limited intellectual capacity, he is generous to a fault and exhibits great integrity in his dealing with people and creatures alike. He cared for his friend Aragog through his final illness and gave him a proper funeral, despite his own risk from Aragog's children. Then he cared, tenderly, for the final remains of the man who had treated him like a son, Dumbledore, after his tragic death. His patience with his brother Grawp has paid off and a brotherly bond has developed. He was deeply hurt by Hermione, Ron and Harry not taking his Care of Magical Creatures class; but, rapidly forgave them when they said they were sorry. Although he cannot even comprehend a Hogwarts without Dumbledore, he also can't think of living anywhere else and is determined to stay, care for the creatures and teach as long as there is a student who want's to learn.
Lupin, Remus John
Being undercover as Dumbledore's spy to the werewolf community has been at great personal sacrifice. Made more so by his having to deal with Tonks becoming fond of him and desiring a relationship. He has been living "almost literally" underground and had to deal with the evil of Fenrir Greyback, who was the werewolf which bit him as a child.
Weasley, Fred

Fred and George Weasley are twin older brothers of Ron and younger siblings of Percy. Like them all they have red hair, but, unique to themselves they have a very down-to-earth philosophy of life. Typical of students who are "bored" with school due to lack of stimulation for their advanced abilities, they have a reputation as "troublemakers-in-residence" at Hogwarts.
Fred and his twin George have parlayed their penchant for rule-breaking and mischief into a sucessful joke shop business. They remain just as un-affected by authority as they ever were as evidenced by their marketing about not being afraid of "you-know-who" instead of "you-no-poo." They have not, however, forgotten about their loyalty to Harry and told him that he could always have "anything he wanted" from the shop without paying. Their inventions of "shield hats" unintentionally helped the ministry thus earning them credibility and legitimancy, if only accidentally. Their importation, promotion and sale of "peruvian instant darkness powder" led to the worst breach of security and destruction at Hogwarts in recent times. Selling the powder to a Death Eater (Malfoy) led, if even indirectly, to the death of the "only person Voldemort ever feared." Their clowning seems to have backfired this time.
Weasley, George

See under Fred Weasley.
Weasley, Ronald Bilius

Ron is the second from the youngest child of Arthur and Molly Weasley and has his families universal red hair. He is an avid follower of Quidditch, good at Wizard Chess and is sensitive about his families "adequate-but-not-excessive" financial situation. He doesn't seem to respond well to criticism and allows himself to be overly concerned of other's opinions. He is of high moral character and is not usually malicious; but, sometimes, without thinking, says things that are hurtful. He was the first friend Harry made once he knew he was a wizard.
A bit less academically capable than Harry, he, nonetheless, show's no jealousy or ill will. He continued trying to find his "true place in the world" which, oftentimes, is made difficult by his lack of confidence in himself. He has learned his lesson from previous years and hasn't again wavered from his knowledge that Harry is his true friend. When Harry "accidentally" flipped him up by his ankles, letting his night clothes fall down around his head and become ridiculed by his bunkmates, he merely retorted: "Tomorrow I'd rather you set the alarm clock." Although he tries to keep Harry "grounded," he believes Harry when Hermione doesn't. Harry was able to "trick him" into finding that he is a more credible Quidditch player than he had believed; then, saved him with the quick-thinking use of a Bezoar when he was accidentally poisoned. Like Hermione, he demanded to be included in Harry's task against Voldemort next year; and, because of their relationship, we can understand why.
Dursley, Petunia Evans

The wife of Vernon Dursley and the mother of Dudley ("Dudders"), she keeps a proper house at Number 4 Privet Drive where she keeps hidden the fact that her sister, Lilly, was a "muggle born" witch of some renown. Like her husband she detests anything magical although accepted custody, albeit reluctantly, of Lilly's orphaned son, Harry.
Although she has never been shown to treat Harry kindly, there are enough incidents of her doing the right thing to give us suspicions that there is more to her than we have been told. She took Harry in, then over-rode her husbands expulsion of him after receiving a letter from Dumbledore. There is enough uncertainty about other communications with Dumbledore to make us wonder; and, her statements about "that boy" who her sister Lilly knew, is not, of certainty, James. Her only engagement in this book was to disagree with Dumbledore about Harry coming of age this year. Could it be that she was disappointed that it's coming this early?
Malfoy, Draco

