The Half-Blood Prince was none other than

Severus Snape

Pursuant to this question:

Was there anybody who knew the Half-Blood Prince's true identity? (Before the events in HBP)

It doesn't strike me as something that was well-known (or known at all).

When the true identity of the Prince was revealed in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Chp. Twenty-Eight, Flight of the Prince); Harry is alone with the Prince, and so no one other than the two of them know.

It seems also that the information was kept well secret; no one made the connection between the book and any spells invented in it to the creator (the Prince).

  • 6
    Being in slytherin - especially during his school time when death-eaters were being formed - I doubt Snape would've advertised himself as being half-blood.
    – mustard
    Apr 30 '14 at 6:23
  • 1
    one could strictly answer the question with "Snape" and technically be correct :)
    – NKCampbell
    Apr 11 '17 at 15:32
  • @NKCampbell That's what I came here to say... though I would have said Severus or Severus Snape instead.
    – Pryftan
    Mar 1 '18 at 23:36

I could be wrong, but nobody actually knew the term "Half-blood Prince" in the first place as far as I recall. It was a private nickname that Snape made for himself. So the question's answer is "nobody COULD know the identity of that name since nobody knew the name in the first place".

I can see only 5 candidates:

  1. He clearly wouldn't be likely to reveal his nickname to Muggle-hating "friends" of his (Mulciber etc...).

  2. There is zero information that Lily Evans knew it. She could have but we don't have any canon confirmation.

  3. Same can be said of Dumbledore. If anyone knew, my money would be on him but as with Lily, there's zero canon evidence that he knew.

  4. Pretty much nobody else was close enough to Snape that they would even know his mother's maiden name.

  5. That only leaves possible random students who used Snape's textbook like Harry - which was again not a common occurrence (even the poorest ones like Ron Weasley bought their own; and Harry was given the class copy because he unexpectedly was readmitted to the class by Slughorn on short notice. Since Snape was the Potions teacher most of the intervening years, he was not likely to have given anyone his own potions textbook if he ran across it).

  • As I expected. Good to get confirmation. +1 Great answer.
    – Möoz
    May 2 '14 at 2:01
  • I think you’ve left one option out—perhaps the most likely of them all (though still no evidence). There is no indication in the book that the old, battered school book Harry got from the cupboard had ever been used by anyone but Snape—at least, no one else seems to have written in it. It seems reasonable to assume that it was new when Snape got it, and that he just at some point left it in that cupboard. If that is so, anyone who had Potions with him could quite easily have seen “This book is the property of the Half-Blood Prince” written on it in class and made the connection. Feb 14 '16 at 1:37
  • if anyone knew it i would suspect lily, not that she knew he called himself that, but she would have known he was halfblood, and his last name was prince, so she could have potentially figured it out after seeing it.
    – Himarm
    Jul 31 '16 at 2:14
  • @JanusBahsJacquet It wasn't new. It was 50 years old. He used it when he was in school and he modified it.
    – Pryftan
    Mar 1 '18 at 23:38
  • @Himarm His surname wasn't Prince though; that was his mum's name. I'm sure she knew he was half blood but I'm not sure he told the name Prince to anyone and why would he? Yes he writes the name down but he's certainly not proud of his father.
    – Pryftan
    Mar 1 '18 at 23:39

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