Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

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Title: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
Author(s): Eliezer Yudkowsky (aka Less Wrong)
Date(s): 28 February 2010 – March 2015
Length: 660,000 words/122 chapters
Genre: gen, sorting AU
Fandom: Harry Potter
External Links: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality (on ff.net)

author page with accompanying art

HPMOR.com (mirror site)

TV Tropes page

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Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality is a popular and widely known Harry Potter AU by Eliezer Yudkowsky. It has been referenced outside of "typical" fannish space and has been presented as an example of the "extent to which Potter fans have expanded the universe beyond Rowling’s original designs and helped amplify the series' popularity."[1]

In this story Petunia Evans married a professor for biochemistry and the two of them raised young Harry in a loving, strongly academic environment. As a result, Harry is inquisitive, precocious and fascinated by science and science fiction. When he finds out that he is a wizard he tries to apply scientific principles to his study of magic, with sometimes surprising results. It is also a Re-sorting fic: Harry and Hermione are sorted into Ravenclaw.

The story has a complicated plot with many open mysteries. Notable are the roles of Professor Quirrell as Harry's (possibly evil) mentor and Harry's unorthodox tries to convert Draco Malfoy to the side of the Science, as well as the strong friendship between Harry and Hermione. Harry also has to fight against his own dark side.

The story examines the system of magic of the Harry Potter series through science and rationality: for example it proposes specific sets of rules for Transformation (chapter 15), frequently plays around with time travel, and wonders why wizards never went to space.

There is a lot of accompanying fanart for the story, probably encouraged by the fact that the author offers fanartists cameo appearances in the story. (add examples) The story is widely discussed on TVTropes[2], Facebook[3] and various message boards. A weekly podcast exists[4], and an audiobook is in planning.[5] Parts of the story have been translated into nine languages.

The author frequently incorporates scientific terms and/or theories in the story that he previously discussed on his blog, Sequences, which he encourages readers to read. He also asks readers to rec the story if they liked it.[6]

Controversy and Criticism

This article or section needs expansion.


  1. 18.7.2011, 'Harry Potter' and the Key to Immortality by Daniel Snyder, article in The Atlantic; accessed 18.10.2011
  2. Fan Fic: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality on TVTropes, accessed 18.10.2011
  3. Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, group on Facebook, accessed 18.10.2011
  4. Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality - The Podcast, accessed 18.10.2011
  5. Etherpad for Methods of Rationality audiobook project, accessed 18.10.2011
  6. "This story spreads by blogging, tweeting, word of mouth, favoriting, plugging on forums, and adding to lists; and remember, if the readers before you hadn't taken a moment to do that, you probably wouldn't have found this. If that's not enough to motivate you, then let me add that if you don't help spread rationality, Hermione will be sad. You don't want her to be sad, right?
    Don't forget to visit LessWrong dot com and read the Sequences, the true existence of which this fic is but a shadow. I recommend starting with the sequence How to Actually Change Your Mind." Author's Note for chapter 64, accessed 18.10.2011