This is just a thought, but what if years are numbered differently in the wizarding world. If that were the case then most of the dating inconsistencies, aside from the fact that dates don't often match up with the days they occured on, would go away.

Interesting idea but i dissagree. Me_Potter_Fan 09:34, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

I find this extremely unlikely, but possible. Rowling has already said that wizards use the dead language of Ancient Latin quite a bit more commonly than Muggles, and so it seems equally possible they use a different dating convention. This would still, however, leave some inconsistencies; Harry told Uncle Vernon to take him to Platform 9 3/4 on September 1. If this was a different, Wizarding September 1, than it's unlikely someone as non-magical as the Dursleys would have taken him at the right date. --Parodist 20:21, October 6, 2009 (UTC)

True about Months and days, but not necessarily years, which, I may be wrong, but it seems like there are more inconsistencies in the years than the actual days and months. I realize that this theory is just as unlikely as the next, just a different point of view on the subject. The history and origins of AD and BC are entrenched in religion. I suppose if in the wizarding world they don't follow the Bible or events in the Bible, they could be basing their years on something else entirely. --BachLynn23 18:56, July 21, 2010 (UTC)

But Sirius was Harry's godfather (and that's obviously a christian term) although Sirius and Harry's parents were wizards, so it seems that even the magic world has religious believes (besides even wizards couldn't proof something like God doesn't exist, although it is quite unlikely that it does), otherwise James and Lily wouldn't have chosen a godfather to Harry. Of course the term "godfather" could be used in a different manner in the wizarding world but the syllable "god" in it indicates religious connection (if "godfather" hasn't had a religious background, the Ministry would have chosen a term without a reference to God). Also Rowling stated that some wizards do practise religion.
Nevertheless it seems improbable that the whole wizarding world uses a different way to count years than the Muggle world, because Harry would have had many problems getting used to the different methods of counting years in case of births or obits or other occurrences (like History of Magic dates). I would've mentioned in the books if he had to manage that.--Fußball-Lexikon (talk) 21:02, January 16, 2013 (UTC)

Dating contradictions

There has been a lot of fuss over the years as to which years certain things happened. The main issue is the Marauders being born in 1960. While this now seems to be the official date, there still ought to be notes explaining why people thought that different years in the range 1958-1960 were considered. My own suspiscion is that a time shift occurred in the process of writing the books, which moved a number of things by a couple of years. There is independent evidence of time shift from references in the first two books (I don't exactly recall the details now as it is a while since I was researching it. Also, the info now has to be squared with that from Deathly Hallows.) If I get it sorted in my own mind I will perhaps add it, but if I don't, perhaps someone else may address this point? Sandpiper 20:23, 24 January 2008 (UTC)


Should we turn this into an official policy page? Since all the dating on this wiki is made from the info on this page, it kinda IS a policy, so why not make it official? --  Seth Cooper  owl post! 23:41, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

Bumping. --  Seth Cooper  owl post! 02:26, December 7, 2009 (UTC)
I'd support it, although I'd like to see if in the DH film they stick to the book dates on James and Lily's graves. If it does, I think that'd be the final nail in the coffin to this constant debating. - Nick O'Demus 10:35, December 7, 2009 (UTC)
Another support vote. I'm also adding that if a date is inconstant between the books and the movies (the Millennium Bridge vs. the Brockdale Bridge for example, as the Millennium wasn't yet built in the real world) that the books should prevail. RaggieSoft 01:42, December 14, 2009 (UTC)
I Agree, It should be policy. It's the only thing we have to go by, and even if they change the dates on James and Lily's graves, Id still say yes. -- RatneerOwl Me! Contribs 01:46, December 14, 2009 (UTC)

I also agree, even if they change the dates on the Potter's graves. The books should definitely be the basis. The movies make changes necessary to the flow and look of the movie, not necessarily always clinging to the book. Also, I just thought I'd mention that when it comes to trying to compare dates in Harry Potter to dates and events in the real world that were "happening" during that time, isn't always going to be rationale. Harry Potter is fictional though much of the "muggle" aspect of Harry Potter is based on the real world, if we stop and compare and ask constant questions comparing our timeline with the fictional one, well you get the idea. Sometimes I like to view Harry Potter like it's an alternate timeline from our own. It's where our world would have been if wizards and magic was real. --BachLynn23 19:11, July 21, 2010 (UTC)

Playstation Anachronism

This might be a stupid question, but since the article suggests that the Dursleys went overseas to acquire a PSX in 1994, would an original-model Japanese Playstation have worked in the U.K.? -- Gnostic 03:02, July 8, 2010 (UTC)

I would imagine it would depend on the plug. Being that outlets are not standardized in the UK like they are in other parts of the world, it would have to be a type of plug that would work for the outlets in their home, unless they could find some sort of converter plug extension.


