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> JKR Interviews, Questions she will not answer
post Aug 21 2004, 05:43 PM
Post #41

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Ummm i think you called us Kiddie first! :lol:

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post Aug 22 2004, 05:46 AM
Post #42

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Yeah, but it's the way I say it, you know? :upsidedown:

Look, if I offended anyone by calling them 'kiddie' then it was purely intentional. :angel:
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post Aug 22 2004, 03:08 PM
Post #43

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Stop with the kiddies already!

Yes, I am with you Herbie, DD is foreshadowing his own death. And Baty, OF COURSE Harry will not die. IT WILL NOT HAPPEN!

p.s. s16, how do you get that cool pink colour? It is very groovy!
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post Aug 22 2004, 03:16 PM
Post #44

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i've explained it all on the FAQ topic, which is pinned in the General Section. Its there somewhere, explains where and how to get different colours and use them in your posts
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post Aug 23 2004, 05:12 AM
Post #45

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QUOTE (sweetsixteen @ Aug 23 2004, 07:16 AM)
i've explained it all on the FAQ topic, which is pinned in the General Section. Its there somewhere, explains where and how to get different colours and use them in your posts

you're quite an artist S16
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post Aug 23 2004, 12:59 PM
Post #46

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;) Not really, its bog standard basic html. Colour hex codes. Its a universal code, so they are used pretty much everywhere.

Anyway back to the topic, before Baty threatens me with my own frying pan...

Harry isnt going to die blah blah blah....we have evidence before you open your mouth Mort.
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post Aug 23 2004, 08:50 PM
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Don't know whether this is included in the Quick Quote interviews site which I posted a few days ago, but it's interesting and had a really cute pic of Draco, Ron halfway down. Awww weren't they sweeties???


and here's another good one which includes good pics:

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post Aug 23 2004, 11:33 PM
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QUOTE (sweetsixteen @ Aug 23 2004, 06:59 PM)
Harry isnt going to die blah blah blah....we have evidence before you open your mouth Mort.

WHAT?? :o

i'd like to see this "evidence"..
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post Aug 24 2004, 03:43 PM
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How about:

Which showed he completely didnt understand that you need to be very unpleasant and vicious to your characters to write heart-warming childrens books.
(JK in one of the above interviews.)

Who writes "heart-warming children's books" where the main character dies? Huh?
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Alice I
post Aug 24 2004, 03:59 PM
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QUOTE (littlemushroom @ Aug 24 2004, 06:43 PM)

QUOTE ((JK in one of the above interviews.))
Which showed he completely didnt understand that you need to be very unpleasant and vicious to your characters to write heart-warming childrens books.
Who writes "heart-warming children's books" where the main character dies? Huh?

could you provide the full context of that quote.
As it reads standing alone that makes no sense whatsoever.
Why would you have to be very unpleasant and vicious to your characters to write heart-warming childrens books?
I can not wrap my brain around that statement so obviously it is out of context because I just don't get what JKR is trying to say here.
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post Aug 24 2004, 05:35 PM
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Alice, I don't know where to find that interview, but I think she was talking about how she cried when she wrote about Sirius' demise and her husband told her that if it upset her so much, why didn't she just let him live and she said that her husband, being a doctor who's job it was to save lives, didn't understand that an author of children's books had to be 'unpleasant and vicious', ........ it was all said as a joke.
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post Aug 24 2004, 05:37 PM
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didn't any of you check out this site? It's part 4/4 of a JK Rowling Biography (you'll find the first 3 parts at the same site) and it's very interesting and has great pics which most of us probably haven't seen before.

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post Aug 25 2004, 06:00 AM
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Thanks for the link Bunny!! And I remember the article where JK mentions how she cried over killing serious off, and her husband saying something about if it bothered her so much don't kill him off. I had the article until I got a new computer and lost it in the transfer. <_<
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post Apr 17 2005, 09:04 AM
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Okay, for some reason the World Book Web chat from March 2004 is gone, so I'm posting this back up, as it is very good information:

JK Rowling says: Hi everyone, I'm here LIVE and ready to answer your questions!

kylie: Thanks for writing such wonderful books, Ms Rowling :). Just one question: What are Ron, Hermione and Ginny's middle names? Thank you :)
JK Rowling replies -> My pleasure:) Middle names: Ginny is Molly, of course, Hermione 'Jane' and Ron, poor boy, is Bilius.

Sirius Riddle: What houses were Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, James Potter and Remus Lupin in? Everyone tells me they were all Gryffindor, but I won't believe it unless I hear it from Ms. Rowling herself!
JK Rowling says: This is JK herself saying that they were indeed in Gryffindor!

Stacey, 11 from Plymouth: If you got the chance to make a Polyjuice Potion, who would you be and why? And what would you do in the hour time limit? ****BBC1 NEWSROUND COMPETITION WINNER****
JK Rowling replies -> I'd like to be Tony Blair for an hour. I'd call a press conference and announce all the policies I'd like to implement!

Adele: Thanks for the interview! So... will Harry be receiving a second kiss in his last two years at Hogwarts? ;)
JK Rowling replies -> He might well be receiving another kiss (or two) but I'm not saying who the kisser's going to be...

hermione 3: ¿will Harry and Hermione will be together?*sight*
JK Rowling replies -> lol Not saying... but you've had enough clues by now, surely?!

kylie: What does the "J" in Remus J Lupin stand for?
JK Rowling replies -> 'John'. Boring but true!

Rita: Whatever happend to Sirius' flying motorbike?
JK Rowling replies -> Ah, good question. You'll find out, but the real sleuths among you might be able to guess.

Rita: What about Wormtail? Is there hope for redemption?
JK Rowling replies -> There's always hope, of course. You'll find out more about our rat-like friend in book six.

Rita: What happend to Harry's grandparents? Will we ever learn about them?
JK Rowling replies -> They're all dead and not particularly important to the story, although you will find out a little bit more.

Kelpie_8: Will the two way mirror Sirius gave Harry ever show up again?
JK Rowling replies -> Ooooo good question. There's your answer.

Shannon from St Mary Magdalen's Junior School - LondonHow do you feel when you see children reading your books? ****SCHOOLS COMPETITION WINNER****
JK Rowling replies -> I feel incredibly proud. Sometimes I want to poke them in the back and say 'guess who?' but I restrain myself.

Cathedral: Will we be hearing anything from Sirius Black's brother, Regulus, in future books?
JK Rowling replies -> Well, he's dead, so he's pretty quiet these days.

SiriuslyLovinSirius: If we ever see Sirius again, what form will he be in?
JK Rowling replies -> I couldn't possibly answer that for fear of incriminating myself.

Rorujin: Did Wormtail used Voldemort's wand to kill Cedric? Is it why Cedric comes out of Voldemort's wand even though was Wormtail who killed him?
JK Rowling replies -> Correct!

Potter47: Will Harry tell Neville about the Prophesy?
JK Rowling replies -> Harry will tell his nearest and dearest about the prophecy when he's ready. He needs time to digest the news himself first.

Potter47: What is the sixth book going to be called? The seventh?
JK Rowling replies -> It will be called 'Harry Potter and...' something. Catchy, don't you think? And I think I'll follow the same model for seven.

Rorujin: How is Dobby abele to apparate inside Hogwarts if no one else can?
JK Rowling replies -> He's a house-elf, they've got powers wizards haven't got (but wizards have also got powers that house-elves haven't).

polly weasley: Will Harry fall for another girl in book six, or will he be too busy for romance?
JK Rowling replies -> He'll be busy, but what's life without a little romance?

Field: Regarding Harrys subconscious feelings, how has it changed from book 1 to book 5?
JK Rowling replies -> Well he's obviously been through a lot since book one and book five was the book when he cracked up a little. In book six, the wizarding world is really at war again and he has to master his own feelings to make himself useful.

Jangles: Are you going to write books about harry after school?
JK Rowling replies -> Probably not, but I'll never say never because every time I do I immediately break the vow!

