It’s Month 6/Book 6 of my Harry Potter hardback/paperback comparison! Half Blood Prince is one of my two favorite HP books, so I was very excited to dive into it. This is the first month where I’m reading the paperback version instead of the hardback, as it’s the first book I owned originally in hardback. It was a slightly different way of thinking – seeing how things were corrected and changed from the version I’m used to, rather than seeing what was originally there instead of the corrected version I’m used to.
Compared to Order of the Phoenix, the changes made to book #6 were very, very mild. Order of the Phoenix was INSANE in the number of changes. Half Blood Prince only had a couple very minor changes and one big change.
Be forewarned: THERE WILL BE SPOILERS HERE. It’s impossible to do this project without spoilers, so if you haven’t read Harry Potter and might do so someday, please don’t read any further!
Page 100 – In the HB version, Ron says to Hermione, “And when you’ve got your eleven ‘Outstanding’ O.W.L.s…” This is wrong, because Hermione is only taking ten classes. She’s taking two different ones from Ron and Harry, but she’s also not in divination, so she’s only taking one more class than them. When I found out the HB & PB versions were different, the very first thing I did was go to the store to look up this particular mistake and make sure it was corrected in the paperback. It is. The pb version says, “And when you’ve got your ten ‘Outstanding’ O.W.L.s…”
Page 103 – Same error fixed. Ron says “Yep – ten ‘Outstanding’ and one ‘Exceeds Expectations’” in the hardback, whereas it’s “Yep – nine ‘Outstanding’ and one ‘Exceeds Expectations’” in the paperback.
Page 593 – From hardback to paperback, the second instance of “of” (bolded) is removed from the following statement: Harry could smell a powerful mixture of dirt, sweat, and, unmistakeably, of blood coming from him. It’s just parallel writing error, very minor. I only caught it at all because it changed the line endings in a section where I was paying particular attention to word placement, due to page-end changes caused by the major error mentioned below.
This error actually involves the removal of sections on a particular paragraph that overlaps both pages 592 and 593. I’m going to write the paragraph in full, hardback version, and bold the parts that are removed in the paperback version. This is when Dumbledore is talking to Draco Malfoy when Draco has him cornered on top of the tower.
“He cannot kill you if you are already dead. Come over to the right side, Draco, and we can hide you more completely than you can possibly imagine. What is more, I can send members of the Order to your mother tonight to hide her likewise. Nobody would be surprised that you had died in your attempt to kill me – forgive me, but Lord Voldemort probably expects it. Nor would the Death Eaters be surprised that we had captured and killed your mother – it is what they would do themselves, after all. Your father is safe at the moment in Azkaban. . . . When the time comes, we can protect him too. Come over to the right side, Draco . . . you are not a killer. . . .”
Everything in bold was removed in the paperback text. From what I’ve heard, these sections were never actually supposed to appear in the text. Rowling removed them at the last minute, but they went to print in America before they were caught. If I remember correctly, the British version does not have them in there either. I can’t check – I only have a paperback British copy and I don’t know if the paperback and hardback British versions are different like they are in the American versions. Anyone with a hardback British version want to check that for me?
That’s it for Book 6! It was relatively tame compared to the last couple books. See you guys next month with my final installment of the Harry Potter hb/pb comparisons!