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The Essays

"I hope it's not too long--it's two rolls of parchment more than Professor Binns asked for."
     -- Hermione Granger (PA1)

Some of the most popular features of the Lexicon are the essays. They come in all genres, from comedy to literary analysis. They are not really canon, and there was a time when I seriously doubted that it would be a good idea to include them. That was back in the days right after book four came out and we were desperately trying to assimilate a lot of new information into our understanding of the Wizarding World. Then three things happened to make up my mind. First, Alan Jacobs wrote a marvelous essay about the magic in the Harry Potter books. It was published in 2000 in First Things magazine. A few months later, I received his permission to republish it in the Lexicon. Second, I was involved in a lively discussion on Harry Potter for Grown Ups about how many students there were at Hogwarts, (a discussion which is still going on, off and on, even today). Out of that discussion came an essay by me which pulled together all the facts I could find on the subject. Third, Neil Ward wrote an intriguing post on Harry Potter for Grown Ups about the size of Hogwarts Castle. This short essay was speculation, certainly, but it seemed to fit the facts as they were given in the books and it was a wonderfully imaginative look at Rowling's world. So I begged Neil for permission to reprint his essay in the Lexicon. He agreed. These three essays became the first of many to appear in the Lexicon over the years.

Which essay has been the most popular? Morag Traynor's essay about socks has probably generated the most email and has been linked to the most often. Which has gotten the most people upset? I would have to say that Penny's shipping essay certainly kicked up a small storm, but hers isn't the only one to do so. Some people didn't care much for the essay about Ginny, especially once book five came out and we all learned so much more about her. And I've probably gotten more arguments about my essays about the timeline than any other essays anywhere on the Lexicon, as you can tell by the fact that I wrote several essays defending the position of the Lexicon.

Each essay is speculation, of course. Each one is someone's opinion, someone's guess, someone's attempt to put together the details from all the books and answer the questions we have. And all of them are great fun to read. Many of you have asked (some repeatedly) that I create an index of the essays so that you can read them more easily. I suspect that some of you just want to make sure you haven't missed one, tucked away in some dark corner of the Lexicon. So I spent a few hours going through all my files and indexing all the essays. I think I found them all, but there might still be one that escaped my search. I'll update this list if I find any like that.

At any rate, have fun reading.

Steve Vander Ark

The Lexicon Essays

in chronological order (as best we can determine the dates) 

2000
The Limits of Magic by Caius Marcius (12/14/2000)
Harry Potter's Magic by Alan Jacobs (12/14/2000)

2001
How Many Students are there at Hogwarts? by Steve Vander Ark (2/7/2001)
How Big is Hogwarts? by Neil Ward (2/17/2001)
Where Does the Name "Knight Bus" Come From? by Morag Traynor (2/22/2001)
Thoughts About Wands by Amy Z. (3/3/2001)
Is Godric's Hollow in Wales? by Steve Vander Ark (3/18/2001)
The Number Twelve by Doreen Rich (4/13/2001, but updated periodically)
Why Change The Triwizard Cup into a Portkey? by Trina Gabbert (4/22/2001)
Everything you Always Wanted to Know About Socks by Morag Traynor (5/1/2001)
Muggle vs. Wizarding Technology by Joywitch Curmudgeon (6/11/2001)
Who Sent the Valentine? by David Frankis (6/21/2001)
Nicolas Flamel and the Philosopher's Stone by Brian Dorband (7/9/2001)
Prejudice: A Great Theme of the Books by Steve Vander Ark (7/15/2001)
George Weasley by Jana Tucker (7/19/2001)
Where Are the Longbottoms From? by S. Hall (7/28/2001)
Spells and Charms: The Nature of Magic by Amy Z. (8/1/2001)
A Magical Worldview by Steve Vander Ark (8/19/2001)
Generations in the Wizarding World by Ebony AKA AngieJ (8/26/01)
An Elegantly Woven Tapestry: Plotlines in Prisoner of Azkaban by Amy Z. (10/14/2001)
Descriptive Words in the Books by Rrishi Raote (10/14/2001)
Introduction to Muggle Studies by Edis Bevan (10/24/2001)
Textbooks by Lisa Inman (11/8/2001)
Durmstrang Languages by Eric Oppen (11/24/2001)
NEWTs and OWLs by Jenna (11/26/2001)
A Hogwarts Education: Well-Rounded or Not? by Neil Ward (11/26/2001)
Teachers and Curriculum: Would You Want This For Your Child? by Steve Vander Ark (11/26/2001)
Harry Potter: Pureblood, Half-Blood, or "Mudblood"? by Philip Nel and Caliburn (11/30/2001)
Food and Drink in the Potter Universe by Susanna/pigwidgeon37 (12/2/2001)
The Changing Image of Grownups in the Harry Potter Books by Elizabeth Dalton (12/8/2001)
How Does a Scarlet Steam Train... by Steve Vander Ark (12/21/2001)
Why Do All the Kids Have to Go to King's Cross? by Steve Vander Ark (12/21/2001)
Hogwarts Ghosts by Mike Gray (12/27/2001)

