To Help the Rumors, Some interviews and facts from JKR
To Help the Rumors, Some interviews and facts from JKR
Feb 26 2004, 11:50 AM
Joined: 21-February 04
From: Las Vegas, Nevada
Member No.: 1
This is really long, but I've gone through and copied and pasted some interviews from JKR. I've included the links as well, so you can look at the info yourself. It will help in our theories!
The wand chooses the wizard, of course, but what magical creature would you select for your own wand?
I'd like a phoenix feather, which is why I gave it to Harry!
Is Voldemort some sort of relative of Harry's? Possibly his mother's brother?
I'm laughing...that would be a bit Star Wars, wouldn't it?
In your first book there is a secret message on the Mirror of Erised. Are there any other secret messages throughout the book that we should be watching for?
Not secret messages of that type, but if you read carefully, you'll get hints about what's coming. And that's all I'm saying!
In the fourth book, when Harry tells Dumbledore about his fight with Voldemort and how Voldemort could touch him after he took Harry's blood, Harry thinks he sees Dumbledore smile slightly. Why? Is Dumbledore really on Voldemort's side after all?
Hmmmm....like all the best questions I get asked, I can't answer that one. But you are obviously reading carefully. I promise you'll find out!
Do wizards and witches have to go Muggle school before they go to Hogwarts?
No, they don't have to.
How does the Dark Lord affect American wizards and witches?
He affects everyone, but his plan is European domination first.
Which house was Lily Potter in, and what is her maiden name?
Her maiden name was Evans, and she was in Gryffindor (naturally).
Does Harry have a middle name?
Yep, James after his dad.
From where did you get the name for Harry Potter?
'Harry' has always been my favourite boy's name, so if my daughter had been a son, he would have been Harry Rowling. Then I would have had to choose a different name for "Harry" in the books, because it would have been too cruel to name him after my own son. "Potter" was the surname of a family who used to live near me when I was seven years old and I always liked the name, so I borrowed it.
There are an extraordinary number of names that start with "H" (Harry, Hermione, Hedwig, Hogwarts, Hagrid, Hufflepuff). Is there any reason for that?
Harry Potter for grownups again! Is Voldemort the last remaining ancestor of Slytherin, or the last remaining descendent of Slytherin?
Ah, you spotted the deliberate error. Yes, it should read "descendent." That's been changed in subsequent editions. (Keep hold of the "ancestor" one, maybe it'll be valuable one day!)
Is there something more to the cats appearing in the books than first meets the eye? (i.e. Mrs. Figg's cats, Crookshanks, Prof. McGonagall as a cat, etc.)
Ooooo, another good question. Let's see what I can tell you without giving anything away....erm....no, can't do it, sorry.
Is it true that since Voldemort took Harry's blood by force, that Harry can kill Voldemort, but Voldemort can't kill Harry?
It's an interesting theory, but I wouldn't trust it too much!
Is the Mrs. Figg with all the cats in the Dursleys' neighborhood the same Arabella Figg that Dumbledore mentioned at the end of book 4?
How many students attend Hogwarts, and how many students per year per house?
There are about a thousand students at Hogwarts.
You said Ron's cousin was taken out of Book 4, and you developed Rita Skeeter more after that. Do you still think that it would have been more fun to keep her? Can you tell me anything about what she was going to be like?
Well, maybe I will use her in another book, so I don't want to talk about her too much. I had never "killed" a character before (in either sense) until Goblet of Fire, so that made writing the book a little more stressful!
How old is old in the wizarding world, and how old are Professors Dumbledore and McGonagall?
Dumbledore is a hundred and fifty, and Professor McGonagall is a sprightly seventy. Wizards have a much longer life expectancy than Muggles. (Harry hasn't found out about that yet.)
How does the wizarding world protect Muggle banks and vaults, etc. from wizards apparating into them and stealing the contents?
Well, the Ministry of Magic keeps tabs on people apparating. That's why you have to have a license to do it, and the moment you abuse it you can find yourself in serious trouble (or Azkaban!).
What position did James play on the Gryffindor Quidditch team? Was it seeker like Harry, or something different?
James was Chaser.
