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 As the book series progressed, many of those essays became outdated or were proven wrong.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
Do we ever find out what the language of instruction used at Durmstrang Institute is? At Beauxbatons it would have to be French, but although “Durmstrang” sounds German, the Durmstrang students we meet are all of Slavic ancestry as far as we know. On the one hand, German continues to be sort of a “lingua franca”… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
Updates by Michelle Worley The Booklist Every year Hogwarts students receive book lists in the post, telling them which textbooks they will require for the year. First years get the longest list, presumably because some of the books last them the whole seven-year course of their study. Here is a… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Essays
(Just for fun, here’s one fan’s concept of what a Wizarding Muggle Studies textbook might be like…) Travel and space Understanding Muggles perceptions of how the world connects up is a big problem for wizarding people. We have to let go of a lot of our assumptions to grasp how… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
Most authors expend substantial effort on description, describing scenes, events or characters so that readers will be able to visualise them. The best descriptions often offer no more than hints, keywords, a trained butler’s unobtrusive opening of a particular door. The reader goes through that door himself or herself. Rowling,… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
Recently I read the book 13th Gen which got me thinking across generational lines. One of my mother’s favorite sayings is “times change, people don’t.” As true as that may be, I do think that one’s place in time affects them in some way. The book outlined the six generations of Americans… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Essays
The way that witches and wizards think about everything, including spells, is completely different from the way we Muggles think about it. When we consider the mechanics of, say, aiming a spell at something, we ask “Muggle” questions like “Do you have to have line of sight?” that they would… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Essays
Note: This piece is not about the class Charms, and I’ve left aside the vexing question of the difference between Charms and Transfiguration (e.g., why are winged keys a Charm and giant moving chess pieces are a Transfiguration?). Rather, I’m looking at Charms in the general sense, as a synonym for spells, that is,… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Essays
I’m in fact Lancashire born and bred, which is probably why I’ve always had a very soft spot for Neville, who I’m pretty sure comes from my neck of the woods (the Blackpool pier incident, the fact that his grandmother is a typical Lancashire matriach, the fact that he has a traditional Lancashire… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Essays
“Want a hand?” With these words, the character of George Weasley enters the readers’ lives and hearts. This is also Harry Potter’s first impression of George when they meet on the train. Harry Potter, a boy who can’t remember the last time anyone showed him kindness, George Weasley for the first time and is helped out by the young… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
Prejudice against Muggles compared to the attitude of Arthur Weasley (“bless them”) “Muggle-baiting”—the Shrinking Keys during the Voldemort years: Muggle killing and torturing at the Quidditch World Cup—Muggle torture, connected to Death Eaters Prejudice against Muggle-borns (Mudbloods) Salazar Slytherin—argued with Godric Gryffindor about admitting Muggle-born students Lucius and Draco Malfoy… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
We read from Dumbledore’s Chocolate Frog card that Dumbledore is “particularly famous for… his work on alchemy with his partner, Nicolas Flamel (PS6).” Later, Hermione reads from an enormous old book that Flamel is “the only known maker of the Philosopher’s Stone” (PS13). Harry and Ron continue reading “…The stone will transform any metal into pure gold. It also produces the Elixir of Life,… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Essays
The problem is not simply knowing who sent the Valentine, but knowing what JKR’s purpose was in this episode. Is it a red herring, designed to arouse and deflect suspicion? Or a red flag, signalling something important later in the book or in a future book? Or is it something which… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Essays
Wizards don’t use electricity for a very good reason—they don’t need it, in fact they don’t need our technology at all (except maybe for sherbet lemons). Modern Muggle technology, according to wizards, is a poor substitute for magic. And modern Muggle technology is largely based on the availability of cheap,… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Essays
Socks are closely related to a major, if not the major, theme in Harry Potter, namely Things Are Not What They Seem. The sock is a humble, even comical, garment, necessary but often unattractive and the archetypal boring Christmas present. J K Rowling, while getting full comedy value out of all this,… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Essays
Having recently done a GF re-read, the last terrifying and emotional chapters have been on my mind a lot. This morning, while briefly considering the What Might Have Been if Cedric had been the only one to grasp the Cup, I returned to the Eternal Question– Why make the Cup a Portkey when Harry’s toothbrush would work… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
Twelve times he clicked the Put-Outer, until the only lights left on the whole street were two tiny pinpricks in the distance. (PS1) It was a very odd watch. It had twelve hands but no numbers; instead, little planets were moving around the edge. (PS1) “I must have passed a dozen feasts and… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Essays
We don’t know at all where Godric’s Hollow is, although the fact that Harry “fell asleep…over Bristol” when Hagrid was transporting him on the flying motorcycle has been used to “prove” that Godric’s Hollow has to be in Wales. That isn’t by any means proven. In fact, I would argue that it’s highly un-likely that Godric’s Hollow is in Wales. Here’s what we do… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Essays
Witches and wizards can identify their own wands very easily, so easily that it seems to be done by a sense other than sight: Harry knew his immediately when Amos Diggory held it up in GF9. . They can also easily match up another witch/wizard and her/his wand, or at least Lupin did in the Shrieking Shack (he threw Harry, Ron, and Hermione their wands,… Read More