Kirk Wilkins: Will you ever publish all your notebooks of information on the series? I am very interested in reading 150 pages on the history of the dementors!
JK Rowling replies -> lol Who said there were 150 pages on the dementors??? I certainly didn't! I don't think I'll ever publish my notebooks. Too many revealing doodlings!

coolbeans3131: Would you like to see the same actors portray the trio in all 7 movies?
JK Rowling replies -> Yes, I would. I really like all three of them.

Kirsten from Kirkintilloch High School: If Hagrid was a real person and came to your house, what would you cook him for dinner? ****SCHOOLS COMPETITION WINNER****
JK Rowling replies -> Something like an entire side of beef, I think. And I'm quite good at Yorkshire puddings, so a couple of dozen of them, too.

snowball: Do you think a film no longer than the first two films can do justice to a book as long and complex as Goblet of Fire?
JK Rowling replies -> I think that they will have to simplify the plot somewhat. Steve Kloves, the scriptwriter, is really good and if anyone can do the essence of the book justice, he can.

Potter47: Did you come up with "Sugar Quills" from Charlie and the Chocolate factory? I believe there were "Sugar Pencils" in that book.
JK Rowling replies -> Oh dear, I don't know whether I did or not. Not consciously, anyway. But it's not a very difficult idea to come up with; we all suck the ends of pens and pencils (or I do), so it seemed logical to make them taste nice, and at Hogwarts, obviously, they use quills!

Delleve: Are there any plans for any more background books like Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Quidditch Through the Ages in the future?
JK Rowling replies -> Possibly. If I do them, it will be for charity like the first two.

Jami: Is Harry related to Godric Gryffindor?
JK Rowling replies -> People are always wondering who Harry might be related to. Maybe he is ;)

Calliope: Are the Muggle and Magical worlds ever going to be rejoined?
JK Rowling replies -> No, the breach was final, although as book six shows, the Muggles are noticing more and more odd happenings now that Voldemort's back.

Sirius Kase: Will we get to know the Grangers? Is Hermione an only child?
JK Rowling replies -> I always planned that Hermione would have a younger sister but she's never made an appearance and somehow it feels like it might be too late now.

mnich: Is it true Harry will get a more permanent injury in the sixth book?
JK Rowling replies -> I've read this rumour on the net and I'm not sure where it came from. I don't really want to get into what happens to Harry in book six, but I certainly never said that he would have a 'more permanent injury'.

Fran from Kesteven and Grantham Girls' School: Which character in the Harry Potter books are you most like? ****SCHOOLS COMPETITION WINNER****
JK Rowling replies -> Hermione when I was younger, definitely. But there's a bit of Harry and Ron in me too.

mnich: Was Voldemort born evil?
JK Rowling replies -> I don't believe that anybody was born evil. You will find out more about the circumstances of his birth in the next book.

Softballchicky32: What is the extent of Hagrid's magical powers?
JK Rowling replies -> Not great! He can do magic to a fairly basic standard and occasionally surprises everyone (himself included) by bringing off more impressive bits of magic. Of course, he is somewhat hampered by the fact that his wand is broken and disguised as an umbrella.

LizardLaugh: I love Tonks, she's my favorite new character. Will she play a large role in future books and/or in Harry's life?
JK Rowling replies -> Tonks is hanging around. I really like her, too.
Arianna: Can we believe everything the sorting hat says?
JK Rowling replies -> The Sorting Hat is certainly sincere.

mnich: If you had a job in the wizarding world, what do you think you would be?
JK Rowling replies -> I can't think of anything I'd rather do than write, so I suppose I'd write spellbooks!

Fenny: Will Lord Voldemort get more 'screentime' in the upcoming books?
JK Rowling replies -> You will see him again, but like most evil dictators, he prefers his henchmen to do his dirty work.

HG: Will we see Moaning Myrtle again?
JK Rowling replies -> Oh yes, I love Myrtle, I couldn't shut her out for long.

HPFreak7: How did Harry get the Marauder's Map back, when Crouch Jr. had it last?
JK Rowling replies -> Loads of people have asked me this, I knew I should have shown Harry nipping into Moody's empty office and getting it back, but I assumed you'd all know that's what he did. Sorry!

Denise from Blackheath High School for Girls – London: If Harry Potter was a girl, do you think his adventures would have been different? ****SCHOOLS COMPETITION WINNER****
JK Rowling replies -> Yes, I do think they would be different. I imagined Harry as a boy from the start, so I've never thought about 'Harriet Potter', but I'm sure lots of things in the books would change, Ron for a start, he'd have to be Ronalda.

HG: What is Trelawney's middle name (the one with the P)?
JK Rowling replies -> Patricia.

Rita: Will Neville have a bigger part to play?
JK Rowling replies -> I think he's already got a much bigger part. Neville has changed a lot as he's become older and more confident. Book five was a real turning point for Neville.

Cathedral: Don't want to rune the ending, but will we be finding out more about the significance of the shape of Harry's scar in future books?
JK Rowling replies -> The shape is not the most significant aspect of that scar, and that's all I'm going to say!

Adele: Will poor Harry be stuck at the Dursleys' all next summer?
JK Rowling replies -> Not all summer, no. In fact, he has the shortest stay in Privet Drive so far.

MauraEllen: Did the debt Wormtail has to Harry carry over to Voldemort when he sacrificed his arm to restore his body?
JK Rowling replies -> No. Can't say any more than that!

Echo: Was Percy acting entirely of his own accord in Order of the Phoenix?
JK Rowling replies -> I'm afraid so.

Wild Rose: Will we see more of Narcissa Malfoy now that Lucius is unavailale?
JK Rowling replies -> Yes, you will.

queenmarion: I noticed in the Black Family tree that everyone is named after a constellation. Is this intentional? Does this have any bearing on the plot?
JK Rowling replies -> It's just one of those family traditions, although Narcissa breaks the trend. I had always thought of her as 'Narcissa' so I decided not to change her to match the others when I came up with their names. There's been a lot of speculation that she is in some way linked to Lily and Petunia, because of the flower theme, but I can put that rumour to rest here: she isn't related to them.

kelly_holland: When you turn into an Animagus, can you choose what animal you become? Or does this get "assigned" to you?
JK Rowling replies -> No, you can't choose. You become the animal that suits you best. Imagine the humiliation when you finally transform after years of study and find that you most closely resemble a warthog.

Josh from Cottenham Village College: Right at the beginning, when Voldermort tried to kill Harry, how did Voldermort and Harry both survive? ****SCHOOLS COMPETITION WINNER****
JK Rowling replies -> That is the crucial and central question and if I answered it there would be hardly any point writing books six and seven... so I won't!

hanna: How did you feel when your first Harry Potter book came out?
JK Rowling replies -> Elated, ecstatic, extraordinarily happy!

Amy: What did Dudley see when he faced the Dementors in book five?
JK Rowling replies -> Ah, good question. You'll find out!

Chibimono: Do you have any future plans in particular for Draco Malfoy?
JK Rowling replies -> I've got plans for all my characters. Actually, this is a really good place to answer a question about Draco and Hermione, which a certain Ms. Radcliffe is desperate to have answered. Will they end up together in book six/seven? NO! The trouble is, of course, that girls fancy Tom Felton, but Draco is NOT Tom Felton! (My daughter likes TF very much too, because he taught her how to use a diablo)

ashvital: Which of your books does your daughter like best?
JK Rowling replies -> It would be between Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix. She likes ACTION!

HPFreak7: How are muggle parents convinced to let their kids go to Hogwarts, a strange place they never heard of before; and wouldn't they think it was a practical joke?
JK Rowling replies -> In the case of Muggle parents, special messengers are sent to explain everything to them. But don't forget that they will have noticed that there's something strange about their child for the previous ten years, so it won't come as a complete bolt from the blue.

