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‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,’ Chapters 1-5

Mallory Rubin and Jason Concepcion start their journey through the Potterverse by examining the theme of discovery

Hello! (Yeah!) And welcome to Binge Mode! Mallory Rubin and Jason Concepcion start their exploration of the Harry Potter universe by diving deep into Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, chapters 1-5. To help guide you on that journey, here is a map of the first episode of Binge Mode: Harry Potter. It’s not quite as detailed as the Marauder’s Map, but don’t fear: The podcast is just as magical.

  1. Mallory and Jason start their journey, of course, on the Hogwarts Express, providing a brief refresher on what actually happened in these five chapters. We’re introduced to the Dursleys and their strange nephew, Harry Potter; Harry starts receiving strange letters; and Harry learns from a friendly half-giant named Hagrid that he is, in fact, a wizard who has been invited to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
  2. They continue by diving into the Pensieve, where they analyze the central theme of this section of the book: discovery.
  3. Next, they sneak into the Restricted Section so Mallory can teach us everything we need to know about Gringotts, the bank and central institution in the wizarding world.
  4. After reemerging from that section of the library, Mallory and Jason discuss The Seven, where they share their seven favorite insights and observations from this swath of chapters. Here, we briefly meet characters long before they assume more important roles, see subtle elements of J.K. Rowling’s talent for foreshadowing, and more.
  5. Finally, they award the House Cup to a worthy winner of the five chapters. The inaugural recipient is Hagrid, who reveals Harry’s true nature and thereby brings him—and us—into a world of wonder.

Tomorrow, they return for Episode 2 of Binge Mode: Harry Potter, in which they will break down chapters 6-10 of Sorcerer’s Stone. For the full podcast, subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you get podcasts, and follow along on Twitter and join the Facebook group, which is just for Binge Mode fans. We await your digital Owl Post!