Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is one of the most immersive books of the series as it delves very deeply into the characters of the series and the relationships between them. Furthermore, it does great justice to the antagonist Voldemort, by portraying his childhood in an empathetic light than a negative one. Even Draco Malfoy’s character eventually shows his good side and therefore adds dimension to both his own character arc and to the plot of the book.
Harry Potter is the protagonist of this book and the series. He is a sixteen-year-old with a lot of responsibility mounting on his shoulders as his sworn enemy Voldemort is all set to wreak havoc on all wizards who are not pure-blooded. Harry, with the help of his trusted guide Albus Dumbledore and his friends Ron and Hermione, has to overcome the struggle of facing Voldemort and his Death Eaters. In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry is also newly acquainted with a textbook said to belong to the ‘Half-Blood Prince’, something that garners Harry a lot of laurels in Slughorn’s potions class. Harry also finally ends up getting together with Ginny Weasley.
Hermione Granger is the closest friend of Ron and Harry. She is the top in her class and is considered by many as the brightest witch of her time. She is very resourceful and helps Harry and Ron both with their homework, and to get out of difficult situations. She is in her sixth year and in the Gryffindor house just like Harry and Ron. She is also a distinguished member of the Slug Club, a gathering initiated by Horace Slughorn for select few students with whom he wants to socialize. Hermione eventually ends up getting together with Ron Weasley in this book.
Ronald Weasley is the youngest son of Arthur and Molly Weasley and the closest friend of Harry and Hermione. He is one of the most humorous characters in the entire book series. In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Ron finally gets his wish of being selected into the Quidditch team and does an amazing job as a keeper. He starts dating Lavender Brown early in the year, but is eventually smitten with Hermione and finally gets together with her after breaking up with Lavender Brown. Ron also gets accidentally poisoned by a bottle of oak-matured mead that was actually meant as a gift for Dumbledore but is immediately saved by Harry as he puts a bezoar into his mouth.
Albus Dumbledore is the headmaster of Hogwarts and is considered one of the greatest wizards of all time. He is the strongest deterrent to Voldemort’s growing power and many think that Dumbledore is the only wizard Voldemort actually fears. In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Dumbledore guides Harry through a lot of secrets about Voldemort, including his childhood, the Horcruxes, and how to ultimately defeat him. Eventually, however, Dumbledore ends up getting killed by Severus Snape on the top of the Astronomy Tower.
Severus Snape is a professor of Defence Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts. He is newly appointed to the post after seeking it for several years. He is very rude to Harry probably due to his enmity with Harry’s father, James. At the end of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, it is revealed that Snape is actually the Half-Blood Prince and that he named himself that after his mother Eileen Prince and owing to the fact that his father was a muggle, making him a half-blooded wizard. He is also shockingly seen to be in league with the Death Eaters and eventually ends up killing Albus Dumbledore.
Draco Malfoy is a sixth-year student from the Slytherin house at Hogwarts. He is newly initiated into the ranks of the Death Eaters, replacing his father who was imprisoned in Azkaban. He is responsible for cursing Katie Bell, poisoning Ron Weasley, and eventually letting in his fellow Death Eaters into Hogwarts using Vanishing Cabinets. He is entrusted by Lord Voldemort to kill Dumbledore but Draco finally chooses not to do it, letting Severus Snape take over and do it.
Horace Slughorn is the newly appointed professor of Potions at Hogwarts. He is described as looking like a walrus in appearance and being very interested in ‘collecting’ students with famous roots or a potential to become famous. He instantly develops a liking for Harry and after Harry brews a perfect Draught of Living Death potion, with the help of his new textbook, Horace Slughorn is all praises for Harry. Slughorn is also very important in this book because he contains a crucial memory of his discussion with young Tom Riddle about Horcruxes.
Voldemort is the prime antagonist of this book and the series as a whole. He is responsible for several deaths and missing people in this book and he is constantly ordering his Death Eaters to wreak havoc in London. In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Voldemort is found to be the son of a muggle man named Tom Riddle and a descendant of Salazar Slytherin named Merope Gaunt. He is sent to an orphanage early and is brought up there until Dumbledore recruits him to Hogwarts.
Katie Bell is a seventh-year student at Hogwarts. She is a member of the Gryffindor Quidditch team. In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, she gets cursed by a necklace laced with dark magic. She survives luckily, but cannot recall the incident which is later found out to be a result of being influenced by the ‘Imperius Curse’ administered by Draco Malfoy, which is akin to mind control.
Sirius Black is the godfather of Harry and used to be a very close friend of Harry’s parents, James and Lily Potter. Sirius got killed by Bellatrix Lestrange during the battle between the Order of the Phoenix and the Death Eaters. However, the memories and the loss of Sirius continue to haunt Harry regularly.
Lavender Brown is a sixth-year student at Hogwarts. She is from the Gryffindor house. She and Ron spend some time together in a relationship until they break up when Ron admits his feelings for Hermione.
Crabbe and Goyle
Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle are the two cronies that accompany Draco constantly when he bullies other students at Hogwarts. They are both very intimidating physically and make good henchmen to Draco’s cunning self.