Helen from Ulverston Victoria High School - Cumbria: Do you realise Harry & co sit on their broomsticks backwards? You can't balance like that? ****SCHOOLS COMPETITION WINNER****
JK Rowling replies -> lol You clearly haven't read 'Quidditch Through the Ages', or you'd know about the cushioning charm! Buy it at once, it's for charity!

renata: What happened between hermiona and viktor krum during the summer?
JK Rowling replies -> Ron would like to know that, too.

Persia: If a muggle looks at hogwarts what will they see? love Persia
JK Rowling replies -> Nice name, Persia. They will see nothing but a ruined castle with large signs on it saying 'keep out, dangerous building.'

katty: if you were to have a magical power what would you chose to have apart from the ability to write cos yyou;ve already got that
JK Rowling replies -> I would like to fly. And sometimes to turn off other people's voices.

starlinguk: Do you believe in prophecies in real life?
JK Rowling replies -> No, I don't. And even in the wizarding world, as McGonagall explains in Prisoner of Azkaban, true Seers are very rare.

Cris: One answer we're all longing for: How's the writing of book 6 going and when will it be released?
JK Rowling replies -> I can't say when it will be released [load groan that JKR can hear from here] because that's down to my publishers. But it's going really well. I am loving writing it.

Andrews: Does Voldemort die in the last book?
JK Rowling replies -> Now, do you really really think I'd answer that?!

Ernie: I wonder if you can let us know what form will Professor Snape's Boggart and Patronus take? I am very curious.
JK Rowling replies -> Well, I'm not going to tell you Ernie, but that's because it would give so much away. I wonder whether Ernie is your real name? (It was my grandfather's).

bertieana: Will we be seeing Krum again any time soon?
JK Rowling replies -> You will see Krum again, though not soon.

Adele: Who are the two "unknown Gryffindor girls" in Harry's year?
JK Rowling replies -> Oh, I've just understood what you mean. I haven't got the notebook to hand and I can't remember! That's terrible. I'll try and remember before the end of the chat!

Fiona from St Richard’s Catholic College: Hubble, Bubble, Toil & Trouble, Answer this question for which I have trouble, Frogs legs, bat wings, cow dung bell, How do you come up with all of those spells? Easter, Birthday, Christmas cards 'cause I have found it really hard! ****SCHOOLS COMPETITION WINNER****
JK Rowling replies -> Sometimes I use elements of 'real' spells that people used to believe worked, but mostly I make them up.

Field: Do you plan for GInny to take on a major character role in the next two books?
JK Rowling replies -> Well, now that Ginny has stopped being mute in Harry's presence I think you can see that she is a fairly forceful personality (and she always has been, remember Ron saying that she 'never shuts up' in Chamber of Secrets)?

alixnecole: were you consulted at all when the actors were chosen for the movie?
JK Rowling replies -> Yes, Chris Columbus, who was the director of the first film, asked me if there was anybody I thought would be good and I said 'RobbieColtraneForHagrid' in one breath.

Will: What is your favourite magical beast
JK Rowling replies -> The phoenix, definitely.

amanda: i want to be a writer, any tips
JK Rowling replies -> Read as much as you can. Keep writing and then throwing it away until one day you do something that you don't think belongs in the bin. Stick to writing what you know about. Don't give up.

RAXTA: How did you invent the sport 'Quiddicth'
JK Rowling replies -> I sat in a hotel room after a row with my then boyfriend and invented it. Looking back, I can understand why I liked the idea of Bludgers.

Saskia: Hagrid mentioned he`s allergic to cats in PS why has he never sneezed when Crookshanks was around?
JK Rowling replies -> He's never around Crookshanks very much. I'm allergic to cats and I can be in a room with one briefly. But of course, Crookshanks isn't all cat. Read 'Fantastic Beasts...'!

Phoenix_Tear: Do you ever get a dream which helps you in writing the Harry Potter series?
JK Rowling replies -> No, and I wish I had! I did once have an incredible dream about Nicholas Flamel, though.

Luisa: How old are Charlie and Bill Weasley in relation to their other siblings?
JK Rowling replies -> Oh dear, maths. Let me think. Bill is two years older than Charlie, who is two years older than Percy.

Leanne from Eastbrook Primary School - Hemel Hempstead: If you could spend a day in real life with one of your fictional characters, who would it be and what would you do? ****SCHOOLS COMPETITION WINNER****
JK Rowling replies -> I think I'd most like to spend a day with Harry. I'd take him out for a meal and apologise for everything I've put him through.

Kyla: What made Sirius decide to send Snape to the Willow?
JK Rowling replies -> Because Sirius loathed Snape (and the feeling was entirely mutual). You'll find out more about this in due course.

zwimmey: Have you considered writing childrens' science fiction, or will you move on to a completely new genre?
JK Rowling replies -> I don't think I'd be very good at science fiction; you need to know some science! Probably a completely different genre.

kai: Where do wizarding children go to school before Hogwarts?
JK Rowling replies -> They can either go to a Muggle primary school or they are educated at home. The Weasleys were taught by Mrs. Weasley.

faye109: Is 12 the maximum possible number of OWLs one can achieve?
JK Rowling replies -> Yes, I think it is off the top of my head.

Debbie: What will Ron's job be when he leaves school?
JK Rowling replies -> Well, assuming he lives to leave school... I'm not going to tell you :)

Krish: Do you think that the films reflect well on the books?
JK Rowling replies -> I think they're pretty faithful to the books. Hogwarts looks just as I imagined it; I had a lot of input on how the various locations look.

spud: What type of books did you read when you were younger?
JK Rowling replies -> Anything; books for adults and children alike.

julesrbf: Where did you come up with the word "muggle"?
JK Rowling replies -> I was looking for a word that suggested both foolishness and loveability. The word 'mug' came to mind, for somebody gullible, and then I softened it. I think 'muggle' sounds quite cuddly. I didn't know that the word 'muggle' had been used as drug slang at that point... ah well.

Siriusstar: Is Remus a pureblood?
JK Rowling replies -> Half blood.

bibwhang: Will Ron ever get on the Gryffindor quidditch team?
JK Rowling replies -> Well, he's already there! The question is, whether the new Quidditch Captain will allow him to stay!

Lucy: what happened to worm tale?
JK Rowling replies -> You'll find out in book six.

Bradley y4 Griffyndor: Why did you call the school Hogwarts
JK Rowling replies -> I tried all sorts of different versions of the name and then this word floated into my mind and I knew it was the right one.

Sussie: Does Harry's eyecolour become important in the future books, like we've heard?
JK Rowling replies -> No comment!

bubbles: if you were harry potter for a day what would you do?
JK Rowling replies -> If I, personally, were Harry Potter I think I would go and hide somewhere, but that's because I know what's coming!

Luisa: Is Draco an only child?
JK Rowling replies -> Yes. You wouldn't want more Dracos, would you?!

Majeed from Bristol Grammar School - Bristol: To what extent did you conceive Harry Potter as a moral tale? ****SCHOOLS COMPETITION WINNER****
JK Rowling replies -> I did not conceive it as a moral tale, the morality sprang naturally out of the story, a subtle but important difference. I think any book that sets out to teach or preach is likely to be hard going at times (though I can think of a couple of exceptions).

Maidenhead Library: Why did you choose to do books about wizards?
JK Rowling replies -> It chose me... the idea just sprang into my head and I knew I had to write it.

Kings Park primaery school: which position would you like to play if you played quidditch?
JK Rowling replies -> Who wouldn't want to be Seeker? But I think I'd be dreadful at Quidditch, I'm not sporty, I'm not great with heights and I'm clumsy as well. Neville would be about my standard.

Ali: Why specifically does Dumbledore trust Snape?
JK Rowling replies -> Another excellent and non-answerable question. I shall merely say that Snape has given Dumbledore his story and Dumbledore believes it.

Magwitch: If you could be any female character in harry potter and the Philosopher's stone which one would you be
JK Rowling replies -> Hermione. Definitely not Pansy Parkinson.

