Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July 31 is Harry Potter's birthday!!

Credit does have to be paid to my fellow book nerd Erin, who made lovely Harry Potter cupcakes and brought them to work today (and who incidentally has a fairly literary last name, Nottingham, as in the Forest of.....)

At any rate, in honor of Harry and J.K. Rowling his creator who, I'm sure not incidentally shares the boy wizards birthday, today's blog is about birthday celebrations in books.  The first one (after Harry's) that jumped to mind was the infamous birthday celebrated by Bilbo Baggins in Tolkiens' Fellowship of the Ring.  I didn't think the date was ever mentioned in the book, or the movie, but it was pointed out to me that IS mentioned by our lovely supervisor Jo.  Fortuitously, another employee happened to be READING the book, so we checked.  Not only was Jo right in that it is mentioned in the book, the date she remembered was correct.  Bilbo's birthday is September 22nd (and he shares that birthday with Frodo)

When I started digging, I discovered that Harry Potter has quite a few birthdays which are known, but few of them are actually mentioned in the books.  Severus Snape was born in January (January 9), Hermione Granger in September (September 19), and Lupin in March (March 10).  These have all been gleaned from interviews with Rowling and other sources. I found them on the HP Lexicon.

Check out the Harry Potter Lexicon here.  It has all kinds of HP info.

Also in the LOTR universe, the Return of the King appendices indicate that Aragorn was born March 1st.  Is it just me or does it seem like J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling would have been friends?  They both talk(ed) and write (wrote) about their characters and the world they created pretty extensively. 

Sherlock Holmes birthday is January 6th, according to Homes expert Leslie Klinger, but again, it does not appear to have been mentioned in the writings of Conan Doyle.

Bill Compton, the vampire character in the Sookie Stackhouse books, by Charlaine Harris celebrated his human birth on April 9, 1840, and had what I would call his 'vampire birth' on November 20, 1868 (although I don't think Harris ever calls it that).  Sookie herself  celebrates her birthday several times in the course of the series, it is May 24th.

By process of deduction, it can be figured that Alice of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland fame was born on May 4th, which is also the birthdate of Alice Liddell, the real girl for whom the stories were written. Alice states in Through the Looking Glass that she is "seven and a half exactly" and the story is said to take place on November 4th.

For other fictional character birthdays, check out this infographic on Flavorwire.

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