Shortly after the Lexicon was created in 2000, the first essay appeared: The Limits of Magic by Caius Marcius. From that point on, the Lexicon’s collection of canon-based essays grew and grew. As the book series progressed, many of those essays became outdated or were proven wrong. However, they are all included in our collection as an archive of fan thinking and speculation during those exciting years. You can find all those essays, plus new ones as they get published, listed here. The following listing of essays is in reverse chronological order — the more recent essays are listed first.

• Essay
Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
Various types of spells and items make things vanish, but in different ways. Vanishing The basic form of Vanishing is the Vanishing Spell. Taught in fifth year Transfiguration (OP13), this spell is usually cast using the incantation Evanesco which is Latin for “vanish.” McGonagall starts students out with Vanishing invertebrates—snails—and then works them up to mice… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
The Wizards’ Council The Wizards’ Council was the predecessor to the Ministry of Magic (FBx). Barberus Bragge was the Chief of the Council in 1269. Burdock Muldoon was Chief of the Wizards’ Council in the fourteenth century (FB, QA). He was followed in office by Elfrida Clagg, who is generally regarded as being more enlightened than her predecessors… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
Well, after reading book 5 of Harry Potter (The Order of the Phoenix), all of my literature interpretation instincts just kicked in automatically. Never mind the predictions of what will happen, who will end up with whom, etc… I was instantly drawn by the notion of psychomachia (I’ve mentioned it before,… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
The stag is both James’ Animagus form and the Patronus that Harry conjures. Since J.K. Rowling has said there is a connection between Godric Gryffindor and Goodrich’s Hollow [1], and since the Medieval Latin etymology of “patronus” is “patron saint,” could the stag be a clue to a connection between the life of St. Godric and Godric Gryffindor, and… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Essays
Some American fans have raised the issue of being confused about the British education system. I am a Brit who is exactly the same age as JKR (a mere 5 weeks older) so I can explain, step by step, British schooling as we both knew it in the 1970s. Obviously… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
Why didn’t Harry talk Parseltongue to the basilisk? Good question. There are a couple of times in the books where Harry seems to ignore the obvious solution. Another great example is when he was stuck in the trick stair, under his invisibility cloak, when the egg was screeching and he dropped the Marauder’s Map. There it lies almost within his grasp, and he… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
From the start of the Harry Potter series, our hero finds himself a stranger in a very strange land. He discovers that the world he grew up in hides a secret wizarding world. This is no Oz or Wonderland that exists separate from the normal world and can only be entered through extraordinary means. Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
with updates by Michele L. Worley How can a one-year-old baby survive the destruction of his parents’ home? Hey, a Killing Curse is one thing, but how could Harry block tons of bricks and wood crashing down on top of him? As if that weren’t enough, the kid was on the second floor of… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
Banking in the middle ages (which is the basic world in which wizards live) was in its infancy. Its primary reason for existence was to provide safe-keeping, for a price (they took some of your money in exchange for keeping it safe). This could still be the basic mode of… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
I have, for some time, been speculating on just why Voldemort would single out a child for destruction. There is, of course, the much talked about “Heir of Gryffindor” theory, but for me, this doesn’t hold with JKR’s theme of our choices making us who we are, and not innate qualities. So,… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
A theory as to the nature and functioning of Divination as a magical art…  Divination is almost always misunderstood as “predicting the future”. Yes, it certainly is meant to do that, but successful Divination does not predict the raw future. Divination really predicts a future based on events that are currently happening outside of the wizard’s or witch’s… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
What about Ginny? Although she figured prominently in the plot of CS, everything she did happened “off camera” and she didn’t really show up until her One Big Scene at the end. Who is she really? Is she just an “extra” or simply a stereotype, thrown in for decoration or for… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
Dumbledore’s Put-Outer is a magical device introduced in PS1, and it is unique as the only tool used to perform magic aside from wands. The Put-Outer also has the distinction of being the first magical tool introduced in the series: [Dumbledore] found what he was looking for in his… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
On this page: Related information: What Magical Ability Is Canon Examples The Philosopher’s Labyrinth What Wands Are Stuff From Canon: Wand Idiosyncrasy and Power Harry as Focal Point There’s Something About Harry blood status wands   What Magical Ability Is Canon Examples What is magical ability? The wizards… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
We know that book 2 takes place in 1992 because Nearly Headless Nick holds his 500th Deathday Party in CS8. There’s a cake on the table of “food” that bears this inscription: SIR NICHOLAS DE MIMSY-PORPINGTON DIED 31ST OCTOBER, 1492 Obviously, if you add five hundred years to… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT In Muggle vernacular, we’re talking about ghosts; more specifically, the ghosts living at Hogwarts. But enlightened Muggles like ourselves know better, since there are some “ghosts” who aren’t ghosts after all. Peeves the Poltergeist is one: to quote Nearly-Headless Nick: “he’s not really even a ghost” (PS7). There… Read More
• Essay
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It seems a bit weird that everyone would have to go to London to get to Scotland. After all, for quite a few kids it would certainly be closer to go directly to Hogwarts from their homes or possibly to catch the train at some point along the route. Why do they all go to London?… Read More