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Fifty Years Ago
What happened fifty years ago?

When the tombstone photo from Goblet of Fire appeared a few weeks ago with glaring canon errors, I started to wonder how sure we could be of the dates of events that happened, according to the books, "fifty years ago." New information was included in Half-Blood Prince, so I decided it was time to redo the timelines and make sure everything was correct. Fortunately, most of what was published in the timeline was correct. However, there is one major revision that was necessary. The murders of the Riddles in their house in Little Hangleton was now specifically noted as taking place during the summer of Tom Riddle's sixteenth year, which would be the summer he was fifteen. Here, then, is the chart showing the events of Tom Riddle's life. I've also included Hagrid's timeline for clarification.

NOTE: The events on this timeline could be moved a year or two in either direction and not violate canon. There are two events described as happening "fifty years ago, Tom Riddle's murder of his parents (fifty years before 1944) and Hagrid's expulsion from Hogwarts (fifty years before 1943). 
 
 
  Tom Riddle school year
end/start
age in Sept/Dec   Rubeus Hagrid school year
end/start
age in Sept/Dec   Other events
1926 b. 31-Dec - 0/0   - - -    
1927 - - 0/1   - - -   Fantastic Beasts first published
1928 - - 1/2   b. 6-Dec - 0/0    
1929 - - 2/3     - 0/1    
1930 - - 3/4     - 1/2    
1931 - - 4/5   Fridwulfa, Hagrid's mother, abandons her family - 2/3    
1932 - - 5/6     - 3/4   The Ilfracombe Incident
1933 - - 6/7     - 4/5    
1934 - - 7/8     - 5/6    
1935 - - 8/9     - 6/7   first Atlantic broom crossing
1936 - - 9/10     - 7/8   McGonagall starts Hogwarts in September
1937 - - 10/11     - 8/9    
1938 summer - 
visit from Dumbledore to Riddle in the orphanage

Sept - start Hogwarts
sorted into Slytherin

-/1 11/12     - 9/10   Known staff at Hogwarts:
Dippet, Dumbledore, Slughorn
1939 in 2nd year - 
hears about the Chamber of Secrets and is determined to open it
1/2 12/13     - 10/11    
1940 hears about CoS (cont to June) 2/3 13/14   Sept - starts Hogwarts
sorted into Gryffindor
0/1 11/12    
1941   3/4 14/15   father dies between September and June of next year 1/2 12/13    
1942 summer - travels to Little Hangleton to seek out his relatives in the "summer of his 16th year" (p340)

made Prefect

4/5 15/16   father dies before end of June 2/3 13/14   deaths of the Riddles in Little Hangleton, blamed on Morphin Gaunt
1943 Learns of Horcruxes from Slughorn (sometime during 1943)

late spring - Chamber of Secrets opened, Myrtle killed by basilisk

June - 
Hagrid expelled

begins constructing the diary horcrux (putting his "sixteen-year-old self" into it)

5/6 16/17   June - expelled 3/- 14/15    
1944 Sept -
Head Boy
6/7 17/18     - 15/16    
1945 leaves school 7/- 18/19     - 16/17   Dumbledore defeats Grindelwald


original content © 2005 The Harry Potter Lexicon
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original page date 14-Aug-2005
last page update 25-Apr-2006