Madina: are you planning to ever visit Russia?there are a lot of young fans dreaming about meeting you!
JK Rowling replies -> I'd love to visit Russia, it's a long-standing ambition, so you never know! My son's still a bit young for long journeys, though, he's not one year old yet.

class 14: If you were a animagus which animal would you be? and why?
JK Rowling replies -> I gave Hermione my idea animagus, because it's my favourite animal. You'll find the answer in the Room of Requirement, Order of the Phoenix!

LRGS School: Which character do you most dislike ?
JK Rowling replies -> Probably Uncle Vernon.

katrin: What does it feel like when kids tell you that it's thanks to you that they started to read?
JK Rowling replies -> Nobody could possibly say anything that pleased me more. It's the most wonderful thing to hear.

novell: I find moaning myrtle is the saddest character in your books, inspiring a mixture of revulsion and pity. Does she play any further part?
JK Rowling replies -> You do see her again. Don't you like her? I know she's a bit revolting, but that's why I'm so fond of her.

Class A.G: Did you base Voldermort on any real people? If so are you related to them?!
JK Rowling replies -> lol No I didn't base Voldemort on any real person!

gazza: will harry become head master of hogwarts
JK Rowling replies -> I'm not sure I can see Harry in an academic career, he's seen so much action!

Hannah from St Malachy’s Primary School - Armagh: Did you feel the actors suited the characters of your book when you met them? ****SCHOOLS COMPETITION WINNER****
JK Rowling replies -> Yes, I did. Emma Watson in particular was very, very like Hermione when I first spoke to her, I knew she was perfect from that first 'phone call.

dsm: Are Harry's powers going to get even greater?
JK Rowling replies -> Yes, he's really progressing as a wizard now (which is lucky, because I know what's in store for him).

book: why did voldemort pick harry and not neville
JK Rowling replies -> Dumbledore explains this in 'Order of the Phoenix'. Voldemort identified more with the half-blood boy and therefore decided he must be the greater risk.

Cookie246122: Why did you kill Sirius? It made me very sad :(
JK Rowling replies -> I'm really, really sorry. I didn't want to do it, but there was a reason. If you think you can forgive me, keep reading, you'll find out. [I feel really guilty now].

Megan: Is there a link between Snape and vampires?
JK Rowling replies -> Erm... I don't think so.

Harry: Has Voldermort any children
JK Rowling replies -> No. Voldemort as a father... now that's not a nice thought.

Joshua from Navigation Primary School: How were you involved in making the Harry Potter films and did Hogwarts look like you had imagined it? ****SCHOOLS COMPETITION WINNER****
JK Rowling replies -> Hogwarts looked just as I imagined it. It was the most bizarre experience when I walked onto the set of the Great Hall; it really was like walking into my own brain.

eastbrook4: why did Harry have to split up with Cho Chang?
JK Rowling replies -> That's life, I'm afraid. They were never going to be happy, it was better that it ended early!

pablo: If Harry dies in the ending of the books, will Voldemort be invincible?
JK Rowling replies -> Pablo, I can't possibly answer. You'll have to read book seven!

Tanya J Potter: If you could change anything about Harry Potter what would it be?
JK Rowling replies -> There are loads of things I would change. I don't think any writer is ever completely happy with what they've written. One of these days - once seven is finished - I'll revise all seven books.

SnapesForte: Is Mad Eye Moody the real Moody this time? And if he is, is he up to something fishy? Because he's acting too muhc like Crouch jr - sniffing food etc
JK Rowling replies -> It's the other way around - Crouch Jnr. acted just like the real Moody.

Catheldral school: Will wormtail ever pay harry back?
JK Rowling replies -> You'll see... keep reading!

Vicky from Bishop Walsh RC Comprehensive - Sutton Coldfield: How do you react when your books/movies are criticized by critics? ****SCHOOLS COMPETITION WINNER****
JK Rowling replies -> It depends what they say. Sometimes I agree with the criticism, though I can't say that's fun. It also depends who it is. There's a vast difference between being criticized by someone you really admire (which has happened) and someone who you don't admire at all (which doesn't hurt!)

HarriFreak: Who is the 'one that never will return' deatheater?
JK Rowling replies -> You have to work it out, but a lot of fansites have got it right.

Damaged: Will Winky ever recover?
JK Rowling replies -> Poor Winky... she'll never be entirely cured of her Butterbeer addiction, I'm afraid.

AjXTee: How long does it take you to plan a book before you even start writing? Or do you just plan as you go along?
JK Rowling replies -> It's hard to say; book six has been planned for years, but before I started writing seriously I spend two months re-visting the plan and making absolutely sure I knew what I was doing (learning from my mistakes - I didn't check the plan for 'Goblet of Fire' and had to re-write a third of the book.

Kings Park primery school: what will happen to hagrids half brother?
JK Rowling replies -> You'll find out in book six. Luckily he's become a little more controllable.

JK Rowling says: I'm sorry, we're running out of time... how about three more questions?

Kaidi MacKay: Dumbledore is getting older, will it be alot harder for him to fight Lord Voldermort this time around?
JK Rowling replies -> He is getting older, but he didn't do badly at the end of 'Phoenix', so there's life in him yet!

miggs: Is there going to be a new minister of magic in the next books?
JK Rowling replies -> Yes. Ha! Finally, a concrete bit of information, I hear you cry!

Bobby: Any thoughts about a prequel series?
JK Rowling replies -> No, no prequels here. You won't need them by the time I've finished, you'll have all the back story you'll need!

JK Rowling says: That's it, everyone. There have been sixteen thousand questions, so I'm so sorry if yours hasn't been answered, but hopefully somebody else did it for you. I've really enjoyed it, hope you have. Back to the next chapter now... lots of love xxx
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post May 13 2005, 07:55 AM
Post #55


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J. K. Rowling has updated her site today (Friday the 13th of all days!). Here's what she had to say:


Harry Potter Children's Press Conference Weekend

Over the weekend of publication on Saturday 16th July, I'll be taking part in a wonderful (for me, anyway) launch event for 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' at Edinburgh Castle in Scotland.

Seventy aspiring reporters will be attending the Harry Potter Children's Press Conference Weekend on behalf of English-language newspapers across the world.

On the stroke of midnight on Saturday 16th I'll be giving the very first reading from the book at Edinburgh Castle for the cub reporters, who will each be given a signed copy of the book. The reporters will then have the weekend to read the book in a specially created Reading Room at Edinburgh Castle, before attending the Children's Press Conference on Sunday 17th July to grill me about it.

Newspapers from Britain, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Canada will run competitions from 14th May onwards to select their own reporter. Bookshops and libraries in the UK and Republic of Ireland will also be running a competition.

The internet will not be neglected, either - the brains behind two of the most popular Harry Potter fansites, Melissa from the Leaky Cauldron, and Emerson from Mugglenet, will also be coming to Edinburgh to interview me for their respective readers. The results of this three-cornered chat will be posted on our separate websites.

For more details on how to become one of the reporters at Edinburgh Castle on 16th July, check this weekend's newspapers, or go to http://www.bloomsbury.com/harrypotter. You never know, I might be meeting you, too! Good luck!


Luna is Snape's daughter

This is a most tantalising idea, but no, Mr. Lovegood, the editor of 'the Quibbler', really is Luna's father and Snape does not have a daughter.


About the Books

Are all the pure-blood families going to die out? (We've lost the Blacks and the Crouches during the series)

Don't forget that, as Sirius revealed in 'Order of the Phoenix', none of these families is really 'pure' – in other words, they merely cross Muggles and Squibs off the family tree and pretend that they didn't exist. But yes, the number of families claiming to be pure is diminishing. By refusing to marry Muggles or Muggle-borns, they are finding it increasingly difficult to perpetuate themselves. This subject is touched upon in 'Half-Blood Prince'.

What education do the children of wizards have before going to Hogwarts?

