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The Daily Prophet newsletters

The Daily Prophet

"Muggles Not As Stupid As We Think, Says Ministry Report"
     -- headline of the
Daily Prophet

In the late 1990s, Bloomsbury created an Official Harry Potter Fan Club and invited folks from Britain to join. There was no United States chapter of the club. One of the perks for joining the Club was several issues of The Daily Prophet, a three-page newsletter detailing the goings-on in the wizarding world. Each of these newsletters bore the notice © J. K. Rowling and according to Bloomsbury (email dated 2 June 2004) was written by her (also SDNY).

The newsletters were clearly written early in Rowling's creation of the Harry Potter mythos. Some terms are different and a few facts just don't jibe with the established story of the books. Overall, however, the news bits and sports reports fit right into the "look and feel" of the Rowling's world. The names and the events bear the marks of humor and parody which all of Rowling's writing shows. The names of some minor characters, for example Gwenog Jones, are found in the newsletters and turned up in Famous Wizard cards, in the Schoolbooks, and eventually in the novels. The dates on each issue are the dates of the club; they don't fit into the timeline of the series which was not established very well at that point.

Synopsis of each issue:
(special thanks to Trish Drasnin)

July 31, 1998 The Daily Prophet Price: 7 Knuts

The date is that of the actual publication of this newsletter and does not correspond with the dates of the stories.

Page 1 - Headlines:
Report tells that Muggles notice things like "crop circles," which are really entries in the Annual International Wizard Gardening Competition's contorting cereals division, and UFOs, which are really escaped Quaffles. It mentions the fact that Hagrid has offered the Hogwarts Lake for relocating the Loch Ness Monster.

A warning from the "Department of Magical Equipment Control" about a shady street peddler in Diagon Alley named "Honest Willy Wagstaff." That department doesn't exist as we now know the Ministry to be organized, but at the time this was written Rowling hadn't finalized the makeup of the Ministry, as evidenced by similar non-existent departments mentioned in books 1-3.

Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions - Summer Sale on Now

Page 2 - Sport
Quidditch League Table and Match Information
The Tornados lead the League and the Cannons are at the bottom. Upcoming matches and locations are announced.

Discussion of Chudley's defeat by Appleby, with mention of Galvin Gudgeon's pathetic performance as Seeker for the Cannons.

In this first of a series of articles over the course of the Daily Prophets, we learn that Alasdair Maddock, Chaser for the Magpies, is becoming inordinately fond of Muggle sport.

A couple of small news bits reveal that Puddlemere United will be changing the color of their robes to blue and that no one dares disagree with Gwenog Jones, the brilliant but dangerous Captain and Beater of the all-witch Holyhead Harpies. The color change of the robes presents a bit of a problem for canon, since the new blue color (blue) would have come into use before the edition of Quidditch Through the Ages was released which we have in Muggle form.

page 3 - Letters Page
Letter with the following headings:
Star Letter from Ethelbald Mordaunt about the misconduct of his neighbor, who bewitches his garden furniture
"Gripe with Gringotts Bank" about their use of Sphinxes as guards
"Gobstones Tournament Overlooked," a complaint that the Prophet doesn't cover Gobstones events enough
"A Word in Support of Hags," sent in by a Hag who tries to sound homey and cheerful but offers babysitting services
"Merlin Remembrance Day Suggestion," which is clearly an attempt to create a new holiday just for the day off work

Feb 8th 1999 The Daily Prophet   Price: 7 Knuts

Front Page Page 1 - Headlines
ENQUIRY AT THE IMPROPER USE OF MAGIC OFFICE - disappearance of a Muggle "tube train" leads to the suspension of a Ministry of Magic employee.
[Cornelius Fudge is incidentally revealed as a gobstones fan.] The Daily Prophet reporter (unnamed) reveals that the offender is the Minister's nephew, Rufus Fudge, who did it for a bet. The Muggles did not notice that the train had gone missing.

CELESTINA WARBECK CONCERT CAUSES BROOM SMASH OVER LIVERPOOL - a three-broom crash over the River Mersey of late ticket holders for the concert.

TROLL RIGHTS MOVEMENT OUT OF CONTROL - anti-troll meeting invaded by Troll Rights activists. Careless club swinging by the trolls knocks out their own spokeswitch.

Separate box contains a reference to an editorial on page 11 (not included) entitled "WHY THE JOKE'S ON THE MINISTRY, NOT THE MUGGLES".

Advertisements Page 2 - Classified Advertisements





Advertisement: Transfiguration Today magazine

Page 3 - Sports
Quidditch League Table & Match Information

Forthcoming matches listed are:


June 1st, 1999 The Daily Prophet   Price: 7 Knuts

Page 1 - Headlines
GOBLIN RIOTS ERUPT IN CHIPPING CLODBURY - B.O.G. (Brotherhood of Goblins) supporters ran riot during a meeting with representatives from the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. The goblins used illegal wands for transfiguration and called for the release of activist Hodrod the Horny-Handed. Goblin-wizard relations are reported to be at an all time low.

Advertisement: "TerrorTours - action holidays for the wizard family with a sense of adventure" - features castles to rent in Transylvania, Zombie trails and cruises in the Bermuda Triangle.

Letters Pages 2 & 3 - Letters [marked as page 12] PROBLEM PAGE

Page 4 - Sports
Quidditch League Table & Match Information

Forthcoming matches listed are:


Oct 1st, 1999 The Daily Prophet   Price: 7 Knuts

Page 1 - Headlines
MINISTRY IMPOSES RESTRICTIONS - plans to restrict Hallowe'en celebrations, the one time of year wizards can be "out and about" without arousing the suspicions of Muggles, were announced by Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge.
Celestina Warbeck, the singing sorceress, and others interviewed protest the decision. Dangerous Hallowe'en incidents involve exploding pumpkins and broom accidents, leading to busy wards at St Mungo's Hospital.

NEW POTION GIVES HOPE FOR HAGS - potion that reduces the appetite for human flesh in hags has been developed by Professor Regulus Moonshine.

Advertisement: "Poor memory? ...." Mnemosyne Clinic for Memory Modification promises to restore memory to "natural range" with a simple charm.

Sports Page 2 - Sports
Quidditch League Table & Match Information

Forthcoming matches listed are:

- PUDDLEMERE CHASER VANISHES AMID CHAOS AT HOLYHEAD MATCH - Ministry fears of violence at the match between traditional rivals Holyhead Harpies and Puddlemere United were realised when former Harpy, Chaser Wilda Griffiths, disappeared midway during the match. Many Puddlemere and Holyhead supporters had handed in "dummy" wands at the gates and used their real wands during the ensuing riot. Holyhead team captain Gwenog Jones is said to be "helping the Ministry with its enquiries". [N.B. if you are "helping the police with their enquiries" it means you are being held in custody while they gather enough evidence to charge you.]

- CANNONS BLAST THE FALCONS - shock of another Chudley Cannons win causes the collapse of their manager Ragmar Dorkins.

Crossword Advertisement: "Buy your Second-Hand Brooms at SPLINTER & KREEK'S"

Pages 3&4 - Crossword
"Fiendishly Difficult Crossword", clues and answers Clues include:
- 42 Across - The colour of the Quaffle (3)
- 49 Down - Your worst nightmare as a Bertie Bott bean flavour (3)

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Original page date 30 May 2004; Last page update 20 November 2009.