The only son of Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy, Draco claims to be better than pretty much everyone else as a "pure blood" wizard. Where Harry had Dudley as a nemesis in his muggle life, Draco completely filled the role in Harry's wizard life— and then some. It's hard to understand the maliciousness that Malfoy showed Harry, from the moment he realized who Harry was. Either he's just a naturally evil person or there is something else— or both. He showed he is very skilled at heaping verbal abuse and taunts, which bespeaks having experienced it from somewhere, most likely his family. He copes with failing at something by tearing down those who have succeeded.
Draco was on the "receiving end" of terror and threats this year, from Voldemort. He was made a Death Eater, branded with the Dark Mark, and assigned the task of "killing Dumbledore," so as to replace his father, who had "failed" Voldemort. He was taught how to perform the "unforgivable curses" and told to do the deed; or, he, and all his family, would be killed. His father had failed at retrieving "The Prophecy" from the Ministry; but, it was when Voldemort had discovered Malfoy's (albeit unknowing) allowing his first Horcrux to be destroyed that his "wrath was terrible to behold." Draco's association with Voldemort seemed to have added some confidence to his existing arrogance; even, toward his old "family friend," Snape. Although he had to steal ideas from others, he did finally succeed in repairing the broken pair of vanishing cabinets in the room of requirement which allowed Death Eaters to enter the castle. Dumbledore, alone, seemed to have the true measure of the boy, and succeeded in convincing him NOT to do the deed, come to the "right side," and allow the Order to hide him; until, other Death Eaters arrived and prevented it. He was extracted from the school by Snape and it is uncertain where he will end up. It does seem, however, that Draco's choices for evil actions and a associations have sealed his fate for bad, as much as Harry's choices have, for good.
Snape, Severous

It's hard to decide which side of "good and evil" Snape is on. He may be a good Potions Master but is not a good teacher. A graduate from Hogwarts as a member of Slyterin house he is now its head. He acts guarded, distant, unhappy and malicious. He shows unexplained hatred for Harry and gives preferential treatment to members of his house.
Ok, JKR has left us with enough uncertainty that we cannot tell for sure whether or not Snape's ultimate actions were completely evil; but, that doesn't stop us from knowing for certain that this man is malicious and hateful with evil deep to his soul. There is nothing that Rowling could throw at us now which would make up for the tyrannical, despicable way that he has treated Harry. He is as much an abuser of children as was Umbrige - even if it is less physical. He is quick witted and thinks well on his feet, as is evidenced by his "slick" responses to Bellatrix's inquisition. He was backed into a corner or he wouldn't have made an "unbreakable vow," as he is nothing if he is not a self-preservationist. Draco's new relationship with Voldemort put Snape in a real dilemma because the boy simply refused discipline under his hand. Even if it had been planned by the two all along, the fact that Snape could "mean it" strong enough for the Avarda Cadavra curse to work against Dumbledore, speaks all there is need to say!

Incidental Characters
Lovegood, Luna
To say that Luna is a bit weird is an understatement. She has a tendency to believe and repeat back the odd theories and beliefs of her father, the editor of the magazine: Quibbler. However, her ability to see and speak unvarnished truth in people has not been diminished. Her naïveté makes her a little gullible while at the same time an interesting companion. In short, she has grown on both Harry and Ron and had become friends with Hermione and Ginny. She has the uncanny knack for saying uncomfortable truths and has on a few occasions brought out feelings of compassion in Harry.
Tonks, Nymphadora
She has become very depressed over her unrequited love for Remus Lupin which has sapped her animagus powers. Her close friend Molly Weasley has spend many hours talking with her and, along with her husband Arthur, trying to support her through her struggles. Through her depression, however, she still found the strength to continue her duties with the ministry, as an Auror, and with the Order, as guard at Hogwarts. Several times she retrieved Harry from problems he had gotten himself into. Because of her emotional upset her Patronus (used for communication by the Order) has changed into the form of a werewolf.
Trelawney, Sibyll
It is becoming more apparent that she has deluded herself so much into accepting her fake abilities as real, that she doesn't even recognize when she has a "real" prognostication. She spends a lot of effort in trying to rid herself and Hogwarts of any competition - namely the Centaur Firenze. The "cards" she kept dealing to herself seemed, in fact, to be actually predicting current conditions; but, she couldn't interpret them correctly. For some time, her alienation has allowed her to develop a "drinking problem," (cooking sherry) and she has used the room of requirement to "hide" her bottles. She was the one through whom "The Prophecy" about Harry and Voldemort was given to Dumbledore; although, she is completely unaware of either its occurrence or content. That makes her life in more danger, than she even knows, from Voldemort and his followers. It was she who discovered Draco Malfoy in the room of requirement after he had completed repair of the vanishing cabinet; and, it was she who informed Harry that Snape had been the one who had been spying at the door the night of her "interview" with Dumbledore.
Weasley, Ginevra (Ginny)