They are, as many of you have guessed, most often home educated. With very young children, as you glimpsed at the wizards' camp before the Quidditch World Cup in 'Goblet of Fire', there is the constant danger that they will use magic, whether inadvertently or deliberately; they cannot be trusted to keep their true abilities hidden. Even Muggle-borns like Harry attract a certain amount of unwelcome attention at Muggle schools by re-growing their hair overnight and so on.

Nicholas Flamel is in the book 'the Da Vinci Code', did you get his name from there?

No, Nicholas Flamel is a historical character. Flamel lived in France in the fourteenth century and is supposed to have discovered how to make a philosopher's stone. There are mentions of sightings of him through the centuries because he was supposed to have gained immortality. There are still streets named after Flamel and his wife Perenelle in Paris.

When the Marauder's Map is insulting Snape, how did Prongs write his insult as he's dead?

Wizards have ways of making sure their voices are heard after their death - think of Bertha Jorkins rising out of the Pensieve in 'Goblet of Fire', the Sorting Hat continuing to spout the wisdom of the Founders hundreds of years after their deaths, the ghosts walking around Hogwarts, the portraits of dead headmasters and mistresses in Dumbledore's office, not to mention Mrs. Black's portrait in number twelve, Grimmauld Place... there are other examples, too, of which the Marauder's Map is merely one. It is not really Prongs writing the insult to Snape, it is as though he left a magical recording of his voice within the map.

We haven't heard the school song since the first book. Did the teachers rebel against it?

Dumbledore called for the school song when he was feeling particularly buoyant, but times are becoming ever darker in the wizarding world. Should Dumbledore ever suggest a rousing encore, you may assume that he is on top form once more.

Veritaserum plays a big part in finding out the truth from Mad-Eye Moody in book four. Why then is it not used for example in the trials mentioned in the same book? It would be much easier in solving problems like whether Sirius Black was guilty or not?

Veritaserum works best upon the unsuspecting, the vulnerable and those insufficiently skilled (in one way or another) to protect themselves against it. Barty Crouch had been attacked before the potion was given to him and was still very groggy, otherwise he could have employed a range of measures against the Potion - he might have sealed his own throat and faked a declaration of innocence, transformed the Potion into something else before it touched his lips, or employed Occlumency against its effects. In other words, just like every other kind of magic within the books, Veritaserum is not infallible. As some wizards can prevent themselves being affected, and others cannot, it is an unfair and unreliable tool to use at a trial.

Sirius might have volunteered to take the potion had he been given the chance, but he was never offered it. Mr. Crouch senior, power mad and increasingly unjust in the way he was treating suspects, threw him into Azkaban on the (admittedly rather convincing) testimony of many eyewitnesses. The sad fact is that even if Sirius had told the truth under the influence of the Potion, Mr. Crouch could still have insisted that he was using trickery to render himself immune to it.

About Me

What would a Boggart turn into if you stood in front of one?

The same thing Molly Weasley saw when she let a Boggart out of the locked cabinet in 'Order of the Phoenix' – my loved ones, dead. If, however, you are talking about a fear that concerns only me, it would be being buried alive. I'm not sure how a Boggart would represent that; perhaps turn into a coffin around me? Urgh.

What are you going to write after Harry?

There are things languishing in various drawers that I might return to, but I might write something completely different. I really don't know.

How do you remember everything from different books when you are still writing the HP series?

As obsessive fans will tell you, I do slip up! Several classrooms move floors mysteriously between books and these are the least serious continuity errors! Most of the fansites will point you in the direction of my mistakes. But the essentials remain consistent from book to book because the story has been plotted for a long time and it is clear in my mind.

How many hours a day do you spend writing?

Anything from ten minutes (which is all I can get at the moment with such a young baby!) to ten hours. I love writing through the night, but again, that's not feasible just now – I need to sleep when I can!
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post May 13 2005, 04:48 PM
Post #56

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I love it when she updates the website. Of course, I always want more! The question I really want her to answer is the one in the poll about the significance of Neville being the other boy. It's been such a long time that she's had those questions up. I wonder why she isn't answering that one.

Anyway, thanks Dijares, for putting that all together.
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post Jul 23 2005, 07:44 AM
Post #57


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The last portion of the Emerson of MN, and Melissa of TLC interview is now up. Here it is:

MA: One of our Leaky “Ask Jo” poll winners is theotherhermit, she's 50 and lives in a small town in the eastern US. I think this was addressed in the sixth book, but, “Do the memories stored in a Pensieve reflect reality or the views of the person they belong to?”

JKR: It’s reality. It’s important that I have got that across, because Slughorn gave Dumbledore this pathetic cut-and-paste memory. He didn't want to give the real thing, and he very obviously patched it up and cobbled it together. So, what you remember is accurate in the Pensieve.

ES: I was dead wrong about that.

JKR: Really?

ES: I thought for sure that it was your interpretation of it. It didn’t make sense to me to be able to examine your own thoughts from a third-person perspective. It almost feels like you'd be cheating because you'd always be able to look at things from someone else's point of view.

MA: So there are things in there that you haven't noticed personally, but you can go and see yourself?

JKR: Yes, and that's the magic of the Pensieve, that's what brings it alive.

ES: I want one of those!

JKR: Yeah. Otherwise it really would just be like a diary, wouldn’t it? Confined to what you remember. But the Pensieve recreates a moment for you, so you could go into your own memory and relive things that you didn't notice the time. It’s somewhere in your head, which I'm sure it is, in all of our brains. I'm sure if you could access it, things that you don't know you remember are all in there somewhere.

ES: Our other “Ask Jo” question (the one about James and Lily’s sacrifices), was from Maria Vlasiou, who is 25, of the Netherlands. And then the third is from Helen Poole, 18, from Thirsk, Yorkshire – also one of the “Plot Thickens” fan book authors. It’s the one about Grindelwald, which I’m sure you’ve been gearing up for us to ask.

JKR: Uh huh.

ES: Clearly -

JKR: Come on then, remind me. Is he dead?

ES: Yeah, is he dead?

JKR: Yeah, he is.

ES: Is he important?

JKR: [regretful] Ohhh...

ES: You don’t have to answer but can you give us some backstory on him?

JKR: I'm going to tell you as much as I told someone earlier who asked me. You know Owen who won the [UK television] competition to interview me? He asked about Grindelwald [pronounced "Grindelvald" HMM…]. He said, “Is it coincidence that he died in 1945,” and I said no. It amuses me to make allusions to things that were happening in the Muggle world, so my feeling would be that while there's a global Muggle war going on, there's also a global wizarding war going on.

ES: Does he have any connection to --

JKR: I have no comment to make on that subject.


MA: Do they feed each other, the Muggle and wizarding wars?

JKR: Yeah, I think so. Yeah. Mm.

MA: You've gone very quiet.

[All laugh; JKR maniacally.]

MA: We like when you get very quiet, it means —

ES: You’re clearly hiding something.

MA: Our next winner question is from Delaney Monaghan, who is 6 years old, via her mother, Vanessa Monaghan. They’re from Canberra, Australia. “What is the significance, if any of the gum wrappers that Mrs. Longbottom keeps giving Neville?”

ES: Quick, go on the record [with what you think] before she answers —

MA: I think they're a sad mark of an insane woman.

JKR: That was also asked of me this morning. That idea was one of the very few that was inspired by a real event. I was told what, to me, was a very sad story by someone I know about their elderly mother who had Alzheimer's, and the elderly mother was in a closed ward. She was very severely demented and no longer recognized her son, but he went faithfully to visit her twice a week, and he used to take her sweets. That was their point of connection; she had a sweet tooth, she recognized him as the sweet-giver. That was very poignant to me. So I embroidered the story. Neville gives his mother what she wants, and (it makes me sad to think of it) she wants to give something back to him, but what she gives back to him is essentially worthless. But he still takes it as worth something because she's trying to give, so it does mean something, in emotional terms.

But, the theories on the sweet wrappers, are really out there.