2002
Troubles with Time by Steve Vander Ark (1/1/2002)
Magical Ability and Magic Wands by Lisa Inman (1/2/2002)
Familiarity: Key to Understanding Spellwork by Paul Dionne (1/4/2002)
Ginny Weasley: Baby Sister, Best Friend by Tabouli (1/5/2002)
Divination: The Theory and Practice of Prediction by Paul Dionne (1/16/2002)
The Put-Outer and Magic on Privet Drive by Cindysphynx (1/26/2002)
A Unifying Theory by L. Gould (3/11/2002)
Wizard Banking by Carlos Velasco Medina (3/28/2002)
Ancient Magic: Magic from Before the Dawn of Time? by Steve Vander Ark (3/28/02)
That Had To Hurt...Or Did It? by Steve Vander Ark (7/8/2002)
When Magic Meets Muggle Technology by Prefect Marcus (7/29/2002)
Fawkes and Gryffindor by Phyllis D. Morris (8/24/2002)
Why Did Harry Do That? by Steve Vander Ark (9/15/2002)

2003
Hagrid's Accent by Neil Ward (3/10/2003)
Harry Potter: The Truest Gryffindor of All? by Phyllis D. Morris (4/8/2003)
British Schooling in the 1970s by Diana Summers (4/23/2003)
The Ethics of Rowling by [] (6/24/2003)
The History of the Ministry of Magic by Steve Vander Ark (7/1/2003)
Vanishing Magic by Steve Vander Ark (8/14/2003)
Movement Magic by Steve Vander Ark (8/16/2003)
How Do Duels Work? by Hugo Costa Paes (8/16/2003)
Timeline Facts by Steve Vander Ark (8/23/2003)
Thoughts on Socks by Sandra L. Diersing (9/7/2003)
The Tragedy of Petunia Dursley by Ali Hewison (9/14/2003)
Divination: Two Approaches by Estelle Daniels (9/17/2003)
Partners and Friends: The Developing Relationship Between Harry and Hermione by Penny L. (10/19/2003)
Sensitive Writing on a Difficult Subject by Mary Jo Neyer (10/19/2003)
Ginny Weasley, Why? by Water Witch (10/28/2003)
A View of the Map by Steve Beers (11/3/2003)
Those DADA Teachers by Louis F. Badalament II (11/3/2003)
How Safe is Privet Drive? by Jen Reese (11/12/2003)
Surrey: Showing the Location of Little Whinging by Nik the Hermit (11/13/2003)
Echoes of the Past: Street Names of Little Whinging by Nik the Hermit (11/22/2003)

2004
The Battle of the Department of Mysteries: An Analysis of the Chase and Battle, June 1996 by Kendall Smiley (1/1/2004)
Luna's Place in the Expanding Circle of Friends by Antosha (1/25/2004)
Hermione's Family by Scott (2/26/2004)
Harry's Things by Morag Traynor (2/29/2004)
Mapping the Harry Potter Timeline by Troels Forchhammer (3/13/2004)
Is Dobby a Communist? by Morag Traynor (3/2/2004)
Imagicnation in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by Connie Ann Kirk (5/1/2004)
The Riddle of the Potions by Mark B. Hammer (Prefect Marcus) (5/2/2004)
The Age of the Weasleys by Troels Forchhammer (5/2/2004)
Sibylls, Pythia, and Prophecies by Clint Hagen (7/12/2004)
Quirrell's Leave of Absence by Melissa Erin Friedline (8/29/2004)
Voldemort's Agents, Malfoy's Cronies, and Hagrid's Chums: Friendship in Harry Potter By Harald Thorsrud (9/25/2004)
The Early Life of Tom Riddle and the Second World War by Faisal M. Ahmad (9/30/2004)
Parallels, Shipping, and Betrayal by Calliope (10/28/2004)
D'you Really Think They're Suited? by Angua (10/28/2004)
...and I Grew Up With Percy... by Susanna Luhtanen (11/14/2004)

2005
"My Dad Didn't Strut...and Neither Do I!" by RemusLupinFan (5/30/2005)
The Art of Unfinishing: HP Fanfiction and the Art of Storytelling by Cornelia Remi (7/1/2005)
Hermione's Love for Ickle Ronniekins by Ellen Smyth (7/7/2005)
The Number Six by Michele L. Worley (8/20/2005, but updated periodically)
The Number Seven by Michele L. Worley (8/20/2005, but updated periodically)
In Search of Little Whinging by Ravenclaw Rambler (10/24/2005)
The Marks of a Villain by Beth Welsh (12/29/2005)
Snape's Change of Allegiance by Cherry (12/29/2005)
Shaken, Not Stirred: The Allegiance(s) of a Certain Potions Master and Spy Extraordinaire by CheshireCat (12/29/2005)

