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Something for the Pottergeeks . . .


I’ve posted a couple of essays by new Lexicon contributor Philip Legge, one on the ever-puzzling subject of the Weasleys’ ages (bless Jo and her idiosyncratic “maths”), and the other a detailed survey of Quidditch schedules and results at Hogwarts. There ought to be enough detailed analysis in these essays for you Pottergeeks of the world to chew on for some time!


Pensieve (Comments)

  • Reader2

    Is there something wrong with the Quidditch schedules?
    It looks like on several last ones the word “Ravenclaw” is missing.

  • Man, I just read the article and Philip Legge did some wonders with math that I have NEVER seen before in relation to Potter. It actually seems sound logic, I’d bet JKR herself would love this essay!

  • Philip Legge

    Yes, there is something wrong with the Quidditch schedules – various parts of the html formatting have gone “missing in action”, including all of the tabular references for Ravenclaw other than the very first one. I’ve noticed one or two other parts of the essays missing that were previously there, that were okay in the drafts I received prior to the pages going live. Probably the Lexicon publishing process has mangled these – for the moment, assume gaps in the tables refer to Ravenclaw.


  • hamburglar

    Wow! I particularly love the one on the Weasley’s ages. Fantastic stuff, well thought out and nicely presented – with evidence!

  • John

    Very enjoyable. The one about the Weasley’s ages if my favorite, the breakdown of events in the Quidditch essay explained alot. Thanks!

  • Big_Kelpie

    both of them confused.. i will assume thay were all correct

  • Paula

    Hello everyone — I will try to spend some time this evening with the original source material and see if I can’t fix the formatting/conversion errors. Cheers — Paula

  • Paula

    OK, I’ve taken care of the Ravenclaw issue. Please let me know if you spot any other problems, I appreciate the sharp eyes!


  • Philip Legge

    Thankyou Phoenician, hamburglar, and John! I’ve worked over the issues with Charlie’s age (and Bill’s age as a consequence) at considerable length, and unless something contradictory appears in 24 hours time ๐Ÿ™‚ I think my ruminations solve all of the problems rather elegantly. There was a footnote making reference to JKR’s apparent error in having Marcus Flint return for a repeat seventh year (in Azkaban), which I regarded as a bit of a hack by comparison. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Big Kelpie, exactly what do you find confusing, and perhaps we can elucidate the point? The two essays as published were in fact submitted as a single, monster-length essay before Paula sensibly decided to cleave it in twain, but some of the contents of each still rely heavily on the other. This means you should probably have two windows open to read the two essays, and occasionally jump back and forth.


  • ravenclaw rambler

    Can I raise the queston of the age of another member of the Weasley family?
    The Lexicon’s entry for Molly Weasley says that she was almost certainly born c1950 and attended Hogwarts in the 1960s, where she and Arthur met and did their courting (being caught out-of-hours by the caretaker Apollyon Pringle) before eloping a year or two before Bill was born in 1971.

    So why does the Lexicon say that Arthur may have attended Hogwarts (“possibly”)as early as the 1930s. This would imply that he was already in his forties when he was courting the teenaged Molly. No, Arthur and Molly cannot be more than six years apart if they were at school together at all, and they are probably much closer in age even than that: it would be unusual for schoolchildren to date anyone much more than one year older or younger – in Harry’s era I can think of just one Hogwarts student (yes, one – not two!)who dates someone across a bigger age gap.

  • Big_Kelpie

    i have reread both of them and even as some of the maths is still confusing, I got the point completely.
    Concerning the Weasley ages, I had always assumed that when Jo says two or three years older, she means school years and not calendar years, but as we have no proof of this. That must be normal years

  • Philip Legge

    Ravenclaw Rambler: I hadn’t considered Molly nรƒยฉe Prewett until now, on account of her not being originally a Weasley, but my general impression of Arthur and Molly’s elopement was that it was prompted by them both having left Hogwarts and being exposed to the dangers of first wizarding war as part of the original Order of the Phoenix.

    The Lexicon timelines of course specify birthdates for Bill and Charlie and 1970 and 1972, rather than my suggestions of 1971 and 1973, and there’s also an essay by Steve Vander Ark which has those years as 1963 and 1965, based on the quote “We haven’t won since Charlie left…” and his choice to interpret that as haven’t won a Quidditch cup rather than haven’t won a single match. This isn’t the only place where JKR’s language is ambiguous, and when it is placed in the mouth of a character, such pronouncements are likely to be slightly more fallible than the authorial voice! We know JKR is a master of misdirection. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Big_Kelpie: yes mathematics can be confusing, but could you provide an example of where I’ve been unclear? True, Jo’s statement is ambiguous, but the usual way for saying “so-and-so” is this many years older than “such-and-such” is by comparing their respective birth years: what I have termed calendrical years. As the footnote points out, the maximum error is +/รขโ‚ฌโ€œ 12 months.

    Real life example: I was born in January 1972, my younger brother in August 1973. The age difference is 1 year (+ 7 months), but currently I’m 35 and my brother is 33 because of my birthday occurring earlier in the year. My brother plays “catch up”.

    This is the reverse situation to Charlie and Percy (December 1973 and August 1976 respectively), since the normal age gap is calculated as 3 years (รขโ‚ฌโ€œ4 months): Percy catches up occasionally so that he’s only 2 years younger, then Charlie has his birthday and he’s three years ahead again. This fits with Jo’s “two or three years”, and as I’ve pointed out, her mistake during the WBD chat may because of this quirk, or because the way she devised Hogwarts enrolments, Charlie would only be two years ahead of Percy – September falls neatly within those 4 months of the year where Percy has caught up one birthday on Charlie. Clear?

    Regards, PML

  • hpboy13

    I loved these essays, being a Pottergeek. I must admit that the Quidditch one was a bit over my head, but the Weasley one makes perfect sense, I think you’ve finally cracked it!

  • ravenclaw rambler


    The point I was making was that the Lexicon suggests that Arthur is much older than Molly – his biography says that he may have been at Hogwarts in the 1930s, and she in the 1960s – but all the canon evidence suggests that they were both there as students at the same time.

  • Philip Legge

    Ravenclaw: yep. Comments such as “we listened to this when we were eighteen” (Molly re: Celestina Warbeck) seem to be more sensible then “we listened to this when we were eighteen and forty-eight respectively!” ๐Ÿ™‚
    Regards, PML