Editor

Steve VanderArk

Posted by in Harry Potter Lexicon Minute
Hey, everyone, Steve VanderArk here. This is a special announcement for listeners of our Harry Potter Lexicon Minute podcast. As you may have noticed, we’ve been taking a short break for the past week or two. The podcast isn’t ending — we’ll be back with more episodes here… Read More
Posted by in Harry Potter Lexicon Minute
We’ve reached chapter 30 of Order of the Phoenix and as always, there’s a lot to talk about here. The castle is in chaos. The students are in full rebellion against Umbridge, and the teachers are too apparently. Filch is having to transport students across the… Read More
Posted by in Harry Potter Lexicon Minute
There is so much to love in chapter 29 of Order of the Phoenix. The focus if the first part of the chapter is Harry’s meeting with McGonagall to discuss plans for his future, memorably attended by Umbridge. At the end of the chapter, we watch Fred and… Read More
Posted by in Harry Potter Lexicon Minute
Early interviews with J.K. Rowling followed a very familiar pattern. The interviewer would tell the tale of the poor, penniless single mother who wrote the first Harry Potter book in cafes because her flat wasn’t heated. Much of this story was exaggerated, by the way. Then they would ask the… Read More
Posted by in Harry Potter Lexicon Minute
I’m enjoying my re-read of Order of the Phoenix so much … It’s not really that I’m surprised very often. After all, I’ve read the book so often that each sentence feels as familiar as a my favorite pair of slippers. It’s just that even after all these… Read More
Posted by in Harry Potter Lexicon Minute
Over the almost twenty years of the website’s existence, we have been challenged for our use of Rowling’s interviews as canon. That’s perfectly understandable, especially since we make a point of NOT including the Potter films. Why one and not the other? There is an obvious response, that those films… Read More
Posted by in Harry Potter Lexicon Minute
“Fifty years ago, at daybreak, on a fine summer’s morning … “ That’s from chapter one of Goblet of Fire, as you probably already knew. That’s when Tom Riddle Senior and his parents were mysteriously killed in their mansion near Little Hangleton. Frank Bryce, the caretaker,… Read More
Posted by in About Sources / Harry Potter Lexicon Minute
Today I’m going to talk a little bit about book two, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. For me in the US, this book came out in 1999. Reading it firmly convinced me that I was going to fall in love with the Harry Potter series. I started taking… Read More
Posted by in Harry Potter Lexicon Minute
Today I’m going to start a series talking about each canon source, giving my thoughts about it and maybe sharing some memories from my twenty years of being a Harry Potter fan. We’ll start with book one, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Now you’ll notice I used the American… Read More
Posted by in Harry Potter Lexicon Minute
Chapter 26 of Order of the Phoenix is completely packed. I mean it, this chapter is like a rich tapestry. I’ll just wander through the text, pointing out things here and there. It starts with Hermione’s delightful explanation for Harry of Cho’s behavior during their disastrous date, which includes… Read More
Posted by in Harry Potter Lexicon Minute
Two very important things happen in chapter 25 of Order of the Phoenix. I’m not talking about Harry’s disastrous date with Cho, which, let’s face it, is just horrible. I cringe as I read it and yes, I do recognize those kinds of awkward moments… Read More
Posted by in The Films / Website news
You might be here on the Lexicon looking for information about the characters, things, creatures, events, etc. from “Crimes of Grindelwald.” If so, you might have to have to wait a week or so for everything to appear. We have a spreadsheet of 143 entries which need to be added… Read More
Posted by in Canon discussion / The Films
The dates for each of these events is derived from a close read of canon sources, including the scripts for Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. 1881 Albus Dumbledore is born c. 1883 Gellert Grindelwald is born c. Read More
Posted by in The Films
Here are some helpful resources you might need if you’re researching the new film. We’ll update this with other resources over time. Timelines: Integrating the Dumbledore, Grindelwald, and Voldemort Timelines Timeline: The Rise of Grindelwald The Fantastic Beasts Saga Timeline Characters: Newt Scamander | timeline Gellert… Read More