2006
Ginny Weasley: A Gryffindor and a Match for Harry by Tim Lambarski (1/1/2006)
Magic, Genes, and Pure Blood by glamourousgeek (1/11/2006)
Merlin, God, and You-Know-Who: Religion in the Wizarding World by glamourousgeek (1/11/2006)
Harry Potter's Astrological Birth Chart by Witherwings (1/14/2006)
In Search of . . . Grimmauld Place by Ravenclaw Rambler (1/16/2006)
Did Albus Dumbledore Set Up Events So That Harry Potter Would Go After the Philosopher’s Stone? by Micheal Hagel (1/21/2006)
The Secrets of the Classlist by Diana Summers (1/28/2006)
What is Magical Power in the Potterverse? by Hugo Costa Paes (1/28/2006)
The Complications with Memory by Suzanne Foster (2/11/2006)
Where is Spinner's End? by Claire M. Jordan (2/14/06)
Is Harry a Horcrux? by Stephen Haas (3/18/2006)
Dumbledore vivens Snapeque bonamicus by Denis Howarth (3/18/2006)
Love and Death in Harry Potter by Paul Spilsbury (4/3/2006)
The Importance of Neville Longbottom by Douglas Moran (4/3/2006)
Harry Potter and the Good Life by Steven S. Tigner (4/8/2006)
The List by Anita (akh), Jo Mears (Serenadust) and Pippin, with contributions from Lyn J. Mangiameli and Siriusly Snapey Susan (4/16/2006)
Some Thoughts on House Elves by Douglas Moran (4/30/2006)
Another View of Magic, Genes, and Pure Blood by Professor Koniphorus Swamp (4/30/2006)
Genes and Appearance in Animagi by Professor Koniphorus Swamp (4/30/2006)
Opportunity Costs — What does it profit a man to defeat the Dark Lord but lose his soul? by Alan Jacobs (5/10/2006)
How do they make all those books? Publishing in the Wizarding World by pepoluan (5/10/2006)
What Came Before the Hogwarts Express? by Owen de Lyon (June 4, 2006)
Harry and the Horcruxes, by Megan Bostelmann (6/25/2006)
More than You Ever Wanted to Know about Frog-spawn, by Professor Koniphorus Swamp (6/25/2006)
Arthur Weasley's Relationship to Sirius Black: First Forays into the Black Family Tree, by Sylvie Augustus (7/26/2006)
20 Heads Are Better Than One: 1000 Years of Headmasters, by Zachary Seymour (8/13/2006)
Snape’s Eyes, Edmund M. Kern (9/16/2006)
The Curious Incident of the Flobberworm in the Night-Time, by Professor Koniphorus Swamp (9/30/06)
High Fidelity (or: How does the Fidelius Charm work?), by Anna L. Black (10/12/06)
The Grail Hallows and Harry Potter, by Bandersnatch (12/24/06)

2007
In Search of . . . the Hut-on-the-Rock, by Ravenclaw Rambler (1/1/2007)
How do they do it? An Attempt at a Model for the Physics of Magic by Dr. Immo Garrn (1/1/2007)
Wizard Money, by Anton Generalov aka “XAHrOBEP” (pronounced “Hangover”) (2/4/07)
In Search of . . . The Burrow, by Ravenclaw Rambler (2/4/07)
Astronomy in the Harry Potter Series, by Mike Weinstein (3/18/07)
Harry Potter in London: Platform Nine and Three-Quarters, the Leaky Cauldron, etc., by Quentin Lowagie (4/9/07)
In Search of . . . Platform Nine and Three-Quarters, by Ravenclaw Rambler (7/15/07)
Muggle Magic, by Ravenclaw Rambler (7/15/07)
Marauder Era Ships: Which Ones Sailed?, by hpboy13 (7/16/07)
The Bendable Vow: Dumbledore’s Hand In One Last Legal Loophole, by D.B. Fwoopersong (7/17/07)
Quidditch Through the (Weasleys’) Ages: Or, The Unusual Career of Charles Weasley, by Philip Legge (7/18/07)
An Almanac of Quidditch at Hogwarts, by Philip Legge (7/18/07)
Something of Ravenclaw’s or Gryffindor’s, by Felicity (7/20/07)
The Hufflepuff Cup is in the Hogwarts Trophy Room Transfigured into the Medal for Magical Merit, by Felicity (7/20/07)
Nagini as Horcrux, by Felicity (7/20/07)
House-Elves in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by Leanne Bruno (8/26/07)

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