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What are the most surprising facts about Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince?

Magic, wizards, Quidditch, and Death Eaters: J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels defined a generation and introduced both children and adults alike to a world of fantasy and adventure. They also spawned a series of successful film adaptations starring young actor Daniel Radcliffe as the Boy Who Lived. The penultimate installment in the series took on a decidedly darker tone than the other films, as Harry and his friends close in on the evil wizard Lord Voldemort. As the Harry Potter movies progress, the cinematography gets darker as well as the Warner Bros. logo at the start of every movie. Since Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is the sixth film out of eight, you can expect gloom and doom. Aside from the compelling story of the Half-Blood Prince, it's always interesting to look at what goes on behind the scenes. Most of the fascinating and hidden facts are often those not captured by the camera. Here you can find cool trivia about Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince's cast and crew of the film. If you're a fan of the Harry Potter films, you can even test yourself and find out how many facts you already knew!

Even 10 years later, the Harry Potter series continues to capture imaginations and enrapture audiences all over the world. Whether watching for the first time or the 100th time, these trivia are sure to shed new light on any fan's viewing experience. Here are 10 little known facts and bits of trivia about the "Half-Blood Prince."  

2 comments
  1. 1One actor tragically died after filming

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    Unfortunately, the UK premiere of "Half-Blood Prince" was marked by tragedy. Actor Robert Knox who played student Marcus Belby in the film, and was set to reprise the role in the upcoming "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." Shortly after the film's premiere, the 18-year-old Knox was stabbed to death outside a London Pub. According to witnesses, he was killed after intervening in a fight to protect his younger brother. The Robert Knox Foundation was created in his memory and helps to fund training for young people in the arts.

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  1. 2Young Tom Riddle is played by a surprising actor

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    Much of "Half-Blood Prince" focuses on the background of Tom Riddle, the wizard that would eventually become the feared Lord Voldemort. In one scene, a younger Dumbledore visits Riddle in an orphanage. The actor playing young Riddle is none other than Hero Fiennes-Tiffin. If that name sounds familiar, it should: Fiennes-Tiffin is the nephew of actor Ralph Fiennes, who plays the adult Voldemort. Fiennes-Tiffin was selected for the role based on both his acting ability and his close resemblance to his uncle.

  2. 3Maggie Smith finished the film while battling cancer

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    Actress Maggie Smith is known to Potter fans for bringing the steely, no-nonsense Professor McGonagall to life. Smith brought that same determination to her personal life during the filming of "Half-Blood Prince." Though it was kept secret at the time, Smith filmed her role for the film while also engaging in aggressive treatments for breast cancer. The experience proved so difficult and exhausting that Smith actually considered retirement after filming was completed.

  1. 4Studio executives received death threats

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    "Half-Blood Prince" had originally been slated for release in 2008, but studio executives eventually decided to push the release date back several months into 2009. Fans were so outraged by the decision that studio executives started receiving death threats, and several online petitions were started demanding that the film be released on the original date. The studio stuck with the 2009 release but did end up issuing a public apology to appease the fans.

  2. 5It's Daniel Radcliffe's least favorite performance

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    Actor Daniel Radcliffe brought the role of Harry Potter to life in all 8 movies of the series, but out of all of them, he cites "Half-Blood Prince" as his least favorite performance. He states that the movie is still hard for him to watch. As to the reason why Radcliffe admits that his acting was "very one-note" and that he "got complacent."

  3. 6Rembrandt influenced the film

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    In keeping with its darker tone, "Half-Blood Prince" has a distinctly shadowy and bleak visual style as well. Director David Yates stated that the works of famous painter Rembrandt served as inspiration for the film's color palettes and style. Unfortunately, Warner Bros. wasn't happy with the initial cut, stating that the movie needed "more color." Yates made some minor tweaks but didn't budge on altering the general visual style of the movie and eventually came to a compromise with the studio.

  4. 7The cave set is real... sort of

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    The film's climax takes place in a mysterious and sinister cave hidden along a bleak-looking coastline. The grim cliffs seen in the film are a real location: the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland. The cave's interior, however, was created entirely using CGI. The only part of the set that actually exists is the small island that Harry and Dumbledore stand on while they retrieve the Horcrux. The location was also notable for another reason: the Cliffs were the only location in the series that was filmed outside of the United Kingdom.

  5. 8One actress almost played a different role

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    British actress Helen McCrory makes her first appearance in the series in the role of Draco Malfoy's mother Narcissa. McCrory almost entered the Potterverse much earlier: she had originally been cast as the sadistic and villainous Bellatrix Lestrange, but ultimately had to drop out due to her pregnancy at the time. Helena Bonham Carter took McCrory's place to become an iconic part of the series. The role of Narcissa also nearly went to another actor: Naomi Watts was rumored to have been cast in the role at one point early in the production.

  6. 9Emma Watson almost backed out

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    Actress Emma Watson first took on the role of bookish witch Hermione Granger at the age of 11 in "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." She played the role in every movie since, but nearly considered quitting before "Half-Blood Prince." Watson was attending college at the time, and filming the movie would have interfered with her education. Ultimately, she decided to stick with the role for multiple reasons. The studio shifted the entire production to schedule around her exam dates, and Watson herself said that she couldn't bear to see anyone else play the role.

  7. 10It's one of the most expensive movies of all time

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    Compared to other films in the Harry Potter series, "Half-Blood Prince" is easily the most expensive. With more CGI than other films and the contracts for several principal actors coming up for renegotiation, the final budget totaled in excess of $250 million. To put that in perspective, each part of "Harry Potter and the Death Hallows" was filmed for about half that amount. This whopping sum places "Half-Blood Prince" at number 15 on the list of the most expensive movies of all time.

2 comments

  • #1
    A
    Anonymous
    January 2, 2020
    "i consider myself a potterhead but i didn't know this until now??? i must be a fake stan then damn i really love proffessor mcgonagall she's one of the most iconic characters in the harry potter universe. i am so glad she recovered!!!"
    Refering to:
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    Maggie Smith finished the film while battling cancer
  • #2
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    Anonymous
    January 2, 2020
    "To this day, i still feel sad whenever Robert Knox's death is mentioned because I really liked his portrayal of Marcus Belby and he seemed like a real nice guy :("
    Refering to:
    1
    One actor tragically died after filming
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