What's New

The Battle of Hogwarts


I have updated the timeline and the day-by-day calendar to indicate that the Battle of Hogwarts was on 2 May. Unfortunately, Jo wasn’t clear about which day of the Battle was 2 May, since the start of hostilities was the evening of one day and the final confrontation was sunrise on the next. For now, I’ve decided to place the final climactic battle in the Great Hall on the second of May. Hopefully we’ll get some clarification on that soon from Jo and be able to be more precise.

New abbreviations being used in the Lexicon are PC1 and PC2 for the two parts of the Pottercast interview, TBB for the Tales of Beedle the Bard, with individual stories indicated with a forward slash and the abbreviation for the story (e.g. TBB/FFF is the Fountain of Fair Fortune), and YL for “J.K. Rowling: A Year in a Life”. For a complete list of abbreviations and sources, see the Site Sources page.

UPDATE: Roonwit pointed out that the actual battle didn’t start until midnight, when Voldemort’s first ultimatum expired. That means we can firmly place the Battle of Hogwarts on May 2, from midnight until sunrise. Thanks! I’ll edit the timeline to make that clear.


Pensieve (Comments)

  • roonwit

    Actually, the battle started at midnight, which was when Voldemort’s first ultimatum expired. Apart from the duels between the Carrows, and Harry & Luna, Snape and McGonagall & Flitwick, there wasn’t any fighting until the new day started. So the battle only took place on one day.

  • John

    Thanks for the new updates Steve, the lexicon rocks, keep up the good work!

  • Thanks, Roonwit. I’ll review and edit as necessary.

  • Xammer

    Happy New Year to everybody! (here it has already come)

  • Aubry

    Off topic….

    Didn’t J.K. Rowling give more of the Black Family tree to the movie people so they could make the tapestry?

    How can we get that information?

    I LOVE the Black family.

  • DA Jones

    I think we know why JKR picked May 2nd for her final battle. May 2nd was when Berlin fell during WWII.

  • olivier

    HAPPY NEW YEAR TO THE LEXICON AND ALL THE READERS! And I am sure glad to see that you are updating again… and that (finally) Ginny became a Potter – as well as being a Weasley…

  • Rugby

    I do appreciate the wealth of information on the Lexicon, and am very taken up with the World of Potter. But I feel sad that we have the compulsion to demand that Jo put an extra-fine point on dates. It takes these stories out of the realm of timeless, and feels the complusion of some to fine inconsistencies.

  • Rugby

    I do appreciate the wealth of information on the Lexicon, and am very taken up with the World of Potter. But I feel sad that we have the compulsion to demand that Jo put an extra-fine point on dates. It takes these stories out of the realm of timeless, and feeds the complusion of some to fine inconsistencies.

  • Naco

    what new canon appeared in JKR show?

  • Naco

    steve was on the set of the movies, no? he planned to publish a third and large review of his visit, but we never saw it. i think he has been busy with other subjects, but he forgets very quickly why he was in the studios: the reason is the fans, and he has ignored them when he didn’t publish the report.

    thanks, steve! i hope you come back for hp6 for your own and selfish delight.

  • Sarah Ross

    Wasn’t JKR wrong with her new family tree? Fred couldn’t have died in 1997 if the rest of the timeline is true (Harry b. 1980, 7th year in 1997, etc.)

    Am I very stupid? Can someone please explain?

  • Sam

    Sarah, the dates do work, because Fred died in what would have been Harry’s 7th year (1997) at the age of 17, or 17 years after 1980. Of course, Harry didn’t go back to Hogwarts in 1997 when searching for the Horcruxes, but the dates are correct.

  • not exactly, because Harry’s seventh year would be Sept 1997 – June 1998. So it’s more correct for it to be May 1998.

  • No, the dates are wrong. Harry’s 7th year would have been 1997/98. So Fred should have or did die in 1998. And Dumbledore’s death date is also wrong: it’s 1997 and not 1996.

  • Aubry

    Thanks Naco


    when do we get the third set report for OP?

  • Bandersnatch

    Re: the Battle of Hogwarts starting at midnight on May 2.

    Kudos to Marco, who predicted this way back in August. (See the comments on the post entitled “Astronomy essay update,” 19 Aug 2007.) He based his analysis on sunrise/sunset times, and the need to have enough time between the darkening twilight on May 1 (when the Trio apparated to Hogsmeade) and midnight (the start of the battle) for all the recorded events to occur. The later in May you get, the shorter this interval would become.

    And then Graymayne commented that she agreed, and for an additional reason: May 1 is the Celtic festival of Beltane. It stands opposite Halloween on the calendar, and it marks the traditional beginning of summer (just as All Hallows marks the beginning of winter).

    According to Graymayne, just as All Hallow’s Eve (Halloween) is supposedly a time when the Veil between the living and the dead is thinner, so too is Beltane Eve (also called Walpurgis Night, which inspired Jo’s original name for the Death Eaters, the Knights of Walpurgis).

    The only thing is, it would have made more sense to me to put the battle one day earlier, on Beltane itself. Then the battle would have begun on Walpurgisnacht (an auspicious date for the Knights of W.), and Harry would have crossed to the limbo between the living and the dead on that night. And then the glorious triumph of good over evil would have coincided with the beginning of summer. Ah well.

    I wonder if Jo took any of this into account. Perhaps the Scottish Book will tell.

  • poldi

    wishing the lexicon a very very happy new year!

  • Zane

    “Aubry wrote:

    Off topic….