Dawlish, Proudfoot, and Savage
Dawlish, Proudfoot, and Savage are three of the aurors who are assigned by the Ministry with the task of protecting Hogwarts castle along with Tonks.
Dobby is a house-elf and a close friend of Harry. After Harry freed him from his master Lucius Malfoy, Dobby is very grateful to Harry and is constantly helping Harry in every possible way. He follows Draco with Kreacher when Harry orders Kreacher, his house-elf inherited through Sirius, to follow Draco.
Fleur Delacour is a student of Beauxbatons Academy of Magic and a former champion of the Triwizard Tournament. She is currently engaged to Bill Weasley, the eldest sibling of the Weasleys, and is therefore present in the Burrow when Harry visits.
Fawkes is the phoenix that stays by Dumbledore’s side. It sings a beautiful mourning song after Dumbledore’s death which soothes everyone who hears it.
Argus Filch is the caretaker at Hogwarts. He is very rude to the students and is constantly trying to catch them for vandalizing the corridors of Hogwarts.
Seamus Finnigan is a sixth-year student at Hogwarts. He is from the Gryffindor house and is a roommate of Harry and Ron.
Cornelius Fudge is the former Minister of Magic. He resigned from his post after his incompetence led to the battle at the Department of Mysteries.
Marvolo Gaunt was one of the last descendants of Salazar Slytherin. He stayed near the Riddle Mansion in the outskirts of Little Hangleton with his children Merope and Morfin.
Merope Gaunt was the daughter of Marvolo Gaunt and the mother of Tom Riddle. She was abandoned by Tom Riddle Sr. because she used magic to make him fall in love with her. She died immediately after giving birth to Tom.
Morfin Gaunt was the son of Marvolo Gaunt. He only spoke in Parseltongue and was seen by Harry and Dumbledore when they revisit Bob Ogden’s memory in the Pensieve.
Grawp is the half-brother of Hagrid whom the latter brought from his journey to the mountains last year. Grawp attends Dumbledore’s funeral with his brother Hagrid.
Fenrir Greyback is a werewolf and a frequent member of Voldemort’s army of Death Eaters. He is seen atop the Astronomy Tower before Snape kills Dumbledore.
Rubeus Hagrid is the gamekeeper and the keeper of keys at Hogwarts. He is also the professor of Care of Magical Creatures and a very close friend of Harry, Ron, and Hermione.
The Half-Blood Prince
The Half-Blood Prince is first introduced as a mysterious and intelligent person with a penchant to scribble all over his Potions textbook. Harry uses his scribbled instructions in class and they turn out to be really useful. However, it is eventually revealed that the Half-Blood Prince is none other than Severus Snape himself.
The Inferi are dark creatures from the dead that are magically brought into life. Voldemort uses them to protect his Horcrux in the cave that Harry and Dumbledore go to.
Caratacus Burke is the founder of the novelty store called ‘Borgin and Burkes’ in Knockturn Alley. He is seen by Harry and Dumbledore in the Pensieve through his memory. He buys the locket of Salazar Slytherin from Merope Riddle for ten Galleons.
Ritchie Coote is the new beater in the Gryffindor Quidditch team. He replaces one of the spots left by the Weasley twins.
Kreacher is Harry’s house-elf inherited after the death of his godfather Sirius. Kreacher helps Harry to figure out Draco Malfoy’s intentions by following him discreetly.
Bellatrix Lestrange is one of the most powerful Death Eaters who is very devoted to Lord Voldemort’s cause.
Neville Longbottom is a sixth-year student at Hogwarts. He belongs to the Gryffindor house and is a friend and roommate of Harry and Ron.
Luna Lovegood is a fifth-year student at Hogwarts. She belongs to the Ravenclaw house and is a friend of Harry, Ginny, and the others in their circle.
Remus Lupin used to be a Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts, one of Harry’s favorite teachers ever. He is currently a member of the Order of the Phoenix and is present during the battle in the castle against the Death Eaters.
Ernie MacMillan is a sixth-year student at Hogwarts. He belongs to the Hufflepuff house.
Narcissa Malfoy is the mother of Draco Malfoy and wife of Lucius Malfoy. She is very concerned about the initiation of Draco as a Death Eater and visits Snape with her sister Bellatrix, to help her. Eventually, Snape ends up making the Unbreakable Vow and assures her that he will protect Draco and even fulfill the task should he fail.
Lucius Malfoy is the husband of Narcissa Malfoy and the father of Draco Malfoy. He is kept in Azkaban prison for most parts of this book after he was caught by the Order of the Phoenix in the Department of Mysteries.
Madam Malkin is the owner of the cloth store ‘ Madam Malkin’s Robes’.
Mrs. Cole heads the orphanage that Tom Riddle grows up in. She is the one who shows him to Dumbledore when he visits the Orphanage.
Minerva McGonagall is a professor of Transfiguration at Hogwarts. She is the head of the Gryffindor house and works as an acting Headmistress after Dumbledore’s demise.
