Quantum Harry: By the Book


Quantum Harry: By the Book is an alternative to Quantum Harry: The Episode Guide listing the podcast episodes according to the Harry Potter book that the episode goes with, rather than the order in which the episodes went live. Links are included for the available YouTube videos and the related blog posts, which are adapted from the podcast scripts.

To discuss Quantum Harry episodes and other general Harry Potter topics, join the discussion group!

Before starting on the episodes linked to specific books, it's good to begin with the introduction:

Episode 1: The Kids' Table  - What three words can sum up the Harry Potter series? What do Voldemort, the Dursleys, and Dolores Umbridge have in common with The New York Times, the Academy Awards, and a children's book publisher? (20 minutes) Watch/listen on YouTube or read the related essays.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

[Click on the book title above to go to the YouTube playlist.]

Episode 2: This Old Man - Some of JK Rowling's most important "game pieces" are classic archetypes. What links Dumbledore, Ron Weasley and Sirius Black? A look at the Wise Old Man, the ruling archetype for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, especially a sub-type that JK Rowling favors, a twist on the familiar "fairy godmother" Characters include Albus Dumbledore, Ron Weasley, Sirius Black, and Mr. Ollivander. (20 minutes) Watch/listen on YouTube or read the related essays.

Episode 10: All's Fair in War and Quidditch - How is reading the Harry Potter books like playing a game? Why is it appropriate for Harry to move into Dudley’s second bedroom after he leaves the cupboard under the stairs? And why is Draco Malfoy the first person to mention Quidditch to Harry?Part I of a two-episode arc examining toys, games and sweets in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone(25 minutes) Watch/listen on YouTube or read the related essay.

Episode 11: Wargames - Why does Quirrell attack Harry during Quidditch and ask Hagrid about Fluffy during a card game? And how do the seven obstacles to the Philosopher’s Stone link to the seven books in the series? The conclusion of a two-part examination of toys, games and sweets in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Includes a look at the seven thresholds Harry crosses with Hagrid (or with his help) in the first book, and the seven obstacles to the Philosopher’s Stone. (27 minutes) Watch/listen on YouTube or read the related essay.

Episode 31: The Devil You Know (audio posting date: January 21, 2019 / video posting date: January 28, 2019) Part I of a two-episode arc examining Tarot symbolism in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Episode 32: The Mirror and the Stone (audio posting date: February 11, 2019 / video posting date: February 18, 2019Part II of a two-episode arc examining Tarot symbolism in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

[Click on the book title above to go to the YouTube playlist.]

Episode 3: Iron Maiden - What links Ginny and Parvati in Goblet of Fire? Why did JK Rowling put Tonks and Lupin together, or Fleur Delacour and Bill Weasley? Why does Harry insult Fleur for Ginny but not Hermione for Cho? A look at the Maiden archetype in the Harry Potter books, the ruling archetype for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Also introduces the three major female archetypes—Maiden, Mother and Crone. Characters include Ginny Weasley, Fleur Delacour, and Parvati Patil. (20 minutes) Watch/listen on YouTube or read the related essays.

Episode 12: Grow Up Now - In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, why are no adult humans petrified by the Basilisk? And why is it a good thing that Ron and Gilderoy Lockhart cannot enter the Chamber to rescue Ginny? Part I of a three-episode arc examining how toys, games, sweets and a particular fairy tale shape the narrative of Chamber of Secrets. Includes a look at many non-Rowling works sharing similarities with the second book, including books by Philip Pullman, Jane Langton, Nancy Farmer, J.M. Barrie and the film The Lost Boys(22 minutes) Watch/listen on YouTube or read the related essay.

Episode 13: Deus ex Machina - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is JK Rowling’s version of Little Red Riding Hood. Who is Red? Who is the wolf? And why does Rowling retell this fairy tale in the second book of the series? Part II of a three-episode arc examining the role of toys, games, sweets and fairy tales in Chamber of Secrets(22 minutes) Watch/listen on YouTube or read the related essay.

Episode 14: The Devil's Game - How is Devil's Snare linked to the Chamber of Secrets? Why does the Flying Ford Anglia rescue Harry and Ron from the spiders? And why does Harry hear the Basilisk just after the Deathday Party? The conclusion of a three-episode arc examining toys, games, sweets and fairy tales in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Includes a look at how the second obstacle to the Philosopher’s Stone aligns with the second book in the series. (23 minutes) Watch/listen on YouTube or read the related essay.

Episode 33: The Inverted Tower of Secrets (audio posting date: March 4, 2019 / video posting date: March 11, 2019) Part I of a two-episode arc examining Tarot symbolism in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Episode 34: Emperors, Fools, and Angels (audio posting date: March 25, 2019 / video posting date: April 1, 2019) Part II of a two-episode arc examining Tarot symbolism in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

[Click on the book title above to go to the YouTube playlist.]