What makes some witches/wizards become ghosts after they die and some not?
You don't really find that out until Book VII, but I can say that the happiest people do not become ghosts. As you might guess, Moaning Myrtle!
What did the Potter parents do for a living before Voldemort killed them?
I'm sorry to keep saying this, but I can't tell you because it's important to a later plot. But you will find out later!
In the first book you said Slytherin house Quidditch captain was sixth year Marcus Flint. If there are only seven years of Hogwarts, why is he in the third book?
He had to do a year again! :-)
Since Harry Potter's parents were sorcerers and Petunia was Harry's mother's sister. Shouldn't Petunia be a witch or wizard?
No. As Hagrid explains in Book I, sometimes a witch or a wizard occurs in an otherwise Muggle family, just as a Squib is a non-magic person who occurs in an otherwise magic family.
Do you think that you will write about Harry after he graduates from Hogwarts? Isn't there a University of Wizardry?
No, there's no University for Wizards. At the moment I'm only planning to write seven Harry Potter books. I won't say "never," but I have no plans to write an eighth book.
Will we ever get a Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher who lasts more than a year?
I'm not telling you. ;-)
Is Harry Potter ever going to fall in love with Hermione or is he going to fall in love with Ginny Weasley?
In Book IV Harry does decide he likes a girl, but it's not Hermione or Ginny. However, he's only 14, so there's plenty of time for him to change his mind. ;-)
Will Harry ever get a break and not live with the Dursleys?
I'm not going to tell you! ;-)
Will we ever see Scabbers again?
Yes. You will see Scabbers again.
Do you have an actual floorplan for Hogwarts? Do you use it when writing the books?
I haven't drawn it, because it would be difficult for the most skilled architect to draw, owing to the fact that the staircases and the rooms keep moving. However, I have a very vivid mental image of what it looks like.
Why are the gnomes bad? What do they do?
Gnomes eat the roots of your plants, and make little heaps of earth, like moles do. They are also a bit of a giveaway that wizards live in a house.
Where were you born and what was your childhood like?
I was born in a place called Chipping, so perhaps that explains my love of silly names.
How can two Muggles have a kid with magical powers? Also how does the Ministry of Magic find out these kids have powers?
It's the same as two black-haired people producing a redheaded child. Sometimes these things just happen, and no one really knows why! The Ministry of Magic doesn't find out which children are magic. In Hogwarts there's a magical quill which detects the birth of a magical child, and writes his or her name down in a large parchment book. Every year Professor McGonagall checks the book, and sends owls to the people who are turning 11.
Where is Azkaban?
In the north of the North Sea. A very cold sea.
Why did you choose the lightning bolt as a trademark for Harry Potter?
Just because I decided that it would be an interesting and distinctive mark.
Will we see the Marauders map in a future book?
Yes, you'll see it in Book IV. :-)
Can you tell me where and when Quidditch was invented?
Quidditch started in the 11th century, at a place called Queerditch Marsh which you probably won't find marked on maps. But obviously that's because wizards have made the place unplottable (which means you can't plot it on a map). Originally it was quite a crude game played on broomsticks, and over the subsequent two centuries they added more balls until it became the game we know now.
Could Harry have a pet dragon?
You can't domesticate a dragon whatever Hagrid thinks. That's simply impossible. So no. He's got more sense. He might get a different pet at some point but I'm saying no more at this moment.
Has Harry ever used the Internet?
No. He's not allowed near Dudley's computer and Dudley's the only one who's got a computer. He gets beaten up if he goes too near the keyboard. So no, he's never used the Internet. I use it a lot but not Harry. Wizards don't really need to use the Internet but that's something that you'll find out later on in the series. They have a means of finding out what goes on in the outside world that I think is more fun than the Internet. Could anything be more fun than the Internet? Yes!
E: Do you know already who is going to die in the next books?
JK: I know all of them who are going to die, yeah.
E: And some characters we might love and you might love?
JK: I'm definitely killing people I love, yeah. (Waves to fans outside) It's horrible, isn't it? (Laughs) It is actually. I cried during the writing of that one [Book Four] for the first time ever. I cried doing the actual writing of it. It really upset me.
