• Essay
Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
 Introduction No, I don’t intend to predict the identities of the next several Ministers for Magic, but rather to present and discuss the various evidence available in Harry Potter canon on the relative ages of the seven Weasley siblings. Since the original version of this discussion, Rowling has, on her website, www.jkrowling.com, presented us… Read More
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Posted by and in Canon discussion / Essays
Introduction One of the most intriguing ideas in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is that Professor Dumbledore set up events so that Harry would try and stop the theft of the Philosopher’s Stone by Voldemort. Many events in Harry’s first year seem to indicate this: his dealings with Hagrid, being given his father’s Invisibility Cloak (twice), his discovery of the Mirror of Erised, and his detention in… Read More
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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
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The newly released Black family tree, now revealed in its full glory, is the topic of considerable discussion and is a source of considerable information on the relatedness of the various pure-blood  wizard lines. Many familiar names show up on that tree, including Weasley (blasted off, of course). Sirius Black comments in Order of the Phoenix, “Molly and I are… Read More
• Hogwarts academics Astronomy is a compulsory subject for the first five years at Hogwarts. The Astonomy professor is Aurora Sinistra. The class meets at midnight at the top of the Astronomy Tower. Essays for the theory portion involve learning a lot of facts — Ron and Harry’s fifth year essay on Jupiter’s moons, for example… Read More
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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