She is the younger sister of all the Weasley boys and, as such, doesn't play a significant part in their lives until she gets old enough to mandate being dealt with. She was emphatuated with Harry from her first site of him; but, completely stymied by her "shyness."
She finally came into her own in this school year. Her looks and brains got her attention from her school mates. She has a temper like her mother and showed that she had developed a certain amount of "toughening" by growing up in a family of boys. She, possibly more than Hermione, has shown her allegiance and willingness to defend Harry. Finally, when she could "stay out of it no longer," she put Hermione in her place during Hermione's continued, jealous, beratement of Harry. It was Hermione's advice to Ginny that made her "relax, and be herself" around Harry. And, it was that action which actually did cause Harry to take notice of her and like her - a bit more than as just a friend.
Weasley, Molly (Prewett)
She has become a "second mother" to Harry and treat's him like (or maybe better than) a son. She is grateful to have an older son, Bill, living back in the area; but, it is uncertain whether her discomfort over his announced engagement for marriage is due to her boy growing up, or to the person, Fleur DeLacour, to whom he is engaged. The fact that her magical clock, with a hand for each of her family, is continually pointing to "mortal peril," along with a natural tendency to worry, has made her extremely jumpy. She still pines over her son, Percy, who seems to have disowned the family - or, at least be ashamed of it. Her disillusionment over her twin son's, Fred and George, abilities is fading due to her continued observations of their demonstrated business successes. Her loyalty to Dumbledore and fidelity to the Order remain unwavering.
Dursley, Dudley

Almost the same age as his foster brother Harry, he is the son of Vernon and Petunia Dursley and lives at Number 4 Privet Drive. He has been "spoiled" beyond belief and has lorded his position over Harry to the point of being a bully. His self-centeredness is matched only by his weight.
His minimal appearance in this book gives us little more understanding of his character. He is still intimidated by Dumbledore, who came to retrieve Harry.
Dursley, Vernon

A graduate of Smeltings academy, he is now married to Petunia Evans Dursley with whom he lives at Number 4 Privet Drive with his son Dudley and his foster son Harry. He shares an equal resentment of "anything magical" with his wife Petunia, who, unfortunately, was sister to Lilly, a "muggle born" witch of apparent substantial capabilities. As such, he has made Harry's life, to date, a nightmare.
His arrogance is only exceeded by his lack of sense in his dealings with Dumbledore. His attempts to intimidate the wizard not only universally failed but only further revealed his complete lack of respect and bigotry of wizards. Dumbledore's rebuke that he had not done as requested by Harry; but, had instead "inflicted appaling damage on... (your) unfortunate boy (Dudley)" completely went over his head. He revealed his avarice when he thought that he might benefit from Harry's inheritance from Sirius.
Fudge, Cornelius Oswald
Incredibly and amazingly Fudge is still around, and serving in the ministry, after being "fired" as minister! It is not clear what form of governmental procedures took place; but, only in the world of make-believe, it would seem, would the highest ranking political official be removed for incompetence (if not culpable negligence) and still remain as an assistant to his replacement. [Not so much unlike Umbridge, however; and, although taxing the readers "suspension of disbelief," does allow the author to retain "expendable characters" for Voldemort's appetite] He met with the British Prime Minister for what, we are told, was the fourth time, in order to explain that: catastrophes in the Muggle world had been caused by Voldemort and his followers; Giants really caused the "hurricane"; Dementor's were causing the despair in the general populace - and the misty weather, by breeding; Sirius Black had actually been innocent and was now dead; Voldemort, himself, had killed a lady (Amelia Bones) up the street; one of his ministers was quacking like a duck because of a failed magical curse; and, that he had been fired and Rufus Scrimgeour would be replacing him. Through it all, he still shows no apparent realization that he had made his own predicament; and, was still "hand-wringing" that Dumbledore and Harry were to blame, because they wouldn't help him lie to the populace in order to keep him in office!
Greyback, Fenrir
He is a werewolf of such evil intent that he rivals Voldemort himself. He hates all "normal" wizards and has set himself against its society in every manner. At the full moon he positions himself near to his intended victims so that during his transformation he will bite them. He "specializes in children" so that they may be raised apart from their parents and learn to hate the wizarding world. He was the one who bit Remus Lupin as a child because the boys parents had offended him. His allegiance to Voldemort is due to the promise of "victims in greater numbers" and has "proselyted" many "converts" to the Dark Lord. He has developed a taste for human flesh which goes beyond the full moon and has begun ravaging and killing people not just biting them. He attacked Bill Weasley when it wasn't the full moon and tried to kill Dumbledore until he was blasted away.
Scrimgeour, Rufus
It is difficult to decide which side the newly appointed Minister of Magic is on. Despite spending his career to date as an Auror, he is as much a "political" manipulator as was his predecessor, Fudge. He spent as much, or more, of his energy's on arguing with, and spying on, Dumbledore as he did on Voldemort. He is of low personal integrity and ethics; and, just as Fudge, has no compunction against false imprisonment, or trumping up charges, if it fits his purposes. Just as unfortunate, he is manipulative in nature; although, he is very clumsy at it.