Canon discussion

Deathly Hallows 1-8 Canon Celebration

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Deathly Hallows 1-8 Canon Celebration

Finally, we arrive at the last book of the series. While we know that Harry has decided (along with Ron and Hermione) not to return to Hogwarts this school year, we have still to find out exactly what he has in mind to be able to complete the task set by Albus Dumbledore before his death. Everything has changed and will change this year.

So, deep breath, and here we go!


“It’s the Mirror All Over Again” by Steve VanderArk

Reader’s Guides:

These guides were originally written in 2007 and 2008. 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 1

Reader’s Guide to Chapter 2

Reader’s Guide to Chapter 3

Molly Weasley behind snitch birthday cake.Reader’s Guide to Chapter 4

Reader’s Guide to Chapter 5

Reader’s Guide to Chapter 6

Reader’s Guide to Chapter 7

Reader’s Guide to Chapter 8


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

Day to day calendar of events in the book

Text Changes of the Editions and the Years

Differences between the British and American versions


Only Black in Name: Andromeda Tonks by Cathy McCabe

How do we know the layout of the Burrow by John Kearns

The Death Eaters: A Guide To Who Was Where by Liam

Harry’s Dreams, continued by Trish Drasnin

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:

Malfoy Manor (DH1)

Dudley Dursley and Harry shake hands (DH3)

Harry dreaming about Hagrid on a flying motorbike.Harry’s dreams of Hagrid and the flying motorbike (DH4)

Remus Lupin and an injured George Weasley (DH5)

Mr and Mrs Delacour at the Burrow (DH6)

The wedding of Fleur Delacour and Bill Weasley (DH8)

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: Bonding, Binding, Breaking

What does it mean in magical terms during a marriage ceremony when the “small, tufty-haired wizard” says to Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour:

“… then I declare you bonded for life.” (DH8)

This is similar to the Muggle wedding vow “til death do us part” but, when spoken by wizards who are magic users, does it really mean “for life”?

The Unbreakable Vow sworn by Narcissa Malfoy with Severus Snape (HBP2) meant that Snape would die if he broke his vow to Narcissa. It involved Bellatrix Lestrange as the “Bonder”, using her wand to bind the two wizards together. Ron Weasley says he would have died if Fred and George had succeeded in making him swear one with Fred when he was only five years old (HBP16).

An Unbreakable Vow is considered to be a form of Binding Magical Contract, similar to when candidates put their names into the Goblet of Fire. Breaking the contract to compete in the Triwizard Tournament would have also resulted in death (GF17).

Molly Weasley thought her son Bill was too young to be married, although many of the weddings we know about (eg. Molly and Arthur Weasley, James and Lily Potter), were made when they participants are still quite young (HBP5). They are making a lifetime commitment without knowing what the future will hold.

Harry isn’t really paying attention during marriage ceremony and doesn’t hear any vows, so all we have to go on is the tufty-haired wizard saying that Bill and Fleur are “bonded for life”, and then waving his wand so that

“…. a shower of silver stars fell upon them, spiralling around their now entwined figures.” (DH8)

Therefore, we don’t really know for sure whether the bond is permanent. Also, is divorce even possible in the wizarding world, taking the actual words said into account?

From the Atlas: Maps of Hogwarts (not from the films)

It didn’t take long after the books were first published for fans to wonder about the layout of the castle and the grounds. Several maps appeared in the early days as part of the overall marketing of the Harry Potter universe. This one was used for a jigsaw puzzle:

I hadn’t seen this image when I created my first Hogwarts map which was entirely based on a close reading of the text of the first four books. I published it on the Lexicon in 2001. However, the placement of various features closely align with the puzzle map with the exception of Hogsmeade:

Steve VanderArk’s Sketch

Why did I place Hogsmeade where I did? Because I had traveled in Britain and visited a number of smaller towns, and in each case the railway station was located very near the high street. I used this same arrangement when I created my map.

Once the films came out, everyone’s imaginative concepts were lost and they just visualized Hogwarts the way it was portrayed in the movies. However, some maps were created during those years which didn’t match the Warner Bros. version. Below are some stylized maps, for example, which were created by Potter illustrator Mary GrandPré:

In 2002, fans learned that Rowling herself had created a map of the Hogwarts grounds. A few fans had even reported that they had seen the map in an exhibition, but no copy or photo of the map could be found. It wasn’t until the Prisoner of Azkaban film was released on DVD in 2004 that we finally saw Rowling’s map, since she showed it off in one of the DVD extras:

JKR’s Sketch of the Castle and Environs

Here’s a cleaned-up version of the map:

When we saw this map, we realized that the original puzzle map was almost certainly based on Rowling’s own sketch!

Coming up next week…

The wedding party has broken up. Harry, Ron and Hermione are on the run. Join us for next week’s look at Chapters 9 through 25 of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

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