Halfway Week, Day 5: Mafalda

Another new essay today, and it comes with a bit of a story.

Many of you know I used to be an editor at the Harry Potter Lexicon. While I was there, one of the site’s FAQ pages had a point along the lines of, “before you e-mail us your brilliant idea, consider the fact that millions of people have already picked these books apart, and you probably aren’t the first one to notice it.” This was hammered home to me as I worked there, as I got lots of e-mails from people “informing” me, for example, that Arabella Figg was mentioned at the end of Goblet of Fire. And if I had a dollar for every person who thought they were the only one smart enough to connect R.A.B. to Regulus Black….

Anyway, that rather humbling point has stuck with me as I’ve created this website. I tend to notice a lot of things in the books that most people don’t, but I doubt I’ve been the absolute first to come up with much of anything.

Until now, that is. :)

You see, one of my responsibilities at the Lexicon was to manage the ‘Atlas’ section, and I wrote virtually all of the site’s entries on locations – Privet Drive, Diagon Alley, Ouagadougou, etc. And shortly after Deathly Hallows was released, I wrote an essay for the ‘Burrow’ page titled “The Layout of the Burrow,” in which figured out which rooms were where in the Weasleys’ home.

Then, a month or two ago, I was working my way through Goblet of Fire for this website, and realized there was something I’d missed when I wrote that original essay; the number of bedrooms in the house in Goblet are different from the number that exist later on. So I dusted the essay off and started re-working it. And when I was trying to figure out why the heck Ron, Harry, Fred, and George, were all crammed into that one bedroom, a wave of inspiration came to me – a character that everyone had thought was eradicated from the books is actually still there! And, like any true Potter fanatic, I got ridiculously excited to have found her.

Now I’ve e-mailed this idea around with a few other Potter experts, and done some searching myself, and as far as I can tell I’m the first person ever to have noticed this. Until now, when you all will notice it too. So thanks for bearing with my lengthy story, and I hope you enjoy….

Essay: The Layout of the Burrow

(Though I don’t have the most recent edition of Goblet. If somebody does, can they look and tell me whether Fred and George still stay in Ron’s room in chapter five? Because if they do, that means Rowling and her editors never noticed this either, which would be even cooler. :) )

~ by Josie on October 30, 2009.

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