• Article We're in the process of creating a whole new Harry Potter Lexicon, as many of you know. There are currently 27 editors working on the project, all fans who are eager to share their knowledge of canon with the fan community. This truly is a fan project, and an international one. We have editors of all ages and from all over the world: Thailand, France, United States, Spain, Argentina, and more. As part of that process, I've been going through the Harry Potter timeline. I originally created this timeline in 2001 after the two schoolbooks came out and when Electronic Arts added a hundred new characters to the Harry Potter universe with dates of when they lived. Read More
• Article
Posted by in Canon discussion
Today I received an interesting question in email from Katty Geltmeyer, a great fan friend of the Lexicon: "In PA, Lupin told Harry, Ron, and Hermione that he found out they were in the Shrieking Shack by using the marauders Map. But Harry and Hermione traveled back in time and were lurking around the Willow. How is it possible that Lupin didn't see the extra Harry and Hermione on the map?" Here's my opinion, based on canon. Read More
• Article
Posted by in Canon discussion
Most of the differences between the US and UK editions are very minor, simply changes to phrasing or terms to make the text easier to understand for American readers. However, a few differences are a little bigger than that. In a couple of cases, one version gives a nugget of canon information that the other misses entirely. Since canon facts are what the Lexicon is all about, we've been tracking these differences over the years. Here are a few interesting ones: Read More
• Article
Posted by in Canon discussion
Way back in the late 90s, the Harry Potter books came out in Britain first, long before the US editions. In fact, it took a whole year for Philosopher's Stone to be Transfigured into Sorcerer's Stone. During that year, the editors at Scholastic changed a lot more than the title. They replaced a lot of British terms which they assumed would confuse American readers. In some cases, I guess they were probably right. Many Americans would have no idea what a "bobble hat" or a "packet of crisps" was, and in the U.S. a "jumper" Read More
• Article
Posted by in Canon discussion
In her writing on Pottermore, Rowling has revealed a lot of new information about the wizarding world and the characters in it. Here are a few interesting tidbits: 1 – Hufflepuff has produced fewer Dark Wizards than any other house. 2 – The name ‘Ollivander’ is believed to mean ‘he… Read More
• Article
Posted by in Canon discussion
There's not much information in the canon about witches and wizards in the United States. Rowling mentions a couple of American Quidditch teams in Quidditch Through the Ages, including one in my home state of Texas, as well as the American broom game called Quodpot, and we all remember the cryptic mention of the Salem Witches' Institute in Goblet of Fire. However, buried in a news report from the currently-ongoing Quidditch World Cup in Patagonia was a very interesting little nugget Read More
• Article
Posted by in Canon discussion
Admit it. Even though you've read the Harry Potter books three, four, er--twenty times before, when you get to the end of some chapters, you just HAVE to turn the page and keep reading. You even get a tiny reminder of that thrill you had the first time you read it, that shiver of excitement that made you charge on into the next chapter at 3am, even when you had somewhere to be first thing the next morning. We've all been there. So to celebrate our shared unashamed love affair with the Harry Potter books, here's a list of Rowling's "4 Best Cliffhanger Chapter Endings" from the first three books: Read More
• Podcast Episode
Posted by in Canon discussion / Lexicon Podcast
Steve digs into the interview archives, discussing Rowling’s control of her story and her characters, then explores the murky challenge of finding name sources, discovers the not-so-murky Grimmauld Place in London, and discusses the essential elements of book six which allow us to truly understanding book seven. Show links: The Lexicon on… Read More
• Article
Posted by in Canon discussion
Stuff we still wonder about, even after book seven … the other secret passage “There are seven in all. Now, Filch knows about these four” — he pointed them out — “but we’re sure we’re the only ones who know about these. Don’t bother with the one behind the mirror… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
[*]In an interview with The Leaky Cauldron and MuggleNet in July 2005, Rowling said, “Dumbledore’s guesses are never very far wide of the mark. I don’t want to give too much away here, but Dumbledore says, ‘There are four out there, you’ve got to get rid of four, and… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
We saw in Half-Blood Prince that Hepzibah Smith was distantly related to Helga Hufflepuff and that Hufflepuff’s gold cup was in her possession. We also saw that Salazar Slytherin’s line ends with T.M. Riddle/Lord Voldemort through the Gaunt family, which was in possession of Slytherin’s gold locket and a Slytherin family heirloom, the Peverell ring. But we haven’t been given direct information identifying the family… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
Considerable analysis has gone into the ages of the Quidditch-playing Weasley brothers, reaching the conclusion that most of the information which J.K. Rowling gives us regarding Gryffindor’s team prior to Harry’s arrival at Hogwarts is inconsistent. However, these arguments are based on a number of assumptions which are not provable… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
The State of Play at Hogwarts Quidditch is the principal wizard sport and the school sport of Hogwarts, so given the outstanding natural abilities of J.K. Rowling’s main protagonist, it unsurprisingly forms a major recurring element in the series, including an eventful visit to the Quidditch World Cup in Goblet of Fire. The four houses of… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
Harry’s Unanswered Question “Professor, what happened to your—?” “I have no time to explain now,” said Dumbledore. “It is a thrilling tale, I wish to do it justice.” (HBP4) At least four times in Half-Blood Prince, Harry asks Dumbledore to explain what happened to his right hand. Each time, Dumbledore smiles and implies that… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
As the last Harry Potter book draws ever nearer, we are all scrambling to organize and finalize theories. So, anyone who’s an HP fan must have heard of several ships[*] from the Marauder’s Era. I’ll refer to them as m-ships in this essay to make life easier. These m-ships basically put together two of the… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
Within the Harry Potter stories are many scenes that can be analyzed astronomically. As both an astronomer and a teacher, these interest me, and so I will present such analysis here. My goal is not to criticize Rowling when she is inaccurate in her astronomy (or, for that matter, to praise her when she… Read More