ES: You can’t blame them.

JKR: I mean she's not trying to pass him secret messages.

MA: She's not really sane —

JKR: No. You're right. But that's a classic example of, "Let's just shut that one down," because it doesn't really lead anywhere very interesting even if they're wrong.

MA: It's probably one of the most touching moments in the books.

JKR: I think it is important as a character moment.

MA: Our third winner question is from Monique Padelis, who’s 15, of Surrey. How and when was the veil created?

JKR: The veil's been there as long as the Ministry of Magic has been there, and the Ministry of Magic has been there, not as long as Hogwarts, but a long time. We’re talking hundreds of years. It's not particularly important to know exactly when, but centuries, definitely.

MA: Was it used as an execution chamber or just studying?

JKR: No, it's just studying. The Department of Mysteries is all about studying. They study the mind, the universe, death…

MA: Are we going back to that room, that locked room?

JKR: No comment.

ES: Dumbledore is unrivaled in his knowledge of magic –

JKR: Mmhm.

ES: Where did he learn it all?

JKR: I see him primarily as someone who would be self-taught. However, he in his time had access to superb teachers at Hogwarts, so he was educated in the same way that everyone else is educated. Dumbledore's family would be a profitable line of inquiry, more profitable than sweet wrappers.

MA: His family?

JKR: Family, yes.

MA: Should we talk about that a little more?

JKR: No. But you can! [Laughter.]

MA: What about Harry's family — his grandparents — were they killed?

JKR: No. This takes us into more mundane territory. As a writer, it was more interesting, plot-wise, if Harry was completely alone. So I rather ruthlessly disposed of his entire family apart from Aunt Petunia. I mean, James and Lily are massively important to the plot, of course, but the grandparents? No. And, because I do like my backstory: Petunia and Lily's parents, normal Muggle death. James's parents were elderly, were getting on a little when he was born, which explains the only child, very pampered, had-him-late-in-life-so-he's-an-extra-treasure, as often happens, I think. They were old in wizarding terms, and they died. They succumbed to a wizarding illness. That's as far as it goes. There's nothing serious or sinister about those deaths. I just needed them out of the way so I killed them.

MA: That sort of shuts down Heir of Gryffindor [theories], as well.

JKR: [Pause.] Yeah. Well - yeah.

MA: Another one bites the dust.


JKR: Well, there you go. See, I'm aware that “Half-Blood Prince” will not delight everyone, because it does shoot down some theories. I mean, if it didn't, I haven't done my job right. A few people won't particularly like it, and a lot of people aren't going to like the death very much, but that was always what was planned to come.

We still don't know whether there was a genuine leak on that, or whether it was speculation that happened to be accurate.

ES: With this book?

MA: Remember the bets?

ES: Oh yeah -

JKR: Yeah, the betting scam. Well, we're now 50/50. If you remember, on “Phoenix,” the betting went for Cho Chang, and it was exactly the same thing. Suddenly someone put up something like £10,000 on Cho Chang to die, and you wouldn't think someone would waste that kind of money, so we think that they thought they had inside information. On the Dumbledore one, we still don't know. Was there a genuine leak or did someone just guess, and get it right?

ES: I remember actually putting a poll up on MuggleNet asking people if they thought he was going to bite it.

JKR: And what was the result? That's really interesting.

ES: The majority thought he was going to die in book six — well, six or seven. Most thought it was going to be in seven.

JKR: Really. Yeah.

ES: It was probably 65/35, but definitely, most thought he was going to die.

JKR: Yeah, well, I think if you take a step back, in the genre of writing that I'm working in, almost always the hero must go on alone. That's the way it is, we all know that, so the question is when and how, isn't it, if you know anything about the construction of that kind of plot.

ES: The wise old wizard with the beard always dies.

JKR: Well, that's basically what I'm saying, yes.


MA: It's interesting, because that moment — I think we all sort of felt like he was going to die as soon as he started imparting these huge swallows of wisdom.

JKR: Mm.

MA: And the moment when Harry said, ‘I realize this, and my parents realized this, and this is about this choice,’ we stopped, and we said, “All right, let's let everyone catch up, and talk about this, because a) Dumbledore is dying, b) this is the flag that signals that we're going to power through to the end.” I feel like that was a defining moment of the entire series. Do you tend to agree?

JKR: Yes, definitely, because I think there's a line there between the moment in “Chamber of Secrets” when Dumbledore says so famously, ‘It's our choices that define us, not our abilities,’ straight through to Dumbledore sitting in his office, saying to Harry, “the prophecy is significant only because you and Voldemort choose to make it so.” If you both chose to walk away, you could both live! That's the bottom line. If both of them decided, “We're not playing,” and walked away… but, it’s not going to happen, because as far as Voldemort’s concerned, Harry’s a threat. They must meet each other.

ES: I remember thinking when I read “Order of the Phoenix,” what would happen if Harry and Voldemort just decided to —

JKR: Shake hands, and walk away? We'll agree to disagree!


ES: What if he never heard the prophecy?

JKR: And that's it, isn't it. As I said, that's what I posted on my site -

ES: I'm glad you put that up.

JKR: It's the “Macbeth” idea. I absolutely adore “Macbeth.” It is possibly my favorite Shakespeare play. And that's the question isn't it? If Macbeth hadn't met the witches, would he have killed Duncan? Would any of it have happened? Is it fated or did he make it happen? I believe he made it happen.

MA: If everyone would just shake hands and play a round of golf, everything would be fine.


MA: There are a lot of intense loyalty and bravery issues that are really tied to self-sacrifice — specifically in book three, “You should have died rather than betray your friends.” And then, there's a ton of that throughout. That’s a pretty intense message to pass to, say, an 8-year-old, or a 10-year-old, who is reading the book, saying we should die for our friends.

JKR: Obviously I imagine it in the context of a very highly charged situation. God forbid — I hope that in the general run of things, an 8-year-old would not be required to die for anyone, but we're talking here about a fully grown man who was in, what I consider to be, a war situation. This was a full-fledged war situation. I think the question really is do you, as readers, believe that Sirius would have died? Because Sirius is saying that.

ES: Oh, absolutely.

MA: Yeah.

JKR: Right, well, that's what I believed. Sirius would have done it. He, with all his faults and flaws, he has this profound sense of honor, ultimately, and he would rather have died honorably, as he would see it, than live with the dishonor and shame of knowing that he sent those three people to their deaths, those three people that he loved beyond any others, because like Harry he is a displaced person without family.

You're right, it is an intense message, but I am ultimately writing about evil, and I have said before, I think, that I'm surprised when sometimes people say to me, “Oh, you know, the books are getting so dark.” I'm thinking, “Well, which part of ‘Philosopher's Stone’ did you think was light and fluffy?” You know, there is an innocence about it, Harry is very young when he goes to the school, but the book opens with a double murder. The possibility of death, I think, is present throughout “Philosopher’s Stone,” and I feel that there are a couple of really gruesome images in “Philosopher’s Stone.” I think the first book contains more gruesome imagery than the second, despite the giant snake, because the cloaked figure drinking the unicorn blood is pretty darn creepy. It was to me when I thought of it, and I really, right up until now, all these years later, think that the idea of the face in the back of the head [Voldemort sharing Quirrell’s body] is one of the most disturbing images in the whole book. (The whole book; I call it one big book. In the whole series.)

So, yes, it's intense, I agree with you, but I would say it's been pretty intense throughout. There are a lot of things in there that are disturbing, intentionally so, but I really don’t think I've ever crossed the line into shocking for shocking's sake. I feel that I could justify every single piece of morbid imagery in those books. The one that I wondered whether I was going to be able to get past the editors was the physical condition of Voldemort before he went into the cauldron, do you remember? He was kind of fetal. I felt an almost visceral distaste for what I had conjured up, but there's a reason it was in there and you will see that. And I discussed that with my editor and she was okay with it. In fact, she was more disturbed with the idea of the grave cracking open. I think it's the desecration idea, isn't it, again. There's nothing really to see there — but again it's the violation of a taboo.

