Errors or Not? Some supposed mistakes in OP...
We here at the Lexicon are working
overtime to add all the new facts into the pages of the site. It's going
to take a long, long time to edit what's there and create new pages for
everything from Tonks and Mundungus Fletcher to St. Mungo's and Dumbledore's
Army. In the meantime, this page will serve as a place for us to post some
of the more intriguing new bits of information we and many of you have
This is just one of those phrases that jumped out at me as I worked my
way through chapter 15, taking notes. I'm not sure why it struck me odd,
but it did. Why did a breeze blow by at that exact moment and affect the
fire? With what we know of fires as communication tools, is it possible
that someone was listening, maybe Dumbledore? Here's the quote. What do
you make of it?
'Isn't it obvious?' she said. 'I'm talking
about you, Harry.'
There was a moment's silence. A
light night breeze rattled the windowpanes behind Ron, and the fire guttered.
'About me what?' said Harry.
'I'm talking about you teaching
us Defence Against the Dark Arts.'
(page 326 US version)
James was NOT made a Prefect in his
fifth year. Hagrid tells us that both James and Lily were Head Boy and
Girl, so James must have become a Prefect in his sixth year or possibly
been made Head Boy without ever being a Prefect. We don't know how the
system works, after all.
More interesting information about James:
While JKR has stated that James was
a Chaser, he is shown as a Seeker in the film and in this book he plays
with a Snitch he stole, which suggests that he might have been a Seeker.
Of course, there's nothing to say that he couldn't have played both positions
at one time or another, and even if he wasn't a Seeker he could have been
showing off with a Snitch, which is much more impressive than playing around
with a Quaffle. (OP28)
James is apparently the only son in
his family. Sirius says that when he ran away from home, he hung out at
James' house, where his parents took Sirius in as "a second son." (OP6)
James' casual cruelty to Snape is strongly
suggestive of both the Death Eaters' cruelty to the Muggles at the Quidditch
World Cup and also of Dudley's gang beating up smaller children in Little
The names of many of Sirius' family
members are the names of stars or constellations: Sirius, Regulus, Bellatrix,
Andromeda. Narcissa would seem to be the exception.
The small boy Dudley beat up in OP1
was named Mark Evans. Evans, of course, was Lily's maiden name. No idea
what connection there could be, but it certainly is suggestive...
Somehow, Harry got his Marauder's Map
back. The last we saw of it, Barty Crouch Jr. had taken it in the guise
of Moody. There is no indication of how it was returned to Harry.
The number you ring on the telephone
to enter the Misistry of Magic, 62442, spells M-A-G-I-C (thanks to James
Greenfield for this one!)
Hermione's Patronus turns out to be
otter. In both the AOL chat and Scholastic interview, Rowling said that
if she were an Animagus, she'd like to turn into an otter, because it's
her favorite animal.
Harry has never seen the Thestrals pulling
the school carriages before, but he has witnessed death several times:
his mother and Cedric. Why didn't he see the Thestrals before? Rowling
has answered that question in the Royal Albert Hall interview (RAH) Thursday
June 26, 2003. She said that it takes a while for a death to be processed,
to be accepted. Harry hadn't yet come to that point with Cedric's death
at the end of the last school year. He was too young to understand his
mother's death and so that never registered in the same way.
The Wizengamot gets its name from the
Witan, also known as the Witenagemot, from Anglo-Saxon England. Witan is
defined as "an assembly of higher ecclesiastics and important laymen, including
king's thegns, that met to counsel the king on matters such as judicial
problems." Thanks to Tom Stermitz for reminding me of this reference from
my History of Britain classes.
Just to show you how sometimes we can
get a little TOO intense in our search for clues and hidden meanings:
I was reading the fourth chapter out
loud to my son. When I was done, I told him excitedly that I was going
to figure out what "Grimmauld" meant, that I was going to search the web
and look it up in my French dictionary and so on. He gave me a rather patronizing
look and said, "Dad, it means 'grim old place.'" He's right of course.
or Not? Fans have come up with a list of supposed errors in
the book. Some of them are errors by Rowling, that's true, but some are
misunderstandings by fans. Here's the list and some comments:
Harry sees Thestrals, beasts visible
to those who have seen a death, for the first time - yet baby Harry saw
his mum being killed.
We don't know that baby Harry actually
saw his mother killed. He was there, but that doesn't mean he saw it happen.
So it's perfectly reasonable to say that he hasn't seen someone actually
die until Cedric. In fact, since Harry doesn't see the thestrals before
book five, we can say for sure that whatever he saw as a baby doesn't fulfill
the requirements for seeing thestrals.
However, Rowling was asked about this
and did give her explanation at the RAH event. Here's what she said:
Email: Harry saw his parents die
so why hasn’t he been able to see the Thestrals before?
