Let’s look again at Harry Plotter #1.
Here are characters A and B across all seven Harry Potter books:
Ready for the great reveal? The answers are:
Character A: Dumbledore
Character B: Hermione
If you are like me, you might be shocked by how infrequently the name Dumbledore is actually used in Sorcerer’s Stone. As a character, Dumbledore is already a titanic figure by the end of the first book, and yet his name isn’t used that often. Also in the first book, we see that Hermione doesn’t make her entrance until Chapter 4. That makes sense though: Harry needs time to get to the Hogwarts Express, where Hermione and Ron await.
Another observation. This one in Halfblood Prince. I’m struck by how offset the frequencies of Dumbledore and Hermione are in that book. Look at the chart: while one is up, the other is down. Seeing that makes me want to jump back into the text to observe how the author positions those two characters in relation to Harry. Do they speak to two different parts of Harry’s character, his cautiously logical side (Hermione) and his expansive fanciful side (Dumbledore)?
Remember: it’s not really about the data itself. It’s about seeing new patterns in the text, asking new questions, and rereading toward newfound joy. -TLL