MA: What color are Ron's eyes?

JKR: Ron's eyes are blue. Have I never said that, ever? [JKR covers her eyes.]

MA: They’ve been dying for us to ask this.

JKR: Blue. Harry's green, Ron's blue, and Hermione's are brown.

MA: What's Ron's Patronus?

JKR: Ron's Patronus? Have I never said that either? Oh no, that's shocking! [Laughter.] Ron's Patronus is a small dog, like a Jack Russell, and that's a really sentimental choice, because we've got a Jack Russell. He's insane.

MA: This is not a short one but I really want to ask you this — with all the fame and wealth you've amassed, how do you keep your kids grounded and normal and rooted in the real world?

JKR: It is my top priority in life. I think and I hope that we lead a pretty normal life, believe it or not. Surreal things happen where I walk out of my house and into an illuminated castle, and so on, but that really has very little effect on them. I think as much as one can, we do lead a very normal life. We go out to the shops like anyone else, we walk around town like anyone else. That's my feeling anyway. I also think that, importantly, all three children will grow up seeing Neil and I both working. There are no plans on either of our parts to stop working, put our feet up and go yachting around the world or anything, pleasant though that would be and does seem sometimes. We keep working and I think that's a pretty good example to set to your children, that whatever money you might have, self-worth really lies in finding out what you do best. It's doing your proper job, isn't it?

MA: Yeah. Have you discovered the two missing Gryffindor students?

JKR: [Covers eyes] Ohh! [Frustrated.] I was going to go and get that for you, I'm sorry I haven't got it, I'll put it on my site.

MA: Did Ginny send Harry the valentine?

JKR: Yeah, bless her.

MA: Was it a Tom Riddle thing, or Ginny Weasley?

JKR: No, Ginny Weasley.

MA: Well, she got paid back for it.

JKR: [laughs] Eventually.

MA: I think you set that up from the train compartment scene [in book one], where he was watching — all the relationships, that scene probably set it up.

JKR: I think so. I hope so. So you liked Harry/Ginny, did you, when it happened?

ES: We've been waiting for this for years!

JKR: Oh, I'm so glad.

MA: Oh my gosh, that kiss!

JKR: Yeah.

ES: It actually materialized!

JKR: It actually happened, I know! I felt a little bit like that.

MA: Had you been trying to get them —

JKR: Well I always knew that that was going to happen, that they were going to come together and then part.

ES: Were you always -----ing it? [We can’t figure out what Emerson actually said here.]

JKR: Well, no, not really, because the plan was, which I really hope I fulfilled, is that the reader, like Harry, would gradually discover Ginny as pretty much the ideal girl for Harry. She's tough, not in an unpleasant way, but she's gutsy. He needs to be with someone who can stand the demands of being with Harry Potter, because he's a scary boyfriend in a lot of ways. He's a marked man. I think she's funny, and I think that she's very warm and compassionate. These are all things that Harry requires in his ideal woman. But, I felt — and I'm talking years ago when all this was planned — initially, she's terrified by his image. I mean, he's a bit of a rock god to her when she sees him first, at 10 or 11, and he's this famous boy. So Ginny had to go through a journey as well. And rather like with Ron, I didn’t want Ginny to be the first girl that Harry ever kissed. That's something I meant to say, and it's kind of tied in.

One of the ways in which I tried to show that Harry has done a lot of growing up — in “Phoenix,” remember when Cho comes into the compartment, and he thinks, ‘I wish I could have been discovered sitting with better people,’ basically? He's with Luna and Neville. So literally the identical thing happens in “Prince,” and he's with Luna and Neville again, but this time, he has grown up, and as far as he's concerned he is with two of the coolest people on the train. They may not look that cool. Harry has really grown. And I feel that Ginny and Harry, in this book, they are total equals. They are worthy of each other. They've both gone through a big emotional journey, and they've really got over a lot of delusions, to use your word, together. So, I enjoyed writing that. I really like Ginny as a character.

MA: Does she have a larger importance; the Tom Riddle stufff, being the seventh girl —

JKR: The backstory with Ginny was, she was the first girl to arrive in the Weasley family in generations, but there's that old tradition of the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter and a seventh son of a seventh son, so that's why she's the seventh, because she is a gifted witch. I think you get hints of that, because she does some pretty impressive stuff here and there, and you'll see that again.

ES: Why is Slytherin house still –

JKR: Still allowed!

[All laugh]

ES: Yes! I mean, it's such a stigma.

JKR: But they're not all bad. They literally are not all bad. [Pause.] Well, the deeper answer, the non-flippant answer, would be that you have to embrace all of a person, you have to take them with their flaws, and everyone's got them. It’s the same way with the student body. If only they could achieve perfect unity, you would have an absolute unstoppable force, and I suppose it's that craving for unity and wholeness that means that they keep that quarter of the school that maybe does not encapsulate the most generous and noble qualities, in the hope, in the very Dumbledore-esque hope that they will achieve union, and they will achieve harmony. Harmony is the word.

ES: Couldn’t —

JKR: Couldn't they just shoot them all? NO, Emerson, they really couldn’t!

[All laugh]

ES: Couldn't they just put them into the other three houses, and maybe it wouldn’t be a perfect fit for all of them, but a close enough fit that they would get by and wouldn't be in such a negative environment?

JKR: They could. But you must remember, I have thought about this —

ES: Even their common room is a gloomy dark room—

JKR: Well, I don't know, because I think the Slytherin common room has a spooky beauty.

ES: It's gotta be a bad idea to stick all the Death Eaters' kids together in one place.

[All crack up again ]

JKR: But they're not all — don't think I don't take your point, but — we, the reader, and I as the writer, because I'm leading you all there — you are seeing Slytherin house always from the perspective of Death Eaters' children. They are a small fraction of the total Slytherin population. I'm not saying all the other Slytherins are adorable, but they're certainly not Draco, they're certainly not, you know, Crabbe and Goyle. They're not all like that, that would be too brutal for words, wouldn’t it?

ES: But there aren't a lot of Death Eater children in the other houses, are there?

JKR: You will have people connected with Death Eaters in the other houses, yeah, absolutely.

ES: Just in lesser numbers.

JKR: Probably. I hear you. It is the tradition to have four houses, but in this case, I wanted them to correspond roughly to the four elements. So Gryffindor is fire, Ravenclaw is air, Hufflepuff is earth, and Slytherin is water, hence the fact that their common room is under the lake. So again, it was this idea of harmony and balance, that you had four necessary components and by integrating them you would make a very strong place. But they remain fragmented, as we know.

ES: Was James the only one who had romantic feelings for Lily?

JKR: No. [Pause.] She was like Ginny, she was a popular girl.

MA: Snape?

JKR: That is a theory that's been put to me repeatedly.

ES: What about Lupin?

JKR: I can answer either one.

ES: How about both? One at a time.

JKR: I can't answer, can I, really?

ES: Can you give us any clue, without misleading us [Emerson misspoke; he meant “without giving too much away”] --?

JKR: I've never, to my knowledge, lied when posed a question about the books. To my knowledge. You can imagine, I've now been asked hundreds of questions; it's perfectly possible at some point I misspoke or I gave a misleading answer unintentionally, or I may have answered truthfully at the time and then changed my mind in a subsequent book. That makes me cagey about answering some questions in too much detail because I have to have some leeway to get there and do it my way, but never on a major plot point.

Lupin was very fond of Lily, we'll put it like that, but I wouldn't want anyone to run around thinking that he competed with James for her. She was a popular girl, and that is relevant. But I think you've seen that already. She was a bit of a catch.

MA: How did they get together? She hated James, from what we’ve seen.

JKR: Did she really? You're a woman, you know what I'm saying. [Laughter.]

ES: How on earth did Fred and George know that Ireland would win and Bulgaria would get the Snitch?

