HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: Faith and Trust | FCC 90

Harry trusts Dumbledore, but that faith is about to be tested in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Dumbledore asks Harry to do as he says no matter what happens, and we get to see if Harry has enough self-discipline to do that.

For your convenience you will find each podcast segment at the time referenced below:

  • 00:00:00 – Introduction
  • 00:03:04 – Movie Discussion
  • 00:26:33 – Christian Themes in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  • 01:04:03 – Listener Challenge and Feedback
  • 01:12:53 – Well-mannered Frivolity
  • 01:29:33 – Lightning Round 
  • 01:30:32 – Upcoming

Thy Word Is A Lumos Maxima Unto My Feet

It is established early in the film that Harry fully trusts Dumbledore. When the two are walking the streets of Budleigh Babberton after aberrating there from the train station, Dumbledore opines that Harry must be wondering why they have even gone there. Harry smoothly responds in saying that, after so many years of this type of weird stuff happening, he just goes along with it without question. That alone is the type of faith and trust that we all should aspire to have, but it doesn’t stop there.

After it is revealed that Lord Voldemort has divided his soul into horcruxes, Dumbledore once again asks too much of Harry. He asks Harry to accompany him to a location believed to hold one of these horcruxes, and before they leave, Dumbledore tells Harry that he is to do as Dumbledore says no matter what. Even if it means running, hiding, and abandoning Dumbledore in this location, Harry is to trust and obey.

This image shows Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter with the Lumos charm.

What’s interesting about the location is that it is pitch-black dark, and Dumbledore produces the Lumos Maxima in order for them to see. Granted, they cannot see everything, but they can see enough to get to where they need to go. Even as Dumbledore’s light fades, Harry can still use the Lumos charm to find his way again. Furthermore, Harry may not fully understand why Dumbledore is acting the way he is, but he trusts Dumbledore enough to obey him.

The scenario is reminiscent of Psalm 119:105, which says, “Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a guide unto my path.” The curious thing about lamps is that they don’t produce enough light to reveal everything, but they produce enough light to show which step needs to be taken next. And that’s what God’s word – his laws, his precepts, his ways of doing the small things – is all about. It may not reveal everything there is to know, but it will always reveal everything we need to know.


The Testing of Harry Faith

Unfortunately, when Harry returns to Hogwarts with a heavily poisoned Dumbledore, he faces his toughest test to date. He knows Dumbledore needs help and offers to escort him to Madame Pomfrey, but Dumbledore insists that Harry fetch Professor Snape instead. The two of them then hear the door open and close, so Dumbledore retracts and tells Harry to hide below the floor and never come out no matter what.

As Harry waits patiently underneath the scene, he sees his own arch-nemesis Draco Malfoy holding a wand to kill Dumbledore. Harry, because he trusts Dumbledore, stays put. Then the rest of the Death Eaters arrive to see the deed through, and Harry still does not move. Even when Snape catches him hiding and motions for him not to make a sound, Harry remains still out of his faith in Dumbledore. The culmination of these small tests is Severus casting the Killing Curse on Dumbledore, and as much as he doesn’t want to, Harry holds himself back.

This image from HALF-BLOOD PRINCE shows Harry and Dumbledore standing in the bell tower.

The point is that Harry’s faith in Dumbledore – the self-discipline it took to not lash out when seeing the closest thing he’s ever had to a father figure be betrayed and killed by one of his friends – saved him. Even when it didn’t make sense to do so, Harry kept his word to Dumbledore and did not burst out in emotion at the scene. And thankfully so, because if he had, he might have done something detrimental to the plan already at work (the plan that we won’t find out about until the next films).

For now, it is enough to say that Harry trusted Dumbledore all the way to the end. He could have taken vengeance and stopped everything right there, but because he focused only on what Dumbledore said – “Trust me. Trust me.” – he was spared from having to become just as dirty as the Death Eaters. Dumbledore drank the cup of wrath in the cave so Harry wouldn’t have to; Dumbledore also became the “victim” of the Avada Kedavra curse so Harry wouldn’t have to (again).

This is like what Jesus did for the Jews, and it is what God calls the Church to do for the rest of the world. Just as Jesus drank the cup of wrath that was meant for the treacherous Israelites, so is the Church supposed to suffer with the world and for the world so that it, too, might be saved like we have been.


Finding Christ In Cinema is the show where we discover Christian themes in movies past and present. Join us and together we’ll dig deeper into the silver-screen classics of yesteryear as well as the box-office hits of today. Brought to you by the Great Commission Transmission Network. View the complete show notes, including links to articles discussed, by clicking here.

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About Brenden Taylor

Brenden is a graduate student pursuing his Master in Theatre Arts degree with Regent University. He is an educational assistant and tutor by day and a theatre practitioner by night. You can find him live-tweeting his favorite movies on Twitter @LeviTheBeliever or posting poetry and unsolicited opinions at thebookofbrenden.com
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  • Philip Heard

    Fun show guys! Half Blood Prince is my favorite Potter film, and definitely one of my favorites of the books. I think it captures the spirit and feel of the book series better than any of the other movies. Funny enough, it was my least favorite until I re-watched it for the first time, at which point I came to properly appreciate it for the beauty it is.
    I was glad to see Michael coming on board with Michael Gambon, finally! In this film, he’s doing things physically and actively that I don’t think Richard Harris would have done as well. Although Michael’s explanation regarding Harris’ whimsical portrayal of Dumbledore makes a lot of sense, and I agree that he better fit that aspect of the character than Gambon. They’re like choosing between deep dish or thin crust pizza- either way we win!
    One thing you discussed that I liked was Harry displaying what Christian discipline looks like. Paul used a soldier as a way of illustrating the Christian life, and I think that over time that has been warped into something else, especially in contemporary America. We are to have discipline, devotion, and a readiness for instant obedience when faced with the clear choice of following Christ or doing what may be wise in our own eyes, or that of the world. We are not called to fight a culture war, dig in our heels, or get in the face of people whose values are contrary to ours. So many Christians doing so have turned popular perception of our faith into a political one, rather than that of followers of Christ walking in His grace. I’ve been there and done that myself, and un-grace is not an effective witnessing tool. We can and need to figure out how to be faithful to Jesus, stand up for His values, and still graciously love our neighbors in the process.

    Love the show guys, looking forward to the next Potter film! #muhweeladgimli

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