2.1 The Worst Birthday
It’s time to begin Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets this week on Podtrificus Totalus, a Harry Potter podcast done chapter by chapter, book by book.
On this episode, we cover the rather sparse first chapter of the second book in the series, in which Harry spends his birthday scrubbing floors and tending to gardens in preparation for the Dursley’s dinner party.
We make a number of references to outside sources and popular culture, which are listed below:
- Séan P.F. Harris, childhood friend of J.K. Rowling, described on Wales Online and the Harry Potter Lexicon (see dedication section)
- Accio Quote, a phenomenal resource that compiles interviews and archives of statements Rowling has made on the series and who we are constantly indebted to
- J.K. Rowling on writer’s block in a live interview with Scholastic.com (16 October 2000) (spoiler warning up to & including Goblet of Fire)
- The plotline of Half-Blood Prince almost appeared in Chamber of Secrets, quoted from various interviews listed on Accio Quote (spoiler warning for Chamber of Secrets)
- Ultimate Unofficial Guide to the Mysteries of Harry Potter by Galadriel Waters (Ed. Astre Mithrandir; Published by Wizarding World Press in 2003)
- Wouldn’t Aunt Petunia know that Harry couldn’t use magic outside school? on Stack Exchange (spoiler warning through Deathly Hallows in some replies)
- Lacarnum Inflamari on the Harry Potter Wiki
Our Spell of the Week for this episode is Lacarnum Inflamari, which Harry might have used to set a bush on fire in the Dursley’s garden. We also answer an email from Becca on Quidditch classism, an email from Joseluis on money in the UK and the Hero’s Journey, and an email from Robin on Madam Pince.
We encourage our listeners to send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org correcting us, expanding on something we mentioned, asking questions, and sharing their experiences with the Harry Potter series. You can also interact with us through @podtrificus on Twitter, our Facebook page, or by leaving a comment below.
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Thanks for listening and we’ll see you again for 2.2, “Dobby’s Warning!” Have a magical day!