Just wondering, using the dates on Lily and James' grave (the most recent canon) which is that they died in 1981, wouldn't the storyline take place from 1992 to 1999? Firstly, 1981 + 11 (how many years between Philosopher's Stone and the Potters' deaths) equals 1992. Secondly, the PlayStation was released in Japan in 1994; it would take a year or so, wouldn't it, to spread to the UK and beyond? The current dating convention states that Dudley couldn't have gotten a PS in that year (because we believe it to be 1994). If it was actually in 1995, there wouldn't be a problem with that, and the dates match up. What does everyone think? Hunniebunn (talk) 20:26, September 28, 2012 (UTC)

Sorry, what dates are you referring to on Lily and James' graves? Was that something from one of the films? ProfessorTofty (talk) 20:53, September 28, 2012 (UTC)
The dates from Deathly Hallows, Chapter Sixteen. Anyway, Harry was one year old when the Potters' died, so there's only ten years between Chapters One and Two of Philosopher's Stone. The current timeline is correct. -- 1337star (Drop me a line!) 21:06, September 28, 2012 (UTC)
My apologies, I'd forgotten. Thanks. Hunniebunn (talk) 21:08, September 28, 2012 (UTC)

Remove most of the dates on this wiki

The dates on this wiki are so infuriating and distract greatly from my reading of the otherwise excellent collection of Potter information. They are so over-emphasized on every article. I'm constantly reading so and so did this "in 1991" or whenever. I'd like to make an argument for making more of these references relative. For example, "Hermione did ___ in her second year", or "she did ___ months after starting school". Every date on this wiki was derived from two references, with so many slight innacuracies mentioned in the books. Why do you hold so strongly to the convention with such few supporting facts? There's no need for the dates, just reference time from other events. This would stop dating the books (making them feel old). Re-reading the series recently the books are as relevent and amazing as ever, why force them so strongly into a time period which is hardly enforced in the books themselves? The wizarding world is apart from our own, and dates are such an integral part of our world that including them so often on this wiki ruins some of the magic. I'm sure people spent a long time figuring all this out and thats great, include a timeline article, but otherwise only date events as far as they were ever dated in the books. It's easier to ignore two specific date references than the other hundred innacuracies. So, please consider changing your dating policy. This is the best Harry Potter wiki out there, and yet this is such a big flaw it keeps me from reading. 03:45, June 25, 2013 (UTC) Kylediedrich (talk) 04:26, June 25, 2013 (UTC) (i signed up)

Sorry you feel that way, but the policy in the wiki is to write the articles without mentioning book, film, game titles and other titles. That's why, a while ago, a few geniuses figured out the dates used in the books (by Nick's cake and Lily&James's grave). However, perhaps this should be opened to discussion... --Hunnie Bunn (talk) 03:53, June 25, 2013 (UTC)
I can see why avoiding mentioning book titles was chosen, in fact I like that idea, but I think you could do that and still avoid dates. As a quick example I reworked the first part of the list of spells page here, as compared to List of spells. Kylediedrich (talk) 04:26, June 25, 2013 (UTC)
For my part I find it very easy to read the articles and it gives me a feeling about where in history we are. If the dates are removed I think it would be too hard for people to find out in which time the certain events happened. I see it as much better the way it already is because I know which timezone we are talking about. --DCLM (talk) 05:13, June 25, 2013 (UTC)


Am I the only one who gets the feeling that we're the ones who messed up the timeline, not the author? I mean, she says the Battle of Hogwarts happened in 1997 and Dumbledore died in 1996, so shouldn't the timelines be adjusted to suit her comments. She is absolutely sure of herself with the dates she gives, and the years she provides are consistent with each other. --Hunnie Bunn (talk) 22:20, August 14, 2013 (UTC)

With those dates, Rowling is probably disregarding the fact that the books, being set in a school year, actually span two civil years, and that May and June are always on the second one (oh, dear, Maths!). While "1996" and "1997" are a good shorthand for "in the sixth book" or "in the seventh book", they can be, ultimately, misleading.
Note that, the Battle of Hogwarts taking place in 1997 and Dumbledore dying in 1996 are entirely incompatible with Nearly-Headless Nick's deathdate in Chamber of Secrets, and with James and Lily's tombstone in Deathly Hallows.
All in all, it seems that those two dates are just minor mistakes on Rowling's behalf. --  Seth Cooper  owl post! 23:01, August 14, 2013 (UTC)
Fair enough, but still, Rowling's word is law. Unless we're planning to completely disregard Rowling's law because it doesn't mathematically make sense, perhaps we ought to change just Dumbledore's death and the Battle of Hogwarts? I'm up for either way - I'd prefer if we used Rowling's dates despite the mismatch, but I wouldn't care if we kept things the way they are right now. --Hunnie Bunn (talk) 23:06, August 14, 2013 (UTC)
The thing is, Rowling is known to have issues with dates. Since, in this case, it seems to be a pretty clear case of a mistake being made, I would prefer to leave the dates we have as they are. ProfessorTofty (talk) 23:10, August 14, 2013 (UTC)