I knew I was going to get that one…that is an excellent question. And here
is the truth. At the end of Goblet of Fire we sent Harry home more depressed
than he had ever been leaving Howarts. I knew that Thestrals were
coming, and I can prove that because they’re in the book I’d produced for
Comic Relief (UK) Fantastic Beaststs and Where to Find Them.
are lucky Black Winged Horses. However, if Harry had seen them and it had
not been explained then it would cheat the reader. So, to explain
that to myself, I decided you had to have seen the death and allowed it
to sink in a bit… slowly…these creatures became solid in front of you.
So that’s how I’m going to sneak past that one.
Others have wondered why Harry couldn't see the Thestrals already in his
second year, since he'd seen Quirrell die. That's movie contamination,
folks. Harry didn't see Quirrell die in the book, just in the film. In
the book, Harry has no idea what happened to Quirrell; Dumbledore tells
him later in the hospital wing.
Some folks have said that they don't
buy it, that this explanation doesn't work for them. Hey, folks, it's her
world! It's her story! If she says that it takes some time before the thestrals
become visible, it does. And it makes perfect sense, if you think about
it. The kind of grappling with reality that Harry was going through at
the end of GF is definitely something that would take time to work through,
and it makes sense that he would gradually come to terms with what he experienced
and would gradually begin to see things in a new way, including seeing
Harry uses the Marauders Map - which
was confiscated in the last book.
This isn't an error. True, we don't
know how he got the map back, but obviously he did or he wouldn't be using
it. I would have liked to have been told how that happened, but the fact
that Rowling didn't bother to mention it doesn't make it an error. I suspect
that the map was sitting on Moody/Crouch's desk and Harry just pocketed
it. It's also possible that Dumbledore quietly gave it back to him.
Second-year Dennis Creevey goes to the
Hogs Head - but pupils younger than third year are not allowed out of school
in term time.
This one is an actual error. Rowling
will have to think up something clever for this one. Actual errors like
this are called Flints, by the way, named after the character in the first
books who somehow attended Hogwarts for an extra year due to an error by
Rowling. She acknowledged that error and said that "he had to do a year
over" to cover.
On the other hand, rules can be changed.
Just because it isn't mentioned to us doesn't mean that for some reason
having to do with things we know nothing about they didn't allow certain
Second Years to go to Hogsmeade that day. In fact, we could say that, since
Dennis was there, they MUST have changed the rules for that day. It's all
in how you look at it.
Before a Quidditch match, Harry is relieved
it is cloudy as he won't have the sun in his eyes - but moments later the
stadium is in "dazzling sunlight".
This is not an error. The sky is not
described as heavily overcast, but rather sort of hazy, so that it's a
uniform color. It's still bright, especially when coming out of a dark
changing room. So it's perfectly reasonable to say that the players stepping
out onto the pitch squint at the brilliant sunlight.
Sirius says Harry's dad, James, was
never a prefect - but in an earlier book, Hagrid told Harry his father
was head boy.
Again, this isn't an error. We don't
know how the system works. We have all been making assumptions about it--myself
included, since I put down in the timeline that James was made a prefect
in his fifth year. That was an assumption, and if it turns out to be wrong,
it's not an error in the books, it's an error on my part for assuming.
Another thing I assumed was that the fifth year Prefects keep the job in
sixth and seventh years, but maybe they don't. (Yes, there ARE sixth year
Prefects, as many of you pointed out to me, since Percy was one, for example).
Any way you look at it, though, we can't assume that James can't become
Head Boy just because he didn't make Prefect. It doesn't say anywhere that
you have to be a Prefect to become Head Boy. We'll see what happens in
the next book.
think this one is a real, live error. Everard, the former Headmaster who
left his portrait in Dumbledore's office to alert folks about Arthur being
attacked, said that he traveled to the portrait of "Elfrida Cragg" so he
could get a better look. The name on the Famous Wizards card and in Quidditch
Through The Ages is Elfrida Clagg. She was a Chiefteness
of the Wizard's Council back in the 1300s; her ban on using a real live
bird in Quidditch led to the invention of the Golden Snitch. I suppose
their could have been another famous Wizard named Elfrida Cragg, but I
think it's much more likely that it's an error.
This is another actual error. When Ron's shiny new Prefect's badge arrives,
it is described as being scarlet and gold. It was "(a) large P...superimposed
on the Gryffindor lion." According to the text from OP9, Harry "had seen
a badge just like this on Percy's chest on his very first day at Hogwarts."
But the badge Harry saw Percy wearing wasn't scarlet and gold. It was silver.
Here's the description from book one: "He (Percy) had already changed into
his billowing black Hogwarts robes, and Harry noticed a shiny silver badge
on his chest with the letter P in it." This is an error, no way around
This is NOT an error, although judging from the email I've received, a
lot of people think it is. The question people are asking is how Harry
and Hermione got their wands back after the scene in Umbridge's office
and before the flight to the Ministry of Magic. There's no error here.
Umbridge never had the wands. Malfoy is described as pocketing Harry's
and another Inquisitorial Squad member, probably Millicent Bulstrode,
took Hermione's. When Neville, Ron, Ginny, and Luna meet Harry and Hermione
in the Forest, the book says that they hand them back to Harry and Hermione.
It's right in there. Go reread that chapter if you're not sure.