RT's Trailer Analysis: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

SPOILER ALERT: We take a closer look at a minute and a half of tease.

by | July 31, 2008 | Comments

The teaser trailer for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince has been released and we’ve decided, here at RT, to take a closer look at the minute and a half of new footage. Read our breakdown of the things to look out for when the sixth film in the Boy Wizard franchise comes out.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

It’s the start of another year at Hogwarts. Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) may make only the briefest appearance in the trailer, but we know exactly the film being trailed as the Hogwarts Express opens the film…

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

…followed by an overhead shot of a stormy Hogwarts castle. It’s on one of these large, conical towers that the film’s powerful finale will be played out.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Meanwhile a gaggle of over-eager extras do their best to avoid looking straight at the camera (and plenty fail, bless ’em) as Professor McGonagall (Dame Maggie Smith) struggles through the throng.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Dumbledore’s intricate memory holder is next to fill the screen, displaying a row of Riddle-related memories ready to be tapped into.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

“What you’re looking at are memories,” Dumbledore informs Harry. These, he says, pertain to a young man called Tom Riddle. As we learnt in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Tom Riddle grows to become Lord Voldemort.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

This is the most important, Dumbledore’s very first meeting with an orphaned Tom Riddle long ago, before his introduction to magic and before his dark, twisted descent into evil.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

“I want you to see it,” says Dumbledore…

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

…and so Harry stares deep into the Pensieve, a magical device which allows for memories to be stored and viewed by third parties.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

So as Harry peers in we’re in fifties London, evidenced by the beautiful car and rather dodgy weather. Dumbledore is making his way through to…

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

…Wools Orphanage. The book describes the orphanage as being found on a bustling, old-fashioned London street and for those trivia-heads in the audience, the film’s production in fact constructed the impressive exterior at the end of the old-fashioned London street they’d built to house Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

The cold, dark orphanage is a maze of imposing and lifeless stairways, halls and rooms that look more like prison cells. The most important of these, which the headmistress Ms. Cole leads Dumbledore to, houses…

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

…Tom Marvolo Riddle, played by Hero Fiennes-Tiffin. He’s Ralph Fiennes‘ nephew, which makes him perfect casting for the young Lord Voldemort. “In all the years Tom’s been here he’s never once had a visitor,” explains Ms. Cole, and we’re about to learn how that fact has made its mark.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Tom wants to know if Dumbledore is a doctor. “I’m like you,” he says, “I’m different.”

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

“Prove it,” demands Riddle. There are shades of Harry’s first encounter with Hagrid here, one of many that cause Harry concern. His path is not so different from Riddle’s. They’re both abandoned and alone, and Harry fears that these similarities will lead him down a similar path.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Riddle’s first challenge of Dumbledore is answered as the older wizard sets alight the boy’s cabinet. In the book this is the storage place for the stolen trophies the young wizard collects which will soon explain his use of the Horcruxes.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Cleary convinced by this display, the boy begins to share his experiences. We cut to Harry running through reeds…

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

…these are the first of a series of shots clearly culled from the much-mooted new scene being added to the movie, involving an attack by the Death Eaters on The Burrow, the home to the Weasley family and one of Harry’s favourite places.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

And we’re introduced to a new character, Fenrir Greyback, a twisted werewolf who’s playing for the Death Eaters, and whose lust for feeding on flesh has carried over even when he’s not transformed. He has his sights set on…

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

…Ginny Weasley. After an awkward flirtation with Cho Chang in The Order of the Phoenix, we’ll come to learn how important Ginny will become to Harry in the course of this film.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

But while love blossoms for one Weasley, Ron has some trouble with poisoning this year. First he scoffs some chocolates meant for Harry and imbued with love potion and then, far more seriously as we see here, he inadvertently drinks a potion meant for an assassination attempt on Dumbledore. Potions play a big part in the film, as Snape takes over Defense Against the Dark Arts and Professor Slughorn – played by Potter newcomer Jim Broadbent – replaces him as Potions master.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

The briefest of shots in the trailer is of Dumbledore placing the Gaunt’s ring on his finger. What we come to learn is that this is no ordinary ring. It is, instead, a Horcrux belonging to…

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

…Lord Voldemort. Fiennes doesn’t appear in this film — instead, Fiennes-Tiffin is one of two younger Tom Riddles to appear — but his character’s presence is stronger than ever, as brief flashes of the twisted Lord in the trailer serve to illustrate.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

We’re also given a look at a key scene that takes place in a cave. Notice the crystalline, Superman Returns-like structure of the rock. This cave keeps, in the center, a bowl from which Dumbledore must drink to retrieve one of the seven Horcruxes Voldemort has made. With it (possibly) in hand, the professor and Harry battle away the Inferi (who we don’t see) by conjuring fire.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

But the liquid has taken its toll on Dumbledore, forcing him to relive his worst memory ever and endure unimaginable pain in the process.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Back to Riddle. He shares his most important piece of information to the young Dumbledore. “I can speak to snakes too,” he says, “They find me. Whisper things.”

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

He refers to Parseltongue, the ability to understand and communicate with serpents. In the books this is a trait that can be practiced by good wizards as well as bad, and the film certainly suggests the same – Harry is a Parseltongue, another of his many similarities with Riddle. But it’s a portent of darkness nonetheless, in the books and films, and it’s a confession which stops Dumbledore in his tracks.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Cue John Williams‘ Hedwig’s Theme and the title card. Over this, a line lifted straight from the book. “Did you know, sir? Then?” asks Harry. “Did I know I’d just met the most dangerous dark wizard of all time?” replies Dumbledore. “No.”

