Canon discussion

Half-Blood Prince 25-30 Canon Celebration


Half-Blood Prince 25-30 Canon Celebration

In the final six exciting chapters that end this book, revelations, betrayals and death were promised – and so there shall be – but what they also contain is love.

Handkerchiefs at the ready? Onwards we go!


Episode 25: The Horcrux Conundrum by Nick Moline and Steve VanderArk

Horcrux Deaths by Steve VanderArk

Reader’s Guides:

These guides were originally written in 2005 and 2006. Since that time, a few edits were made here and there but basically the text remained the same. To get ready for this Canon Celebration, our editors have been revising each one. We’ve added fan artwork to the Guide which illustrates the text. At the bottom in the Commentary section we’ve added a gallery of additional artwork. So even if you’ve read our guides before, please give them another look. And if you’re doing a re-read of the books, have the Guide to each chapter open as you go! I’m sure you’ll find a lot of information you didn’t know.

Reader’s Guide to Chapter 25

Reader’s Guide to Chapter 26

Reader’s Guide to Chapter 27

Reader’s Guide to Chapter 28

Reader’s Guide to Chapter 29

Reader’s Guide to Chapter 30


Fitting the books into the real-life calendars isn’t easy! In fact, it’s impossible. But that didn’t stop us:

Day by day calendar of events in the book

Text Changes of the Editions and the Years

Differences between the British and American versions

“Mistakes and non-mistakes” in the text


Love and Death in Harry Potter by Paul Spilsbury

Snape’s Change of Allegiance by Cherry

Harry and the Horcruxes by Megan Bostelman

Shaken, Not Stirred: The Allegiance(s) of a Certain Potions Master and Spy Extraordinaire by CheshireCat

Ginny Weasley: A Gryffindor and a Match for Harry by Tim Lambarski

The Bendable Vow: Dumbledore’s Hand In One Last Legal Loophole by D.B. Fwoopersong

Opportunity Costs: What does it profit a man to defeat the Dark Lord but lose his soul? by Alan Jacobs

The Marks of a Villain by Beth Welsh

Vanishing Magic by Steve VanderArk

Dumbledore vivens Snapeque bonamicus by Denis Howarth

Interesting Artwork

We have hundreds and hundreds of pieces of fan artwork in our collection. Some subjects get a lot of depictions — Diagon Alley is a favorite topic, for example, and, well, of course it is! But there are a few pieces which illustrate more unusual moments in the text. Here are a few examples:

The Gryffindor Common Room (HBP25)

Albus Dumbledore and Harry at the sea cave (HBP26)

The Dark Mark over the Astronomy Tower (HBP27)

Students and staff mourn Dumbledore.

Students and staff mourn the death at the bottom of the Astronomy Tower (HBP28)

Tonks and Remus Lupin (HBP29)

The funeral (HBP30)

Artwork Challenge

Our Artwork Challenge for all you fan artists out there is to depict one of the lesser-known characters and scenes in the series. If we really like your work, we may feature it in the Lexicon! Here are some suggestions from these chapters:

Send your artwork to [email protected]. By submitting it, you are giving us permission to display your work on the Lexicon. We would like to include your name with your artwork so you are properly credited, so when you send your work let us know what name to use. Please also include a way to get a hold of you so that if we decide to feature your work as part of our regular collection we can contact you for more details. All artwork we display remains the property of the artist and they retain all copyright.

Special Feature: The Time the Editors Messed Up a Harry Potter Book

The most infamous editing mistake in the entire series happened with this book. Specifically, the Scholastic editors accidentally left a chunk of text in the US edition of the book when the decision had been made to take it out because it portrayed Dumbledore and the Order of the Phoenix in a bad light.

The last few books in the series were edited as a team by people from Bloomsbury and Scholastic as well as by Rowling herself. They made decisions about the final text together so that the different editions agreed with each other. However, in this case the system broke down somehow.

The passage in question is found in chapter 27 when Dumbledore is talking with Malfoy atop the Astronomy Tower. Here’s the approved, Bloomsbury version of the text:

‘I did not dare speak to you of the mission with which I knew you had been entrusted, in case he used Legilimency against you,’ continued Dumbledore. ‘But now at last we can speak plainly to each other … no harm has been done, you have hurt nobody, though you are very lucky that your unintentional victims survived … I can help you, Draco.’

‘No, you can’t,’ said Malfoy, his wand hand shaking very badly indeed. ‘Nobody can. He told me to do it or he’ll kill me. I’ve got no choice.’

‘Come over to the right side, Draco, and we can hide you more completely than you can possibly imagine. What is more, I can send members of the Order to your mother tonight to hide her likewise. Your father is safe at the moment in Azkaban … when the time comes we can protect him too … come over to the right side, Draco … you are not a killer …’

The Scholastic edition leaves in two sentences to this speech. Just after Dumbledore says he can send members of the Order to hide Malfoy’s mother, he says:

Nobody would be surprised that you had died in your attempt to kill me — forgive me but Lord Voldemort probably expects it. Nor would the Death Eaters be surprised that we had captured and killed your mother — it is what they would do themselves, after all.

The editors and Rowling agreed that the Order should always appear as paragons of virtue in the books and would therefore not take actions to even imply that they had committed murder. So the decision was made to remove those two sentences. Someone at Scholastic, however, messed up and left them in.

This error appears in the first American editions of the Half-Blood Prince book but was fixed in subsequent printings.

From the Atlas

Rowling herself stated that “it would be difficult for the most skilled architect to draw, owing to the fact that the staircases and the rooms keep moving. However, I have a very vivid mental image of what it looks like.”

That’s all well and good, but at some point plans for the castle needed to be created. The films, for example, required that the models that were built has some sort of connection to the interiors which were shown on screen. Then when the later video games were created, starting with Order of the Phoenix, the game characters had to be able to wander around Hogwarts accomplishing various tasks, which meant that an even more exact plan for the castle needed to be devised. These map and plans were accurate to the film version of the story. The book version was largely ignored.

The Lexicon includes a collection of these maps and plans, those from the films and from the games as well as those drawn to match the descriptions in the books. One set of plans goes above and beyond, however. They are drawn by Harper Robinson and are based on plans of an actual British castle. Each floor is shown along with all the rooms. The final plan in the set shows the tops of the towers, including the Astronomy Tower which figures so vividly in these last chapters of Half-Blood Prince. Here’s that last plan depicting the highest point at Hogwarts, as well as the links to the full series.

HR- Tenth Floor

Coming up next week…

We have now featured six of the seven books in the Harry Potter series. All that remains is the final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. But before we delve into the culmination of the saga, we’re going to take a small detour into some of the other canon sources where Rowling reveals details and lore about the Wizarding World. We’ve already explored the schoolbooks — Quidditch Through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them — along with the delightful Daily Prophet Newsletters. Now we’ll talk about The Tales of Beedle the Bard, Rowling’s websites, and a few of the most important interviews and webchats from the years when the books were coming out.

Table of Contents


Pensieve (Comments)