Cormac McLaggen is a seventh-year student at Hogwarts. He belongs to the Gryffindor house and is a temporary keeper in the Gryffindor Quidditch team.
Myrtle Warren was a student at Hogwarts but was killed by looking at the Basilisk’s eyes directly when the Chamber of Secrets was opened. She continued to haunt the girls’ bathroom as a ghost after she died and is nicknamed ‘Moaning Myrtle’ because of her constant moping.
Nearly Headless Nick
Nearly Headless Nick is the Gryffindor ghost in Hogwarts. He is very friendly with Harry.
Bob Ogden was an officer in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. He is seen by Harry and Dumbledore in the Pensieve when they inhabit his memory of going to the Gaunt shack to meet Marvolo Gaunt.
Bill Weasley is the eldest of the Weasley siblings. He is engaged to Fleur Delacour and is mauled by a werewolf named Fenrir Greyback during the battle against Death Eaters in the castle.
Pansy Parkinson is a sixth-year student at Hogwarts. She is from the Slytherin house and a close friend of Draco Malfoy.
Jimmy Peakes is a third-year student at Hogwarts. He is another one of the new beaters replacing the Weasley twins.
Madam Irma Pince is the Librarian at Hogwarts.
The Prime Minister is the ruler of Muggle Great Britain. He appears at the beginning of the book when he meets Cornelius Fudge and Rufus Scrimgeour.
Tom Riddle, Sr.
Tom Riddle, Sr. was the father of Tom Riddle. He was a handsome man whom Merope Gaunt, Voldemort’s mother used magic to enchant. After he became Lord Voldemort, Tom came back to Little Hangleton and murdered Tom Riddle, Sr., and his parents.
Demelza Robins is a sixth-year student at Hogwarts. She is a member of the Gryffindor Quidditch team.
Madam Rosmerta is the owner of the pub in Hogsmeade named ‘The Three Broomsticks’. She is a very kind and friendly woman but ends up getting cursed by the Imperius Curse and helps the Death Eaters to get into Hogwarts.
Rufus Scrimgeour is the newly appointed Minister of Magic. He is a very strict and able man with a face that resembles that of a lion. He used to be an auror before he got promoted as the Minister of Magic.
Hepzibah Smith is an old witch whom Harry and Dumbledore encounter when they visit the memory of a house-elf called Hokey in the Pensieve. She likes Tom Riddle a lot and shows him two of the four Hogwarts heirlooms in her possession. She eventually is murdered and these heirlooms stolen, eventually ending up as Horcruxes.
Dean Thomas is a sixth-year student at Hogwarts. He is from the Gryffindor house and shares his dorm room with Harry, Ron, Seamus, and Neville.
Nymphadora Tonks is a member of the Order of the Phoenix and a gifted Auror. She safely gets Harry out of the train after Malfoy hurts him and leaves him wounded in the Slytherin compartment.
Romilda Vane is a fourth-year student at Hogwarts. She has a crush on Harry and sends him sweets laced with love-potion which Ron accidentally has.
Molly Weasley is the mother of all the Weasley siblings and the wife of Arthur Weasley. She is a member of the Order of the Phoenix.
Arthur Weasley is the father of all the Weasley siblings. He works as the Head of the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts office and is also a member of the Order of the Phoenix.
Fred and George Weasley
Fred and George Weasley are the twins in the Weasley family known for their humor and laid-back approach towards life. They build a Joke Shop in Diagon Alley called ‘Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes’ which ends up becoming a roaring hit.
Ginny Weasley is the youngest of the Weasley siblings. She is a fifth-year student at Hogwarts and an important member of the Gryffindor Quidditch team. In this book, she ends up getting together with her long-time crush, Harry Potter.
Blaise Zabini is a sixth-year student at Hogwarts. He is from the Slytherin house and is one of the members invited into the Slug Club.
How old are the characters in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince?
Most characters in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince are just beginning to come of age and are therefore 17 years old. Both Ron and Hermione are 17 by the end of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. However, Harry himself and Neville are both still sixteen and will only be of age in July of that year, which implies they still can’t apparate legally by themselves, and the trace placed by the ministry to monitor underage magic is still on them.
Is Voldemort Half-Blood?
Yes. Voldemort himself is a half-blood despite his hatred for Muggles and Half-Bloods. He was born to Merope Gaunt, a witch and descendant of Salazar Slytherin, and Tom Riddle, Sr. who was a Muggle who stayed in Little Hangleton. However, since Merope used magic to bewitch Tom Riddle, Sr. into falling for her, he eventually abandoned both her and the baby. Therefore, Voldemort grew up an orphan and hated his father after he found out about him. He eventually killed his father.
Who dies in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince?
Several characters die in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The most important character that dies in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is Albus Dumbledore. He is killed by Severus Snape at the top of the Astronomy Tower in the presence of several Death Eaters, and Harry. Other significant deaths include Aragog, Hagrid’s spider friend, Florian Fortescue, Emeline Vance, Amelia Bones, and many more.