E: People love Ron, for example. Kids think you're going to knock off Ron because he's the best friend.
JK: Kids do, exactly, because they're sharp and they've seen so many films where the hero's best friend gets it. So they think I'm going to make it personal by killing Ron. But maybe that's a double bluff… (Laughs)
E: Now that you know they expect it, do you give it to them?
JK: No, I decided…It's not that I sat down with a list and decided to write, 'You're going, you're going, you're going.' There are reasons for the deaths in each case, in terms of the story. So that's why I'm doing it.
E: This is the crucial book, because after this book, everything changes. The whole world seems to go through a radical transformation.
JK: Well, it's the end of an era. Book Four is the end of an era for Harry.
E: He's grown up. This is a right of passage.
JK: Exactly. He's no longer protected. He's been very protected until now. But he's very young to have that experience. Most of us don't get that until a bit later in life. He's only just coming up to 15 and that's it now. (A photographer sticks his camera against the window and snaps off a bunch of pictures.) He's very exposed now, as you know if you've read the book. If you haven't read the book, I'm not going to give it away.
E: She's somewhat condescending to the elves who don't have rights.
JK: She thinks it's so easy. It's part of what I was saying before about the growing process, of realizing you don't have quite as much power as you think you might have and having to accept that. Then you learn that it's hard work to change things and that it doesn't happen overnight. Hermione thinks she's going to lead them to glorious rebellion in one afternoon and then finds out the reality is very different, but that was fun to write.
E: The Daily Mail said that there was a stalker. Is this the dark side of fame?
JK: You know, they really might want to get in touch with me and tell me about this alleged stalker, because I think I'd probably know if I was being stalked. This is not a nice thing, ok, but I sometimes get a feeling of almost, 'Oh, come on, someone stalk her! We've run out of stories. Where's your initiative? Come on, surely she's worth stalking?' Well, no, no one is stalking me. So I'd like to thank the Daily Mail for inviting them to do it because it's very sweet of them.
EVAN: Time to talk about the Dementors.
J.K. ROWLING: Ah, the Dementors, yeah.
E: The Dementors, um, they are the personification of depression. (JK - Mmm hmm.) Now, I hate making biographical links between characters and authors but that's (laughing)…
JK: You might as well. (Laughs) Go for it.
E: But there is a biographical link and we've talked about it, about a depression in your life being, not just obviously a horrible time, but something in the end that was important to your life.
JK: Um, I was depressed, um, I'd say - would it be 1994 - I did suffer a spell of what I was told was clinical depression. I don't know, I was told it was. Yeah, I was depressed for a while. I'm not ashamed of that, plenty of people get depressed and I've never suffered from it again and I got through it. But the Dementors, uh, it's so hard to trace the origin of something. I saw these things and I knew what I wanted them to do, but they became, as I really thought about what they did, I realized that's what I was doing. That's normally the way it happens with me. I don't consciously think 'And now, I will create the personification of depression' but as I'm creating them I realize what I'm doing. You know, what unconsciously is going on. So they create an absence of feeling, which is my experience of depression. It is an absence…
E: That is your definition of it.
JK: (Nods) Mmm.
Mar 3 2004, 08:45 PM
Joined: 21-February 04
From: Las Vegas, Nevada
Member No.: 1
yes more . . ..
Couric: “Any snogging with Hermione?”
Rowling: (slight frown) “Hermione and Harry! Do you think so?”
Couric: “No I’m kidding.
Rowling: “Ron and Hermione, I would say, have more potential (or did she say “tension”) there”
Couric: “You said when the last book came out that the death of one character was quote, ‘the beginning of the deaths.’ Yikes!”
Rowling: “Yeah, that’s nice, isn’t it. There’s going to be a blood bath [laughter].”
Couric: “Warm and fuzzy.What does that mean?”
Rowling: “It’s a war. Essentially a war has broken out again and when I say the beginning of the deaths, I mean the deaths that are meaningful, I suppose, to the reader. In this book, what I consider to be a major character dies. It was awful to write. It was absolutely awful.