Episode 4: Mother, May I? - Why does Hermione get a cat in her third year? What do Hagrid, Molly Weasley and Dolores Umbridge have in common? And what links the sphinx in the maze to Cho Chang? An exploration of the Mother archetype, which rules Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Characters include Hermione Granger, Dolores Umbridge, Petunia Dursley, and Rubeus Hagrid. (20 minutes) Watch/listen on YouTube or read the related essays.

Episode 15: Prisoner of Quidditch - Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is shaped by Quidditch, but what games propel the plot at the beginning of the book? And why do students camp in the Great Hall when Sirius Black might be in the castle? Part I of a two-episode arc examining toys, sweets and games (particularly Quidditch) in Prisoner of Azkaban(20 minutes) Watch/listen on YouTube or read the related essay.

Episode 16: The Seeker - What links Neville’s Remembrall, the Prophecy Ball, and Snitches? How does Harry play a metaphorical match against Ravenclaw in the first book? And does Harry make a real prediction during his Divination final? The conclusion of a two-episode arc examining toys, sweets and games in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Includes a look at how the third obstacle to the Philosopher’s Stone aligns with the third book in the series. (19 minutes) Watch/listen on YouTube or read the related essay.

Episode 35: Prisoner of Time (audio posting date: April 15, 2019 / video posting date: April 22, 2019) Part I of a two-episode arc examining Tarot symbolism in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Episode 36: Chariots, Justice and Hermits (audio posting date: May 6, 2019 / video posting date: May 13, 2019Part II of a two-episode arc examining Tarot symbolism in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

[Click on the book title above to go to the YouTube playlist.]

Episode 5: Our Father  - Why is Cedric Diggory the one who dates the girl Harry fancies? Why does McGonagall wait for Hagrid on Privet Drive? And why is Neville Longbottom responsible for Harry becoming a Seeker? An examination of the Father archetype, which rules Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Characters include Cedric Diggory, Neville Longbottom, James Potter, and Barty Crouch, Sr. (20 minutes) Watch/listen on YouTube or read the related essay.

Episode 17: The Goblet of Games - How does Ludo Bagman represent the dark side of games? Why does Viktor Krum catch the Snitch at the World Cup, even though this means his side loses the Cup? And what links Harry’s trip to Gringotts in the first book with the Triwizard Tournament? Part I of a three-episode arc examining how toys, sweets and games shape Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Includes a look at the symbolic importance of Viktor Krum catching the Snitch but losing the final match for his side in the World Cup. (26 minutes) Watch/listen on YouTube or read the related essay.

Episode 18: The Wide World - What key information about the Founders does JK Rowling reveal in the fourth Harry Potter book? Why do the Beauxbatons and Durmstrang students sit at the Ravenclaw and Slytherin tables? And what does all of this have to do with alchemical lore? Part II of a three-episode arc examining toys, sweets and games in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Includes an examination of symbols linked to each of the Hogwarts houses, and how each house aligns with a region of the British Isles. (26 minutes) Watch/listen on YouTube or read the related essay.



Episode 19: Not Playing to Win - What links Ron’s sacrifice in the first book to the Quidditch World Cup and Ginny’s first match as a Seeker? How are the three Champions who aren’t Harry linked to Neville, Ginny, and Luna? And why is Harry a bishop in McGonagall’s life-sized chess game? The conclusion of a three-episode arc about toys, sweets and games in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Includes a look at how the fourth obstacle to the Philosopher’s Stone aligns with the fourth book in the series. (26 minutes) Watch/listen on YouTube or read the related essay.

Episode 37: The Goblet of Memory (audio posting date: May 27, 2019 / video posting date: June 3, 2019An examination of Tarot symbolism in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

[Click on the book title above to go to the YouTube playlist.]

Episode 6: A Murder of Crones  - In myths and folktales, a Crone watches over the hero in childhood, but the Crone isn't any old woman. The Crone is a conduit between worlds, and a male character who's an archetypal Crone is a key figure in Harry Potter. Harry understanding Crones, the archetype that rules Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, makes him a whole person and, ultimately, Master of Death. Characters include Luna Lovegood, Sybill Trelawney, Bellatrix Lestrange, and Severus Snape. (20 minutes) Watch/listen on YouTube or read the related essay.


Episode 20: The Order of the Rebel - How is Order of the Phoenix about a church/state conflict? What links Sirius’s death to Harry crossing the lake with Hagrid in the first book? And why don’t wizards observe Bonfire Night? Part I of a three-episode arc examining toys, sweets, games and the vestiges of the historical event that led to a holiday beloved by children (and adults who get to behave like children) in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. (24 minutes) Watch/listen on YouTube or read the related essay.

