Half-Blood Prince, Chapter Twenty-One

One of the things I never noticed about J.K. Rowling’s writing when I was simply reading her books, but which I’ve become very aware of in compiling this site, is her use of what I alternately call ‘plot chapters’ or ‘transition chapters.’ A good example is the “Padfoot Returns” chapter in Goblet of Fire, when the trio visits Sirius in Hogsmeade. The trio visits the shops of Hogsmeade, meet up with Sirius, and then spend much of the chapter discussing Barty Crouch, Voldemort, Mad-Eye Moody, and so on, until suddenly the chapter is over and not much has happened. The plot has been moved along, and we’ve been given lots of information that we’ll need later on. And it’s not as though the chapter isn’t interesting to read; to the contrary, I love coming across them as a reader (unlike the dreaded ‘recap chapter’ at the start of books 2-4, which also gives me fits).

However, these chapters can be challenging when building a page dedicated expressly to that chapter. There are only so many ways to draw the trio sitting around the common room talking, for example, and when there are no major events it’s challenging to find artwork or discussion points. On the other hand, part of what I’ve loved about this site is taking time to work my way back through the books, in order, and really diving into them in detail. And these chapters are very much a part of that. So… it’s not all bad, either.

Anyway, let’s take a moment to enjoy a ‘plot chapter’ extraordinaire – knowing that it really exists to set up the final nine chapters of the book, which are anything but boring. And I’ll do my best to get the next one posted without waiting too long in between. ;)

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, chapter twenty-one: ‘The Unknowable Room’

~ by Josie on September 4, 2010.

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