Increasing owls? More falling leaves? Frozen numbers? What could it all mean?
When you look on J.K. Rowling's YouTube announcement page, you'll notice there are many numbers that seem to be frozen in time. One of my blog's commentators has been posting various theories on what the numbers could mean. I think Anonymous is truly on to something as those numbers are fixed -- and knowing J.K. Rowling, chosen for a reason -- but I'm just not sure that I buy into them being page numbers in the books, as page-numbering changes depend on the publisher.
I believe JKR is releasing clues through the Pottermore YouTube video, and I think she gave us a heads-up with the coordinates on the Secret Street View maps as to how to play this game. Like the Street View coordinates, this is a numbers game, and we've got to figure out what these numbers mean to unlock her clues.
What I'd like to do here is provide a table of the numbers and then we can all throw out theories as to what they could mean, drawing from how JKR has used them in her series:
Numbers on Pottermore YouTube:
50 -- videos
0:09/1:13 -- time video holds at
Feb. 4 or 2/4 -- upload date (notice no year is selected)
217,394 -- page views
122 -- likes
25 -- dislikes
6/23/11 -- date of release
Owl count by date:
One very strong clue -- since the video seems to be in Flash and thus you can't click like or dislike, these numbers definitely seem to carry a clue.
Plus, if you move your cursor around the image, certain leaves will fall from the tree. I don't know if this has happened on prior days because I only noticed it on Sunday, June 19. On June 20 I caught 11 leaves falling.
Some possibilities to ponder: 50 is the number of people we know were killed fighting Voldemort in the Battle of Hogwarts. And 122-25='97, or the year Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was published.
Anonymous notes that the post date is 4th February, which is when Septimius Severus died. Plus, the timer says 0:09/1:13 -- and 9/1, or January 9th, is Severus Snape's birthday. Also, in some areas, 9/1 means 1 September, the first day of school at Hogwarts. The year of 2013 could indicate the beginning of the next generation at school.
Fans are divided as to whether PotterMORE stands for a Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Experience or a Massive Online Reference Encyclopedia. While I prefer the latter, there is strong evidence on the trademark registration page for the former.
However, J.K. Rowling once said that her fans wanted way more backstory and details of her world than she could provide within the story. Has she found a way to give her Potter fans more? From the notes posted on the Street View site which all pointed to elements which would be contained in an encyclopedia, to the carefully planned details on her YouTube page, I think J.K. Rowling is getting ready to provide her fans with a virtual, online Potter universe. One that may include many of the theories floating around the Web. A world where all fans could win!
S.P. Sipal is a Harry Potter analyst and author of A Writer's Guide to Harry Potter. This piece was originally posted at her blog, harrypotterforwriters.blogspot.com. Follow her on Twitter @HP4Writers.
Readers, what do you think the Pottermore numbers mean? Join the conversation below.
Editor's note: This article has been updated to provide the correct link to the author's blog in the second paragraph.