‘Harry Potter and the Ink Black Prince:’ Beatrice Groves on a Parallel Series Idea

The feature story in this month’s Rowling Library pdf is ‘The Ink Black Prince: Connections between The Ink Black Heart and Harry Potter‘ by Beatrice Groves. You can download the issue here or read it online using this link. Scroll to page 14 for the discussion of Ink Black Heart‘s echoes and parallels with it’s apposite number in the Hogwarts Saga, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

The article has all the signature virtues of Prof Groves’ writing: a magisterial command of Rowling canon and interview material, discoveries consequent to her research into the meaning of words and names, and a tone and spirit that is simultaneously welcoming and challenging. Prepare yourself for a treat; only Prof Groves could have written such an insightful review so quickly after reading this epic-length novel (compare it to anything available from professional book-mavens in print and online for an even better appreciation of her accomplishment).

If the Parallel Series Idea, the theory that Rowling is writing the Cormoran Strike novels with heavy shading in each from her first seven book series, and Ring Composition in Harry Potter and the Strike novels, which structural points inform much of Prof Groves’ discussion, see the following pages here at HogwartsProfessor.com:

  • The Parallel Series Idea Pillar Post: An explanation of the origin of this theory is provided here as well as links to posts detailing the parallels between the first five Harry Potter novels and their equivalent numbers in the Strike;
  • The Ink Black Heart and Half-Blood Prince Discussion Post: The week Strike6 was published, this page was posted for readers and HogwartsProfessor faculty members to share the parallels they found between these books. It is a not a discursive argument but a collection of serious reader observations and speculation (Prof Groves references it in her article);
  • The Ring Composition Pillar Post: Anthropologist Mary Douglas in her Thinking in Circles swan song described turtle-back story-telling as the most universal narrative structure of human history. What it is, how Rowling deploys it in Harry Potter and her other works to include the Strike novels, and what it means are discussed in this pillar post with the necessary links to articles available at the site detailing the chiastic echoing within Rowling novels and between novels in her series;
  • The Ink Black Heart and Silkworm Discussion Post: A ‘given’ of discussions and predictions about Strike6 has been, consequent to the seeming turtle-back structure in seven parts of this series thus far, that it will have strong echoes with Strike2, much as Half-Blood Prince did Chamber of Secrets. Readers have been sharing the connections they have found between the second and sixth Strike novels on a daily basis at this discussion post since the book was published.

These ideas are discussed, too, elsewhere on the site. Check out Louise Freeman’s first prediction post, First Flip of the Tarot Cards: Louise’s Predictions for Strike 6,’ in which she foresaw, due to the Parallel Series Idea, that the killer would be “less of a twist” than previous Strike novels just as Harry from the start was saying Draco Malfoy was in the service of the Dark Lord. I also reviewed these ideas in my ‘Nine Guides to Ink Black Heart,’ written just before the book’s publication this year.

Hat’s off to The Rowling Library for putting together this special issue dedicated to Ink Black Heart, an achievement that is remarkable not only with respect to the speed with which it was assembled but also with regard to the quality of its several articles, especially Prof Groves! If you are not a subscriber to ‘The Rowling Library,’ you are really missing out; sign up here to receive copies of this quality online journal and contribute here to receive TRL’s Patricio Tarantino’s weekly ‘Daily Prophet’ newsletters for TRL patrons.


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