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April 13, 2004

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The Harry Potter Canon

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I just spent a week in Cocoa Beach, Florida, at a delightful hotel called the Luna Sea. I did a lot of reading by the pool and had a ball at Islands of Adventure in Orlando. I also did some work on the Lexicon.

I have reworked the timelines entirely, adding all the rest of the information from Quidditch Through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts. I also added a lot of notes and comments which should be helpful. Probably the biggest change is that I’ve now listed some of the dates in two forms: the official timeline year, which figures Harry’s birth year as 1980, and the relative date, which figures Harry’s birth year as Y0 and lists every other book date as an offset of that year (for example, Harry starts Hogwarts in Y11). This is intended to make it clear when dates are given specifically in canon and when they are listed relative to the story, such as when the Chamber of Secrets is mentioned as being opened “fifty years ago.”

We’re still left with the mystery of the ages of Bill and Charlie. Rowling’s “off the top of her head” comment in the WBD chat has left us with a puzzle. Fortunately, Troels Forchhammer has tackled this question in an extremely well-researched essay. I am currently working on editing it for publication and you can plan to see it very soon.

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