Rowling also dispelled the rumor there would be more than the seven Harry Potter books she’s promised. (JKR: “I don’t know where that rumor came from.”) And true to form, she says she won’t accept a deadline for writing the last two. But one thing is for sure — now that the word “muggle” has been added to the Oxford Dictionary, Jo Rowling’s assured of literary immortality.
Stephen Fry: How wonderful! Particularly in America where they’re more perhaps theatrical than we are about these things – you get boys dressed as Harry and girls as Hermione?
JK Rowling: Many boys dressed as Harry. Lately I’ve noticed people like dressing up as Draco a lot more, which I’m finding a little bit worrying. You’re all getting far too fond of Draco :o)
Stephen Fry: The dark forces are rising Jo :o)
JK Rowling: The dark forces are indeed rising!
Stephen Fry: And the names I have to mention the names, you mentioned Mundungus being tobacco…. A lot of the names have very particular meanings; Albus Dumbledore is on the side of light his name means “white” in Latin. Alba was an old name for Britain.
JK Rowling: It also means wisdom in Latin.
Stephen Fry: Yes, “Alb” - What about Malfoy? What does that mean?
JK Rowling: Malfoy is a made-up name but you could say it was old French for bad faith. It really suits him.
Stephen Fry: Bad Faith…Malfoy…perfect isn’t it. I’m sure the boys and girls nave noticed that the Hogwarts School motto is Latin and what is it?
JK Rowling: Well, you’re one of the few people I’ve met who knew what it meant “Never tickle a sleeping dragon”.
Question from Neil Sierra Sidney Australia
Video: “Have you ever considered writing a book about Harry 5 or 10 years later - after he’s left Hogwarts?”
JK Rowling: I get asked this question about whether I’m going to write about Harry when he’s grown up. I always say “You’ll have to wait and see whether he survives to be a grown up”
Stephen Fry: Uhn..that’s a frightening thought…isn’t it my goodness!
JK Rowling: Sorry. I’m not saying he won’t but I don’t want to give anything away at this point.
Stephen Fry: Malfoy, Goyle and Crabbe are almost irredeemably bad – certainly there’s almost nothing attractive about about Goyle and Crabbe, repulsive – Malfoy is reasonably stylish…
JK Rowling: Malfoy is certainly stylish in the film –
Stephen Fry: Yes, and even in the books there is a certain flair. Most characters like Snape are hard to love but there is a sort of ambiguity – you can’t quite decide - something sad about him – lonely and it’s fascinating when you think he’s going to be the evil one a party from Voldemort obviously in the first book then slowly you get this idea he’s not so bad after all.
JK Rowling: Yes but you shouldn’t think him too nice. It is worth keeping an eye on old Severus definitely!
Stephen Fry: Why does Dumbledore …(simplifies) one of the most awful things in the world when we are young, is injustice – when something’s unfair it makes us so angry. One of the things is I get upset on Harry’s behalf about how people tell lies about him. We know he’s brave and actually saved the magical world on numerous occasions, yet he has to start all over again in each book and do all over again and prove himself again. Dumbledore knows how good he is and how bad the fathers of Deatheaters, Crabbe and Goyle are.
JK Rowling: I don’t want to say too much but Dumbledore is a very wise man who knows that Harry is going to have to learn a few hard lessons to prepare him for what may be coming in his life. He allows Harry to get into what he wouldn’t allow another pupil to do and he also unwillingly permits Harry to confront things he’d rather protect him from. As people who’ve read the Order of The Phoenix will know; Dumbledore has had to step back from Harry to teach him some of life’s harder lessons.
Stephen Fry: But it doesn’t matter that it sounds corny … it’s desperately important that the way Harry solves all his problems is really through his courage, his friendship, and his loyalty and stoutness of heart.
JK Rowling: “Stoutness of heart” – is a very good phrase!”
Harry is not a good enough wizard yet to even attempt to take on Voldemort as wizard to wizard. He’s escaped him three, four times if you count the encounter with Tom Riddle. He keeps doing it because there is one thing that Voldemort doesn’t understand and that’s the power that keeps Harry going. And we all know what that power is.
Stephen Fry: Where were you at school?