Posted by in Harry Potter Lexicon Minute
And now we’re to chapter 24 of Order of the Phoenix. This is not one of my favorite chapters of the book. I’m struck again how much I dislike certain characters, in this case Snape and Sirius. And since I know that this is the last time we’ll… Read More
Posted by in Harry Potter Lexicon Minute
On a couple of previous podcasts, I have talked about Ottery St. Catchpole and the Burrow. I’ve discussed why we identify the town with Ottery St. Mary in Devon, near Exeter. I talked about the relationship between the town and the Burrow, located, according to the books,… Read More
Posted by in Harry Potter Lexicon Minute
Let me just start out by saying that I cry easily. Just ask my wife. I cry at sappy commercials with fathers sending their daughters off into the world while remembering every father-daughter dance and scraped knee. So you’d think that reading the Harry Potter books, especially the first time… Read More
Posted by in Canon discussion / Harry Potter Lexicon Minute
In chapter 22, we are introduced to St Mungo’s hospital. But we are also introduced to two other new ideas, one of which remained a mystery to fans even after the last book was published. One of these new ideas is the fact that the portraits of previous headmasters… Read More
Posted by in Website news
A few days ago, Entertainment Weekly posted “A definitive timeline of every Harry Potter Horcrux.” I sure wish they’d research these things better before publishing them. Because they’re a mainstream magazine and because they’ve clearly been given a certain level a special access to the Fantastic Beasts team, fans… Read More
Posted by in Harry Potter Lexicon Minute
While I read these chapters, I always look for something interesting to record a podcast about. When I read chapter 21, no one thing stood out as the topic to discuss, but a couple of tidbits did catch my eye. I’ll run through them for you. First, I hadn’t… Read More
Posted by in Harry Potter Lexicon Minute
There are a number of new Harry Potter games coming out. They’re all mobile games, but my favorite Harry Potter game came out quite a few years before there was such a thing as a smartphone to play it on. Way back in 2001, Wizards of the Coast released a… Read More
Posted by in Harry Potter Lexicon Minute
I love this chapter. Rowling is on top of her game here. I talked about her skill at writing conversations in a previous episode, and she’s at it again in this chapter. The nuances of the conversations, first between the Trio and Hagrid and then between Hagrid and Umbridge, are… Read More
Posted by in Harry Potter Lexicon Minute
Chapter nineteen starts on a high note: Harry felt as though he were carrying some kind of talisman inside his chest over the following two weeks, a glowing secret that supported him through Umbridge’s classes and even made it possible for him to smile… Read More
Posted by in Harry Potter Lexicon Minute
I thoroughly enjoyed chapter 18 of Order of the Phoenix, so much so that I had trouble picking out one thing to talk about in this podcast. The text is just so rich with wonderful conversations and characterizations — just read through that marvelous scene with Peeves throwing… Read More
Posted by in Harry Potter Lexicon Minute
So as you know, I’ve been reading through Order of the Phoenix for the, I don’t know, maybe fortieth time, and that doesn’t include the dozen times I’ve listened to the audio version. The sentences feel wonderfully familiar and honestly, it’s like spending time with a dear friend. I guess… Read More
Posted by in Harry Potter Lexicon Minute
We’ve been exploring chapters from the fifth book in the Harry Potter series, The Order of the Phoenix. In several of these podcasts, I’ve marveled at the way Rowling can really bring us into the magical places in her books. The creaky, dusty old house in Grimmauld Place is… Read More
Posted by in Harry Potter Lexicon Minute
In this chapter, things really start heading downhill. Umbridge is appointed to be Hogwarts High Inquisitor — a name reminiscent of the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition. She begins harassing and demeaning the rest of the teaching staff immediately. These scenes where she stalks the classrooms of various… Read More
Posted by in Website news
In celebration of Harry’s first visit to Diagon Alley on July 31, we’re very excited to present the Wizarding World Currency Exchange to help all you Muggles in your magical shopping. Hagrid may think that seventeen Sickles to the Galleon is “easy enough,” but we Muggles find it complicated. Read More
