I was thinking about the forthcoming release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on the way home from work, and my thoughts turned to the impact, if any, it will have on the Harry/Susan ship.
Naturally, my fondest hope that that they'll develop a romantic relationship; as promised, I intend to be completely insufferable should such a relationship come to pass. I think I've earned that right.
Barring an actual romance, I'd be satisfied with seeing them continue getting to know one another while remaining romantically unattached, thus setting the stage for a dating relationship in book seven. I think that one's kind of unlikely, as JKR has broadly hinted that romance will play a part in Harry's life in HBP.
The worst-case scenario, obviously, is that Harry will become romantically entangled with someone other than Susan, like, say, Ginny Weasley. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But such a thing would rather complicate the situation, and make the Harry/Susan ship seem, shall we say, slightly less plausible.
Unfortunately, this last option seems to me to be the most likely outcome, which, I must admit, is somewhat depressing. It's not making me any less excited about getting my hands on the book come July 16, but knowing that my ship of choice may be dashed against the rocks in a matter of months is making me a little nervous.
Speaking of the Half-Blood Prince, we got some promotional stuff from Scholastic the other day. Nothing too fancy, just little cards that read, "Who is the Half-Blood Prince?" Which brought to mind a question that has been percolating in my head ever since the title was announced: will the Half-Blood Prince, whoever he is, have anything to do with the book?
Consider the Goblet of Fire. I don't remember what the advertising campaign for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was like, but it's not hard to imagine Scholastic having produced similar materials for the release of that book, asking, "what is the Goblet of Fire?" As it turned out, the Goblet of Fire was a nothingburger, brought out of its chest in one chapter and returned to it in the next. It was nothing more than a way to get Harry into the Triwizard Tournament. I'd describe it as a McGuffin, but really it didn't even rise to that level. It was, literally, a plot device, a nomen ex camella if you will. So I think it's entirely possible the Half-Blood Prince could be someone who is of no real importance at all.
On the other hand, that they're posing the question is, possibly, an indication that the identity of the Half-Blood Prince is indeed relevant to the story or whether he's another Mark Evans. I'll find out on July 16, I guess.