• Podcast Episode
Posted by in Harry Potter Lexicon Minute
I wrote an essay recently about the timing of the attack on Neville’s parents, talking about how he must have been around five years old when it happened (give or take a year or two). This means he has an awareness of what happened and remembers his parents… Read More
• Podcast Episode
Posted by in Characters / Harry Potter Lexicon Minute
When classes start in Harry’s fifth year, O.W.L.s are all anyone wants to talk about. At lunch on the first day, the Weasley twins offer some sage advice about how “it’s a nightmare of a year, the fifth, if you care about exam results, anyway.” Ron then comments, “Yeah…… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
After the Dark Mark appears in the sky on the night of the Quidditch World Cup, Barty Crouch releases Winky the house-elf from his service, and her unfair treatment draws Hermione’s sympathy and indignation.  When she, Harry, and Ron visit Sirius in the cave above Hogsmeade to… Read More
• Podcast Episode
Posted by in Harry Potter Lexicon Minute
Previously we talked about how often prime numbers feature in the Harry Potter books. Another number that crops up a lot is the number 12. 12 Grimmauld Place might be the first one that springs to mind, but we also have 12 uses of dragon’s blood;… Read More
• Podcast Episode
Posted by in Harry Potter Lexicon Minute
Let’s just take a moment to talk about the richness of Rowling’s imagination. In chapter six of Order of the Phoenix, we’re introduced to the weird and wonderful drawing room of number twelve Grimmauld Place, with it’s curtains filled with Doxies, the nest of dead Puffskeins… Read More
• Podcast Episode
Posted by in Harry Potter Lexicon Minute
Arithmancy is a branch of magic which deals with the magical properties of numbers, and Hermione tells us it’s her favourite subject. In previous episodes we’ve already talked about some of the interesting ways that J.K. Rowling uses numbers in the books, and if we look through an arithmancy lens… Read More
• Podcast Episode
Posted by in Harry Potter Lexicon Minute
Narcissa Malfoy is a rude and racist witch, but there are several moments in the series that I think show Narcissa’s better side. In Spinner’s End, chapter 2 of Half Blood Prince, Narcissa is desperate to keep her son safe. Despite her sister’s warnings and Voldemort’s instructions to… Read More
• Podcast Episode
Posted by in Birthdays / Harry Potter Lexicon Minute
In today’s minute I’ll be discussing Chamber of Secrets Chapter 1 The Worst Birthday. Here are some of my thoughts: I wonder what birthdays were like for Harry the nine years between being dropped off on his aunt and uncle’s doorstep and finding out he was a wizard. Harry would… Read More
• Podcast Episode In a recent Harry Potter Minute, we discussed instances in the books where two seemingly unrelated characters have the same last name. We’ve already covered two of the three instances, the Smiths and the Gudgeons. But a third set caused quite the fuss back in the day, and is the… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
Professor Lupin‘s first class with the third-year Gryffindors covers boggarts, which shapeshift into a form that the person who encounters it will find the most frightening.  As humans grow and age, they compile more experiences, which result in unique personalities, a deeper capacity for emotions, and more… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
When Harry has finished recounting the story of his experience in the Chamber of Secrets, and Dumbledore has dismissed everyone else from his office, he asks Harry to have a seat.  He thanks Harry for the loyalty that called Fawkes to him in the Chamber, then opens the discussion… Read More
• Podcast Episode
Posted by in Canon discussion / Harry Potter Lexicon Minute
As careful readers, we’re taught to pay attention to last names – when two characters have the same last name, there is usually a good reason why. But there are three instances within the books of two characters having the same last name, without any reason given explaining it. Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
While discussing the fate of the Sorcerer’s Stone with Harry in the Hospital Wing, Dumbledore encourages Harry to use Voldemort’s name: “Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.”  Harry has not encountered that opinion prior to this moment, but he accepts the advice readily. When Hagrid… Read More
• Podcast Episode
Posted by in Harry Potter Lexicon Minute
You may notice on the homepage of the Lexicon that it always shows the current exchange rate between a galleon and a range of different worldwide currencies. But did you ever wonder how J.K. Rowling came up with this seemingly confusing system of wizard money? Hagrid explains… Read More
• Podcast Episode
Posted by in Harry Potter Lexicon Minute
When did House Ghosts become a recognized part of life at Hogwarts? Nearly-Headless Nick celebrates the 500th anniversary of his death in Chapter 8 of Chamber of Secrets. In the following chapter, Professor Binns states that Hogwarts was founded more than a thousand years… Read More
• Podcast Episode
Posted by in Harry Potter Lexicon Minute
Chastity, Credence, and Modesty may have seemed like strange names to viewers of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, but they are rooted in the Barebone family’s Puritan past. Not only is the Barebones’s church named for Salem, Massachusetts, but also the family… Read More