Episode 21: Remember, Remember - Why is the first meeting of Dumbledore’s Army in The Hogshead? What do Trelawney, Sirius Black and Dumbledore have in common? And why does Umbridge make Harry write lines? Part II of a three-episode arc examining how Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is JK Rowling's version of the Gunpowder Plot, an historical event now marked by fireworks, bonfires, and childlike revelry. (27 minutes) Watch/listen on YouTube or read the related essay.

Episode 22: The Phoenix Games  - Why is Harry on a playground just before fighting Dementors? How does a chess game point to Harry and Ginny getting together? And what links the first book’s troll fight to the war against Umbridge? The conclusion of a three-episode arc examining toys, sweets, games and the Gunpowder Plot in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. (29 minutes) Watch/listen on YouTube or the related essay.

Episode 38: The Order of the Heretic (audio posting date: June 17, 2019 / video posting date: June 24, 2019An examination of Tarot symbolism in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

[Click on the book title above to go to the YouTube playlist.]

Episode 7: Fountain of Youth - Did JK Rowling foreshadow the first tournament task in the first book? Why do Neville, Luna and Ginny fight Death Eaters with the Trio in the fifth and sixth books? A look at how the archetypes ruling the first six Harry Potter books interact with each other and an examination of the ruling archetype for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: the Youth. Characters include Harry Potter, Dean Thomas, Remus Lupin, and Draco Malfoy. (22 minutes) Watch/listen on YouTube or read the related essay.

Episode 23: The Half-Blood Potions Text - What links Quidditch to Harry and Draco's bathroom duel? Why is it fitting that Harry kisses Ginny after the Quidditch final? And how is Dumbledore's death linked to the unicorn's death in the first book? Part I of a two-episode arc looking at toys, sweets and games in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince(28 minutes) Watch/listen on YouTube or read the related essay

Episode 24: Disarmed and Ready - How does Draco using Harry’s signature move help Harry to defeat Voldemort? Why does Harry prefer brooms to Apparating? And is the Room of Requirement inherently good or evil? Part II of a two-episode arc looking at toys, sweets and games in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince(27 minutes) Watch/listen on YouTube or read the related essay

Episode 39: The Half-Dead Headmaster (audio posting date: July 8, 2019 / video posting date: July 15, 2019An examination of Tarot symbolism in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

[Click on the book title above to go to the YouTube playlist.]

Episode 8: Have You Tried Not Being Liminal? - What links Game of Thrones to Harry Potter? What do Roald Dahl and Diana Wynne Jones have to do with it? And where does alchemy figure in all of this? Part I of an examination of the Metaphorically Queer Liminal Being, the ruling archetype of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. (23 minutes) Watch/listen on YouTube or read the related essay.

Episode 9: We're Here, We're Metaphorically Queer - Slash fanfiction; Squibs; Obscurials; chosen families; why Harry almost went to Stonewall High; the reason for all of that camping during the Horcrux hunt; and the character best embodying the archetype ruling Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The conclusion of a two-part examination of the Metaphorically Queer Liminal Being(26 minutes) Watch/listen on YouTube or read the related essay.

Episode 25: The Wand Game Why does Harry’s wand act on its own to attack Voldemort? If Draco hadn’t disarmed Dumbledore, would Snape have been the Elder Wand’s master? And how does Harry’s instinct for fair-play figure in his final duel with Voldemort? Part I of a five-episode arc examining games, toys, and fairy tales in Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsWatch/listen on YouTube. (30 mins)

Episode 26: Until Someone Loses an Eye - What game played by James and Sirius in detention involves metaphorical quantum entanglement? How are Fleur, Hermione and Tonks linked to Hedwig? And how does Harry’s birthplace point to his being a symbolic Snitch? Part II of a five-episode arc examining games, toys, and fairy tales in Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsWatch/listen on YouTube. (28 mins)

Episode 27: Legacy (audio posting date: October 22, 2018 video posting date: October 29, 2018) Part III of a five-episode arc examining toys, sweets, games and fairy tales in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Episode 28: The Grimm Campaign (audio posting date: November 12, 2018 video posting date: November 19, 2018) Part IV of a five-episode arc examining toys, sweets, games and fairy tales in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Episode 29: The Horcrux and Hallows Game (audio posting date: December 3, 2018 video posting date: December 10, 2018) Part V of a five-episode arc examining toys, sweets, games and fairy tales in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Episode 40: The Tarot Hallows (audio/video posting date: July 31, 2019An extra-long episode dedicated to Tarot symbolism in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallowsincluding the Epilogue, which will be addressed in the podcast version of the Epilogue to Quantum Harry: A Unified Theory of the Potterverse.


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