Posted by in Website news
As of Saturday evening, 8 July 2017, we’re having some problems with the Lexicon, apparently due to the new version of Word Press to which we just upgraded. This may result in pages not Apparating onto your screen correctly. No need to contact the Department of Magical Transportation — they’re… Read More
Posted by in Fandom News
Josie has posted on her site blog some details about what happened to the Companion. She’s working on fixing all the links now and soon the site will be 100% safe again. You can read her post here: https://hp-companion.com/2017/06/02/sigh/#comment-47530 I’ve let her know that we’d be happy to help… Read More
Posted by in Characters
The editor for the Characters section of the Lexicon was Lisa Bunker who was also the founder of Accio Quote. So it was a natural fit for her to collect quotes by and about the main characters in the books as she worked to bring each character’s biography up to date. Read More
Posted by in Fandom News
Back in 2009, I posted about a wonderful Harry Potter website called The Harry Potter Companion. It’s run by an ex-Lexicon editor who did amazing work for our site for many years before leaving to take on other challenges. The Companion goes through the entire Harry Potter series, chapter… Read More
Posted by in Canon discussion / Rants
We all know the quotes. They’re turned into memes, they’re spouted by cosplayers — they seem to define the characters who said them. Except DID they say them? In many cases, the answer is no. Yes, Quirrell did say “Troll — in the dungeons — thought you ought to know” (PS10)… Read More
Posted by in Fandom News
LootCrate just announced the next installment of their spectacular “J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World” Crates: THE DARK ARTS Their website states: “There’s a darker side of magic and we’re exploring its depths with exclusively-created collectibles, apparel, replicas, and more showcasing the people, places, creatures, and things associated with the Dark Arts of… Read More
Posted by in Canon discussion / Lexicon Podcast / Theories
For the majority of Episode 25, Steve and Nick puzzle over the topic of Horcruxes, and more particularly how they are created and when Voldemort created each of his Horcruxes.  Listen in as we end up with more questions at the end then we had at the beginning.  We are back to audio only this week, but stay tuned, more Video podcasts will be coming soon. Read More
Posted by in Fandom News
For me, it started with a visit to my son’s house. We were hanging around chatting when I noticed a gray box on the bookshelf with a label on it reading “Firefly Cargo Crate.” I remarked about it since, you know, it was Firefly. He took it down and showed… Read More
Posted by in Canon discussion / Characters / Lexicon Podcast
Episode 22 of The Harry Potter Lexicon Podcast focuses on the character of Draco Malfoy. Steve and Nick start by talking about the latest news about the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie franchise, now announced to be five movies instead of three, and theorize on how far… Read More
Posted by in Canon discussion
Where did the name Hogwarts come from? Rowling answered that question in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald: A friend from London recently asked me if I remembered when we first saw Hogwarts. I had no idea what she was talking about until she recalled the day we went… Read More
Posted by in Canon discussion / Lexicon Podcast / Website news
Steve and Nick finally got a chance to sit down and talk about Cursed Child, some good, some not so good, and found it is very hard to steer away from the Time Travel rabbit hole.  So much stuff to talk about and we debate a few big issues on the story. SPOILER WARNING: Don't listen to this episode if you haven't read Cursed Child yet because we are not holding back on this episode. Read More
Posted by in Website news
If you’ve come to the Lexicon to research the characters, places, and events in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, you may have to wait a bit. We are creating many new entries and adding information to existing entries, but we aren’t filling in the main characters or events just yet. Read More
Posted by in Website news
Since we came out of beta, the number one request has been for alphabetical lists of characters, places, etc. Nick the Tech Wizard has been working on it ever since. This afternoon I tested it behind the scenes and it’s working great! Nick tells me there is a little more… Read More