Archive for August, 2007

September WotM – Albus Dumbledore

Friday, August 31st, 2007

The Wizard of the Month calendar on has changed to display the new WotM for September 2007 to be:

Albus Dumbledore
1881 – 1996
Brilliant and often controversial headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Albus Dumbledore is most famous for his 1945 defeat of Grindelwald and his steadfast championing of Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived. Dumbledore’s self-proclaimed proudest achievement, however, was featuring on a Famous Wizards Chocolate Frog Card.

New essay! House-elves in DH

Sunday, August 26th, 2007

House-elves really came into their own in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — this fact, and some similarities between the characters of the house-elves and the theme of the greatness of servitude in the Christian gospels, was not lost on new Lexicon essay contributor Leanne Bruno. Enjoy!

Happy Birthday Percy Weasley!

Tuesday, August 21st, 2007

The Wizard of the Month calendar on Jo’s official site has changed to wish a Happy Birthday for 22 August to Percy Weasley!

We solemnly swear that we are up to…

Monday, August 20th, 2007

No, we’re not up to mischief! Although our server has been misbehaving a bit.
I’m suspecting Nargles, but the tech folks tell us that they’re working on it. If you’ve experienced a “page not found” error recently when trying to access the Lexicon, or found this page telling you it “cannot connect to the database”, we’re glad you didn’t give up!

What we’re up to…
we are busy cataloguing, listing, calculating and revising. Not to mention formatting and updating and coding. But the biggest job of all is organizing all of the work, and that is taking some time. Frequent Lexicon visitors will notice that plenty of new DH info has found its way onto many pages and sections throughout the site. As Steve has said in earlier posts, it’s going to take a while! Occasionally, we may need to take down pages while we work on them, or there will be old links going to pages we’ve moved or split into separate pages. Please have patience with us as we renovate.

To the many folks who’ve offered to help, we thank you! Some of you have sent emails with facts and notes that we’ve found helpful. Many of you have waited patiently for us to respond to your offers. If you haven’t heard back from us, please be assured we are not ignoring you! I’ve started referring to my inbox as the Forbidden Forest, I’m afraid to venture too far in, or I might not come out! But everyday, I find more heartwarming and gratifying messages that remind me why we do this. Our email address for sending DH info is
I can’t promise to answer, but we do appreciate hearing from you.

So what’s New?
I’ll let the other editors tell you what they’ve been working on, but here’s a list of some things I’ve done recently:
- published pages for each chapter in the Reader’s Guide to DH, and added Michele’s work as she compiled it
- uploaded the chapter artwork from the Scholastic edition
- added some new characters to the Wizards A- Z listing (I’m up to P, I think) with help from Naomi Boyer. Thanks Nomes!!
- and I re-indexed the Remembrall… so now new information from DH should appear in our specialized Lexicon search! Go ahead, try it! :)

Astronomy essay update

Sunday, August 19th, 2007

Greetings! Check out Mike Weinstein’s essay, Astronomy in the Harry Potter Series—it’s been updated with analyses of a couple of astronomical references in Deathly Hallows.

Updates, Abbreviation, and Fun Stuff Like That

Monday, August 13th, 2007

It’s begun. The influx of emails pointing out pages which haven’t been updated yet. I promise you, we’ll get to them. You’d be amazed at how much needs to be edited at this point. Just as an example, I was reading the commentary on the first chapter of Philosopher’s Stone and discovered five or six edits or additions which have to be made just on that page. There are changes like that on almost every page of the entire site, and that’s close to a thousand pages. It’s going to take awhile. All I can do is promise that we’re working on it.

I’m not saying don’t email us. We really do value your input and suggestions, we really do. But if you’re telling us that a page is not longer correct, take a look at the bottom and see when that page was last updated. If the date is before July 21, we haven’t gotten to it yet. Yes, we know that “that awful boy” refers to Snape. Yes, we know that many character descriptions don’t include the details from book seven, like the fact that the person is now dead (which I agree is pretty important!). I think we have most of the new spells added, but there are a few still missing, that’s true. I haven’t even touched the timeline, and obviously there will be a LOT of new information to add there. We do know, and we are working on it, one step at a time.

It’s funny, though, how much “behind the scenes” work needs to be done at the same time as the flashy new stuff. You know what I worked on last night? Figured out where the title page and tailpiece images belong on the first reader’s guide page (since I don’t own a Scholastic edition of the book yet, I had no idea how those fit in), looked for images of the covers in the correct size and resolution, and had a discussion with Bel about how to indicate the epilogue in the Lexicon (is it DHe or DH/e or DHep or what? I decided on DH/e). I’ve also been adding the new interviews to the list of sources. That might not seem particularly important, but since we’re adding all this new material and need to include links to those things, the abbreviations have to be decided upon and the links have to be in place. The Lexicon is a very complex, interrelated website. That’s part of what makes it so cool, but also what makes it take a while to update.

Last night I also modified the main index page with a nice navigation menu along the right side. That should make finding what you want even easier. We’re still working on the overall site navigation, by the way, and some of the links are still going to old pages that will be updated when we get a chance. You should be able to browse more quickly to what you want, though. I don’t think we’ll be working on navigation pages for a while now while we have DH material to occupy our time.

Hang in there. The Lexicon will continue to grow and improve. Thanks for your help and support and input.

Happy Birthday Ginny Weasley

Friday, August 10th, 2007

The Wizard of the Month calendar on JKR’s official site is now displaying Happy Birthday wishes for August 11th to Ginny Weasley!

More places!

Thursday, August 2nd, 2007

I’ve been accumulating lots of new additions – working on getting the gazetteer up to speed and updated with our new layout! Here’s some of the stuff I’ve added:

It looks like I’ll be heading to Toronto as well, but not until later – so keep on the lookout for more updates over the next couple days. :)

Lexicon staff at Prophecy this week

Wednesday, August 1st, 2007

Steve, Bel, Paula and I will be at Prophecy this week; if you see us wave Hi! If you’re wondering why my character pages are stuck in a time warp, well, that’s why. Steve has three presentations this week:

Playing in Jo’s World
Spend a little time looking at this magical world that Jo created … and looking at what it means to be a fan playing in that world. You know, if you’re not careful, you just may find yourself trapped…

The End of the Tale (a fan’s overview of the entire series)
Done. Finished. Time to pack up our quills and go home. Or is it? Now that we have it all — all the answers, every mystery solved, Snape finally unmasked — it’s time to take stock of the whole series. Join Steve Vander Ark for a slightly off-kilter fan’s-eye trip through the entire canon.

Welcome to the Wizarding World
Travel the length and breadth of Britain in search of the places which inspired Rowling’s stories. Explore Devon, poke around London, and even take a trip north to the Highlands of Scotland to hunt for Hogwarts School … and find a little bit of magic.

We’re really looking forward to this week, but also getting back to work on the Lexicon when we get home.