JK Rowling: In the Forest of Dean – that’s why Hagrid has that accent; He comes from The Forest of Dean.
Jackson: “Professor Snape has always wanted to be Defence Against Dark Arts teacher. In book 5 he still hasn’t got the job. Why does Prof Dumbedore not allow him to be Defence Against The Dark Arts teacher?”
JK Rowling: That is an excellent question and the reason is that I have to be careful what I say here. To answer it fully would give a lot away about the remaining two books.
When Prof Dumbledore took Prof Snape onto the staff and Prof Snape said “I’d like to be Prof of Defence Against the Dark Arts please” and Prof Dumbledore felt it might bring out the worst in Snape so said “I think we’ll get you to teach Potions and see how you get along there”.
Stephen Fry: Now, Snape, we talked about him a little before, there’s something about letter “s”, isn’t there especially with that ”n” with it, you can’t help saying it without sneering or snarling… Snarl, sneer…
JK Rowling: Snake! I could have very easily called him, Snicket instead but it’s a funnier, kinder word so I didn’t.
Stephen Fry: Or sneeze is pleasant and of course and the Founder of the House (at Hogwarts) was Salazar Slytherin - another snaky thing. Snakes feature a lot – is a Parselmouth a real thing or did you make that up?
JK Rowling: Parselmouth is an old word for someone who has a problem with the mouth, like a hare lip.
JK Rowling: No… I didn’t, I will say this. I had to put in some things because of what’s coming in books 6 and 7 and I didn’t want anyone to say to me “what a cheat you never gave us clues”. If I didn’t mention things in Order of the Phoenix I think you’ve said “well, you sprang that on us”! Whereas I want you to be able to guess if you’ve got your wits about you.
Stephen Fry: To set up surprises..
Stephen Fry: Yes, there are few surprises coming.
Stephen Fry: It is another one of the most horrible and brilliant inventions of the books is this snobbery this idea of purebloods and mudbloods and this idea of mingling, mixed breeding which is a reflection of some of the things like racism and intolerance that we have in our world. Is that deliberate or did it come to you in a flash again or did it just suddenly…
JK Rowling: That was deliberate it was always there from the beginning as you saw with Draco – even from first book with Draco Harry discovers him first being rude about Muggles. I was also playing with that when I created Professor Lupin having a contagious disease so people are frightened of him. I really liked him as a character but he also has his failing though he’s a nice man and a wonderful teacher – in fact he’s the one time I’ve written a teacher… the kind of teacher I’d have loved to have had. McGonagall is a good teacher but scary at times. Lupin’s failing is he likes to be liked. That’s where he slips up – he’s been disliked so often he’s always pleased to have friends so cuts them an awful lot of slack.
Stephen Fry. Luna Lovegood lets talk about Luna Lovegood ……….
JK Rowling: Yes! I don’t know where she came from but I really like Luna – really fun to write. She’s slightly out of step in many ways but she’s the anti-Hermione. Hermione’s so logical and inflexible in so many ways and Luna is likely to believe 10 impossible things before breakfast…
Email: “Harry saw his parents die so why hasn’t he been able to see the Thestrals before?”
JK Rowling: I knew I was going to get that one…that is an excellent question. And here is the truth. At the end of Goblet of Fire we sent Harry home more depressed than he had ever been leaving Howarts. I knew that Thestrals were coming, and I can prove that because they’re in the book I’d produced for Comic Relief (UK) “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”.
These are lucky Black Winged Horses. However, if Harry had seen them and it had not been explained then it would cheat the reader. So, to explain that to myself, I decided you had to have seen the death and allowed it to sink in a bit… slowly…these creatures became solid in front of you. So that’s how I’m going to sneak past that one.
Stephen Fry: Absolutely, I mean if you can’t write new characters in new books that would be a bit hard on you. Can you explain in words of not more that two syllables, What is Arithmancy?
JK Rowling: Well your guess is as good as mine Stephen. Arithmancy is predicting the future using numbers. I’ve decided there’s a bit of numerology in there as well but how you do it I really don’t know.
|Lo-Fi Version||Time is now: 24th May 2013 - 08:45 pm|