JKR: Well, I think that if you were really into Quidditch you could have predicted that. What they had -

ES: But how can you predict that, because you don't know when the Snitch is going to show up.

JKR: It was a risk. They risked everything on it. That is Fred and George, isn't it? They are the risk-takers in the family. You've got Percy at one end of the family — conform, do everything correctly — and you've got Fred and George, who just take a totally different life path and were prepared to risk everything. They risked all they had, which is as much as anyone can do.

MA: How did they figure out how to work the map?

JKR: Don't you — well. This is how I explained it to myself at the time, and this does sound glib. Don't you think it would be quite a Fred and Georgeish thing to say in jest, and then see this thing transform?

MA: Yeah.

JKR: Can't you just see them?

ES: But the exact word combination? Is that just a lot of luck, or Felix Felicis —

JKR: Or, the map helped.

MA: Yep, yeah. You can see them sort of answering and joking with each other —

JKR: And the map flickering into life here and there when they got closer and closer, and finally they hit upon the exact right word combination and it just erupts.

ES: What on earth was Aberforth Dumbledore doing with those goats?

[Big laughs from all]

JKR: Your guess is as good as mine! [Evil laugh!]

MA: Excellent. And Dumbledore makes a little joke about him in this one, about knowing people in bars.

JKR: Yes, absolutely. Yeah, that's right. And you of course see Aberforth very briefly.

MA: Does the gleam of triumph still have yet to make an appearance?

JKR: That's still enormously significant. And let's face it, I haven’t told you that much is enormously significant, so you can let your imaginations run free there.

ES: I think everybody realized it was significant when they read it but we didn’t see it materialize in 5 or 6.

JKR: Well, it still is.

ES:We’ve been kind of waiting for the big revelation.

JKR: Absolutely, that's for seven. That's for seven.

MA: Here at the end you sort of get the feeling that we know what Harry’s setting out to do, but can this really be the entire throughline of the rest of the story?

JKR: It's not all of it. Obviously it's not all of it, but still, that is the way to kill Voldemort. That's not to say it won't be extremely an torturous and winding journey, but that's what he's got to do. Harry now knows — well he believe he knows – what he’s facing. Dumbledore's guesses are never very far wide of the mark. I don't want to give too much away here, but Dumbledore says, ‘There are four out there, you've got to get rid of four, and then you go for Voldemort.’ So that's where he is, and that's what he's got to do.

ES: It's a tall order.

JKR: It's a huge order. But Dumbledore has given him some pretty valuable clues and Harry, also, in the course of previous six books has amassed more knowledge than he realizes. That's all I am going to say.

ES: It seems like it would be impossible. If Harry had gone to the cave, he never could have done it on his own, it seems like.

JKR: Well, I'm prepared to bet you now, that at least before the week is out, at least one of the Horcruxes will have been correctly identified by careful re-readers of the books.

MA: Someone put it to me last night, that if Ginny, with the diary -

JKR: Harry definitely destroyed that piece of soul, you saw it take shape, you saw it destroyed, it’s gone. And Ginny is definitely in no way possessed by Voldemort.

MA: Is she still a parselmouth?

JKR: No.

MA: Does she have a life debt to Harry from book two?

JKR: No, not really. Wormtail is different. You know, part of me would just love to explain the whole thing to you, plot of book seven, you know, I honestly would.

ES: We wouldn't want to hear it.

JKR: "Yeah, go on, we're not listening!"


ES: Who is Harry's godmother?

JKR: Didn't have one.

ES: Really?

JKR:Well, Sirius never had time to get a girlfriend, let alone marry.

ES: They could have just picked some other close friend of the family.

JKR: At the time that they christened Harry, they were in hiding. This was not going to be a widely attended christening, because he was already in danger. So this is something they were going to do very quietly, with as few people as possible, that they wanted to make this commitment with Sirius. And — yeah. Can’t say much more.

[We’re starting to realize the time…]

MA: Can we do this again?


JKR: It's a possibility.

MA: I mean, seriously, for a week.

[All laugh.]

JKR: Just lock me in some underground room —

MA: Well, my family is Sicilian, Jo -


MA: Hold on, we have to ask you one more question [Melissa puts on the green glasses and takes out the green quill that Lexicon_Bel~ and Puffin from the LeakyLounge prepared for her as a joke for Jo] –

[All crack up

JKR: RITA! I’ve missed you!

JKR: I tell you, there is only one way to deal with the Rita articles, and that’s laugh, otherwise you’re going to go slightly mad. And of course, I now have my Rubbish Bin [on my site]. It’s really amazing how liberating that is, to be able to say directly to people who read the books, “That was rubbish.” It’s never important stuff, but taken as a whole, it can really mislead a person, I think. Anyway, Rita. I like this, very much.

MA: Isn’t this funny? They made this up for me.

JKR: That’s fantastic. You know, Miranda Richardson is playing her in the “Goblet of Fire.” I’m so looking forward to that.

MA: We’ve seen, we went to the set on a day that she was working.

JKR: Did you?

ES: She looks fantastic for the role.

JKR: She’s such a great actress.

ES: Oh, I have a question about that. When you write the books now, do you see the actors from the movies, or do you see your own characters?

JKR: My own characters. Every time.

ES: Their faces don’t infiltrate your head at all?

JKR: Not at all. I still see my Ron, I still see my Harry, I still see my Hermione. I was writing them for too long before the films came out for the film images to displace what’s in my head. I was lucky in that sense. I’d lived with these characters so long, it just couldn’t have any effect. Occasionally I will — Ron/Lavender, I did kind of think of Rupert. I mean, it was always planned that way, obviously, but I would kind of emerge for a coffee break and I might have a wry smile about Rupert.

MA: Doing that?

JKR: Not so much doing it, he’ll be more than adequate to the task of doing it, but thinking about him attending the castings for Lavender, stuff like that. It just kind of makes you smile once you know the people who are acting it. But I really mean what I’ve said before – you would have to go a very long way to find three better-adjusted people, given what they’ve been through, Rupert, Dan and Emma. They’re incredible.

[Pause as we look at time…]

JKR: I know.

MA: Sixty-six pages of questions, Jo.

JKR: Oh my goodness.

ES: Let’s just keep asking questions until she throws us out.

[All laugh.]

ES: Hagrid’s Keeper of the Keys title: does that mean anything?

JKR: Just simply that he will let you in and out of Hogwarts, so it’s slightly more interesting than that but it’s not loads more interesting. So, again, that is something that people shouldn’t get too excited about.

MA: Will Harry and Ron ever read “Hogwarts, a History”?

JKR: Never. [Laughter.] It’s a gift to me, because all my exposition can be dressed up as, “When are you going to read it?” So Hermione fills in the reader as well, so I could never let them read it.

MA: Did Dobby know about the prophecy?

JKR: No.

MA: Did he know about the Potters —

JKR: He knew their story, but obviously his knowledge would be narrowed down to what was known in the Malfoy household.

MA: Oh, here’s one [from our forums] that I’ve really got to ask you. Has Snape ever been loved by anyone?

JKR: Yes, he has, which in some ways makes him more culpable even than Voldemort, who never has. Okay, one more each!

ES: Why don’t witches and wizards Disapparate when they’re in danger?

JKR: Well. This is like all of these things. It’s tedious to stop and tell the reader when you’re writing an action scene but there would be ways of stopping that happening. Sometimes they do Disapparate, but very often, when you’re watching that kind of scene, it’s within a place that you can’t Disapparate from, like Hogwarts. So, that’s not an option when Harry’s at school. There would be other reasons why you wouldn’t Disapparate. You might want to stand your ground and fight. But they do Disapparate sometimes. There has to be an equal and opposite action.

JKR: [to Melissa] Go on, hit me with it.

MA: Was there anyone else present in Godric’s Hollow the night Harry’s parents were killed?

JKR: No comment.

[All laugh.]

JKR: I’m sorry!
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Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 22nd September 2017 - 09:35 pm