Watch the trailer for yourself right here on RT and view our updated photo gallery here. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince arrives in cinemas in November.

Tag Cloud

hispanic GoT revenge Year in Review Spectrum Originals venice richard e. Grant spanish language all-time indie award winner Musical Warner Bros. ITV RT History facebook game show black Logo miniseries reviews doctor who Hallmark Endgame hollywood Binge Guide worst movies cinemax The Academy halloween green book Fox News First Reviews BET Awards Ellie Kemper Marvel Studios Song of Ice and Fire spain psycho Emmys comic Best and Worst MSNBC Opinion Vudu stop motion Teen harry potter USA concert LGBT Premiere Dates dark cancelled television elevated horror directors New York Comic Con Sundance TV 2015 supernatural emmy awards TCA serial killer Kids & Family cats james bond cooking series RT21 Shudder docudrama YouTube Premium toronto reboot Country Election Star Wars mockumentary TV renewals rotten remakes Cannes Baby Yoda golden globes Sci-Fi canceled Photos Video Games strong female leads Pirates Fox Searchlight ID Marvel Television Amazon Prime Video DC Universe robots Super Bowl japanese AMC zero dark thirty quibi Chernobyl Fantasy sitcom HBO Max BAFTA biography binge Black History Month sequels police drama Extras renewed TV shows Oscars cancelled TV series 99% twilight 4/20 National Geographic Emmy Nominations 20th Century Fox aliens Chilling Adventures of Sabrina news sports cartoon true crime Sneak Peek Toys Television Critics Association Character Guide NBC Turner Classic Movies dceu FOX worst FX on Hulu Nat Geo spinoff MTV Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt children's TV franchise Winners 72 Emmy Awards Valentine's Day PaleyFest stoner Sony Pictures Women's History Month PlayStation free movies Pride Month Columbia Pictures Netflix Christmas movies Captain marvel Nominations Lifetime Christmas movies VOD Polls and Games Turner The CW Family Crunchyroll Crackle Marvel cults Nickelodeon Cartoon Network Reality Competition Pop TV anthology Dark Horse Comics south america Mudbound universal monsters Universal fast and furious Discovery Channel X-Men singing competition Music DGA Mary Poppins Returns talk show 71st Emmy Awards Mystery Peacock joker BBC canceled TV shows football christmas movies Ovation Sundance cops Pop ghosts Walt Disney Pictures FX movie Winter TV Spike festival rt archives political drama Rock medical drama Arrowverse Comedy Central romantic comedy diversity what to watch game of thrones jamie lee curtis tv talk 007 a nightmare on elm street YouTube Red BBC America zombies unscripted LGBTQ ESPN CNN Biopics Hallmark Christmas movies Rocky American Society of Cinematographers stand-up comedy TruTV Horror scary movies dramedy werewolf thriller Holidays MCU The Walking Dead Shondaland Anna Paquin historical drama IFC Films Reality nature Disney streaming service space Disney versus Infographic TCA Winter 2020 Holiday breaking bad rotten movies we love 2017 APB Paramount 2018 Apple TV Plus TCM technology comedies BBC One travel crime Superheroe NYCC die hard mission: impossible Syfy Film Festival Lifetime crime thriller dogs cancelled transformers teaser TCA 2017 CW Seed Set visit archives 45 social media adventure nbcuniversal YouTube casting TIFF chucky Tumblr indiana jones best dc OneApp spider-man TLC Amazon Prime TCA Awards name the review WGN Classic Film documentaries Certified Fresh asian-american boxoffice Comics on TV A&E Calendar Box Office Mindy Kaling IFC composers GLAAD Marathons Amazon Bravo disaster satire science fiction deadpool animated Television Academy 2019 HBO Red Carpet Travel Channel Academy Awards justice league Hulu dragons latino Food Network TV italian kids Brie Larson Disney Plus USA Network festivals blockbuster Lucasfilm nfl Tubi theme song Showtime crime drama The Purge E3 DC streaming service child's play Star Trek Esquire Quiz Apple TV+ criterion Summer ABC superhero Sundance Now Disney+ Disney Plus movies Avengers DC Comics toy story WarnerMedia period drama Western Stephen King slashers Writers Guild of America Heroines History Martial Arts Action Superheroes PBS blaxploitation Elton John Trophy Talk El Rey Interview GIFs BET adaptation TNT YA comic books classics Rom-Com Epix spy thriller Black Mirror screenings psychological thriller Mary poppins comiccon Amazon Studios television Fall TV DirecTV Paramount Network Schedule 2016 Film foreign Funimation french Countdown based on movie films obituary independent crossover discovery halloween tv Tarantino finale First Look FXX sequel anime sag awards VH1 San Diego Comic-Con CBS All Access VICE Adult Swim romance ABC Family Thanksgiving Pixar The Witch screen actors guild Acorn TV Ghostbusters TBS Awards Tour Comedy Lionsgate scorecard comics witnail See It Skip It war Disney Channel documentary spanish SXSW Netflix Creative Arts Emmys hist cars TV Land vampires E! australia batman Spring TV Awards Masterpiece zombie CMT SDCC A24 Grammys The Arrangement critics Christmas Apple Freeform Podcast Starz Comic Book OWN book Britbox parents natural history Pet Sematary President streaming HBO Go ratings Tomatazos laika mutant Mary Tyler Moore Hear Us Out Watching Series politics Rocketman Trivia CBS cancelled TV shows video on demand SundanceTV Musicals 21st Century Fox Animation video 24 frames Drama Trailer Cosplay 2020