• Source Time Magazine 19 December 2007: 10 Questions About Harry This short article appeared after the publication of Deathly Hallows, when Rowling was a runner-up for Person of the Year in 2007. The answers are culled from various sources, including fan discussions and Time’s own interviews with Rowling. The questions are:… Read More
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Posted by in Characters / Pottermore
Pottermore is a gold mine of interesting canon facts. Some of these are brand new but other facts just relate events and characters we've encountered before. Some other facts are clearly included to answer fan questions or explain perceived mistakes in canon. Here are a few particularly fun tidbits of canon information that make connections to elsewhere in canon: Read More
• Quote But it is a lot of work to create an entire world and it was about 5 years to finish the first book, to plot the remaining 6 books, because they were already plotted before the first book was published and Book 2 was started before Book 1 was finished. Read More
• Source AOL.com, 19 October 2000: AOL Live presented an exclusive live chat with “Harry Potter” creator J.K. Rowling. Read More
• Source Chat with JK Rowling for Barnes & Noble and Yahoo! dated October 2000. This is actually the third Barnes and Noble chat, the first being in March of 1999 and the second being in September 1999 referenced as (BN1). Read More
• Source Interview with Blue Peter (cBBC) on March 12, 2001. Read More
• Source Leslie Stahl’s “60 Minutes” interview with Rowling, 12 June 2003. Read More
• Source J.K. Rowling interview transcript, The Connection (WBUR Radio), 12 October, 1999… Read More
• Source Comic Relief live chat, March 2001. [transcript] This interview coincided with the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Quidditch Through the Ages. These books were written to raise money for the charity Comic Relief. Read More
• Source Culpeper’s Complete Herbal, published in 1653, is a source Rowling used as a reference for herbs and other plants. She told “60 Minutes”: “I used to collect names of plants that sounded witchy, and then I found this, ‘Culpeper’s Complete Herbal,’ and it was the answer to my every prayer: flax… Read More
• Quote And the child that has been protected from the Dementors in fiction, I would argue, is much more likely to fall prey to them later in life in reality. Read More
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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
• Quote Initially I had said to [Jessica] I would wait until she was seven, but she kept asking me and asking me and I thought oh well, we’ll try and it was the most important reading ever in my life. …  I really, really want her to like what I’m doing. It’s very… Read More
• Source In the late 1990s, Bloomsbury created an Official Harry Potter Fan Club and invited children from Britain to join. There was never a United States chapter of the Club. One of the perks for joining the Club was several issues of The Daily Prophet, a three-page newsletter detailing goings-on in the wizarding world. Each of these… Read More
• Quote Some of [the names] are invented. Voldemort is an invented name. Malfoy is an invented name. Quiddich is invented. But I also collect them from all kinds of places, maps, street names, names of people I meet, old books on saints. Mrs. Norris, people will recognize comes from Jane Austen. Dumbledore… Read More
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Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
Two Modest Predictions Dumbledore vivens . . . And Now Another: Dumbledore the Fraud Snape the Accessory The Unbreakable Vow Unbroken . . . Snapeque bonamicus The “Buddy” Plot Understanding Snape Harry the Adult The Proud and the Prejudiced Modest Conclusions Severe Spoiler Warning: This essay presumes that its readers have… Read More
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Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays / Pottermore
Introduction In the book, these cards are collected and traded by students and referred to as Chocolate Frog Cards. However, “real” versions of these cards exist, created by Rowling herself, providing a fascinating look into the vast scope of Wizarding history. After the release of the fourth book, the world… Read More
• Source The screenplay for the film “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”… Read More
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Posted by in Canon discussion
Where did the name Hogwarts come from? Rowling answered that question in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald: A friend from London recently asked me if I remembered when we first saw Hogwarts. I had no idea what she was talking about until she recalled the day we went… Read More
• Character Owner of an ice cream parlor in Diagon Alley. Florean knew quite a bit about history; When Harry was living at the Leaky Cauldron for a couple of weeks in August of 1993, he spent part of his days working on his homework at Florean’s shop. Florean gave him free… Read More
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Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
In order to speculate on and understand this character, we must begin, as in all things, at the beginning. The fecund Weasley family have more than enough children to run the whole gamut of human emotions and personalities; why bother even to create this last-born enigma and to make her a girl… Read More
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Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
In her essay Ginny Weasley, Why? published on The Harry Potter Lexicon in October 2003, author Water Witch presented a surprisingly astute evaluation of the importance of Ginny Weasley—surprising because, although the article was written after the publication of Order of the Phoenix, it predated Half-Blood Prince. Even though Rowling finally defines Ginny’s personality in Order of the Phoenix,… Read More
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Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
  A pile of critical rubbish has been composting around J. K. Rowling [Editor’s Note: The link provided is to an archive of jkrowling.com, which was superseded by Pottermore.] and her Harry Potter books ever since they were discovered by young (and not-so-young) readers and became phenomenal best sellers. The charges, briefly, as these. (1)… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
I do know that many people have theorized about how Muggle-borns get their Hogwarts letters (and take them seriously), or are taken to Diagon Alley for the first time, or how they are able to adjust. Even with Rowling’s recent comments on this topic, we’re still left with a lot… Read More
• Essay
Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
This is no moot point. Quite contrary to what many a reader may think, duels such as those in the Harry Potter books are not frequent in fantasy literature. That is so because it’s very difficult to convey to the audience or to the readers the precise impression of a… Read More
• Quote “People have said the humour is very adult, but I do think they underestimate children. Certainly, some of the kids I’ve met have got every joke and even if they haven’t, it doesn’t actually matter. It annoys me that people think you have to dumb down for children.”… Read More
• Quote “The funny thing is that I did always think that, if it ever did get published, it was a book for obsessives….. And I did think if people liked it they would probably like it obsessively…. but I thought that it would be an obsessive few – I never guessed… Read More