    Didn’t J.K. Rowling give more of the Black Family tree to the movie people so they could make the tapestry?

    How can we get that information?

    I LOVE the Black family.”

    I’d REALLY like to know this too.

  • Patrick

    I have to agree with everyone else: I too would really like to see the rest of the Black Family Tree!

  • Naco

    how many time will SVA ignore us?

  • Graymayne

    Thanks Bandersnatch, for remembering our comments about May 2nd way back. I was suddenly convinced that May 1st had been chosen for the attempt on Gringotts because Jo had notably used Halloween/Samhain for the death of Harry’s parents, winter and summer solstices for a book launch and title release and August 1st, Lammas or Lughnasadh, a celebration of the wheat harvest and the start of the Autumn quarter, as the wedding of Bill and Fleur. This only leaves February 1st, Imbolc, the start of the Spring quarter, that I have not noticed as being made significant. Perhaps I should check out the Timeline carefully.

  • Geber

    The date of May 2 fits well with some other date clues. In Ch. 24 (page 482 of the Scholastic edition) we’re told that it was possible to move Ginny from the Burrow to Muriel’s because “Ginny’s on holiday. If she’d been at Hogwarts, they could have taken her before we reached her.” This must have been the Easter holiday; Easter for 1998 was on April 12. Since the trio spent a few weeks at Shell Cottage, May 2 works well for the battle.

  • Geber

    I notice the calendar for March 1998 has days occuring on the wrong day of the week; they’re off by one day. I checked by using a computer program named Multiyear Interactive Computer Almanac from the U.S. Naval Observatory. Here is a copy of the output for late March:
    Date Time Day
    1998 Mar 16 00:00:00.0 Mon
    1998 Mar 17 00:00:00.0 Tue
    1998 Mar 18 00:00:00.0 Wed
    1998 Mar 19 00:00:00.0 Thu
    1998 Mar 20 00:00:00.0 Fri
    1998 Mar 21 00:00:00.0 Sat
    1998 Mar 22 00:00:00.0 Sun
    1998 Mar 23 00:00:00.0 Mon
    1998 Mar 24 00:00:00.0 Tue
    1998 Mar 25 00:00:00.0 Wed
    1998 Mar 26 00:00:00.0 Thu
    1998 Mar 27 00:00:00.0 Fri
    1998 Mar 28 00:00:00.0 Sat
    1998 Mar 29 00:00:00.0 Sun

  • Bandersnatch

    Actually, Geber, it’s not just March. Every day in the DH calendar (1997 and 1998) is off by one day, except for May 1 and 2 (which are correct). The calendar should start with Sunday, July 20. Unless Jo explicitly gave a date/day-of-week combination that places the dates as they are in the calendar — which does happen. Hopefully John (who did the calendar) will see this and be able to figure it out!

    (And Sept. 1, 2017 should be a Friday — but since the kids are taking the Hogwarts Express that day, it should be a Sunday. So there the inconsistency is in Jo’s court.)

  • Bandersnatch

    Geber: I see what happened with the DH calendar. I think John purposely put the dates on the “wrong” days of the week for 1997-1998, because Jo forced his hand with an “error” that she made with her timeline.

    In Chapter 1, Snape tells Voldemort that Harry will be moved on a Saturday. In Chapter 2, which takes place on the morning of Harry’s moving day, we are told that Harry has “four days left of being unable to perform magic.” So that means the date was Saturday, July 27, as John has stated in the calendar. Unfortunately, it appears that Jo has made a mistake, because in 1997, July 27 was actually on a Sunday. That’s the source of the one-day shift you noticed.

    Jo has made this kind of mistake in other books as well, though, assigning a date to the wrong day of the week for the year in question. It just shows that she doesn’t actually look up what day of the week any given date in her timeline was “really” on; it’s not important to her to be that exact.

    So John is doing the best he can with what Jo gave him. Although, there is an internal inconsistency with the fact that most of the dates in the calendar are one day of the week off, but May 1 and 2 are on the correct days of the week. Unless Jo explicitly specified that May 2 in DH was on Saturday (and maybe she did, I don’t have my book with me at the moment), it might be better to put May 2 on Friday, since there are always exactly six weeks between March 21 and May 2 (and they must therefore always be on the same day of the week in any given year). But, on the other hand, it may not be worth it to try to be more exact than Jo in this instance.

  • Bandersnatch

    By the way, Geber, it seems that Jo doesn’t take the actual date of Easter into account, either. Case in point: in Chapter 22 of DH, we are told that it is March when Ron finally tunes in to Potterwatch. That same evening, the Trio is captured by the Snatchers and brought to Malfoy Manor. The next morning, they have escaped to Shell Cottage. So, according to Jo, the date of Chapter 24 could have been no later than April 1. But during that chapter, as you mentioned above, Bill says that it is Easter holidays — and in 1998 the real date of Easter was April 12. Unless Easter holidays start at least twelve days before Easter, this doesn’t seem to add up. (According to this essay, http://www.hp-lexicon.org/essays/essay-british-schooling.html , Muggle Easter holidays always began nine days before Easter, at least in the 1970s.)

  • Jason Berardo

    When Bellatrix died, she had a wand, even though Hermione had Bellatrix’s wand. I am assuming, but I think I am right in saying, that there are two ways in which this is possible. She was going to kill the Stupefied snatchers, so she might have used one of their wands, but there were two wands laying around that would be ripe for usage, Ron’s and Hermione’s.