I decided to do a little bit of research and go in-depth into currency in the wizarding world. As we all know, wizard money is made up of gold galleons, silver sickles, and bronze knuts. In the first book, when Harry is getting money out of his vault for the… Read MoreThe Voldemort Effect on the Gold Market• Podcast Episode
I know it’s a few days past April Fool’s Day, but don’t let that stop you from reading this wonderful piece by Bron Suchecki on the Monetary Metals website. Judging by the comments, a number of readers of that website for serious investors made it quite far into the article before realizing… Read MoreWhen was Charlie born? A Canon Conundrum• Podcast Episode
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 MoreMysteries about the Map• Podcast Episode
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 MoreHogwarts Letter mysteries: Who delivers them and when?• Podcast Episode
Everybody knows that your Hogwarts letter should arrive on your eleventh birthday. But careful reading suggests that no, it doesn’t. Harry’s only did by coincidence. The first letter actually arrived on July 24. It was only because of Uncle Vernon’s comical attempts to avoid the letters that Hagrid had to… Read More5 Canon Facts That Don't Appear in Both the UK and US editions• Podcast Episode
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 MoreThe time the US editors screwed up a Harry Potter book• Podcast Episode
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 More9 Interesting Canon Facts from Pottermore• Podcast Episode
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 MoreWhat is the US equivalent of the Ministry of Magic?• Podcast Episode
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 MoreFive errors in the original text of book one and how they were fixed• Podcast Episode
In the summer of 2004, Bloomsbury released new editions of the Harry Potter books. These new editions featured a slew of changes to the original text. Some of the changes were simple fixes for typos. For example, on the third line of page 15 of Philosopher’s Stone, the word… Read More4 Great Cliffhanger Chapter Endings• Podcast Episode
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🎙️ Episode 13: "The budding new baby hero!"• Podcast Episode
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 understand book seven. Show links: The… Read MorePuzzles, Mysteries, and Loose Ends• Podcast Episode
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 MoreHouse-Elves in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows• Podcast Episode
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was a fantastic, satisfying ending to the book series we all know and love. There are so many elements to explore and examine in this work, and here I turn my attention to the house-elves. We were introduced to the creatures in the second book of… Read MoreNagini as Horcrux• Podcast Episode
I’ve been looking at a pattern of clues in the six Harry Potter books, namely a series of interweaving and overlapping references to Transfiguration magic, secret passages/the Marauder’s Map, and trophies. Putting them all together, I believe they may be clues that the Helga Hufflepuff’s golden cup is in the… Read More“Something of Ravenclaw’s or Gryffindor’s”• Podcast Episode
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 MoreQuidditch Through the (Weasleys’) Ages or, The Unusual Career of Charles Weasley• Podcast Episode
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 MoreAn Almanac of Quidditch at Hogwarts• Podcast Episode
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… Read MoreThe Bendable Vow: Dumbledore’s Hand In One Last Legal Loophole• Podcast Episode
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